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GDC China 2014 announced for Oct 19-21st: call for talks now open

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 4 April 2014 - 9:15am

The call for submissions in Mandarin and English to present talks is now open for the 2014 Game Developers Conference China, which has moved up to October this year. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Preparing for a Herd of Goats - by Creston Jamison

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 8:21am
Learn how we prepared for the onslaught of Goat Simulator traffic through our analytics service.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Midwestern Mac, LLC: DrupalCon and DrupalCamp news + free DrupalCon ticket!

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 7:19am

This week, the DrupalCon Austin sessions have been posted, and I'm thrilled to have one of my session submissions (in the DevOps track) selected: DevOps for Humans: Ansible for Drupal Deployment Victory!.

The session will go over how Ansible can be used to realize faster, easier, and more successful Drupal deployments, as well as Ansible's ability to make sure that every environment is 'like production', so you don't ever have surprises when you deploy code to its final destination.

Categories: Drupal

Monster Monpiece: What the hell? - by Christian Nutt

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 7:08am
Monster Monpiece is a Japanese trading card game for the Vita that had to be censored for U.S. release. I ponder what the moe phenomenon is doing to JRPGs, and speak to the publisher to find out about the game and its audience.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Simulation Sickness and VR - What is it, and what can developers and players do to reduce it? - by Ben Lewis-Evans

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 5:26am
This article aims to lay out what the current science has to say about simulation sickness in VR, what it is, why it occurs, and what developers and players can do about it.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Wunderkraut blog: Getting Acquia certified

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 4:42am

So I am an Acquia Certified Developer as of this week. Do I feel any different ? Not really, but i’m glad I did the test a couple of days ago, as it kinda gives you a personal status update on your global Drupal knowledge. Here’s the rundown of my experience.

Getting started


There are already a bunch of blog posts popping up sharing experiences about taking this test, even on our own Wunderkraut blog. But there are two posts I read before doing the test myself which are worth spending your time on: a post by webchick and an article by Tanay Sai. The latter has a nice overview of all the different fields of expertise, with some links to relevant documentation.

Setting up the test was actually quite a breeze. OK, you have to install the Sentinel software package, and you can’t use Chrome, but other than that I had no problems getting started using a Mac. To tell you the truth, I was expecting worse, and the fact that I managed to schedule the test only a few hours earlier was a nice suprise as well.

Doing the test


Well, as Angie recommended, I made sure I went to the bathroom and had plenty of liquids in arm’s reach.

Starting the test, you have 90 minutes for 60 questions, which are all multiple choice. Some questions were actually hard to grasp from the first read. Maybe it were the nerves, but I do remember a couple of questions where I only got the question after reading it for the second time. So do take your time, although you may be pressured by seeing the time ticking away on the exam screen.

The content of the test is quite broad. Being served frontend questions as a mainly backend developer is a good way of knowing what the state of your general knowledge is, outside what may be considered as your comfort zone. So if you never did any theming work, i’d recommend looking into the theming basics. 
And actually it’s the other way around as well. You’re a sitebuilder/themer? Check out some backend basics too.  

The questions can be tricky, giving multiple similar options which can make you doubt at times. Especially in these days of IDEs doing all the code completion work for you, you do need to have a clue about the inner works of Drupal.

Another thing is that the (code) formatting of the questions proved to be a issue in some cases, as it made it hard to distinguish all the different options.

Done!


I completed the test in about 60 minutes, even with reviewing some flagged questions. In hindsight, I should have taken more time, as I still had half an hour left and could've upped my score I guess. But it’s good to know that following my gut feeling, I went through the whole thing just fine. So now it's up to you.

Categories: Drupal

Acquia: Drupal 8 + Symfony - "This is what open source is all about"

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 4:11am

Part 1 of 2 - I spoke with Richard Miller and Tom Kitchin, software engineers at SensioLabs UK and its parent company Inviqa respectively, via a Google Hangout on Air recently. I wanted to learn more about PHP and Symfony from their perspective and how they think the Drupal 8 and Symfony2 are going to affect each other. In part 2, I learn the inside story on one of the first Drupal 8 sites online, www.sensiolabs.co.uk, what their goals were and how they built it and have kept it running since May 2013, and how Drupal 8 will change the way they design applications for clients going forward.

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Grumpy Swedish developer gets tilted and need to change his name

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 3:42am

So we got an old windows computer setup to do the exam. Could install teh software needed, launched Sentiel to setup up my profile, and I was told to write my name to test my speed on the keyboard. So I entered my name, and “WRONG!”. Got a password error sign. Now I got confused, I was not told enter my password. But ok, so I entered my password. “WRONG”. I tried to write my name again. “WRONG”. Bullocks.

I tried to contact support from Sentiel application. A chat window opened, and I got a welcome message from the support, nice. So I started to write  my question about the password warning error thing. I did a typo in the question, hit backspace, and Abrakadabra, my screen got tilted, and were now laying on the side. WTF. I guess some software error and mismatch on the Windows computers soft- or hardware. I guess software, you know, it’s Windows.

Opened the control panel, got the screen on right side again, and started to write in the support chat again after starting a new session. And Abrakadabra. Tilted screen. Maybe its a feature….

So I started thinking instead. You got to have a US-keyboard to do the test, and maybe Sentiel just doesnt love my lastname, Schirén. I suspected é here. So I changed the spelling of my last name, with and “e” instead. And yeah. That worked.

Doing the certification text in 20 minutes, let’s see what happens.

EDIT: I passed. Now I am an Acquia Certified Developer. But still a little bit grumpy. I will come back on the issue next week.

Image: "Confused" by Slava

Categories: Drupal

Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers - by Robert Hewson

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 3:34am
In this 3-part video of his talk at Play Expo 2013, Andrew Hewson discusses the unlikely story behind the founding of one of the UK's first games publishers, Hewson Consultants, while sharing his experiences and lessons from the formative years of games.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Games M&A smashes >$5B record in Q1 2014 - by Tim Merel

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 1:51am
Games M&A smashed a record >$5B in the three months to March 2014, after the prior full year record of $5.6B in 2013, as detailed in Digi-Capital's latest report (www.digi-capital.com/reports)
Categories: Game Theory & Design

21 bytes - To Lock or not To Lock - by Samy Badache

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 1:32am
In this post, we talk about our game 21 Bytes and the possibility of using a lock camera system.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

alexpott: What next for me? Drupal 8 funding and more

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 1:26am

It's been a year since I quit my job to work on Drupal and play with Jack. Many amazingly special things have happened to me. I still remember falling off my seat when Dries asked me to be a committer and lying awake all night with excitement whilst I "slept on it".

Without the Drupal community's support I would have had to return to work much earlier. With everyone's donations through gittip, two companies' financial support and my own savings, I've been able to continue working full time on core. However my savings are diminished and the corporate sponsorship only lasts until 18th April. Fundraising month to month is more than a little stressful when a family is involved. Therefore I plan to take some form of employment. Hopefully I will be able to find some interesting work starting at the beginning of May.

Whatever type of job I take it is important to me that I have the ability to continue to contribute as much as possible to Drupal 8 and have time for my family. What will happen to my gittip? This depends on the type of job I take. If I take a contracting job where I work less than a full work week I will reset my target so that it'll amount to extra time I will work on core. If I take a full time job that allows me to work on core I plan to create a gittip team called "Drupal Core" to which I will transfer all my gittip earnings to this. Obviously, people are free to redirect their gittips as they see fit.

Fundraising and Drupal

There are companies using Drupal that are willing to contribute to core even though the immediate benefits are not tangible. One of the companies that has funded me since December is a Drupal user, but not at all focussed on Drupal development. The only condition for receiving the money is that I do not disclose their name. This is because it is not easy from an accounting perspective for a company to donate money to an individual.

We all know that core is more complex than ever and the interests in Drupal larger. Sustaining Drupal core development is a key challenge for the community. I think we need to seriously consider extending the Drupal Association's remit to be able to coordinate the collection and distribution of funds from major Drupal users for Drupal core development. If this is impossible then this does not mean we should not still try to solve the problem.

Thanks

Feel free to contact me if you have an interesting job offer - especially if it involves Drupal 8.

Lastly, thank you to everyone for your wonderful support.

Tags:
Categories: Drupal

Of money, games and trust - by Laura Bularca

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 1:14am
The act of buying, and especially the act of buying entertainment (like games), is a constant vote towards the world we want to live in, whether we like it or not.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

User Acquisition For Mobile Games: The True Cost of Getting an Engaged User - by Riz Virk

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 1:12am
Now that CPI has been the industry standard for app advertising for a few years, it's clear that we need a new way to look at user acquisition. Quality Engagements are what really matter, but it's difficult for developers to quantify and acquire them.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Change(b)log: Commerce Marketplace: Installation and use cases

Planet Drupal - 4 April 2014 - 12:52am
This tutorial will guide you through all the steps required to replicate the Commerce Marketplace demo site on your own server, and then explain how its behaviour differs depending on various configuration settings.
Categories: Drupal

Embrace the clones - by David Guevara

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 12:30am
Game cloning is a disgusting practice that will not go away, but who is to blame? and is there a way to fight it?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Respect QA Deserves, or Finding the Right People and Making Them Stay - by Anna Jenelius

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 4 April 2014 - 12:30am
Most people in the industry agree that Quality Assurance is very important, but still many see it as no more than a stepping stone into the rest of the industry. How do we make QA Tester a more attractive job and how do we make the right people stay?
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Fox Who Was Raised By Robots - by William David

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 April 2014 - 10:30pm
William David, level designer of Swing Swing Submarine, explains how poorly Tetrobot and Co. sells, and what it means for the future of their next game Seasons after Fall.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Darren Mothersele: Drupal Theme Generator Update

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 4:00pm

It's been a week now since I demoed my proof-of-concept for an automated theme generator at the Drupal show and tell event so I thought I'd collect together the feedback I've received so far and post an update.

Wrong Approach?

Almost unanimously positive feedback. In fact, it seems other people have been thinking along similar lines:

@mothersele dude! just saw http://t.co/GyV2m41eUe This is something that @jenlampton, @mortendk, @Cottser and I have discussed for 8.x twig!

— Mark Carver (@mark_carver) March 29, 2014

The one opposing view I have encountered wasn't actually against any of the ideas in the theme generator, but suggested that taking over Drupal markup was wrong and that we should be working with what Drupal provides. I know there are arguments for this, and if you want to go this route then you will need some other mechanism for documenting the conversion of your design to Drupal theme. If you want to argue this case, I'd suggest first try having that discussion with Morten, as I'm going to assume that we're all OK with the concept of taking complete control of (completely rewriting) Drupal's markup output.

Annotation

In an earlier prototype I had started working with annotations inside HTML comments but I found these increasing harder to parse as the extractions became more sophisticated. Someone in conversation brought up ideas from KSS and suggested looking at CSS comments as an alternative.

I'm still proposing this as a possible approach (see Docblock), but for now I'm going to continue to annotate the markup (not the CSS) with x- attributes, as no one has had an issue with this, and at this stage it's easier to work with QueryPath to create the extractions based on these attributes. It seems that annotating the markup with x- attributes will be acceptable as long as they are stripped from the markup during the build process.

@rootwork @illepic @micahgodbolt @EvanLovely @mothersele Interesting! Do the data attributes get stripped out during the build step?

— Brad Frost (@brad_frost) March 28, 2014

It was great to get feedback from Brad Frost as his work on Atomic Design has been influential in the development of this process.

In code, or config

In this first proof-of-concept, the generated theme is held in memory, well actually it is persisted as a Drupal variable containing a single object that holds the result of all the 'extractions' from the source. The original intention was that this would actually be a ctools exportable, so that it could be exported and managed as part of the configuration management process for the site.

This is how the Panels flexible layout builder works. It has one parent layout plugin that programmatically declares child layout plugins based on the layouts you define using the layout builder tool. These child layouts are stored as exportable objects, so they can be exported using Features. The current Hyde theme generator approach is similar, except that the parent plugins (for layout or styles) programmatically declare child layout and style plugins based on the result of each extraction from the HTML source design.

Storing the result of the build in configuration or database raised some concerns, mainly over capturing the results in version control. These tweets summarise the issue:

@mothersele interesting implementation. But I believe that should definitely generate theme in code, not just DB @mcjim @MattFielding

— Tom Bamford (@waako) March 28, 2014

@waako If a prototype is always in sync with a Drupal theme, the markup *is* all in code right? // @mothersele @mcjim

— Matt Fielding (@MattFielding) March 28, 2014

Matt picks up on my original intention, in that the design/theme would be captured in code and be version-able because the translation is automatic from the design's HTML/CSS/JS.

The difficulty is in managing any changes that happen to the generated code once it becomes a Drupal theme. This is exactly the problem that using the theme generator is trying to solve. That it provides a documented, repeatable conversion process, so that design can become part of the (agile) development workflow.

However, it is going to be unavoidable that some tweaking will be needed. This covers a couple more issues that were raised at the Drupal show-and-tell event:

  • How to manage logic in template files?
  • How to capture Drupal's pre-process functions?

The approach I am looking at to solve this, is one I've seen practised by other tools that involve code generation. For example, have you seen BDD using Behat? When define a test scenario in Behat it generates stub code for any unrecognised steps in your tests. For example, if you say "Given I am in a directory", you would get the generated stub code:

/** * @Given /^I am in a directory "([^"]*)"$/ */ public function iAmInADirectory($argument1) { throw new PendingException(); }

I think the theme generator could do something similar for elements marked as requiring pre-processing in the template file. This needs some further thought and perhaps a couple of experiements.

Terminology

Still struggling with naming conventions. If this is going to be a more general tool then need generally understandable terms (like 'component'). But, need to avoid overloading terms even more, as it's already quite confusing having SMACSS modules, Drupal modules, panels, blocks, boxes, styles, layouts. urgh!

Next steps...

@mothersele @mark_carver I love it. Also love that it works w/ panels! Q: Are the layout plugins placed in the theme? @mortendk @Cottser

— Jen Lampton (@jenlampton) March 31, 2014

So, I'm going to revise the current proof-of-concept and produce a second prototype. This time as a Drush command that generates an actual Drupal theme. Rather than holding the extracted theme in configuration it will generate a theme folder, that will include all the usual Drupal theme files, plus any plugins for Panels layouts, styles, display suite etc, and the CSS/JS copied across from the source design.

This will allow Hyde to generate stub code for pre-processing or other programmatic tweaks that are needed to get Drupal's output to match the design markup. I also think people will be more accepting of this approach as it's probably more like how it is expected to work.

My worry is that people will then hack the generated theme, it will go out of sync with the source design markup, and that will break the whole process.

If you want to get involved, please drop me a line. I need input from designers, themers, and developers. In particular, I'd be interested to speak to anyone else already using Atomic Design and/or SMACSS on Drupal projects.

Categories: Drupal

PreviousNext: Object-oriented page callbacks for Drupal 7

Planet Drupal - 3 April 2014 - 3:45pm

In Drupal we use object-oriented page and form callbacks to ease our programmning burden This is a nice improvement that allows us to encapsulate the functionality of one or many page callbacks into objects, with all the benefits that brings. Is it possible for us to us object-oriented page callbacks in Drupal 7? With a few tricks, yes it is. This article shows you how.

This is part of a continuing series of using Drupal 8 programming techniques in Drupal 7.

Categories: Drupal
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