Week 691

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 on Tuesday I visited Control Gamelab, where my friend Karel Millenaar jumped around in a motion capture suit. Also, people like Olivier Thijssen, Matthew Groen and Paul Veer talked about animation in games, which I wrote a Next Level column about for nrc.next, that will be published this week.

On Wednesday I paid a long-overdue visit to Richard Boeser in Rotterdam. Richard is the creator of Ibb and Obb, an upcoming co-operative platforming game for PSN and PC, and he is one of those game designers who pleasantly surprise me with the articulated way in which they talk about their work.

I got goosebumps when Richard described the ‘new game design movement’ he saw around him a day after the Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this March, playing a freestyle card game with other game makers, improving rules as the game went on, and playing Johann Sebastian Joust on a cliff near the Pacific Ocean.

Otherwise, I did a lot of brainstorming, pitching, researching, interviewing and playing to get some new articles of the ground, which means I’ll be writing a lot the coming week.

One of the highlights was looking into Botanicula, the fresh-looking adventure game that comes out in a few days. It got me reading about the history of Czech/Chechoslovakian animation and listening to a great band called DVA. They won the IGF Excellence in Audio Award and remind me of recent Sigur Rós stuff Múm and Cornelius.

Another highlight was playing Fez, finally, which is proving to be anything but a predictably hip looking and sounding indie platformer. Well, maybe it’s that, too, but I have a lot more to say about it, which I will later on.

I spent some time tweaking Bashers.nl, adding a Gameclub block in the sidebar and updating the Gameclub page. Speaking of which: on Thursday at 8 PM we’re doing a Gameclub on snowboarding game SSX. You should join us at the Dutch Game Garden, or tune in to the stream.

On Friday I wrote an article about Unity for Control Magazine, based on my interview with CEO David Helgason at GDC.

Finally, I got invited for a series of lectures about Dutch design history in May, where I will speak about the development of the games scene and game design style in The Netherlands, a topic I hope I’ll write a book about someday. Check it out if you’re into that kind of thing.