Week 302

I returned from a long holiday in South-East Asia to find the business humming along nicely thanks to Alper’s capable stewardship. I’ve mentioned this before, but the fact that all of our work lives in Asana makes it super easy for me to catch up on things and pick up where I left off.

I took over design direction on SHACHI from Alper, who had the tough job of being both design and technical lead in the past few weeks, but performed admirably. We spent the remainder of the week working with Tim and Niels on the game’s second beta. It’s a joy to see an increasing amount of gorgeous art and witty prose find its way into the game.

I called our friends at Drop to discuss BANKEN’s progress, and later on provided some suggestions on how to deal with a couple of design issues that emerged from a recent test. They were mostly related to clarifying the interactions in interactive video, which to a non-gamer audience can be a lot less obvious than to those who have played The Walking Dead, etc.

We also started preparing work on two new projects. One is code named KOKORO and involves prototyping a playful product for the improvement of mental well-being of middle school children. The other is code named TEDASUKE, which is concept development for a tool with which volunteer workers in a variety of social enterprises can develop their skills.

Towards the end of the week Alper and I had a call with Lekha to share stories about Bycatch‘s successful launch at TWO5SIX, and the subsequent media coverage. (Check out the blurbs on the game’s website. If you want to support us in our efforts to break new ground in the issue game space, consider ordering a copy or two, or share the story about the game with your friends.) We also discussed marketing efforts going forward.

Alper did a great job explaining Bycatch to Dutch national radio, resulting in a cool item which you can listen to here (if you understand Dutch).

Odds and ends: I drafted a blog post on a playful museum exhibition design workshop which I ran a while ago, due to be published soon. Alper also went to another Unity meetup. He tells me he learned some stuff, which is always nice.

Finally, a heads-up: Alper will be in Vienna for Überall App Congress on June 10-11. He’s closing keynote of the second day, and will be talking about “design for a playful world” (of course).

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