Newsfeeds

Block instance field

New Drupal Modules - 21 October 2017 - 10:33am

With this you can create a block instance that is rendered inside a field.

Categories: Drupal

Flysystem - Aliyun OSS

New Drupal Modules - 21 October 2017 - 8:31am

Provides an Aliyun OSS plugin for Flysystem.

Categories: Drupal

Semantria Integration

New Drupal Modules - 21 October 2017 - 7:07am

Provides integration with the Lexalytics Semantria Services.

Categories: Drupal

Freshmarketer

New Drupal Modules - 21 October 2017 - 3:14am

Freshmarketer plugin for Drupal assists you in the quick integration of Freshmarketer tracking code into your Drupal template after which you can use Freshmarketer to optimize your site and boost conversions.

Categories: Drupal

Link Formatter query fix

New Drupal Modules - 21 October 2017 - 12:50am

This module fix query parameters duplication.
See https://www.drupal.org/node/2885351 for more info.

  • Enable module.
  • Rebuild cache.
  • Set 'Link (query duplication fix)' in display settings of your link field.
Categories: Drupal

Twitch taps Dustforce dev to make a game played inside Twitch

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 20 October 2017 - 3:26pm

It's an interesting example of what a game dev can do with Twitch's new Extensions toolset, which allows streamers to embed interactive elements into their broadcasts. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tails of Equestria Movie Sourcebook Now Available For Pre-Order

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 3:00pm
I have not yet seen the My Little Pony movie. I just don’t like going to the theater, honestly. I do want to see the flick, though, at some point. It’ll just be on Netflix in a couple months. By then, I also might be getting a copy of the official Tails of Equestria Movie […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Promet Source: Ask Promet Accessibility: The Intersection of Accessibility & Usability

Planet Drupal - 20 October 2017 - 2:19pm
Question: Do I need actual disabled individuals to audit and test my site?
Categories: Drupal

Era: The Consortium – A Universe of Expansions 2 Up On Kickstarter

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 2:00pm
When the folks at Shades of Vengeance want to expand the Era: The Consortium universe, they don’t just give you one or two expansion books. They look to blow the doors wide open with as many expansion books as they can possibly manage. To do that, they’re running their 2nd A Universe of Expansions Kickstarter […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wyrd Friday Preview Posted

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 1:00pm
It’s Friday. So that means a couple things. Mostly, me being excited about the weekend. But it also means that it’s time for a new preview from Wyrd Games. They are continuing their series on The Other Side today with a look at the Empire Dragoons. Because a cavalry charge is still an effective way […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Corvus Belli Previews Attacks in Aristeia

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 12:00pm
Aristeia is not golf. It’s not curling. It’s not competitive underwater basketweaving. No. It’s full-contact. You’re going to be making attacks. But… how do those work? Well, in this preview, we get to find out. From the post: We have spent several weeks talking about the Aristeia! (how rolls work, how to move and how […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

666M tuned in to video game streams and videos last year, says SuperData

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 20 October 2017 - 11:39am

SuperData's report says that video game streams now pull more viewers than streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, HBO, and ESPN combined. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Friday Snippets

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 11:00am
It’s Fridaaaaaaaay! Gateway to the weekend! Woo! My weekend is going to be chill. I mean… sure, as a polar bear, I’m always chill, but I’m just gonna hang out at home. I’ve actually been meaning to give the place a good cleaning. But next weekend will be full of gaming. That I guarantee. But […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Lullabot: A Software Developer’s Guide to Project Communication: Part 1

Planet Drupal - 20 October 2017 - 10:32am

The key to a successful project is good communication.  Honesty and directness about timelines and scopes of work go a long way to relieve pressure from the development team and avoid frustration from stakeholders, but what about the day-to-day information exchanged between developers, designers, and project managers? This is the grease that keeps the project running smoothly and should not be overlooked.

As teams vary in size, so do the roles and responsibilities of individual team members.  Smaller teams have fewer communication channels, so you may need to switch between your developer hat and project manager hat frequently.  On larger teams your hat rack may be quite sparse, but the number of communication channels, and thus the possibility of miscommunication, is far greater.

Regardless of the size of your team, information about the project must be communicated and documented effectively.  From very large teams to projects where it's just me, I've learned how damaging even minor miscommunication can be.  Conversely, you look like a hero when you get it right.  Stakeholders, project managers, and developers work in very different realms. In this article I'll discuss a few overarching principles that I've learned to help navigate the monsoon of information blustering through a project.  They will help you regain control of your time and create a more productive and successful project.

What is Communication?

Existentialism aside, what do we really mean when we talk about communication?  Communication is an exchange of information between parties.  The parties may be people, but they may also be project management tools.  From video conferences to GitHub notifications, these are all part of the project communication landscape and require different levels of attention.

Forms of Communication

Here are some of the most common methods of communication I've dealt with on projects:

  • In-Person Meetings
  • Voice conference
  • Video conference
  • Chat
  • Text message
  • Direct Email
  • Email Notifications
  • Project Management Tools
  • RSS Feeds
  • Twitter
  • Mobile Notifications

All these types of communication serve a unique role. We wouldn't use them if they weren't helpful, but the question we really should be asking is, "are they necessary?"  Gone unchecked, many of these tools can overrun each other and tangle the workflow.

For example, Slack is a great tool for team members to quickly exchange information between each other, but numerous tools can also post updates into Slack.  A few may be helpful, but too many can dilute the conversation and the effectiveness of the tool.  So how do you find the balance between effective and over-communication?  We can start by categorizing these forms of communication into two groups: active and passive.

Active vs Passive Communication

I find it helpful to group all communication into two categories: active and passive.

Active communication is a two way street.  The sender is expecting a direct response.  Google hangouts, Slack discussions, and phone calls are all forms of active communication.  There is an immediate reciprocation between the parties involved.  You wouldn't invite someone to a conversation just to read them the backlog of tickets, would you?

Passive communication, on the other hand, does not require a direct reply.  This is not as easily definable as active communication.  Let's take a look at email as an example.

If Stakeholder Sarah emails you a question about the next deadline, that is active communication.  She is expecting a response from you in a timely manner.  When a Github notification shows up in your inbox informing you that your pull request has been merged, no follow up is required.  This is passive.  Now, if you receive an email from Jira Notifications because the client asked a question on one of your tickets, which category does that fall under?  It's a notification email, so you shouldn't respond to it directly, but the client is expecting an answer.  Ultimately it depends on the ground rules for communication you set for your project.

Setting Expectations

I tend to follow this order of urgency for response, from most urgent to least.  It's important to agree on a set of communication guidelines at the beginning of a project so everyone on the team follows the same expectations.

  1. Live Communication If you ask me a question face-to-face, of course I will respond to you right away.
  2. Chat Chances are that unless I've set my away message, I'm receiving chat messages in real time.  However, I might be neck-deep in some code or preoccupied in another conversation, so I will respond as soon as I can, but maybe not be right away. 
  3. Mentions in Comments Comments in Jira tickets or GitHub pull requests will likely go unread even if they show up in my inbox unless I am specifically mentioned in them.  I get a lot.  The convention to use the @ symbol to mention another person links their account in the ticket and generates more specific notifications for that person.  It the difference between saying something needs to be done and asking someone to do something about it.
  4. Email I use a couple of email addresses to keep my interests separate so I use an email client to aggregate them into one management space.  However, I find constant email notifications and alerts distracting, so I don't keep my email client open when I don't need to (more on this later).  If you email me, I will probably get back to you within the day, but don't rely on me standing by my inbox waiting to reply to you.  This rule is so important to us that we actually wrote it into the Lullabot Employee Handbook along with a few other tips.
  5. Unmentioned Comments I will likely still get email notifications about activity on repositories, projects or tickets I'm watching or otherwise related to, but if you don't mention me in the comment, it will disappear into tornado of notifications and chances are I won't see it unless I'm reading the backscroll on the ticket.

These are just my rules, but they have worked well for me so far.

Understanding the communication landscape of your project is a necessary foundation.  Setting the proper expectations will prevent miscommunication and keep the project running smoothly.  So far we've identified some of the most common pitfalls and laid the groundwork for a fluid project.  In the next two articles of the series I'll provide advice for managers and stakeholders on how to communicate effectively with the development team and also offer some recommendations and tricks for handling the number one offender when it comes to communication overload: email.

Categories: Drupal

Ground Pounders Sci-Fi Miniatures Game Rules Free This Weekend

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 10:00am
Who likes getting things for free? Everyone, that’s who. This weekend, if you’re looking to try out some new sci-fi miniatures game rules, you should look no further than Ground Pounders. You can get a digital copy of the rules free from Amazon for this weekend only. From the announcement: From October 20th to 24th, […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ghosts of Dathomir Adventure Now Available For Star Wars RPG

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 9:00am
Pre-made adventures are great for GMs with a time crunch. I’m currently using one for a game I’m running. They give the players a lot of action and adventure and the GM can still play around with it as they please. For those playing the Star Wars RPG from Fantasy Flight Games, a new adventure […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

CKEditor Giella

New Drupal Modules - 20 October 2017 - 8:28am

This module provides a CKEditor integration of the Giella CKEditor Plugin developed by the UiT The Arctic University of Norway. It offers a SCAYT spellchecker for the Sámi languages.

Categories: Drupal

Privateer Press Celebrates Gun Mage Day Sale

Tabletop Gaming News - 20 October 2017 - 8:00am
Sure, I know it says Gun Mage “Day” Sale, but those arcane sharpshooters aren’t satisfied with just one day. They’ve got the whole weekend. You can head over to the Privateer Press webshop and pick up various Gun Mage-related items all for a special price this weekend. Pewpewpew! From the announcement: The first annual Gun […]
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Translating a Game 2/3: Preparation and Tools - by Rasmus Rasmussen

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 20 October 2017 - 7:49am
Part 2 of 3, on what it takes to translate a video game. This part deals with getting off to a good start, preparing your strings, tools, etc.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Day 30 of 100 Days of VR: Creating a Time Score System in Unity - by Josh Chang

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 20 October 2017 - 7:49am
Today, we’re going to implement a new feature into our game. In the current state of the game, after we win, that’s it, no replay value. To fix this, I’m going to implement a time score system to encourage players to beat the game as fast as they can and
Categories: Game Theory & Design

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