Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 221

So, hello from NYC. We’ll be here for a few more days before heading back to Utrecht and Berlin.

After spending a week seeing the sights with my lovely wife, last week I moved to an apartment in the Lower East Side and started work on Beestenbende. Simon had designed the new UI in record time and I had the dubious honor of moving them into Xcode. Fortunately, exporting assets from Sketch is almost painless. The recent addition of asset catalogs in Xcode is a significant improvement too, although as a tool it remains an unwieldy beast.

Alper arrived on Tuesday and proceeded to assist me with some minor code adjustments. By the time Friday turned around we had hit our milestone with time to spare. The app is now waiting on feedback from the client.

In the evenings, we sampled some of the many events NYC has to offer on an almost daily basis. On Wednesday, I headed over to E-flux for three perspectives on accelerationism. It was stimulating at times, but I was a bit disappointed with the seemingly deliberate use of obscure language. Maybe I have been spoiled by reading quite a bit of Latour recently, who blows your mind without resorting to jargon.

That same night Alper went to see a bunch of friends from the privacy movement at the Snowden and the Future lecture by Eben Moglen at Columbia.

On Thursday we both headed to NYU for the Ludic Century Debate. It never really caught fire but Ben Johnson and Abe Stein made a valiant effort to critique Eric Zimmerman’s manifesto.

And then, on Friday, the main reason for making this trip finally happened: PRACTICE. As promised, this turned out to be an intimate gathering of game designers to discuss the details of their craft. Highlights included:

  • a wonderful talk by two awesome b-girls (Katia and Susanna) on breakdance battles, followed by a fun live demo;
  • a minute deconstruction by Rob Daviau of the design process of Risk Legacy, a boardgame that permanently changes across games;
  • Michael Brough‘s survey of the design specifics of his weird roguelikes;
  • the mind-blowing Monitor Celestra, probably the larp with the most ambitious production values I’ve ever seen;
  • Robert Yang‘s close reading of Half-Life’s source code and political critique of some of the entrenched practices in the games industry;
  • and finally, Quintin Smith wrapped up the event by calling for the creation of new hybrid games, hopeful monsters that will pave the way for game design’s future.

The conference was definitely worth the trip. I would recommend it to any game designer looking for some thoughtful reflection on the craft.

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