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Week 212

On Mon­day last week I returned from a fun stay in War­saw. That same day, I attend­ed This hap­pened – Utrecht #17. As almost always, the talks were love­ly hon­est accounts of how things were made. I was par­tic­u­lar­ly tak­en with Mieke Mei­jer’s sto­ry about her dis­cov­ery of a wood-like mate­r­i­al made of old news­pa­pers.

On Tues­day, I had an ear­ly Skype call with SAN­MA’s client, who are based in Syd­ney. We kicked off the project and talked about where our con­tri­bu­tions will have the most impact.

I also did a lit­tle work on Beestenbende.

Marc Fontei­jn had invit­ed me to join him for a short inter­view about Mak­ing Progress in the BNR stu­dio on Wednes­day. I had fun talk­ing with the host about our work, Pig Chase in par­tic­u­lar and par­ry­ing his some­what flip­pant respons­es. It was also rather amaz­ing to see a girl read the news. You nev­er real­ize it’s an actu­al per­son doing that when lis­ten­ing on the radio. See­ing it live, I was struck by how much of a skill it actu­al­ly is.

That day I also worked a bit on AJI, fight­ing with Xcode about typog­ra­phy, mostly.

On Thurs­day I man­aged to scope out Koffie & Ik for Cup­pings. A nice spot in the west of Utrecht. I’m told the cakes are good.

I also attend­ed the Mak­ing Progress pre­miere. It was­n’t easy see­ing myself on big screen but the film did give me the urge to make even more things than we already do. After­wards, it also sparked a nice debate about how to thrive in dis­or­der. I guess that’s the best kind of thing a doc­u­men­tary on inno­va­tion, progress and change can hope for.

The week end­ed with more work on AJI. By the end I had set up all the screens I want­ed so now it’s a mat­ter of wait­ing for Alper to come back and tie up my loose ends. After which we should be ready to shoot a video and write about it.

Speak­ing of Alper, he con­tin­ued his hol­i­day in Japan taunt­ing all of us with pho­tos of cof­fee bars and moun­tain tops. He’ll return this week (today, actually).

On Fri­day after­noon I host­ed a pro­to­type cri­tique ses­sion for local game design­ers. Most stu­dios in NL are small, so typ­i­cal­ly game design­ers find them­selves with­out peers to get feed­back from on their work. I decid­ed to invite a bunch of them and asked them to bring their work in progress. We sat down for a few hours, played them and offered con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. It was a lot of fun and also very use­ful. A ses­sion such as this is com­ple­men­tary to tra­di­tion­al play test­ing and I think it might help all of us design­ers to grow as practitioners.

Testing Tim's strategic board game at Prototype Friday

The pro­to­type ses­sion was fol­lowed by anoth­er FRIDAYS AT 7 which was unas­sum­ing fun as always.

To fin­ish, let me point out Eric Zim­mer­man’s man­i­festo for a ludic cen­tu­ry, which we very much sub­scribe to. At the same time, we appre­ci­ate the crit­i­cism it has pro­voked, most notably David Kana­ga’s mind-blow­ing response. You should read both and if you do, tell us what you think!

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