Holiday greetings! Turns out my principle of no new projects in December still meant I ended up with a lot of stuff to do. If you need a refresher on the origin & nature of these bi-weekly updates, check out the first issue before reading on.
This will be my last newsletter until the new year! I'll be taking an extra week off for Christmas and starting the approximately bi-weekly schedule after the first week of the new year. If you signed up for holiday cards, I'm finishing them now and sending them out tomorrow! I also spent a lot of the past week rushing to find backup Christmas gifts for things showing up late, sending a huge parcel back home to my parents, etc. Hopefully after this week I can finally chill.
The other thing that has been taking up a lot of my free time is going back to revise my novel draft... I've shared the first chapter with a few people and got some valuable feedback already but this is the sort of thing that I won't have a ton to show on for a while! I did do an extensive reflection post about my experience writing it during NaNoWriMo if you're curious, though.
I also did some minor housekeeping on my itch page, so the embedded audio should now work again across all projects, including/especially my older bitsy and Construct games.
The new year! Who knows what it will hold. I haven't thought about it much!
Last newsletter, I featured the interview with Felan Parker that I did for Critical Distance's podcast series. Well, now one of the articles he's worked on about indie developers and their relationship to game streaming is open access, and I reccomend checking it out!
The Biome Digital Creatives Grant is open for a second round. If you are a Scotland-based artist or creator whose practice is somehow digital, and you could use help covering software/device/rent/etc expenses, please apply! It is pretty competitive, since we only have a set number of grants and pretty much everyone who applies makes a really good case, but hopefully the streamlined application process still makes it not too much of a hassle.
I also really enjoyed this recent Game Studies Study Buddies episode which covers a microethnographic study of children's play, with and without videogames. I always find the way kids actually end up (mis)using videogames to be way more interesting than designed intention, so it's full of really entertaining bits. See also: Sherry Turkle's research into children and Furbies.
I have been eating a lot of mince pies in addition to advent calendar chocolate, seasonal flavor teas and Festive bakes. I think I like the ones that come in a 6 pack from greggs (vegan friendly, powdered sugar topping) the best though had to go with a 4 pack from the co-op one time when they were out (not vegan, granulated sugar topping) which had their own charms I guess. (This newsletter is not sponsored by greggs... however... I would consider it.)
A collection of Olia Lialina's essays has been published as an ebook, which is freely available and in English here. I'm excited to go back and re-read the work I'm already familiar with that I've found really inspiring, and also experience the rest for the first time. I'm also finally checking out Gaming the Iron Curtain for something forthcoming in the new year.
This overview of influential RPGMaker titles made me add and bump up some games in my to-play list, and really demonstrates that anything worth being done has probably already been done in RPGMaker. I also found this review of a meditative and strange FMV puzzle CD-ROM game called Book of Watermarks to be really intriguing, even on top of its unexpected soundtrack connection. Finally, this article about the history of understanding electric impulses as an element of our biological selves was just... pretty cool, if occasionally a bit unnerving!
I think that's all I have this bi-week! For new subscribers who have signed on since the last newsletter, you can check out the archive of past issues at any time!
Thank you again for your support,