Week 720

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 spent a lot of time on an nrc.next article that ultimately wasn’t published: I interviewed two historians on Monday, and on Tuesday transcribed the hour-long conversation, as well as a previous interview with Assassin’s Creed 3 lead game designer Steve Masters. That night, I put together a first version of an article about the way games can potentially teach history. On Wednesday night, I did a rewrite based on feedback from my editor. And that rewrite was turned down!

It’s very frustrating when this happens. At the same time, it’s reassuring that there are still news organization that take the pains to go over a piece again and again to make it as good as it can possibly be. Even if I, of course, felt that my article was perfectly fine.

In the end I agreed to postpone the story by a week, allowing me to forget about it for a few days and pick it up later. Hopefully I’ll be able to crack it this time, so everyone can read the results next Friday. (Of course, chances are I’ll have to grudgingly admit that the extra work made the final version a lot better after all. To be continued!)

My new Next Level column was published! And it’s now online for your convenience, too.

Other than that, on Monday morning I visited Two Tribes, and worked on some PR stuff for Toki Tori 2, trying to help make sure the game’s setup and mystery is communicated properly.

That night I finalized my third quarter VAT declaration.

On Tuesday night I chatted with Bastiaan Vroegop, which was fun.

On Wednesday morning I went to my publisher, Uitgeverij Atlas Contact, to discuss our ideas for the marketing and PR of my upcoming book De verdwijners. This also helped to raise my excitement for the major rewrite I was about to start.

So on Thursday, I sat down to tackle the first chapter, starting entirely from scratch, working from the battle plan I conceived earlier. The writing progressed smoothly and turned out excellent, I think. Thursday happened to be the first of November, and as I have to turn in my second draft before the first of December, this will be like NaNoWriMo with second drafts. Now all I have to do is find the time to redo the 38 other chapters!

On Friday morning I ran into Fredo Houben. We cooked up a plan.

That afternoon, I chatted with Martijn van Best at Dutch Game Garden.

I continued preparing my talk at the National Publishing Day, which will be about gamification and the publishing industry, and now also about newsgames.

I received the latest issue of the Dutch Official PlayStation Magazine, which contains three pieces I did: a feature on Unity, an interview with Matt Gilgenbach, developer of the reverse rhythm shooter Retro/Grade and a retro column about tactical RPG Vandal Hearts (as well as Sid Meier’s notion of ‘interesting decisions’ in games).

On Sunday my wife and I celebrated our 32rd birthdays (early this year), the fact that we’ve lived in our house for five years (late summer) and our sixth wedding anniversary: we got married on November 4, 2006. Of course, I got a spontaneous burst of sinusitis-related pressure on my eyes causing white spots in my field of vision, as well as general numbness. Maybe I should sleep more. Or worry less. Maybe it’s just a seasonal thing that will pass soon enough.