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Week 162

After last week’s mega-weeknotes I’ll keep these short. Not in the least because they effectively cover two, maybe three days, if I include Saturday.

To start with the latter: I handed the students that I have been coaching the past half year at the Utrecht School of the Arts their MA degrees. There were short speeches and proud parents, and lots of excellent work on display at the graduate exhibition. I am now going to take a break from teaching, but I am sure I will return to it soon enough.

On Thursday I met with Jeroen van Mastrigt, Valentijn Byvanck, Tempeest and Monobanda to prepare for our session at an event on heritage and games, which will happen next week on Tuesday. We talked about the ill-fated Museum of National History, of which Valentijn was one of the initiators, and the ideas they had developed there around historical education and play.

And on Friday, I sat down with Joris Dormans for a crash-course in his fascinating Machinations tool. We used the opportunity to explore some of the design issues I’ve been having with Sake. In two hours, we’d worked through some potential solutions and had found some promising new approaches. Sake is an online game with a player base of unpredictable scale. Machinations allowed us to run many quick simulations of the impact that varying amounts of players might have on the game’s core mechanics. I’d recommend picking up the book Joris has written on the subject together with Ernest Adams and diving in.

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