Newsfeeds

The Best Mobile Game Development Tools - by Connor Addis

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:36am
Who doesn’t have a mobile gadget nowadays? Anyone who plays games does. Anyone who makes them does too. The world of game developing tools has changed to suit the ever-growing needs of the audience.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Trends of China Game Market and Strategies You May Consider (Report) - by Mantin Lu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:35am
GPC published the latest China Gaming Industry Report releases statistics in China game market from Jan to Jun 2017 and conveys a lot of valuable information. I am sharing some data here and provide some advice regarding the moves to take in China market.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Is it Wrong to make a Game too Challenging (or too Opaque)? - by Lewis Pulsipher

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:28am
Why would it bother anyone that a game is too hard for them to play? The notion that it's "wrong" to make a game "too challenging" is another instance of Rampant Egalitarianism, trying to make everyone conform to the lowest common denominator.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

PLAY(IN)SHANGHAI - A documentary about playing in China - by Esteban Grine

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:05am
PLAY(IN)SHANGHAI is a brief documentary based on an interview I Had with former Kotaku journalist Eric Jou. We discuss about the state of the chinese videogames market and how actually intersting and different it is.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Scripting Lessons I Learned at My First Job in Game Development - by Oleg Fursenko

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:05am
In this post, I share most important things I learned scripting systems and content in a mobile farming game with strong narrative.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dark Souls Game Design Analysis: Why Do We Come Back To Die? - by Alberic Davila

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:05am
The Souls series is one of the most punishing games to date. It's unforgiving, punishing, and brutal. But why do we keep coming back even after dying countless times? Join me in this in-depth game design analysis to find out.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Editing Architecture of System for Reading Input Devices - by Eugene Solyanov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:05am
In this article I will review how to architect a system that reads data from input devices. This doesn't sound complicated: read data from mouse, keyboard, and joystick and call them in a correct place. What's wrong with this approach?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The video games industry forms a coalition to fight the lootcrate gambling crisis. - by Kenneth Tran

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:05am
​As a result of the increasing external pressure for reform and regulation on the games industry, a group of industry leaders and experts has agreed to come together in a more permanent way, forming the National Committee for Games Policy (NCGP).
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Hyper-casual gaming and monetisation - by Mehmet Ecevit

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 27 November 2017 - 8:05am
Hyper-casual gaming and monetisation
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steamforged Previews Farris and Bolt For Guild Ball

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 November 2017 - 8:00am
The game of Guild Ball is part rugby, part soccer, part football (and yes, I know many of you think that soccer and football are the same game, but you know what I’m talking about here), but in their upcoming expansion, the Blacksmiths are showing that it’s also part polo. Farris takes to the field […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

orkjerns blogg: Automatic updates using violinist.io

Planet Drupal - 27 November 2017 - 7:31am
Automatic updates using violinist.io admin Mon, 11/27/2017 - 15:31

Violinist.io is a new service that is continuously trying to update your composer dependencies. When a new update is found, a pull request is created on the github repo for the project in question, for example your Drupal site. If you have a good testing setup, this will trigger your tests, and hopefully pass. Now, if you have continuous deployment set up, you can basically merge and deploy updates while sitting in a coffee shop on your phone. Which is now something I have done several times!

I am planning to write a longer blog post about a more complete continuous deployment setup, but just wanted to share a couple of quick fun animated gifs about how Violinist.io works

A couple of weeks ago a new version of Drupal console came out. After it was tagged on Github, an update was available through composer. Since Violinist picked this up, it opened up a new pull request on all of my projects that depend on this. That looks something like this:

I captured this animation because I was fascinated about the short time window between the release and the pull request. As you can see in the animation, it was only around 10 minutes! Now all left for me was to see that the tests passed, read through the changelog (including links to all commits) and merge in the update. Minutes after it was automatically deployed to the production server. About as easy as it gets!

But it's not only other Github hosted projects, or generic php packages that gets updated. For a typical Drupal project I also depend on modules from Drupal.org, and I download these modules with composer. Violinist.io supports those as well. Here is one example (from this very site you are reading) where a new pull request with a full changelog was posted only 8 minutes after it was released on Drupal.org.

Since admin_toolbar is a module I use on many projects, I now could just navigate from pull request to pull request, and update all of my sites within minutes, while still on my phone. A real time saver!

Full disclosure: As you probably understand from the enthusiastic description, I am also the creator of the service. It is completely free for open source projects, and up to one private project. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or comments! To finish it off, here is an animated gif about enthusiasm.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon News: Thank you Vienna

Planet Drupal - 27 November 2017 - 7:22am

Thank you to the 1,670 people who joined us at DrupalCon Vienna!

So many volunteers! So many sandwiches! We had a wonderful time in Vienna and can't wait to see you all for DrupalCon Europe 2019.

Until then - we hope to see you in Nashville 2018.

Categories: Drupal

New Releases and Pre-Orders Available From Fantasy Flight Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 November 2017 - 7:00am
Everyone over at Fantasy Flight has apparently been busy. They’ve got a whole host of new releases available, along with new pre-orders. If you’re looking for the new Runewars figures, they’ve got ’em. If you’re looking for the new A Game of Thrones Catan, they’ve got it. If you’re looking for their new Legacy of […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New computational method introduced for lighting in computer graphics

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 27 November 2017 - 6:11am
Computing lighting that looks real remains complex and inefficient, as the necessary consideration of all possible paths light can take remains too costly to be performed for every pixel in real-time. A pair of computer scientists, with expertise in video game development and lighting simulation algorithms, has developed a new computational method to address this key challenge.
Categories: Virtual Reality

New Konflikt ’47 Releases Available From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 27 November 2017 - 6:00am
The folks over at Clockwork Goblin and Warlord Games have been busy. They’ve got a whole batch of new Konflikt ’47 releases available over in their webshop. It’s a lot of heavy gear, including a walker, armored transport, and numerous turret emplacements. If you want a place to be well-defended against enemy attack, you’ll be […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

DrupalEasy: DrupalEasy Podcast 199 - David Rogers - What's up with React?

Planet Drupal - 27 November 2017 - 4:33am

Direct .mp3 file download.

David Rogers, Senior Front End Engineer at Pendo.io, joins Mike Anello to discuss from a Drupal-specific standpoint. They discuss the road to the Drupal community selecting React for use in Drupal core, when a typical Drupal developer should start thinking about React, and what the best first steps are for learning it.

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If you'd like to leave us a voicemail, call 321-396-2340. Please keep in mind that we might play your voicemail during one of our future podcasts. Feel free to call in with suggestions, rants, questions, or corrections. If you'd rather just send us an email, please use our contact page.

Categories: Drupal

Update helper

New Drupal Modules - 27 November 2017 - 3:43am
Categories: Drupal

Improv And The Art of Group Story Telling

Gnome Stew - 27 November 2017 - 3:00am

“I know you think you can handle this,” our superhero mentor says to us as she heads off to fight evil in what we know is the wrong place. “But you can’t. Stay here, and stay safe.” We look at each other for a moment in the empty room before immediately making our own plans.

When a group really clicks and plays off each other, there’s nothing quite like it. Not every group will do it every day or every game, but the moments are worth every session. My favorite games to play right now lean towards guided improv, so the skills that help you improvise better as a group are one hundred percent at play. That means picking up on the things your friends are doing, remembering them, and building on them. It also means sometimes you prioritize the story you’re telling as a group over the welfare of your individual character. It means making the other characters look good, and it means trusting your table, actively communicating in and out of character, and being giving and game as a player.

“I know you think you can handle this,” Kel says to her dog, looking him in the eye as we prepare to head to Shyree’s spaceship to get us to the island none of the adult superheroes seem to think is important. “But you can’t. Stay here, and stay safe.” He cocks his head to the side at her and whines. We head to the ship.

One key difference in improving our games vs. the kind of improv we see in most improv theatre is length. We’re committed to playing these characters and remembering their history and their ongoing moments for the length of this one shot or campaign. Whether it’s four hours or two years, the ways that you can call back to your group history give depth and meaning (and frequently comedic relief) to your games. What isn’t different is the need to trust your fellow players to have your back in storytelling and making character failure okay, especially in service to the overall narrative. As long as everyone is safe, there are no mistakes in improv . . . only happy accidents.

“I know you think you can handle this,” Shyree whispers to her ship as we split up to search the island. “But you can’t. Stay here, and stay safe.” The ship fades a little more into the background, shutting down its non-essential systems. She heads off into the forest. [Masks – She’s A Super Geek]

When you can improv your way into the kind of things that happen in prewritten scripts — like the rule of three — it’s sheer magic. So how do you create this atmosphere at your table?

 When you can improv your way into the kind of things that happen in prewritten scripts — like the rule of three — it’s sheer magic. So how do you create this atmosphere at your table? Spread The Stew: Make Your Table a Safe Space

Please please make your table a safe space for everyone in general, but in this particular case, to get this kind of play, you have to trust each other. That means knowing the GM isn’t out to get you, and it means knowing that as people and players you are invested in telling a good story. To tell the kind of story we really engage with as humans, your characters are going to face adversity, and they are going to fail. And that’s okay. Heck, that’s great. To allow a story to really unfold, failure has to be just as acceptable as success. Personally, I find it harder to achieve this level of table trust in a game like Pathfinder where bad die rolls can take you out of the game than in Dungeon World or something else Powered by the Apocalypse, where failure becomes a mechanic that gives codified narrative power to the GM to make the story more interesting. And why wouldn’t I want the story to be more interesting? Fail away! One of my most enjoyable recent games was a round of Protocol, where we spent the evening vying for the Goblin throne. Did I win? Not at all. My character ended the game lying dead over her lover’s body Romeo and Juliet style, both of us killed by our own competing machinations. And I loved every second.

So how do you make your table a safe place to improv?

  • Set expectations clearly as a group before you play. That’s things like, how deadly is this game? How serious is this game? What kind of story are we telling? Are there safety mechanisms to allow us to explore things without being scared of hurting someone, and how do they work? This is part of a good session zero if you’re starting a campaign.
  • Actively demonstrate the kind of play you expect. As a GM, if I want my table to improv, I start sourcing the table for more and more parts of my game. Inviting input sets up an atmosphere of shared story building that will continue beyond the moments when you actually ask.
  • Catch each other. If someone is drawing a blank, don’t leave them dangling. Ask if they want some help or start spit-balling. The final choice on what happens is theirs (and don’t take it from them), but sometimes getting ideas flowing as a group is all it takes to give someone support and a couple of directions, instead of the infinite possibilities. There’s no audience and we’re not on stage . . . there’s no reason to put someone on the spot and give them stage fright among friends. We all freeze sometimes.
Metagame

Don’t try to get your hands on the GM’s notes. Do take a moment to step out of your story and present an idea to your fellow players about a really interesting way you see a conversation or relationship going. If you can get enthusiastic buy in from the other player(s) about a direction to move in, you’re on your way! It is okay to pause and check in with people, especially if it’s an idea that will push in directions you want to be sure everyone else is comfortable pushing. Backing out a level to check in about the story you’re all telling together is perfectly valid and encourages conversation and contribution at your table.

Listen

You won’t pick up on an opportunity to call something back if you don’t catch it the first time. Sometimes that means catching that subtle hint that someone just dropped that they have a fear of bunnies, and sometimes that means spotting a glorious line you can hit again and again as your story unfolds. A key part of communicating is actively listening. You can’t truly be involved in this conversation/story unless you are picking up everything your table is putting down — even if it’s only to store it for later.

Be Giving  If you want to play the storytelling kind of game, it means prioritizing the story over your own spotlight as the main character. Spread The Stew:

Sometimes the story organically gravitates more towards one character’s plot than yours. If you want to play the storytelling kind of game, it means prioritizing the story over your own spotlight as the main character. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get spotlight time. It means you may be using your spotlight time to drive towards a story that isn’t intrinsic to your character. For example, I’ve played several games of Lady Blackbird. Generally it leans towards an ensemble cast kind of play, which is very typical to most games most of the time. Once it notably warped in to a romantic comedy very strongly. That’s not at all to say that we didn’t all share our action time, but the story started to have a clear direction, and as players we all took it and ran. In the Masks game that demonstrated the rule of threes so magically at the beginning of this article, we also called back a piece from our beginning tableau to the end to tie up Shyree’s crush on Kel, which my character had no part of. Bringing those pieces back around, though, completed the story in a much more poignant way for all of us.

Whenever I get all these elements at my table, I have a wonderful experience, whether it’s funny or serious or somewhere in between. In the end we’re really talking about a specific type of support at your table — the kind where as a group you are all working towards the same goal. It’s the same kind of cooperation we see in theatrical improv, and it’s the same place we stole “yes and” from. Being both a cooperative player and a cooperative GM is my current preferred playstyle all around, so when I can get a table of giving, communicative folks, I know it’s going to be an extra good game!

How about you — do you play like this at your table? What’s your favorite moment of brilliant improvisation in game?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

ImageLightbox

New Drupal Modules - 27 November 2017 - 2:52am

ImageLightbox is a simple module to display images in a lightbox.

Categories: Drupal

Amazee Labs: Process Insights - Amazee Agile Agency Survey Results - Part 2

Planet Drupal - 27 November 2017 - 1:11am
Process Insights - Amazee Agile Agency Survey Results - Part 2

This is part two of our series processing the results of the Amazee Agile Agency Survey. In Part 1, I provided an overview of initial observations from survey results. Here, in Part 2 I would like to focus on process insights.

Josef Dabernig Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:11

In Part 1, we identified Scrum as the most important process for Drupal agencies. Kanban was stated as “somewhat in use” for the most part and also had various agencies stating it as “mostly in use”.

We also asked about “Other important processes?”. From the results, respondents mentioned “Critique, automated testing, collaborative sketching”, such as GitLab workflow, DSDM, Holacracy, Extreme Programming (XP), and Agency Agile.

When asked about how strictly the process would be implemented, the top rated option by 36.7% (on a scale from 1-5) was a “4”, which indicates these agency processes are followed rather strictly. Following this is a “3”, which indicates a balance between strict adherence and many adaptations, and a “2”, which refers to rather many adaptations. Fewer agencies still indicated an even split between either very strictly follow processes and implementing many adaptations to processes.  

When asked for which adaptations were applied to their processes, agencies mentioned the following:

  • Custom dashboards
  • Backlog organization of “in scope” versus “out of scope”
  • As scrum is all about inspect and adapt, the result will always look differently
  • Scrum gets adapted to different customer needs or other stakeholders in the company asking for it
  • Often clients expect fixed price offers with a fixed scope and fixed deadline, results is trying to be agile within those borders
  • The best process is invisible and will feel natural once you found the best way, process needs to match individuals needs

From our experience at Amazee, I’d say we tend towards a “4” where we try to follow Scrum strictly but we also don’t want to overdo it. As mentioned in the comments, Scrum is really about the team taking ownership of the process, which requires flexibility. We constantly try to adapt our processes where we feel it helps fulfill our mission to deliver great software to our clients.

How do you structure your processes and what works best for you? Feel free to leave us a comment below. If you are interested in an Agile or Scrum training for yourself or your company, contact us.

Stay tuned for next post where we’ll look at teams: sizes, location, and team assignments.

Categories: Drupal

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