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We all develop outlooks and philosophies that guide us through life, explaining how the world is supposed to work. This can feed into how we interact with a game world in an RPG, even when we’re playing characters vastly different from ourselves. So what happens when we run into a scenario where the GM and the player are on completely different pages about how the world works?
Especially when those opposing world views create a disconnect in what the player is trying to achieve and what the GM thinks should happen.I imagine you’re looking at me with a quizzical look thinking, “Well, the GM is defining the world, so suck it up, Ang.” It’s not always that easy, though. Especially when those opposing world views create a disconnect in what the player is trying to achieve and what the GM thinks should happen.
To clarify a little further, let me give you this example. A friend recently ran a one shot that was essentially Survivor in Hell. The premise of the game was that Satan plucked the PCs from Purgatory to offer them a chance to win their soul back. It was a fun game and concept, but I had to keep taking a step back from my personal outlook and beliefs on the nature of heaven and hell. Otherwise, I would have ended up spending the entire game arguing against the very precepts the game was built on.
Of the twelve PCs available to be played, pretty much all of them had been tricked into selling their souls: a phone number and name exchanged on a cocktail napkin, an NDA for an experimental medical procedure, a receipt for a case of beer, a EULA for a dating website, etc. On top of that, most of the PCs didn’t actually get to experience the benefit of the sale of their soul either. There was some other Devilish trickery throughout the contest, but I wno’t go into that because it’s a game that might get run again and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.
Either way, my personal beliefs pretty much reject the concept of Heaven and Hell. I’m not particularly religious, but the idea of absolutes like that always rubbed me the wrong way. That’s not how the world works, so why would the ‘end’ be so cut and dry? If I had designed the scenario, there probably would have been a little more give in the absolute nature of Satan’s deal with each contestant. I wasn’t running the game, though, so I had to work within the constraints the GM put forth, even if it went against how I think the world should work.
Not every disconnect between a GM and player worldview is going to be quite so religiously philosophical. Sometimes it’s just a matter of the player thinking, “This should totally work and solve the problem.” and the GM deciding that it doesn’t stand a chance of working.
Recently, I had the chance to try my hand at running a Tales for the Loop one-shot. For those who haven’t seen it, Tales is a game of playing kids in the ‘80’s that never were’. The game aims for a very specific feel, so they provide a very clear set of principles for running and playing the game. I made sure to clearly state these for my players at the beginning of the game:
Your home town is full of strange and fantastic things.
- Everyday life is dull and unforgiving.
- Adults are out of reach and out of touch.
- The land of the Loop is dangerous but Kids will not die.
- The game is played scene by scene.
- The world is described collaboratively.
Take special note of number three. One of the players either forgot this or didn’t take it to heart. As the kids discovered who was behind the bad things that were happening, his solution to make the problem go away was to call his mom, a scientist at the Loop, and have her tell security. This player happened to be a fairly dominant player, so his declaration that this would solve the problem made the other players back down on doing anything else.
Knowing this wasn’t how the game worked, I mentioned the principles again to remind them of how the game world is supposed to work. Using real-world logic instead of game logic, he continued to argue that his solution would work regardless of what I was saying. Eventually this devolved into a minor argument where I finally had to bluntly state, “Your solution will not work because of the nature of the game and if you kids do not act further on this information, <NPCs in the game> will end up dead.”
Now, many GMs would have probably just gone ahead with the player’s plan and let them discover the error of their ways the hard way, letting the NPCs die from the players’ inaction. Part of me wonders if I should have done that, but one of the other players was already emotionally invested in one of those NPCs and other aspects of the game, so the death of those characters could have crossed an emotional line she wasn’t prepared for. While it was in keeping with what the dominant player was demanding, I wasn’t willing to potentially hurt another player simply to teach him a lesson in the way the game’s world is supposed to work.
So, what do you do when there’s a disconnect between what the player and GM think should happen?
For the player, remember that the GM is the final arbiter of what happens in the game. It can be really frustrating when what you’re expecting to happen is veering off in a direction you don’t think is reasonable, but the GM is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in this game. You can definitely try and explain what you were expecting to happen, but don’t let it devolve into an argument that’s going to derail the game. Sometimes it’s necessary to take a deep breath and take a step back from your own point of view. Relax and try and enjoy the rest of the game. Ultimately, if the disconnect is too great, find a different GM to game with. Or, take a turn running a game yourself so you can see how it works from their perspective.
For the GM, having a player on a completely different page from you can be really frustrating, but that is part of the job of being a GM. When you come face to face with one of these disconnects and a player is obviously expecting something different to happen that what you’re narrating, take a moment and try and figure out what the player expected or what they intended with their action. Some players will take elaborate effort to describe an action and be confused when the result is obviously not what they wanted. Taking the time to parse what they intend can help bridge this gap.
These type of little disconnects happen all the time in tiny ways, but we gamers navigate through them easily. When they’re big, though, it can take a little bit of communication and compromise to keep the game moving forward.
Have you ever run into a clash of world views in one of your games? I’d be interested to hear how it worked out.
Font Awesome icons use scalable vectors. You get a high-quality icons, that look good no matter the size of the screen.
The Drupal contrib module "Font Awesome Menu Icons" will help you to add and position the icons in your menu tabs.
When you look at a product online, you might think you're looking at a single product (say a T-shirt). But as far as an ecommerce site is concerned, you're really looking at a grouping of products, because that T-shirt comes in four different colors and three different sizes (4 x 3 = 12 products with individual SKUs). And that is just a basic product example. More options mean even more SKUs.What does "in stock" mean?
If you show a catalog listing of a product (the T-shirt), and some of the variations (sizes) are in stock while others are out of stock, is the product itself in stock? Most of the time, yes. But it can be a grey area. If you only have XXL shirts left, that's kind of an out-of- stock item. If you were in a retail store, you'd likely dump those few shirts in a clearance bin. You're not going to advertise that you have all these shirts when in fact you only have one size.
Stock seems like a simple yes-we-have-it or no-we're-out kind of thing, but there's more to it than that. If you don't have it, when can you get it? Is it something that gets custom ordered anyway and people aren't going to care if they have to wait two or three or four weeks for it? Then it can always be in stock, because you can always get it. Is it a thing that if you don't have it today, having it three days from now is useless? Then you really don't have it in stock.
You need to decide on these kinds of things so you can configure your Drupal Commerce site appropriately. If you only have a couple of XXL shirts left, you could set them up as their own clearance product and sell them that way, for instance.Blending with Drupal Commerce POS
When you integrate the Drupal Commerce POS system, those two XXL shirts are the only ones remaining for your in-store customers, so you never have to worry about orders going through that you can't fulfill. You do need to worry about irritating your customers, though—if they see a product on your site as in-stock and the go to your brick and mortar store only to realize you don't actually have it, they're going to get annoyed.
So with that in mind, you have to think about the messaging you present to your customers online. If something is out of stock but you can get it in three to five days, for instance, maybe you want to communicate that. Or if it's a one-off and you will never have it in stock again, you need to let your customers know.Introducing transactional stock
Something new in Commerce 2 is the concept of transactional stock. So you don't just have a product in stock: you have two that have been purchased and are about to be sent out, you have six sitting in inventory, and you have five on order. And maybe you have a pending return that you can eventually sell, but not until the return is complete. As far as your fulfillment people are concerned, you only have six. But your customer service and inventory management people know about the ones that are coming, and can adapt accordingly.
TL:DR: Stock in Commerce 2 is transactional and flexible.Chat with us
If you'd like to know more about Drupal Commerce 2, online stock management or anything else ecommerce related, give us a shout. We'd love to help you out.
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A lot has happened in the last few months since we started working on Contenta CMS. The process has been really humbling. Today we release Contenta CMS 1.0: Celebrate!
If you don’t know what Contenta CMS is, then visit http://contentacms.org to learn more. And if you are more curious check http://cms.contentacms.io to see the public facing side of a Contenta CMS installation. To check the more interesting features in the private admin interface install it locally with one command.The Other Side
When we decided to kick off the development of Contenta we speculated that someone would step in and provide front-end examples. We didn’t predict the avalanche of projects that would come. Looking back we can safely conclude that a big part of the Drupal community was eager to move to this model that allows us to use more modern tools.undefined
We are not surprised to see that the tech context has changed, that novel interfaces are now common, or that businesses realize the value of multi-channel content distribution. That was expected.
We did not expect to see how long time Drupal contributors would jump in right away to write consumers for the API generated by Contenta. We could not sense the eagerness of so many Drupal developers to use Drupal in another way. It was difficult to guess that people would collaborate a Docker setup. We were also surprised to see the Contenta community to rally around documentation, articles, tutorials, and the explanation site. We didn’t anticipate that the core developers of three major frameworks would take interest on this and contribute consumers. Very often we woke up to unread messages in the Contenta channel with an interesting conversation about a fascinating topic. We didn’t think of that when Contenta was only a plan in our heads.We are humbled by how much we’ve done these months, the Contenta CMS community did not cease to amaze. The Drupal Part
Over the course of the last several months, we have discussed many technical and community topics. We have agreed more often than not, disagreed and come to an understanding, and made a lot of progress. As a result of it, we have developed and refactored multiple Drupal modules to improve the practical challenges that one faces on a decoupled project.undefined
We are very glad that we based our distribution on a real-world example. Many consumers have come across the same challenges at the same time from different perspectives. That is rare in an organization since it is uncommon to have so many consumers building the same product. Casting light on these challenges from multiple perspectives has allowed us to understand some of the problems better. We had to fix some abstractions, and in some other cases an abstraction was not possible and we had to become more practical.
One thing that has remained constant is that we don’t want to support upgrade paths, we see Contenta as a good starting point. Fork and go! When you need to upgrade Drupal and its modules, you do it just like with any other Drupal project. No need to upgrade Contenta CMS itself. After trying other distributions in the past, and seeing the difficulties when using and maintaining both, we made a clear decision that we didn’t need to support that.undefined
This tagged release is our way of saying to the world: We are happy about the current feature set, we feel good about the current stability, and this point in time is a good forking point. We will continue innovating and making decoupled Drupal thrive, but from now we’ll have Contenta CMS 1.0: Celebrate on our backs as a stable point in time.
With this release, we are convinced that you can use Contenta as a starter kit and hub for documentation. We are happy about your future contributions to this kit and hub.
Thanks to Sally Young for her help with grammar and readability in this article.
Hero image by Pablo Heimplatz
Come to GDC 2018 to see veteran community managers of cross-platform MMOs discussing universal unwritten rules of community engagement, nuances based on platform, and how to avoid potential pitfalls. ...