Week 708

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, Two Tribes released the first trailer for Toki Tori 2. As a journalist I’m bombarded with trailers, press releases and other forms of pre-release hype for new games every day, so it was interesting to be on the other side of the fence for once. I’ve been working with the guys and girl at Two Tribes for quite a while, helping out with the game world and story background, and felt really warm inside when the game got so much attention. For example, check out this forum thread, this Twitter Q&A roundup and this interview.

I should probably do a disclaimer: don’t read this as a recommendation from Niels, the games journalist. I’m pouring a lot of love into this game and I’ll receive a share of the revenues, so I’m absolutely biased. This also means I’ll never write anything about Toki Tori 2, and probably about Two Tribes, ever, for a journalistic medium.

Otherwise, I worked on four short pieces for nrc.next, which appeared on the Tech spread on Friday. The first was a column about Kickstarter game projects: some healthy scepticism about Ouya and exuberance regarding Diamond Trust of London, the Jason Rohrer Nintendo DS game I expect in the mail soon. (Coincidentally, I received some gifts last week from a project I backed last year.)

The other three pieces were reviews, of the adrenaline-pumping iOS game Gauge (it’s quite old, but I think the rules are different for smartphone games, as it’s entirely possible to discover gems months after they’ve been released), the Wii music game Beat the Beat: Rhythm Paradise and Quantum Conundrum, the new puzzle game by Portal designer Kim Swift.

On Tuesday, I tried to make it feel like August – month in which nobody works and goes on holiday instead – visiting friends who were out camping in the northeastern part of the country. With our two girls and their four boys we went swimming, among other things. We enjoyed ourselves immensely.

On Wednesday, I got together with the Bashers.nl core group. We made a serious step towards launching a new version of the site in September or so, with a new way of working as a team.

Of course, I spent most of my available hours working on my new novel, De verdwijners. I think I got past the hard bump in the middle, spending a full day going over my four characters, figuring out (again) who they are and why they do what they do, then doing another pass of the entire book’s structure. This solved a lot of problems with the second half, allowing me to write the remaining chapters pretty quickly, in theory. And theory became practice last weekend, when I wrote around 5000 words in just six hours. Concise stuff, too.