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Modesty and Dangerous Perception Shifts - by Richard Atlas

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 August 2019 - 8:11am
This blog post is about modesty and the perception shift that accompanies experience or (whatever you define as) success.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Glorious, Profitable, Inescapable Art of Addiction - by Jeff Vogel

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 August 2019 - 8:08am
Video games have a quality unique in popular entertainment: They simulate actual achievement, which results in the release of powerful pleasure chemicals in the player's mind. Let's explore this powerful addictive effect that keeps us all in business!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Impact of Fandom on Game Criticism - by Josh Bycer

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 August 2019 - 7:58am
Fandom has been a vital part in the growth of the game industry and game journalism, but today's post looks at how it has come at a cost when it comes to game criticism.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Smart & Casual: The State of Tile Puzzle Games Level Design. Part 2 - by Darina Emelyantseva

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 August 2019 - 7:51am
In the second of the two articles on the topic, Darina Emelyantseva, Lead Level Designer and Game Economy Designer at Room 8 Studio, shares why the last move win feels so rewarding, and how knowing dopamine triggers helps engage players.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mistakes you make when asking for feedback - by Iuliana U

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 August 2019 - 7:50am
A great way to improve the way you work and communicate with others is to look at how you ask for and give feedback. Let’s look at the most damaging mistakes.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Finding A Publishing Partner Vs Self Publishing - What's Right For You? - by GameAnalytics Team

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 August 2019 - 7:44am
Publishing your mobile game? From DIY to partnerships, here’s a look at the two sides of the mobile game publishing coin.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

EntityReference Selection and Validation

New Drupal Modules - 2 August 2019 - 7:17am

This module adds an entityreference selection plugin that allows to select different selection plugins for selection and validation.

Example use cases:

Categories: Drupal

Pacing Yourself GMing at Cons

Gnome Stew - 2 August 2019 - 7:00am

I have a bad habit of overloading myself at conventions, and I know I’m far from the only one. There’s just so many games and so little time and I want to do it all. In particular, I tend to load my schedule with GMing. I can’t help it; I see the event registration open up and I say “okay I’ll run three games! Well, maybe four. And one more can’t hurt. Oh and there’s nothing being run in this slot, so I’ll add another.”

At Queen City Conquest in 2017, I ended up running games in every slot, all seven slots of the weekend. And what’s more, I ran seven different games. No repeated systems or adventures. And I’ll be honest, I had a ton of fun at that con and I thought all my games went well… but by the end of it, I felt like my brain was leaking out of my ears. I went home and fell asleep at 5 pm and slept for something like 14 straight hours.

Why did I do this to myself?

And I know I’m not the only person who does this. Far from it, in fact. So I’m here to tell you why you shouldn’t completely overload yourself with running games at cons… and then I’m going to tell you how to make it easier on yourself if you go ahead and do it anyway, as I continue to do myself.

 …the most obvious first reason not to do this is so that you can actually play games yourself. Share51Tweet3Reddit1EmailSo, to get it out of the way, the most obvious first reason not to do this is so that you can actually play games yourself. I used to think “I have more fun as a GM than as a player”, so I never signed up to play anything. Turns out, I just wasn’t playing the right games for me. By branching out and trying different games with different GMs, I found that I actually love being a player just as much as I love GMing. It’s a great way to try different games before you buy them, or to find something new that you may not have heard of before.

I also found that by running every time slot, I was missing out on some of the social element of cons. Conventions are often the only place that I see friends who live far away, no matter how much we interact online. I’ve made lots of new friends at cons just by being available to spend time with people, something I can’t do if I literally can’t be dragged away from the gaming table. Just having quality time to see people face to face is something I really treasure at cons, and so I had to start running fewer games to make sure I had that time. Game time is one thing, free social time is another.

This last bit I’m going to tell you didn’t really sink in for me until this year’s Queen City Conquest, when I ran one of the worst con games of my career as a GM. See, the reason I ran all those different systems is because I think of cons as my time to play the different games that I don’t necessarily get to play during the rest of the year. If I can’t normally find people interested in a certain system, I’m much more likely to be able to at a convention. But here’s the kicker: when you overload yourself with games, you’re much more likely to run them poorly. I ran one of the worst con games of my career as a GM. Share51Tweet3Reddit1Email

Because I was so focused on preparing two of my other games, I completely underprepared for another one. I thought that because I had run it before (albeit, not in a long time) I would be fine. Instead I went in with a half-baked concept, I was scatterbrained, I had forgotten the rules of the system, and the game ended way earlier than I intended it to. Luckily I had wonderful players, and that wasn’t everyone’s first introduction to that system, but I keep thinking about “what if it had been?” If that game had been my first introduction to that system, I don’t know that I ever would’ve sought it out again. I used to think that by bringing lesser played games to cons, by exposing new people to them, that I was doing everyone a service. But you’re not doing anyone a favor if you under-prepare for a game you love, least of all yourself.

So with all that out of the way… I’m still going to run more games at cons than there are days of the con. No matter what, I like to be busy and I’d rather be over-scheduled than under. But I’ve learned some methods to make it easier on myself, and to make it so I don’t end up with brainmelt again.

When brainmelt goes too far…

First up, I like to make at least one or two of my games a GM-less game or a no-prep game or both (most GM-less games are kind of no-prep to begin with). That inherently reduces the amount of work you need to do before the con even starts. It also means that the mental load of “running” the game is shared between you and all the other players. You will still need to be more a facilitator than the others, but that’s still a lesser load than running the whole thing. There’s a reason some people have taken to calling them “GM-full” games instead of “GM-less”.

 …importantly, it gives you a second shot at running the game well. Share51Tweet3Reddit1EmailSecond, I’ve started repeating games. If I’m going to run five games at a con, I used to run five unique games. Nowadays, I might run three unique games, repeating two of them. This has a couple of benefits – it reduces your preparation needs, right off the bat. It gives other people with busy schedules a second opportunity to get in on a game they might be really into (how many times have I heard “oh I would love to play this, but it overlaps with the other thing I signed up for that day!”). And importantly, it gives you a second shot at running the game well. I’m not saying you should treat the first one as a trial run (you shouldn’t), but running it a second time gives you a chance to fix issues you noticed the first time.

Third – and this is probably really obvious to everyone who isn’t me – I’ve begun to recognize the importance of taking a break or two during the game session itself. I used to try to avoid taking breaks during the game, in a misguided effort to cram as much gaming as possible into a short amount of time. But all that was doing was burning me out faster. Turns out, it’s easier to run games all weekend if I’m not letting myself get dehydrated and hungry (and inevitably, hangry). And it’s better for your players, too. Taking a couple of 10 minute bio breaks wasn’t cutting into my gaming time; it was making me more able to focus on my gaming time because I wasn’t thinking “oh my god I would kill for a snack” every three minutes.

A lot of games even have built-in break points where stepping away from the table is natural and not disruptive. In a game where character creation is done together at the table (like most Powered by the Apocalypse games, for example), after character creation but before jumping into play is a natural time to stop and take a break. Other games may even have act breaks as part of their story structure. How many pre-written adventures and modules have you seen that break up their text into smaller objectives? Those are great pause points.

So those are my tactics – while I don’t ever intend to stop filling my schedule at cons, I have cut back some, and found ways to make it so I don’t break my brain in the process. What are your methods to keep con fatigue at bay? How do you prepare for marathon con weekends of GMing?

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Entity Version

New Drupal Modules - 2 August 2019 - 2:49am

Entity version allows to attach version number to content entity revisions that helps content editors to understand the evolution of the content item. Versions are composed of major, minor and patch numbers that can be changed manually or by third party modules.

The module ships the "Entity version workflows" sub-module that allows to configure and control version numbers through workflow state transitions.

Categories: Drupal

Agiledrop.com Blog: Recap of Acquia's webinar on the Digital Experience Platform

Planet Drupal - 2 August 2019 - 12:27am

We wrote up a recap of Acquia's webinar on digital experience platforms held on July 31st. Check it out to get a head start on the future digital experience of your brand or company.

READ MORE
Categories: Drupal

Smart Content IP Location

New Drupal Modules - 1 August 2019 - 11:50pm

Smart Content IP Location is a connector module to allow geo location fields available through Extreme-IP-Lookup web API to be used as
conditions in Smart Content.

Categories: Drupal

Requirement

New Drupal Modules - 1 August 2019 - 11:43pm

Provides modules a way to declare configuration requirements and suggestions.

Categories: Drupal

Tandem's Drupal Blog: Drupal 8 Search API Solr + Lando + Platform.sh

Planet Drupal - 1 August 2019 - 5:00pm
August 02, 2019 Setting up Solr is quick and fairly painless with Lando. This guide shall bring you to the promise land. Why Use Solr? We have a large enterprise client that has a tens of thousands of nodes. We originally setup the site to use Search API via the database. This worked but it was painfully slow on most searches. I knew that we ...
Categories: Drupal

Palantir: Leading Children’s Hospital in the Southwest

Planet Drupal - 1 August 2019 - 4:54pm
Simplifying the complexities of access to family healthcare On

Our client is one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country. With a medical staff of nearly 1,000 pediatric specialists, this hospital provides world-class inpatient, outpatient, trauma, emergency and urgent care allowing for the most comprehensive pediatric services available in their state. This healthcare delivery system and network provides health services across more than 75 pediatric specialties and is poised for continued growth in quality patient care, research and medical education.

The hospital’s former website was extremely information-dense with thousands of pages of mostly text-based content and complex and somewhat non-intuitive navigation. Important information was buried deep in the site. The search functionality needed to be improved to sort, filter, and categorize critical results. Additionally, there were many practice sites and microsites that had been developed by different hospital departments over time that needed to be brought back under a unified architecture.

The Vision

The vision for this redesign project was clear: to simplify the complex pediatric medical care process by providing families and people in need with clear and concise information about the hospital’s health care services.

Palantir planned our approach based on the following goals:

  • Increase engagement via an improved patient experience.
  • Reinforce the hospital’s credibility and their national reputation for excellence in specialty care.
  • Provide trustworthy health information within a convenient environment.
  • Provide educational materials for anyone needing to learn about a disease or diagnosis.
  • Improve content management efficiency.
Frictionless Access to Healthcare

A key objective of this site is to help visitors easily get access to care for their families. All types of content on the site should have strong calls to action for a visitor to request an appointment or make other decisions that could lead to them getting the care they or their family need. Less friction in the process allows for a larger number of people to choose the hospital for treatment.

Our client was able to optimize the content on their site and take the site from 10,000 pages down to 900 pages. Paired with their new increased search functionality, site visitors in need of finding critical healthcare information can now do so more quickly and with greater ease.

The redesign has led to increased conversion for:
  • Online Appointment Form Submission Requests
  • Patient Referrals
  • The Find A Doctor Journey
  • Usage of the Patient Portal
  • Subscriptions to Newsletters
The Palantir Approach

All of the overall goals for our client’s redesign tied back to one thing: optimizing their content and navigation. This project was broken out into two phases to address content strategy and modeling first that could then set the path for the design and build phase.

Phase 1: Strategic Focus, Content Audit, and Content Modeling

An important part of the strategy phase was to complete a massive site audit in partnership with another agency who helped out with copywriting. The old site had over 10,000 pages and many of those pages had low engagement. The overall plan was to analyze our client’s existing content and remove any content that site users weren’t looking for or finding relevant.

The first phase took about 10 weeks and resulted in a content model for key page types. Each page type included an evaluation of the content on the site as it was, as well as strategic recommendations for how the page type would be used in the future. Four of these page types were then wireframed. By building out content types directly in their content management system, Drupal (as opposed to organizing content in a spreadsheet), the client team was able to see how their content would be displayed.

Phase 2: UX, Design, and Build

As soon as the first phase was complete, the second phase began with solidifying the content model, creating and implementing a design system, as well as building and launching the site.

Our goal was to design a solution that showcases the cutting-edge research and innovation at the hospital. We did this with the use of modern design treatments that takes a visual spin on words with dynamic shapes, creating a captivating first impression, and setting them apart from their competition.

The look and feel captures the vibrant and playful spirit of the hospital with an energetic and uplifting color palette that creates a sense of hope for patients and families and elevates our client’s online brand presence. The use of authentic, non-stock imagery communicates a warm and caring environment that is paramount to their mission of providing the best possible care for patients and their loved ones.

The design components are simple and clean but unique in composition and layout. Though there are bold colors and images, the information is communicated in a clear and concise way which allows users to take action along their intended journey. The use of subtle interactions highlights content that educates and instructs, driving more patient engagement.

Find a Doctor

Researching and finding the right doctor to see or treat your child is a crucial step in ensuring good care for your child. Our client wanted to make its database of physicians available for the public to search and aggregate physician information with ratings and other key pieces of information to help empower patients and parents.

Palantir built a framework for merging in complex data from multiple sources in Drupal to provide an intuitive, sleek search interface that allows users to sift through huge quantities of data to find exactly what they’re looking for. By pulling key pieces of information in from externally-managed systems, we were able to lower the workload on the marketing team necessary to keep the physician directory up to date and accurate as physicians, credentials, insurance, and location information change over time.

Search Strategy

Palantir defined personas for the various site audiences. The site needed to be able to surface relevant content for teens, parents, physicians, and people in crisis situations. We tested wireframes in-depth and performed chalkmark tests around the menu structure, both of which helped make sure pathways were simple and straightforward for all audiences.

For general site search, we implemented Solr-based Acquia Search, which provided more advanced capabilities than the standard Drupal search functionality. Palantir added recommended results, so if there is something our client wants to bump to the top of search results based on a specific keyword, they now have that ability. For example, if a user were to search for the term “cancer,” our client can now make sure that results for the oncology department get bumped to the top of the results list.

Connection and Conversion

Our client is passionate about connecting its collaborative network of providers to patients and parents who are just as eager to find the right kind of care. Through this network, they are able to achieve their mission. Their new digital presence will allow them to iterate and expand on the ways they are able to meet the needs of their community for years to come.

Major Outcomes
  • An increase in awareness and conversion through “Find a Provider” flows.
  • Users can make effective choices as they weigh convenience, cost, and quality by displaying available appointment times, making pricing transparent, and using geolocation to surface nearby facilities.
  • New or returning patients can easily request an appointment by surfacing contextual calls to action and enabling system-wide scheduling.
  • Simple forms eliminate existing pain points, minimizing the amount of information initially required as input.
  • Robust provider profiles inspire confidence and trust. When available, we included personal statements, videos, ratings, and testimonials that appeal to customers’ emotions and values.
Categories: Drupal

Requirements

New Drupal Modules - 1 August 2019 - 3:31pm

This module has been moved to https://www.drupal.org/project/requirement.

Categories: Drupal

Don't Miss: Building an audience early with visuals-first development in Ooblets

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 August 2019 - 2:45pm

Early on, Ooblets already had a large following. In this 2017 story, the makers of the game explain how publicly sharing their game's development from day one helped them. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Ramsalt Lab: Annoy only EU citizens with your GDPR cookie banner

Planet Drupal - 1 August 2019 - 12:49pm

Written by Sven Berg Ryen, Leader of the GDPR audit team at Ramsalt Lab

EU Cookie Compliance, one of the top 100 Drupal modules, is a Drupal module that offers a cookie consent banner with various features, making it more convenient for your site to become GDPR compliant. GDPR is the new data privacy regulation that came into effect on 25 May 2018 and it sets out to bolster the rights citizens of the EU have over their data which is held by companies. Ramsalt Lab is currently supporting the module development as part of our GDPR audit services.

According to GDPR, if you have any traffic from EU citizens on your site, you need to ask for consent before you, or third party scripts, process any of their personal data.

This is all very well, you can ask for consent first, and then only use the visitor’s private data if they consent, but under GDPR you’re required to do so only when the visitor is an EU or EEC citizen. That still leaves billions residents outside of the EU where privacy laws may not require consent (one could argue whether this is good or bad) for storing cookies that identify individuals. Wouldn’t it be nice if you can comply with EU regulations and at the same time not pester those outside of the area where GDPR is enforced?

Luckily, EU Cookie Compliance has a feature to the rescue. It can first check whether the user resides in the countries that GDPR affects, and then display the banner accordingly, only when applicable.

So the technical parts

To achieve this, you need an additional addon; either the Smart IP or geoIP modules - or the geoIP PHP library. It may be easiest to use the module route, since adding the PHP library may not be feasible on your hosted server or cloud solution.

We will here use Smart IP, since that’s the only module that the Drupal 8 version of EU Cookie Compliance supports. There is now also a beta version of GeoIP available for Drupal 8, so at some point, EU Cookie Compliance may support GeoIP also in the 8.x module version. You can follow this issue for the progress.

The option to show the banner only to EU countries can be found near the bottom of the module settings page. A notification can be seen when the Smart IP module is not enabled.

Enabling and setting up the Smart IP module

Install and enable the Smart IP module, using your preferred technique (such as composer/drush or direct download from drupal.org). In Drupal 8, you also have to enable a Smart IP data source module.

The Drupal 8 module gives you to the following geolocation lookup options:

  • Free and licensed geolocation files from ip2location.com (signup required to get access to the free version). For the purposes of this module, you only need the DB1 database, with coverage of countries. Attribution is required when you use the free database.
  • Geolocation service from ipinfodb. A free API is available. You are however limited to 2 requests per second, and will be blacklisted if you exceed that limit. Also, the service limits you to lookup requests from one server IP only, which may not be ideal if you’re planning to test the service from your localhost. Note that the module utilizes the ip-city endpoint, and not the faster ip-country one. Sign up to get an API key.
  • MaxMind GeoIP2. A free database is available, updated on the first Tuesday of each month. No signup is required to use the free version, though attribution is required.
  • MaxMind GeoIP2 Precision API service offering lookup at the country level at $0.0001 per request. A free trial is available.

Some fallback options are available, and will be accessible if the headers exist in the web page query when you open the configuration page (which means they may not be available on your localhost, but could be available on your server).

  • Cloudflare headers
  • The mod_geoip module in Apache
  • Nginx headers

The Drupal 7 version of Smart IP offers all of the above and in addition some legacy lookup services.

We will be using the Smart IP MaxMind GeoIP2 binary database, because it has a free version of the database that will automatically be updated once a month on cron run. In other words, you need to enable the smart_ip_maxmind_geoip2_bin_db submodule (part of smart_ip).

Configuring Smart IP for GDPR

After having enabled the required modules, head over to /admin/config/people/smart_ip.

Select the “Use MaxMind GeoIP2 binary database” option to see the configuration for the service. Choose the Lite database version, the Country level edition and make sure that Yes is chosen under Automatic updates.

Further down, in the second pane, configure your settings to allow geolocation lookup for all desired user roles. Then, since I guess you care about privacy, either opt to not save the user’s geolocation on account creation, or enable the feature to prevent storing location details from GDPR countries.

Scroll all the way to the bottom and press “Save configuration”. If you get an error at this point, you need to set a private file path in settings.php.

After having configured Smart IP, you need to head over to MaxMind’s website and download the GeoLite2 Country file in DB format. Then, expand the archive, grab just the file labeled “GeoLite2-Country.mmdb” and drop it into “[PATH_TO_PRIVATE_FOLDER]/smart_ip”. After you add this file manually once, the Smart IP module will take care of the automatic monthly updates.

Note: In Drupal 7, the GeoLite 2 country database is downloaded automatically when configuring the module, so there’s no need for a manual download.

Configuring EU Cookie Compliance

Next, head back to the settings for EU Cookie Compliance at admin/config/system/eu-cookie-compliance and enable the “Only display banner in EU countries” option. If your site uses any caching at all, you’ll want to enable the Javascript based option.

After enabling this feature, you will need to rebuild Drupal cache, in order for Drupal to pick up the new path that is used to determine if the user is in the EU.

Testing

Note: If you’re on an EU Cookie Compliance version prior to 8.x-1.7, you need the patch from this EU Cookie Compliance issue in order for the debug feature in Smart IP to work. The Drupal 7 version of EU Cookie Compliance doesn’t have this problem (though you should always make sure that your version is up-to-date to get the latest bug fixes and features).

This feature involves a few moving parts, so to ensure everything has been set up correctly, there’s a handy debug feature in Smart IP that can be used. This way, you can check that you are indeed displaying the banner only to European countries where GDPR legislation apply. The easiest way to check if the settings are correct is to temporarily set up debugging in Smart IP for the Anonymous user and open an Incognito window. This way you can ensure that no existing cookies are giving false assurance that the feature is working.

Try using a value such as 151.101.2.217 (which at the time of this article is one of the IPs for the drupal.org server, situated in the US). Notice that no banner is shown when you debug smart IP with this value.

Try 185.91.65.150 (the IP for the server where drupalnorge.no is hosted, which is in Norway) and the banner should appear.

After testing is completed, remember to disable debugging for the anonymous user by clearing the value on the Smart IP configuration page.

Conclusion

A little work is required to set up EU Cookie Compliance to display the GDPR cookie banner only to countries and territories where the law requires one. Resulting from this, you will hopefully have happier users.

If you need help setting up your GDPR cookie banner, or have questions about how your site can become GDPR compliant, you can always get in touch with us at Ramsalt Lab through our contact page.

Written by Sven Berg Ryen
Developer and Leader of the GDPR audit team at Ramsalt Lab


Categories: Drupal

Layout Builder Extra Templates

New Drupal Modules - 1 August 2019 - 12:37pm
Categories: Drupal

Ninja, one of Twitch's top streamers, has left the platform for Mixer

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 1 August 2019 - 12:26pm

Tyler Blevins, known by the moniker Ninja online, announced today that he†™ll be exclusively streaming on Microsoft†™s Mixer platform from this point forward. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acquia a leader in 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management

Dries Buytaert - 1 August 2019 - 10:36am

For the sixth year in a row, Acquia has been recognized as a leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Acquia first entered the Web Content Management Magic Quadrant back in 2012 as a Visionary, and since then we've moved further than any other vendor to cement our leadership position.

As I've written before, analyst reports like the Gartner Magic Quadrant are important because they introduce organizations to Acquia and Drupal. As I've put if before If you want to find a good coffee place, you use Yelp. If you want to find a nice hotel in New York, you use TripAdvisor. Similarly, if a CIO or CMO wants to spend $250,000 or more on enterprise software, they often consult an analyst firm like Gartner..

In 2012, Gartner didn't fully understand the benefits of Acquia being the only WCM company who embraced both Open Source and cloud. Just seven years later, our unique approach has forever changed web content management. This year, Acquia moved up again in both of the dimensions that Gartner uses to rank vendors: Completeness of Vision and Ability to Execute. You'll see in the Magic Quadrant graphic that Acquia has tied Sitecore for the first time:

Acquia recognized as a leader, next to Adobe, Sitecore and Episerver, in the 2019 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management.

I believe we would have placed even higher had our Mautic acquisition completed a bit earlier.

In mature markets like Web Content Management, there is almost always a single proprietary leader and a single Open Source leader. There is Oracle and MongoDB. Splunk and Elastic. VMWare and Docker. Gitlab and Github. That is why I believe that next year it will be Acquia and Adobe at the very top of the WCM Magic Quadrant. Sitecore and Episerver will continue to fight for third place among companies who prefer a Microsoft-centric approach. I was not surprised to see Sitecore move down this year as they work to overcome technical product debt and cloud transition, leading to strange decisions like acquiring a services company.

You can read the complete report on Acquia.com. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this result!

Categories: Drupal

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