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Mark Shropshire: Spectacle Digital Signage Publishing System Sprint

Planet Drupal - 10 July 2014 - 6:39am

Spectacle is an open source digital signage publishing system for displaying content on any screen. The content is administered by Drupal and displayed using Meteor.

Classic Graphics, SUAR IT at UNC Charlotte, CharDUG, and Meteor Charlotte are sponsoring a Spectacle sprint on July 25th form 9am-4pm ET at Classic Graphics. While the project is well underway, there is still a lot to do. We will be updating the Trello board with ideas and tasks which need to be completed. We will also spend time demoing the current work completed and discussing Spectacle architecture concepts.

No matter what your skill level is with Drupal and Meteor, bring your laptop and we will get you up to speed to contribute in some fashion. We have tasks involving Drupal and Meteor site building, configuration, and development. We also have documentation and design needs. Some come on out and enjoy the fun of working together on a fantastic open source project.

Lunch will be provided by Classic Graphics.

Related links:

RSVP here or here. Either way, we want to know if you are coming so we know how much lunch to provide. :)

Contact Mark Shropshire with any questions

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Categories: Drupal

Tax breaks still a sore spot for many devs, GDC Europe survey says

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 10 July 2014 - 6:36am

Domestic tax incentives for the video game industry remain a controversial topic among European developers responding to the GDC Europe 2014 State of the Industry survey. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Interactive Mountain - by Raph Koster Blogs - 10 July 2014 - 4:40am
The art game Mountain has caught a lot of people's attention, but it also challenges both those who want more "game" in their game and those who want more "experience." Why?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Changing of Game Development with Early Access - by Ulyana Chernyak Blogs - 10 July 2014 - 4:32am
Early Access and crowd funding have changed how games are being sold and marketed and today's post examines some of the key differences that early access brings to the table.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Better field descriptions

New Drupal Modules - 10 July 2014 - 3:34am

Better field descriptions makes it possible to add themeable descriptions to fields in forms.

  • Would your customers like to write their own descriptions, but can't or won't, since they then need permission to manage the fields in the content type?
  • Would you like to show the description above the field or even between the title and the field?

This module allows you to select the fields you want across all content types and give those field a themeable description on a separate admin page.

Categories: Drupal

Keeping Tabs on my Game Development Progress - by Isaac Nichols Blogs - 10 July 2014 - 2:52am
This blog is a way to keep track of my development progress.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Commerce SwipeHQ

New Drupal Modules - 10 July 2014 - 2:45am

SwipeHQ integration for the Drupal Commerce payment and checkout system.

Sponsor by GO1.

Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon Amsterdam: Why DrupalCon is More Important Than Ever

Planet Drupal - 10 July 2014 - 2:00am

DrupalCon has always served as an important forum to discuss the status of the project as well as a great place to learn Drupal skills from the experts. But technology moves fast. It’s no longer sufficient to focus solely on today’s challenges. That’s why DrupalCon has evolved into a one-of-a-kind event to not only help attendees solve the problems they face today, but also plan for the future.

  • Insight: At every DrupalCon, Drupal founder and project lead Dries Buytaert and other project leaders have a conversation with the community about the future of Drupal. Each DrupalCon serves as a stake in the ground for the project on important issues that include release cycles, milestones, processes, and Drupal software improvements. Having access to this roadmap information is crucial for making your own decisions.
  • Drupal 8: The next release of Drupal is packed with more than 200 great improvements and will have something for everyone to love. There is also something for everyone to learn. Attending DrupalCon will give you access to the foremost Drupal 8 experts in the world and help make sure you are ready with Drupal 8 knowledge and skills when your clients and colleagues need you.
  • Relationships: DrupalCon is where fruitful relationships are ignited, nurtured and advanced. The event offers countless opportunities to meet face-to-face with the peers, companies and talent that will help you be successful now and in the future.

Attendance at DrupalCon events continues to grow. The importance of attending is growing as well. We hope to see you there!

Get Your Tickets

Categories: Drupal

Magnet Ball, a Mega-Postmortem: How Learning and Adapting on the Fly Saved an Ambitious Student Project - by Livio De La Cruz Blogs - 10 July 2014 - 12:36am
An super-detailed look at the successes and failures of a student project. See what we learned about rapid-prototyping, managing our creative process, and much more!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Future: Alien Worlds and You

RPGNet - 10 July 2014 - 12:00am
A different approach to designing planets.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Graduates - Strike whilst the Iron is Hot - by Alex Johansson Blogs - 9 July 2014 - 10:53pm
I recently wrote a short article for this year's games design graduates from the University of Huddersfield with some advice for their first year in the big wide world. Also an essential read for current students or those who studied in similar fields.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Think Before You Bundle - by Josh Fairhurst Blogs - 9 July 2014 - 10:27pm
Bundling your games can be an easy path to exposure and fast cash - but there are potential long term ramifications that could be easily overlooked.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Bazaar Behavior - by Benjamin Quintero Blogs - 9 July 2014 - 10:07pm
Is there a future in video games or has it peaked?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

NEWMEDIA: DrupalCamp Colorado: My "Crossing the Rubicon" Moment

Planet Drupal - 9 July 2014 - 8:36pm
DrupalCamp Colorado: My "Crossing the Rubicon" MomentContributing to and interacting with the Drupal community isn't as scary or as daunting as you might think. My advice—take the plunge by attending a local meetup or camp and be open to the many opportunities that will start presenting themselves. It worked for me! Here's my story...

Looking back at my Drupal career, I regret that it took me so long to transition from a bystander to an active participant. I had been building my first large Drupal site for approximately 6 months before I finally faced a bug that annoyed me enough to justify creating an account so I could file my first issue. Still, I was so afraid to look stupid in front my would-be-peers that I used a fake username (frankrizzo) in order to prevent people from being able to make the connection between me and my comments, questions, and requests. This fear was completely irrational, and yet it made me so uncomfortable that it prevented me from communicating with and contributing to the community in any meaningful way.

The only justification I can give for my behavior is that I was a fish out of water. When I started this journey, I turned in my lab coat and ended my career as an engineer (where I knew virtually everything there was to know about my field of training) and jumped head first into the world of immediate gratification known as web development (where I had little to no formal training). I also got it in my head that I was unique in this regard and everyone else had a much more linear career path. However, after being in this community for 5+ years, I've heard story after story about how varied our backgrounds are: journalists, lawyers, designers, MBAs, bicycle repairmen, weldors, librarians, and the list goes on. And while this self-realization has finally eliminated all remaining aspects of impostor syndrome from my psyche, I still regret that fear kept me working in a vacuum during my first 2 years as a Drupal developer.

DrupalCamp Colorado 2011

The turning point for me was when I first started attending meetups. While I still kept quiet (so as to not expose my ignorance), it was at these events where I finally started to learn more about other community events and the benefits of participation. And while it was a little outside of my comfort zone to attend a conference with over 400 people (none of which I new personally beyond a casual conversation), I decided it was finally time to go big or go home.

I'll spare all the gory details, but wanted to highlight three things that have forever changed my involvement within the Drupal Community (as well as open source in general):

  1. The keynote talk by Webchick title Getting Involved in the Drupal Community.
  2. A session by Rick Nashleanas titled The Client Perspective on Website Development and Operation.
  3. A conversation with Webchick, chx, Dave Reid and several other core contributors in the coder lounge.

Webchick's keynote hit home for me because she really focused on the variety of ways one could contribute as well as the value of each contribution (big and small). Until that point, I had this misconception in my head that I needed to be some super human developer (you know, like Dave Reid) in order to be heard or to have any impact at all. However, I left the talk realizing the value of something as simple as reviewing or testing a patch. This is when my itch to contribute started...

The interaction with Rick Nashleanas was inspiring in a different way. I was so moved by the overall thrust of his message that I wanted to see if there was a way to take it further to the rest of the community. I went to talk to him right after the presentation and he immediately invited me to a followup BoF (which was a foreign word to me). Five minutes later, we were sitting around a table and starting to make a game plan. Several months later, it was this conversation that ultimately led me to organizing the Drupal Means Business track at the Day Stage in DrupalCon Denver.

The coder lounge experience was simply surreal. Here sat many of the biggest names in the community and I was actively involved in a heated discussion about how to tweak the homepage to best serve all the various user demographics hitting the site. I don't know why I was so shocked that I wasn't dismissed for being a newb. It was yet another case of a fearful imagination gone wild. The reality was were just a bunch of normal yet extremely inteligent and passionate individuals sitting around a table hashing through ways to make Drupal better. I will never forget that experience.

Reflecting on Personal Contributions

I have no delusions of grandeur that what I've been able to contribute matches (or will ever match) some of the heavy hitters in the community. That said, I'm proud of what I've been able to accomplish since 2011. Here are some of the highlights:

More important than the metrics is the hope that I've been able to (in even the smallest ways) inspire others along their Drupal career path to go from bystander to contributor. And then there is the question about whether or not I would have achieved even a fraction of these items had I not attended the camp and had the experiences I've just described. There's no way of knowing for sure (it was, after all, a point of no return) and I'm sure I would have become active eventually, but I'm confident that it was a pivotal event in my career path.

Takeway Message

With over 1 million registered accounts, you would think that contributing (even on the order of a single patch review) would be more commonplace. However, I also wonder if people are holding back out of fear. To anyone in that category looking to contribute in a meaningful way, my advice is simple—get to a camp! You simply never know who will be your Rick Nashleanas that inspires you to take things to the next level.

PS. A short plug for those interested in attending DrupalCamp Colorado 2014! We're only a few weeks away and we don't want you to miss out.

Categories: Drupal

Shadows of Esteren - Monastery of Tuath

New RPG Product Reviews - 9 July 2014 - 5:25pm
Publisher: Agate RPG
Rating: 5
Originally published at:

The Monastery of Tuath is the fourth release for the critically-acclaimed Shadows of Esteren series. Each of the four Kickstarters has been more successful than the last, with The Monastery of Tuath bringing in 1,053 backers and raising $137,000. Not bad for a fifty page supplement and adventure combination, eh? Well, it deserves it. You might remember that back in 2012 I wrote glowing reviews of Book 1: Universe and Book 0: Prologue. The series would go on to win three awards in the 2012 Tabletop Gaming Awards like Best Art, Best New Game and Best Core Rulebook. 2013 only saw a single release for Shadows of Esteren – Book 2 Travels. While I personally wasn’t impressed with the content of this book, especially not compared to the high quality of the first two releases, the art was still some of the best we’ve seen in years, and the release easily picked up our Best Art award in the 2013 Tabletop Gaming Awards. Now here we are with the first SoE release of 2014, and I’m happy to say that The Monastery of Tuath is a return to greatness for the series and well worth picking up even if you never plan to use the adventure or location it contains.

The Monastery of Tuath is comprised of two sections: a supplement describing the location, the history and the background of the Monastery, and then an adventure that runs twenty some pages. The adventure is heavily influenced by In the Name of the Rose, which has also spawned a film starring Sean Connery and a poorly done video game rip off, Murder in the Abbey. Of course, the adventure isn’t a straight homage. It has its own unique Shadows of Esteren twist, involving magic, monsters and curses. At its core, though, the adventure is very much a whodunit style murder mystery with false finishes and a Rogues’ Gallery that will keep players busy for quite some time.

The first half of the book will see the most use, as it gives a lot of information not just on Tuath’s monastery, but monastic life in general for the Shadows of Esteren setting. The prologue is a two page piece of fiction depicting how this particular monastery came to be, along with the origins of its particular saint. You will also see how the number six pervades everything in the religion of the One. Six prayers, six notions, six vows and so on. It’s an interesting mix of Masonic and Christian homages. The six vows especially provide some great role-playing opportunities for any character who is a servant of the One. If you’re looking to play one of Soustraine’s adepts, you’ll definitely want to pick up The Monastery of Tuath for all the content and potential story seeds you and your GM will find in it.

I absolutely loved the section entitled “Monasteries of the One,” as it gives you an amazing amount of detail on monastic life within the game. In fact, it’s so well done, other low fantasy games could easily pick this up and use the content provided with only a little bit of modification. There’s so much info about daily life, chores, potential health and income issues that come with such a secluded life, and of course – church politics.

The first half of the book concludes with information about the specific monastery the book is named after – providing a small map, a detailed look at each room (21 in all) within the monastery, and a set of thirteen NPCs that currently reside within. I was really impressed by all aspects of the piece. The art and content were top notch and the topic is one that most games really don’t give you an in-depth look at. Generally, monks in tabletop RPGs tend to be more of the eastern variant, and getting over two dozen pages on the classical western version made for a very fun and interesting read.

Then there is the adventure. Although Book 0: Prologue gave us a set of really nice adventures, the one within The Monastery of Tuath is the best so far. If this is any indication of how the upcoming Ghost Stories adventure collection will be, I think Shadows of Esteren will be up for a few more awards this year as well.

The adventure is entitled “Vengeful Words,” and the piece says it should take you five hours or more to complete. The adventure contains three acts, each of which is comprised of multiple scenes, so the adventure could run a lot longer depending on how intricate investigations get or if your players are more used to hack and slash style gaming rather than adventures where success lies with wits over die rolls. “Vengeful Words” focuses on a murder mystery that takes place within the grounds of the monastery. At first it appears to be straight forward, but it is anything but. Sure, you have corrupt religious officials and a nebulous big bad who doesn’t actually make an appearance in the adventure itself (there are allusions to him though), but it’s got all the makings of a great horror story as well as a whodunit. You have a cursed book and vengeance from beyond the grave, and it’s definitely an adventure that will keep players entertained from beginning to end.

Besides the playing of the adventure, I also have to comment on how well laid out the piece is as well. While the Shadowrun Missions format of adventures is by far the gold standard in the industry right now for ease of use and flow, the SoE adventure layout is a close second indeed. There are little icons to help clue a GM in to certain things that will/should happen when they appear in the text. These include the Gore, Supernatural, Suspense and Psychology tags, along with cues for music or text in red that highlight the most important aspects of the adventure. “Vengeful Words” is just really well done in all respects, and even if you have no plans to play the adventure, it’s still a lot of fun to read through as well as to see how SoE adventures are laid out, allowing even inexperienced GMs to run them smoothly.

All in all, The Monastery of Tuath is a terrific piece and one well worth picking up. Although it is only fifty pages long, your money might be better spent picking this up as a PDF rather than in physical form, as this is a short supplement rather than a full sourcebook or core rulebook. Regardless what version you pick up though, The Monastery of Tuath is terrific and a fantastic addition to an already awesome RPG line. If you’ve missed out on the previous Shadows of Esteren releases, this might be the time to jump in and see what you’ve been missing.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Curse lands $16 million for game VoIP and community services

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 9 July 2014 - 3:02pm

Its community services power Kerbal Space Program, and its Curse Voice technology allows players to communicate securely, picking up 1 million users in open beta. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Get Pantheon Blog: Drupal Development - "The Gizra Way"

Planet Drupal - 9 July 2014 - 2:19pm

Amitai Bustein is one of the founders of Gizra, a legendary Drupal contributor as maintainer of the Organic Groups (og) system, and gives amazing presentations. This is his BoF from DrupalCon Austin in which he explains "the Gizra way". It's a must-see for anyone dreaming of upgrading their development practices.

What's wonderful about Amitai's presentation is not just that it's entertaining and engaging, but that he's presenting hard-won real world experience with the best practices — automated testing, building with installation profiles, and so on. He makes these accessible and inspiring, and explains how these practices pay real-world dividends:

  • Standards, "code smell" is and why they matter.
  • How Harvard reduced the release cycle for OpenScholar from months to weeks with testing.
  • The practical benefits of agile processes and prioritizing "honest code" over formalities.
  • Dealing with deadlines and time estimates.

I've been personally quite impressed with Gizra's work over the years, and for developers looking to level up, or shop owners looking for inspiration and guidance on how to grow, this session is a goldmine. We hope you enjoy it!

Categories: Drupal

Phone User

New Drupal Modules - 9 July 2014 - 12:24pm

Phone User allows people to register at a Drupal site with only a phone number, for example to register for an event using Registration module.

Built to work with VoIP Drupal for Power To Connect.

Categories: Drupal

osCaddie - Drupal Alfresco Integration

New Drupal Modules - 9 July 2014 - 12:05pm
What is osCaddie?

osCaddie is a service offering from Appnovation technologies under their initiative to enable “Open Source for the Enterprise”. It includes a toolkit of modules to integrate between open source technologies in a scalable fashion. Two key components of such a system are Drupal, which is used for front end interactions, and Alfresco, which is used for back end storage of digital assets.

Categories: Drupal

Easy Social Pinterest

New Drupal Modules - 9 July 2014 - 12:02pm

This is a small extension for Easy Social module that adds a Pinterest share button(Pin it).


Easy Social

Known problems

I believe there is a problem in the counter and it lacks at the moment a configuration page, but it works. I am looking into these though.

Categories: Drupal
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