On Monday I set up my things in the new studio at Vechtclub XL. They had been kept in holding since the move out of Dutch Game Garden two weeks ago. With some help from the kind folk running the space I was up and running around midday. After a short period of working from home and various other places from my backpack it was a relief to have my good old setup back, in a great new space. It’s still a bit empty at the moment, but that will change once the guys from Tupil move at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Alper was kicking the tyres of Slack to see if it’d be a viable alternative to HipChat now that it had moved out of beta. He also hacked away at AJI, making it feature complete in preparation for my UI work.
On Tuesday, I had a chat with Kelli about gamification. She’s preparing a piece on the subject for Vrij Nederland, which I look forward to reading. It’s great to have such a subject discussed in a critical manner in mainstream media.
Later that day, I got started mocking up AJI’s simplified UI in Sketch. Alper and I also chatted with Simon about AJI and other things. He offered his help with the app’s UI design so once I’ve put the basics in place he’ll take over to make things look really good (as he’s done many times before on Hubbub projects).
The rest of the week we continued work on AJI. I moved on to updating the UI in Xcode while Alper fixed bugs and solidified the accompanying web app. On Friday we met with Dirk, who is also writing something, an essay about cultural production in the contemporary tech scene, in which he’s planning to use AJI as an example. We demo’d the app to him and talked about the thinking behind it. It was useful to get our heads out of the proverbial bubble and explain our motivations to a relative outsider.
In between, I was interviewed by two students from Hannover who are mapping Utrecht’s games scene and again by a student researching museum games. Alper meanwhile did the rounds of Berlin’s many events, including the UX Stammtisch and a games.net roundtable about branded entertainment.
By the end of week 235 we had transitioned over to Slack, since it really does offer an improvement over HipChat for us. (Mainly thanks to its UI and many out-of-the-box integrations.) Alper wrote up some thoughts about one thing that continues to be an annoyance with these services, though: their user accounts scheme does not accommodate our distributed, fuzzy organisational structure.