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How to bring your game to the Gamescom – a MEGABOOTH diary - by Jana Reinhardt

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 6:29am
Gamescom. 335,000 players, business attendees and developers visited Cologne from 88 different countries. For a whole week we were guests in a wild mix of games, Let's play shows and character cosplay and also as part of the famous Indie MEGABOOTH.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Short & Skinny of Buy/Sell Agreements - by Jonathan Sparks

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 6:29am
Buy/Sell agreements are a very simple and important aspect of business. Every legal entity that is currently owned by more than one individual needs to have a buy/sell contract that allows investors to exit successful companies without losing investments.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

True stats of visibility part 2 - by Arturs Sosins

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 4:56am
You have seen the result of single app's first month on the market without any marketing. Now it's time to confirm or disapprove these results by the data of the second app. Will it be better or worse?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Managing a Crowd-funded Budget - by Ulyana Chernyak

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 4:51am
Crowd-funding has led to many developers and first timers managing their own budget. But making use of crowd-funding to fund a studio can be tricky and today's post examines the costs that must be considered.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Entering the era of Auto-Mode - by Dominic Gelineau

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 4:37am
There is a new trend on the rise: Auto-Mode. This article discuss the good and the bad of letting your game play itself.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Simple Word Link

New Drupal Modules - 28 August 2014 - 4:30am

The module provides a filter for text. The filter compares the words from populated table and makes them as link. Link words is stored in the database.

Note: Do not forget to include a filter in text format!

For more functionality, use the module Word Link.

Categories: Drupal

The difficult balance of creating games in Brazil - by Mauricio Alegretti

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 4:10am
Brazil has a newborn but thrilling game development industry, with it's own challenges that are not for the faint of heart. Does that make us brazilian game developers crazy, passionate, or both?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Geoff Gillan's The Machine King

New RPG Product Reviews - 28 August 2014 - 4:03am
Publisher: Cthulhu Reborn
Rating: 3
Originally published at: http://diehardgamefan.com/2014/08/28/tabletop-review-the-machine-king-call-of-cthulhu/

The Machine King is an adventure that was originally designed back in the late 90s for Dreamlands book that never made it out of the planning stages. Why, I have no idea. I can only go off the Author’s note that starts of this long adventure. Since then, the adventure has been though lost to a flood, found, rebuilt from the ground up and now released as a freebie via DriveThruRPG.com. The fact that The Machine King is free is reason enough to download it. I mean, even if you never play it or outright don’t like it, it’s a free addition to your Call of Cthulhu collection. It’s not a bait and switch where the free adventure is used to actually hard sell some upcoming books or requires half a dozen or more sourcebooks to be playable. Nope, all you need is a CoC core rulebook, although the edition this was designed for is not stated in the text. Anything pre-seventh and you’ll be fine though.

The Machine King is a combination Cthulhu by Gaslight and Dreamlands adventure where characters will time in both setting. Of course, the Dreamlands in this adventure is not the standard one that you usually find in Call of Cthulhu, but its own pocket dimension with different rules, creatures and atmosphere. In many ways, The Machine King doesn’t feel like a Call of Cthulhu adventure at all. There are no standard Lovecraftian foes or creatures to encounter, and the mood of the piece is notably different from what you usually encounter with CoC adventures. There is certainly a steampunk vibe for much of the Dreamlands section of the adventure and the Cthulhu by Gaslight climax will be greeted by delight or disdain – depending on how much you like fighting a giant killer robot in the middle of London. This is definitely going to be one of those hate them or love endings, based on one’s play style and how staunchly you keep to Lovecraftia in your games.

In many ways The Machine King looks at the horrors of the Industrial Revolution through the eyes of a nightmare, showcasing the exploitation of the masses, and how early industry focused on production over the safety and working conditions of the employees. Now this does not mean that The Machine King is espousing a Luddite stance. Indeed, the Luddites do make an appearance in the adventure, but they are treated and portrayed crazy extremists. So don’t be looking for a political philosophical message hidden between the lines here. It’s just that the Industrial Revolution and the early machines of that era are good fodder for a horror story, that’s all.

The adventure itself starts with the Investigators having nightmares about a horrible clockwork like cog filled world and a machine that is about to crush them when they are saved by a young urchin. They wake up and things seem fine. Just a bad nightmare, right? Well that’s until they see the paper a few instances of machines gone amok. Between this, one Investigator having eerie visions of their savior from the previous night beseeching them for help and a new exhibition as the London Science Museum entitled “The Machine Kings,” the characters will be drawn once more into the dark dystopian dream world of the Machine King.

Once in the dimension of dreams, Investigators may find themselves there for the long haul. This part of the adventure is designed to play out over several sessions, making it essentially a mini campaign. Be prepared for that if you decide to run this, especially if players are used to shorter one-to-two session pieces. The adventure lays out an entire world where players may become cogs in the machine, transformed into Overseers or Workers (thus splitting the party) or even engaging in a full scale revolt by the citizens of the this dreamworld. This long scale mid-part of the adventure is only briefly discussed in the text, meaning the Keeper will really have to flesh out these encounters and story scenes to make this part work. After that you have a weirdly done steam engine chase scene where Investigators and the Machine King using dreaming powers to combat each other.

I have to admit, I was very interested in the first half of the adventure. It was your normal weird little CoC adventure full of strange happenings and investigations. However, once you hit the dream world of the Machine King, the adventure just lost a lot of steam, so to speak. The dream world of the Machine King is really fleshed out, but is a weird juxtaposition to go from a very detailed step by step adventure for the first part into what is more a campaign setting than an actual adventure for the second half. Key locations, enemies and events are noted, but there is very little in the way of structure or getting characters from point A to point B. Younger or less experienced Keepers aren’t going to enjoy the dramatic change in writing style or adventure progression and even more veteran CoC Keepers will notice how piecemeal the piece feels. I don’t know. Once you get into the Machine King world, the adventure feels like more of a dungeon crawl/hack and slash affair where you’re either killing machine monsters or being maimed by them. The climax of the adventure with the steam train fell utterly flat for me and the return to the real world and what happens their actually elicited a loud groan from me. The piece just lost me entirely in this latter half and I can’t say I’d ever want to play or run The Machine King as neither the setting nor the events were something I enjoyed.

That said, The Machine King is not all bad. There’s some great ideas here and I loved the first half. It just seems that when you hit the dreamlands that the adventure spirals out of control including too much background information and a description of key events. It’s like they just kept adding more content to where the adventure become supersaturated with things. There are new skills and abilities added to your character sheet (which come in at such a low level you can’t really use them to any effect because of how you “level up” in Call of Cthulhu), along with splitting up the players into multiple groups which can be long and dull for one group when the Keeper in engaging with the other. It stopped being an adventure and more a campaign setting. I loved the charts for Machine Accidents and Mechanical Nightmares. There is also an amazing amount of detail just of the Machine King’s realm. Nine pages of the adventure (15%) are allocated to just the background information of the world (although it’s slammed right into the middle of a scene, completely disrupting the flow of the text and book entirely. This should have been either an appendix or right at the start of the Machine King section rather than appearing abruptly in a way that didn’t feel or look right) and even more are devoted to specific locations, so depth and clarity are not a problem. It’s just not a setting I particularly cared for and the characters, antagonist or otherwise, held no interest for me. There’s some great artwork here and you can tell the Cthulhu Reborn team worked really hard on this. It just wasn’t for me. I think if they had scaled this back a bit instead of trying to cram so much into a single adventure, this would have flowed better and been a more fun experience.

Now, just because *I* didn’t care for The Machine King doesn’t mean it’s not for you. There’s a lot of content here and the themes and atmosphere of the adventure might be far more up your alley than it was mine. The Machine King is FREE after all, so there is no harm in downloading it and seeing for yourself if you like it. Who knows, maybe you’ll get more out of The Machine King than I did! I’ll give it a thumb’s in the middle because of the sheer size and scope of this piece, even if the content and content alike weren’t for me.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Guide to Ending "Gamers" - by Devin Wilson

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 3:57am
Devin Wilson offers 18 weird tricks to bring about the end of "gamers". Conservative hatemongers hate him!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Jstag

New Drupal Modules - 28 August 2014 - 3:29am

Add custom javascript tags on the head of selected pages.

Categories: Drupal

This Week in Archmage Rises: The Muse - by Thomas Henshell

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 28 August 2014 - 2:12am
Getting back into the game dev groove while life happens
Categories: Game Theory & Design

DrupalCon Amsterdam: Get a status update on Drupal 8 Contribution Modules at DrupalCon Amsterdam

Planet Drupal - 28 August 2014 - 1:33am

Drupal 8 is slowly approaching. As we all know, the real power in version upgrades lies in the contribution modules. Most of the maintainers are already working on their Drupal 8 ports, but what is their status?

While we would like to give every one of these maintainers their own full session to discuss their modules, they are unfortunately only so many slots available. Not to mention it would take a long time for you to attend all of these talks on top of the various other conference sessions!

Therefore, in order to update the community on the major modules, I have coordinated a double session where each maintainer will present their module’s status. The presentations will be short and focused, freeing you up to enjoy other great conference content.

We will hear about the following modules:

  • Webform (by quicksketch)
  • Rules (by dasjo)
  • Display Suite (by aspilicious)
  • Media (by daveried/slashrsm)
  • Search API (by drunken monkey)
  • Commerce (by bojanz)
  • Redirect, Global Redirect, Token, Pathauto (by berdir)
  • Panels (by populist)
  • Simplenews (by miro_dietiker/ifux)

The session will take place on Tuesday, September 30th from 14:15 - 16:45 (this is two session slots) in the Keynote Auditorium (Wunderkraut Room).

More information

Join us to learn directly from the maintainers what to expect of their Drupal 8 Modules!

--
Michael Schmid (Schnitzel)
DrupalCon Amsterdam Site Building Track Chair

Categories: Drupal

Tales from the Rocket House: Me and my 30d10 closest friends: OD&D White Box Wilderness Encounters

RPGNet - 27 August 2014 - 11:00pm
A different sort of wilderness encounter.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What does $100 buy in Battlefield 4? - by Ethan Levy

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 August 2014 - 10:21pm
Following the introduction of several IAP elements in Battlefield 4 over the past few months, I investigate the effects spending $100 in shortcuts and Battlepacks has on the multiplayer experience.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Struggling for Independence - by Martin Pichlmair

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 August 2014 - 9:36pm
Indies are not as independent as the name suggests. Instead, they struggle for autonomy every day.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dynamic 2D Character Lighting - by Oliver Franzke

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 August 2014 - 9:34pm
Good lighting can improve the visual quality of a game significantly. In this blog post I’ll describe various techniques for dynamic 2D character lighting that are very easy to implement and don’t require any additional assets (e.g. normal maps).
Categories: Game Theory & Design
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