Wyrd Running Femme Fatale Painting Contest

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 July 2017 - 9:00am
Wyrd Games is known for running various painting contests throughout the year. They’ve launched another one over on their website. If you’re a pro at slinging the colored goo around, you might just want to check it out. You could win some Wyrd store credit for yourself. From the announcement: Today begins our painting contest […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Entity Read Time

New Drupal Modules - 7 July 2017 - 8:34am

Provides an extra content info that displays the time it will take to read content on your site.

Categories: Drupal

New Horus Heresy Character, Star Player Available to Order From Forge World

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 July 2017 - 8:00am
Forge World once again has two far ends of the spectrum available to order from this week. For you 40k (or, I guess, technically, 30k) fans, they’re expanding their Horus Heresy Characters range with Magistus Amon of the Thousand Sons Legion. Meanwhile, on the Blood Bowl pitches, Skaven players can recruit Glart Smashrip to their […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New German Releases Available For Konflikt ’47

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 July 2017 - 7:00am
WWII continues on. All sides of the conflict are looking to overwhelm their opponents. On the German lines, they’ve been working with a new walker design that they’re sure will help out. Then, with a look at emphasizing precision strikes, they’ve been training some elite sniper units with new, heavier rifles that can even take […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Third & Grove: Overriding Admin Views in Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 7 July 2017 - 7:00am
Overriding Admin Views in Drupal 7 josh Fri, 07/07/2017 - 10:00
Categories: Drupal

Token Language

New Drupal Modules - 7 July 2017 - 6:52am

The token modules provides only tokens about the language a node is in.

There are use cases where, for example a field help text, needs to link to another page prefixed by the current interface language code.

This module adds the missing tokens about the interface language:

  • Current language name.
  • Current language code.

This module requires the token module.

Categories: Drupal

[Video] Why Dark Souls Should Have an Easy Mode - by Stanislav Costiuc Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 6:49am
We're going to talk about the nature of difficulty levels and difficulty scaling, and how that should apply to hardcore games like Dark Souls.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

4 Most Anticipated Sequels and Expansions to be Released in Q3 2017 and Beyond - by Ben Sim Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 6:25am
There are so many video game sequels and expansions that was released in the previous 2 quarters of 2017. Tekken 7, Injustice 2, Tom Clancy Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard; the list goes on...
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Developing Mobile VR Games - by Soma Szarka Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 6:25am
We have made 2 VR titles for Gear VR in the past year. We'd like to share our experiences with everyone, so we decided to make a presentation, which we have presented at universities and other events. I wanted to write this so you guys can read it too. :)
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wave VI Available For Star Wars: Armada

Tabletop Gaming News - 7 July 2017 - 6:00am
Both the Imperial and Rebel navies are constantly looking for an advantage over the other. As such, there’s always new ship designs going into production, and new tactics being created to utilize those ships. This means new ships hitting your tabletops for Star Wars: Armada. In this case, it’s Wave VI, which includes the Hammerhead […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mediacurrent: Friday 5: 5 Reasons to Attend a Drupal Camp

Planet Drupal - 7 July 2017 - 5:47am

Happy Friday everyone, and a happy 4th of July weekend. This week we have April Sides on the program to talk about how much fun Drupal Camps are and what you will take away from them. 


Categories: Drupal

Minimum Cardinality Required

New Drupal Modules - 7 July 2017 - 4:37am

Module to add unlimited cardinality with minimum field require.

Example : if suppose user set minimum cardinality -2 then user require to fill 2 data that field.

Categories: Drupal

When It's Not Punny Anymore - by Sande Chen Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 1:32am
In this article, game writer Sande Chen explains why puns, cultural references, and jokes in games are not always appreciated.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Selling packs: Evaluating and improving store through UI/UX methods - by Yevgen Grishenko Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 1:31am
Heuristic evaluation is a powerful tool for analyzing possible UI/UX design drawbacks. Used mainly for apps, it may be applied to games too, and in this article I made an attempt to analyze Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes currency and IAP shop with this tool.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Get Into Game Development: Top Tips - by Michael Smith Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 1:29am
Learn how to get involved with game development on all levels and in all sectors of the gaming industry with these top tips.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Build a Custom GM Screen

Gnome Stew - 7 July 2017 - 1:00am

There are plenty of advice articles out there (much of it here on Gnome Stew) about how to learn a new system without having someone teach it to you. If you’re attempting a high level of system mastery from a book or box set, there are several things you can do.

  1. Skim the books, followed by a second pass of actually reading.
  2. Create some characters, preferably a variety of them to cover different rules and sub-systems.
  3. Have those characters fight each other. Roll all the dice yourself and push the rules.
  4. Get online and read forums and see what questions or issues others have encountered thus far.
  5. Create your own game master screen.
  6. Dive in and have fun with the game despite weird rulings or mistakes you may make.
  7. Adjust game play as you learn and grow with the system.

The area I’m going to focus on with this article is step #5 from the above list. I feel that creating your own GM screen can help improve your system mastery of a new RPG in a few different areas. Before I dive into these areas, I want to mention what you want to include on the GM screens.

 You want to use all of that space to maximum effectiveness. The things you want to capture from the rulebook are things like charts, tables, lists that contain sequence of events, and handy page number references. Keep in mind that you’re going to have four panels of 8.5 inches by 11 inches to work with. You want to use all of that space to maximum effectiveness, but you don’t want to overload everything into the panels and be forced to use a six-point font to make it all fit. Another thing to consider is the player side of the screen. Will it be different or contain the same information as the GM side? I fall into the camp that the player and GM sides should be identical. This allows the players to have a quick reference as well. There are no reasons to hide the rules from the players, right? (I suppose there could be exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, you don’t want the players to be blind to their options and how they work.)

While you’re walking through the rulebook, keep the following topics in mind as you seek targets for capture.

Learn the Rules

While skimming/reading through the book looking for items to capture for your custom GM screen, you’ll be immersing yourself into the rulebook.  This will help you get a better mental grasp on the rules.  I’ll point out that full immersion into running the game is always the best way to master a rule set, but you need the basics down before getting to that point. You should be looking for the higher level rules and sequences of play for inclusion on your custom GM screen.

Find the Nuances and Exceptions

Of course, there are plenty of nuanced systems, sub-systems, and exceptions to the core rules. These are, quite honestly, the most painful parts of GMing a game. It’s near impossible to memorize the exceptions with 100% accuracy, and the more nuanced the rulings, the harder it is to get them right. If you can fit a summary of the rules on your GM screen, you’ll never have to wonder how grapple works again. (Yeah, you all know what I’m talking about.) You’ll have those grapple rules handy at your fingertips for quick reference.

No Rote Memorization

If you run across a chart, table, or nice reference within the rulebooks that you just know you’ll never be able to pack into your headspace’s permanent memory, then you’ve found a wonderful item to pull into your custom GM screen.

Less Book Searching

Obviously, if you’ve dropped an item onto your GM screen, you’ll never have to search for it in the rule book. If you’re not able to jam the whole rule, or even a summary, onto your GM screen, I highly recommend reserving a sidebar area on the screen for a custom index of things you’ll want quick access to. This index can be keywords or phrases and page numbers associated with those items. This will help you find things quickly, especially if you’re playing a game system in which the books don’t have great reference materials baked in.

Nut and Bolts

Now that we have some ideas on what to put into the GM screen, let’s talk about the actual construction. I can’t recommend “The World’s Greatest Screen” by Hammerdog Games highly enough. There are a few options from their web site. I have about half a dozen of these for various games, and they’re wonderful, durable, reusable, and really easy to work with. If you’re strapped for cash, snag some cardstock or a cardboard box and some tape and build your own backing.

 Do not scan, photocopy, or copy/paste the information into a document and use that as your base. Once you have the back to put things on, you need to build out the sheets of paper that’ll be taped to the screen (or slid into the sleeves if you go with the Hammerdog Games screen). This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. Do not scan, photocopy, or copy/paste the information into a document and use that as your base. I want you to develop some very minor layout skills by reproducing tables in a spreadsheet program and then printing those out. Likewise with the rules, drop the text from the book, through your brain, into your keyboard, and finally on a document that you can print. The act of reading, typing, proofing the typing for accuracy, and then printing it out and cutting the paper up to place onto your screen will really drill the information home.

A piece of advice: If you go with a “sleeved screen” like the Hammerdog Games screen, tape all of your little squares and rectangles of paper to a standard 8.5 by 11 inch sheet of paper, and then photocopy that assembled sheet. Drop the clean photocopy into the sleeve. The reason for this, is that you don’t want tape down in the sleeves. In a hot car or with the bump and bustle of moving gaming gear around, the tape will “bleed” some of its adhesive around the edges of the plastic backing on the tape. This could lead to a sheet of paper being permanently attached inside the sleeve. I’ve had this happen once, but I managed to rescue the paper, tape, and sleeve. It was a near thing, though.

Once you have your layout (digital and physical) done, it’s a matter of choosing which pages go where. Most screens have four panels. In this case, you want the most commonly referenced items in the middle two panels and the more rare items on the outer edges. This is simply for each of finding things visually. If you decide to drop the same information on the players’ side of the screen, I recommend putting the identical pages directly opposite the pages you have on your side, so that it’s kind of a mirror image. This way, if a player is having issues finding something on the screen and you know where it’s at, you can point out the appropriate panel for the player. This will help speed up the game, which is the whole point of the GM screen in the first place.

Here is a (slightly blurry) photo of a GM screen I made for TechNoir:

I hope my information here has helped you out with your GMing efforts. There are plenty of great GM screens out there on the market. I’m wondering which ones (from the past or present) have really helped you out with your gaming needs.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Five useful design observations from X-Wing Miniatures - by Bryant Francis Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 12:51am
In which your humble contributing editor attempts to parlay his obsession with tiny Star Wars ships into useful game design observations.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Six useful design observations from X-Wing Miniatures - by Bryant Francis Blogs - 7 July 2017 - 12:51am
In which your humble contributing editor attempts to parlay his obsession with tiny Star Wars ships into useful game design observations.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Star Trek Adventures: Core Rulebook

New RPG Product Reviews - 7 July 2017 - 12:44am
Publisher: Modiphius
Rating: 5
Where do I even start? I knew of Star Trek before from some of the movies and a few of the original series and TNG episodes I’ve watched before, but I wasn’t really a fan. So when I got the preview pdf offer from Modiphius, I wasn’t certain I would understand the appeal of the game. But since I was sold on the 2d20 system from my experiences with Conan, I figured it can’t be that bad, right?

Fast forward to now and I’m practically gushing about the game mechanics to my long-suffering wife, who even now nods patiently in understanding while I type this out and she reads it over my shoulder.

**Art and Layout**

Fans of the aesthetic of Star Trek will find plenty to love here, with the layout mimicking the user interfaces of the ships. However, I have to admit that adjusting to reading white text on dark background on screen was a little difficult at times, and I found myself wishing for a black and white version for readability.

There are a few typos in my preview copy, but hopefully those will be dealt with by the time the final product rolls out in stores.

The artwork is pretty evocative, and I didn’t really cringe at any of them. The Starships are probably the highlight of it all, and I did find myself wondering why there weren’t any more images of Starfleet in more relaxed situations. There’s a lot of Starfleet guys running / shooting / dodging explosions, but you’d be surprised at how hard it was to find an image to go with the Social Conflict article.


This is a mechanics-heavy game that will take repeated exposure, careful reading and more than a few goofs to internalize. While the basic mechanics are easy enough to grasp, there’s a ton of subsystems to cater for different styles of play. GMs will have to spend a bit of time really studying the system to get the most of it. Hopefully this series of Let’s Study articles can help future GMs learn faster!

I found the ship combat to be pretty heavy, and I’ve yet to try it out to see how things turn out. It promises a lot of explosions and show-appropriate destruction, so I’m looking forward to it.

**Review and Conclusions**

Buy it.

If you can afford the collector’s edition, get that.

If you can afford the Borg Box, then by all means, get THAT.

Star Trek Adventures has made a fan out of me out of the sheer amount of love and care put into creating a game that delivers on the promise of playing through and experience that is true to the series. This isn’t D and D in space in Starfleet uniforms. Modiphius knows what it’s doing whenever it works with a licensed setting.

Every rule exists to enforce the physics and ethics of the setting. There’s not a sign of lazy game design anywhere here, with each rule and subsystem carefully considered before it was added to the final product.

My only concern, if any, would be the fact that it’s a big read with a fair amount of complexity. But if you’re willing to put in the time to go through it and understand the systems, you’ll see the elegance behind it.


I also have a full review series covering all the chapters of the Star Trek Adventures RPG on my blog. If you're interested, you can read through them here:

There's a handy list of links at the bottom of the introductory post to help you get to the rest of the chapter reviews.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Profile2 Regpath Exportable

New Drupal Modules - 7 July 2017 - 12:44am

This module enables you to export your Profile2 Registration Path
settings in features.

Categories: Drupal


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