Newsfeeds

Rendering process in Shadow Fight 3 - by Roman Tersky

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 9:37am
In the following essay, the leading technical artist of Nekki’s Russian development partner Banzai Games, Roman Tersky, describes the rendering process and the materials used for the characters' equipment in the mobile game Shadow Fight 3.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Bioshock Infinite - Does it fit in with the others in the series? - by Gaurav Singh Bisht

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 9:36am
Bioshock Infinite A game which was supposed to be the end of the Bioshock series, but does it really do justice to its predecessors?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Voxelart Styles in Video Games - by Zach Soares

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 9:34am
A blog post explaining some of the foundational voxelart styles in videogames. This applies to general voxelart as well but it serves to build a better understanding for the form in video games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Can states tax violent video games? - by Brandon Huffman

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 9:31am
Recently, a lawmaker in Pennsylvania proposed a law to tax the sale of video games rated M or AO by ESRB at 10%. Can states legally do this?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Watch GDC 2019 speakers (try to) pitch their talks to you in 60 seconds or less!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 15 February 2019 - 9:01am

Produced for the fourth year running, these 'Flash Forward' videos are always great encapsulations of what makes GDC talks great: they're fun, lovable, and surprisingly informative! ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Pitching Your Game with Rebekah Saltsman - by Larry&Brandon GDU

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 8:50am
GDC 2019 is in a month and it's a time for many indie developers to network and pitch their games to investors. Rebekah Saltsman owns 51% of Finji, which makes and publishes indie games. She has a decade of experience listening to and making pitches and i
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Zack Manko, Mega Cat Studios: Bringing Physicality to a Digital World - by Jessica Paek

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 8:50am
This week, we got a chance to talk to Zack from Mega Cat Studios to talk about developing retro games for new consoles, marketing physical games in the digital age, and how they’ve built their die-hard community of retro fans.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Behind the Scenes of A Game Blogger’s Patreon - by Michael Heron

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 15 February 2019 - 8:40am
If you were ever interested in the behind the scene numbers of a small gaming blog's Patreon, then I'm going to open up my wallet and show you everything that's in it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

EP

New Drupal Modules - 15 February 2019 - 6:39am
Categories: Drupal

Aten Design Group: Flexible Authoring with Structured Content

Planet Drupal - 15 February 2019 - 5:53am

As a writer or editor for your organization’s website, you should be able to quickly write articles or build pages that are collections of smaller elements. You should be able to write some text, add a slideshow, write some more text, perhaps list a few tweets, and finish things off with a list of related content. Or maybe you paste in a pull quote, add a couple full-width images with captions, or even put together an interactive timeline. Your content management system should let you do all that, easily. But chances are, it won’t be with the WYSIWYG you’re used to right now.

What You See Isn’t What You Get

WYSIWYG editors still fall short when it comes to doing much more than simple formatting and embedding a few images. Anything beyond that, and the underlying technology has to leverage some kind of proprietary “smart code” or “token” and do some find-and-replace magic that makes slideshows, media players, or other more complex blocks of content show up right to the editor. These tokens aren’t typically based on any adopted standard. It’s just this custom, arbitrary formatting shortcut that programmers decided to use that tells the CMS, “Replace this snippet with that other piece of content.”

If it sounds complicated, that’s because it is. It’s hard to get right. It’s hard to build in a sustainable way. It’s hard – impossible, really – to make it look right and work well for authors. It’s REALLY hard to migrate.

Here’s an example: In earlier versions of Drupal, Node Embed was a way to embed one piece of content (say, an image) inside the body of another (like an article). The “smart code” [[nid: 123]] tells Drupal, “replace this with the piece of content that has an ID of 123.” It worked, but the authoring experience was janky. And it really wasn’t structured content, since your markup would end up littered with these proprietary snippets referencing objects in the CMS. Somewhere down the line, someone would inevitably have to migrate all of that and write regular expressions and processors to parse it back into a sane structure for the new system. That gets expensive.

Fieldable Entities and Structured Content

The thing that lets you, the web editor, write content that is both manageable and flexible is breaking your content into discrete, single-purpose fields. In Drupal it’s called “fieldable entities.” You don’t dump everything into the WYSIWYG (which would be hard to do anyway). Instead, there’s a field to add the author’s name, a field for attaching images, and a field for the text (that last part gets the WYSIWYG). More generally, this serves an important concept called “structured content.” Content is stored in sensible chunks. It adapts to a variety of contexts, like a mobile app or a news aggregator or (of course) your website. In the case of your website, your CMS pushes all those fields through a template, and voila, the page is published beautifully and your readers eat it up.

What If My Fields Have Fields?

Here’s where it gets interesting. Back to our earlier example: let’s say your article has a couple slideshows. Each slideshow has a few images, captions, and links. Suddenly your discrete, single-purpose field (slideshow) has its own fields (images, captions, links). And, you may want to add a slideshow virtually anywhere in the flow of the page. Perhaps the page goes text, slideshow, text. Or maybe it’s text, slideshow, text, some tweets, another slideshow. And now you want to swap some things around. Again, you should be able to do all that, easily.

Drupal Paragraphs

Enter the Drupal Paragraphs module. Paragraphs takes the approach of creating content bundles, or collections of fields, that can be mixed and matched on a given page in virtually countless configurations. They’re called “Paragraphs” because they are flexible, structured building blocks for pages. The name is a little misleading; in fact, they are 100% configurable groups of fields that can be added, edited, and rearranged however you want on a given article. You can have paragraph types for slideshows, pull quotes, tweets, lists of related content, or virtually anything else. Paragraphs are building blocks: smaller elements that can be combined to build a page. And like I said earlier, you should be able to easily make pages from collections of smaller elements.

Drupal Paragraphs is Sort of Easy

We use Drupal Paragraphs whenever a particular type of content (a news article, blog post, etc.) is really built up of smaller, interchangeable collections of other fields (text, slideshows, videos, etc.). Drupal Paragraphs are flexible and organized. They let authors create whatever kinds of pages they want, while storing content in a way that is structured and adaptable. Migrations with Paragraphs are generally easier than migrations with special, proprietary embed codes. Breaking content types into Paragraphs gives authors the flexibility they need, without sacrificing structure. You don’t end up with a bunch of garbage pasted into an open WYSIWYG field.

So what’s the catch? Well, the interface isn’t awesome. Using Drupal Paragraphs can add a lot of complexity to the authoring experience. Forms will have nested forms. It can be overwhelming.

Alternatives to Drupal Paragraphs

As I’m writing this, another approach to page building is gathering momentum in the Drupal universe. Layout Builder is currently an experimental module in core, and slated to ship as a stable release with Drupal 8.7. Layout Builder provides a slick drag-and-drop interface for editors to build pages from blocks and fields. We’re excited to see how Layout Builder develops, and to see how well it performs for large editorial websites. For websites with hundreds or thousands of articles, managing pages with Layout Builder may be difficult. As Drupal’s founder, Dries Buytaert, pointed out in a post late last year, “On large sites, the free-form page creation is almost certainly going to be a scalability, maintenance and governance challenge.”

Other open source CMS communities are seeing a similar rise in the demand to provide authors with flexible page-building tools. WordPress released Gutenberg, a powerful drag-and-drop editing experience that lets authors quickly build incredibly flexible pages from a massive library of components. It’s worth noting Gutenberg is not without challenges. It poses accessibility issues. Antithetical to the themes in this post, it does not necessarily produce structured content. It relies on proprietary tokens for referencing embedded blocks of content. But it is very flexible, and offers an expressive interface for authors. For Drupal users, there’s a Drupal port for Gutenberg.

For us at Aten, the balance comes back to making sure content is stored in a way that is structured, can be adaptive, is reusable, and is relatively easy to migrate. And that you, the writer, can easily build flexible web pages.

Structured and Adaptable: Drupal Paragraphs with Layout Control

We’ve been working on an approach that keeps Paragraphs in place as the primary way content is managed and stored, but also gives authors the ability to easily control layout. Using Drupal’s core Layout Discovery system, Entity Reference with Layout is a custom field type that combines layouts and Paragraphs. It’s still in very early experimental development, but we’re excited about the impact this approach might have on making it even easier to create flexible pages. And it uses Paragraphs for content storage, with the benefits we’ve already touched on: content is well-structured and relatively easy to migrate. It’s not as flexible or robust as Layout Builder, but might be a great option for authoring flexible pages with Paragraphs. (More on this in a future post.)

Reusable and Flexible: Advanced Paragraphs

Since Drupal Paragraphs are themselves collections of flexible fields, there are all kinds of interesting ways they can be applied to building complex publishing features. We’re working with a client in publishing who needs the ability to completely customize the way content appears on their home page. They would like to promote existing content to the homepage, but they may want to override article titles, images, and summaries. Since the article authors aren’t the same people editing the home page and other key listing pages, they didn’t want authors to have to think about all of those variations. The way content is presented on an article page isn’t always the best-suited for the homepage and other contexts. We used paragraphs to give home page editors the ability to drop articles onto the page, with fields for overriding everything they need to.

Where to Go From Here

Your CMS should make it easy to write content and build pages. If you’re interested in seeing a demo of Drupal Paragraphs, Layout Builder, or Gutenberg, drop us a line. We’d love to help.

Categories: Drupal

Accordion Menus

New Drupal Modules - 15 February 2019 - 4:03am

Accordion Menus module will display a Drupal menu using a jQuery UI accordion effect. The top-level menu items are referred to as header items. The accordion effect is invoked when the triggering event occurs on a header item. The triggering event is a mouse click. The submenu expands to display the menu items beneath the header. A subsequent triggering event on the same header item collapses the menu beneath it.

The idea of this module came from accordion_menu module which is Drupal 7 module.

Categories: Drupal

A Letter from a Gamer with Privilege, to Other Gamers with Privilege

Gnome Stew - 15 February 2019 - 4:00am

There are moments in time where you declare that you will hold a position no matter what. You will not fall back. You pick your hill to die on. These can be dramatic and important moments. But there are other times when it is just as important to look back and realize how you ended up standing on that hill, and why you need to defend it.

When someone is comfortable, it is too easy for them to ignore the danger that others find themselves facing. A lot of us in the RPG hobby have been very comfortable for a very long time, and that means that we have allowed others to be subjected to dangers that they should never have faced.

Many of us have heard about people in the industry that are a problem. They are abusive and destructive. They treat those that they dislike terribly and make them fear for their safety using online terrorism. They make the RPG hobby a place that holds nothing for the victims of this abuse but regret. When these same abusers have any kind of gravitas in the RPG hobby, this also includes ruining careers and smashing dreams. Those abusers pull strings to make sure the industry regards these people as “unstable” or more “troublesome.”

The Cycle

The abusers are terrible. But many of us in the RPG hobby have seen these tactics used. Many of us know the people involved. But when it doesn’t involve us, the problem goes away. If we never had the sights set upon us, we can go back to whatever corner we call our own and live our lives. Others dread any interaction online. They worry about when the next shoe will drop. Will someone get them fired from a project? Will hundreds of people send threats of physical violence or death? Is that strange person across the street someone that found out their address — someone that has decided that online persecution isn’t enough?

The damage that is done by abusers often isn’t defined as a single terrible incident. Often, it is a long term pattern that does not abate. It’s harm that is revisited every time that person looks at the things they used to love. Beyond the fear of violence and death, it is the theft of part of who they are, something they cannot revisit on their own terms any longer.

For those of us that have always been comfortable, it is very easy to point at the abusers when they come to our notice and say, “isn’t that awful,” and go about our business. It is much harder for us to look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “I let this happen.” When the evidence of the abuser’s actions is not in front of us, we forget the abused and their daily contention with the effects of that abuse. We can turn away when they cannot. We are complicit.

It sounds heroic to pick a hill to die on. It’s a grand gesture. It’s the heroic finale. But one hero dying on a hill doesn’t create change. Building a safe community that doesn’t let someone stand on that hill alone is what we need. Having a community that looks out for their own, so that no pack of predators can come for our own is what is needed. We need communities where we don’t need martyrs to remind us of the dangers that exist.

Staring Down the Mirror

We need to make sure that the companies that we support are hiring diverse employees that are in positions of authority, so that they can understand the perspective of the marginalized. We need to listen to marginalized voices and believe them. We need to stop reflexively assuming that everything is fine unless presented with overwhelming evidence. When we are the ones in the comfortable position, we need to stop thinking that we, the comfortable, get to determine what constitutes real danger for the people in harm’s way.

Privilege is watching a fight from a distance and deciding if you want to participate. Privilege is showing up for the fight and assuming you will take the lead. Progress is knowing they are all your fights, and your job is to support others when they want to lead.

Too often, those of us that are comfortable descend from on high, get involved in one specific issue, then spend months patting ourselves on the back, while just behind it, more people are being abused and marginalized. This must end. No one deserves praise for doing what they should be doing. They just deserve to be chastised when they abdicate their responsibilities.

 This is a microcosm of the world we live in. It is far too easy to ignore the plight of the marginalized because it doesn’t directly affect the privileged. We can’t run to games to hide from the rest of the world. Share1Tweet1+11Reddit1EmailThis is a microcosm of the world we live in. It is far too easy to ignore the plight of the marginalized because it doesn’t directly affect the privileged. We can’t run to games to hide from the rest of the world. The world and its patterns of abuse and systemic problems come with us. The patterns of abuse are part of us. Games can help us cope. Games can help us relieve stress. Games are not, however, separate from the worlds that gave birth to them, and they carry with them the same seeds that every other item born from a society bears.

I have long believed that one of the greatest aspects of roleplaying games is the ability of these games to teach us empathy. We continually put ourselves in the place of people that are not who we are, in places we are not. If we cannot engage that fundamental skill to make the spaces where we play more inclusive and safer, we lose one of the most precious gifts that this hobby can give us.

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Request cleanup

New Drupal Modules - 15 February 2019 - 1:33am

Increase internal page cache efficiency by removing URL query parameters coming from Facebook (fbclick), Google (utm_source, utm_medium,
utm_campaign), and any other parameter that can be ignored by Drupal.

This allows internal page cache to store less items, and avoid generating responses for different requests
that internally are handled by the same page controller and parameters.

Examples:

Categories: Drupal

Adblock Detector

New Drupal Modules - 15 February 2019 - 1:22am

Adblock Detector/Remover

Categories: Drupal

Check URL

New Drupal Modules - 15 February 2019 - 12:55am

With this module you are able to check all of your URLs, witch are integrated on your Drupal page. You can scan the whole page after Links and Custom pages as well.
The URL will be checked by cron or manually.

(We recommend to use a time based cron manage tool like "timetable_cron")

Categories: Drupal

Creating a Sustainable PR Program in a Hits-Driven Mobile Game Ecosystem - by Ken Johnston

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 14 February 2019 - 11:11pm
Mobile games are a hits-driven business. This is at odds with good public relations campaigns, which thrive on consistency. Here's a brief explainer on how to create a sustainable PR program around a mobile game's development, broken out in 3 phases.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Immersive virtual reality therapy shows lasting effect in treatment of phobias in children with autism

Virtual Reality - Science Daily - 14 February 2019 - 4:19pm
New research shows that an immersive virtual reality environment treats 45 percent of children with autism, freeing them from their fears and phobias -- and that the treatment lasts.
Categories: Virtual Reality

React block

New Drupal Modules - 14 February 2019 - 12:52pm

React block provides a wrapper around the PDB module to provide some additional functionality including the latest React versions. Additionally, this provides a field that allows us to render a React component.

Categories: Drupal

Apex Legends already beat Fortnite's single-day viewership record on Twitch

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 14 February 2019 - 12:44pm

Respawn's free-to-play battle royale game Apex Legends clocked 8.28 million hours of Twitch viewership on February 12, just 8 days after the game first launched ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Promet Source: 4 Key Success Factors for Driving Change

Planet Drupal - 14 February 2019 - 12:10pm
A commercial came on the radio recently advertising a software application that would, basically, revolutionize data management and enable employees to be more efficient. My first thought was, “How can they possibly promise that when they don’t know their customers’ data management processes?” Then, it became clear. The business processes would have to be changed in order to accommodate the software. Is that appropriate? Is it right that an organization should be required to change the way it conducts business in order to implement a software application? 
Categories: Drupal

Pages

Subscribe to As If Productions aggregator