Week 693

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.

If you read my weeknotes, you know that my day-to-day work in recent months consisted mainly of writing articles, developing Bashers.nl and working on a couple of game development projects off and on.

Along the way, I try to get new stuff off the ground, hopefully transforming the future in the process. Last week was marked by three of these initiatives finding some momentum. (Which doesn’t mean they’ll happen overnight, they just inched a wee bit closer.)

On Monday I visited the offices of nrc.next, together with David Nieborg. The meeting was definitely one of a kind, in ways I shouldn’t describe here, but in the end we got closer to our goal of a weekly games spread.

On Tuesday I worked on a proposal for a TV show. This one is really close to my heart: it’s a series that shows the many (sometimes surprising) sides of games in a compelling way. If this happens, and that’s a big ‘if’, remind me to be really, really happy about it before I start worrying how to make this as great as it could and should be.

And later in the week, I received notice that another major Dutch book publisher wants to discuss my new novel (De verdwijners, or ‘The Disappearers’, for those keeping track), as well as a non-fiction book about games. Like the TV programme, if this happens, it will be awesome and worrisome at the same time.

Otherwise, last week I wrote an article about game development tool Unity for Items, the magazine about design. Like an earlier story for Control, this was based on the interview I had with CEO David Helgason at the Game Developers Conference in March (and also on my experience working with Unity at the Global Game Jam in January).

Speaking of Control and the Global Game Jam, the short piece on my Berlin experience (which was in Control Magazine a while ago) can now be read online.

Meanwhile, nrc.next published an article on Kinect by Rogier Kahlmann, for which he had his five-year-old niece test some games. I mention this because I edited it, like most other gaming articles in the paper. Unfortunately, my Fez review is still missing in action.

On Wednesday night I made a Hete brij (‘Hot Stew’) podcast with Karel Millenaar, interviewing Marthe Jonkers and Ward Lindhout, which was published on Thursday. Marthe and Ward are both game concept artists on the verge of leaving for Japan and working at major game studios. We asked them about their experiences, and of course about the difference between Japanese and Dutch game design.

On Saturday afternoon, I sorted out my administration and declared my quarterly sales taxes.

Then, on Saturday evening, I finished an article about the wonderful digital-meets-folk game Johann Sebastian Joust for the Dutch Official PlayStation Magazine, which was based on an e-mail interview I did with developer Douglas Wilson.

Finally, later that night, I played and finished Journey. It took me a while to get started, mainly because I didn’t have to do a review. Or actually, I couldn’t, as my policy is to not review a game if I spoke with its developers at length, which I did for my Journey / Jenova Chen article. I have to say I am a little disappointed, but I won’t go into the ‘why’: we’ll have an entire Gameclub for that.