Week 815

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 on Monday, I headed to The Hague to get acquainted with Daniël Ernst, who is making interesting VR set pieces he calls ‘dioramas’. I used what I saw and heard in a new NRC Handelsblad article, that should be published soon. In the article, I combine Ernst’s work with an idea from Mount Terminus, the impressive third novel by David Grand.

After that, I met up with Sandra Heerma van Voss for the second time, also in The Hague, to discuss a potential digital literary project that hooks into my Hybrid Writer’s Toolkit (which I want to write more about soon, so I can link to it when I namedrop it here). To be honest, we mostly talked about journalism and the literary scene, though also about the project for ten minutes.

On Tuesday, I wrote a Wishful Thinking column for the Dutch Official PlayStation Magazine, in which I philosophize about games that I feel should be made; this time I tackled the adultery game I’ve been thinking about since my first Global Game Jam, when the theme was ‘deception’.

I also edited three game reviews: Risen 3: Titan Lords and Hyperdimension Neptunia Rebirth by Harry Hol and Metro Redux by Rogier Kahlmann. They were printed in nrc.next on Wednesday.

Tuesday night, four episodes of Super Game Jam were screened in ’t Hoogt here in Utrecht, a documentary series on game development made by my good friend Bram Ruiter, who also did my book trailer. Afterwards, drinks were had in De Bastaard, and I happened to be introduced to Ben Cerveny.

On Thursday morning, I visited Two Tribes to play the latest build of RIVE, the shooter/platformer of which I’m the story director. We also talked about the path ahead: we basically have a great demo that the Gamescom audience liked a lot, so now we just have to make the game. (That’s a joke. A lot of hard thinking and hard work is ahead.)

We also started planning a trip to Eurogamer Expo in London at the end of the month, where I’m going with Collin van Ginkel. I can’t join the founders on their journey to Tokyo Game Show, but hey, London is nice too. Give me a shout-out if you’re there and want to check out RIVE. Or have coffee.

I then went back to Utrecht for back-to-back interviews with three groups of game makers slash interaction designers working on The Bridge for Dropstuff, on which I’m writing an essay. On Friday, I interviewed an additional three groups. This is the second edition of the initiative, involving games and apps that seek to connect audiences through massive Dropstuff screens in The Netherlands and Sweden.

On Friday, too, Bright Ideas published the Arjan Brussee interview I did with David Nieborg in San Francisco last March, under the title Gamer des Vaderlands. Check it out; I think it turned out quite well.

On Saturday, I helped a friend move, and I must’ve strained a muscle because on Sunday I had a stiff neck and had to lie down all day. That was the anticlimactic finale of an otherwise fine week.