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Week 212

On Monday last week I returned from a fun stay in Warsaw. That same day, I attended This happened – Utrecht #17. As almost always, the talks were lovely honest accounts of how things were made. I was particularly taken with Mieke Meijer’s story about her discovery of a wood-like material made of old newspapers.

On Tuesday, I had an early Skype call with SANMA’s client, who are based in Sydney. We kicked off the project and talked about where our contributions will have the most impact.

I also did a little work on Beestenbende.

Marc Fonteijn had invited me to join him for a short interview about Making Progress in the BNR studio on Wednesday. I had fun talking with the host about our work, Pig Chase in particular and parrying his somewhat flippant responses. It was also rather amazing to see a girl read the news. You never realize it’s an actual person doing that when listening on the radio. Seeing it live, I was struck by how much of a skill it actually is.

That day I also worked a bit on AJI, fighting with Xcode about typography, mostly.

On Thursday I managed to scope out Koffie & Ik for Cuppings. A nice spot in the west of Utrecht. I’m told the cakes are good.

I also attended the Making Progress premiere. It wasn’t easy seeing myself on big screen but the film did give me the urge to make even more things than we already do. Afterwards, it also sparked a nice debate about how to thrive in disorder. I guess that’s the best kind of thing a documentary on innovation, progress and change can hope for.

The week ended with more work on AJI. By the end I had set up all the screens I wanted so now it’s a matter of waiting for Alper to come back and tie up my loose ends. After which we should be ready to shoot a video and write about it.

Speaking of Alper, he continued his holiday in Japan taunting all of us with photos of coffee bars and mountain tops. He’ll return this week (today, actually).

On Friday afternoon I hosted a prototype critique session for local game designers. Most studios in NL are small, so typically game designers find themselves without peers to get feedback from on their work. I decided to invite a bunch of them and asked them to bring their work in progress. We sat down for a few hours, played them and offered constructive criticism. It was a lot of fun and also very useful. A session such as this is complementary to traditional play testing and I think it might help all of us designers to grow as practitioners.

Testing Tim's strategic board game at Prototype Friday

The prototype session was followed by another FRIDAYS AT 7 which was unassuming fun as always.

To finish, let me point out Eric Zimmerman’s manifesto for a ludic century, which we very much subscribe to. At the same time, we appreciate the criticism it has provoked, most notably David Kanaga’s mind-blowing response. You should read both and if you do, tell us what you think!

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