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Week 219

Having returned from London over the weekend, I was back in the Utrecht studio and joined by Alper who would be here the whole week. Our normal routine of remote collaboration is pretty effective but it’s fun—and useful—to have the occasional week of working face-to-face.


On Monday I tied up some loose ends from our work at the RCA the previous week. I also did some preparations for our work on Beestenbende that week. Meanwhile, Alper wrote an epic weeknote covering our adventures in London.

The next day, Alper worked on Beestenbende, pushing out another update of the iPod/iPhone version which should be the one we base the iPad mini version on. This update was related to an edge case in which two teams would finish the game with the same score. We had already built in a tie-breaker but the feedback when this kicked in wasn’t as clear as it could be. So we fixed that. It’s another tiny improvement to what is slowly but surely turning out to be a very polished museum game app.

Meanwhile, I mostly took care of some finances, punctuated by some assistance with the Beestenbende improvements.

On Wednesday Simon joined us for a full day of design work on iPad mini Beestenbende. He had already sketched out some visual designs, which we reviewed and improved on. By the end of the day they were off to the client with an accompanying rationale.

That day Alper and I also found the time to fiddle with AJI, getting more than a little annoyed with Xcode’s obscure handling of constraints.

The main reason for Alper’s stay in NL happened on Thursday. We were visited by a few folks from Shell to reflect on our work with them earlier this year on Ripple Effect. We explored the possibilities for a next stage of the project and we played a physical prototype containing many improvements over the version we piloted. I always enjoy doing this with clients. There’s something very approachable about physical prototypes which makes them excellent tools for creative collaboration. The fact that you can just immediately apply a rules change and see its effect makes it a useful and fun way to discuss design directions.

On Friday I took care of a zillion tiny things on my to-do list in preparation for a week of vacation in NYC. I handed over some things which Alper will take care of in my absence, after which he hopped on an ICE to Berlin, and I hopped on my bike home.

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