I have some catching up to do with these. What can I say, things got in the way of writing last week’s notes.
These past two weeks I have been pushing to get a new project, codenamed Ebi, off the ground. It is the next step in my involvement with the PLAY project in Utrecht. I’ve put together a team consisting of Alper, Bernard and Simon to build a game that will tie together several other playful things that will take place over the coming months at several Utrecht events. We’ve had our kick-off and are now in the midst of the first sprint, with delivery of a first rough system by the end of next week. Copy is being written, software is being developed and designs are being made. It’s a pleasure to see this ad-hoc team coming together so fast and getting down to business. That takes real skill, in addition to the craftsmanship each brings to the table.
Other than that, project Buta (another codename) started this week, which is a research thing at the new Design for Playful Impact group at the HKU. We’ve been doing field research and have been sketching and prototyping initial ideas. The subject matter is kind of controversial, so I can’t share too much about it, other than that it involves pigs. Yes, pigs.
In between, I dropped by the presentation of the U‑turm project, a student project where I acted as advisor on. The demo worked nicely. With some additional work on the game design I am sure it will be a hit in Dortmund. I also attended Layar’s one-year anniversary event, where several things were unveiled that I had some part in, such as the all-new floaticons.
Looking ahead, I’ll be busy with Ebi for the next month or two and will also have to take some time to move into a new studio, that I will be sharing with FourceLabs in the new Dutch Game Garden on the Neude. Ace location, nice space, can’t wait for that to happen.
A very low-key, quiet week this was. Partly due to the fact that I took the Monday off (gasp!) And partly due just to the fact that it’s one of those in between periods. Old projects winding down, new ones starting up.
One of those new projects I’ve codenamed Ebi. It’s the next step we’re taking with the thing called PLAY that I’ve talked about here before. I’ve been building a team and we’re ready to kick off next week.
I’ve also seen my students again, discussing the aftermath of their mid-terms. Some are moving ahead without trouble, others need some help. The trick is to figure out which student needs which kind of feedback.
And finally, you might like to know I met with Ianus and Alexander to talk about the next batch of This happened – Utrecht events. There, it’s a challenge to balance our urge to make each edition better than the next one with the fact that, essentially, we’re doing it all for the fun of it, not for business.
I totally forgot to post this last week; I’ll blame it on a combination of excellent weather and too much work on my hands. We’re already well into week 154, but to give you a brief overview of what number 153 looked like, let me just say it was more or less divided between:
- preparing for and subsequently running a hand full of urban games at the NU Grounds festival in Leidsche Rijn (we had gorgeous weather and a lot of fun, can’t wait to run more)
- sitting on a mid-term exam committee at the HKU (exhausting, but when a student nails it, as happened several times, it’s a real treat)
I also attended Kunstgras where a book profiling several creative entrepreneurs in Utrecht (for which I was interviewed) was presented.
That all left me quite spent so I took Monday off. Which, I think, is a first in over 6 months. And now we’re in the second week after my return from Copenhagen. It already seems ages ago since I stepped off that airplane.