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.
Another quick weeknote, things are simply too busy. I was going to attend the STRP conference today, for example (which looks great) but have had to cancel. Too much to attend to.
So what’s up?
- We ran This happened – Utrecht #8 last Monday. For a great impression of the evening read this report by Iskander. Video’s will be up soon at the event’s page.
- Work with Alper, Simon and Bernard on the last of the additions to the PLAY Pilots website. The project is nearing its end as the last live game will launch tonight at Le Guess Who?
- A full day of meetings and a session with the Pampus student team at the HKU. I also had the chance to discuss the next steps for project Buta (you know, the thing involving pigs).
- A trip to the Graphic Design Museum to discuss the challenges of exhibiting games.
- Some work with my interns at Hubbub on the Learning Lab metagame. They’ve built a great paper prototype; we’re going to play it today.
- And some talk in between about what happens after PLAY Pilots, as well as about the interactive program for Tweetakt 2011…
I have developed a sort of routine when it comes to writing these notes. I usually sit down on friday morning and bang them out in around half an hour. The trick to a lot of the things I do is developing habits. Others would call it OCD.
But whenever something other than the ordinary stuff happens on friday, it’s a challenge to still post weeknotes. This was the case last week. I was at Game in the City to see Keita Takahashi speak and also participate in an invitation-only workshop with him. A great experience all around, Takahashi-san turned out to be a bit of a philosopher, an interesting combination of a super-serious and very playful personality. The signed Katamari disk I took home is a perfect souvenir.
Week number 179 has taken off already, so I’ll have to keep this short now. The most important things to report are that I worked on the Bandjesland additions to the PLAY Pilots website with Alper, Simon and Bernard. The game had a test-run last friday and we’ll be doing a test of the data import this week so we can tweak and tune before the whole thing goes live coming friday.
Furthermore, I spoke at an event for middle school teachers on wednesday, where I proposed a traveling games studio that would partner with teachers and students to make games about a variety of subjects (anything really). Got some nice responses afterwards, which was heartening. Slides and notes will probably show up once things calm down a bit on the Hubbub blog.
Aside from this I worked on Maguro, the Pampus project, Tweetakt 2011 and the Learning Lab project, and took care of the last preparations for This happened – Utrecht #8. The latter took place last night and was a lot of fun once again. Bring on the rest of number 179!
I was just checking out a secret development version of the Bandjesland page on PLAY Pilots. It is shaping up nicely, all the basic tech is in place, now it’s just a matter of kneading it to look nice and connecting it to the installation Monobanda are building for Le Guess Who? When all goes according to plan we’ll have a lovely online record of what went down in that very special place in Tivoli Oudegracht. Getting the scaffolding up for this took up a large chunk of the week, with Alper and Simon back in the studio for engineering and design.
Next wednesday I’ll be speaking at an event for teachers in middle education at Pakhuis de Zwijger organized by Noordhoff Publishers. I’ve been asked to share my most remarkable idea for engaging students in a novel way. I have a rough outline of the thing on paper (it popped up almost fully formed when I woke up this morning, love it when that happens). Now it’s just a matter of building the slides. Shouldn’t take too long.
Another major thing this week was coaching the development of a paper prototype of the game we’re designing for the Learning Lab. Wieger and Sylvan, my two awesome interns at Hubbub, have come up with a lovely concept for something that runs on top of the course’s internal blog system and supports students with reflecting on their self-development. We played through it this morning with the client, filled a big whiteboard with comments and are now in good shape to work towards a version that we can playtest with students. Lovely.
As I was starting to write this a discussion broke out on dramaturgy and game design. So I got sidetracked debating similarities and differences between disciplines and most importantly what they have to offer to each other. The room was filled with interaction designers, game designers and folk with a theatre background. So that was interesting.
More mixing of disciplines: on tuesday I spent a day working on Buta with Irene van Peer, a product designer with a tremendous amount of experience in the healthcare domain. We sat down and managed to push the work forward through lots of sketching and making. Next up is more work with pigs and farmers on site.
The rest of this week was taken up by work for PLAY Pilots (Monobanda’s Bandjesland for Le Guess Who? is turning out great), the Pampus project at the HKU, and a few meetings for new projects on the horizon.
I have been paying attention to my calory intake the past few weeks. It turned out this was far too low. Now that I am eating much more I find myself being able to cope with less sleep, more stress and just generally feeling much better. Which also makes for more pleasure taken from my work. Who’d have thought food could be such an upper?