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Week 140

Work on Saba continued apace this week. We have one more week to go before the next playtest. So Hanne did some final adjustments on copy and Karel produced the last bits of art needed for the final stages of the game. I’ve been spending most of my time integrating all of that in the game, while Alper is focusing on making all of this stuff actually work (which means lots of coding for him).

I’m also very happy about the addition of Rik Nieuwdorp of Claynote to the team. He’ll be taking care of the game’s audio. We’ll use sound sparingly as this is a game for a museum and we don’t want to annoy non-players too much. However, some carefully placed audio will certainly enhance the player experience greatly.

In the meantime Hanne and I have been preparing a few exercises for a workshop next week with Kani‘s client. We’ll have a sizable group of hospital employees to work with. The main exercise is aimed at getting some early feedback on one game idea we consider promising. At the same time we’ll test if our target audience can relate to some of the concepts we have made central to our approach. It’ll be a bit game-like but loose enough to allow for improvisation and surprises.

On Buta‘s front, the search for a creative technologist who will complete our team continued. I’ve approached a few folks again, with some positive responses. This person will be responsible for building the tablet app, working closely with Aduen, our hardware engineer and Hein, who has joined us again to do graphic design.

I also wrote two submissions – one on Code 4 and one on Pig Chase – for GDC Europe. Although none of our work fits neatly in any of the conference’s tracks I still felt it was worth a shot. Let’s hope one or both get accepted.

Finally, I met up with Noordhoff to evaluate Galaxy Tours. As I wrote earlier, the prototype we’ve produced won’t be developed further which although the reasons for this are sound is a bit disappointing of course. However we’ve learned a lot from this project about using games for learning in secondary education. We’re planning to share these things with the client internally and I hope to be able to do the same here at least in part after that.

As a nice roundoff to the week, the shiny laser cut door sign I ordered from Ponoko arrived this morning. It complements the dark wood of our studio door nicely. Now you’ll have no trouble finding us, next time you’re in the Dutch Game Garden.

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