Newsfeeds

Tencent's online game revenue surpasses $4 billion in Q3

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 13 November 2019 - 1:41pm

Tencent†™s online game revenue is up 11 percent year-over-year for the quarter ending September 30, coming in at RMB 28.6 billion or just over $4 billion for the three-month period. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Google plans to roll out Stadia features weekly after a barebones Nov. 19 launch

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 13 November 2019 - 12:17pm

"We always start with nailing the key user-journey and then proceed with releasing extra features. YouTube started with 'watch video'. For Stadia it's 'Play the Game on your biggest screen.'" ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Steam search suggestions & premium positioning

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 13 November 2019 - 10:08am

This time out, I thought it would be interesting to look - incredibly specifically - at Steam search suggestions. That is, the games that pop up when you start typing in things in Steam search. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Workspace moderation

New Drupal Modules - 13 November 2019 - 9:51am

Provides a way to moderate a living workspace.

Work in progress.

Categories: Drupal

Media Library Extend

New Drupal Modules - 13 November 2019 - 7:55am
Synopsis

The Media Library Extend module is an API module that provides plugins and configuration that allow other modules to integrate with Drupal core's Media Library.

Installation

Install as you would normally install a contributed Drupal module.

Requirements

This module requires the Media Library module (experimantal in Drupal 8.7.0, stable in Drupal 8.8.0)

Categories: Drupal

JSON:API Search API

New Drupal Modules - 13 November 2019 - 7:45am

This module adds JSON:API resources that allows you to query your Search API indexes using the JSON:API spec.

Categories: Drupal

Is a Game Development Degree Worth it? - by Nadya Primak

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 13 November 2019 - 7:34am
The other day I read a fantastic write-up by Australian game dev professor Brendan Keogh titled “Are games art school? How to teach game development when there are no jobs”. It boils down to a discussion about whether a game development degree is wor
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Media Library Youtube

New Drupal Modules - 13 November 2019 - 7:31am
Synopsis

The Media Library Youtube module provides a plugin for Media Library Extend that integrates with the Youtube API to list a channel's videos and create media entities from them.

Installation

Install as you would normally install a contributed Drupal module.

Categories: Drupal

How Community Managers can create welcoming spaces for LGBTQ+ gamers - by Melissa Chaplin

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 13 November 2019 - 7:26am
A set of guidelines for Community Managers wanting to ensure the spaces they handle are friendly for LGBTQ+ people.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Rock, Scissors, Paper design in JRPG-styled games - by John Harris

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 13 November 2019 - 7:23am
This is an excerpt chapter from the book Level Up: A JRPG Creator's Handbook, available in the current Storybundle, about using non-transitive character and monster powers to design interesting encounters.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Going Indie in Syria - by Ramez Al-Tabbaa

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 13 November 2019 - 7:19am
We all had to struggle to make something out of life. It was not a comfortable journey, but I am grateful for how far I have gone. This is my story on how I made my first game AvoCuddle and overcame the difficulties Syrians faced.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

What links here

New Drupal Modules - 13 November 2019 - 5:59am
Summary

This module provides a sortable report of what node entities link to the currently viewed node. It does so by retaining a manifest of references in a whatlinkshere table and allows you to also see which field the reference occurs in.

Data is added/updated/removed on entity CRUD and field delete operations.

A Drupal console command is also available to scan all or individual nodes.

Categories: Drupal

The Indie Game Shelf: Dialect

Gnome Stew - 13 November 2019 - 5:00am

Welcome to The Indie Game Shelf! Each article in this series will highlight a different small press roleplaying game to showcase the wide variety of games available. Whether you’re new to the hobby and looking to see what’s out there or you’re a veteran gamer looking for something new, I hope The Indie Game Shelf always holds something fun for you to enjoy!

Dialect: A Game About Language and How It Dies

Dialect by Kathryn Hymes and Hakan Seyalioglu (Thorny Games) is a GMless(-ish) roleplaying story game designed for 3 to 5 players to explore the story of a community’s rise and fall in a one-shot session. The story is told from the points of view of specific, persistent characters and uses the community’s own unique branch of language to tell the tale. The game is, if not wholly card-based, then at least card-driven, and it requires both the core game rules and a special deck of cards used throughout play.

There is a caveat attached previously to the term “GMless” because although the structure and mechanisms of the game do not distinguish between different player roles, the game does ask one player to act as “Facilitator” to clarify rules, maintain order during play, and adjudicate at the table if needed. The role is logistical, however—truly earning the moniker “Facilitator”—and does not confer special narrative authority.

The Story

Dialect is, as the text itself makes explicit, a game about language. More specifically, it examines the development of a unique regional language form (the titular “dialect”) and its eventual extinction. The textual content of the game’s story is of a particular community or segment of a larger society that has been separated from its parent culture, but the game also provides for examination of what is lost when a language dies. The specifics of the setting are not dictated by the game and are decided upon as the first steps of play of each session (with each session of Dialect designed to tell a self-contained story). Players do also each create and play their own characters in this setting to tell the community’s story.

The arc of a session of Dialect spans the birth and death of an isolated community. Over the course of this story, a unique language is created piece by piece by players adding words and phrases to the characters’ shared vocabulary that only they understand. Roleplaying scenes make use of these new words to explore characters’ relationships with the community and each other. The story arc is divided into “ages,” and the transitions between ages also explore the way in which the community itself changes over time. Finally, the endgame examines the end of the community, the death of its language, and the implications of both to the outside world.

The Game

The frameworks for the settings in Dialect are outlined in structured playsets called Backdrops. While each Backdrop provides some information about the setting a session of Dialect will take place in, much of what the Backdrop offers are questions to be answered during the game, so even two games of Dialect using the same Backdrop are likely to turn out very differently. Even so, four core Backdrops and a dozen more contributed Backdrops are available in the core rules. In addition, Backdrops adhere to an easy-to-follow structure, and there is an entire appendix in the rules to guide you to constructing your own, so there is no shortage of ways different sessions of Dialect can be played.

At the start of a session, the players collaboratively come up with three Aspects, two of which are guided by the Backdrop and one of which is completely open-ended. The Backdrop also provides a series of Community Questions which further guide the players in explaining more detailed characteristics of the completed setting, called an Isolation. It is in this Isolation that the story of a session of Dialect takes place.

Sharing a story with others is what roleplaying games are all about, but sharing a unique language with others is what makes this game truly stand out.Share1Tweet1Reddit1EmailOnce the Isolation is created and named, each player then creates their own character for the story. Character creation involves choosing an Archetype card provided in the game deck. The Archetype provides brief prompts describing the character’s role in the community, how community members regard them, and the character’s relationships to various Aspects of the Isolation.

While the creation of the Isolation and the Characters form the setup of the session, the core loop of the game involves the creation of words and use of them in character conversations. The story told in a session of Dialect is divided into three Ages, and each Age is divided into Turns. In each Turn, a player Makes a Connection by relating a Language Card from their hand to one of the Isolation’s Aspects. The Language Card generally prompts by supplying an object, event, concept, or some other item for which the community will develop new language. Collaboratively, a new word is constructed to fulfill this linguistic need, and then a conversation is held between characters, again prompted by the Language Card. Some Language Cards may be special Action Cards that modify this usual mode of play. For example, special actions may include coming up with a nickname for someone, narrowing or expanding a word’s meaning, or even a player coming up with a new word on their own using special rules. Action Cards are, however, still followed by an in-character conversation using that turn’s new word. Throughout gameplay, words and information about the Isolation are recorded and arranged in a Language Tableau, a common area assembled from index cards that represents the culture of the Isolation and how it has evolved.

As the story progresses from Age to Age, the Backdrop provides information and questions for the players to answer about how the Isolation is changing. Each Backdrop includes two Pathways, each of which guides a different story about the community’s rise and fall. As play proceeds, one of these Pathways is followed through the Backdrop, and the story of the Isolation proceeds as the Backdrop prompts are answered by the players. Language Cards are also keyed to different Ages in the story, so as play continues, the selection of possible Language Cards also changes to reflect the Isolation’s approaching end. After the third and final Age, Legacy Cards have players choose a prompt on which to base an Epilogue they narrate about the Isolation’s impact on the world at large.

The Extra

I’m including a special additional section to this edition of The Indie Game Shelf to share a little more information about what this game book contains besides, well, a game. In support of the game itself, besides the aforementioned instructions for constructing a custom Backdrop, there is also a quite comprehensive guide to inventing completely new words from scratch without using an existing language as a base. There is also an entire chapter devoted to actions and exercises designed to foster sustaining languages in our own world, including other games you can play!

I personally find the book a delight. It features a crisp, striking layout and attractive and evocative full-page art pieces between sections. Rules explanations are supplemented with easy-to-follow play examples and illustrations, and it is clear that in addition to the game rules, the designers also put a lot of thought into the play culture and safety they think will result in the best experiences with this game.

Finally, playing the game adds a little something more than the usual exciting stories and fond memories that come from most roleplaying games. The act of constructing and sharing a whole new language creates not only a unique play experience with each session but also something special that continues to link players to each other long after the game session is over. Sharing a story with others is what roleplaying games are all about, but sharing a unique language with others is what makes this game truly stand out.

The Shelf

Dialect is available from Thorny Games in digital format as well as in both standard and deluxe physical form. Dialect is a terrific and unique game; so much so that I have difficulty listing similar titles to explore. The designers are trained linguists, and so for games along similar themes to Dialect, I heartily recommend checking out the rest of the Thorny Games catalog, which includes Sign, a parlor LARP in which players do not speak and invent a whole new form of sign language, and the upcoming Xenolanguage, a game of deciphering an alien language and how that experience changes how you see the world.

If you’ve got something on your shelf you want to recommend as well, let us know in the comments section below. Let’s fill our shelves together!

 

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Manifesto: Making Drupal easier for beginners

Planet Drupal - 13 November 2019 - 4:18am

Drupal is doing well.    The past few years (since Drupal 8 has been released), has seen the stability, power and (most importantly) the usage of Drupal increase. This is thanks to the hard work of all the organisations who support and enhance the CMS on a daily basis, whether that’s dedicating their time to. Continue reading...

The post Making Drupal easier for beginners appeared first on Manifesto.

Categories: Drupal

Google Trends

New Drupal Modules - 13 November 2019 - 1:23am

Trending Searches to see what the world is looking for. This module block holds the top searches on the basis of current trending!

Installation

  • Place the google trends module into modules directory.
  • Enable this module by navigating to: Administration > Extend
  • Setup `Google Search Engine ID` & `Google API key` into the module configuration page.
Categories: Drupal

Lullabot: Common max-age Pitfalls When Working with Drupal's Page Cache

Planet Drupal - 13 November 2019 - 12:18am

If you build sites with Drupal, you’ve probably heard at some point that Drupal 8’s caching system is great. So you probably think that it shouldn’t be a big deal to have a time-based piece of content in a Drupal page that's visited by millions of visitors, and still have a reasonable caching system behind it, right? Let’s figure it out in this article.

Categories: Drupal

Steam search suggestions & premium positioning - by Simon Carless

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 12 November 2019 - 10:05pm
This time out, I thought it would be interesting to look - incredibly specifically - at Steam search suggestions. That is, the games that pop up when you start typing in things in Steam search.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

PreviousNext: Updating to Drupal 8.8.0 Beta with Composer

Planet Drupal - 12 November 2019 - 8:46pm

PreviousNext continue to be major contributors to the development and promotion of Drupal 8. As participants of the Drupal 8.8.0 Beta Testing Program, we thought it would be useful to document the steps we took to update one of our sites on Drupal 8.7 to the latest 8.8.0 beta.

Every site is different, so your mileage may vary, but it may save you some time.

by Kim Pepper / 13 November 2019

Drupal 8.8 is a big release, with a number of new features added, and APIs deprecated to pave the way to a Drupal 9.0 release. Thankfully, the upgrade process was fairly straightforward in our case.

Upgrade PathAuto

First step was to deal with The Path Alias core subsystem has been moved to the "path_alias" module This meant some classes were moved to different namespaces. In order to make things smoother, we installed the latest version of pathauto module and clear the caches.

composer require drupal/pathauto:^1.6@beta
drush cr

Core Dev Composer Package

We use the same developer tools for testing as Drupal core, and we want to switch to the new core composer packages, so first we remove the old one.

composer remove --dev webflo/drupal-core-require-dev

Update Patches

We sometimes need to patch core using cweagans/composer-patches. In the case of this site, we are using a patch from ckeditor_stylesheets cache busting: use system.css_js_query_string which needed to be re-rolled for Drupal 8.8.x. We re-rolled the patch, then updated the link in the extra/patches section.

Update Drupal Core and Friends

In our first attempt, composer could not install due to a version conflict with some symfony packages (symfony/findersymfony/filesystem and symfony/debug). These are transient dependencies (we don't require them explicitly). Our solution was to explicitly require them (temporarily) with versions that Drupal core is compatible with, then remove them afterwards.

First require new Drupal core and dependencies:

composer require --update-with-dependencies \
  drupal/core:^8.8@beta \
  symfony/finder:^3.4 \
  symfony/filesystem:^3.4

Second, require new core-dev package and dependencies:

composer require --dev --update-with-dependencies \
  drupal/core-dev:^8.8@beta \
  symfony/debug:^3.4

Lastly, remove the temporary required dependencies:

composer remove -n \
  symfony/finder \
  symfony/filesystem \
  symfony/debug

Update the Database and Export Config

Now our code is updated, we need to update the database schema, then re-export our config. We use drush_cmi_tools, so your commands may be different, e.g. just a drush config-export instead of drush cexy.

drush updb
drush cr
drush cexy

Settings.php

We also need to update our settings.php file now that The sync directory is defined in $settings and not $config_directories.

This is a trivial change from:

$config_directories['sync'] = 'foo/bar';to:$settings['config_sync_directory'] = 'foo/bar';

Final Touches

In order to make sure our code is compatible with Drupal 9, we check for any custom code that is using deprecated APIs using the excellent PHPStan and Matt Glaman's mglaman/phpstan-drupal. (Alternatively you can use Drupal Check.)

 We were using an older version that was incompatible with "nette/bootstrap":">=3" so needed to remove that from the conflict section and do the remove/require dance once again.

composer remove --dev \
  phpstan/phpstan-deprecation-rules \
  mglaman/phpstan-drupal

composer require --dev --update-with-dependencies \
  phpstan/phpstan-deprecation-rules:^0.11.2 \
  mglaman/phpstan-drupal:^0.11.12

And that's it! Altogether not too painful once the composer dependencies were all sorted out. As we are testing the beta, some of these issues may be addressed in future betas and RCs.

I hope you found this useful! Got a better solution? Let us know in the comments!

Tagged Drupal Beta Testing
Categories: Drupal

PreviousNext: Updating to Drupal 8.8.0 Beta with Composer

Planet Drupal - 12 November 2019 - 8:46pm

PreviousNext continue to be major contributors to the development and promotion of Drupal 8. As participants of the Drupal 8.8.0 Beta Testing Program, we thought it would be useful to document the steps we took to update one of our sites on Drupal 8.7 to the latest 8.8.0 beta.

Every site is different, so your mileage may vary, but it may save you some time.

by Kim Pepper / 13 November 2019

Drupal 8.8 is a big release, with a number of new features added, and APIs deprecated to pave the way to a Drupal 9.0 release. Thankfully, the upgrade process was fairly straightforward in our case.

Upgrade PathAuto

First step was to deal with The Path Alias core subsystem has been moved to the "path_alias" module This meant some classes were moved to different namespaces. In order to make things smoother, we installed the latest version of pathauto module and clear the caches.

composer require drupal/pathauto:^1.6@beta
drush cr

Core Dev Composer Package

We use the same developer tools for testing as Drupal core, and we want to switch to the new core composer packages, so first we remove the old one.

composer remove --dev webflo/drupal-core-require-dev

Update Patches

We sometimes need to patch core using cweagans/composer-patches. In the case of this site, we are using a patch from ckeditor_stylesheets cache busting: use system.css_js_query_string which needed to be re-rolled for Drupal 8.8.x. We re-rolled the patch, then updated the link in the extra/patches section.

Update Drupal Core and Friends

In our first attempt, composer could not install due to a version conflict with some symfony packages (symfony/findersymfony/filesystem and symfony/debug). These are transient dependencies (we don't require them explicitly). Our solution was to explicitly require them (temporarily) with versions that Drupal core is compatible with, then remove them afterwards.

First require new Drupal core and dependencies:

composer require --update-with-dependencies \
  drupal/core:^8.8@beta \
  symfony/finder:^3.4 \
  symfony/filesystem:^3.4

Second, require new core-dev package and dependencies:

composer require --dev --update-with-dependencies \
  drupal/core-dev:^8.8@beta \
  symfony/debug:^3.4

Lastly, remove the temporary required dependencies:

composer remove -n \
  symfony/finder \
  symfony/filesystem \
  symfony/debug

Update the Database and Export Config

Now our code is updated, we need to update the database schema, then re-export our config. We use drush_cmi_tools, so your commands may be different, e.g. just a drush config-export instead of drush cexy.

drush updb
drush cr
drush cexy

Settings.php

We also need to update our settings.php file now that The sync directory is defined in $settings and not $config_directories.

This is a trivial change from:

$config_directories['sync'] = 'foo/bar';to:$settings['config_sync_directory'] = 'foo/bar';

Final Touches

In order to make sure our code is compatible with Drupal 9, we check for any custom code that is using deprecated APIs using the excellent PHPStan and Matt Glaman's mglaman/phpstan-drupal. (Alternatively you can use Drupal Check.)

 We were using an older version that was incompatible with "nette/bootstrap":">=3" so needed to remove that from the conflict section and do the remove/require dance once again.

composer remove --dev \
  phpstan/phpstan-deprecation-rules \
  mglaman/phpstan-drupal

composer require --dev --update-with-dependencies \
  phpstan/phpstan-deprecation-rules:^0.11.2 \
  mglaman/phpstan-drupal:^0.11.12

And that's it! Altogether not too painful once the composer dependencies were all sorted out. As we are testing the beta, some of these issues may be addressed in future betas and RCs.

I hope you found this useful! Got a better solution? Let us know in the comments!

Tagged Drupal Beta Testing
Categories: Drupal

Gangbusters B/X version

New RPG Product Reviews - 12 November 2019 - 8:12pm
Publisher: Mark Hunt
Rating: 5
The latest game to take over the Old-School gaming scene like, well, gangbusters is the new B/X Gangbusters; an update to the old TSR Gangbusters.

Gangbusters is a new game from Mark Hunt based on both the original Gangbusters and Basic/Expert D and D. At first, I was a little wary of this. It seemed a little too close to trademarks and I have seen some shady stuff. But it turns out that Mark legally owns the Gangbusters trademark and this has been a dream of his for some time. Reading his posts about it online you get his enthusiasm and it is contagious. So does it live up to the hype? Let's check it out.

Gangbusters is an old school game built on the Basic version of D and D; or at least a suitable clone of it. So if you know that game you how this one works.
Characters have a choice of class; Brutish, Connected, Educated, and Street Smart. And each class has six levels, complete with level titles no less!

Each class gets a good write-up and running them through my memory of Good Fellas, The Untouchables and the Godfather I think they cover just about everything. My tastes would run more towards Private Eyes so Connected and Street Smart would be great for me.

The alignment system here is Law vs. Neutrality vs. Dishonesty. It works. It works rather well, to be honest.

There are a lot of lists of equipment with 1920s costs. For historical games, I love this stuff.
There are guides for playing characters and playing in the time period.

Part 3 is the newest material, Piece Of the Action, covers playing the Gangbusters game. A lot of great information here.

Part 4 covers Game Mastering or Judging. This covers running a city. Now, this is where I commit heresy, but there some great stuff here I might steal for other B/X style games. This also covers awarding experience points.

For Part 5 we get Investigations. Part 6 deals with Law Enforcement and Part 7 handles The Encounter. The big gem of Part 7 is the table of vehicles.

Part 8 is Wandering Adversaries and that is our "Monster" section. It is 100% or at least 99% compatible with every other OSR game. Though these are city adversaries of the 1920s. You get adversaries like Angry Mob, Cat Burglars, Gangsters, Klansmen, Moonshiners and more. I have to admit, I now want to send a coven of my witches after a group of klansmen.

Part 9 covers Combat. This is expected stuff, but the really cool thing are the Saving Throws. Gangbusters gives us, Moxie. Quickness. Toughness. Driving. and Observation. Really, how awesome is that?

There is an optional section here that grabbed my attention. Mysterious Powers allows you to play as Golden Age heroes. That is a very, very interesting development.

The game comes as a PDF and a Print on Demand book. Color covers and Black and White interior art. It comes in at 63 pages. The game is also released under the OGL.

How Does it Compare to Original Gangbusters?
By using the "Basic" system there are a lot details in the original game that are not needed in the newer game. For example, skills are less of a game mechanic in the newer game. The original Gangbusters has more detail on various weapon effects but the newer game is far better organized.
OG Gangbusters weighs in at 64 pages, as was common for TSR at the time and a smaller font. So it, in general, has more text, but that doesn't mean more game in this case.

All in all. Gangbusters is a great game. Part of that greatest comes from Mark Hunt's enthusiasm and his obvious love for this game. Personally, I would get it for that alone, but thankfully the game here is also great all on it's own.

If you enjoy the 1920s, Gangster films or even, like me, B/X D and D and related games, then this is a must buy.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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