Newsfeeds

Image Wrapper

New Drupal Modules - 31 January 2018 - 3:54am

Image Wrapper helps you to add wrapper to images which are already uploaded through CKEditor, IMCE. Image wrapper will be applied based on the content type selected in back-end configuration.

NOTE: Please don't use Body style Image while using this module.

INSTALLTION

  • Copy image_wrapper directory to your modules directory.
  • Enable the module at module configuration page.

CONFIGURATION

Categories: Drupal

Form to Email

New Drupal Modules - 31 January 2018 - 2:54am
Categories: Drupal

Acronym-a-licious!

Gnome Stew - 31 January 2018 - 1:21am

I wrote a tweet Monday night, playing off of a meme, and it went a little viral.

Is your child texting about Dungeons & Dragons?

LOL: Loads of Liches

FFS: Feather Fall Saves

LMAO: Longswords, Maces, Armor, Oozes

TTYS: Tell the Treant You're Sorry

STFU: Subterranean Tunnels, Frightening Underdark

IMO: In Mordenkainen's Opinion

— Tracy (@TheOtherTracy) January 30, 2018

It got me to thinking: every culture has its own acronyms, so why not cultures in the D&D settings? So, for your convenience and entertainment, here are the most popular acronyms in some of my favorite D&D settings.

Ravenloft

SUL: Strahd’s Unrequited Love

FTDP: Find the Damn Phylactery

VTAAA: Vecna Tries Again, Again, and Again

BIFL: Barovia is for Lovers

DKL: Death Knight, Lovely

Dark Sun

DMD: Despoilers Must Die

AHSK: All Hail the Sorcerer-Kings

TIYB: Thri-Keen In Your Brain

HCS: Holy Crap, Sand

NGHM: No Gods Here, Mate

Dragonlance

BTMB: By Tanis’ Mighty Beard!

ZIPYF:, Zifnab is Paladine, You Fools

SLHO: Soth Lived Here, Once

OSP: Otik’s Spiced Potatoes

BTC: Before the Calaclysm

Planescape

MCR: Modrons Coming! RUN!

ADWD: Angel Drinking With a Devil

LPB: Lady of Pain, Berk

PIC: Pike It, Cutter!

ADCBAPATWWYBB: Any Door Could Be a Portal and Then Where Would You Be, Blood?

Forgotten Realms

WDEHI: Why Doesn’t Elminster Handle It?

DFC: Disease from Chult

HRZD: Harpers Rule, Zhentarim Drool

RBRMBANE: Reality’s Been Rewritten, Must Be a New Edition

TLOMSPBIHDSSASOMPCSBSITPSSTWA: The Lord of Murder Shall Perish, But in His Doom Shall Spawn a Score of Mortal Progeny, Chaos Shall Be Sown in Their Passage, So Sayeth the Wise Alaundo

Spelljammer

GLG: Giffs Love Guns

TTMAB: To the Moons and Back

FCS: Freaking Crystal Spheres

SIS: Screw Illithids, Seriously

MGSHFR: Miniature Giant Space Hamster, Really??

Have any acronyms you think would come up in these settings? Drop them in the comments!

Categories: Game Theory & Design

VideoBackground

New Drupal Modules - 31 January 2018 - 1:20am

Easy as hell for video backgrounds.

  • All modern desktop browsers are supported.
  • IE9+
  • iOS plays video from a browser only in the native player. So video for iOS is disabled, only fullscreen poster will be used.
  • Some android devices play video, some not — go figure. So video for android is disabled, only fullscreen poster will be used.

Prepare your video in several formats like '.webm', '.mp4' for cross browser compatibility, also add a poster with .jpg, .png or .gif extension:

Categories: Drupal

Words on a Screen: Emily Post Pun

RPGNet - 31 January 2018 - 12:00am
The etiquette of PbP.
Categories: Game Theory & Design

Mark Shropshire: Announcing the 2018 Charlotte Drupal Drive-in!

Planet Drupal - 30 January 2018 - 7:04pm

After two successful Charlotte Drupal Drive-in events in 2014 and 2015, the Charlotte Drupal User Group (CharDUG) is bringing it back on March 3rd, 2018. The format of the event is unconference style, allowing for a relaxed atmosphere where beginner and seasoned Drupalers alike are able discuss their projects, ideas, and ask questions.

Whether you want to discuss your projects with others, have an impromptu talk you would like to give, or a polished slide-deck presentation, you will be given the chance to pitch your idea(s). Once the pitches are made, every attendee will get to vote on the ones they find most interesting. This setup makes the event informal, the schedule fluid, and the topics dynamic. Most of all we have a lot of fun!

While Drupal is the focus, we will also welcome talks on development tools, JavaScript frameworks, decoupled Drupal, SEO, web marketing, hosting, and more. Bring a talk idea or just come and hangout! This year’s event will be at Charlotte North Carolina’s awesome Hygge Coworking at Camp North End. Thanks to our sponsors, we will have door prizes, coffee, snacks, and lunch provided free of charge! Did I tell you the event is free? Yep, it is!

Register for the March 3rd Charlotte Drupal Drive-in today! Hope to see you there!

Thank you to our fine sponsors!

If you want to learn more about the origins of the Charlotte Drupal Drive-in and what others think of past events, check out the links below!

Blog Category: 
Categories: Drupal

Jacob Rockowitz: WTF: What's The Future Drupal?

Planet Drupal - 30 January 2018 - 3:11pm

I love these lyrics from "Talkin’ World War III Blues" because it reminds us that it’s impossible to get all of the people to agree on what is “right”. The best we can hope for is a fair and reasonable discussion followed by a compromise.

Two weeks ago, I published a blog post that stated the Webform module now depends on the Contribute module with a reasonable explanation as to why I was making the change. Some people aggressively pushed back about this approach, especially in the Webform module's issue queue. I completely agree that long-term change on what message is communicated as well as how the Drupal community presents itself in the actual software is going to happen in the issue queue on Drupal.org and at DrupalCon. The fact that people consider me promoting the concept of joining Drupal.org, becoming a member of the Drupal Association, and contributing back to Drupal an "ad" or "SPAM" is a troubling. I view "code as content". I feel that the Drupal community and Open Source needs a push in a more sustainable direction and I’ve used the Webform module and my two years of hard work as a 'soapbox' to make an important statement, which is "WTF: What's The Future Drupal?

"WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us

So I just finished Tim O'Reilly's book titled "WTF?: What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us" and in his book, he passionately talks about how Open Source has shaped the world we see today and the future we see before us. O’Reilly says that Facebook and Google would not exist at the scale they are today without Open Source because both platforms are built on an open source stack of software. To me, that’s huge. O’Reilly’s book explores the key defining technology moments in our past, and how technology in the future is...Read More

Categories: Drupal

Jeff Geerling's Blog: Drupal VM 4.8 and Drush 9.0.0 - Some major changes

Planet Drupal - 30 January 2018 - 2:34pm

tl;dr: Drupal VM 4.8.0 was just released, and it uses Drush 9 and Drush Launcher to usher in a new era of Drush integration!

Drush has been Drupal's stable sidekick for many years; even as Drupal core has seen major architectural changes from versions 4 to 5, 5 to 6, 6 to 7, and 7 to 8, Drush itself has continued to maintain an extremely stable core set of APIs and integrations for pretty much all the time I've been using it.


New Drush version, new Drush website!

Categories: Drupal

SuperData: Free-to-play games led 2017, generating $15B in revenue

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 30 January 2018 - 1:46pm

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds brought in $712M alone as PC's top paid-game, but free-to-play games still came out on top. ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Drupal Association blog: A look back at Global Training Days in 2017

Planet Drupal - 30 January 2018 - 11:35am

Drupal Global Training Days (GTD) is an initiative of the community to introduce people to Drupal. The first events of the year were held just last Friday-Saturday, but more on that after we reflect on last year's progress. In 2017, GTD was held in 86 locations around the world. A lot of behind the scenes work happened last year to keep the project going, including the convening of a working group of trainers who had been participants in GTD in different regions of the world.


Here's what Drupical looks like when a GTD event is about to take place. So much yellow-orange!

Other noteworthy things happened in 2017 for Global Training Days. At DrupalCon Baltimore, the community included two BoFs where GTD history and challenges were discussed and progress was made to address the issues. In spring 2017 a survey was conducted to better understand the needs of the training hosts so improvements can be made in the future and 400 trainers were invited to participate. A new Twitter account @DrupalGTD was also started to keep the community informed and engaged on the project.

Highlights from the organizers

I invited three GTD hosts to answer some questions about their events to give us a view into what's happening in their local communities. Thanks Kirsten, Ildephonse, and Mauricio for participating.

Kirsten Burgard (bendygirl) from GovCon (Washington DC)

How did you get started in Global Training Days?

"We've been hosting D4G half days for several years, this year we started incorporating GTD into these events.  We were looking to get more structure into our training offerings and heard about the GTD project.  During DrupalCon Baltimore, a couple of our organizers were able to attend the Drupal Global Training Days BoF, and after that initial briefing on the project, we jumped right in. Drupal4Gov uses the GTD dates to coordinate community based training, extending our regular half-day events. Our goal is to offer a beginner session, but take advantage of the pre-coordinated space and time to offer intermediate and advanced sessions or additional topics like a Devops half day.  Drupal4Gov has hosted a training event on every GTD since attending the BoF at DrupalCon Baltimore, and we are committed to continuing that trend."

Who helped to make your training happen?

"Multiple speakers, organizers and hosts. Last year, we had National Agricultural Library (in spring), Taoti (in June), Chief (in September), and Department of Interior and Debug Academy (in December). This month, Booz Allen Hamilton and Government CIO Magazine hosted us January 26th and 27th.

Maurcio Dinarte (dinarcon) allowed us the use of his “Understanding Drupal” material for our very first official GTD at Taoti and since then we’ve used the free D8 Site Building training videos provided by Acquia in coordination with OSTraining.  Our wonderful community speakers provide additional training material that expand on the GTD efforts."

How many attended your training events in 2017 and what did they say they wanted to learn?

Our class sizes are limited by the spaces we are able to secure and the course material we are looking to teach.

Here are the number of people that registered for our events:

2017

  • April - 78

  • June - 30

  • September - 20

  • December - 33

2018

  • January - 78 (plus speakers), 8 (including host and speaker)

We have surveyed our users and the responses are always positive.  When asked about future trainings, most attendees simply asked for more of the same and/or a continuation to build on what they just learned.

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

"We do a decompress at the end of our events and at the beginning, we ask how many Drupal4Gov events they’ve attended. At our April DevOps event I asked the usual, ‘How many of you are at your 1st Drupal4Gov event’ and nearly 80% of attendees had never heard of us much less worked with Drupal. This was their first ever Drupal event. They stayed the entire time and most have come back for other events over the past year. Typically, less than half are brand new to a Drupal4Gov event. My favorite comment from any event also came from that, at the end, we ask, ‘What one thing did you learn here” and one of the speakers turned to the other two speakers and said ‘I met the other speakers and I think I can incorporate parts of their work into mine’ which is seriously awesome. We bring together people who didn’t know each other and when they leave, they feel empowered to work together to make Drupal and the Web better!

It’s probably important to explain what one of our events looks like. Please note, we limited seating to 70 and had 78 in attendance., we work really hard at not turning people away even when at capacity. So, here’s an example of the highly technical DevOps event we hosted with Zivtech, Mindgrub and the US Department of Agriculture at the National Agricultural Library:

Join Drupal4Gov for another of our Quarterly Half Day events.

This time around, we will limit to 70 attendees and spend 90 minutes each with Zivtech, Mindgrub and USDA Office of Communications about DevOps. And please note...NO COMPUTER NEEDED!

Zivtech will provide an in depth training on Probo.CI which provides environments for quality assurance and testing using the LAMP stack, complete with selenium testing and Solr search.

Mindgrub will discuss the internal processes that caused them to embrace the robot overlords and start to investigate devops automation.

USDA will close us out with how USDA.gov is using a combination of PHP7, MariaDB v10.1.21, and Varnish 4 deployed on the USDA Enterprise Platform Shared Service (available to all government agencies) which leverages Salt, Rancher, and Docker. Coupled with CDNs they had around 50k/requests per minute to the backend servers.

So, join local govies, contractors, private sector, non profits and more for amazing discussion about DevOps and testing. You have options, let's explore them together."

Maurcio Dinarte (dinarcon) from Nicaragua

Who helped to make your training happen?

"For the first edition of the training, it took Lucas Hedding and myself several months to create the curriculum. We were also supported by Norman García, who let us use a lab of his computer science institute several times. Over the years, various people helped to improve the curriculum. Many of them were students who attended one of our trainings and got Drupal jobs afterwards."

How many attended your training events in 2017 and what did they say they wanted to learn?

"About 70 people attended our trainings in 2017. To date, the trainings have covered intro to Drupal material for the most part. Many attendees want to continue learning and they have asked for more advanced site building, theming, and module development material. We are going to start doing that with our next workshop which will focus on Views."

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

"In our trainings, we cover basic site building material: how to create nodes, content types, and fields; basic Views set up; block creation and placement; and some general CMS topics and Drupal practices. Most people who attend are completely new to Drupal or web development in general. They are generally impressed by how much can be done without writing a single line of code."

Ildephonse Bikino (bikilde) from Rwanda

Who helped to make your training happen?

"Our Rwanda Drupal Community is at its beginning. During 2017, I was assisted by one of my community members named Diane. The trainings were hosted by KLAB which provides an open space for IT entrepreneurs to collaborate and innovate in Kigali, Rwanda. It was initiated by the government. So they gave us space, projector and internet access at the venue."

How many attended your training events in 2017 and what did they say they wanted to learn?

"This year we had one series of trainings, were we got approximately 388 participants organized in 8 groups 50 each. We expected only 50 people, but we got such large number of people interested. This story was written on Drupal Community Spotlight.

The second GTD had only around 45 participants for a half-day session. We limited the number of applications, as I didn't have time to make a series again by that time."

What new knowledge did attendees receive from you?

"Drupal is not popular in Rwanda and 2017 was the first time we organized GTD. So the training included basics like: introduction to Drupal, Drupal installation, Drupal opportunities, and what is the Drupal community and how does it works. We used 6 hours per day for this training."

2018 is off to a great start

It's exciting to consider the momentum created at the 17 different locations that held GTD events this past weekend. Thanks to all the organizers and groups/companies who made these events possible! Here goes a lot of thanks in no particular order:

In Chisinau, Moldova, Drupal Moldova Association, Sergiu Nagailic (nikro), Anya Abchiche (anyaabchiche), Nicoleta Nagailic (afinika), Irina Basiul, Vladimir Melnic (vladimir-m), Alexei Seremet (alexeiseremet), Alex Goja (agoja), Mihaela Mirza, USAID Moldova and the Swedish Government, Adyax, and iHUB Chisinau.

Online, Wayne Eaker (zengenuity) at DrupalTutor.

Also online, David Needham (davidneedham) along with Drew Gorton (dgorton), Tessa Kriesel (tessak22), and Dwayne McDaniel (mcdwayne) at Pantheon.

In Managua, Nicaragua, Drupal Nicaragua along with Maurcio Dinarte (dinarcon) at Agaric.

In Eger, Hungary, Roland Molnár (roland.molnar) and Labor Association.

In Leeds, UK, Crispin Read (crispin) at Drupal Apprenticeship Scheme and Rachel Lawson (rachel_norfolk).

In Munich, Germany, Johannes Haseitl (derhasi), Jörg Matheisen (joergM), Serhad Serhad Güldürsün (D_D), Rouven Volk (rvolk), and Inviqa and undpaul.

In Porto, Lisbon, Drupal Porto, Omibee, Ricardo Marcelino (rfmarcelino), Adriana Vaz (adrianavaz), Beatriz Cunha (beatriz-cunha), João Machado (joum), and Filipe Pereira (fmfpereira).

In Tokyo, Japan, Kazu Hodota (hodota) at Gennai3 Corporation.

In Conil, Spain, Drupal Conil, 1xINTERNET and Forcontu.

In Peshawar, Pakistan, S M Azmat Shah (Drupak) at Drupak.

In Brisbane and Melbourne, Australia, Vladimir Roudakov (vladimiraus) at TEstudIO.

In Boston, Kay VanValkenburgh (kay_v) and Leslie Glynn (leslieg) and the Boston Drupal Group.

In Stanford, everyone at Stanford Open Source Lab.

In Washington DC, Kirsten Burgard (bendygirl) of the Drupal4Gov team, along with Arash Farazdaghi (afarazdaghi), Virginia Nguyen (v7nguyen) (also Drupal4Gov), Eric Robbins (erobbins), Alek Snyder (alsnyder), Sara Kieffer-Hess (sarakh), Nick Massa (nxmassa), Alexandra Screven (ascreven), Heting Li, and Connor Hoehn, all from Booz Allen Hamilton. Gerardo Maldonado (g3r4), John Shortess (johnshortess), Carla Briceno (chbriceno), and Rich Allen (richardcallen2386), all from Bixal. Jerome Wiley (jeromewiley) from Government CIO Magazine. Dan Schiavone (schiavone) from Snakehill/Drupal4Gov. Matt Mendonca (mattmendonca) at NIST. Jessica Dearie (jdearie) at EPA/Drupal4Gov.

GTD is happening again in March, June, September, and December. Anyone in the community can participate, and if you want a little advice on getting started, check out the GTD group where you can find the GTD Working Group if you need help.

Categories: Drupal

Make games smarter: Attend the GDC 2018 AI Summit!

Social/Online Games - Gamasutra - 30 January 2018 - 11:06am

From Days Gone to neural networks to the robot AI of Horizon Zero Dawn, the GDC 2018 AI Summit is shaping up to be a smorgasbord of cool AI-focused game dev talks! ...

Categories: Game Theory & Design

Acro Media: Migrate Drupal Sprint Recap - Almost There!!!

Planet Drupal - 30 January 2018 - 8:41am

Sprint Date: January 11 & 12, 2018

I knew it was going to be a good few days of sprinting when the first of our team (Vicki Spagnolo) pinged the group in IRC saying she was getting started. You see, this was a virtual sprint and Vicki, being in New Zealand, starts well before the rest of us. The excitement she had going into the sprint was contagious.

Bright and early, we had our first stand-up call on Google Hangouts. We discussed all of the tasks for the next few days and dove right into working on code. A lot of the benefit of a sprint is having others around with focus to review code, so we did a lot of reviews of each other's work. Lots of issues made it from “Needs Review” to “Reviewed and Tested by the Community” (RTBC), and we had several Core committers hanging out to assist us. Special thanks to Gabor Hojtsoy, Lee Rowlands and Jess Myrbo for all their commits over the 2 day sprint.

Some progress stats. We went into the sprint with 3 Core migrate modules that weren't marked as stable. The Migrate API module went stable during the sprint. The Migrate Drupal User Interface module had one blocking issues resolved, leaving a single blocker remaining (UPDATE: this has been resolved, too). Finally, the big one, the Migrate Drupal module itself has only a few limited blockers remaining, all related to i18n/multilingual use cases.

A great benefit of sprinting with a group is that we had people available who can provide guidance and direction on architecture. With the group, we landed on a good plan of action for all the remaining i18n/multilingual issues. We opened the sprint and saw significant progress on the first step in that plan. It isn't RTBC yet, but it should go soon. After which, we have to leverage the building blocks it provides for the remaining i18n/multilingual issues.

Yes, it's down to just a few issues. Once they are wrapped up (and we saw great progress, so I'm hoping soon), all of Migrate Drupal will go stable. I also expect that the Migrate Drupal UI module will go stable at the same time.

Summary:
  • 5 Critical blockers across the entire Migrate sub-system.
  • Migrate API module went stable! Only two more to go.
  • 25 issues worked on; all with significant progress seen during the sprint.
  • 15 commits, of which 10 were serious improvements in API documentation.
  • Remaining release blockers can be found here. Filter issue priority to ‘critical’. Feel free to jump in and help!
Modules involved: Special thanks:

A huge thanks to all the sprinter: GaborHojtsy (Gabor Hojtsy), heddn (Lucas Hedding), xjm (Jess Mybro), larowlan (Lee Rowlands), masipila (Markus Sipilä), maxocub (Maxime Turcotte), phenaproxima (Adam Hoenich), quietone (Vicki Spagnolo).

Another big thanks to all the corporate sponsors: Acquia, Acro Media and Savoir-Faire Linux.

Migrate your site!

Do you have an ecommerce site that you want to migrate to Drupal 8, but not sure how? We can help! Contact us to discuss your migration with one of our experts, no strings attached.

Categories: Drupal

Web Wash: How to Implement Layouts using Bootstrap Layouts in Drupal 8

Planet Drupal - 30 January 2018 - 8:00am

If you're planning to use Bootstrap on your Drupal 8 site, the first obvious thing to do is download and set up the Bootstrap theme. Then, during the site building process, there will come the point where you need to create a few layouts. These layouts could be used for content types with Display Suite, or for custom pages using Panels.

Implementing layouts using the Bootstrap grid system is simple thanks to the Bootstrap Layouts module.

Bootstrap Layouts is a module that ships a bunch of prebuilt layouts using the grid system in Bootstrap. Best of all, these layouts can be used between Display Suite and Panels, or any module which supports the Layout Discovery module

The layouts are configurable through Drupal's administrative UI. For example, you can adjust the width of a two column layout by choosing grid CSS classes from a multi-select field.

Categories: Drupal

An object at rest

Adventures in Interactive FIction - 17 May 2008 - 2:03pm

So obviously, the pendulum of progress stopped swinging on my game.  As much as I tried to prevent it, pressing obligations just wouldn’t take a back seat (nor would the burglars who, a few weeks ago, stole 90% of my wardrobe and who last week stole my monitor).  So after a string of hectic weekends and even crazier weeks, this weekend has been pretty wide open for doing whatever I want to do.  And not a moment too soon!

So after doing all the other things I try to do with my weekends, I finally loaded up the ol’ Inform 7 IDE and started working on my game.  To get me back in the swing of things, so to speak, I started reading through what I’d already written.  It was an interesting experience.

Strangely, what impressed me most was stuff I had done that I have since forgotten I learned how to do.  Silly little things, like actions I defined that actually worked, that had I tried to write them today, probably would have had me stumped for a while.  Go me!  Except, erm, I seem to have forgotten more than I’ve retained.

I also realized the importance of commenting my own code.  For instance, there’s this snippet:

A thing can be attached or unattached. A thing is usually unattached. A thing that is a part of something is attached.

The problem is, I have no idea why I put it in there – it doesn’t seem relevant to anything already in the game, so I can only imagine that I had some stroke of genius that told me I was going to need it “shortly” (I probably figured I’d be writing the code the next night).  So now, there’s that lonely little line, just waiting for its purpose.  I’m sure I’ll come across it some day; for now, I’ve stuck in a comment to remind myself to stick in a comment when I do remember.

It reminds me of all the writing I did when I was younger.  I was just bursting with creativity when I was a kid, constantly writing the first few pages of what I was sure was going to be a killer story.  And then I’d misplace the notebook or get sidetracked by something else, or do any of the million other things that my easily distracted self tends to do.  Some time later, I’d come across the notebook, read the stuff I’d written and think, “Wow, this is great stuff!  Now… where was I going with it?”  And I’d never remember, or I’d remember and re-forget.  Either way, in my mother’s attic there are piles and piles of notebooks with half-formed thoughts that teem with potential never to be fulfilled.

This situation – that of wanting to resume progress but fumbling to pick up the threads of where I left off –  has me scouring my memory for a term I read in Jack London’s Call of the Wild.  There was a part in the book where Buck’s owner (it’s late, his name has escaped me) has been challenged to some sort of competition to see if Buck can get the sled moving from a dead stop.  I seem to remember that the runners were frozen to the ground.  I thought the term was “fast break” or “break fast” or something to that effect, but diligent (does 45 seconds count as diligent?) searching has not confirmed this or provided me with the right term.  Anyway, that’s how it feels tonight – I feel as if I’m trying to heave a frozen sled free from its moorings.

The upside is, I am still pleased with what I have so far.  That’s good because it means I’m very likely to continue, rather than scrap it altogether and pretend that I’ll come up with a new idea tomorrow.  In the meantime, I’ll be looking for some SnoMelt and a trusty St. Bernard to get things moving again.

Categories:

Time enough (to write) at last…

Adventures in Interactive FIction - 14 April 2008 - 3:24pm

So I didn’t get as much coding done over the weekend as I had hoped, mainly because the telephone company *finally* installed my DSL line, which meant I was up til 5:30 Saturday am catching up on the new episodes of Lost.  That, in turn, meant that most of the weekend was spent wishing I hadn’t stayed up until such an ungodly hour, and concentration just wasn’t in the cards.

However, I did get some stuff done, which is good.  Even the tiniest bit of progress counts as momentum, which is crucial for me.  If the pendulum stops swinging, it will be very hard for me to get it moving again.

So the other day, as I was going over the blog (which really is as much a tool for me as it is a way for me to share my thoughts with others), I realized I had overlooked a very basic thing when coding the whole “automatically return the frog to the fuschia” bit…

As the code stood, if the player managed to carry the frog to another room before searching it, the frog would get magically returned to the fuschia.  This was fairly simple to resolve, in the end – I just coded it so that the game moves (and reports) the frog back to fuschia before leaving the room.  I also decided to add in a different way of getting the key out of the frog – in essence, rewarding different approaches to the same problem with success.

Which brings me to the main thrust of today’s post.  I have such exacting standards for the games I play.  I love thorough implementation.  My favorite games are those that build me a cool gameworld and let me tinker and explore, poking at the shadows and pulling on the edges to see how well it holds up.  A sign of a good game is one that I will reopen not to actually play through again, but to just wander around the world, taking in my surroundings.  I’ve long lamented the fact that relatively few games make this a rewarding experience – even in the best games, even slight digging tends to turn up empty, unimplemented spots.

What I am coming to appreciate is just how much work is involved in the kind of implementation I look for.  Every time I pass through a room’s description, or add in scenery objects, I realize just how easy it is to find things to drill down into.  Where there’s a hanging plant, there’s a pot, dirt, leaves, stems, wires to hang from, hooks to hang on, etc.  Obviously, unless I had all the time in the world, I couldn’t implement each of these separately, so I take what I believe to be the accepted approach and have all of the refer to the same thing.  Which, in my opinion, is fine.  I don’t mind if a game has the same responses for the stems as it does for the plant as a whole, as long as it has some sort of relevant response.  Even so, this takes a lot of work.  It might be the obsessive part of me, but I can’t help but think “What else would a person think of when looking at a hanging plant?”

Or, as I’ve come to think of it:  WWBTD?

What Would Beta Testers Do?

I’ve taken to looking at a “fully” implemented room and wondering what a player might reasonably (and in some cases unreasonably) be expected to do.  This is a bit of a challenging process for me – I already know how my mind works, so trying to step outside of my viewpoint and see it from a blind eye is hard.   I should stop for a second to note that I fully intend to have my game beta tested once it reaches that point, but the fewer obvious things there are for testers to trip over, the more time and energy they’ll have for really digging in and trying to expose the weaknesses I can’t think of.

I’ve found one resource that is both entertaining and highly informative to me:  ClubFloyd transcripts.  ClubFloyd, for the uninitiated (a group among which I count myself, of course) is a sort of cooperative gaming experience — if anyone who knows better reads this and cares to correct what may well be a horrible description, by all means!– where people get together on the IFMud and play through an IF title.  The transcripts are both amusing and revealing.  I recently read the Lost Pig transcript and it was quite interesting.  The things people will attempt to do are both astonishing and eye-opening.  In the case of Lost Pig (which, fortunately, I had already played before reading the transcript), what was even more amazing was the depth of the game itself.  I mean, people were doing some crazy ass stuff – eating the pole, lighting pants on fire, and so on.  And it *worked*.  Not only did it work, it was reversible.  You obviously need the pole, so there’s a way to get it back if, in a fit of orc-like passion, you decide to shove it in down Grunk’s throat.

Anyway, my point is, the transcripts gave me a unique perspective on the things people will try, whether in an effort to actually play the game, to amuse themselves, or to amuse others.  Definitely good stuff to keep in mind when trying to decide, say, the different ways people will try to interact with my little porcelain frog.

Other Stuff I Accomplished

So I coded in an alternate way to deal with the frog that didn’t conflict with the “standard” approach.  I also implemented a few more scenery objects.  Over the course of the next few days, I’m going to try to at least finish the descriptions of the remaining rooms so that I can wander around a bit and start really getting to the meat of it all.  I also want to work on revising the intro text a bit.  In an effort to avoid the infodumps that I so passionately hate, I think I went a little too far and came away with something a bit too terse and uninformative.  But that’s the really fun part of all of this – writing and re-writing, polishing the prose and making it all come together.

Whattaya know.  Midnight again.  I think I’m picking up on a trend here.

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Day Nothing – *shakes fist at real life*

Adventures in Interactive FIction - 8 April 2008 - 12:13pm

Grrr… I’ve been so bogged down in work and client emergencies that progress on the game is at a temporary (no, really!  Only temporary) standstill.  I’ve managed to flesh out a few more room and scenery descriptions, but have not accomplished anything noteworthy in a few days.  Hopefully after this week most of the fires on the work front will be extinguished, and I’ll have time to dive into the game this weekend.

(She says to no one, since there’s been one hit on this blog since… it started.)

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