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5 Tips for Showcasing at a Game Conference - by Arpita Kapoor

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 April 2014 - 2:28am
Game conferences such as GDC, Casual Connect, PAX, et al, give you tonnes of eye-balls; your potential players, partners or press. It’s imperative to plan ahead and plan well.The more prepared you are , the more awesome you look!
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The Art of Shadow of the Colossus (4/6): Visual Design - by Frederic Fourcade

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 April 2014 - 1:52am
If Shadow of the Colossus enjoys a very artistically accomplished look in itself, this one remains tightly connected to the gameplay. This is what we’re going to see now.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

A Simple Test of Leadership - by Keith Fuller

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 3 April 2014 - 1:26am
Here are five questions I use to get a ballpark estimate of leadership quality at a company.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

The humbling of Epic: A giant turns around

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 3 April 2014 - 12:48am

"It's strange to see Epic Games humbled," Leigh Alexander writes, as the company shifts its strategy for Unreal Engine 4. In this Q& A with VP Paul Meegan, she uncovers why those changes are happening. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Tales from the Rocket House: Meta-Campaigns, Part Two

RPGNet - 3 April 2014 - 12:00am
Character advancement in metacampaigns.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Building for Linux, the smart way - by Leszek Godlewski

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 April 2014 - 10:19pm
Here are some (of the less obvious) build system tricks I've collected in my just over a year of porting games to Linux: cutting down on iteration times, sanitizing the build environment and making the builds generally easier on the brain and the CPU.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Károly Négyesi: Drupal 8 progress from my / MongoDB perspective: update #26

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 9:28pm

At DrupalDevDays Szeged, skipyT, fgm and myself made tremendous progress with writing the MongoDB drivers. All the override mechanisms work as expected and things in general, work. Most importantly, we have an entity storage backend and a significant percentage of the entity storage query tests pass (it is not expected all ever would pass, for example relationships are not supported). I have also managed to get the "add aggregator feed" test pass (going in ABC order among entities), this hit a snag where a recent rewrite of the testing framework broke overriding services during testing and I am not allowed to fix this so automated testing will require a small core patch. Otherwise we would need to create a mostly empty testing class for every test, this is clearly not desirable. Also at DDD, Ricardo Amaro and Jeremy Thorson have made significant strides in creating a more modern testbot based on Docker, I intend to run an instance at home and see how MongoDB fares with all the tests. I am reasonably confident by the time the beta happens, you will be able to run it solely on MongoDB.

Meanwhile, migration got stalled by an unrelated core issue, it's close to a resolution now. Other core changes broke many migrations but by now we should be back on track and again, I am reasonably sure by beta time the Drupal 6 to Drupal 8 path will be there to test. Will Drupal 7? I hope too but nothing is certain.

Categories: Drupal

Drupal core announcements: This week-ish in Drupal core: April 2, 2014

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 2:32pm
What's new with Drupal 8?

The past three weeks saw some exciting progress on Drupal 8, in part due to the hard work of everyone who went to DrupalDevDays 2014 in Szeged, Hungary. It also saw the release of drupal-8.x-alpha10.

Drupal Developer Days Szeged

DevDays Szeged was a landmark for the Drupal 8 release cycle. Participants marveled at how productive and well-organized the event was, and core maintainers commented they'd never seen such momentum in the RTBC queue. During the week-long sprint, 19 beta blocking issues were fixed (with three more RTBC) and every single missing change record was written. Outside core, sprinters also made significant progress on everything from the Search API module for Drupal 8 to Drupal.org itself. A robot doll, chocolates, bunny ears, stickers, and Drupal-ified Hungarian folk music also made it the event of the year. (Szeged slide show)

Alpha 10 released; Alpha 11 due Apr. 23

Alpha 10 was released on March 19th, just before Drupal Dev Days. Some notable changes include:

... for the full list of changes, see the alpha 10 release notes.

These alphas are provided to give you something more stable to work off of than having to chase HEAD every day.

Where's Drupal 8 at in terms of release?

Core momentum increased again in March, with a new all-time record of 51 criticals fixed over the month. In fact, we've nearly recovered to the level of known technical debt we had as of feature freeze a year ago. :P There's still a long ways to go, so help us focus on the most important issues and on releasing a sound Drupal 8 beta.

Our steady progress toward that first beta release continues as we divide the outstanding beta blockers into actionable sub-steps. Among March's fixed criticals were over 30 beta blockers, more than half the total, showing the community's tight focus on unblocking this milestone.


Note that the number of beta target issues (which are issues that would be good to resolve for the beta, but are not critical enough to block it) continues to increase. As we get closer to beta, it's important to also pay attention to these issues, so we'll be highlighting beta targets more in the coming weeks.

Last week, we fixed 25 critical issues and 24 major issues, and opened 15 criticals and 29 majors. That puts us overall at 118 release-blocking critical issues and 486 major issues.

16 beta-blocking issues were fixed last week. There are still 28 of 142 beta blockers that must be resolved before we can release a Drupal 8 beta.

Where can I help? Top criticals to hit this week

Each week, we check with core maintainers and contributors for the "extra critical" criticals that are blocking other work. These issues are often tough problems with a long history. If you're familiar with the problem space of one of these issues and have the time to dig in, help drive it forward by reviewing, improving, and testing its patch, and by making sure the issue's summary is up to date and any API changes are documented with a draft change record.

More ways to help

Love Drupal and want to help out, but not a coder or unsure where to start? From breaking things (for science!), to designing things; from summarizing issues to writing documentation, there's lots of ways you can contribute! And, there are more than 125 mentors willing to help you!

Our current priority is updating the documentation for Drupal 8. Rich, helpful documentation for Drupal 8 is incredibly important: it's a great way to market Drupal to potential clients, it saves you from writing as much documentation for your existing clients, it empowers new users, site builders, developers, and themers to learn and solve their problems; and, with all the changes that have happened since Drupal 7, it's pretty useful for seasoned Drupal veterans as well!

The documentation team is working on updating:

... for more information, visit the #drupal-docs channel on IRC or jump into the documentation issue queue.

As always, if you're new to contributing to core, check out Core contribution mentoring hours. Twice per week, you can log into IRC and helpful Drupal core mentors will get you set up with answers to any of your questions, plus provide some useful issues to work on.

Notable Commits

The best of git log --after=2014-03-12 --pretty=oneline (253 commits in total):

Amazing work on the configuration system's architecture and dependency management, notably:

  • Issue #2080823 by alexpott, swentel, Wim Leers: Create API to discover content or config entities' soft dependencies and use this to present a confirm form on module uninstall.
  • Issue #2030073 by alexpott: Config cannot be imported in order for dependencies.
    You can now declare dependencies for configuration entities, so you can ensure their dependencies are met before importing them.
  • Issue #2219499 by Berdir, alexpott, Gábor Hojtsy, vijaycs85, swentel: Generalize language config override responsibility.
    This patch simplifies the way that language-specific overrides work and significantly reduces the amount of code that needs to run on sites with only one language.

And, we resolved some of the menu/routing issues that had been causing headaches for developers:

  • Issue #2178725 by pwolanin, crowdcg, effulgentsia, Sutharsan: Make all core menu link machine names and the corresponding route names match.
  • Issue #2226903 by pwolanin, dawehner, tvn, martin107, jessebeach: Step 1: Move static menu links to yml files.
    Now, default menu links are declared the same way as local tasks and local actions. (The next step is to finalize the underlying architecture for this change.)
  • Issue #2207893 by dawehner, pwolanin, jessebeach, Boobaa: Convert menu tree building to a service.
    This removes a whole bunch of the code in menu.inc, makes the menu-building code unit-testable and decouples it from other subsystems. It also unblocks beta-blocking work on the Menu Link API.

In the "things that always annoyed you about Drupal" category,

  • Issue #318975 by sun, Bojhan, linclark: Remove confirmation page after installation.
    When the installer is finished, it drops you on the front page of your new site!
  • Issue #340723 by ParisLiakos, sun, Berdir, glennpratt, Cottser, swentel, tstoeckler, Xano, tim.plunkett, BassistJimmyJam: Make modules and installation profiles only require .info.yml files.
    That means no more empty .module and .profile files! DX FTW!
  • Issue #2122693 by jayeshanandani, YesCT, sun, alexpott, BMDan: Installer does not work on a completely empty settings.php.
    This had been possible in D7.

Other notable commits:

  • Issue #2188613 by Berdir, Xen, andypost: Rename EntityStorageController to EntityStorage.
    This 600K patch was added to make it easier to distinguish between Entity storage classes and Routing controllers.
  • Issue #2213451 by andypost, bdone, benjy, penyaskito, chx, claudiu.cristea, damiankloip, gregboggs, InternetDevels, jessehs, jhedstrom, marvil07, mikeryan, pcambra, Xano, YesCT: Update Migrate API in core.
    This huge update to the migrate API adds support for requirements/dependencies; adds migrations for passwords, URL aliases and config entities; improves entity, bundle and field support; adds lots of Drupal 6 migrations; allows you to set the MigrateSource and MigrateDestination using annotations; and improves documentation. Awesome work Migrate team!
  • Issue #1194136 by Berdir, damiankloip, Wim Leers: Re-organise core cache bins.
    This groups cached items by the type of data (e.g.: rendered HTML, data, entity), rather than the type of item (e.g.: node, block, etc.). This will make cache bins for frequently-requested items (like configuration) smaller with less-frequent updates, which makes it easier for query caches. And, it allows you to tune performance by choosing the most-efficient storage engine / storage location for the type of data (for example, putting the configuration cache table in RAM or on an SSD).
  • Issue #2211553 by andypost, Berdir: Allow usage of entity_reference field widget and formatter for base fields.
    Entity reference fields are being used in core, but there had been no way to use it's widget and formatter.

You can also always check the Change records for Drupal core for the full list of Drupal 8 API changes from Drupal 7.

Drupal 8 Around the Interwebs

Here are a few notable blog posts about Drupal 8 in the past few weeks:

Drupal 8 in "Real Life"

If you would like to get away from the computer, meet other Drupal users, learn about Drupal 8, and have fun at the same time, you can look forward to:

  • NYC Camp on April 10-13: you can get Twig training, there are 13 accepted Drupal 8 sessions, 10 sprints scheduled and there's even a Core summit!
  • DrupalCamp Frankfurt 2014 in Frankfurt, Germany on April 12 and 13; with 8 proposed Drupal 8 sessions on everything from Twig to the Configuration Management Initiative.
  • Drupal Camp Japan 2014 in Kyoto on April 12, featuring an introduction to Drupal 8.
Whew! That's a wrap!

Do you follow Drupal Planet with devotion, or keep a close eye on the Drupal event calendar, or git pull origin 8.x every morning without fail before your coffee? We're looking for more contributors to help compile these posts. You could either take a few hours once every six weeks or so to put together a whole post, or help with one section more regularly. If you'd like to volunteer for helping to draft these posts, please follow the steps here!

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Grumpy Swedish developer try to setup for the Acquia Certified Developer exam, and you could not guess what happens next

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 2:06pm

So, I wanted to do the Acquia Certified Developer exam. But I got into trouble before I even start taking the exam.

What got me into Drupal from the beginning were that it is open source, I love open source and what we could together with open source, and I do my daily work on an Ubuntu powered laptop. Why am I writing about that right now? I registered for taking the exam online at www.webassessor.com, and after I set a date and time for the test, I was told to download a piece of software called Sentinel. Sentinel is going to be used when I take the exam, to check me through the web cam, checking it is me doing the test, and I don’t have colleagues helping me out. Fair enough.

I clicked the link, and it was a installer for Windows. Something must be wrong somewhere. I searched the site. It seems that the program I need to install only is available on Windows and Mac. WTF! So I tried to install it with Wine (with that some Windows programs could be run on Ubuntu). Did not work, but I could figure out it was some kind of Flash software.

So I am stuck. I need to have a proprietary OS, I need to install proprietary software to take an exam for an open source system. All this seems totally wrong. Some bad decision has been taking on the road for this exam.

Story will continue (hopefully).

Categories: Drupal

Wunderkraut blog: Adding a psuedo field

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 12:59pm

Sometimes you need to display a field that have no input, like a static text or image on each node, or a Facebook like button, or whatever that does not have an input, but you still want to display it as a field, for that you have the hook hook_field_extra_fields.

To display a psuedo field you just need two functions (these functions I added to a custom module called wk_extra_fields)

<?php
/**
* Implements hook_field_extra_fields().
*/
function wk_extra_fields_field_extra_fields() {
  $extra = array();
    // Just adding the psuedo field to the page node type.
    $extra['node']['page'] = array(
      'display' => array(
        'wk_foo' => array(
          'label' => t('WK: Foo'),
          'description' => t('A foo field.'),
          'weight' => -5,
        ),
      ),
    );
  return $extra;
}

/**
* Implements hook_node_view().
*/
function wk_extra_fields_node_view($node, $view_mode, $langcode) {
  // The field is showed in when using full view mode and on page node type.
  if ($view_mode == 'full' && $node->type == 'page') {
    $node->content['wk_foo'] = array(
      '#markup' => '<div class="wk-foo">Foo!</div>',
    );
  }
}
?>


So we use the function wk_extra_fields_field_extra_fields() to create the psuedo field for the page node type, after that we can activate it in the display tab, and choose where to show the field.

When we view the node, the function wk_extra_fields_node_view() is called and the content is displayed.

Image: "Air Guitar Championship" by AxsDeny. Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License

Categories: Drupal

Blog: Why first impressions matter for free-to-play games

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 2 April 2014 - 12:55pm

"People spend a short amount of time deciding if they like or dislike something (around 50 milliseconds). This gut reaction is often based on subconscious considerations." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Blog: Dangerous advice - 'Worldbuild only enough to support the story'

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 2 April 2014 - 11:58am

"Instead of keeping writers on track, this advice can very easily create exactly the kind of hackneyed settings and narratives they so earnestly wish to avoid." ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

How to Survive a Game-Dev Event (for Indies that Pay Rent) - by Tanya X Short

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 April 2014 - 9:25am
There's a lot of pressure in walking the line between art and business, and it comes into focus during conferences. One paycheck-aware indie speaks openly about her experiences, mistakes, and learnings from GDC 2014.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Change(b)log: Commerce Marketplace payments

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 8:40am
The biggest step forward since From Commerce Store to Commerce Marketplace, my previous blog post in the Commerce Marketplace series, was added initial support for parallel payments.
Categories: Drupal

DrupalCon Austin News: Are You Ready for Drupal 8?

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 8:40am

You may not be able to control when Drupal 8 is ready. But you can control when you are ready for Drupal 8. Attending DrupalCon Austin is a great way to start.

Categories: Drupal

OhTheHugeManatee: How to Create a Custom Display Suite Field

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 8:12am

A few months ago I posted about how to create a custom Panels pane, a critical reference for anyone who uses Panels layouts. The other part of the toolkit for quick and awesome layouts is the Display Suite module. With DS you can create new “Display modes” for your content, to be reused around the site. For example, on one recent site I had four standard ways to display my nodes: Full, Teaser, Mini-Teaser, and Search Result. DS made this configuration a cinch.

But just as in Panels you sometimes need a pane that isn’t provided out of the box, in Display Suite you sometimes want to add a field that isn’t really a field on your content. In a recent site build, I used this capability to include information from the Organic Groups a user belongs to on his profile as it appears in search results.

DS offers some ability to create this kind of custom field through the UI, but I’m talking about more complicated outcomes where you need/want to use custom code instead. This is actually even easier than custom panels panes.

In our example, we will display the user’s name, but backwards. Obviously you can do much more complex things with this, but it’s nice to have a simple example!

Declare your fields

First we have to tell Display Suite about our new custom field. We do this with hook_ds_fields_info().

mymodule.module1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 <?php //@file: Add a custom suite to display suite for Users. /** * Implements hook_ds_fields_info(). * Declare my custom field. */ function mymodule_ds_fields_info($entity_type) { $fields = array(); if ($entity_type == 'user') { $fields['backwards_username'] = array( 'title' => t('Backwards Username'), 'field_type' => DS_FIELD_TYPE_FUNCTION, 'function' => 'mymodule_backwards_username', ); return array($entity_type => $fields); } return; }

Any guesses whathappens next? That’s right, we have to write our render function under the name we just declared. You can put anything here, really anything renderable at all.

mymodule.module1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 /** * Render function for the Backwards Username field. */ function mymodule_backwards_username($field) { if (isset($field['entity']->name)) { return strrev($field['entity']->name); } }

That’s it. So simple, you’ll wonder why you ever did it any other way!

Categories: Drupal

Nobuo Uematsu to work on Defender's Quest 2 - by Lars Doucet

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 April 2014 - 8:03am
Legendary Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu will compose the main theme of Defender's Quest 2: Mists of Ruin. Details inside.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Do You Play Games All Day? - by Matt Powers

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 April 2014 - 6:58am
Matt Powers tries to demystify what a producer is and gives his quick definition.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Last Call Media: Drupal 8 Lessons for Developers

Planet Drupal - 2 April 2014 - 6:17am
Drupal 8 Lessons for Developers

A couple months ago, we decided to rebuild our company site on Drupal 8.  We had two goals in mind when we were planning the project.  First, we wanted to expose our developers to some real life scenarios in working with Drupal 8.  We had all been involved in the Drupal 8 development cycle in one way or another, but building a production site is very different from setting up a development instance.  Our second goal was to prove that it was possible to launch a feature complete Drupal 8 site without any contributed modules.  In my opinion, we succeeded on both counts.  There were certainly some snags in the process, but overall it was an enjoyable experience for everyone.  I’d like to share our major take-aways from the project with you.

1.  Stronger division between the “themer” and “module developer” roles  
The switch to object-oriented programming for all of the core subsystems has been talked about quite a lot.  And yes, it is a big transition.  Some crazy high percentage of our core code has changed or moved.  As a module developer, it’s going to be up to you to learn all about Routes, Plugins, Event Listeners, and more just to do the same things you used to use hooks for.  I don’t think anyone will argue that the new way is simpler for module developers.  But I was ready for that.  I transitioned from Drupal 6 to Drupal 7.  I remember that feeling of firing up the new version for the first time and feeling like you’re walking into your house after your mother-in-law dropped by for a visit - you know everything’s there, but you just don’t know where it is anymore.  
What caught me by surprise is how little has actually changed at the theme level.  Sure, there’s Twig, but when you get right down to it, Twig doesn’t even feel that different from raw PHP templates.  Once you learn the basics, my guess is that most people working with Twig will feel more comfortable there than in PHP code.  So, what’s really changed from the themer’s perspective?  Not a whole lot.  In fact, right now it feels like a conscious effort was made to keep things consistent at the theme level.  

2.  Fewer conflicts
I’ve been using and teaching Features for years, and there’s one question that always made me cringe: “How do I avoid conflicts/merge conflicts with my features?”  My answer would usually get very abstract and I’d be talking about packaging strategies and complex push/pull/revert commands.  Now that CMI is here, we have the tool we always wanted.  Instead of combining stuff into giant PHP files as Features does, CMI writes one file per configuration object.  While this sounds really verbose, it prevents a situation where you’d get a conflict if you and a coworker change different views in the same file, since every view is in it’s own file.  In the two-month development cycle we had for our website, I think we may have ended up with a single merge conflict resulting from configuration changes.

3.  No more packaging nightmares
This goes along with my previous point about CMI, but trying to teach the right way to use Features involved a lot of abstract and hand-wavey concepts like semantic grouping and composition (and that’s just for the way I consider right).  Now that we have a true configuration management tool, we don’t need to worry about packaging at all.  Think that through for a moment.  There is no longer a need to bundle components into groups.  It all goes into one big bucket for your site.  For those of you who actually do use Features for bundling reusable components, don’t worry.  Features already has a dev release for Drupal 8 that focuses solely on grouping config into modules.  

4.  You need an editor that autocompletes
Sorry, Notepad++ enthusiasts, but you’re going to want a bona fide IDE to do any serious development on Drupal 8.   Now that we’re using a lot of OO code, you can have a documentation trail that might be spread over 5-10 parent classes/interfaces.  It is extremely nice to be able to command+click a method name to go directly to the definition and read the docblock.  It’s even better to have your editor autocomplete the method name for you.  Plus, there are a lot more types of code in core these days (YAML, JSON, and others), and it’s nice to have syntax highlighting.

5.  Think global, act local
In case you hadn’t heard, theme(), drupal_add_js(), and drupal_add_css() functions have all been removed from Drupal 8.  The new way of doing things is to always return a render array.  The short explanation for this is that rendering stuff involves adding assets (CSS/JS) to the page, and when you call theme(), those assets are just added to a global variable somewhere.  That worked fine for Drupal 7, but since we’re a bunch of forward-thinking folks, we want our pages to be able to work with subrequests, which are a way of rendering a page using multiple processes. And guess what?  Separate processes don’t share global variables.  So, when you return the HTML for your cute little teddy bear field formatter, you should return a render array with your CSS/JS assets specified using the #attached property.

In summary…
Diving into Drupal 8 was a lot of fun for our team.  Yes, that’s right, I said fun.  We enjoyed it, partly because it’s the new stuff, and partly because it was our project.  Whereas we would have felt dangerously stressed doing our first Drupal 8 site for a client under a tight deadline, we were able to focus on learning the new workflows, contributing bugfixes, and developing best practices.  

We first posted about our Drupal 8 launch here.

Attached below are wallpaper ready versions of the image at the top of this post.

Categories: Drupal

What’s next for Kingdom Come: Deliverance - by Daniel Vavra

Gamasutra.com Blogs - 2 April 2014 - 4:47am
It’s over a month since our Kickstarter campaign ended and we’ve been keeping a bit quiet. Everyone is probably curious what we’re up to now. So here I am to tell you what our plans are for the upcoming months.
Categories: Game Theory & Design
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