As you may have noticed, Alper, Simon and myself have been running a tiny app project on the side. It’s called Cuppings and it helps you find good coffee spots near you.
This project grew out of a shared passion for coffee and actually started out as an idea for a coffee tasting diary app kind of thing. That turned out too unwieldy to pull off in our spare time, so we ‘pivoted’ (apologies) and did the guide. It’s doing reasonably well on the App Store considering we’re not doing any PR. And we’re having lots of nice conversations with fellow coffee geeks via @cuppings.
In the mean time, the idea to do “something” with the activity of tasting kept bouncing around my head. I’ve been playing around with various prototypes for a coffee tasting game for a while now. Most of them are two-player and are about exploring each other’s tastes and collaboratively building a aroma profile of a cup of coffee.
All of which serves as an introduction for these weeknotes because on Monday I sat down to do some cheeky drawings of common (and less common) coffee aromas.
On Tuesday I started mocking up the user interface for AJI in the rather excellent Sketch. (I can only hope they don’t sell out to Adobe.) That day we also published the first part of a blog post on that project’s background.
“I had been curious about Boyd since I read about him in Venkatesh Rao’s writing. What I found especially interesting is Boyd’s post-army work on situated cognition and creativity. Seeing as games concern themselves with the aesthetics of decision making, I expect to dive deeper into it and apply it in our work.”
Alper did find time to submit a workshop proposal to Mozilla Festival. It’s based on the same concept as the Interaction14 one—a workshop about rules and systems, making some of the hands-on techniques of game design accessible to makers of all stripes in a fun, socially relevant way.
On Thursday we published the final part of the AJI blog post. I started adjusting the prototype Alper had already built in Xcode to conform to the new UI design. This involved a lot of cursing about how constraints in storyboards work. If that last sentence is meaningless to you, consider yourself lucky.
In the afternoon I made a trip to the newish Vechtclub XL, an old factory which has been turned into a lovely creative workspace housing many different disciplines. The people behind it bootstrapped it into existence using a successful crowd-funding drive and are still expanding. They haven’t made use of any government funding so far, which used to be the norm for these kinds of initiatives. They’re also putting a lot of effort into—and succeeding at—fostering a real cross-disciplinary community inside and around the building. Inspiring.
I also caught up with games journo, narrative designer and novelist Niels ‘t Hooft—who in the past has worked on a few Hubbub projects—to receive a copy of his new novel De Verdwijners. I got to proofread an early draft and am very curious how it’s changed since then. Like I mentioned before, it’s a rarity to find proper speculative fiction in Dutch literature so I’m really excited about this book. If you’re able, you should come to the book launch in Utrecht this Wednesday.
On Friday, I started a new iteration on the ASARI prototype—final tweaks before delivery—and I wrote up Victory Boogie Woogie.