Hubbub has gone into hibernation.

Week 327, 328 and 329

It’s been qui­et around here due to a big push on wrap­ping up our cur­rent client engage­ments before the end of the year.

Most of our time was spent on HENDO. I head­ed over to Berlin to spend a few days with Alper in the same room, fill­ing white­boards as we worked towards a design con­cept. I left Berlin with a first draft of a slide doc describ­ing our efforts. The next week, I reviewed the doc­u­ment with State of Flux in Ams­ter­dam. And the week after, I processed their feed­back into a sec­ond ver­sion and also did some sketch­ing to visu­alise the product’s com­po­nents and expe­ri­ence of use. The whole thing has shaped up nice­ly and State of Flux is already mak­ing plans for the product’s next stage of devel­op­ment.

Then there is Free Birds. The big news is that, after ten months of design and devel­op­ment, we released the game to the App Store last week. This is a soft launch. Mar­ket­ing of the app by our client the Dutch Muse­ums Asso­ci­a­tion will prob­a­bly kick off in the new year once a cou­ple more muse­ums have joined in.

But for now, if you’re curi­ous, you can load up the app on an iPad and take the fam­i­ly to Air­borne Muse­um ‘Harten­stein’ in Oost­er­beek and give it a go. (I’m sor­ry friends abroad, the game is only avail­able in the Nether­lands.)

Before we could release Free Birds, we had to take care of a few last small things that result­ed from the review of the gold mas­ter and then sub­mit it to Apple. The app was approved swift­ly, and so now we are done, which feels great.

We’ll write the whole thing up in due course but for now I will just say I am proud of what the team achieved on this project. A spe­cial shout-out to our col­lab­o­ra­tors Tim and Niels for their great work on the game’s art and writ­ing, respec­tive­ly.

I think we’ve pro­duced a unique muse­um game: loca­tion-based using iBea­cons, a con­ver­sa­tion­al UI, cross-gen­er­a­tional play, mild­ly sub­ver­sive and filled to the brim with big dilem­mas.

The final client engage­ment is NAMI. I’ll keep this short: I had two pro­duc­tive ses­sions with the peo­ple at Tin­ker Imag­i­neers in which we col­lab­o­rat­ed on a con­cept deck. Then, I joined them for a pre­sen­ta­tion at the client, which was received well. Our con­tri­bu­tion has come to and end now that we’ve helped them under­stand the seri­ous games space. Tin­ker will go on to plan the next stage, which will be design and devel­op­ment. I look for­ward to see­ing the end result.

And last but not least, we worked on our side projects. Bycatch received a nice bump in orders due to some nice tweets from taste-mak­ers in the field such as Pao­lo Ped­erci­ni and Robert Yang. And Cup­pings is inch­ing ever clos­er to a big new release as Alper and Simon work on some sweet final micro inter­ac­tions.

So yeah, we’ve wrapped up a lot of things in the past few weeks and what loose ends remain will like­ly fin­ish before Christ­mas.

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