Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 302

I returned from a long hol­i­day in South-East Asia to find the busi­ness hum­ming along nice­ly thanks to Alper’s capa­ble stew­ard­ship. I’ve men­tioned this before, but the fact that all of our work lives in Asana makes it super easy for me to catch up on things and pick up where I left off.

I took over design direc­tion on SHACHI from Alper, who had the tough job of being both design and tech­ni­cal lead in the past few weeks, but per­formed admirably. We spent the remain­der of the week work­ing with Tim and Niels on the game’s sec­ond beta. It’s a joy to see an increas­ing amount of gor­geous art and wit­ty prose find its way into the game.

I called our friends at Drop to dis­cuss BANKEN’s progress, and lat­er on pro­vid­ed some sug­ges­tions on how to deal with a cou­ple of design issues that emerged from a recent test. They were most­ly relat­ed to clar­i­fy­ing the inter­ac­tions in inter­ac­tive video, which to a non-gamer audi­ence can be a lot less obvi­ous than to those who have played The Walk­ing Dead, etc.

We also start­ed prepar­ing work on two new projects. One is code named KOKORO and involves pro­to­typ­ing a play­ful prod­uct for the improve­ment of men­tal well-being of mid­dle school chil­dren. The oth­er is code named TEDASUKE, which is con­cept devel­op­ment for a tool with which vol­un­teer work­ers in a vari­ety of social enter­pris­es can devel­op their skills.

Towards the end of the week Alper and I had a call with Lekha to share sto­ries about Bycatch’s suc­cess­ful launch at TWO5SIX, and the sub­se­quent media cov­er­age. (Check out the blurbs on the game’s web­site. If you want to sup­port us in our efforts to break new ground in the issue game space, con­sid­er order­ing a copy or two, or share the sto­ry about the game with your friends.) We also dis­cussed mar­ket­ing efforts going forward.

Alper did a great job explain­ing Bycatch to Dutch nation­al radio, result­ing in a cool item which you can lis­ten to here (if you under­stand Dutch).

Odds and ends: I draft­ed a blog post on a play­ful muse­um exhi­bi­tion design work­shop which I ran a while ago, due to be pub­lished soon. Alper also went to anoth­er Uni­ty meet­up. He tells me he learned some stuff, which is always nice.

Final­ly, a heads-up: Alper will be in Vien­na for Über­all App Con­gress on June 10–11. He’s clos­ing keynote of the sec­ond day, and will be talk­ing about “design for a play­ful world” (of course).

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