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Domain Restriction Formatter

New Drupal Modules - 17 April 2015 - 6:15am

This module exposes a formatter to hide or show fields on selected domains.
All fields in the "manage display" tabs can be configured.


Go to Structure -> Your content type -> Manage display and start
configuring the fields you want to put restrictions on.

Supporting organizations:

Categories: Drupal

The Four Horsemen Of VR - by Simon Carless Blogs - 17 April 2015 - 5:28am
I wanted to use the idea of gradually advancing, uh, harbingers for virtual reality, now that I've tried four or five VR systems with games, movies, and apps. Which will win - and which needs to?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

On Towerfall Ascension's approach to characters - by Christian Nutt Blogs - 17 April 2015 - 4:48am
On Towerfall Ascension's diverse but mechanically indistinguishable roster, and why player choice matters.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Shortcode Video

New Drupal Modules - 17 April 2015 - 3:24am

This ShortCode macro provides video embed code from various sources.

Supported providers
  • Youtube
  • Vimeo

* Shortcode contrib project
* configure your input format to allow enter shortcode_video macro

Categories: Drupal

An Apology to Some Min-Maxers

Gnome Stew - 17 April 2015 - 3:02am

One of the side-effects of playing a large number of games, and starting to design your own, is that you start to see what the mechanics of a specific game are doing or not doing. As my understanding of game mechanics has begun to grow, I came to a few realizations about games, especially d20 games, which made me realize that I have been too hard on my fellow gamers who have been min-maxing those games.

I feel like an apology may be in order…

What is Min-Maxing?

Let’s get some terms set, starting with Min-Maxing. This term has a range of definitions and often has a negative connotation. At it’s core, the idea of min-maxing is character optimization. That is the process of selecting the most optimal combinations of attributes, race, skills, feats, equipment, etc. to produce a character with the best set of bonuses for play.

There is a spectrum of min-maxing, from making solid choices in character creation to looking for specific rules exploits that will create in-game loopholes that will make your character nigh invincible. It is the latter where min-maxing derives its negative connotation.

In the past, I looked down on nearly all forms of min-maxing. My preference was to create more realistic characters whose choices would often be suboptimal. Then when I underperformed in comparison to the min-maxed characters, I would regard them with a certain degree of disdain. I was pretty sure I was right about this, until I discovered something about certain types of games, especially the d20 variety…

Character Protections

As I began to understand what the mechanics were doing in an RPG, I came to realize that there was a mechanic in some games, a type of character protection, which often came in the form of some in-game currency. A player could use this currency to improve the situation of their character. These are things like the Savage Worlds Bennie, or the Fate Point in Fate Core. Both of these points are used to change the outcomes of rolls and to mitigate damage taken by the character. In games using these mechanics, the player has the option to use this currency to improve situations for their character, providing them a degree of in-game protection.

Other games, especially the d20 family, don’t have this feature. Those types of games do not have an in-game currency (by default, a number have options to add them in) to provide protection. The players are at the fickle mercy of the roll of a die, be it their roll or that of the GM. On top of that, in d20 games that roll is often a single d20, which has much more random probabilities than something like Fate dice or dice pools. Overall, the player is at the mercy of the fates when they play these types of games.

Min-Max as Self-Defense

So when we look at games that lack any kind of character protection, the only protection a player has, is to make sure that they have the best bonuses possible to help minimize their reliance on the roll of a fickle die. In other words, the player’s best defense in a game without in-game protections is to min-max their character.

  …the player’s best defense in a game without in-game protections is to min-max their characters. 

Nothing else in those types of games is there for their protection. If they are targeted with a save vs. death spell, and they have not done all they can to give themselves the best possible bonus, then their fate relies on the roll of a single die. So if you want to live, you had better have done your work outside of the game session.

I would be remiss not to mention that death in most d20 games is less permanent than in other games. By the time there is a save vs. death power, there is also a way to bring someone back from the dead. Which is fine, assuming someone lives long enough to raise you from the dead.

It was that revelation that made me realize that in and of itself min-maxing is not evil. It does not warrant my disdain. In fact, if anything, my sub-optimal character builds were me being lazy, and not doing the homework other players were doing to build more optimized characters. And that is where I reach the point where I can say…

“All you d20 min-maxers, listen up. I apologize for looking down upon the work you did to make better characters. You did your research, you experimented, and you came up with strong characters who had better chances of surviving the fickle roll of the d20.”

Now before you all let that go to your head, I have a few caveats to that apology…

Min-Max is not for Every Game

I was clear in saying that in games where there are no player protections, that you should min-max. That means that in games that have in-game protections, you do not need to min-max, the game provides you adequate protections to protect your character.

In game systems like these, take chances – don’t razor hone your characters – make some choices that are not optimal, because you will have a Bennie or other point to get your bacon out of the fire. In fact, min-maxing a character in a system like this is a bit of overkill.

So look at the game you are playing and optimize your character to the level of the system you are running.

Wheaton’s Law for Min-Maxing

Second caveat: When you do min-max, don’t be a dick about it. Picking a good set of complementary feats to get a better bonus is fine, but exploiting rules loopholes in the same way a hacker exploits vulnerabilities in a system is just bad form, regardless of in-game protections. Choose to use your powers for good, not to trash the game. The GM is not enjoying your uber-tank with the 50 AC, and neither are your fellow players who are all far more vulnerable, and likely going to be destroyed when the GM finds a monster that is a match for you.

GMing Min-Maxers

Before we get out of this article, Gnome Stew is about GMing and we should discuss some GMing tips when it comes to min-maxing. The first thing you should do is figure out which type of game you are playing. Are you playing one with an economy for in-game protection, or are you playing one that does not give in-game protections for characters? With that understanding you should gauge your tolerance for min-maxing and discuss it with your players.

You want to come to an agreement of how much min-maxing everyone is comfortable with. Once you have had that discussion then go and make characters. If someone goes too far, you can remind them of the discussion and rein them in. Also, don’t be afraid to close off any loopholes when they are discovered. If a combo breaks the game, then make a ruling to close the loophole, and give the player who discovered it a chance to make another choice.

At the same time, as GM you should min-max the opposition to the same level as you have allowed for your players. Dig into the system and look for how to optimize NPC’s and monsters. That is likely going to be more work for you, as you may need to take stock stat blocks and beef them up, but it will create challenging opponents for the players, making encounters more exciting.

Minimum Conclusion – Maximum Questions

Min-maxing is often thought of as a bad form of gaming. Certainly, there have been stories where this is justified. Like it or not, min-maxing is sometimes all a player has to ensure that their character can survive. When limits are established and no one is trying to break the game, a group of min-maxed players against a group of min-maxed monsters can make for exciting and challenging battles.

What are your feelings about min-maxing? How do you handle it at your table? What is the craziest thing you have seen or done in min-maxing a character?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Jedi Saga - by Raph Koster Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 11:06pm
Star Wars Galaxies has been controversial for years thanks to a series of design decisions made both before and after launch. Among these was how Jedis were handled. Here's the design postmortem!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to write an adventure game with just one ending - by Wes Platt Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 11:06pm
In designing Knee Deep for Prologue Games, I wanted to focus less on puzzles and pixel hunts, more on letting players shape their character narratives.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Greenlit in 7 days, one game's journey - by Patrick Corrieri Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 11:06pm
We'll be looking at our experience with Greenlight, the choices we made that we think worked, statistic and numbers throughout the campaign and of course taking any questions you might have.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Resolving Missing Script References in Unity - by Vegard Myklebust Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 11:06pm
Fixing missing script references for Unity.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Novels to Video Games: Taking the Leap - by Moira Katson Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 10:48pm
Writing plots, character arcs, and more in an interactive medium - a novelist dives into the world of video game writing.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tears for Spheres: Developing "Grudgeball" in the year everything changed - by Guillermo Crespi Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 10:48pm
HeavyBoat is a game development company from Argentina. This is the story behind "Grudgeball", one of our latest collaborations with Cartoon Network, and how the business risks HeavyBoat took during that year made it our most difficult period to date.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Progression Control in Sim City BuildIt - by philipp zupke Blogs - 16 April 2015 - 10:48pm
A closer look at how the balancing of the economy in Sim City BuildIt affects the player progression.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


New Drupal Modules - 16 April 2015 - 3:49pm

Entity XLIFF FTP is a Drupal extension that introduces a localization workflow whereby editors or administrators can push XLIFF files to a remote server via SFTP, then pull down processed XLIFF files when they're ready (either manually, or automatically on cron).

This extension was designed specifically to work with SDL WorldServer, but can theoretically be used with any FTP server or FTP-enabled translation management system.

Categories: Drupal

IDNA Convert

New Drupal Modules - 16 April 2015 - 2:01pm

The module provides two functions that allow to convert domain names in Punycode to human-readable national domain names in Unicode and vice versa.

Categories: Drupal

Midwestern Mac, LLC: Thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Front End Specialist Exam

Planet Drupal - 16 April 2015 - 1:34pm

Previously, I posted my thoughts on the Acquia Certified Developer - Back End Specialist exam as well as my thoughts on the Certified Developer exam. To round out the trifecta of developer-oriented exams, I took the Front End Specialist exam this morning, and am posting some observations for those interested in taking the exam.

My Theming Background

I started my Drupal journey working on design/theme-related work, and the first few Drupal themes I built were in the Drupal 5 days (I inherited some 4.7 sites, but I only really started learning how Drupal's front end worked in Drupal 5+). Luckily for me, a lot of the basics have remained the same (or at least similar) from 5-7.

For the past couple years, though, I have shied away from front end work, only doing as much as I need to keep building out features on sites like Hosted Apache Solr and Server, and making all my older Drupal sites responsive (and sometimes, mobile-first) to avoid penalization in Google's search rankings... and to build a more usable web :)

Categories: Drupal

JWT Link

New Drupal Modules - 16 April 2015 - 12:45pm

Produces a JWT-compliant URL based on the logged in user to authenticate on a remote server that is set in the settings.


Requires BSD-3-Clause licensed JWT class available at:

Download and extract the PHP JWT package from into this module's root.

The only required file is JWT/Authentication/JWT.php

Categories: Drupal

Don't Miss: Examining the ethics of free-to-play games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 16 April 2015 - 12:06pm

F2P devs toss around the term 'whales' -- but what are they? What are their lives like? And should designers stop targeting them? This classic piece examines the ethics surrounding the issue. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Achieve Internet Blog: Is Your Site Ready For Google’s New Search Ranking Algorithm?

Planet Drupal - 16 April 2015 - 11:35am
How does mobile-friendliness affect Google search rankings? Google reports:
Categories: Drupal

MVPCreator Marketing

New Drupal Modules - 16 April 2015 - 10:37am

Provides some widgets for use in a Panopoly site (or Panopoly-based distribution) for creating a startup marketing site!

Includes (or will include) the following:

Categories: Drupal

Organic Groups Entityform Integration

New Drupal Modules - 16 April 2015 - 10:21am

This module integrates the Organic Groups and Entityform modules. It allows users to submit entityforms in a group context, and gives access to view/edit/delete those submissions based on organic groups membership and group-level permissions.

Some sample use cases for this module are:

Categories: Drupal
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