Newsfeeds

OrcQuest WarPath Board Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 2:00pm
I know I go on and on about being a polar bear, but before that, and still deep down inside, I’m a greenskin. Being orcy is just who I am. So, when I see a new board game featuring orcs not as the bad guys, but as the crew you put on the table? I’m […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dream Askew and Dream Apart RPGs Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 1:00pm
Feelings of being “not part of the crowd” can transcend time and place. Though the initial description of the two RPGs, Dream Askew and Dream Apart, sound very different from one-another, they both still touch on those same feelings. In Dream Askew, the queer community struggles with life in a post-apocalyptic world. Meanwhile, Dream Apart […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Reprint of No Thank You, Evil! Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 12:00pm
Many parents are starting to get their kids into gaming. But it can be hard to find the right game. You don’t want anything too complex. You probably don’t want anything with too violent of theme. So finding something just right can be difficult. Well, No Thank You, Evil! is made with younger gamers in […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Devel Mail Logger

New Drupal Modules - 16 May 2018 - 11:36am

This module provides a MailInterface to log all outgoing mails into DB. Also it contains a minimal Admin UI to view logged mails.

Categories: Drupal

Midweek Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 11:00am
Well hello there, middle of the week. Nice to see you. I tell you what, I’m really ready for the weekend. I’m still trying to catch up from Expo on my sleep. But that’s what you get when you’re up late gaming for several nights in a row, followed by full days hanging out with […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

USAopoly Announces Privacy Party Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 10:00am
We’ve all got questions that we’d like to ask, but “polite society” tells us that we shouldn’t. Or maybe we’re just too shy to ask. Well, in Privacy, a new party game coming from USAopoly, polite society can take a hike, and the anonymous nature of the responses means you don’t have to be shy […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Site Alert System

New Drupal Modules - 16 May 2018 - 9:16am

Notification System module will be an independent module that will be used for showing different notice to different pages of a website. This module will have a flexibility of setting notices for either site node pages or a taxonomy page.

Categories: Drupal

Villagers Card Game Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 9:00am
Who hasn’t thought that they know more about city design than whomever it was that created the place they live? I’m in Atlanta, and I certainly think I could do things better. Well, Villagers lets you do just that. Players will draft cards in order to build their own medieval European village. Create the most […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Warlord Games Summer Offensive Sale Happening Now

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 8:00am
Who likes paying full price for things? Nobody. We all want to save our hard-earned cash and get more gaming for our buck. Well, if you’re looking to expand your Warlord Games armies, now’s your chance to put down some of that dough. They are holding their Summer Offensive Sale over in their webshop where […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

CKEditor block image paste

New Drupal Modules - 16 May 2018 - 7:59am

A CKEditor plugin which prevents users to paste an image into the editor.

Why?
Because If you copy/paste an image directly into CKEditor, it converts it into base64 and the code is saved to the database, like so: <img alt="" src="data:image/png;base64, lots and lots of characters />.

This can cause various problems and generally is not desirable.

Categories: Drupal

Games and Visual Identity - by Nicholas Lives

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 May 2018 - 7:11am
This week I woke up to news feeds announcing a new trailer for Bethesda’s Rage 2, and after watching it, it really got me thinking again about the importance of creating a strong visual identity for your game.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Craft emotional intelligence into your game trailer - by M. Joshua Cauller

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 May 2018 - 7:11am
Emotional intelligence could be the most neglected tool in your game dev belt. Time to sharpen it for your trailer.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Study Into Replayability -- Random vs. Procedural Generation - by Josh Bycer

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 May 2018 - 7:10am
Continuing our study on replayability, it's time for a quick refresher on the difference between randomly and procedurally generated content.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mixing beat’em up brawler with bullet hell shooter in a single game - by Milan Babuskov

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 16 May 2018 - 7:07am
In this article I talk about my effort to bring together two, somewhat incompatible, game types - beat'em up and twin stick shooter - into a single game. It talks about possible challenges and clever solutions one could use when combining two genres.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

WizKids Announces Spy Tricks Card Game

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 7:00am
Seems WizKids is in that cycle where they announce a bunch of new games they’re working on. One such is Spy Tricks. It’s a new trick-taking game where you play as spies (ooooh, now I get the name). Players will be trying to play the highest and lowest cards during a trick, with those players […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Days of Wonder Announces Ticket To Ride: New York

Tabletop Gaming News - 16 May 2018 - 6:00am
For many years, players have enjoyed Ticket to Ride. However, some feel that the game can take a bit too long. Collecting all those like-colored cards can take a while. Well, in a city like New York, there’s no time to sit around and be idle. You gotta go, go, go! So it makes sense […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

TEN7 Blog's Drupal Posts: Episode 028: Exploring Flight Deck, Docker containers for Drupal development with Tess Flynn

Planet Drupal - 16 May 2018 - 6:00am
Tess Flynn sits down with Ivan Stegic to discuss TEN7's Flight Deck, a set of Docker containers for local Drupal development. Flight Deck is lightweight, simple, and Docker-native, allowing you to stand up a local development environment quickly after installing Docker.
Categories: Drupal

Marketo Subscribe

New Drupal Modules - 16 May 2018 - 5:31am

Provides a block where users can fill in their email address. As soon as they submit the form their information is sent to Marketo and (optionally) stored in a given list.

Categories: Drupal

Bringing Diversity To Our Imaginary Worlds

Gnome Stew - 16 May 2018 - 5:00am

I remember the first time a player pushed a pregen player character back to me at a convention game. He said, “I don’t play women. I don’t know how they would act,” and I was left asking myself, “What the hell does that mean?”

I’m pretty subtle in my speech so I think I said something like, “What the hell does that mean? Half of the people on the planet are women.”

That was the beginning of an important conversation within myself. Why wasn’t I putting more thought into the characters that I brought to the table? It was a transformative moment that pushed me to purposely choose to reflect the world in which we live inside of the game worlds I create. My fellow Gnome Angela Murray makes it clear in her own work that I’m not the only one that feels this is important. Representation in pregens has been discussed before but the conversation needs to continue.

Fear of racism

I’ve spoken to several GMs that are afraid of the possible prejudices of their players. They told me that they’re scared that having one or more African American or LGQTB+ characters on the table at a convention means that roleplaying stereotypes are inevitable. While I acknowledge that possibility is real I reject the idea that the fear of bigotry outweighs the need for representation in games. I’ve had some players try to lean into stereotypes and I dealt with it in the moment. It can be an uncomfortable conversation, depending on your personality, but it is a necessary one. Can I truly claim to be part of a welcoming community if I’m not willing to stand up and tell someone that is being racist/sexist/homophobic/ableist to stop?

I’m actively working to eliminate the idea that white male characters and a token white female are the only “safe” pre-gen PCs. The characters that I bring to the table must represent the variety of humans that I want to show up at my table. Some of my pregens will be like me, some different than me, but always as honest as I can make them.

A variety of PCs

It varies slightly from country to country but approximately 50% of the world’s population identifies as female. Around 63% of the United States’ population is non-Hispanic white people in the last census. That’s the lowest it has ever been. If you look at the non-Hispanic white population on a global scale that percentage drops dramatically. If games reflected our world as a whole they would be filled with Asian and African characters. If they represented the United States of America, where I live, they would be almost 40% people of color.

The PCs in the games that I run are thoughtfully created with representation in mind. The mix varies dramatically from games that feature all women, all African Americans, to a diverse mix of police officers. Other games fit a model that lets the players choose to be whomever they choose. The important part for me is that a historically underrepresented player has a solid chance of seeing a character that reflects some part of themselves. I have worked hard to include a spectrum of gender identities beyond the traditional binary roles in my characters but it’s still something that I struggle with. I’m getting better despite feeling like a confused fossil some days.

In the past couple of years I’ve seen an increase in representation found in the artwork and character options for TTRPGs. Many companies have made a commitment to diversity and inclusion in their games. If you look at the top RPG book covers you’ll often see, when humans are featured, a variety of skin tones and genders. I believe that the industry has begun the journey to creating more inclusive games and community. The tools, pictures, and intent are there so use them to create an imaginary world that includes all of the richness of our own.

Diverse games

There are an increasing number of games designed around the stories of marginalized groups. They tell honest and thoughtful stories that are not often told in the mainstream TTRPG world or by media in general. In the game Harlem Unbound by Chris Spivey you’ll be playing an African-American character living in the Harlem Renaissance as seen through the lens of Cthulhu horror. Darker Hue Studios has produced a great example of thoughtfully designed, extensively researched, and unexplored stories in a RPG. You can read John Arcadian’s review of the book here on Gnome Stew

The most common reason that I’ve heard from GMs for not running Harlem Unbound is a fear that they will get the “black experience” wrong. They don’t want to run it without a person of color at the table to make sure that it’s more authentic. It’s important to realize that it’s not the job of a POC/woman/LGBTQ+ to be your mentor and guide you through the world of all things “different”. They may choose to do the labor but that should never be your expectation.

Mr. Spivey does an excellent job of addressing the racial issues involved in the Storytelling section of the game. Accept the guidance offered from the person that wrote the game! The humanity of the game is lovingly crafted into every part of Harlem Unbound. Read it, listen to those around you, and do your best. Insist that your PCs be played as human beings and not stereotypes. Don’t be afraid of the mistakes you’ll make. Learn from the struggles instead.

While I commend people for understanding that daily truths of the life of a POC and women are different than that of a CIS gendered white male, treating them as an enigmatic mystery does harm to everyone. It prevents exposure of these games to a wider audience, which hurts the creators financially. It reinforces the ideas that white GMs bringing diversity to the table is too dangerous of a thing. With as much energy as I put into representation I am guilty of pushing its importance aside too.

I am a vocal fan of Sarah Richardson’s game Velvet Glove but I have struggled with the idea of running it. I had a chance to play the current ashcan version and loved the experience. I told myself I shouldn’t ever offer it as a con game because I fear making a mistake and dishonoring the heart of the game. I run games filled with female characters all of the time! Why is my initial reaction to push away the idea of running Velvet Glove? Why is there a disconnect for me? It deals, in part, with my discomfort with the sexual realities of being a teenage girl. All I can think of is every mistake I ever made with women. The truth is that I’ve kept myself from running this beautiful game because I can’t get over my own guilt at being a jerk.

Everything about that runs antithetical to the GM, gamer, person that I work to be. Ms. Richardson’s game needs to be celebrated and played as much as possible. I’m denying myself the chance to tell new stories and support a creator and friend that I admire. It looks like it’s time to make myself uncomfortable, learn, and grow.

Investing in humanity as a player

The one thing that I can bring to any character that I create or play is a sense of their humanity and an understanding that the color of their skin or gender identity is only one part of who they are. Figuring out how and why their marginalizing characteristics shaped who they’ve become is where the story lies. The why of the societal, social, and familial differences is where some of the best, most interesting, parts of humanity live.

Without a personal or researched understanding of these characters where should you start? When you don’t know what to do you should always fall back to their humanity. I keep repeating it because it’s true. Discover who they love and why they invest themselves in the people around them. Ask yourself what they have to lose and what price they are willing to pay to keep that from happening. Make them into real people and not caricatures based on media stereotypes. There are rivers that flow through all of us, despite different origins, that you can tap into. Maybe after you’re done with the game you’ll be inspired to read up or listen to folks talk about their real life experiences that are similar to those of the character you were playing. Then you can bring another level of understanding the next time you have an opportunity to play.

It shouldn’t be hard to imagine a stalwart gay female paladin with the ability throw herself into battle against a dragon. The courage in her imaginary heart should reflect the best ideals of the world that she lives in. If imagining a person from any marginalized group is an insurmountable barrier to you playing a pregen then maybe you should spend some time on a military base. You’ll meet real life warriors and see the diversity of bravery our world contains. If you visit firehouses, hospitals, or schools you’ll see that they contain the same spectrum of goodness and commitment to doing good. None of those places are perfect but they all contain flesh and bone heroes. Why would we want less for the people that we invite to share a gaming table?

Why is it important?

If I won’t demand diversity in the characters and scenarios that I create and play what does that say about my commitment to equality in real life? It speaks volumes to new players if they sit at my gaming table only to find a pretend world that is racially insular, LGBQT+ free, and limited in its gender roles and identities. It’s an ugly message that I would be sending if only a small portion of humanity represented my idea of heroism. I can’t expect players to feel welcome into our community if I present them with heroes and idealized worlds of adventure that don’t include them at all.

Kids need to see themselves represented as heroes. We all need it. A simple act of choosing character images that speak to the beauty and diversity of the world is a welcoming act. When we welcome the entire world to become our PCs, we also welcome marginalized groups to our real world gaming tables. That is important to me.

Do you have a favorite PC that you’ve created for your convention games? Do you have a favorite character from a convention that unexpectedly represented a piece of yourself? What steps are you taking to increase representation in your convention games?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Jacob Rockowitz: Our journeys within our community

Planet Drupal - 16 May 2018 - 4:39am

To begin to address sustainability in Drupal and Open Source, it’s important to explore our journeys within the community. We need to examine how we work together to grow and build our software and community.

This is going to be one of the most challenging blog posts I have ever written because I am uncomfortable with the words: roles, maintainers, contributor and mentoring. All of these words help establish our Open Source projects and communities. Over the past two years, while working on the Webform module I have learned the value of how each of these aspects relates to one another and to our Open Source collaboration and community.

Why am I uncomfortable with these words?

I am uncomfortable with these words because my general mindset and work habit are very independent and individualistic, but living on this island does not work well when it comes to Open Source. And changing my mindset and habits are things that I know need to happen.

Like many programmers, I went to art school where I learned the importance of exploring and discovering one's individual creative process. Another thing I had in common with many people who went to art school - I needed to figure out how to make a living. I went to the Brooklyn Public Library and started surfing this new thing called the World Wide Web. I was curious, confident and intrigued enough to realize that this was something I could and wanted to do - I could get a job building websites.

I built my first website, http://jakesbodega.com, using MS FrontPage while reading the HTML Bible and tinkering on a computer in the basement of my folks’ big blue house. After six months of self-teaching, I got my first job coding HTML at a small company specializing in Broadway websites. Interestingly, with the boom of the Internet, everyone's roles were constantly changing as companies grew to accommodate more...Read More

Categories: Drupal

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