Week 695

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.

Lots of pitching new articles and requesting interviews last week. Also, talking to people about the future of Bashers.nl, which is always a concern for me. If that sounds alarming, you got me wrong: Bashers.nl is never not in need of a new direction for long. So everything is pretty much normal. Now, move along!

On Tuesday I spoke with Atlas Contact, which might become my new publisher. We talked about games and literature. (What else?)

On Wednesday, nrc.next published my Next Level column about Jack Tramiel, the founder of Commodore who died in April.

That afternoon I met with SonicPicnic and Monobanda, to discuss our audio art game, which feels a lot more concrete than last time I checked in. It’s interesting how much momentum a simple and rather unsatisfactory prototype can cause, if only because it makes it easier to talk about a project.

On Wednesday night I had pizza and beer, and played The Witcher 2 with a friend, in preparation of the Gameclub about this very game.

On Friday morning, I interviewed Fabian Akker and Olivier Thijssen at Ronimo Games, the Utrecht-based studio that just launched its Awesomenauts. I want to write about the subgenre this is a streamlined entry in, which I don’t think the world at large has settled on a name for, though Wikipedia insists on action real-time strategy. I came away with quite a few new insights, so yay!

That evening, I curated a mini expo at the Setup Expo Extravaganza about futuro-retroistic indiegames, terminology I fabricated entirely, on which Wikipedia doesn’t have an opinion (yet).

The concept is a lighthearted semi-reversal of retro-futurism, with me arguing that instead of looking back at what we used to think of the future, some indie game makers are now creating games in the image of what they think the past was like. Instead, they create games that have superficial similarities with classic video games, but for various reasons couldn’t and wouldn’t have been made this way in the eighties and nineties.

On Saturday, I woke up with a sore throat, but attended my soon-to-be brother-in-law’s bachelor party anyway. I gathered all my strength and joined a cooking workshop (taking responsibility for the rack of lamb, which has such a nice heavy metal ring to it), had probably too much alcohol for someone on the verge of illness, then had a night of hallucinatory fever dreams in a fancy hotel, and played golf on Sunday. Even so, I felt almost OK by evening. And pretty bad again on Monday morning. But I shouldn’t complain, because my soon-to-be brother-in-law cut his finger instead of the anchovy and fainted.

Somehow, I also managed to finish the 3DS version of VVVVVV during the weekend, though without getting all 20 sometimes ridiculously difficult trinkets. Great game and a good example of futuro-retroism.