Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 221

So, hel­lo from NYC. We’ll be here for a few more days before head­ing back to Utrecht and Berlin.

After spend­ing a week see­ing the sights with my love­ly wife, last week I moved to an apart­ment in the Low­er East Side and start­ed work on Beesten­bende. Simon had designed the new UI in record time and I had the dubi­ous hon­or of mov­ing them into Xcode. For­tu­nate­ly, export­ing assets from Sketch is almost pain­less. The recent addi­tion of asset cat­a­logs in Xcode is a sig­nif­i­cant improve­ment too, although as a tool it remains an unwieldy beast.

Alper arrived on Tues­day and pro­ceed­ed to assist me with some minor code adjust­ments. By the time Fri­day turned around we had hit our mile­stone with time to spare. The app is now wait­ing on feed­back from the client.

In the evenings, we sam­pled some of the many events NYC has to offer on an almost dai­ly basis. On Wednes­day, I head­ed over to E-flux for three per­spec­tives on accel­er­a­tionism. It was stim­u­lat­ing at times, but I was a bit dis­ap­point­ed with the seem­ing­ly delib­er­ate use of obscure lan­guage. Maybe I have been spoiled by read­ing quite a bit of Latour recent­ly, who blows your mind with­out resort­ing to jar­gon.

That same night Alper went to see a bunch of friends from the pri­va­cy move­ment at the Snow­den and the Future lec­ture by Eben Moglen at Colum­bia.

On Thurs­day we both head­ed to NYU for the Ludic Cen­tu­ry Debate. It nev­er real­ly caught fire but Ben John­son and Abe Stein made a valiant effort to cri­tique Eric Zimmerman’s man­i­festo.

And then, on Fri­day, the main rea­son for mak­ing this trip final­ly hap­pened: PRACTICE. As promised, this turned out to be an inti­mate gath­er­ing of game design­ers to dis­cuss the details of their craft. High­lights includ­ed:

  • a won­der­ful talk by two awe­some b-girls (Katia and Susan­na) on break­dance bat­tles, fol­lowed by a fun live demo;
  • a minute decon­struc­tion by Rob Davi­au of the design process of Risk Lega­cy, a boardgame that per­ma­nent­ly changes across games;
  • Michael Brough’s sur­vey of the design specifics of his weird rogue­likes;
  • the mind-blow­ing Mon­i­tor Celestra, prob­a­bly the larp with the most ambi­tious pro­duc­tion val­ues I’ve ever seen;
  • Robert Yang’s close read­ing of Half-Life’s source code and polit­i­cal cri­tique of some of the entrenched prac­tices in the games indus­try;
  • and final­ly, Quintin Smith wrapped up the event by call­ing for the cre­ation of new hybrid games, hope­ful mon­sters that will pave the way for game design’s future.

The con­fer­ence was def­i­nite­ly worth the trip. I would rec­om­mend it to any game design­er look­ing for some thought­ful reflec­tion on the craft.

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