The previous week seamlessly flowed into this one when on saturday I sat down to finalize the deck of slides for Raum Schiff Erde. On sunday morning, I grabbed a train and five hours later I was in Stellwerk, the conference’s lovely venue. Kind, clever people, a nice relaxed and friendly atmosphere, interesting talks, all in all a good event. There is more about what I talked about on the Hubbub blog. It wrapped up with some music and then we were off to dinner. Turned in late and got up early the next morning for another train. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed this short in a hotel, didn’t even manage to squeeze in breakfast.
On the train ride, I managed to review all of the graduation project proposals of my students. These were first drafts, next week they’ll need to submit a final version after one more round of reviews. Some have lovely, curious topics. (A satirical newsgame, anyone?) I’ll share some of them with you sometime soon.
I had a few hours to take a breather when I got back to Utrecht and then it was off to the HKU Academy Theatre to prepare for This happened – Utrecht #5. This was the first edition of the new year, and also the first in a new venue, which made it kind of scary. But everything turned out great. (Read a few reports to get a sense of the evening, if you’re interested.) We had possibly the best series of talks so far (although, of course, they’ve all been great) and a great crowd. I’m already looking forward to #6.
As if two of these challenges weren’t enough, on wednesday it was D‑day for project Tako (which is part of a bigger plan that is locally known simply as PLAY). I presented the results of my research to a room full of cultural event organizers, games developers and assorted luminaries of the Utrecht city scene. I managed to wrap up the sizable stack of sketches only hours before in a final adrenaline-fueled design sprint. The responses were encouraging, so it seems we can start exploring the next stage. But before this I’ll need to annotate the deck of slides, include all the feedback and then we might have something we can publish.
In between and after, it’s been more work at Layar. I’ve been digging into the specs for several prototypes — lots of sketching there, too — forcing myself to consider multiple paths. Some of the output has been handed over to engineers. I can’t wait to see the results of their development efforts.
Even though all of this is more fun than is legal, I can’t wait for a work free weekend, too.