Week 738

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 news broke that N Gamer is dead, after a ten-year run. It picked up right where n3 Nintendo Magazine left off, the magazine I founded and produced for all of eight issues. The founding editors were nice (opportunistic?) enough to let me fill most of their debut issue. It’s one of the reasons I didn’t go bankrupt at the time, so I’m not complaining. From 2003 to 2008, I wrote almost a hundred articles for N Gamer. Then there was one final piece in 2009. I still miss doing the recurring Nintendo strategy pieces!

N Gamer was the only and will probably be the last Nintendo magazine in The Netherlands. No more issues will be published, and the plug will be pulled on the website too. For those in the loop, it wasn’t a surprise. The print magazine business is not doing well, and Nintendo’s current state wasn’t helping either. The writing on the wall was that Niels de Rijk was let go last year. He wasn’t officially editor-in-chief, but did most of the work. Of course, that it was bound to happen doesn’t make it any less sad!

As for me, I was still tweaking my upcoming novel De verdwijners. Halfway through the week I finally got feedback from the ‘persklaarmaker’ (a specific type of proofreader). Lots of useful stuff in there. I’m really almost done now: if it wasn’t for my short vacation this week, it’d be a matter of days. The book is still coming out in April as far as I know.

Then there were the usual daily goings-on.

On Monday I wrote a column for nrc.next, based on a Twitter discussion I had the week before (exhibit A, exhibit B), about my friendly request for some kind of story progress indicator in games.

It was published the next day, along with my longer pieces about Tomb Raider and SimCity, which I wrote the previous week. Tomb Raider was even announced on the front page! I’m so happy I didn’t try to turn my two-hour SimCity session at the Electronic Arts office into a review, as the actual experience for gamers was quite different.

The articles are online, too (in Dutch):

During the week, nrc.next also published my review of Anodyne and Harry Hol’s review of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, which I edited.

On Monday night, I did an interview with Giant Sparrow creative director Ian Dallas, the spiritual father of The Unfinished Swan. As a friend said, it sometimes feels like all Americans have had media training: this was another energetic and inspiring conversation. I still postponed transcribing the recording (I hate transcribing) and didn’t finish the 3000-word Official PlayStation Magazine article until Sunday. I also wrote a new retro column for the magazine, about Grand Theft Auto 3.

On Tuesday I caught up with Zuraida Buter, Jim Biekmann and Cristian Smets to talk about our long-gestating plan for a literary/artistic magazine centered on games.

On Wednesday I published my second contribution to Recess!, the correspondence series with Alper and Kars. In Recess! 5 – In a world I picked up where I left off last time, ruminating on game worlds. If anyone is wondering whether there will ever be a follow-up to Bashers.nl, it’s already here in stuff like Recess!: smaller projects with people I respect and enjoy. nrc.next is another example.

On Friday night, Two Tribes celebrated finishing Toki Tori 2 with sake and scary sushi.

During the weekend, work continued. Among other things I wrote short reviews of Sonic Dash (iOS) and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow – Mirror of Fate (Nintendo 3DS), and a press release for Little Makuzu.