Week 777

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 was pretty much the final week of heavy lifting for the Taskforce Innovatie book I’m working on. I finished writing and editing seven articles about the SEA pilots, about 15.000 words in all. Only minor stuff was left to do at that point. It was a light at the end of the tunnel kind of situation.

On Monday, NRC Handelsblad published the first edition of a new weekly games section I’m writing together with David Nieborg and Arjan Terpstra. The first was by David. I’m really proud of this: we have a much bigger audience than before, there’s more room, and the design looks excellent.

Tuesday started with a session at a client I’m consulting for, together with Kars Alfrink and Alper Çuğun from Hubbub. I presented a sneak peek of my research into games similar to what the client is hoping to commission next year, and Kars started Hubbub’s design exploration, in a sense attacking the same problem from a different angle.

That night, Apple rejected my Toiletten app based on rule 2.21 of the App Store Review Guidelines: “Apps that are simply a song or movie should be submitted to the iTunes store. Apps that are simply a book should be submitted to the iBookstore.”

Toiletten voor iPad

I explained to them that Toiletten is definitely not “simply a book”, but, you know, innovative, and the next night, they changed their minds and accepted the app. So I quickly built a promotional page, and while I was at it, tweaked the page for De verdwijners.

The Toiletten app was created together with Codeglue (development), Sjors Houkes (voice-over) and Karlien ’t Hooft (photography). It’s a new version of my decade old debut novel, with an innovative reading mechanism: instead of scrolling or swiping to the next page, it features what I call ‘focus blocks’. To continue reading, all you have to do is tap for the next block. At the same time, you still have the flexibility of scrolling when you need it.

I visited Codeglue in week 759 to explore this idea (and a few others). Things pretty much took shape in September, then took a bit longer to really be finished. Generally speaking though, the project went well. And now I have my own app out! By the way, it’s free and it’s for iPads with iOS 7, so if you have one of those, download it now and let me know what you think!

On Thursday, I visited my old friend Jos Bouman at Gamious.

That night, I met up with Hessel Bonenkamp as usual, but instead of trying to develop games, I wrote an article about Super Mario 3D World. Then on Friday, I finished an article about The Hobbit: Barrel Escape by Sticky. Both should appear in NRC soon.

On Saturday, I finished a profile article about Sony game development studio Naughty Dog, which will be in the next issue of the Dutch Official PlayStation Magazine (which will continue after all!). We also got a Christmas tree that weekend.