Thought I’d do this again. I read 27 books last year, almost exclusively on my Kindle. Below is a list, in order of finish date (latest first). I highlighted five favorites and provided a bit of commentary.
- How to Do Things with Videogames, Ian Bogost
- Lady of Mazes, Karl Schroeder
- The Well-Played Game, Bernie DeKoven
- The Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut
- Critical Play, Mary Flanagan
- The Scar, China Mieville
- Lord of the Flies, William Golding
- American Gods, Neil Gaiman
- Rework, David Heinemeier Hansson, Jason Fried
- The Road, Cormac McCarthy
- The transmigration of Timothy Archer, Philip K. Dick
- The Divine Invasion, Philip K. Dick
- Vermilion Sands, J. G. Ballard
- The Broom Of The System, David Foster Wallace
- Number9Dream, David Mitchell
- Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gold
- Last Call, Tim Powers
- Thoughts on Interaction Design, Jon Kolko
- The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- The great Gatsby, Francis Scott Fitzgerald
- Unit Operations, Ian Bogost
- I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, Harlan Ellison
- The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin
- Get Shorty, Elmore Leonard
- The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
- The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves, Matt Ridley
And so the last workweek of the year has come to an end. I’ve just wrapped some going-away gifts for Wieger and Sylvan, who have been interns at Hubbub for the past four months. I’ve put together a little survival kit containing everything a junior agent of Hubbub needs to make it out in the big bad world.
It’s been a relatively quiet week, with some work on Maguro, which will kick off properly in the new year when all of the team is back on deck. Alper has started doing some small software prototyping of the basic gameplay. Prototypes over ideas, that’s how I prefer to do things.
I went over to the Netherlands Film Festival to look back on our collaboration as part of the PLAY Pilots project. Seems like we’re both keen to do more work together in 2011, which is nice.
I was at Mediamatic wednesday night to do an Ignite talk on the work that’s been going on at Hubbub. That went quite well (I was glad to have practiced the thing a few times, because the time pressure is killer). I’ll post slides and a transcript to the Hubbub blog soonish.
I managed to squeeze in some shenanigans in the snow too. A nice follow up to last friday’s snow fight, this time I rode a too-fast-for-my-own-good sleigh down the side of the old city fortifications towards the moat and almost collided with a dog and a little kid. I managed to stay dry though. That was fun.
And with that it is time to sign off. I started writing these weeknotes at the beginning of this year and wasn’t at all sure if I would keep it up. Turns out I did, and I have to say it’s been a pleasure to write these for the most part.
Even so, I don’t think I’ll keep writing these here in 2011. Most of my work now happens at Hubbub so I’ll be writing the occasional update over at the blog there.
When it comes to the link posts, I used to do this with Delicious, but like many I’ve made the switch to Pinboard last week. I don’t think I’ll reactivate link posts, so if you want to follow the bookmarks, follow me there.
And of course there’s my personal Twitter account, and the Hubbub one. That might be easiest in fact although maybe a bit overwhelming at times.
All that’s left to say is thank you for reading this, have a merry Christmas a happy new year, and I will catch you again sometime somewhere.
First at the studio, coffee brewing, Tron Legacy soundtrack playing making this feel like an epic morning. It’s week 182 which means the penultimate workweek of this year. I’m looking forward to a much needed holiday between Christmas and the new year during which I will be completely off the grid. Being disconnected has become a luxury.
Thing are quieting down, but still there’s plenty to do, although things seem a little less fragmented. I basically focused on getting a new project codenamed Maguro off the ground. I signed the contract with the client and briefed the team. We’ll be making a pervasive game aimed at creating a change in the attitude of a large governmental service’s personnel. It’s ambitious and exciting. Good thing I have some very bright minds on the team: Alper, Simon, Karel and Niels. We’ll get started properly next year. Can’t wait.
Besides this I went over to Muiden to attend a demo and presentation of the game my students created for the island of Pampus. There was too much ice in the IJsselmeer so we couldn’t actually go to the island, so the demo was done on a dike with a view of the lake. I took some photos. It was great.
And in between I have been talking to the studios who created the PLAY Pilots live games. Evaluating the project, so that if we get to do it again in the new year (which I am very much hoping we can) we keep doing what we did well, and improve on the things we could have done better.
With that it’s time to sign off and dive into friday. Tonight’s Hubbub Christmas drinks at Kafe België. Very much looking forward to that.
And then all of a sudden there’s only a few more weeks left in the year. As is usually the case at such a time I’m trying to tie up as many loose ends as I can before taking a one-week break between Christmas and the new year:
I worked with Alper, Simon and Bernard to get the last PLAY Pilots addition out the door. I did a final assessment of the work my students did for Pampus. I worked with Wieger and Sylvan to tweak the very last test they’ll be doing for the Learning Lab metagame…
And then there’s new things, such as Maguro, for which I wrote a briefing and drew up contracts. And Tweetakt 2011, for which I had another meeting to go over production details of the various works on display. I also talked with Ianus and Alexander about the next editions of This happened – Utrecht. So 2011 is a lot on my mind already.
I don’t know if I will keep on keeping these notes next year. I want to free up some time to do other writing, and I think a better place for these status updates is the Hubbub blog, since I have more or less phased out my freelance practice this year and so don’t work under the Leapfrog moniker anymore. We’ll see.
Last week was packed again. When a few last minute meetings get squeezed in, it usually means trouble. Week number 180 was no exception, which explains the absence of a weeknote on friday. A quick rundown of stuff that went down:
- Wieger and Sylvan worked on a prototype of the Learning Lab metagame, which we presented on friday. Got heaps of feedback, now all that’s left to do is: do a last live test, document the design, write up things we learned throughout the project.
- Together with Irene I spent time detailing a storyboard for a video sketch for project Buta. We met up with Hein on friday, to see if he could be assist us, since he has mad video and motion graphics skills.
- Properly kicked off Maguro on thursday. More on that one soon.
- Did a review of the Pampus project, which is coming along nicely. This friday I’ll do the final assessment of the project, and the week after it’ll be presented to the client so the heat is on.
- We did a “pants down” release of the Bandjesland additions to the PLAY Pilots website. Shame’s a good motivator, so now we have a real incentive to tweak it so we can announce it officially this tuesday.
- I wrote some descriptions of the interactive work that’ll be on display at Tweetakt 2011.
Another quick weeknote, things are simply too busy. I was going to attend the STRP conference today, for example (which looks great) but have had to cancel. Too much to attend to.
So what’s up?
- We ran This happened – Utrecht #8 last Monday. For a great impression of the evening read this report by Iskander. Video’s will be up soon at the event’s page.
- Work with Alper, Simon and Bernard on the last of the additions to the PLAY Pilots website. The project is nearing its end as the last live game will launch tonight at Le Guess Who?
- A full day of meetings and a session with the Pampus student team at the HKU. I also had the chance to discuss the next steps for project Buta (you know, the thing involving pigs).
- A trip to the Graphic Design Museum to discuss the challenges of exhibiting games.
- Some work with my interns at Hubbub on the Learning Lab metagame. They’ve built a great paper prototype; we’re going to play it today.
- And some talk in between about what happens after PLAY Pilots, as well as about the interactive program for Tweetakt 2011…