Week 670

What’s this? I’m blogging about my work on a weekly basis – a simple way to track and archive whatever it is I spend my time on.

Last week, my piece on the unwavering power of The Legend of Zelda was published in nrc.next. I interviewed two Dutch experts to shed some additional light on this 25-year old series, the transcriptions of which I published on Bashers.nl. (Links: Jurjen Tiersma, Joris Dormans.)

The Zelda article was published along with a Next Level column (this one by David Nieborg), a review of Skyward Sword by Gerthein Boersma, and a review of the charming indie game To the Moon by Harry Hol. That amounted to almost a full games spread – I’d definitely like to see that on a weekly basis. Which will be a while, probably.

In the meantime I finished Super Mario 3D Land. It’s kind of shallow compared to the Super Mario Galaxy games (which were brimming with creative game elements), but I still liked it a lot. I’m especially fond of the special quest that starts after you finish the main game, which remixes the normal levels into something much harder. Because it’s been a while since you played the normal ones, they feel almost entirely new. That’s an improvement over the other 3D Mario’s, where you did multiple missions in the same level sequentially. (Though the comparison is not entirely fair, as the levels in these games were usually much bigger and more open.)

I wrote a review of this new Mario for 3DS, but that probably won’t be published for a while. We just don’t have enough space in the paper.

Otherwise, last week brought another handful of meetings.

Tuesday: a meeting for the literary, artistic game culture magazine I hinted at last week. This one marked my getting acquainted with our designer. So lots of ‘it should be something like this‘ and even more ‘definitely not like this‘.

Thursday morning: a meeting at the Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie for the consultancy project where I tag along with David Nieborg. (Yeah, we don’t just do newspaper columns together.)

Thursday afternoon: a meeting at Two Tribes, for Toki Tori 2. Another productive meeting, too. I spent that evening writing a very early and quick draft of ’the experience of the full game through the eyes of Toki Tori’. It’s fun to help transform something that was all about the puzzles into something about a character and the game world around him (I’m hesitant to call what we’re doing ‘story’).

Friday: a meeting with SonicPicnic, for the game project we’re doing together with Monobanda. This was another good one. We’re trying to crack the back story for a sensory game in which the player will probably only get hints of ‘what really happened’. That evening I wrote up another draft that will probably never be public. This is weird about longer projects: so much stuff you do that nobody will ever see. Very different from when you’re doing journalism and the writing itself is the end goal.

Finally, last weekend, I wrote a proposal for a non-fiction book about games, and sent it off. We’ll see what comes of that.