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Tough Questions to Improve Your Leadership - by Richard Atlas

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 12 April 2019 - 7:35am
"Tough Questions to Improve Your Leadership" is the name of a talk I gave at GDC this year. Along with the talk, there was a handout with questions that the audience could ponder about their leadership. This post is about the talk and those questions!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Kliuless #31: Gamer Motivations Deep Dive - by Kenneth Liu

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 12 April 2019 - 7:34am
Each week I compile a gaming industry insights newsletter that I share broadly within Riot. This edition is the public version that I publish broadly every week as well. Opinions are mine.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Dive into the depths of the fog - by Jussi-Petteri Kemppainen

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 12 April 2019 - 7:33am
Creating a retro-futuristic silhouetted look for a tactical combat game
Categories: Game Theory & Design

ReCaptcha Headless

New Drupal Modules - 12 April 2019 - 6:53am

This module provides recaptcha validation for configured routes. It adds access requirement for the configured routes. The access check service validates responce of recaptcha.

Categories: Drupal

Term Reference Fancytree

New Drupal Modules - 12 April 2019 - 2:30am

This module provides a hierarchical checkbox widget for term reference fields, based on the fancytree javascript plugin.

Its main use case is to provide a flexible lean implementation that can deal with extremely large taxonomies, using dynamic loading of tree levels.

Categories: Drupal

Superhero Games and Stories

Gnome Stew - 12 April 2019 - 2:00am

DC Universe is letting me watch the old Justice League series too…

Recently, I signed up for DC Universe, primarily so I could watch the new season of Young Justice, but I’ve also taken advantage of all the DC animated movies available on the streaming service. There’s also an excitement in the air related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, what with Captain Marvel having come out last month and Avengers: End Game arriving in just a couple weeks. It’s made me think quite a bit about superheroes and gaming.

Anyone who’s gamed with me for any length of time knows I love superheroes and their games. In recent years, I developed a reputation for running Masks at cons, and my regular group often asks me to pick up the GM cape once more and run a supers game for them. Heck, the very first campaign I ever ran was a Mutants & Masterminds campaign.

I already have my tickets…

Thing is, superhero stories are not this monolithic, single type of story or game. While it is easy for many to mistakenly make this assumption, when you really dig down into it, superhero stories are more of a framework you hang over other stories. This is one of the secrets to the success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’ve focused on telling interesting stories with compelling characters that just happen to have special abilities, rather than focusing on only the special abilities. It doesn’t matter how cool the costumes are or how awesome the special effects for the abilities are, if the story is boring or the characters just caricatures of people no one is going to care.

(Another open secret to MCU’s success is in how they know how to be true to the essence of the characters and then nail the casting for that character. I could wax poetic about these movies for hours, so I’ll keep a lid on it.)

Back in the late 80’s and 90’s, when RPGs all seemed to be obsessed with simulation, superhero games like Champions did everything they could to provide meticulous ways to emulate the powers of all our favorite heroes. Unfortunately, this often pushed the heart of the story and characters into the background, losing the spark that makes us love super heroics. I’m very careful about the superhero games I sign up for at conventions, because too often, that spark is lost and the game just ends up being a simulation for a superhero smash up fight. There’s nothing wrong with a fun, bombastic combat, but that’s not necessarily the only kind of game I’m looking to play or run.

If you, like me, are considering running a supers game in the near future, here’s a few things to consider before bringing the game to the table for your players:

  • Tone: Once you decide the tone of your game, other things will fall into place easier. Are you looking for a light hearted romp around the cosmos, or a gritty and complicated story of difficult choices? Take a look at the first season of the Justice League animated series from the early 2000’s compared to the first season of Daredevil on Netflix. Yeah, they’re both superhero stories, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. If you don’t establish the tone you’re looking for from the get-go, you’re going to have problems. Your players also have a wild and wide understanding of the superhero genre, and they may be all over the place in the tone they’re expecting. Their characters will reflect that and while it’s not impossible to make a game work with characters of varying tone, it’s difficult to maintain that for the long haul.
  • Setting: Some superhero stories take place in a single city, or even just a single neighborhood. Others span galaxies, taking the heroes from planet to planet, galaxy to galaxy. As you can imagine, deciding the scope of your game’s setting can help determine the types of stories your game is going to be telling and the types of characters that should come into play. Setting a game in an afro-futuristic city like Wakanda guides the themes and characters in very specific ways. Or imagine using a setting like Smallville, telling the stories of some young heroes learning who they are and what they can do.
  • Don’t let them get lost in the minutia of what powers they have and what those powers do, because WHO the character is beneath the costume and abilities is what makes the game truly heroic.Share1Tweet1Reddit1EmailLimits: What are the limits of the characters you want in play? Can your game handle Batman and Superman in the league together? Can you provide a variety of challenges for both Thor and Hawkeye? Or do you want to limit the origin stories for your players and have them all have some common bond like being students at an upstate boarding school for ‘special’ students? The options for this are almost limitless (ha!), but if you take a look at the best superhero stories, they keep all the characters within a certain framework, at least to start with. We may enjoy the idea of having Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones in the same universe, but you’re going to have to sacrifice something to run a game that includes both of them. Put Jessica in the far-flung cosmic encounters Carol is capable of and she’s going to be a little lost. And annoyed since there’s no alcohol. Put Cap in Hell’s Kitchen and she’s going to have to limit her capabilities to not just obliterate the neighborhood. It’s not that it can’t work, it’s just that you’re going to have to make choices and sacrifices with the stories your game tells.
  • Character: Last, but absolutely not least. Don’t forget that everything you do still boils down to the characters the players bring to the table. What I mean is that while Captain Marvel’s powers are cool, she wouldn’t be nearly as interesting without her in-your-face determination to do what’s right. Batman may have all those wonderful toys, but his best stories are fed by the gravitas of his tragedies. When your players start working on their characters, don’t let them get lost in the minutia of what powers they have and what those powers do, because WHO the character is beneath the costume and abilities is what makes the game truly heroic.

Another good example of how to do an ensemble cast right…

There are so many options out there for superhero games. So many. Many games come with tone, setting, and limits established within the design of the game, while others come to your more as a toolset to build your own world. Another consideration is the level of crunch that you’re comfortable. I lean more towards the narrative games these days, but I can understand the draw of a crunchier game. Make sure whichever game you pick actually works with the tone, setting and limits you want to try for in your game. The wrong combination can be painful to work through.

After several of my regular group saw Captain Marvel, they cornered me and said, “Ang, you’ve GOT to run another supers game.” Honestly, I can’t disagree with them, because I certainly feel that pull as well. Between now and when I start, I’ve got quite a few things to figure out. What about you and your gaming crew? Any super heroics on your horizon? We’d love to hear about it.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Entity Agree

New Drupal Modules - 11 April 2019 - 5:11pm
Categories: Drupal

Angie "webchick" Byron: "Jumpstart" for the Drupal 9 Readiness Sprint @ DrupalCon Seattle!

Planet Drupal - 11 April 2019 - 5:01pm

Helloooooooo #DrupalCon!

If you're looking for something to work on at the contribution sprints tomorrow, come to the Drupal 9 readiness sprint! :D

We'll be spending the day removing deprecated code from Drupal 8 contributed modules to get them ready for Drupal 9.

Here's how you can participate! (Whether in-person or remotely!)

If you're a module developer who would like to "opt in" to having your module reviewed / patched by a new contributor, please create (or find an existing) issue with the Drupal 9 compatibility + Seattle2019 tags!

Tags: drupalconSeattle2019drupal 8drupal 9drupal
Categories: Drupal

undpaul: Doping for editors: put the fun in Paragraphs

Planet Drupal - 11 April 2019 - 5:00pm

For us, the Paragraphs module is the holy grail of structured content creation.

With Paragraphs it is relatively uncomplicated to define prefabricated content elements that define the structure of the corresponding content. These can then simply be placed in the desired content by editors.

Categories: Drupal

Agaric Collective: How to use behavior-driven development in Drupal with Behat

Planet Drupal - 11 April 2019 - 3:11pm
Test your Drupal site's functionality in a human-readable format.

Behavior-driven development is a great way to write tests for code because it uses language that real humans can understand. Once you learn about BDD and its benefits, you may want to implement it in your next project. Let's see how to implement BDD in Drupal using Behat with the Mink extension.

Read more and discuss at agaric.coop.

Categories: Drupal

Ubisoft patches art containing homophobic slur out of The Division 2

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 11 April 2019 - 2:30pm

Ubisoft has issued an apology for the slur, which appeared in a large piece of graffiti along the side of an in-game building. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to prepare for Drupal 9

Dries Buytaert - 11 April 2019 - 1:00pm

With Drupal 9 targeted to be released in June of 2020, many people are wondering what they need to do to prepare.

The good and important news is that upgrading from Drupal 8 to Drupal 9 should be really easy — radically easier than upgrading from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8.

The only caveat is that you need to manage "deprecated code" well.

If your site doesn't use deprecated code that is scheduled for removal in Drupal 9, your upgrade to Drupal 9 will be easy. In fact, it should be as easy as a minor version upgrade (like upgrading from Drupal 8.6 to Drupal 8.7).

What is deprecated code?

Code in Drupal is marked as "deprecated" when it should no longer be used. Typically, code is deprecated because there is a better alternative that should be used instead.

For example, in Drupal 8.0.0, we deprecated \Drupal::l($text, $url). Instead of using \Drupal::l(), you should use Link::fromTextAndUrl($text, $url). The \Drupal::l() function was marked for removal as part of some clean-up work; Drupal 8 had too many ways to generate links.

Deprecated code will continue to work for some time before it gets removed. For example, \Drupal::l() continues to work in Drupal 8.7 despite the fact that it was deprecated in Drupal 8.0.0 more than three years ago. This gives module maintainers ample time to update their code.

When we release Drupal 9, we will "drop" most deprecated code. In our example, this means that \Drupal::l() will not be available anymore in Drupal 9.

In other words:

  • Any Drupal 8 module that does not use deprecated code will continue to work with Drupal 9.
  • Any Drupal 8 module that uses deprecated code needs to be updated before Drupal 9 is released, or it will stop working with Drupal 9.

If you're interested, you can read more about Drupal's deprecation policy at https://www.drupal.org/core/deprecation.

How do I know if my site uses deprecated code?

There are a few ways to check if your site is using deprecated code.

If you work on a Drupal site as a developer, run drupal-check. Matt Glaman (Centarro) developed a static PHP analysis tool called drupal-check, which you can run against your codebase to check for deprecated code. I recommend running drupal-check in an automated fashion as part of your development workflow.

If you are a site owner, install the Upgrade Status module. This module was built by Acquia. The module provides a graphical user interface on top of drupal-check. The goal is to provide an easy-to-use readiness assessment for your site's migration to Drupal 9.

If you maintain a project on Drupal.org, enable Drupal.org's testing infrastructure to detect the use of deprecated code. There are two complementary ways to do so: you can run a static deprecation analysis and/or configure your existing tests to fail when calling deprecated code. Both can be set up in your drupalci.yml configuration file.

If you find deprecated code in a contributed module used on your site, consider filing an issue in the module's issue queue on Drupal.org (after having checked no issue has been created yet). If you can, provide a patch to fix the deprecation and engage with the maintainer to get it committed.

How hard is it to update my code?

While there are some deprecations that require more detailed refactoring, many are a simple matter of search-and-replace.

You can check the API documentation for instructions on how to remedy the deprecation.

When can I start updating my code?

I encourage you to start today. When you update your Drupal 8 code to use the latest and greatest APIs, you can benefit from those improvements immediately. There is no reason to wait until Drupal 9 is released.

Drupal 8.8.0 will be the last release to deprecate for Drupal 9. Today, we don't know the full set of deprecations yet.

How much time do I have to update my code?

The current plan is to release Drupal 9 in June of 2020, and to end-of-life Drupal 8 in November of 2021.

Contributed module maintainers are encouraged to remove the use of deprecated code by June of 2020 so everyone can upgrade to Drupal 9 the day it is released.

Drupal.org project maintainers should keep the extended security coverage policy in mind, which means that Drupal 8.8 will still be supported until Drupal 9.1 is released. Contributed projects looking to support both Drupal 8.8 and Drupal 9.0 might need to use two branches.

How ready are the contributed modules?

Dwayne McDaniel (Pantheon) analyzed all 7,000 contributed module for Drupal 8 using drupal-check.

As it stands today, 44% of the modules have no deprecation warnings. The remaining 56% of the modules need to be updated, but the majority have less than three deprecation warnings.

Categories: Drupal

Advanced virtual technology captures how coral reefs recover after bleaching

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 11 April 2019 - 12:47pm
Researchers have used new imaging software to detect dramatic recovery after a bleaching event on the reefs surrounding remote Palmyra Atoll in the tropical Pacific.
Categories: Virtual Reality

Nepal bans PUBG over addiction concerns in children

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 11 April 2019 - 12:14pm

The Nepal Telecommunications Authority has ordered a ban on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds "because it is addictive to children and teenagers." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Weedcraft Inc facing advertising hurdles due to subject matter

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 11 April 2019 - 11:38am

Weedcraft Inc's very nature has led to some advertising difficulties on platforms like Facebook and YouTube.  ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

OPTASY: How Does Using Component-Based Development in Drupal 8 Benefit Your Team More Precisely?

Planet Drupal - 11 April 2019 - 9:53am
How Does Using Component-Based Development in Drupal 8 Benefit Your Team More Precisely? silviu.serdaru Thu, 04/11/2019 - 16:53

With the Twig templates replacing the old PHP templates, Drupal has been brought to a whole new “era”. We can now leverage the advantages of a component-based development in Drupal 8. But what does that mean, more precisely?

How does this (not so) new approach in software development benefit you? Your own team of developers...

And everyone's talking about tones of flexibility being unlocked and about the Twig templates' extensibility. About how front-end developers, even those with little knowledge of Drupal, specialized in various languages, can now... “come right on board”. Since they're already familiar with the Twig engine...

Also, we can't ignore all the hype around the advantage of the streamlined development cycles in Drupal and of the consistent user experience across a whole portfolio of Drupal apps/websites.

Categories: Drupal

Open Badges Issuer

New Drupal Modules - 11 April 2019 - 9:34am

A Mozilla Open Badges implementation for Drupal.

Categories: Drupal

Amazee Labs: DrupalCon Seattle Day 3 Recap: Sessions & Splash Awards

Planet Drupal - 11 April 2019 - 9:02am
DrupalCon Seattle Day 3 Recap: Sessions & Splash Awards

When conversations began a few months back about DrupalCon Seattle, I was so thrilled about the prospect of heading west and being fully indoctrinated with all things Drupal for the first time! As a newcomer to the field, I have been eager to simply be surrounded by, and learn from, so many in this community. Additionally, DrupalCon is providing the perfect opportunity to hang out with some incredible colleagues.

Liz Lockwood Thu, 04/11/2019 - 18:02 The Day Begins: People

The feel of day three was noticeably more vibrant as the surge of conference attendees began to fill the halls of the Washington State Convention Center. It’s been great to see representation from all over the country and be surrounded by an association with such rich diversity.

I learned quickly that there is no lack of learning opportunities at DrupalCon. The number of sessions to choose from felt like a buffet for your mind -- where you could pick and choose, and tailor your experience to be as uniquely tailored to you as you want.

I chose sessions that I knew would provide helpful reminders to me on practices and processes I already have in place, as well as topics in which I simply want to increase my awareness or hear a different perspective.

Wednesday Learnings

Much of the late morning to the afternoon was spent in periodic spurts of catching up on work, popping into sessions and dropping by our booth. Here are a few of the sessions I went to, with three key learnings from each:

Getting an Angry Wet Cat to Purr: Turning an Unhealthy Client Relationship Into a Productive One (Donna Bungard, Project Strategist at Tandem)

  • Communication: Everything comes down to having an open, honest, direct conversation. This is the key manner in which you build trust with your team.

  • Hearing is good. Understanding is better.

  • There are always the next steps to be taken. You simply need to identify them.

Lead, Follow or Get out of the Way: Managing Global Teams Harmoniously (Yuriy Gerasimov, Organizer at Drupal Ukraine Community and Clyde Boyer)

  • Active Trust is foundational to team success.

  • A common mistake on distributed teams is not recognizing isolation in your team members. Take notice if the communication style of a team member changes (this may point to something not being well in their world).

  • You don’t talk your way to trust. You have to earn it, mostly with time.

Design Strategies: Our Process for Building User-centered Websites (Valerie Neumark Mickela, Board Member at Full Circle Funds and Andrew Goldsworthy, Co-Founder at Rootid)

(I actually sat down in this session by mistake, but by the time I realized, it was too late to leave without causing disruption . . . it wouldn’t be a full conference experience without a mishap along the way, right?!)

  • Design and development communications can be challenging: You absolutely cannot rely on assumptions.

  • In design, you are most often thinking through a psychological lens, versus a creative one.

  • When considering a feature, don’t ask “Is it possible?” (all things are possible with time and money!) Ask “Is it hard?” (this will provide a more realistic barometer for time and cost)

Finding Your Way: Practical Strategies for Navigating Your Career (Gus Childs, Senior Software Engineer at Mondo Robot)

  • Be selfish with your career - you should be doing work that’s fulfilling.

  • You should be excited about these three things when it comes to your career: People, Projects and Money.

  • Never burn bridges.

The Day Ends: Splash Awards and Ping Pong Party

The awards ceremony was held at a beautiful location, inside a music venue called The Triple Door, just a couple blocks from the Pike Place Market. After being at the conference for a few days, meeting new friends and getting to know my colleagues better, Splash Awards was a perfect opportunity to catch up and talk about work and life with everyone who attended. While Amazee did not walk away with any awards, it was really fun to celebrate with others, and celebrate the incredible Amazee work that was nominated:

From the Splash Awards, we walked over to Spin Seattle for one of the evening parties. Spin was packed from wall-to-wall with conference attendees and was a really fun way to end the day.

In closing, I will just say that I have been really encouraged by how warm the Drupal community is, and am so grateful for the opportunity to be at DrupalCon Seattle 2019.

Categories: Drupal

Participatory process

New Drupal Modules - 11 April 2019 - 8:04am

Work in progress.

Participatory process to vote ideas and expose participation results.

Categories: Drupal

Top animation tools for digital artists you should know - by Anastasiya Rashevskaya

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 11 April 2019 - 7:58am
Even when you are fed up with managing a project and spending hours grinding your teeth, you still enjoy the moments of making your characters alive. To assist you in this process, we prepared the list of 8 best animation tools you should know in 2019!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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