Week 90

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

This workweek had a late start because I only got back from my much-needed Easter break on tuesday. With a fresh mind I jumped back into it on wednesday with a status update call with the guys at Hubbub, and after that a call with Pieter at Hoog+Diep, a design agency that contacted me to do the promotional art for their new app. They found me through the work I did for KLM and their app also has to do with air travel. That afternoon I finally caught up with my backlog of daily comics.

On thursday I worked my side job and stopped by the Hubbub studio afterwards. Kars presented me his new ideas for the flow of the home rule beta, and I went home to mull them over. Then I made an art test for Hoog+Diep, and I’ll hear more about that next week.

On friday I made the last few missing daily comics and made some mockups to go with Kars’ new ideas. Afterwards I went for a bbq at the park with friends, which knocked me (but mostly my stomach) out for most of the weekend. Woof.

Next week: Like I didn’t have enough to do, I dabble in the Idle Thumbs game jam.

Haphazard Photography #1 – Texel

I realized today that I have a special folder collecting dust in my dropbox. It’s filled with pictures taken with my iPhone that turned out as more than simple point-and-shoot memories. I call it haphazard photography. It doesn’t really warrant the addition of a ‘photography’ category to my portfolio but at the same time it feels wasteful not to put them online somewhere. So I’ll start posting them here every now and then.

I’m starting with the most recent ones, from my Easter vacation on the island of Texel.

Week 89

This is a weekly recap of what has been going on in my professional life. It’s to keep track of what I’m up to and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creator. For illustrated depictions of these events, visit my daily comics page.

On monday I started out helping my friends unload containers at their warehouse again. It was a nice way to start off the week with some physical activity. Then I ran errands and updated the blog and such. There was a terrible storm that evening and I was glad to be inside.

On tuesday I worked my side job and then stopped by the Hubbub studio in the afternoon to kick off the new beta phase of Home Rule, the game for war museums. We came up with some rad ideas to start working on, and after that I stuck around to fiddle with my game a bit. I also thought of a concept for the Adventure game jam that starts next week.

On wednesday I sketched out some designs for the Home Rule beta and pushed a few fixes and features down the pipeline for my own game, and sent a beta version out that evening. I didn’t receive any bug reports, which is also an interesting contrast to the sort of games I usually make. 2D (adventure) games are strung together by interdependent logic and a specific flow of events, something which is ripe for things to break or execute in the wrong order, while this game lets you roam free and really only has two spots where it forces some rigid code on you, so essentially there are no bugs. That feels weird.

I think I’m going to call this game Reconquista, a suggestion by Alper. It communicates the theme and the setting nicely in one catchy word.

This game poses a dilemma though, because on the one hand the experience that I wanted to communicate with the game is there and I want to release it, but on the other hand my game developer instinct wants to add more actual gameplay and make it a real ‘game’ that I could charge for. I think I’ll have to trawl itch.io a bit to see how other people are handling this. If you have sage advice feel free to share in the comments.

On thursday I had a call with Kars and Alper to discuss the designs we had done for Home Rule so far, and on friday I called with Alper again to see what the next steps would be for the beta. He was going to work on that into next week while I went of a short Easter vacation with the girlfriend to the island of Texel, which turned out fun and relaxing. I tried to catch up on dailies before then but holy shit I was far behind. The backlog should go up today or tomorrow.

Next week: a return to civilization and a new assignment.

Week 29

This is a weekly recap of the goings-on in my professional life – to keep track of what I’m doing and to give you a peek at what it’s like being an independent creative.

Week 28 was a short week in which not a whole lot of interesting work stuff happened. I basically continued working on what I had worked on the week before, and visited Game Oven again on thursday. I also started playing Broken Age which I was initially not raring to try until talking to Niels ‘t Hooft enthused me about it, and I finished Shay’s story in one sitting and loved it.

That weekend I spent on the island of Texel with my girlfriend. I turned off my phone and it’s funny how you don’t realize how much email you get until you come back to a whole stack of it after a few disconnected days.

This past week has basically been more of the same. Off-stage has sadly slipped between the cracks so I’m letting that be for a bit while I figure out how to wrap up its second chapter. I finished the mockups for the grant application for Niels’ Ninja Gimmick Girl 2.0. It was fun to take a dive back into old E3 culture and where I came from as a games enthusiast, and I learned a lot about interface design and working with Apple’s design vision of iOS 7.

Unity continues to work against me but making a full game with it feels ever closer.