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Funky Date

New Drupal Modules - 16 January 2015 - 6:04am

This modules adds a formatter for date fields, it allows you to hide duplicate date parts.


  1. 10 December 2014 to 15 December 2014 will be outputted as 10 - 15 December 2014
  2. 10 November 2014 to 15 December 2014 will be outputted as 10 November - 15 December 2014
  3. 10/12/2014 to 15/12/2014 will be outputted as 10 - 15/12/2014
Categories: Drupal

Translate set

New Drupal Modules - 16 January 2015 - 5:57am

This module allows you to collect a set of strings and translate those on one page in the admin interface. This module was built to allow translators on a website and present them one interface only having to translate the necessary strings that are used on the front-end, mails, rules etc.


Categories: Drupal

Shadowrun: Shadows in Focus: Sioux Nation

New RPG Product Reviews - 16 January 2015 - 5:38am
Publisher: Catalyst Game Labs
Rating: 4
Originally posted at:

So 2014 wasn’t the best year for Shadowrun. Sure we got the Dragonfall video game, but the tabletop side received a lot of grief from critics and fans alike in regards to what came out that year. I’ll admit it was probably the worst year the game has had in the past five or so, but it wasn’t as terrible as some doom and gloomers made it out to be. You know what though? It’s a whole new year. Time to start over and more importantly – start off on the right foot. Case in point – Shadows In Focus: Sioux Nation. I’ll admit these are my favorite kind of supplements. You get a solid look at a specific location in the Sixth World with a lot of fluff and a dabbling of mechanics at the end. I’m never happier than when the current SR writers look at places that have been left untouched for several editions or that have never been covered at all. I’m still pushing for a Caribbean or Samoa based piece but for now the Sioux Nation supplement satisfies me and then some. It’s a region that hasn’t really been tackled since third editions Shadows of North America and it hasn’t been tackled WELL since Nigel Findlay wrote Native American Nations, volumes 1 and 2 back in 1e/2e days of the game. Fans of the original pieces on the Sioux Nation will be quite happy with the attention to detail and quality in this piece. In fact there was only one really big error I found and that was the supplement kept referencing Fargo as part of the Sioux Nation when in fact it’s in the UCAS. The map in Sioux Nation clearly shows this but the city is actually right on the North Dakota/Minnesota border which is why it’s often referred to as “Fargo-Moorhead” because only the Red River (and state lines) separates the two cities from being one. Speaking as someone that had to fly in there in August, 2014 I can say the characters in this piece are correct in that not a lot happens there. At the same time there were a LOT of “No Vampires Allowed” signs for some odd reason. This amused me but in conjunction with this supplement made me think there is either a Sixth World story by Patrick Goodman to be had there…or some Vampire: The Masquerade piece.

So, let’s actually talk about Sioux Nation. This was one of my favorite pieces released for Fifth Edition so far, mainly because it’s a look at one of my favorite places in the Sixth World and because it was so well written. The Sioux Nation is SUCH an important part of Shadowrun lore and the fact it is rarely mentioned these days shocked me. Doubly so with the influx of new players via 5e and the video games that would otherwise overlook while this might be the single most important country in the Sixth World. Not in terms of power or politics mind you, but because this is where the Sixth World BEGAN. It was Howling Coyote and the Great Ghost Dance that caused the deviation from our reality and the one in the Shadowrun universe, so if you’re new to Shadowrun this is a piece well worth getting just to familiarize yourself with the area. This is especially true for those that have just read the recent novels or played the video games. Sioux Nation gives you a lot of history as well as the current landscape of the country. Some of you might pause at the $7.99 price tag for a supplement of less than forty pages, and I can understand that. However, it’s better to pay $7.99 and see if you want to try the tabletop game via a well written supplement than pay $50 for a core rulebook you’ll need errata for anyway and that you might never use. So for people on staff here at Diehard GameFAN who are interested in trying the tabletop version of Shadowrun, Fifth Edition, I’d probably give them the Digital Tool Kit first and then this supplement second.

Sioux Nation is written in a similar fashion to most CGL Shadowrun pieces. The booklet is written from the perspective of Jackpoint (A Matrix Hotspot for in the know runners for you new chummers) where someone (or in this case, several people) has written up a dossier on a topic with the occasion comment from other members. You’ll learn all sorts of great info on the Sioux nation with this piece such as the fact it comprised much of what we call Montana and Wyoming with a bit of Colorado and the western end of the Dakotas and Nebraska. You’ll discover that tribal politics are pretty similar corporate and UCAS politics. It is nice to see that the Native Americans of the Sixth world have a higher education, literacy and income rate than those in a lot of our real world reservations. I know 4e and 5e have gone Warhammer levels of Grimdark over the more laugh out loud satire we often saw in the FASA version of the game, but this was a nice bright spot in the 2070s of the game. It’s also telling that Angelos in the Sioux Nation are living on reservations now and that they are regarded as little better than free range prisons. As above, so below I guess. I would have liked to have seen the Sioux be the bigger man than what Joe Honkey did (and to an extent still does) to the Native Americans but this is probably the more realistic take on what would happen if the tables suddenly turned thanks to things like magic and Dragons showing up on our doorstep.

Think of Sioux Nation as a faux travel guide. You have the visitation rights, how to enter the country, topography, climate information, important landmarks and people and major cities. Enterprising GMs will be able to form dozens of plot hooks, if not full adventures, out of the various sections in this supplement. About the only thing missing is an in-depth look at the different tribes that live within the Sioux Nation, but that is due to hitting page count more than anything else. For most gamers, the sections on Government, The Shadows and the Law will be of most interest as you’ll get to see some of your targets and the punishments for messing up there. For people who want to MAKE a Sioux Nation based character for Shadowrun, the military section is probably something you’ll want to bookmark since all citizens are conscripted for at least a year of service. Of course, there’s also a section on corporations but it’s markedly different from what you usually see in a Shadowrun piece mainly because there isn’t a focus on the MegaCorps in this piece. It’s A or smaller companies, which was really cool.

The first thirty pages of Sioux Nation are pure fluff as some people call it, but honestly I prefer the world background and storytelling in Shadowrun 5e to the mechanics, so I’m pretty happy with what’s here. The last ten pages are for written for those who want some in-game information and a little something crunchy to play with. It starts off with a nice transition from storytelling into stats with a set of ten plot hooks you can flesh out into adventures. Then you get information on what it means to be a Sioux Shadowrunner or a Shadowrunner in the Sioux Nation (probably smuggling). Clothes, Language, prejudice and even how some things are different. For example a Sioux character getting a (very) minor version of the Mentor Spirit quality for free. At the same time qualities such as Orc/Elf poser work…differently here. There’s also a look at six character archetypes and how they are viewed (as well as operate) differently in the Sioux Nation. Deckers should especially take note.

For those looking to build a character, there are eight skill packages. Some are worth it while some are not. Names do seem to be applied arbitrarily here. For example the “SDF One Year Wonder” package gives you Automatics 3 (Assault Rifles +2) and Unarmed Combat 2, but the Sioux Army Veteran only gets Automatics 1 and no Unarmed Combat. They also don’t get disguise. I’m sure there is a reason or this that makes sense to the devs but in my head, I would think the veterans would have all the skills of a one year conscript but beefed up in addition to extra skills. There’s also a new version of “My Country, Right or Wrong” for the Sioux called Code of Honor: Nationalist. After that you get a small section on equipment and then nearly twenty adventure seeds. Yes the piece is extremely heavy on world background and storytelling rather than focusing on much in the way of mechanics, but honestly I prefer that. If all they printed were straight up mechanics in a supplement, CGL would have some extremely dull releases.

Overall, I’m very happy with Shadows in Focus: Sioux Nation. This is the type of thing I’d like to see more of. I was not very happy with metaplot pieces like Storm Front and Stolen Souls because things were not going in good directions in-game or out-of-game. From the looks of message boards and other reviews out there my opinion was far from being in the minority. Focusing on fleshing out areas of the Sixth World in 5e without forcing bad ideas or poorly thought out ones that could have been good) throughout multiple books (Remember the Bogota conflict?) is probably the way to go after the year Shadowrun had in 2014. It lets the writers flex their creative muscles without leaving gamers feel railroaded and everyone gets interesting outside the box pieces to boot. I’d much rather read about the a part of the sixth world that has been left alone for a while than yet another Seattle/Bug City/London piece so if we can get another half dozen or so supplements like this in 2015, I think Shadowrun will be in excellent shape. If you’re one of the people who really didn’t care for last year’s output, you’ll be happy to know that Sioux Nation is a return to form and that last year was probably just new edition blues for everyone. The real trick is to see if CGL can keep the momentum going. I wish the piece was priced at five dollars as that would probably be a sweet spot for it, but it’s selling well as is, so if you have the disposable income to spend, grab this and either discover a new part of the Sixth World you’ve never visited or engage in some nostalgia (Depending on when you started running).
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Code Karate: Drupal 7 Superfish: An easy way to get dropdown menus

Planet Drupal - 16 January 2015 - 4:27am
Episode Number: 191

Just like your grandparents, the Superfish menu module is an oldy but a goodie. Since 2010, Superfish has been helping site owners implement the infamous dropdown menu. Over the years Superfish has been improved to include various features for touch screens, and responsive needs.

Tags: DrupalDrupal 7Drupal PlanetUI/DesignJavascriptResponsive Design
Categories: Drupal

Dear Stranger Post-Mortem, Augmented Reality and an MDA Perspective - by Tino van der Kraan Blogs - 16 January 2015 - 1:24am
This article shares insights in the design approach taken and the lessons learned from making an augmented reality application using Unity. The lessons pertain to an award winning phone application and looks at the result from an MDA framework perspective
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Terraingulation - by Vegard Myklebust Blogs - 16 January 2015 - 1:23am
In this blogpost we talk about how we generate the terrain and level design in Ludus.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Super Galaxy Squadron pre-post-mortem (or: how a pixel artist pretended to be a developer for a year and things got weird) - by Nick Clinkscales Blogs - 16 January 2015 - 12:18am
Two years ago I started working on a game with no programming experience and no idea what I was doing. Today I still don't have those things, but after a complete reboot, a tiny Kickstarter, and several career changing contrivances, that game is finished.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Three Approaches to Challenge Levels

Gnome Stew - 16 January 2015 - 12:00am

Designing exciting combat encounters is an important skill for most GM’s. We want to make sure we challenge the party without overwhelming them. In this article, we’ll look at three ways to choose the appropriate number and level of opponents for an encounter. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

The Mathematical Method

About the year 2000 (or so) games started incorporating mathematical systems to help with encounter design. Monsters and opponents each have a challenge rating. With a little math you can design an encounter that is appropriate for your players level. This can be done with some precision. You can design easy, medium, or hard encounters using this approach. You can even statistically predict how much of your party’s resources will be depleted in the encounter.

While it offers great precision, there are a few drawbacks. Such an approach takes time that many GM’s may not have. And it can’t guarantee results: some nights the dice don’t behave. The formulae are based on statistics, so the relatively few rolls made in any particular session may not follow these patterns. Lastly, it may train players to expect encounters that are exactly matched to their skills. This may encourage them always to use combat rather than alternatives fleeing or parlaying.

The “Adventuring is Dangerous” Method

Some might call this the old-school approach. In this method, the GM picks whichever monsters or opponents they like, regardless of difficulty. Players are expected to consider each encounter as potentially life threatening. Fleeing, parlaying, and retreating may occur as often as combat. This keeps them guessing, and maybe even a little worried. This method greatly reduces prep time and can allow a GM to design thematic adventures more easily. For example, you could include monsters with a “snake” theme without worrying whether they are perfectly balanced to your party.

However, this can prove quite dangerous for PC’s. This is probably not desirable for new players: you don’t want to kill them their first time out. Some newer players may have trouble adapting to this style of game. They may be used to going toe to toe with every opponent, which could prove deadly. Some GM’s may want these kind of deadly scenarios for their games, but you might need to warn prospective players first. For example, I’ve seen convention games where PC’s die in the first hour of a four hour session. And that’s it. If I were playing in such a session, I’d want to know that up front before committing to that time slot.

The Eyeball Method

This is the “In-between” approach. When planning an encounter, the GM considers the average level of the party, and tries to adjust encounters accordingly. For example, if the opponents are of a lower level than the party, the GM may increase their numbers. If they are of a higher level, he or she may reduce the number of foes. The GM eyeballs it and hopes for the best. This method is much quicker than the Mathematical Method, but can produce a more balanced encounter than the Adventuring is Dangerous Method.

This method is not without limitations. It can still lead to encounters that are either too easy or too difficult for your players. It may not be appropriate for designing published adventures or encounters for tournament play. In those situations, the Mathematical Method may have to be used.

Concluding Thoughts

Obviously these categories don’t encompass all possible approaches to encounter design. Hopefully, however, they do provide some food for thought. And they may not be mutually exclusive. Perhaps you always use the Mathematical Method, but would like to include a very difficult encounter. Then do it. Use the “Adventuring is Dangerous” Method, and perhaps warn your players if they seem to be headed for a total party kill (TPK). If you are losing PC’s left and right, you may need to adopt the Eyeball Method to bring some balance back into play. Your approach may depend on play style and your players’ preference as well.

What approach do you use to adjust the level of your encounters? What thoughts did I miss in this article? Share your thoughts below.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Iron Kingdoms Unleashed: Hero Figures

RPGNet - 16 January 2015 - 12:00am
A look at the heroic miniatures of Iron Kingdoms Unleashed
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Doug Vann: Put your content center stage. Backdrop CMS 1.0 is here!

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 11:34pm

Today is a much anticipated day. Some said it would never come. Others said that if it did come it could ultimately mean nothing. Still others, and myself, believe that it is a red-letter date that will be long celebrated as the day that Backdrop CMS 1.0 was launched.

Backdrop CMS is a comprehensive CMS for non-profits and small to medium sized businesses. Not inconsequentially, it is a Drupal fork.

I am on the record as saying that Backdrop CMS supplies a need in the market place. I believe that Drupal 8 is charging ahead into new and innovative territory and leaving behind a disenfranchised segment of the Drupal community. This segment includes both those who need websites and those who create them. The Drupal 7 methodology is a proven success. Backdrop CMS builds upon that success and prepares the way for a continued bright and prosperous future.


Before I continue my take on all of this, Let me give you a brief glimpse of the early days of BackdropCMS.

  1. June 2012
    • Nate, Jen, and a few others have a conversation discussing the many changes in Drupal 8 and how those changes come with a cost. The idea comes up of getting "back" to the principles that lead to Drupal's amazing success. The phrase Backdrop is first coined.
  2. August 2013
    • Nate registers and on the same date publishes the Backdrop repository
  3. September 11, 2013
  4. In the weeks and that months that followed, there were many blog posts and podcasts. Here are just a couple.

I don’t know how many people want to weed through all of those blogs and podcasts, but I can tell you that many of us lived through it and it was exciting! I was glued to my Mac trying to keep track of it all. I wanted to hear what the Drupal Easy guys had to say. I wanted to hear what Nate and Jen had to say on their interviews. I wanted some sense of what people thought about it, how they reacted, etc. In short, it was very important to me that I maintained some sense of how the Drupal Community at large felt about the whole idea of Backdrop CMS.

Why care what the Drupal community feels about BackdropCMS?

Well… Back on 9/11/13 when the twitter-sphere lit up about BackdropCMS, I too tweeted out that I supported it. Within minutes of my tweet, I got an email from Dries asking me why I supported it. We ended up discussing many aspects of the whole situation. We didn’t really end the exchange with anything concrete other than the fact that we started with different perspectives and feelings and we ended with those same different feelings and perspectives. Since then, I've enjoyed many conversations with community members as we discuss the impact that Backdrop CMS is having or will have on the Drupal Community.

Bottom Line:

As the title so boldly states, Backdrop CMS 1.0 is here! This is going to change many things. I look forward to watching as more and more people discover this new, and powerful tool and begin recommending it to their clients who already love Drupal and wish to enjoy increased functionality without the dramatic changes.

Drupal Planet

View the discussion thread.

Categories: Drupal

Field Public Description

New Drupal Modules - 15 January 2015 - 3:42pm

Your visitor need a little more information about your content fields(maybe some complex content)? That's what this module is for!

Every field gives to the site builders the option to provide a description text to be presented on the formulary. This is really useful for the people filling the formularies, as they'll understand what do they are expected to fill. As said above, this module fill the gap of "what happens when the visitor also need to understand more about the field"?

Categories: Drupal

10 quotes every game developer should remember

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 15 January 2015 - 2:27pm

From Carmack to Wallick to the makers of Monument Valley, here are ten nuggets of timeless advice from game developers across the industry. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Shomeya: When to Use a Framework

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 1:45pm

Frameworks are pretty and shiny and like Drupal can be fun, but you have to use them in the right context. So here's when to use a Framework, and by default when not to as well.

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Categories: Drupal

Acquia: Contributing to Drupal 8 - Drupal Global Sprint Weekend 2015

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 10:30am

You can still make an important contribution to Drupal 8. Drupal Global Sprint 2015-New England takes place this Saturday, January 17, from 10 AM to 5 PM at Genuine in Boston. Acquia is co-sponsoring the event and we invite you to RSVP and jump into the community.

Categories: Drupal Repeating blocks of template code in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 10:06am

I've had some trouble using Twig's include statements in Drupal 8 theming.  I'm not sure if this is a bug since it's at Beta 4, but it's sort of annoying.  I include my content areas in page.html.twig in a separate include file in Drupal 6 and insert it into the area I need.  For example, if I have a 3 column layout, I'm changing the Bootstrap classes from "col-md-12" to "col-md-9" and "col-md-3" (for a sidebar) if the sidebars have content in them.  Inclu

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Categories: Drupal

3C Web Services: Drupal Website Launch Checklist

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 7:00am
A list of items to check and test for when launching a Drupal website.
Categories: Drupal

Modules Unraveled: 129 Automation Tools with Solomon Gifford - Modules Unraveled Podcast

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 5:44am
Published: Thu, 01/15/15Download this episodeUse Cases
  • Okay, I can already see huge benefits of utilizing these tools. But, I’d love to get your opinion on what the benefits are for Developers/Site-builders/Themers?
    • There are two big benefits as I see them, and another not so apparent. First, a lot of these tasks are repetitive. And things like copying a database may take a bit of time. Or merging code. Or running tests. Etc. Anything that you can automate means time you can spend on other things. Second, not everyone is as experienced - or maybe they don’t have the permissions - to execute all the tasks. You don’t want mistakes, you don’t want to give everyone permissions. So you figure out the best way to do it and then you automate it. The last reason is not as obvious. I think a lot of times we hack things together in our development environments to get it working - but then may run into issues later on. We don’t spend the extra time because its temporary. By spending a little extra time getting it right, we have created a reusable pattern that we can use on our next project. By encapsulating our best practices, we not only have a quicker setup, but we have a better one too.
  • Perfect. So, save time by automating tasks like copying a database. Prevent mistakes by limiting who has permissions to execute tasks, and automating them so that even those who do have permission can’t introduce user error. And by setting up a process that uses best practices, creating new environments is faster, and better than if I had to try to remember all of the steps myself.
    • Exactly. And I’ll add, ansible can be used for each of installation, configuration, and orchestration. The examples we’ve talked about so far are orchestration - moving databases, code, etc. It can also be used to install Apache, Mysql, Mongodb, etc. Any set of system commands that are repeatable.
  • Oh... So if you’ve got a server that you have full access to, you could actually wipe and rebuild the entire server AND Drupal site? We’re not limited to just configuring the Drupal site?
    • Exactly. And throw in Vagrant into the mix and now you can do that on your local machines using Virtual machines. Immagine spinning up a brand new VM and within a few clicks you have your entire development environment with a fresh drupal install all ready for you on a VM.
  • Now, I do wonder who this is more geared toward. Developers, Site-builders or Themers. I understand that each of them can use these, and would probably help them all with their daily tasks, but who do you see benefiting the most from these tools. Or, do you have examples of people in each category that you know of that are using them?
    • I think all three benefit from automation. For example, in a previous life where I didn’t use Ansible, my themer was insanely good at theming, but when it came to running commands remotely on a server to check out his work, he was a fish out of water. I wish I had written an Ansible playbook so that he could check his code out onto staging. Or even better, if I had set up Jenkins to run an Ansible playbook to automatically check it out his work each time he committed. He wouldn’t have had to wait on me, sometimes a few days if I was not around. That said, he would not have been able create the ansible playbook.
    • As for who is using Ansible, well, Twitter does - they use it to roll out updates across their hundreds of machines. And of course BlackMesh, the hosting company I work for, also does. The product Cascade I mentioned uses ansible and Jenkins to do a lot of the things we talked about today, only we set it up so you don’t have to.
Episode Links: Solomon on drupal.orgSolomon on TwitterSolomon Gifford GitHubBlackMesh GitHubJenkinsAnsibleTags: AutomationWorkflowJenkinsAnsibleplanet-drupal
Categories: Drupal

Code Karate: Drupal Auto Assign Role Module

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 5:11am
Episode Number: 190

The Drupal 7 Auto Assign Role module allows you a lot of flexibility in deciding what roles users receive on your Drupal 7 website. If you have ever needed to allow a user to select their own role, or if you have ever needed to automatically assign a role to every user on your Drupal site. This is the module for you.

Tags: DrupalUsersDrupal 7Drupal Planet
Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: A Few Things to Unwrap on Drupal's Birthday

Planet Drupal - 15 January 2015 - 5:07am

Happy birthday to Drupal! On this day in 2001, Drupal 1.0 was released.

This milestone is the perfect time to talk about some of the findings of our recent community survey. The survey findings offer a window into what community members are thinking as the project matures and evolves. It also gives us at the Drupal Association a way to better understand what we're doing right and what we could be doing better. There aren't many surprises (and that's a good thing), but all of the findings are educational. Here are three results we thought were particularly interesting and insightful.

Drupal 8 Will Be Broadly Adopted

In the survey, about 80% of respondents said they either plan to start using Drupal 8 as soon as it is released, or plan to adopt it at some point after release. Another 8% said they did not have specific plans to adopt, but do plan to evaluate Drupal 8.
 Remains an Important and Heavily-Used Tool

The overwhelming majority of respondents said they use more than once per week. Most also say they are satisfied or somewhat satisfied with the site. While that result is encouraging, it does not change the important mission to improve the experience of the site and make it a better tool for everyone from first time visitors to those who spend the majority of their working time on the site.





We Need to Create Broader Awareness of Drupal Association Programs

Community members who took the survey have great awareness of DrupalCons. Awareness of the work we are doing on seems to be steadily growing. But awareness is relatively low for Community Grants and our Supporter Programs that provide a way for organizations to give back to the Project. That awareness is clearly something we need to improve to promote transparency.





If you would like to read the full results, you can access them here (2.8M PDF). Thanks for reading, and thanks for being a part of this amazing community.


Categories: Drupal
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