Week 327, 328 and 329

It’s been quiet around here due to a big push on wrapping up our current client engagements before the end of the year.

Most of our time was spent on HENDO. I headed over to Berlin to spend a few days with Alper in the same room, filling whiteboards as we worked towards a design concept. I left Berlin with a first draft of a slide doc describing our efforts. The next week, I reviewed the document with State of Flux in Amsterdam. And the week after, I processed their feedback into a second version and also did some sketching to visualise the product’s components and experience of use. The whole thing has shaped up nicely and State of Flux is already making plans for the product’s next stage of development.

Then there is Free Birds. The big news is that, after ten months of design and development, we released the game to the App Store last week. This is a soft launch. Marketing of the app by our client the Dutch Museums Association will probably kick off in the new year once a couple more museums have joined in.

But for now, if you’re curious, you can load up the app on an iPad and take the family to Airborne Museum ‘Hartenstein’ in Oosterbeek and give it a go. (I’m sorry friends abroad, the game is only available in the Netherlands.)

Before we could release Free Birds, we had to take care of a few last small things that resulted from the review of the gold master and then submit it to Apple. The app was approved swiftly, and so now we are done, which feels great.

We’ll write the whole thing up in due course but for now I will just say I am proud of what the team achieved on this project. A special shout-out to our collaborators Tim and Niels for their great work on the game’s art and writing, respectively.

I think we’ve produced a unique museum game: location-based using iBeacons, a conversational UI, cross-generational play, mildly subversive and filled to the brim with big dilemmas.

The final client engagement is NAMI. I’ll keep this short: I had two productive sessions with the people at Tinker Imagineers in which we collaborated on a concept deck. Then, I joined them for a presentation at the client, which was received well. Our contribution has come to and end now that we’ve helped them understand the serious games space. Tinker will go on to plan the next stage, which will be design and development. I look forward to seeing the end result.

And last but not least, we worked on our side projects. Bycatch received a nice bump in orders due to some nice tweets from taste-makers in the field such as Paolo Pedercini and Robert Yang. And Cuppings is inching ever closer to a big new release as Alper and Simon work on some sweet final micro interactions.

So yeah, we’ve wrapped up a lot of things in the past few weeks and what loose ends remain will likely finish before Christmas.

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