Bladestorm 2nd Edition Now Available

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 2:00pm
The Year of New Editions adds another name to the list. This time it’s a fantasy skirmish game that’s been around for over a couple decades. When a game’s been around for 25 years and hasn’t had much in the way of updating, there’s generally plenty of things you can do with it. And that’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

WizKids Previews Talon And Court of Owls Initiate For HeroClix

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 1:00pm
It would seem that the Joker’s Wild set coming out for HeroClix has another group that will be partaking in the action. The Court of Owls aren’t going to let the Joker or The Flash have all the fun running around the streets of Gotham. WizKids gives us a look at Talon, as well as […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Palantir: The Secret Sauce, Ep. 34: Remote Teams

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 12:53pm
The Secret Sauce, Ep. 34: Remote Teams The Secret Sauce brandt Mon, 10/17/2016 - 14:53 Scott DiPerna and Lauren Byrwa with Allison Manley Oct 18, 2016

We want to make your project a success.

Let's Chat.

Strategies for making remote collaboration successful on web development projects.

With the advancement of technology, there are infinite ways and opportunities to work remotely, no matter where you are. In this week’s episode of The Secret Sauce, we share some strategies for making remote work - well, work.

iTunes | RSS Feed | Download| Transcript

We want to make your project a success.

Let's Chat. Transcript

Allison Manley [AM]: Hello and welcome to The Secret Sauce, a short podcast by, that offers a little bit of advice to help your business run better.

I’m Allison Manley, Sales and Marketing Manager here, and today’s advice comes from Scott DiPerna and Lauren Byrwa. In this global economy, there are infinite ways and opportunities to work remotely, no matter where you are. Scott and Lauren are going to share some strategies on how to collaborate successfully across great distances and time zones.

Scott DiPerna [SD]: Hi, I’m Scott DiPerna.

Lauren Byrwa [LB]: Hi, I’m Lauren Byrwa.

SD: Recently we worked with a client in California who had hired a content strategy team in New York City. Lauren, with our development team, was in Chicago, and I, as the Project Manager, was in South Africa. We had lots of interesting new challenges in this project, and like we do in most projects, we learned a lot about working well with our clients, our collaborators, and with each other.

LB: So, Scott, what was it like trying to work from South Africa, being seven to nine hours ahead of everyone else?

SD: Well, it wasn’t that different from working remotely in Richmond, Virginia. I do shift my working hours to the evening to overlap with the team in the States. But just as I did in Virginia, we do all of our meetings on a video chat regardless of where we are. It’s part of our process especially with our clients being all over the country, so that part wasn’t really different. But we did do a few things differently in this project — not so much because we were all in different places, but because we had multiple vendors and teams collaborating together. Do you want to talk about some of the adjustments that we made in terms of meetings?

LB: Yeah, so we met with the content strategy team weekly. We met with our product owner three times a week. We met with our full team, our full team of stakeholders, weekly. And in addition to that we still had all our usual agile ceremonies like scrum, demos, retrospectives, that we always do on projects. These meetings especially were productive because we had all of the strategic functionality up front, and we could ask specific implementation-level questions early on, and we could vet them both with the product owner specifically, with the strategists specifically, and with the entire group. But I think there are a few other ways that the thorough strategy helped. Do you want to talk about those?

SD: Sure. I think there were two parts specifically that were really helpful. Doing a lot of the strategic planning up front meant that the client was a lot more conversant in the details of the product that we were planning to build for them. We just had a lot more conversations with them up-front and could talk in detail. The other piece was having much of the functionality visually documented in wireframes that the strategy team kept current with changes in the functionality meant that the client always had a “picture” in their minds of what it was that we were talking about. When everyone is working remotely from one another, these kinds of visuals help conversations over video chat be infinitely more productive, which I think is something we see in all of our projects. So all of this planning had a really helpful impact on your ability to estimate the work up front, too. Do you want to talk a bit about that?

LB: Because we had the complete and canonical wireframes from the strategists we were able to fairly precisely estimate all of the functionality that they had scoped out in those wireframes. This meant that even before we started development, we were able to work with our product owner to go over in detail the scope of work we anticipated to be able to complete within their budget. We had many conversations with him about what features would be most important for their users, and were able to prioritize accordingly. It meant that we could talk about the specifics of our implementation in really granular detail internally, both with the strategists, both with the product owner. We collaboratively evaluated if there were options to streamline our implementation, and we were able to address specific questions that usually would not come up until user acceptance testing. All of these conversations resulted in updates to both the canonical wireframes that the strategists were maintaining, as well as the implementation documentation that we were maintaining on our end. And it meant that the picture that the strategists had, that they kept, that the clients had in their head, stayed the same. And it was all reflected in what they could expect to be spending on the implementation for development.

SD: Right. And since we were documenting those functional changes in the wireframes, we could capture that quickly and review it with the client in the middle of a sprint. And speaking of that sort of adjustment in the middle of a sprint, you started doing mini-demos of work in progress, demoing that to the product owner. Can you talk a little bit about why you shifted in that direction?

LB: Yeah, so because we already had all of these meetings set up, and because we already had those canonical wireframes that showed all of the functionality in the picture, we wanted to make sure that they could see the picture of their website, the implementation, as quickly as possible too. So when we had specific implementation questions about things that were spec-ed out in the wireframes, we would demo it for the client. And they could vet it, both for the client and the strategists, and come back to that . . . is this the best choice for the user. It meant that all of those questions of, is this the best route to go down, does this work the way that I anticipated it to, were answered not even before user acceptance testing — they were answered even before the demo. So we could pivot our strategy accordingly, and we did on a lot of issues.

SD: So given all of these constraints that we faced on the project, where we had a client in one part of the States, a content strategy team in another part of the States, even our own internal strategy team split up across continents, and a pretty sizeable project with some interesting technical projects to solve — what were some of the biggest take-aways that you had from that project?

LB: I think the number one thing that I took away from that project was that we can solve every problem together, and that we can come to a better conclusion when we come to it together. The collaborative effort with the strategy team to focus conversations through the lens of the primary audience really helped us anchor our strategy and our implementation in that primary user, and not in some of the other things that often derail projects. We had complete and thorough documentation both on the strategy level and on the implementation, and both of those were transparent to everyone accessing the project. And I think that really helped us to streamline the entire project.

SD: I think for me one of the other things is that we were able to form really good relationships both with the client and with the third-party team we were collaborating with. And that made all of our conversations run more smoothly. We were able to have fun even in the difficult phases of the project, and even going through tough negotiations around scope or functionality or budgets or stuff like that — having those good relationships and having that good level of communication with them just made the whole process go more smoothly.

AM: That’s the end of this week’s Secret Sauce. For more great tips, please check out our website at You can also follow us on twitter at @palantir. Have a great day!

Categories: Drupal

Pantheon Blog: Using Composer with a Relocated Document Root on Pantheon

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 12:52pm
Composer is the de-facto dependency manager for PHP; it is therefore no surprise that it is becoming more common for Drupal modules to use Composer to include the external libraries it needs to function. This trend has rather strong implications for site builders, as once a site uses at least one module that uses Composer, then it becomes necessary to also use Composer to manage your site.  
Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: Public Board Meeting Update

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 12:04pm

On September 28, 2016, The Drupal Association board hosted a public board meeting during DrupalCon Dublin. It was wonderful to connect with the community in person to share updates and answer questions.

Over the last few months, we provided an update on The Association’s current focus followed by department-specific updates. This board meeting shared highlights of specific areas including:

  • DrupalCon New Orleans
  • front page improvements
  • Membership campaigns

This public board packet provides links to those presentations along with updates on other programs. It also includes a dashboard of all our current work. You can also watch the video recording here.

We love hearing from the community. Contact us anytime to share your feedback or ask questions via email or @drupalassoc.

The next public board meeting will be on 21 November, 2016 at 7:00 am PT / 15:00 GMT. You can register for the meeting here.


Categories: Drupal

Fantasy Flight Games Previews Sabine’s TIE Fighter For X-Wing

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 12:00pm
Say “Imperial Starship” and most people are going to either picture the Imperial Star Destroyer or the TIE Fighter. Well, we don’t have a stolen ISD for Armada yet, but soon we’ll have a stolen TIE Fighter for X-Wing. It comes in the form of Sabine’s TIE Fighter, and we get a look at it […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Monday Terrain Corner

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 11:00am
And so we’ve made it back around to Monday. It was a good weekend, though. Or, at least, I thought so. Good friends. Good gaming. Some pretty good food. Couldn’t really ask for much more than that. Today’s terrain corner’s a pretty quick one. Just one story, but we’re still here for it: Roads of […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Palantir:'s Guide to Digital Governance: Intended Use

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 10:06am's Guide to Digital Governance: Intended Use's Guide to Digital Governance brandt Mon, 10/17/2016 - 12:06 Scott DiPerna Oct 17, 2016

This is the fourth installment of’s Guide to Digital Governance, a comprehensive guide intended to help get you started when developing a governance plan for your institution’s digital communications.

In this post we will cover...
  • Why it's important to define intended use of properties
  • A couple of different ways intended use might be defined
  • Some questions to consider for explaining your intended use policy

We want to make your project a success.

Let's Chat.

Once we have established ownership for all of the content within our web properties, it may be helpful to define the intended use of those properties next.

This may seem obvious and unnecessary to state, but in my experience it has been important to define the intended use of the web property that is currently being described. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and understands a common set of goals for the property.

Public-facing websites are commonly intended for the use of communicating information to audiences outside of an organization, which is why they are public and usually distinguished from private, inward-facing sites, such as an intranet, which is intended for the purpose of communicating information to internal audiences within an organization. Not everyone understands this, so it is important to establish the reasoning behind the existence of the property so as not to confuse it with the purpose of another property.

Occasionally, the intended use of a property will be defined in part by the negative, or by that which it is NOT intended to be used. For example, it may be useful to state that no part of a public site should be used for personal content, especially if alternative resources exist explicitly for that purpose.

Here is an example of how intended use is sometimes defined by the negative:

"Academic Department websites are intended for the use of communicating information about the department, its faculty, degree requirements, course offerings, policies, etc. Academic Department websites are not intended for hosting websites of individual faculty, websites based on grant funding, research projects, or specific course-related materials, or for private (i.e. password-protected) websites or applications."

The negative in this example addresses some misperceptions about the intended use of a site about a department by listing some common misuses of the site previously.

Here are some questions to consider for explaining your own intended use policy:

  • What is the primary purpose of the property or Website?
  • What are the secondary and tertiary purposes, if they exist? 
  • Are there any activities or content which occasionally find their way onto this property which should live elsewhere, and thus explicitly be listed as not intended for this property?
  • What are the “grey areas” or things which are unclear where they belong?
  • Is there a process for dealing with grey areas?
  • Who would help determine that process if it doesn’t exist? Intended use can be a controversial subject for many organizations, so think carefully and cautiously throughout this exercise.

Intended use can be a controversial subject for many organizations, so think carefully and cautiously throughout this exercise. I recommended gathering input from a broad range of representative stakeholders to discuss some of the stickier points before defining and presenting a plan that may draw criticism when reviewed by the larger organization.

As with most things, intended use should be based in reason and make sense to most people. That being said, there may be occasions in which some level of compromise is required in order to accommodate content that doesn’t have a home otherwise. This is typically okay in small amounts and for brief time-periods, until alternative solutions can be found.


This post is part of a larger series of posts, which make up a Guide to Digital Governance Planning. The sections follow a specific order intended to help you start at a high-level of thinking and then focus on greater and greater levels of detail. The sections of the guide are as follows:

  1. Starting at the 10,000ft View – Define the digital ecosystem your governance planning will encompass.
  2. Properties and Platforms – Define all the sites, applications and tools that live in your digital ecosystem.
  3. Ownership – Consider who ultimately owns and is responsible for each site, application and tool.
  4. Intended Use – Establish the fundamental purpose for the use of each site, application and tool.
  5. Roles and Permissions – Define who should be able to do what in each system.
  6. Content – Understand how ownership and permissions should apply to content.
  7. Organization – Establish how the content in your digital properties should be organized and structured.
  8. URLs – Define how URL patterns should be structured in your websites.
  9. Design – Determine who owns and is responsible for the many aspects design plays in digital communications and properties.
  10. Personal Websites – Consider the relationship your organization should have with personal websites of members of your organization.
  11. Private Websites, Intranets and Portals – Determine the policies that should govern site which are not available to the public.
  12. Web-Based Applications – Consider use and ownership of web-based tools and applications.
  13. E-Commerce – Determine the role of e-commerce in your website.
  14. Broadcast Email – Establish guidelines for the use of broadcast email to constituents and customers.
  15. Social Media – Set standards for the establishment and use of social media tools within the organization.
  16. Digital Communications Governance – Keep the guidelines you create updated and relevant.

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Categories: Drupal

Drupal Association News: Association members cultivate community with grants

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 10:04am

It isn't easy to build a strong community. Many event organizers work to bring people together for Drupal. Community Cultivation Grants are one tool to make the work a little easier. With a grant, you can strengthen the local community. You can help drive the adoption of Drupal.

Drupal Association members fund these grants. A few grant recipients have told us their stories. I'd like to share more about what has happened since the grants were awarded.

Andrey from DrupalCamp Moscow The DrupalCamp Moscow 2014 organizers have connected with the organizers of other camps — DrupalCamp Siberia (in Novosibirsk in 2015) and DrupalCamp Krasnodar (in September 2016). They've shared experiences to inspire the communities in these other Russian cities.

Andrey tells us, "In Moscow, we don't have any large companies which offer Drupal services. Our community organizes all the local events. After DrupalCamp Moscow 2014, we've held more events than ever before. 6 meetups, 22 small meetings, a D8 Release Party and one Drupal burgers event have happened. We've had Drupal specialists from other cities of Russia and the world come to visit. New participants are always welcome here and we are seeing more and more of them." Ricardo from Drupal Mexico City

Ricardo tells us, "We held another Drupal camp in Mexico City in 2015 with 250 attendees. In 2016, our dear fellows from Axai did the same in Guadalajara.

This year, we went off the island, just like Drupal 8 has, and we organized an even broader PHP event. It was amazing. The response was fantastic, we broke all our attendance records. We've grown the PHP Mexico community & PHP Way meetups and now have 1,000 members. Our attendees could become new Drupalists. But we expect to see new Drupalists come from the Symfony world.

We decided to have only one Drupal event in Mexico per year. In 2016, it was held in Guadalajara. If nobody else wants to organize an event at 2017, we'll probably do it again. If we organize the next Drupal event, it will probably happen together with a PHP event once again. Ultimately, community growth should be in concordance with demand growth. This hasn't happen here in CDMX, we are hopeful that it will."

Martha from Drupal Guadalajara

From Martha: "We attended DrupalCamp Costa Rica in September and continue being connected to the Drupal Latino Community. After Guadalajara camp, there is more local Drupal awareness. Our company has received training and quote requests since the camp."

Community Cultivation Grants do more than build connections in our community and grow our contributors. They also to help drive the adoption of Drupal.

Ivo from Drupal Roadshow Bulgaria

Ivo says, "Since the roadshow, there we've met our goal of running a Drupal Academy. We now run the biggest Drupal Course at Software University in Bulgaria. We have more than 1200 registered students. Our activities were featured in the Bulgarian National Television.
We are also proud of another result of the roadshow. One of the larger Drupal shops in Bulgaria opened their second office in a small town. We introduced Drupal there."

Tom from DrupalCamp Vietnam (2016)

Tom tells us, "I'm an entrepreneur and angel investor. Helping people become prepared for the digital enterprise is fulfilling to me. I want to spend more time coaching young developers with IT career decisions. To help get them learn how to use Drupal as a versatile data/content modeling tool. Which can act as a key platform to integrate with many other FOSS too. Including MERN stack, Hadoop, Spark, Docker, Openstack, etc.

Technology is always changing. What sticks is the experience you gain by contributing to an open-source community such as Drupal."

We're excited to see grant recipients building relationships in our community. You can connect with community and make more grants possible by joining the Drupal Association today.

Personal blog tags: Membershipcommunity cultivation grants
Categories: Drupal

Polyversal Available For Pre-Order

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 10:00am
I’m always happy to see Kickstarter projects be made available for the general public. Well, Polyversal isn’t quite ready to be on everyone’s gaming table, but it will be soon. It’s close enough, at least, so that you can go to the Collins Epic Wargames webshop and order yourself a copy. Note that Polyversal is […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pub Battles: Little Bighorn Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 9:00am
General George Armstrong Custer is a name that most people who went to school in the US will recognize. He’s known for Custer’s Last Stand, an attack against the Sioux Indian tribes that didn’t go well for the 7th Cavalry. The charge that they thought was against a small band turned out to be an […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

New Hail Caesar Releases Available From Warlord Games

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 8:00am
The Hail Caesar line is getting quite a bolster with several new releases available over in the Warlord Games webshop. Spanish, Roman, German, and Numidian forces all get new figures to add to their armies. As I said, there’s a little bit for everyone, so it would seem. There’s new Roman commanders (including the game’s […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Xeno Media: Xeno Media's Jim Birch presents at Bay Area Drupal Camp 2016

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 7:47am

Our Digital Strategist, Jim Birch, will be presenting on Holistic SEO and Drupal at BADCamp X, the 10th annual Bay Area Drupal Camp being held between October 20th - 23rd at the University of California in Berkeley.  This will be the second year in a row in which Jim will be participating in the event.

BADCamp is the largest regional conference dedicated to Drupal and open-source software with over 1600 attendees descending on the UC Berkeley campus for four days of presentations, trainings, summits, and sprints.

In 2015, Jim presented Optimizing Drupal 7 HTML Markup to a crowded room of Frontend developers and Site builders.

Watching @thejimbirch give a great talk on Optimizing Drupal Markup @BADCamp!

— Wes Ruvalcaba (@wesruv) October 24, 2015

This year, Jim's focus is the modern state of Search Engine Optimization: How we at Xeno Media define best practices for technical SEO using Drupal and ideas on how to guide and empower clients to create the best content to achieve their goals.

This presentation will review:

  • What Holistic SEO is, and some examples.
  • The most common search engine ranking factors, and how to keep up to date.
  • An overview of Content strategy and how it can guide development.
  • An overview of technical SEO best practices in Drupal.

The presentation is:

In addition, Jim will be giving a lightning talk on Friday at the Frontend summit. Summits are more conversational in nature, and this event will focus on the best practices, and technologies used in Drupal development with presentations and panel discussions. 

Jim will be showcasing our soon-to-be-released Drupal contrib module Bootstrap Paragraphs.  The module is a suite of Paragraph bundles made with the Bootstrap framework's markup.

Categories: Drupal

Palantir: Addressing Accessibility for the Web

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 7:20am
Addressing Accessibility for the Web brandt Mon, 10/17/2016 - 09:20 Michellanne Li Oct 17, 2016

Making sure your website is accessible requires more than just fulfilling a checklist of best practices.

In this post we will cover...
  • How you should be thinking about accessibility

  • How to bake accessibility into your process

  • Some tips and tricks for creating accessible websites

We want to make your project a success.

Let's Chat.

The Americans with Disabilities Act was a landmark civil rights legislation that tore down barriers preventing individuals with disabilities from fully participating in society. This bill covered important aspects of life in the 1990s, such as public transportation and employment. A decade and a half later these things are still important, but technologies have emerged that raise new questions about how they can be made accessible for all users.

This year, I had the privilege of attending the 2016 Accessibility Summit, where presenters from organizations such as the W3 Consortium, Adobe, and WebAIM talked about ways in which we can make the web more accessible to users with disabilities such as low vision, blindness, deafness, and limited dexterity.

One of my biggest takeaways was that I had been thinking about accessibility all wrong. Initially, I saw accessibility guidelines as a checklist. Although lists are published by thought leaders such as Google (, it’s entirely possible for a website to adhere to accessibility criteria without effectively meeting the needs of disabled users.

While checklists are useful, they lack a human element. It helps to view accessibility as a holistic approach to design, development, and content that, at its core, relies on empathy and understanding of a wide range of user experiences.

Accessibility issues are ultimately user experience issues.

How do you bake accessibility into your process? Below are some ideas of how accessibility may become an inherent part of creating a website:

Create personas for disabled users to address accessibility. Some examples might be:

  • A person with low vision or blindness
  • A person who has recently suffered a stroke
  • A person who is positioned in the glare of the sun

The World Wide Web Consortium has created a diverse set of personas representing disabled users, which are available on their website ( There are also solutions provided for common problems these users might face on the web.

Create tickets based on disabled user personas. These tickets should have specific quantifiable success criteria, such as: “a person with vision impairment can fill out this form.” This is a great platform to demonstrate to clients how accessibility is being achieved.

From the onset, design with accessibility in mind. Designers should familiarize themselves with accessibility guidelines and incorporate them into their work starting with the earliest concepts.

For instance, whenever I’m working with text, I run potential colors for both the text and the background through a contrast checker (such as this one: Contrast checkers confirm whether the combined text color and background color will be readable. Such measures preempt the need to rethink the design later in the process, thus saving time and avoiding the pitfalls of presenting a client with ideas that cannot be realized.

When designing the UI, aim for fewer steps to task completion. By decreasing the number of keystrokes, steps, and time required to complete tasks, we can make websites more accessible for everyone.

A task that is mildly annoying to complete for an abled user can be prohibitively time-consuming and frustrating for a disabled user. All users can benefit from the simplification of tasks, but disabled users will be especially impacted.

During development, take advantage of the wide range of auditing tools available to check whether your site adheres to accessibility guidelines. Some popular tools include:

Navigate and complete tasks on your website with the tools available to disabled users. This doesn’t replace user testing, but it can provide some useful insights. Here are some ideas:

  • Try using a screen reader, such as Chrome Vox. This helps you confirm whether your interactive elements are labeled clearly.
  • Change your iPhone’s accessibility settings and practice using your website with voiceover. Go into “Settings > General > Accessibility.”
  • Try using your keyboard only.

You can implement these techniques when demoing websites to clients to help them understand how different users access websites.

Recruit individuals with disabilities to participate in usability testing. This is the best way to confirm whether a website truly is accessible. Remember that accessibility guidelines are just the starting point. A site that checks off all the boxes may still have roadblocks for disabled users.

Disability rights lawyer, Lainey Feingold, provides on her website a list of nonprofits that offer usability testing by disabled individuals (

Additionally, here are some tips and tricks for creating accessible websites. 
  • Use flyingfocus.js ( to add a sense of movement to the :focus state of interactive elements. This enhances the user experience of tabbing through a web page. Check out some examples here:
  • Sighted users who tab through a website also benefit from the addition of skip links. (However, non-sighted keyboard users do not use skip links because screen readers have ways of getting around repetitive content.) What’s a skip link? It is a link at the top of the page that the user can select to “jump” to the main content. This saves time that would otherwise be spent tabbing through the site header on every page. A skip link can be styled so that it is hidden until a user tabs over it. Adding a css transition so the hidden link is visible for a fraction of a second longer will ensure that the user doesn’t miss it.
  • Aria roles are useful, but employ them sparingly. Overuse of aria roles can actually diminish the accessibility of a website.
  • It’s dangerous to make assumptions about how users are interacting with and viewing your website. For instance, desktop users who zoom in on websites will wind up activating the mobile view. And some mobile users navigate with a keyboard.
  • Rather than “Read More” links, be specific: “Read more about ---.” This is important for users with screen readers who are unable to see the association between the “read more” link and the content it references. You can visually hide “---” so that only screen readers will detect it.
  • Blocks of text should be no more than 80 characters or glyphs wide (40 if CJK). 45-75 characters is considered ideal.
  • Avoid using screen reader detection. Visually impaired individuals do not want to feel like they are being treated differently or tracked.
  • Avoid using tabindex with positive values. Instead, structure your markup for logical and intuitive navigation.
  • Use tabindex(-1) to set focus on things that aren’t natively focusable.

Stay connected with the latest news on web strategy, design, and development.

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Categories: Drupal

Lord Veritant Available To Order From Games Workshop

Tabletop Gaming News - 17 October 2016 - 7:00am
Never suffer the witch to live. So the saying goes. But you gotta find those witches. What we need is a Witchfinder. Thankfully, Games Workshop is here to supply us with one. They’re taking orders for the new Lord-Veritant for Age of Sigmar. The Lord-Veritant is eternally looking for enemy spellcasters and removing their corrupting […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Amazee Labs: Project Managers matter, and other self-actualizing thoughts

Planet Drupal - 17 October 2016 - 6:59am
Project Managers matter, and other self-actualizing thoughts

I had a wild aha moment last week while I was away at my first PM conference. I work in web and I'm a project manager. I thought I “got it”. Except, I guess I didn’t.

It wasn’t until I was surrounded in a ballroom of my peers, hearing Brett Harned's Army of Awesome rallying cry, seeing the words blown up on a screen that I realized, Oh my god. I'm not a glorified secretary.

I may not be the one coding, designing, or deploying a product, but what I do matters. It makes a difference. I'm part of my team in a tangible way. And a there are others like me

Stephanie El-Hajj Mon, 10/17/2016 - 15:59

Similar to DrupalCon, the Digital PM Summit is a conference that travels around the US from city to city each year. This year it landed in San Antonio, a hop-skip and two-hour drive from my home in Austin, Texas.  

As a seasoned event manager, I tend to have a pretty agnostic relationship towards attending conferences. Speakers present their topics. Attendees politely paid attention, or didn’t. The draw of a glowing macbook is hard competition against topics which don't directly apply to me and the work I do.

But this time was different. For once, I not only understood the scheduled topics, I wanted to attend them. For once, I had trouble choosing. I was even excited to talk to strangers, not something that comes easy to me, because we already have something in common.

My world was rocked.

Over the course of three days, speakers and attendees shared tools, processes, tips, and horror stories of life in the PM trenches. It was quite cathartic and therapeutic to be surrounded by people who understand and empathize, because they live it, too.

Talking to other digital project managers this weekend was invaluable, and something I didn’t realize I was missing out on. Turns out, I wasn't the only one. While a handful of the attendees were newbies, like me, many others remember their first Digital PM Summit fondly. All these same warm-fuzzies I was feeling was part of the reason they come back.

Here’s a few of my biggest takeaways, many of which were reiterated by different people, in various situations, throughout the course of the event:

1. The struggles and challenges I face as a PM are normal. I'm not on actually fire, and nobody has died.

2. Early and honest communication helps solve and prevent problems.

3. Problems aren’t always external. Internal scope creep is real. 

4. Nobody's figured out how to virtually replicate an in-person whiteboard brainstorming session.

5. Project Managers should carve out time for themselves and often don’t. 

6. The importance of empathy, building relationships, and treating people like humans. 

Side note: If you haven't seen Derek's DrupalCon Dublin session on perfectionism or read Brené Brown's work on vulnerability and you work with people, do yourself a favor, and get caught up. 

As you can probably gather, DPM was quite a touchy-feely event, something that's not the most comfortable thing in the world for me. I think that twinge of discomfort helped me appreciate the honesty and open dialogue even more. For me, this event was professionally and personally beneficial and I've come home better prepared to work with my team, to engage with my clients, and to better appreciate and respect the work that I do. That we all do. 

If you're a PM, and you haven't heard this at all or lately, you are awesome. Your work matters. You're here because you're needed.

Categories: Drupal

Premium currency banks in TOP games - by Kirill Razumovskiy Blogs - 17 October 2016 - 6:48am
Questions that frequently occur at the stage of developing or supporting free-2-play games are: how should the premium currency purchase window look like and how should the discounts work?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Visualizing Women in Charlotte, a historical horror game - by Elizabeth Goins Blogs - 17 October 2016 - 6:47am
Charlotte post-mortem: decisions we made on mechanics, narrative and visual storytelling that would let players empathize with powerlessness, think about gender roles and interact with history as evidence.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Overjustification Effect and Game Achievements - by Jamie Madigan Blogs - 17 October 2016 - 6:46am
How achievements, trophies, and badges in games can lower player motivation under the wrong circumstances.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Basic scrolled list in Unity - by Emilia Szymanska Blogs - 17 October 2016 - 6:45am
Most of mobile games need some scrollable lists. Unity UI provides necessary components, but putting it together is a bit tricky. I actually planned a series of post related to that topic – today we will create the most basic list.
Categories: Game Theory & Design


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