Week 666

I’ve been considering starting a weekly work blog – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on. Publicly, in case anyone is interested. When I discovered that last week was week 666 of my independent working life, I knew this was the right time to begin.

The big achievement last week was writing a 2000-word article based on the interview I did with Bernie DeKoven and Eric Zimmerman. The interview took place at Think Design Play in September. This was one of those writing projects where I had to step slightly out of my comfort zone, but the end result turned out pretty well I think. It should turn up in the next issue of Items.

Additionally, I delivered a new edition of the games column in Schiphol Magazine, which I produce monthly with Niels Peuchen. I also worked with various writers on game reviews and longer articles for nrc.next. Even when I don’t write these pieces myself, a lot of care goes into selecting the games and reviewers, and editing the pieces before they are sent off to the client.

As far as publications go: this week the PES and FIFA review by Richard Borgman and the Dark Souls review by Harry Hol were published in nrc.next.

I also received a copy (or rather, a box) of the latest Bright magazine. It contains another 2000-word article I did: a look at the Dutch game design scene, its defining characteristics, and the history of how it developed in the past ten years. It’s a bit of a home run – besides Control Magazine I don’t think anyone wrote about this industry as much as I did. Someday I’d like to go crazy expanding on this story – maybe a book?

This is a bit older, but since this is my first work update I thought I’d sneak it in: for STT I a wrote a short fictional story about the possible future of serious games. I read it at the closing conference of STT’s research into the topic, and it seemed to go down pretty well – people liked it, which is always a relief.

Somewhat minor, as far as my involvement goes: Toki Tori 2 was announced last week, a puzzle game with a small narrative element – for which I helped brainstorm possible scenarios. Maybe I will be more involved later on, during the open development process.

No big developments on Bashers this week: I’m still focusing on keeping the daily columns steady (which launched on September 12th) and making Bashers Beat great (which launched on September 1st). The next big projects – such as a site redesign, the return of our audio podcast, maybe some print publications and a possible iOS app – will probably have to wait a bit longer.

Finally, I visited London for Playful 2011. I’m still parsing what I heard there, trying to turn it into this week’s Next Level column for nrc.next. It was a strong little conference though, thematically focused on sciencefiction and thinking like children, in a game-like context. Even beyond that column, this will give me stuff to think and write about for months to come.