Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 209

As you may have noticed, Alper, Simon and myself have been run­ning a tiny app project on the side. It’s called Cup­pings and it helps you find good cof­fee spots near you.

This project grew out of a shared pas­sion for cof­fee and actu­al­ly start­ed out as an idea for a cof­fee tast­ing diary app kind of thing. That turned out too unwieldy to pull off in our spare time, so we ‘piv­ot­ed’ (apolo­gies) and did the guide. It’s doing rea­son­ably well on the App Store con­sid­er­ing we’re not doing any PR. And we’re hav­ing lots of nice con­ver­sa­tions with fel­low cof­fee geeks via @cuppings.

In the mean time, the idea to do “some­thing” with the activ­i­ty of tast­ing kept bounc­ing around my head. I’ve been play­ing around with var­i­ous pro­to­types for a cof­fee tast­ing game for a while now. Most of them are two-play­er and are about explor­ing each oth­er’s tastes and col­lab­o­ra­tive­ly build­ing a aro­ma pro­file of a cup of coffee.

All of which serves as an intro­duc­tion for these wee­knotes because on Mon­day I sat down to do some cheeky draw­ings of com­mon (and less com­mon) cof­fee aromas.

Drawing coffee aromas

On Tues­day I start­ed mock­ing up the user inter­face for AJI in the rather excel­lent Sketch. (I can only hope they don’t sell out to Adobe.) That day we also pub­lished the first part of a blog post on that pro­jec­t’s background.

The sec­ond part of that AJI post appeared on Wednes­day. I fin­ished mock­ing up the UI (it’s not that big) and I sub­mit­ted a work­shop pro­pos­al for Interaction14.

Mean­while, Alper binged on read­ing about Boyd and dis­cov­ered one of the fore­most experts on his lega­cy is a Dutch com­modore. Here’s Alper on why you should care about the sci­ence of deci­sion making:

“I had been curi­ous about Boyd since I read about him in Venkatesh Rao’s writ­ing. What I found espe­cial­ly inter­est­ing is Boy­d’s post-army work on sit­u­at­ed cog­ni­tion and cre­ativ­i­ty. See­ing as games con­cern them­selves with the aes­thet­ics of deci­sion mak­ing, I expect to dive deep­er into it and apply it in our work.”

Alper did find time to sub­mit a work­shop pro­pos­al to Mozil­la Fes­ti­val. It’s based on the same con­cept as the Interaction14 one—a work­shop about rules and sys­tems, mak­ing some of the hands-on tech­niques of game design acces­si­ble to mak­ers of all stripes in a fun, social­ly rel­e­vant way.

On Thurs­day we pub­lished the final part of the AJI blog post. I start­ed adjust­ing the pro­to­type Alper had already built in Xcode to con­form to the new UI design. This involved a lot of curs­ing about how con­straints in sto­ry­boards work. If that last sen­tence is mean­ing­less to you, con­sid­er your­self lucky.

In the after­noon I made a trip to the newish Vecht­club XL, an old fac­to­ry which has been turned into a love­ly cre­ative work­space hous­ing many dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines. The peo­ple behind it boot­strapped it into exis­tence using a suc­cess­ful crowd-fund­ing dri­ve and are still expand­ing. They haven’t made use of any gov­ern­ment fund­ing so far, which used to be the norm for these kinds of ini­tia­tives. They’re also putting a lot of effort into—and suc­ceed­ing at—fostering a real cross-dis­ci­pli­nary com­mu­ni­ty inside and around the build­ing. Inspiring.

Vechtclub XL oplevering C+D

I also caught up with games journo, nar­ra­tive design­er and nov­el­ist Niels ‘t Hooft—who in the past has worked on a few Hub­bub projects—to receive a copy of his new nov­el De Verd­wi­jn­ers. I got to proof­read an ear­ly draft and am very curi­ous how it’s changed since then. Like I men­tioned before, it’s a rar­i­ty to find prop­er spec­u­la­tive fic­tion in Dutch lit­er­a­ture so I’m real­ly excit­ed about this book. If you’re able, you should come to the book launch in Utrecht this Wednesday.

Proud owner of a signed copy of De Verdwijners by @nielsthooft. A near future novel, deemed "obscene" by the Dutch literary establishment. In other words: a must read!

On Fri­day, I start­ed a new iter­a­tion on the ASARI prototype—final tweaks before delivery—and I wrote up Vic­to­ry Boo­gie Woo­gie.

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