Week 836

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 managed to finally deliver my promised report to NOS op 3, based on the month I spent looking around there last year. This meant filling in all the gaps between my notes, giving my sketches a lick of paint, referencing my most important sources, and polishing the whole thing up. Now I’m waiting for feedback to hopefully do a final version soon.

I also made lots of headway with my article on rendering 3D graphics for KIJK, thanks in part to highly recommended transcription tool oTranscribe. I’ll definitely finish it this week, with which the last two projects of 2014 will be off the table. It’s almost February, high time to sink my teeth into 2015…

What else? On Monday I got an invitation from Stichting Lezen to speak at their conference in March, on the whole literature/technology angle. It feels like the hybrid writer thing is getting some traction, which would be awesome if true.

On Tuesday I met with former Bashers colleague Eline Muijres, now producer at Game Oven, to discuss an article we’re writing together for ARTE Creative. We will report on the Dutch indie games scene, as a side track to a wonderful-sounding initiative called Tour Bueno, which involves two German game developers touring Europe to make 11 games in 9 countries in 50 days. Weirdly, Eline announced Game Oven’s impending closure later that day.

That afternoon I helped journalism student Carmen Sijbrands with an audio item about Taiwanese gaming cafe deaths. The resulting clip is online.

Like the last couple of weeks, I didn’t write any newspaper articles, nor were any published. However, I did prepare for a bunch of upcoming pieces, and on Wednesday I put Hoe de Finnen winnen – Profiel van de game-industrie in Helsinki online. I put extra effort into restoring material from the cutting room floor, and added some pictures, because it didn’t get the best treatment at NRC Handelsblad. Weird to think that David Nieborg and I visited Helsinki almost a year ago; only now are the fruits of that trip visible to the world at large.

Wednesday night was #hobbydev, my weekly game development hobby night with Hessel Bonenkamp. I didn’t make much progress on my isometric crane game; I tried to implement a proper object sorting system, and mouse controls, but both didn’t quite work in the end. It probably has to do with programming only once a week, but I find it extremely hard to fix problems as soon as they become just a tad more complex, thus making it impossible to get past the early stages of game development. (I do feel that I make some progress every time I start a new prototype, so I’ll keep doing that on a semi-regular basis.)

Thursday morning, I took the train to Amsterdam and met with René van Engelenburg of Dropstuff, to discuss the essay I’d written last year, about their project The Bridge. Dropstuff wasn’t satisfied, and I’d offered to do a rewrite, but back then there was no real urgency to actually do so. This time we agreed to let it lie for now, and perhaps pick it up if/when The Bridge gets a sequel. We also talked through each other’s current projects, which is always nice.

That afternoon I visited photographer Erik de Klein in Houten, for the portrait next to my upcoming tech column in KIJK. I had to bring three sets of clothing, so it’ll look like I get a new photo taken every month.

On Friday I dropped by Two Tribes in Amersfoort, to look at the progress of robot hacking shooter/platformer RIVE and to get a little tutorial from Collin van Ginkel on how to handle the in-house game editor. It was enough to now be able to add dialog and camera events to the game from the comfort of my home office, which I actually find rather exciting.

On Sunday I visited the Global Game Jam location in Hilversum together with Hessel, where we helped judge the games that’d been made there during the past 48 hours. I played about 15 of the 27 prototypes there, and got to tell the crowd who’d won, which was chaotic but fun (hopefully). By the way, my personal favorites were Albert Goes to Space and Endgame; I enjoyed discovering that teams in New York, Chicago and Salerno (in Italy) also called their creation Endgame this year, with similar premises to boot.

Finally, I want to try something new. Over the past year, these work notes have tended to be health notes, too, and I thought I could expand on that. So from now on I’m going to add some statistics to the tail end of these posts, enabled by the M8 chip in my iPhone 6, and a scale.

Average step count per day: 7.135
Average staircase count per day: 10
Average weight: 88,9 kg