All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG and RPGnow. Bring these games to your table!
Rewards, losses, and motivations: Indolent play in competitive Overwatch PTR matches - by Quinn Poisson
Shifting gamers motivations: Promoting serious play among competitive Overwatch PTR gamers - by Quinn Poisson
Making Your Game Relevant - how I Mined Facebook and Google Data for my &quot;#FakeNews the Video Game&quot; - by Jakub Kasztalski
4 Management Tips to Run Your Indie Development Studios Finances Like a Hyperion Executive - by Remy Albillar
Creating responsive websites have always remained a challenge for many even I faced similar difficulties in the beginning. Recently, our team came across a situation where we had to design a responsive and beautiful website in Drupal 8 for a media and publishing firm. In order to create such an amazing site, we came up with an idea to use Foundation Framework and yes! it worked.
I have written this blog to help anyone having difficulty in understanding the Foundation framework to develop responsive websites as it is a rising market demand. My idea is that this article will be a "living laboratory" to help you in understanding Foundation from the scratch. The post comprises an intro of Foundation, its features, comparison…
Recently, I took a month off to do the Amazee Extreme Challenge: after 3 years, each of us gets the opportunity to do something we would like to challenge ourselves with. In 31 days, I cycled from Switzerland over the Alps to DrupalCon Vienna. This post is intended to reflect on how my journey went and share some of the experiences I had while riding the DrupAlps tour.Josef Dabernig Mon, 10/09/2017 - 13:00
#DrupAlps Tour Summary:
- Days: 31
- Distance: 2937 km (initial plan: 2361)
- Total elevation gain: 69053 meters (initial plan: 57864)
- Veloviewer Wheel summary visualization
Planning & preparations
Late 2016 I started brainstorming ideas for my extreme challenge. Initially, my plan was to hike the alps from mountain hut to mountain hut. After considering the security risk: being hiking alone in the mountains for a month, I decided to go via bicycle where at least I would be able to get help via paved roads if needed. Being a passionate cyclist, climbing the Alps was a dream for a long time already.
How did I plan out the route? Initially it was really hard to tell how much I would be able to cycle. I guessed an average of 80 kilometers per day and around 1500 meters of elevation gain should be fine. Planning out the tour was really fun - basically, I would try research the most beautiful and challenging mountain passes that you can cycle with a road bike. The quäldich site was a great resource to research challenging mountain passes and I used Strava to put together the route. Over the months of planning and during riding, the tour planning adapted flexibly. A map that compares initial versus ridden planning can be found here.
Apart from knowing where to go, I also needed to get in shape and equipped for the ride. Early 2017 I started cycling the Swiss mountain passes as soon as they opened and was getting more and more experience about which equipment and food I would need during the days.
In terms of equipment, I decided to get a race bike (Rose XEON RS-4400) which is really lightweight but still made of aluminium which I thought would be a more reliable material compared to today’s popular carbon frames. As I planned to take all my luggage with me for an entire month and in order to be able to cycle high-alpine mountain passes, I decided to get two compact bags. The Ortlieb Seat-Pack takes up to 16.5 liters and fixates behind the seat post. In addition to that, after quite some research I decided to the custom, tailor-fitted G219 Blade Frame Bag from Wanderlust Equipment. It took me a while to figure out the minimal set of cloths required to keep me dry, warm and adaptable. Weather conditions ranged from between 35 and -5 degrees, sometimes it was sunny, cloudy, windy or just rainy - but in the end, the combination of bags turned out to work out really nicely.
As I started to work 80% at the beginning of May, I was able to do weekend rides from Friday to Sunday to get used to the saddle. All the preparations were really helpful but still, there was a great deal of uncertainty as I never had ridden more than 3 days in a row and would be going to ride for an entire month.
The first week - Zürich to Italy and back to Switzerland
August 25, my bike was finally packed and I was ready to get going. After a lovely breakfast with the Amazee team in the office and with some joining remotely via Zoom, it was time to say goodbye for a month and start the journey.
Well equipped with two Rapha shirts - one from Urs for the colder days and one from my girlfriend for the hot days - I was happy to start cycling. I was slowly getting into a daily routine of taking Instagram photos, navigating using Locus map and sharing the rides on my Strava profile.
The first weekend was already packed with highlights. I joined 2000+ cyclists for the minimal version of the Alpenbrevet. I did the bronze tour which covered two passes, while some of the most eager cyclists did 5 passes with a total elevation gain of 7000 meters!
After Grimsel, Furka and Gotthardpass I had passed the alps for the first time. The upcoming days I cycled along the beautiful lakes Lago Maggiore, Lago Lugano and Lago di Como crossing the Swiss/Italian border surprisingly often. Weather conditions were perfect and it was fun to start adapting the route a bit when I had enough buffer time.
Second week - Berninapass, Stelvio, Timmelsjoch and up to Germany
After a week, the first rain was hitting just in time for a day break near St. Moritz in Engadin to relax and wait for my friend Riccardo Bessone. Riccardo was traveling day and night with busses and trains to get to this place. After a relaxed breakfast and during heavy rains outside it was time for us to take the challenge and go cycling. This quite epic ride took us from heavy rains to heavy snow falls up to Berninapass and we were happy to find shelter on our way down where we could warm up the frozen fingers at a fire place and rest a bit before we headed further via Tirano up again to Bormio.
The second day of our shared weekend we cycled the Gavia Pass. Luckily the weather was sunny again, so we could enjoy a scenery full of snow-covered mountains at an elevation of above 2600 meters.
Leaving that beautiful scenery behind us, we rode some kilometers further over Passo Tonale into the Trentino valley where I would continue my journey alone and say hi to lots of fresh apples that helped my daily need for calories.
Another highlight for sure was climbing Passo Stelvio - with 2757 meters the 2nd highest paved mountain pass of Alps. After a long day of easy riding, I decided to take the climb still around 4 pm in the afternoon and was really happy to have almost no traffic on the streets. Together with some cyclists from the UK, we arrived at the top before sunset and a bit of snow fall started, just in time to find shelter at one of the pretty much empty hotels.
While riding I usually was pretty much alone on the roads. There was plenty of time to reflect, do some thinking but I also listened to a lot of Podcasts to feed my brain. From time to time I would meet inspiring people which did similar long-distance rides, such as this guy from Thailand that tested his bicycle after attending the Eurobike show.
Another magical moment was cycling over the Timmelsjoch from Südtirol to Austria. I was able to change my route so that I would cycle the pass already a week earlier from south up north instead of going down via the pass a week later on. On the top of the mountain, the weather changed from being sunny the whole day long into the mountain being covered by a cloud and quite some rainfalls. But it wasn’t too bad, so I kept going slowly and soon could enjoy some spectacular scenery. See the “Himmelsloch am Timmelsloch” as identified by Greg and depicted above.
Approaching the end of week 2, my road bike joined me for some off-road action. The Schrofen Pass is popular amongst mountain bikers that carry their bike over the hiking trail. Trying to avoid busy roads in that area and equipped with a much lighter bike I enjoyed carrying my road bike over the pass.
Third week - Dolomites and up to Austria
After another break at a friends wedding in Germany, it was time to cycle down to Italy again where I enjoyed some of the most beautiful scenery of the tour. Especially when the clouds disappeared and the unique peaks of the Dolomites started shining through, I know that each single investment into this entire tour was worth the effort.
After spending some days in the dolomites, I approached the last week of my tour. My uncle Wolfgang “Radlwolf” Dabernig, together with his friend Kurti would meet me in Italy from where we cycled the Plöckenpass together. While I enjoyed cycling on my own, trips together like this one with friends and family as part of my tour really where great intermediate steps of my tour as we could share the excitement about the tour and spend valuable time together.
Fourth week - Rains, Kärnten, Slovenia up to Linz / Danube
Entering Kärnten also meant the beginning of an entire week of rain. Cycling in the rain was tough but I was lucky to have all the equipment and mental health needed to survive even the hard days. As long as you keep moving you usually don’t get cold. Rain jacket, rain trousers, and overshoes plus a warm soup would save my days.
Cycling through the Alps also meant visiting different regions, different countries and getting in touch with many different cultures. I crossed borders 17 times and was happy we don’t have border controls anymore thanks to being part of Schengen Area.
It’s hard to summarize the diversity of impressions I had during the tour in a single blog post with a few pictures. What I for sure can tell is that late August to late September turned out to be a great season for cycling. While in the beginning it was really hot and I was glad to take a swim in one of the lakes, the later weeks of the tour turned out to be rather chilly. On the flipside, those early Autumn weeks made for some beautiful visual impressions.
Final stretch - Linz to Vienna
From Kärnten I would cycle up to Linz, crossing the Alps for the last time. Because of a landslide of the heavy rains, the Sölkpass was closed and I had to take a detour via Radstätter Tauernpass which turned out just fine (and snowcovered) too. As I was getting closer to my final destination, DrupalCon Vienna, I had gotten into a routine of organizing my day pack of clothes into the above-depicted bags.
On the last weekend, Ricardo joined me again to cycle along the danube. After a long day on Saturday from Linz to Krems, the last day of cycling was planned to be a relaxed one. In Tulln, we stopped for lunch at the webshapers office where we met more friends from the Drupal community. Together, we cycled the leg to Vienna and even added in two small extra passes before arriving in Vienna. At the Schweizerhaus, a group of Amazee’s, DrupalCon attendees, friends and family were meeting us and I was happy to finish the DrupAlps tour healthy and without any injuries.
Cycling the Alps for a month was an incredible experience, I can definitely recommend. I think I was happy to not have any major issues along the way and I was also really glad that the adaptive planning of the tour worked out even better than I had hoped for. Thanks so much for everyone who has helped me achieve this goal! Without all the great support that I received, the DrupAlps tour wouldn’t have been the positive experience it has been!
What’s next? I am also happy to be back at the office, starting my new role as Agile Consultant with the Amazee Labs Zürich team. In an upcoming post, I will certainly talk more about what’s going on in this area.
Thanks for reading and following my tour! For now, if you are interested, here are some more resources:
WARNING: Unless you are required to use this module to maintain UI backwards compatibility, do not install. Core provides an improved UX out of the box!
This module reintroduces two UI elements that existed in core 8.3 but were superseded in 8.4:
“The sword of duquesne gets stolen by the naked man…”
Community did an excellent episode where they played Dungeons and Dragons, and it was advanced! One of the things that has always struck me about that episode was the part where the character Neil’s sword gets stolen out of spite by another player . It sets up a ton of plot threads and talks about inter-party conflict, but it has always struck me that the episode could have gone a totally different way had it not ended with them recovering the sword. It would have sucked for Neil, having an heirloom and important part of his concept of his character get stolen and not recovered, and would totally have changed the outcome of the effect of the game on Neil’s mental attitude towards life (a major part of the plot of the episode).
It also struck me how similar that experience of having something taken away from a character is similar to experiences I’ve heard about from people, and how similar it is to experiences I’ve had as a player. The ability to threaten things that are close to characters is an important tool in the GM’s toolbox, as it gives them a way to make the game’s outcomes feel meaningful, but the legacy of adversarial GMing — where it is the players vs the GM and everything victory is hard fought — can totally sink a player’s morale if they suddenly lose some part of their agency in moving the story forward.
There’s an easy way to overcome that though:
Always Give Your Players A Receipt For Things You Take Away
A character losing a valuable item, the party being thrown in jail by the guards, or really anything that removes the players ability to react to the situation or attempt to get out of it, deserves some assurance that you aren’t going to be an asshole and make things horrible for them. Pretty much anything that asks the player to bear with you for a bit deserves a receipt, a promise that you’re not taking their ability to interact with the story away, just putting it on pause and they’ll get it back.
“The Guards apprehend you and demand you go with them to jail! Ok everyone, this is a bit meta, but if you go with them without a fight, this token is my assurance that it won’t stop everything. You’ll get your gear back, you’ll get out of the jail at some point, however you make that happen, but it won’t stop the story. Maybe you’ll break out and have a record, but we’ll keep moving on and I’m not taking anything away, and if you lose something, like a guard steals your magic sword, you will get it back at some point, or something as cool. June, maybe this is how you get that ice sword you were talking about rather than the fire one, I don’t know yet. So, you don’t have to go with the guards, but if you do I’ll make sure you get everything back.”
That’s all a bit meta, but what matters most from the players side of the table is knowing that the things you are doing to move the story along aren’t just out of spite. They may already know that by your play style and have full trust in you, and they may be 100% down for that style of play and won’t get annoyed when you burn up their gear because they didn’t explicitly say they were being super careful around the fire elemental — and if those expectations are set, awesome. No need to change the paradigm you’ve already established. It is never a bad idea to reaffirm that you are on their side though.
Pretty much anything that asks the player to bear with you for a bit deserves a receipt, a promise that you’re not taking their ability to interact with the story away, just putting it on pause and they’ll get it back. I will never forget an early game in my career where I wanted to make use of my characters tanning skills to make some leather while we were camping, and with a gleeful smirk that said “I like screwing with your character” a GM told me that creatures made off with the leathers I was tanning in the night. No real reason, maybe a passing roll to see the likelihood behind the screen, no moving forward of the story or hilarious side quest where we chase down creatures chewing on the leather that was supposed to be my new hand-made armor, just that sense of “Wow, the GM just wants to screw with us if we don’t stay in line.” That was the second to last game I played in that campaign, and I think the third to last game that ever occurred in it. A different take on that situation, a validation that there was a reason for it other than “I’ve had a crappy day and you are my target” might have saved the campaign.
The Other Side
But doesn’t this take away risk? Yes, yes it does if not done correctly, but that is all dependent on your play style. A receipt in a game can take many forms, and it is best used when you are looking at removing something core to a character for a plot reason or asking the players to bear with where the story is headed. If mercenaries sneak on-board the star ship and flush all the cargo out the airlock while the crew is tied up, it is assumed that is part of the story and there is going to be an eventual escape and retaking of the ship. What can the players expect to still have intact after that episode plays out? Whatever moves the story along, or else give the players a receipt. There is still the risk that Jayne dies while fighting off the crew, if that’s your play style, but if he survives and Vera gets flushed out the airlock or broken, the receipt is a promise that he will take a bigger/better gun from one of the mercenaries OR that Vera will pop up in a vendor’s stall and a hilarious fight/kerfuffle will occur that puts Vera back in Jayne’s loving hands.
There is a natural power imbalance that comes up in games, when you as the Game Master can say “Rocks fall and you die” whenever a player annoys you. Giving a player a receipt in any type of game you are playing helps counterbalance that effect. You are assuring the player that you’re not just screwing with them, but instead you’re there to help them progress the story along. A receipt isn’t always a necessity, but it’s a token of respect for the players’ agency in the game and the sanctity of their characters. You’re promising you are going to screw with them, but only in the ways that push the story forward. It might not be a tactic that is great for every game, but it’s one that can be super effective, especially during one-shots or when used with a new table.
What experiences have you had that a receipt might have made better? Do you feel this eliminates too much risk from a game? Have you used something like this as a GM?
The module provided a cache backend for Drupal to split cache items of one single bin in separate backends.Installation
Download and enable module (e.g. via composer)
Change the cache backend for your bin (e.g. render) in your settings.php
Add split configuration for your bin to the settings.php:
Some of this week's top longform articles/videos include more loot box opinions, the history of the ill-fated BMX XXX, what happens to your Steam account when you die, and more. ...
Have you been to an event recently involving free software or a related topic? How did you find it? Are you organizing an event and don't want to fall into the trap of using Facebook or Meetup or other services that compete for a share of your community's attention?
Are you keen to find events in foreign destinations related to your interest areas to coincide with other travel intentions?
Have you been concerned when your GSoC or Outreachy interns lost a week of their project going through the bureaucracy to get a visa for your community's event? Would you like to make it easier for them to find the best events in the countries that welcome and respect visitors?
In many recent discussions about free software activism, people have struggled to break out of the illusion that social media is the way to cultivate new contacts. Wouldn't it be great to make more meaningful contacts by attending more a more diverse range of events rather than losing time on social media?Making it happen
There are already a number of tools (for example, Drupal plugins and Wordpress plugins) for promoting your events on the web and in iCalendar format. There are also a number of sites like Agenda du Libre and GriCal who aggregate events from multiple communities where people can browse them.
How can we take these concepts further and make a convenient, compelling and global solution?
Can we use big data techniques to mine these datasources and help match people to events without compromising on privacy?
Why not build an automated iCalendar "to-do" list of deadlines for events you want to be reminded about, so you never miss the deadlines for travel sponsorship or submitting a talk proposal?
I've started documenting an architecture for this on the Debian wiki and proposed it as an Outreachy project. It will also be offered as part of GSoC in 2018.Ways to get involved
If you would like to help this project, please consider introducing yourself on the debian-outreach mailing list and helping to mentor or refer interns for the project. You can also help contribute ideas for the specification through the mailing list or wiki.Mini DebConf Prishtina 2017
Watch out for future events in Prishtina, the pizzas are huge, but that didn't stop them disappearing before we finished the photos:
The following training classess still have spots available:
Local Drupal 8 Development with Containers - Wednesday
8am-noon - by Mobomo with Miles McLean and Cameron Eagans
There are many ways to develop a Drupal site, but there are few that offer as many advantages as a fully self-contained, local environment. This training session will get hands on with setting up an environment from scratch using Docker containers to emulate production servers, Composer to manage packages, Drush to manage configuration, Drupal Console to generate code, and source code management to tie it all together.
Getting Started with Drupal - Wednesday
by Agaric & Digital Echidna with Mauricio Dinarte
This training is aimed to people just starting with Drupal. Basic concepts will be explained are later put into practice. The objective is that someone, who might not even know about Drupal, can understand the different concepts and building blocks to create a website using this CMS.
SEO & Accessibility - Wednesday
by Hook 42 with Aimee Degnan and Carie Fisher
SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization." Improving your website's SEO can translate into more visitors, better conversions, and more sales.
Accessibility refers to the design of products, devices, services, or environments for people who experience disabilities.
When properly configured, Drupal is a very SEO-friendly and Accessible web framework. The trick is to know which Drupal modules you need to install and how to optimally configure them. Configuration doesn’t stop at the module level - a solid content strategy is required to make the most Accessible and optimized website. “Content is King” and our job is to make Drupal showcase content in the most effective way to all consumers and search engines.
Object Oriented PHP - Wednesday
by Chapter Three
With the move to Drupal 8 everyone who works in the PHP layer will be exposed to more and more to object oriented code. Come learn the basics of working with objects in PHP and how OOP can help you to write well structured code
Drupal Crash Course for Non-Developers - Wednesday
by Promet Source with Margaret Plett
Are you responsible for project management, content, or vendor selection and preparing to work with Drupal? This one-day training delivers all of the tools you need to get started. Delivered by an Acquia Certified Drupal Developer, this training will answer the questions you didn’t even know to ask!
Component-based Theming with Twig - Thursday
by Forum One with Chaz Chumley
Join Forum One as they walk through the theming variations that started with the traditional theme-centric design and has quickly moved into component-based design. Together you will master Component-based theming with Twig as you work to identify patterns, define components, utilize command line tools such as Composer, NPM and Grunt to quickly create a PatternLab managed theme. Learn how to work smarter in developing components that can easily be integrated into project after project without having to recreate them yourself.
Theming Drupal 8 - Thursday
by Drupalize.me with Joe Shindelar
Content Strategy for Drupal 8 - Thursday
by Evolving Web with Suzanne Deracheva
Drupal is a powerful tool for managing structured content. Many Drupal projects revolve around producing, displaying and organizing content effectively. This course will walk you through the process of creating a content strategy for your next Drupal project, and planning out how that content will be structured in Drupal. Whether you're creating a brand new site or migrating to Drupal, you'll learn techniques that will help you build a solid content strategy and a successful Drupal website.
Intro to Backdrop CMS - Thursday
by Nate & Jen Lampton
Backdrop CMS is for the small to medium sized business, non-profits, educational institutions, and companies or organizations who are delivering comprehensive websites on a budget. This introductory training will cover the basics of creating and administering a website with Backdrop CMS.
Drupal 8 Configuration System Basics - Thursday
by DrupalEasy with Mike Anello
The Drupal 8 configuration system can provide great advantages to managing the configuration of a site, but it can also cause massive headaches if used improperly. This presentation will provide an overview of how the Drupal 8 configuration system works, best practices on basic workflows to utilize it effectively, and a small sampling of some of the contributed modules available to enhance it.
BADCamp is 100% volunteer run and 100% funded by our sponsors and the support of our local community. Thank you!Drupal Planet
A simple IoT module for Drupal 8. The module, which is still in the prototype phase, could motivate the use and integration of the D8 with several technologies in a simpler way.
The module is taking the first steps, focusing on this prototype phase the base access management features of the entrances of a building.
Technologies of the prototype:
Visual platform for event management
Raspberry Pi + RFID + Relay
During DrupalCon Vienna, the second edition of the Drupal 8 Development Cookbook was published! The Drupal 8 Development Cookbook published just over a year ago, right after Drupal 8.1 was released. I had written the book for 8.0 with "just in case" notes for what might change in Drupal 8.1. What I was not prepared for: how well the minor release system worked and provided rapid gains in feature changes.