Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 241

An intense week, not in the last place because of Alper’s phys­i­cal pres­ence at the Utrecht stu­dio for the whole week. It was time for anoth­er OKR review and we pre­fer to do those live in meat­space. As always, we grad­ed our­selves, came to some harsh real­i­sa­tions and adjust­ed course accord­ing­ly. Build­ing an applied game design stu­dio unlike any oth­er is no pic­nic, I can tell you. But still total­ly worth it.

(Actu­al­ly, the day before, Sun­day, I had also spent work­ing. I assist­ed with get­ting the Euro­pean project pro­pos­al about cli­mate change for which we are a con­sor­tium part­ner ready for sub­mis­sion.)

On Tues­day we test­ed the tol­er­ance of our stu­dio-mates Tupil even fur­ther by bring­ing in Simon to spend a full day review­ing and work­ing on AJI. We are so close to a beta release can­di­date I can smell it, but as always the final touch­es take the most effort. It was good to have the whole team onsite, though. We made real progress and got into some of the more gnarly bits of the thing’s design that real­ly require close col­lab­o­ra­tion between all dis­ci­plines involved.

Con­tin­u­ing the trend of touch­ing base with all the folks involved with our oper­a­tion, we had our first con­fer­ence call with our asso­ciates on Wednes­day. Once we man­aged to get every­one into a Google hangout—which was more trou­ble than it should be—we had a very pro­duc­tive ses­sion shar­ing our plans for the imme­di­ate future and hear­ing about the same from Sebas­t­ian, Ianus and Joris. It’s pret­ty amaz­ing hav­ing such a brain trust to bounce ideas off of. I look for­ward to see­ing what we’ll do togeth­er in the future.

That evening we were vis­it­ed by a group of young Dutch art crit­ics who oper­ate under the name Vuurlin­ie (“fir­ing line”). Over the course of three hours we had a very stim­u­lat­ing debate about games, play, “dig­i­tal cul­ture” and so on with our work serv­ing as back­ground. We also demoed AJI and got some very encour­ag­ing respons­es.

Edwin Gardner using Standing during Vuurlinie visit to Vechtclub XL

The next day, Alper and I spent some time think­ing about what direc­tion to take in our col­lab­o­ra­tion with our NYC con­tact. Lat­er that day we had anoth­er con­fer­ence call, shared our ideas and decid­ed we had come to the point where we are ready to out­line one more for­mal­ly and make it ready for grant appli­ca­tion. We’re work­ing on some pret­ty heavy sub­ject mat­ter in this project so it’s been a chal­lenge to find an approach that is respect­ful but engag­ing at the same time.

We also had a vis­it from Niels to eval­u­ate our work togeth­er on KAZUNOKO. Look­ing back on projects with clients and col­lab­o­ra­tors is a habit I think is impor­tant to main­tain because it often leads to great ideas for how to do things dif­fer­ent­ly the next time around. This ses­sion was no dif­fer­ent.

Sat­is­fied with our progress, Alper and I decid­ed we could afford to take Fri­day off. We spent a few hours in The Vil­lage drink­ing too much cof­fee and play­ing Netrun­ner. Alper caught on quick­ly (this was his first game) and end­ed up snatch­ing vic­to­ry from me at the very last moment. After­wards I need­ed an hour to come down from the adren­a­line rush as a result.

Now with a vastly improved rig and four agendas scored

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