Week 690

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 I produced, directed and hosted the first edition of the Bashers Gameclub. A bi-weekly live show, live stream and downloadable podcast that focuses on a single game per episode. The first one was about about Zelda: Skyward Sword.

For a debut it went pretty well, though obviously there’s lots of room for improvement. The next one will be about SSX (on April 19th), the one after that about Journey (on May 3rd). I’m pretty excited about these, especially because they should be a lot more focused. I mean, you could talk about Zelda for a week and still not repeat topics. Now try to do that with a snowboarding game.

(We’re aiming for 50 minutes of excellent conversation about mechanics, difficulty and simulation. You should come! It will be great!)

I did – kind of – underestimate how much time and organizing it would take to make this happen. For a writer who often operates alone, it was a big shift to work with Dutch Game Garden (for the venue and recording equipment) and Claynote (for the intro tune and sound engineering). To make sure people would actually come. To brief the guests (game scientist Joris Dormans and game journalist Gerthein Boersma) and co-hosts (Menno Schellekens and Rogier Kahlmann).

Actually, going from the decision that we should rethink the Bashers Podcast to actually rebooting the thing took almost one and a half years. I pitched the idea for a live podcast at the Dutch Game Garden a year ago. Practical preparations started in late February. And last week I spent two full days on the Gameclub.

It’s an understatement that this is too much time for what’s essentially a hobby project. (Though that undersells it somewhat: the Gameclub also happens to be a fun intellectual exercise that lets me practice stuff I want to be better at, and which might grow into serious business someday. Or perhaps that’s an apt description of the word ‘hobby’.) Either way, besides improving the content, my focus is on becoming more efficient, doing it better in less time, with less stress.

So what else did I find time for last week? I wrote a review of Kid Icarus: Uprising for Nintendo 3DS, focusing on Masahiro Sakurai’s algorithmic design style, which was published in nrc.next on Tuesday, along with a Next Level column by David Nieborg.

I made an effort to come up with a bunch of article proposals for nrc.next and other clients, which you should see the result of in the coming month or so. In general, I spent some time worrying about finances and continuity. My wife says this is a quarterly thing.

With Bram Ruiter I made a podcast on The Hunger Games. Because that didn’t scratch my itch entirely, I wrote a quick essay about the film.

I also met with Bram to discuss our plan for a video documentary about Vlambeer. We sketched out our ideas for a promo that will explain why this documentary is such an excellent idea and why it’s important that someone payrolls it.

And on Sunday I celebrated Easter with my family.