All RPGs and Storygames by Tod Foley are now available at DrivethruRPG. Bring these games to your table!
I wanted to share my experience running micro-sessions — all under and hour — for my two teen sons.
I’m using the d20 Modern system, or at least a bare bones version of it.
Everyone at the table has mastered this rules set, which is something to keep in mind if you wish to mimic the experience. The session could be played without fussing — or taking a deep dive into the gray manuals for referencing any rules. That helps with pacing.
The campaign — six sessions in all — was a treasure hunt/adventure. The PCs were tasked by their employer to locate clues and keys needed to obtain the Diadem of Cleopatra — believed to have been ported across Europe over the centuries by the legendary “Lost” Ninth Legion — before the nefarious Nautilus Club got to it first.
Everyone had guns, so there were lots of things that went bang and boom, and vehicles and aircraft that went fast.
My youngest son called it an Uncharted video game for the tabletop. (Not being a video console player other than NBA 2K, I’ll take his word for it.) When we started, I had in mind a Clive Cussler/Preston & Child type of romp.
My takeaways from running these six sessions:
Keeping rules referencing light kept the action moving.
I had two cribs, a list of weapons and vehicles with the d20 stats, and the Menace Manual open for NPC stats. If the thing wasn’t found there, we made it up on the fly. The PCs were all 5th level characters — there was no leveling up or character stat advancement.
Laptop with open browser was GM screen/visual prompt.
One browser was for pictures of locations the encounter took place in — I could swing the screen around and show the players what the museum or historical location looked like. I had Google maps up on a second browser window, so I could instantly provide that to them as well. The third browser window was to an informational page about the Ninth Legion if the PCs needed to make research checks.
Player choices were always A or B.
The next step in the treasure hunt was always presented as an A or B choice. Before presenting the choice, I picked one on behalf of the adversaries — the Nautilus Club. If the PCs picked the same as me, then they were a step behind. If they picked otherwise, they were a step ahead.
Making up NPCs on the fly was fun.
Yes, I have a lifetime of watching Bond and spy movies, so coming up with signature NPCs to challenge my teen protagonists was not difficult. But building NPCs has always been in my wheelhouse. Other GMs might require a little prep time in this regard. All I can say is that the Nautilus Club hires some colorful and weird enforcers. Their HR Department must be a hoot.
Skipping the debriefing
With one exception, all the sessions had two combats connected by a quickie travel sequence and a brief exploration sequence. Satellite phone conversations with the home base were necessarily short. Essentially, that meant there was little time for roleplay. It worked for this type of game. Your mileage might differ. Recaps from the previous session were quick and to the point. But we did sacrifice story depth and character development for a more frenetic play experience.
I prefer games with more depth and immersion, but after devoting the whole autumn and early winter to Waterdeep Dragon Heist, this was a nice change of pace.
This week's highlights include pieces on Ape Out & the Toejam & Earl reboot, plus the history of the 'game over' screen, the effects of Brexit on the UK game biz, and more. ...
Extra Pagination is a very simple module that provides a new set of pager items between the last visible pager link and the maximum pager number. This is mainly done for SEO reasons and make us reach any page in 3-4 clicks maximum. Suggestions and feature requests are welcome.
This modules is currently only available for Drupal 8.Installation and requirements
No setup required. Once you install the module, the extra pager items will appear.Credits
Consistency is a key element in two things, success and web development and both go hand in hand when working on developing a website, either from scratch or revamping an existing one. What aids this consistency is the ability to recognise a pattern that is often repeated in the process and then followed for achieving a common result.
Ensuring a consistent and easy to maintain website is one of the biggest headaches faced by large organisations. This is the exact gap where the suggestion of creating a pattern library as the solution can come into the picture.
But what are pattern libraries? And how can they be put to use? Let’s find out!
Pattern libraries aid in using easy elements and styles in a project in order to document the visual language of a site, promote consistency, provide user control and reduce cognitive load.What is a Pattern Library? The primary attraction of a pattern library is that the time taking process of building new features and pages is reduced to a minimum
The importance of Pattern libraries gained attention in the tech space when developers started understanding the benefits of having readymade components for projects. In this era of wanting quick and easy fixes, the primary attraction of a pattern library is that the time taking process of building new features and pages is reduced to a minimum. Thus, the main purpose is to help create consistent websites that are easy to maintain and become a solid part of the design and development process. A pattern library works in a way that it documents all ‘patterns’ (also known as modules) to defines what they look like and how they behave and code.Style Guides, Pattern Libraries, Design Systems
Style guides, pattern libraries and design systems may hold similar implication for designers and developers, but they exist as individual entities. Also, style guides and pattern libraries( also known as component libraries) may co-exist together to form complete and coherent design systems for a product. Let’s explore the difference between them in detail.
Typically encompassing a company’s branding guidelines, including components like logo usage, designated color palettes, and editorial tone, a Style Guide is a collection of pre-designed elements to be followed to ensure consistency and a cohesive experience at the end. It is often wrapped as a whole by the company as a deliverable to work with vendors in partnerships. They can directly influence the look and feel of a Pattern Library with the basic difference being that Style Guides can have a standing without data, while Pattern Libraries do rely on some data to function.
On the other side, a Pattern Library often confine static UI elements, being a storage for your components like articles, headers, galleries, dropdown menu, accordion, and even common web page layouts, like grids. Though style guides do not always worry about context and relationships with data, UI elements and their application in the overall user experience depend largely on context and the interplay with content. Thus, Pattern Libraries focus on interface design, and would not include rules that apply globally to print or other mediums.
This brings us to the Design system joining the dots between a style guide and a pattern library to define the principles relating to the way in which components should exert together. It defines how a layout should work being a form of product documentation which contains everything that helps with delivering the outcome.
Often influenced by a style guide, a pattern library usually includes HTML snippets or living documentation for website components which are well-documented and responsive. For instance, pattern libraries can include –
We have reached an understanding that pattern libraries escalate productivity, but how and in what ways it makes it possible on the ground level? Following are the three-fold benefits of pattern libraries:Consistency
Development of big sites happens over a prolonged period by a group of developers working on it and requires to be revised regularly. This leads to a fragmented user interface unless everything is in place to ensure consistency.
From Navigation shifts position to form elements, everything has a different format and approach. A pattern library offers a straightforward way to duplicate existing design and functionality on any page of the site for a steady user interface in a fixed frame.Reusability
If multiple web teams work on multiple sites of different departments in a company, they might end up reinventing the same styles at a considerable cost.
In such cases, a central pattern library can be formulated for reuse functionality and design. A pattern for a particular requirement in the area of responsibility can then be shared with the whole group and also be available for future projects.
This makes a new site or subsection becomes a mere matter of combining these patterns, in much the same way you build something out of Lego bricks.Easy Maintenance
Having a consistent pattern library that everybody pools from makes the maintenance work easier as seeing all of the pieces in one place makes the task effortless.
Having coded elements in the same way from the very beginning makes it much elementary for a developer to work on somebody else’s code. Also, for a new developer, work efficiency can speed up by looking at the existing pattern library in use and build the site based primarily on it.Who is it For? End User:
From the user’s perspective, websites and products that are familiar and consistent provide a smooth experience along with reducing cognitive load on the user.Development Team:
For teams to focus on the bigger picture without worrying about pushing pixels, pattern libraries help ship products faster to ensure greater efficiency in internal processes and allowing engineers to re-use existing codes.Organization:
Providing longevity to big sites which are developed by different people over a prolonged period and revised regularly, Pattern Libraries proves to increase the productivity of the organisation at large.
One of the more popular Pattern Libraries, a static site generator called Pattern Lab, is based on Brad Frost’s Atomic Design concept. There are many others to choose from, but this blog will focus on Pattern Lab being a dynamic prototyping and organization tool.
Pattern Lab is available for download on GitHub and can be used as part of your existing or new projects.Pattern Lab + Drupal 8 = Emulsify
Emulsify is a component-driven prototyping tool that uses atomic design principle and modern frontend practice to develop a living style guide. It can be easily implemented into any CMS to render twig files as it adopts the methodology where the smallest components are atoms, which are assembled into molecules, organisms, templates, and finally pages.
With the shift for templating in Drupal 8 to Twig, a whole new range of tools are now available for theming.
Emulsify authorises you to assemble and manage components in a way that enhance your workflow by integrating Pattern Lab. The Emulsify based project works with custom template names that are specific to the project, developers, and clients. This segregates category-wise patterns(modules) and increases the proficiency of the process.Emulsify authorises you to assemble and manage components in a way that enhance your workflow by integrating Pattern Lab
When the templates are all set for production, Emulsify connects them to Drupal in a non-complex way as a Twig function (include, extends, or embed) and connects the Drupal templates to the component files.
Emulsify swears by a "living style guide" approach where the style guide components are the same ones in use on the live site. One doesn’t have to worry about the components becoming obsolete or looking unusual than the style guide.
Also, the components constructed with Emulsify are used on any project, with or without Drupal. In simpler terms, it can be used with any CMS that renders content with Twig, including WordPress. This provides an opportunity to work with any frontend expert in a development team as they will be only working with familiar technologies. However, if your project doesn't use Twig, Emulsify can still be used by designers and front-end developers to build a style guide and then be carried forward by backend developers.In Conclusion
Though building a pattern library demands a lot of work, but once set, it eases the process for all future projects. You can always take baby steps and start small, with just a lightweight overview of the main patterns and modules, without any detailed documentation. Later, you can always progressively refactor and upgrade the pattern library over time by adding features according to the team need.
Aiming for a full-proof pattern library that solves all problems at once might take a year-long project’s time without immediate, tangible benefits to extract from.Pattern libraries Pattern library Pattern Lab Emulsify Drupal 8 Blog Type Articles Is it a good read ? On
The module generates an image from the first page of a pdf file attached to a core media entity (file bundle) and set it the thumbnail field of the entity.
The module needs the following PHP extension installed on the server: imagick
This module provides a simple chat functionality.
Simple usage and installation.
- enable the module
- position the chat block 'Z Chat block'
- grant permission to the users who should be able to use the chat, 2 permissions are needed: 'Create new Zchat Message entities' and 'Use zchat'
Make use of meteo services from the input of other fields like Address or Geofield.
Brains and guts of a layout library.
Integrates Outlayer for layout libraries like Isotope, Masonry, Packery with Blazy and GridStack. Outlayer will make awesome GridStack layouts filterable, sortable, searchable.
Prevent Term Delete module is built to restrict the taxonomy term deletion when the taxonomy term is associated with nodes or used in entities using taxonomy term reference.
The Decoupled Quiz module provides an interactive quiz that allows site owners to ask users a specific set of questions that are meant to give recommendations to users based on their answer selections.
The module, that is built according to decoupled pattern, provides required entities, exposes endpoints, provides a sample container for frontend components and contains an example of a decoupled component constructed in React.
Adds a payment method to Ubercart to accept credit card payments through Eurobank
Redirect (Greek bank).
Implementation follows the Eurobank Redirect specifications from Cardlink.
Our annual company retreat happens at the beginning of each year. It’s a perfect time to think of the intentions we want to set in our personal and professional lives. This year’s retreat was once again at the quiet and unassuming Smoke Tree Ranch in Palm Springs, California. It’s a destination that now feels like home for Lullabot, with this year marking our fifth trip to the same place.
This project exists solely to run automated tests for the User Guide project. The tests also generate screenshot images that are used on pages of the User Guide, and database/file backups that can be used to set up a local demo site ready to follow the steps at intermediate chapters of the User Guide.