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Kodamera Screencast: How to install modules and themes

Planet Drupal - 1 February 2016 - 5:50am

Drupal is a great CMS (Content Management System), but everything isn't included in the core installation package of Drupal. Luckily there are thousands of modules (another word for plugin) made just for this easy way to build a website that fits your needs. When this screencast was recorded there were over 32000 modules available, and though it's just over two months since version 8 of Drupal was released there are already over 1000 modules for this version.

We continue our thorough journey alongside Drupal and explain two ways of adding modules and themes to your Drupal installation. Never install modules or themes from some place other than Other publishing systems have had and are having problems with plugins being available from here and there, and on more than one occasion there have been malicious code in these plugins. 

I show you the two easiest ways as a newcomer to Drupal to add functionality via new modules and we touch subjects as Update Manager, security and security updates and the commenting module Disqus (which we use here on


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Categories: Drupal

Valuebound: Building Configuration Form in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 1 February 2016 - 5:15am

The primary mechanism for collecting input from users is Form, without them Drupal wouldn't be so much useful. This is also one of the first things Developer should learn when they start development using Drupal. Forms are fundamental to creating Drupal modules, whether asking someone to leave a comment or Administrator has option to turn the module configuration ON/OFF.

The configuration system / state system has replaced the variable system in D8. There is no variable table and no more variable_get() / variable_set() /  variable_del() calls. Configuration is stored in the database and synced with YML files on the disk for deployment purposes.

The $config object handles CRUD (Create/Read/Update/Delete) for YML files, so you simply use ::get(), ::set(), and ::save()…

Categories: Drupal

Chris Hall on Drupal 8: Twig extends and a D8 Twig Block base theme

Planet Drupal - 1 February 2016 - 4:55am
Twig extends and a D8 Twig Block base theme chrishu Mon, 02/01/2016 - 12:55 Introduction

Twig Blocks and the extend functionality can be used to stop needless repetition.

I have posted before about Twig Blocks and Drupal and experimented a little with a theme on Github used as the base theme for this site, I also raised an issue for consideration of Twig blocks to be added to Core templates as I felt that without them D8 theming had slightly missed a trick (admittedly far too close to the release).

Fortunately the late addition of the Stable theme to D8 makes it much easier to experiment with alternative approaches to theming plus allows Core mark-up to evolve much faster than the Drupal release cycle (without arbitrarily breaking existing themes).

Copy of Stable with Twig blocks

Stable is/was a copy of the Drupal core templates that will not change, it is the default base theme for every theme that does not define a specific base theme unless base theme: false is set in the info file (which would leave you vulnerable to any changes in core templates, CSS and JS over the D8 life-cycle).

I have made a copy of Stable called Blocky and marked up some of the templates with Twig Blocks, which doesn't change the functionality of the theme at all but does allow more selective override of templates directly, after inspecting what blocks are available. For a simple example an alternative node template can just override the mark-up of the title leaving the rest of the parent template mark-up alone (no need to slavishly copy all the bits you don't want to change).

{% extends "@blocky/content/node.twig.html" %} {% block node_title %} {{ title_prefix }} {% if not page %} <h3{{ title_attributes }}> <a href="{{ url }}" rel="bookmark">{{ label }}</a> </h3> {% endif %} {{ title_suffix }} {% endblock node_title %}

Of course Blocky could always just be used as the basis of another copy, providing a more customised theme with the ability to use Twig extends (do read the official documentation for extends if you haven't used it before). You may have many variations of node templates, any change to boilerplate mark-up that is not generally overridden in child templates only has to be modified once in the parent template that all the others are extending.

Extends is not just for Twig Blocks

Extends allows for adding variables via the child that are then available in the parent template. A child template can affect the parent template or provide new variables to the parent opening up new possibilities for Drupal 8 theming strategies even without using Twig Blocks.

Classy already does this in one or two places now, for example the meat of the Classy field--field-text.htm.twig is as follows:

{% extends "field.html.twig" %} {% set attributes = attributes.addClass('clearfix', 'text-formatted') %}

In this case a more specific template is adding a class to it's general parent template without having to repeat mark-up. Is your brain starting to whir? Potential new approaches to theming? Excited?

Taking it further

Unfortunately I have not found a client project that is suitable for Drupal 8 yet so experimentation is in free-time. I am hoping to move another blog to Sculpin and then work on a better theme for that and this site that share as much as possible.

Even with Twig Blocks Drupal still has a fairly linear approach to building the front-end, so approaches sometimes used by other frameworks with Twig or Twig like template syntax will need a bit more head-scratching. For example a common approach used elsewhere would use parent layout templates that are never directly rendered, just extended. These layout templates may well have empty Twig Blocks (the main events) that are filled in further down the chain. A Drupally equivalent might be an html.html.twig template that has an empty 'page' block rather than kicking off the rendering of the page by outputting $page. This template could then be extended by multiple variations of page. Note: this approach will not currently work in Drupal but 'should' be possible digging around in pre-processing etc. (well it feels like it should).

Twig has some other tricks like embed and the simpler include and these along with extends can utilise conditionals and variables.... OMG the potential approaches to theming Drupal have increased exponentially!!! :).


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Categories: Drupal

Inline responsive images

New Drupal Modules - 1 February 2016 - 1:19am
Categories: Drupal


Gnome Stew - 1 February 2016 - 12:00am

Over the years I’ve had the privledge of running sessions where most of the players were new to the hobby. In this column, we’ll take a look at some strategies for planning out that first session. The goal in planning such a session is to showcase some of the essential features of the system, while giving them a successful and enjoyable session. Much of these ideas are not original to me, but hopefully it will be helpful to have them here, all in one place.


When planning your session, make a list of all the essential elements of your particular game/genre. For example, if you are playing fantasy, people expect exotic monsters and spells. If it’s space opera, your game needs blaster fights, space battles, and an alien beastie or two. These “set pieces” can be used to plan the major encounters for your game. While your game session shouldn’t focus solely on action, it needs to be there. More seasoned groups don’t mind long roleplaying encounters, but that may not be the best apporach for encouraging new players.


Roleplaying doesn’t come easy to most new players. Nor should it. They’ve just been handed a character sheet filled with strange information, and may not be sure about what’s to come. Since the first encounter of a session is usually a hook, try to have the NPC dangling the hook invite some questions. For example, suppose the players are being given a briefing by a Star Admiral for their mission. Have the admiral ask them (in character) if they have any questions or would like additional equipment. As GM, you can ask any quiet players if they have anything to ask or contribute as well. Kindly try to include everyone.

Don’t limit the roleplaying to just the beginning of the session. You might include intelligent foes they can capture and interrogate later in the session. They might meet a helpful wanderer in their travels, or even an injured prisoner early in the dungeon, warehouse, or crashed spaceship. These provide great opportunities for roleplaying throughout. They help make your game more than “monster, trap, monster, trap…”


When in doubt, err on the side of the players. Make the monsters a little easy or have opponents run away after a few rounds. The purity of the rules is less important than generating enthusiasm in new players. As you run a session, you might find that you made it a little more difficult than you planned. No problem, the players don’t know how many hit points their opponents have and you can adjust on the fly. You can do this if a battle is going too well also, though I’d limit this to the final battle. You can always stretch it out a couple more rounds to give them a satisfying conclusion.


If any of the rules are a bit arcane (so to speak), you might want to provide the table with a cheat sheet or two. Also, you can include some hints on their character sheets as well (for example: “Always roll under”). These little helpful touches can greatly improve a session.


Our hobby is graying a bit, but we still love it. It brings something different to our leisure time that other games and activities can’t. It’d be great to pass that on to new players to grow the hobby. Giving them positive experiences early in their gaming careers is critical for that to happen.

You can always kill their characters later.

(Cue Dread Pirate Roberts joke now).

How do you help new players have positive early exepriences? Let us know below.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Fuzzy Thinking: Abracadabra!

RPGNet - 1 February 2016 - 12:00am
Sometimes one word isn't enough.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Valuebound: Drupal 8 installation in Windows with XAMPP

Planet Drupal - 31 January 2016 - 11:04pm

Installation of Drupal requires a Web server. We will be employing XAMPP package for the same purpose. XAMPP is a free and open source web server solution stack. It stands for (X-cross platform), (A-Apache HTTP Server), (M-MariaDB), (P-PHP), (P-Perl).  XAMPP is hassle free and is…

Categories: Drupal

Making of Guns of Icarus Main Theme Music - by Howard Tsao Blogs - 31 January 2016 - 10:13pm
A Journey from Conception to Live Instrumentation - Guns of Icarus Main Theme 2 Years in the Making
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Thinking About Thinking Too Much - by John Ardussi Blogs - 31 January 2016 - 10:13pm
There are times when the easy way to make a game is actually more fun for the player than the hard way.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Games deals value dropped 81% in 2015 - by Tim Merel Blogs - 31 January 2016 - 10:13pm
Games investments, M&As and IPOs deal value dropped 81% in 2015 vs 2014. Games investment value fell 30%, games M&A deal value dropped 75% (excluding Activision-Blizzard/King which hasn’t closed yet), with games IPOs at the lowest level in a decade.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Introducing Tencent’s Mini Console - by Junxue Li Blogs - 31 January 2016 - 10:13pm
This article introduces Chinese mobile giant Tencent's new mini console. Is Tencent after something big?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Video: Red Dead History - by Bob Whitaker Blogs - 31 January 2016 - 10:13pm
On this episode of History Respawned, Bob Whitaker talks with scholar John Morán González about the history behind Red Dead Redemption. Topics include the west in American imagination, racial violence, and the Mexican Revolution.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Designing Interactive Story (PART TWO) - by Greg Johnson Blogs - 31 January 2016 - 10:13pm
This is the second post in a 6-part series on Designing for Interactive Story. I hope you find it interesting, and thought provoking.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Image-Recognition CAPTCHA

New Drupal Modules - 31 January 2016 - 9:10pm

Image-Recognition CAPTCHA provides a CAPTCHA that challenges the visitor to recognize a subset of images within a set of images. For example, the visitor may be challenged to identify all the images with trees.

The module has no dependency on external services. This is a difference from some other modules providing image-recognition CAPTCHAs, such as reCAPTCHA.

Categories: Drupal Drupal Global Sprint Weekend 2016 in Bangalore

Planet Drupal - 31 January 2016 - 8:50pm
This year’s Drupal Global Sprint Weekend 2016 was held on January 30th and 31st throughout the world. We conduct a Drupal meetup every last Saturday in a month in Bangalore and this time, we just organized the sprint instead.
Categories: Drupal

Basilisk Goggles and Wishing Wells

New RPG Product Reviews - 31 January 2016 - 5:52pm
Publisher: Fat Goblin Games
Rating: 5
I’ve always found compendiums of new magic items (or spells) to be among the hardest products to review. That’s because such collections often lack an overarching theme, without which the book is little more than the sum of its parts. When there’s no overall unifying element, it’s difficult to put together exactly what (beyond the technical aspects of the book itself) to comment on.

This was not a problem I had with Fat Goblin Games’ Basilisk Goggles and Wishing Wells.

This (mega-)collection of magic has all of its magic items occupy a particular theme. Or rather, by having a collection of themes, each of which has several magic items. For example, the book has almost a dozen “alien items” that extraterrestrial items which are fueled by spell energy…but also leak radiation while they work. There are over twenty “focusing items,” which convert spells of a particular level (or above) into a set spell(s), etc. Over three dozen such themes are to be found here, not to mention a section of miscellany that doesn’t fit into any other category.

Where the book really shows off its Old School credentials is in just how gonzo some of these themes are. While the expected categories such as “rods” and “weapons” are here, we also get head-scratchingly odd collections of magic items such as “paper lanterns,” “eggs,” and my personal favorite, “spirals.” It’s these unexpected groupings that give the book its charm, and create a sense of organized chaos that typifies Old School games; the rules are just guidelines, and it’s to be expected that you’ll find things that defy your expectations.

It certainly helps that the book comes with a set of random tables at the end, for which you can roll to determine what items you come across. It should be noted that all of these magic items, which are technically for Labyrinth Lord, are presented in such a way as to lean heavily towards system-agnosticism. Not only do they not have XP or GP values, but the book notes up-front that things such as Armor Class adjustments are presented in a one-size-fits-all manner (e.g. whether AC in your game goes up or down, saying that something gives a “4-point bonus” to AC will work either way). For the most part, I appreciated this, since nods towards inter-system compatibility (at least in the OSR) tend to make an easy process even easier.

In terms of the book’s technical aspects, there’s little for me to complain about. There’s an alphabetical appendix of all its magical items that’s hyperlinked to where they appear in the main body of the book. Each section is also bookmarked, as is every item, though I do wish that the bookmarks for the items had been nested under their section bookmarks. With the alphabetical appendix being hyperlinked already, having the bookmarks arranged in the same manner feels somewhat redundant. There also wasn’t a printer-friendly version, but given that the book only has a light border on alternating pages, and one illustration every two or three pages, that’s not really a big strike against it.

Overall, the magic items here are very much in the vein of a “kitchen-sink” kind of game. While not going so far as to become jokes, this book demonstrates what happens when you design magic items for a system where standardization is a dirty word. What’s here is an exercise in creativity, and it reintroduces a lot of the marvel and mystery that every magic item should have.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Profile Enable

New Drupal Modules - 31 January 2016 - 11:35am


'Profile Enable' is an extension for Drush. This extension provides a new Drush command, profile-enable, which is designed for the enabling and re-enabling of Drupal installation profiles. Now I know that Drush itself can handle this perfectly well using pm-enable and installation profiles are modules. But I do want to make you aware of a special use case that required the development of 'Profile Enable'.

Categories: Drupal

Iztok Smolic: Drush 8 on Mac OSX and MAMP

Planet Drupal - 31 January 2016 - 11:23am

Here is a complete guide to get your drush working OS X El Capitan. 1) Download latest stable release using the code below or browse to wget (Or use our upcoming release: wget 2) Test your install. php drush.phar core-status 3) Rename to `drush` instead of `php drush.phar`. Destination can be anywhere […]

The post Drush 8 on Mac OSX and MAMP appeared first on Iztok.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: Drupal 8 and 7 core release window on Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Planet Drupal - 31 January 2016 - 8:53am
Start:  2016-02-24 00:00 - 23:30 UTC Organizers:  xjm catch David_Rothstein Event type:  Online meeting (eg. IRC meeting)

The monthly core patch (bug fix) release window is this Wednesday, February 03. Drupal 8.0.3 and 7.42 will be released with fixes for Drupal 8 and 7. There will be no Drupal 6 bugfix release this month.

To ensure a reliable release window for the patch release, there will be a Drupal 8.0.x commit freeze from 00:00 to 23:30 UTC on Wednesday, February 03. Now is a good time to update your development/staging servers to the latest 8.0.x-dev or 7.x-dev code and help us catch any regressions in advance. If you do find any regressions, please report them in the issue queue. Thanks!

To see all of the latest changes that will be included in the releases, see the 8.0.x commit log and 7.x commit log.

Other upcoming core release windows after this week include:

  • Wednesday, February 24 (security release window)
  • Wednesday, March 02 (patch release window)
  • Wednesday, April 20 (scheduled minor release)

For more information on Drupal core release windows, see the documentation on release timing and security releases, as well as the Drupal core release cycle overview.

Categories: Drupal
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