Slaughter at Splinterfang Gorge Adventure Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 12:00pm
The Var’Lande used to be a very nice elven thorp. However, it would seem as though some goblins have come marauding through there. The citizens have been slain. Some of the children have even been carted off. That would be horrible enough, warranting some adventurers to go avenge the slain and release the children. However, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ubisoft is canning its F2P Ghost Recon and Epic Loot games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 26 August 2016 - 11:50am

Ubisoft seems to be culling its online free-to-play game portfolio this week, announcing that both The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot and Ghost Recon Phantoms will be shutting down this year. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

ImageX Media: Do You Know Who Your Customers Are?

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2016 - 11:07am

Previously in our blog, we discussed the five basics of content marketing. The first of these five basics of content marketing is understanding your audience. You can create all of the killer content you can, but if you don’t know who your audience is, what problems your business can solve for them, and where and how they’re consuming your content, then you risk it missing the mark entirely and falling into the internet’s ether.

Categories: Drupal

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 11:00am
Well, this week started off well, hit some rocky points near the middle, but it seems like it’s going to end alright. One friend got some good news, and at least things have smoothed out a bit for the rest. Me? I’m just looking to maybe get some gaming in over the next couple days […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

ImageX Media: Are You Overlooking these Content Marketing Basics?

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2016 - 10:43am
So What Is Content Marketing?

Traditional marketing methods of the past have become outdated as audiences have lost interest and become more savvy in tuning them out. From browser-based ad blockers to streaming content online, ads have been relegated to the periphery at best, leading to low conversion rates, decreased traffic, and a lower return on investment.

Categories: Drupal

New Wyrd Chronicles Magazine and Penny Dreadful One-Shot Available From Wyrd

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 10:00am
Wyrd’s doing a bit of batch-bundling with their stories, which is alright with me. They’ve got a new issue of their Wyrd Chronicles magazine that you can read over, hopefully escaping from this nasty heat that’s still outside (at least, nasty heat here in Atlanta). They’ve also got a new Penny Dreadful one-shot adventure for […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

File Encrypt

New Drupal Modules - 26 August 2016 - 9:24am

This is the D8 version of the encrypted_files project.

The file encrypt module allows you to encrypt files uploaded via Drupal using
the encrypt and key modules. When the files are requested, they'll get decrypted

Configure file encrypt

Ideally first configure a different path at which the encrypted files should be
stored. Similar to private files you need an entry in settings.php for that:

$settings['encrypted_file_path'] = '';

Categories: Drupal

Hit Z Road Zombie Board Game Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 9:00am
Zombies! Zombies everywhere! But you’re not going to let that ruin your road trip. You’ve been planning it for quite a long time and you’re not going to let something like the apocalypse stop you. You’re California dreamin’. California, here you come. But will you survive all the way out there and be able to […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

EchoDitto Tech Blog: 3 Major Reasons Drupal 8 is Worth the Investment

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2016 - 8:42am

Saying a modern nonprofit or business needs a website is like saying the tires on your car need air. Deny it and you’re going to have a bad time. Given the significant tasks required of your website, from fundraising and ecommerce to PR and campaigning, the tools you use to power it and the interface through which your team will interact with the site should be given important consideration.

Lucky for you, one of the most widely used content management systems (CMS), just got a major update. Drupal 8 brings too many new features to discuss fully here, but you’ll be happy to know the end product is one that’s worth the investment.

Here’s why:

One – The content authoring experience is more efficient

Drupal’s admin interface has evolved over the years, and we’re happy to see it continue here. For starters, the new interface is streamlined, mobile-friendly, and by emphasizing simplicity, it makes the process of creating content and managing your site more efficient. Then comes Quick Edit, a tool which allows you to edit content directly on the page, without having to switch to the admin panel. Lastly, some under-the-hood improvements to how Drupal 8 caches portions of your site, means that logged-in users — whether they login just to access a community or special resources, or it's your staff managing the site and adding content — will likely see a significant boost to performance. These improvements just underscore how the experience for content authors and editors means your team takes less time, and less clicks, to update content on Drupal 8.

Two – The improvements for developers means easier maintenance

A number of new features in Drupal 8 are developer focused. There’s Twig, a new templating engine, some commonly used modules are now included by default in Drupal 8, and there’s better support for things like accessibility and multilingual support. Unless you’re a developer, you’re not likely to ever see these changes first hand, but you will experience them.

These improvements for developers mean maintenance tasks will largely be much easier (and occasionally faster) for developers to complete. This saves you money on regular support, and allows you to devote that time and resources into other areas, like digital strategy or building new features.

Three – Migrating is easier than it's ever been

If you’ve been through a redesign of a website, you know that one of the most daunting tasks is getting all of the content you want to keep migrated and configured properly inside your new website. In this area, Drupal 8 has seen a major leap forward.

Drupal 8 can read the database from a Drupal 6 or 7 site, and pull in configurations and other settings in addition to the actual content. Practically speaking, this removes what was previously a major task for content migrations: writing all of the code that retrieves and assembles the existing site’s content. Now, Drupal 8 assembles it for you. In some cases, this could cut the time to do a content migration in half.

We’ve been enjoying building new projects in Drupal 8, some of which we will be able to share with you soon. Until then, if you have questions about Drupal 8 that you’d like us to touch upon, or if you’re wondering if Drupal 8 can work for you, get in touch.

Tags: drupaldrupal 8
Categories: Drupal

WizKids Announces Blank White Dice Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 8:00am
I’ve seen what dice-o-philes you people are. The gallery that got liked/shared and commented on the most from Gen Con? Shots of dice. Though those dice were nice, they did have one flaw: You couldn’t change what was on them. Changing dice faces is the key behind Black White Dice, a new game coming from […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Beating the back-to-school blues - by Mark Rosner Blogs - 26 August 2016 - 7:41am
When kids go back to school, how should game devs deal with the slump? Here are several ways to re-engage existing players and bring new ones to your game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pokemon Go, Pokemon and Adding Value to Game Pieces - by Nikhil Murthy Blogs - 26 August 2016 - 7:40am
Looking at the original Pokemon games and Pokemon Go for ways to add value to the pieces of your game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

JOURNEY OF 4 THOUSAND, 5 HUNDRED DAYS - by Mare Sheppard Blogs - 26 August 2016 - 7:17am
We're Metanet Software (Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns), who have been making games since 2001. We just launched N++ on Steam, completing the twelve-year journey that began with the free Flash version of N back in 2004. This is a retrospective.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Forge World Taking Orders For Mastodon Heavy Transport

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 7:00am
The worst way to try and get your troops into battle is just having them walk there. Tac. Marines, Terminators, and Dreadnaughts aren’t known for breaking any land speed records, and they’re vulnerable to enemy fire as they approach. Sure, there’s Rhinos and Land Raiders, but those only hold a relatively small squad of guys. […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Konflikt ’47 Kits Available From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 26 August 2016 - 6:00am
Watch The History Channel for a couple days, an undoubtedly you’ll see some sort of program about strange, occult things that the Nazis were researching during WWII. Or just go watch/read Hellboy. Basically the same thing, but only one has Ron Perlman. Anyway, in the alternate-history world of Konflikt ’47, those occult searches yielded some […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

InternetDevels: A better website’s performance with the Fast 404 Drupal 8 module

Planet Drupal - 26 August 2016 - 5:24am

It’s great to see how websites are getting faster, more reliable and easier to use with the help of new Drupal technologies, as we have described in our posts.

Read more
Categories: Drupal

Drush Shrink Database

New Drupal Modules - 26 August 2016 - 3:34am

Extends Drush sql-sanitize with an option to shrink the database size by wiping older content.

It only supports Drupal 8 for now.

  • Wipe content in entity tables (base fields, fields and revisions).
  • Currently it provides hardcoded support for node and media entities.
  • More funcionality is planned. See the TODO list.

Categories: Drupal

Migrate default content

New Drupal Modules - 26 August 2016 - 2:02am

Provide default test content for a Drupal site using migrate.

This module use csv as a data source.
This csv are located in a folder specified by a setting called source_dir.
The name of the csv follows a standard: ENTITY_TYPE.BUNDLE.csv
like user.user.csv or node.article.csv

Main development happens in github

Categories: Drupal

The GM’s New Clothes – Gaming without a GM Screen

Gnome Stew - 26 August 2016 - 1:36am

Kyle MacKay has been GMing for years with a GMs screen, and in today’s guest article he talks about his process of getting rid of it. While GMs screens are a staple of more conventional types of role-playing, and I love mine for certain games, Kyle makes some good points about ditching it for the traditional games — This Machine Kills Min-Maxers John

The Gamemaster’s Screen is as an iconic symbol of our hobby as the strange little dice we use. Behind that barrier of cardboard, covered with a collage of brightly colored heroes, wizards, and dragons, a GM riffles through their secret notes, conceals the figurines that the characters will encounter later, and smirks with glee when they roll a particularly devastating attack. But a little over a year ago I began to wonder: is my GM Screen actually doing me any favors? Would my player’s gaming experience be improved if I removed the screen entirely? I decided to conduct this experiment and after a year’s trial I can unequivocally say that it was a resounding success. I completely understand that what works for me and my gaming group may not work for everyone, but let me try to convince you that getting rid of your screen may be the best thing for you and your players:

Helpful tables

 I completely understand that what works for me and my gaming group may not work for everyone, but let me try to convince you that getting rid of your screen may be the best thing for you and your players:  Most GM Screens are filled with a wide variety of tables so that a GM doesn’t need to go scrambling through his books to find the relevant information. Honestly, I’ve never used these tables much to begin with, although I’ve known GMs who rely on them. Luckily, there are a few easy ways to solve this problem. First is to utilize your tablet or smart phone. There are plenty of websites for Pathfinder, 5th Edition, FATE, and others that allows you to cue up the exact rules you need and can be easily searched. If you are old school it is easy enough to just photocopy whatever charts, tables, or graphs you need. Keep them in a convenient folder nearby in case you need to reference them.

Hiding your notes and maps from the players

When you first start off in this hobby some people have the temptation to look behind the GM Screen. A few players even succumb to it. But ask yourself: do the players you play with really want to cheat their way through the game? As the GM, do leave all of your notes behind if you have to leave to go to the bathroom? Do you actually trust your gaming group? If the answers to the above questions are yes than a GM should not be concerned with having pages left in the open. If the answers are no you’ve got some bigger problems, like seeing how expensive it would be to set up CCTV cameras around your table.

Concealing figurines

This one took me a while to figure out. I didn’t want to set out six Ogres and a Medusa fig before the game began for all my players to see. It ruins the suspense! But I soon figured out that it wasn’t as big a problem as I thought and could even be used for my benefit. Let’s face it, more often than not, your players sort of know what to expect anyway. Did they end last game about to go into Orc infested territory? I doubt any of them would be surprised if you placed Orcs on the table. Also, I don’t know about everyone, but I do not have multiples of many of my monsters. If the group is fighting four Owlbears, I am likely using my one Owlbear fig and three other vaguely Owlbear-like figs. The players don’t know which of the four on the table is the monster they might be fighting.

The trick I like the best though is to put monsters on the table that the characters aren’t going to fight. Set a Huge Treant fig out when they are travelling in the forest and they will super careful about approaching any tree. Another fun trick is to put out either may more or less figurines than will be making an appearance. Is the group going to be fighting twenty Goblins? Put forty out on the table? You can play mind games with the players before the game even begins!

Being able to cheat (fudge) your die rolls

This is the big one. Letting your players see every roll you make. Every. Single. One. No more concealing those 20s when the party is on the brink of death. No more pretending to make a crucial saving throw that would have defeated the campaign’s major villain for good. Complete transparency. This can be a scary proposition. I was very nervous the first few times I tried it, but you would not believe the difference open rolls make at the gaming table!

To begin with, the tension that you can build throughout the game is amazing! I will often announce the target number that the monster or NPC needs to hit (“The wizard needs a 8 on the die to succeed on your Charm Person spell”). As I begin to roll the die, my players will all lean forward in anticipation, some even rising to their feet, to see the outcome of the roll. The die hits the table (“I rolled an 8. He seems almost taken in but shakes it off at the last minute”) – and a chorus of groans is heard. Players slump back in defeat, a golden opportunity wasted. But let’s say the die landed differently (“I only roll a 5. The wizard looks at you with trusting eyes”). The table erupts in cheers, everybody celebrating defeating a powerful opponent with a single spell. Now, I don’t necessarily do this for every die roll (usually just the ones that have high stakes), but I do roll everything in the open. If the fighter is being attacked 5 times I’ll roll all the dice, right into front of the player who controls the fighter if I can. They can see exactly what I rolled. I can see the same level of joy or chagrin in their eyes after each roll.

The main benefit of rolling all of your dice in the open is to build trust between you and your players. How many times have you been playing in a game when the GM inexplicably rolls several 20s in a row? How often has a player been on the brink of death when the monsters seem to missing with every attack? Even if these outcomes ended in the character’s favor it feels like you’ve been cheated. The character’s decisions should always matter. If they decided to get into a fight and lost (fair and square) that is on them. Building trust between yourself and your players can go a long way in mediating disputes, weighing in on rule interpretations, and a host of other issues. The players know you are not hiding anything. That you have no agenda other than allowing the players to tell a great story and everyone having a good time. That you are completely impartial.

There you have it, my breakdown on the benefits of doing away with your GM Screen. Have any of you attempted this before? Was it positive experience or did it turn into a total train wreck? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear about it!

Kyle MacKay had been gaming for 25 years and a GM for 20 of those.  He compulsively buys old gaming books and never plays them.  He just enters them into a spreadsheet.  He lives in Canada.

    Categories: Game Theory & Design

    Doom - Flow through Level Design - by Joey Simas Blogs - 26 August 2016 - 1:24am
    A quick look at how the Doom level, The Necropolis, uses lighting and composition to create flow.
    Categories: Game Theory & Design


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