Week 698

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 wrote an analysis of cinematic games like Max Payne 3. Essentially, my argument is that these games use cinematic tricks, but not to cinematic effect. Instead, they use them to bridge the ludonarrative gap. The article was published in the film appendix of NRC Handelsblad on Wednesday. (It also appeared in nrc.next yesterday and on Bashers.nl today.)

The games/tech spread in nrc.next, which will be called Next Level (a tribute to our games column and also a metaphor), was delayed until the Dutch team is kicked out of the European Football Championship. My relationship with football was always ambivalent and this doesn’t really help.

I turned in my interview with David Kushner, author of Grand Theft Auto book Jacked, with the Dutch Official PlayStation Magazine. Kusher seemed a bit curt in his replies, but in the end it turned out pretty well.

On Wednesday, nrc.next published my column about VVVVVV and other futuro-retroistic games’, which I wrote about last week.

That morning, I had another conversation about the Bashers.nl tablet app which has been in ‘discussions phase’ for a while and seems to have made a small step towards actually being made.

That afternoon, I went to Two Tribes, where we started building the game world for Toki Tori 2 with Lego.

On Thursday and Friday morning, I spend time on my Ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie consultancy project.

On Thursday evening, I hosted the fifth and (for now) final Bashers Gameclub, on Fez. You can download the podcast if you missed it. There were lots of new faces in the audiences, making it feel like we’re getting some momentum going. So of course, we cancelled the remaining two shows. Why? Because we’re entering summer mode early this year, so that we can refocus and rebuild the team and website.

During the week, I played 19 games made by high school students for the Creative Game Challenge. On Friday, the jury got together and decided on the winners. There are some serious cash prizes, which will be awarded later this month.

On Saturday night I saw Prometheus, the Alien prequel by Ridley Scott. It looked fabulous, especially on the IMAX 3D screen of Pathé Arena. I enjoyed it too, especially the first half, though some post-viewing IMDb comment reading convinced me that the writers left open some serious plot holes. Still: very entertaining.

On Sunday I leveled the back end of my garden together with my father.

That night, E3 fever started with a short conference by Nintendo, announcing details on the Wii U system software, which seems promising. I would have liked to be in Los Angeles right now, of course… but I’m not.