Week 183

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.

Week 182

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.

links for 2010-12-14

Week 181

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.

links for 2010-12-07

Week 180

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.

links for 2010-12-03

  • “Spy Par­ty is two-play­er game with one play­er tak­ing the role of the spy and the oth­er tak­ing the role of the sniper. The spy may be one of any num­ber of par­ty guests, joined by an ambas­sador and a dou­ble agent. The spy has four tasks to com­plete: Bug the ambas­sador, steal a stat­ue, trans­fer a micro­film and con­tact the dou­ble agent. The sniper has just one task: iden­ti­fy and assas­si­nate the spy.” This game sounds excel­lent. I want to play it now.
  • “So here it is: all recent urban plans I saw where based on the assump­tion that some sort of growth (demo­graph­ic, eco­nom­ic) would pro­pel the city back into the lime­light. Now that this assump­tion has been slashed we need to rethink our urban strate­gies. What will the city look like in a con­tract­ing world?”