Week 155 & 156

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.

links for 2010-06-18

links for 2010-06-17

  • “I want to see things earn the priv­i­lege to be objects. If we have the option of things being “real” and “not real,” I want the real stuff to be real­ly good. I want the times when ink hits paper to always be beau­ti­ful, use­ful, and desir­able. It seems like such a shame to cut down a tree to print this Land’s End cat­a­log, with the thin mod­el coy­ly smil­ing at me on the back in her awk­ward swim­suit. I bet it bunch­es up in the wrong spots. It seems sil­ly to give per­ma­nence to a thing that was meant to be ephemer­al to begin with.” I don’t know who this guy is but he has some sen­si­ble things to say about design and phys­i­cal­i­ty.

links for 2010-06-11

Week 154

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.

links for 2010-06-08

Week 153

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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.

links for 2010-06-01