This GDC report contains a good summary of Katherine Isbister’s talk on the design of movement game interactions as well as a talk by Chris Hecker on the potential harmfulness of achievement systems.
I’m happy to say we have our fourth speaker confirmed for next Monday’s This happened. Here’s the blurb:
Landscape architect Ronald Rietveld talks about Vacant NL. The installation challenges the Dutch government to use the enormous potential of inspiring, unused buildings from the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st century for creative entrepreneurship and innovation. The Dutch government wants to be in the top 5 of world knowledge economies by the end of 2020. Vacant NL takes this political ambition seriously and leverages vacancy to stimulate innovation within the creative knowledge economy. Vacant NL is the Dutch submission for the Venice Architecture Biennale 2010. It is made by Rietveld Landscape, which Ronald Rietveld founded after winning the Prix de Rome in Architecture 2006. In 2003 he graduated with honors from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture.
At first sight this might be an odd one out, and architectural exhibition at an interaction design event. But both the subject of the installation and the design of the experience deal with interaction in many ways. So I am sure it will provide attendees with valuable insights.
Time is short (as seems mostly the case these days) so a quick rundown of what happened this week:
- Opened registration for This happened – Utrecht #7 and ‘sold out’ in 8 minutes.
- Joined my group of students on a field research trip to the island of Pampus.
- Worked with the PLAY Pilots website team and Zesbaans to make the online/offline coupling with De Stereoscoop a reality.
- Kicked off the third PLAY pilot with Monobanda and the people behind Le Guess Who?
- Attended Virtueel Platform’s HOT100 at PICNIC ’10 as an ‘expert’ on games.
- Paper prototyped a new version of the project Maguro game with Niki and Mathijs of Monobanda.
- In a few hours, we’ll be celebrating the launch of De Stereoscoop at the entrance of the Netherlands Film Festival pavilion (which I can actually see from the studio window).
A promise a bit more reflection on next week’s events.
“…the problem isn’t distractibility per se — the problem is distractibility coupled with a failure to curate our thoughts”. Which is why I am adding this to Delicious and not just tweeting it.
Daniel Cook’s new studio shares some similarities with Hubbub. Both follow the contemporary film studio setup, with teams of free agents converging around projects.
I read these suggestions for ways to move beyond user centred design mainly as a cry for a shift from a dehumanised ‘objective’ stance to an involved, subjective one.
Niels zegt waar het op staat en heeft gelijk. Terug in je hok, Hirsch Ballin!
“The hot new literary form is the “living novel,” constantly being re-written in real-time. This is exciting in a lot of ways; it’s also frustrating. You read a section that moves you, and you want to share it with a friend—but by the time she gets to it, it’s gone, replaced by some weird passage about the history of beekeeping.” That has to be an Ilovebees reference. I am getting the creeping suspicion that this ebook thing might trigger a revival of interactive fiction as well as ARGish weirdness. Just a gut feeling.
“Many of them are missing the irony in Cow Clicker, says Bogost, and that scares him; instead, they “peacock about what features I might add or how I’ve missed opportunities for virality,” he says. “Those reactions fill me with sorrow and dread.”” I like Cow Clicker, I think making things to comment on stuff is good. I cannot believe people would take it at face value and not see the critical aspect of it.
“We’re all media cyborgs now.” We might not be Kanye West but we can certainly employ media to expand our presence in the world, which is pretty crazy if you think about it. Via Tom.
Fiona Raby once told me that the majority of her work with students at the RCA was about psychology. After a week like this, I can see where she’s coming from. Without going into too much detail, I had my work cut out for me with a new group of students who I will be working with on a design research project at the HKU. After a first meeting with the team and a kick-off with the client the next day, it became clear I was dealing with a group with some serious motivational issues. The trick was to figure out where it all was coming from. To do this it was vital to try and see things as they really are in stead of as they were presented to me by the group. After several additional sessions (messing with my schedule but that comes with the territory) I had it figured out more or less and have formulated a plan to deal with it. Psychology.
In between all that craziness my week consisted of:
- Working with my two new interns at Hubbub. We reflected on their experiences at the Natural Networking Festival and presented a post-mortem of the first game to Thieu after attending one of the Learning Lab meetups.
- Sketching out additions to the PLAY Pilots website necessary to support the Zesbaans installation for the Netherlands Film Festival. These will launch next week in time for the installation’s unveiling on Thursday.
- Presenting my preliminary list of interactive works suitable for next year’s Tweetakt festival. This is my first time curating an event other than This happened. I am keen to mash up playful interaction design with the fringes of game design and it seems Tweetakt are up for it too. Happy days.
- Another full day of work on Maguro. Best part of which was a few quiet hours to bang out a first playable paper prototype of the game. Convergence is a bitch but always rewarding when it happens.
- Today, I hung out at BUROPONY and took care of a few odds and ends for their website. In return work has started on a last bit of Hubbub corporate identity: a design for the box to hold our business-slash-collectible playing cards.
And with that I am signing off. A train is taking me from Rotterdam to Utrecht, perhaps I will be in time to catch the tail end of friday drinks at the Dutch Game Garden. Never a dull moment there.
Wonderful. Seems like a natural transition from his games.
After a bit of a long summer break Alexander, Ianus and I are back with another edition of This happened – Utrecht. Read about the program of the seventh edition below. We’ll add a fourth speaker to the roster soon. The event is scheduled for Monday 4 October at Theater Kikker in Utrecht. Doors open at 7:30PM. The registration opens next week on Monday 20 September at 12:00PM.
Anne Nigten is director of The Patchingzone, a transdisciplinary laboratory for innovation where Master, doctor, post-doc students and professionals from different backgrounds create meaningful content. Earlier, Anne Nigten was manager of V2_lab and completed a PhD on a method for creative research and development. Go-for-IT! is a city game created together with citizens of South Rotterdam and launched in December 2009. On four playgrounds in the area street tiles were equipped with LEDs. Locals could play games with their feet, similar to console game dance mats.
Richard Boeser is an independent designer based in Rotterdam. His studio Sparpweed is currently working on the game Ibb and Obb, scheduled to launch for Playstation Network and PC in August 2011. Ibb and Obb is a cooperative game for two players who together must find a way through a world where gravity is flipped across the horizon. Players move between both sides of the world through portals. They can surf on gravity, soulhop enemies and collect diamonds. The game is partly financed by the Game Fund, an arrangement that seeks to stimulate the development of artistic games in the Netherlands.
Edwin van der Heide studied sonology at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He now works as an artist in the field of sound, space and interaction. Radioscape transforms urban space into an acoustic labyrinth. Based on the fundamental principles of radio each participant is equipped with a receiver, headphones and an antenna. Fifteen transmitters each broadcast their own composition. Inspired by short wave sounds, they overlap to form a metacomposition. By changing position, the interpretation of sound is changed as well.
“This is the first serious long-term plan I’ve ever had. I figure, Shit, I’m a guy with long term plans now? I need to re-roll my character sheet.” Totally enjoyable interview that all of a sudden has me itching to chew on some math.
Enjoyable Gibson interview. The bit about weaponized gear kind of freaked me out.