The Inaugural Games Helsinki Conference

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Games Helsinki is a one-day mini-conference focusing on console and PC games. It's going to be a small, intimate event with ~100 attendees from the Finnish game dev scene. We'll take over Games Factory for a day of talks, followed by evening of mingling and finishing the night with an afterparty.

For more information see the conference website: https://gameshelsinki.com/

IGDA members get a 10% discount off the ticket price using promocode IGDA when registering. Act fast there were only 25 tickets left at the time of publication.

Get 15% of White Nights in Berlin

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The winter edition of White Nights will take place in Berlin on February 12-13, 2019, with over 1,300 attendees expected. The program is already available on the confernece website.

Act fast to get one of 15 free booths at the Developer Exhibition. Participants from all over the world will present their best projects in order to meet industry professionals, find partners, publishers, meet platforms representatives and collect valuable feedback. Every team participating in the showcase will receive a free mini-booth + one free Premium all-access ticket + a good discount for team members. The application deadline is January 25th.

Developers can also take part in the Big Indie Pitch held by Pocket Gamer on Day 2. The unique speed dating format will give each developer some time with experts, meaning entrants will get real feedback from the event and a chance to win prizes! Find out more info and register on the Pocket Gamer website.

There’s still time to grab a 15% discount off your tickets by using the promo code IGDA-Finland. Feel free to contact the White Nights team at welcome@wnconf.com if you have any questions.

Volunteer with IGDA at GDC 2019

Earn an Expo Plus Pass to the 2019 Game Developers Conference with about 12-15 hours of on-site volunteer work with IGDA HQ.

GDC 2019 runs from Monday-Friday, 18-22 March. Volunteers have a required orientation on Tuesday afternoon, 19 March. If you are accepted into the IGDA @ GDC 2019 volunteer program, you are expected to be on-site from the start of orientation (Tuesday, 19 March) through the end of the conference on the evening of Friday, 22 March, during conference hours. Plan accordingly so you have no conflicts during that time.

Last day to submit your application is 16 January 2019 @ 10PM PST (UTC-8)!

See this page for details: https://www.igda.org/page/gdc2019volunteer

IGDA Members Get 20% Discount for PGC London 2019!

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IGDA Members get 20% Discount for PGC London 2019!

Message from the event organizer:

Connects London, our biggest game conference yet (Mobile, PC, XR, Blockchain)
 
Can you afford to miss our sixth, biggest, best PG Connects London on January 21-22? An all-new agenda showcasing 25 tracks with 180 sessions from 300 speakers will cater for over 2,500 delegates representing more than 900 companies.

We’ll cover every key part of the mobile games industry from Live Ops to Game Design and User Acquisition, from Global Expansion to Hypercasual & Instant Messenger Games, from Esports and Influencer Marketing to Cloud Gaming, AI and more, and even tracks for XR, and Switch developers. We also have the return of PC Connects, a dedicated, fully revised, partner conference focused on the fast-changing digital PC gaming space. Plus a brand new Blockchain Connects sister event, with an agenda to explain this new tech and the opportunities for game companies.

Indie developers will have their own dedicated track and pitch events (mobile and PC) and there’ll be an expo to explore, a matchmaking event, investor-developer connection sessions, workshops, Mentor Lounge, and the ever-popular Global Connects party.

Use code IGDAFIN at https://www.pgconnects.com/london/registration

*** 
• 20% discount on ticket rates.
• Indie Showcase table competition – Exclusive limited selection of free expo tables for both days + 2 indie tickets (package is worth $650) are available, winners selected at random once competition closes December 21 [LINK: http://bit.ly/2L2ByKB]

Helsinki Hub: Xmas with Veikkaus

Text by Giorgos Riskas and Roope Sorvo, photos by Casimir Kuusela

It’s that time of the year again, when developers congregate to bid their farewells to the departing year in good old IGDA fashion. The final Helsinki Gathering of 2018 was sponsored by Veikkaus and in addition to the usual free drinks this event included physical loot boxes and a fun non-traditional Christmas feast where the main ingredient was hot dogs. Their new, pirate-themed game Kultaranta occupied the demo corner, and featured as the common center point for the presentations.

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The seminars were opened by Veikkaus studio head and a game development veteran Henri Lindgren, whose presentation Veikkaus Game Studio in a Nutshell went into detail about their development cycles, team structures and company philosophy. The focal point of the presentation was the shift from slot machines towards the mobile-first game design Veikkaus has been doing for the past year.

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Lindgren’s previous experience in mobile F2P games has proven to be a powerful tool in leading his current studio to success. When asked to share a few hints on how to inspire teams instead of simply managing them, Lindgren used safety, freedom and responsibility as the key to success.

Following Lindgren was Sakari Tiikkaja, lead game artist at Veikkaus. In his presentation, Our Approach to Game Design and Creative Design, he went through the journey of a Veikkaus game, from raw concept to finalized, concrete assets. A key component on this journey is a 5-Step Design process influenced by Tim Brown and Roger Martin and further based on the work of designer Feng Zhu.

Tiikkaja believes that the aforementioned process could definitely be applied to games outside the field of gambling as well. When asked to name the biggest benefit of their workflow, Tiikkaja answered: “It is important to crystallize the concepts and find the boundaries of an IP early on in the development. This way, the developers don’t need to blindly grasp in the darkness.”

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After Tiikkaja the stage was given to lead game artist Senja Heikkinen and senior game artist Henrik Hackenberg, whose presentation Case Study: Kultaranta delved into various trials and tribulations the game had during its development. While primarily a recitation of the art design for Kultaranta, going from early sketches and mood boards to the finished product, the presentation also explored topics such as designing a game simultaneously for three different types of slot machines and working with the ever-changing, yet endlessly strict Finnish gambling laws. However, at least when it comes to the latter, Hackenberg thinks that the situation has improved. “Instead of handing each gambling company an unique monopoly, the Finnish law has recently been unified so that there’s less fear of stepping on one another’s toes”, he says.

Happy holidays and joyous new year. See you in 2019!

IGDA Finland Appoints New Chairperson and Board!

On behalf of IGDA Finland, I am proud to accept the position of Chairperson and delighted to announce the new elected Members of the Board of IGDA Finland - big congrats to Vesa Raudasoja, Oskari Tamminen, Tuomas Roininen and Joni Finne!

A big THANK YOU goes to Juha Vainio, Jussi Loukiainen and Daniel Fischer for incredible work in the Board for past two years!

New adventures await, and we are preparing incredible events across Finland for our beloved community of game developers, cheers!

Yours,

Natasha Trygg

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IGDA Appoints New Chair, Vice-Chair of Board of Directors

English version follows below.

Kansainvälinen pelinkehittäjien järjestö IGDA (International Game Developers Association) on nimittänyt suomalaisen Vesa Raudasojan hallituksensa uudeksi puheenjohtajaksi.

Aiemmin maailman suurimman pelinkehittäjien etujärjestön varapuheenjohtajana toiminut Vesa Raudasoja on pelialan konsultti ja yhteisökehittäjä. Hän on yli vuosikymmenen ajan kehittänyt kansainvälistä yhteistyötä, rakentanut yhteisöjä ja auttanut ihmisiä pelialalla. Hän on ollut mukana kasvattamassa IGDA Finlandia yhdeksi koko kansainvälisen järjestön suurimmista paikallisosastoista, jossa oli yli 1 700 jäsentä ja 12 paikallista keskusta. Hänet palkittiin IGDA:n elämäntyöpalkinnolla vuonna 2015. Hän on myös Finnish Game Jam ry:n hallituksen jäsen ja aktiivi sekä Devs.tv-palvelun perustaja.

Kansainvälisen IGDA:n edellinen puheenjohtaja David Seltzer jatkaa hallituksessa emeritus-puheenjohtajana. Nykyisestä hallituksen jäsenestä, Emily Greeristä, tulee uusi varapuheenjohtaja. Lucien Parsons jatkaa rahastonhoitajana ja Renee Gittins hallituksen sihteerinä.

”Vaikka olemme surullisia Davidin lähdöstä, olemme varmoja, että IGDA:n uusi johtajisto tulee tekemään suuria asioita”, sanoo IGDA:n johtaja Jen MacLean. ”Vesa jatkaa omistautumistaan kansainvälisen peliyhteisön parhaaksi ja Emilyn menestys peliyhtiön perustajana ja toimitusjohtajana ovat tehokas yhdistelmä IGDA:n tavoitteiden edistämisessä. Autamme jatkossakin pelinkehittäjiä kaikkialla maailmassa luomaan onnistuneita työuria.”

International Game Developers Association (IGDA)

International Game Developers Association on maailman suurin voittoa tavoittelematon jäsenorganisaatio, joka palvelee pelejä kehittäviä henkilöitä. Yhdistys on jo 24 vuoden ajan edistänyt työuria ja pyrkinyt parantamaan pelinkehittäjien elämää yhdistämällä jäseniä toisiinsa, edistämällä ammatillista kehitystä ja tukemalla kehittäjäyhteisöön vaikuttavia asioita. IGDA Finland tukee Suomessa toimivia pelinkehittäjiä monin eri tavoin. Yksi näkyvimmistä tavoista on säännöllisesti järjestettävät avoimet kokoontumiset.

English version

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) has appointed Vesa Raudasoja as new chair of the board of directors, promoting him from the vice-chair position at the world’s largest organization serving individuals who create games. Previous chairman David Seltzer will continue to serve on the board as chair emeritus, with current board member Emily Greer stepping in as new vice-chair while Lucien Parsons continues as treasurer and Renee Gittins as secretary.

Vesa Raudasoja is a game consultant and community developer based in Finland. His career covers more than a decade in international collaborations, community building and grass roots efforts helping people get involved in games. He helped grow IGDA Finland into one of IGDA's flagship chapters with more than 1,700 members and 12 hubs and was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. He is also a board member and evangelist with the Finnish Game Jam Association as well as co-founder of Devs.tv.

Emily Greer co-founded Kongregate in 2006 and took over as CEO in February 2014. Greer led the company’s rapid rise as a free-to-play web destination along with its expansion to mobile, PC and console game publishing, as well as the launch of the company’s new PC platform Kartridge. She is also well-known in the game industry for her presentations on the economics and psychology of free-to-play games.

Lucien Parsons is a games business and operations expert with a programming background and an MBA in Innovation Management from The Wharton School. With experience covering four continents, eight years of game development and 18 years of technical project management and production, Parsons has worked on everything from social media games and AAA titles at companies including ZeniMax to projects for the U.S. government and hospitals.

Renee Gittins is a multi-disciplinary leader with expertise in software engineering, creative direction and marketing at companies including X2 Biosystems and Xbox Games before becoming the creative director and CEO of Stumbling Cat. She is an outspoken advocate for diversity in the game industry and supports the growth of developers by organizing game-jams, panels, job fairs and other events as a board member of IGDA Seattle and by actively mentoring game development students at Foundry10.

“Although we are sad to see David go, we are confident the IGDA’s new leadership is going to accomplish great things,” said Jen MacLean, executive director, IGDA. “Vesa’s ongoing dedication to the international gaming community and Emily’s track record as the founder and CEO of a successful gaming company are a potent combination for furthering the IGDA’s goals of helping developers all over the world develop successful careers.”

Helsinki Hub: November Gathering

Text by Giorgos Riskas and Roope Sorvo, photo by Casimir Kuusela

The November IGDA gathering at the Helsinki Hub was a non-commercial celebration. There wasn’t a specific agenda for the evening so developers had time to meet with friends and relax while discussing their plans for the year that is rapidly reaching its conclusion.

With no sponsors or presenters, the most visible banner of the night belonged to the documentary The Name of the Game. The film tells the story of Nex Machina, the collaboration between the legendary arcade game designer Eugene Jarvis, and the Finnish game developer Housemarque. The movie was shot over the course of three years in five different countries, resulting in 200 hours of footage detailing the creation process of the game. “However, it is more about the characters and their journey than a straight up documentary about the game’s development,” emphasized Heikki Kareranta, co-writer and producer of the film. “We wanted to make a good story rather than just a documentary.”

When asked about how much the subject will resonate with general audiences, Kareranta replied, “People in Finland are especially interested in video games on a large scale, but the average Joe has little idea about their creation process. This gives them a sort of a peek behind the curtain.”

The first press screening was arranged earlier in the day prior to the IGDA Gathering.

The Name of the Game premiered on November 23.

In addition to the Hollywood bigwigs, a wig of another kind also graced the event with their presence: IGDA Women In Gaming (WIG) was among the attendees joining the gathering, as they have done many times in the past. Its main goal is to build a support network for women in the industry and the group recently reached the milestone of 1000 members in Finland.

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Two developers presented their games in this month’s demo corner:

Stone is a story driven ‘stoner noir’ game developed by Convict Games. The player assumes the role of a hungover koala detective in a colourful society of anthropomorphic Australian fauna. The game draws inspiration from pieces of media of the same genre such as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and The Big Lebowski.

The game was in development for about a year and is now available for purchase on Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/agecheck/app/907770/

Chopball is a competitive multiplayer party sports game, currently in development by a studio that is tentatively calling itself Kanto Games. The gameplay combines elements of soccer and pinball while introducing a few interesting twists, such as breakable defenses in front of the goals. The game has been in development for a couple of months and aims for release in late 2019 as the studio’s first title.

See you in December!


23rd of November - Premiere of the movie THE NAME OF THE GAME in theaters across Finland!

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The Name of the Game is a feature-length documentary about the team up between the legendary arcade game designer, Eugene Jarvis, and the Finnish game developer, Housemarque. The end result of the collaboration was the critically acclaimed PS4/PC title Nex Machina. The film gives the audience an unprecedented access to the unpredictable and plain crazy world of making a video game - uncensored.

The film hits theaters on November 23rd, and we urge everybody to go and see the film on the premiere weekend!

Next Gen Leaders at GDC 2019 Applications Open!

The Next Gen Leaders Program focuses on increasing the inclusivity of the game industry by supporting the retention of under-represented minorities who would otherwise be at risk of leaving the industry. The program is book-ended by two consecutive opportunities to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, including a travel stipend, career-focused workshops, individual mentorship, extensive networking opportunities, and post-GDC discussions.

Applications are open to game developers around the world with 2-8 years of professional experience who identify as a member of an under-represented group and demonstrate a passion for game development.

Please help spread the word and apply today for a chance to join our 2019 cohort at GDC! Applications close on 30 November.

Get -10% off or even -15% off! #XmasJKL - The Game Industry Business Seminar 14th of Nov 2018

#XmasJKL 2018

#XmasJKL - The Game Industry Business Seminar 14th of Nov 2018

#XmasJKL – The Game Industry and Business Seminar is the annual game business seminar in Jyväskylä, Central Finland. And it is already 4th time already!

Seminar speakers, networking and business in an open, relaxed event.

Learn, share, co-operate!

Organized by Expa Game Business Co-Operative
- Let’s make awesome game business!

Top lineup of spekeakers again with various topics from industry experts like Global Business, Game Development, Human Resources, Adaptive Music Design, Taking over the world with YouTube etc:

Opening words:
The opening words by Suvi Vuojolainen, Business and Marketing Manager, Business Jyväskylä, City of Jyväskylä

Lineup:
- Mika Rahko, Co-Founder, Futureplay
- Lauri Vuohensilta, Hydraulic Press Channel
- Adam Sporka, Adaptive Music Designer, Kingdom Come Deliverance
- Mirella Keto, Head of Organizational Development, Ubisoft RedLynx
- Jussi Immonen, COO, Nitro Games
- Timo Soininen, CEO, Small Giant Games

The event is K18

Check tickest and more event info at the website:
www.xmasjkl.com

Join to the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/321368438598749/

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IGDA members USE THE CODE get -10% off: IGDAGOESXMAS

Get even -15% with Group Deal sent email for more details: sales@expa.fi

Source:: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/xmasjkl-the-game-industry-seminar-2018-tickets-50903992211

Helsinki Hub: October Gathering with Next Games

Text by Giorgos Riskas and Roope Sorvo, photos by Jesse Eloranta

October is the time of the year when the evenings get darker, leaves fall and the spirit of Halloween rises with undead horrors.

The October gathering was appropriately sponsored by Next Games, celebrating the release of their recent title, The Walking Dead: Our World, an AR title where the player takes on the zombie hordes on the streets of the real world. For the past five years, Next Games has been working hard to elevate the reputation of games using licensed intellectual property (IP), and they are currently working on three new games based on popular entertainment franchises.

Sulka Haro, lead designer of The Walking Dead: Our World, opened the seminar with his presentation “In Search for Location-based Mechanics - The Walking Dead: Our World Design Retrospective.” He went through the game’s creation process from their three core design pillars (“Play everywhere, Support couch play, and Be true to The Walking Dead) to aspects of the game’s core loop and the concept of shared reality. The presentation also delved into a brief history of AR games, listing influences and lessons learned from each spiritual predecessor of Our World.

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The second speaker was Matias Ärje, director of technology at Next Games. His presentation “Earth, My Game Level - How the Planet-Wide Gameplay in The Walking Dead: Our World Came to Be” explained the methodology and language of the impressive mapping technology used in Our World. The presentation went into detail about the process of mapping, use of art, troubleshooting gameplay elements, and offhandedly explained compatibility issues between Google Earth and Google Maps.

The third and final presentation of the night was “How We Gather, Use and Lose Data - On Data Architecture, Selected Results, and Data Retention” by Jörkki Hyvönen and Vesa Palonen, the self-described “Matti & Teppo of the Game Industry”. Both worked with analytics on Our World; with Hyvönen as the Head of Analytics, while Palonen described himself as a ‘happy generalist’. The duo went through how data collection works at Next Games, and how applying analytics to that data affected the creation of Our World, from visibility and prediction to modelling and automation.

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In addition to the presenters, we talked with Susanna Aittokoski, the communications manager at Next Games. According to her, the company’s success in the industry and good reputation on work ethic are thanks to the company’s culture, based on values of Caring, Courage and Curiosity.

“We give our employees the amount of responsibility they ask for themselves,” Aittokoski said. “Nobody is handed more to bite than they can chew.”

These values also extend to their partners, which has allowed a tighter relationship with the licence holders. Currently Next Games is the official, exclusive developer of The Walking Dead games. The close working relationship has enabled Next Games to have their games closely integrated with the series. For example, events of the series are reflected in The Walking Dead: Our World a day after the episode airs.

“Things like that are just plain cool to do,” Aittokoski said with excitement.

Alongside the seminars IGDA Finland presented their new project IGDA Future, an upcoming series of events aimed at kids and young people, created in collaboration with the libraries of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and Digitalents. The aim is to create an equivalent of IGDA gatherings for younger audiences, with less stress on networking and more emphasis on activities.

See you in November!

Announcing IGDA Future

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IGDA Future is like the Scouts of Game Development. It’s free, easy to access and aimed to give the participants tools and aid them in becoming independent, confident and skilled adults. We want to create an environment where it is safe to experiment, find friends and learn without fear of failure. It is our mission to encourage youth during times of strife and reward them for participation and volunteering.

Functioning under the same principles as IGDA, our goal is to take down the walls of obscurity surrounding the Game Industry and to offer people 18 and under an on ramp into the world of game development. Together, with the Helsinki Metropolitan Area Libraries (HelMet) and Digitalents Helsinki, we aim to produce events that will not only spread the knowledge of the games industry, but also empower the younger generation to participate and create their own games.

By choosing to organize events in open, public forums, we ensure easy access for participating. Libraries have long been in the forefront of media education in Finland, hence they provide a perfect venue for IGDA Future. Likewise, Digitalents Helsinki has a lot of know-how on working with youth.

IGDA Future is a pilot project that is the first of its kind in the world. The inaugural event will take place on October 25th at the Tikkurila Library at 17:00.


Get 15% off DevGAMM Minsk

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DevGAMM returns to Minsk for Belarus’ premier game industry conference on November 15-16. Information regarding the speaker line up, submitting games to the DevGAMM Showcase, speed dating with publishers, DevGAMM Roundtables, the Girls & Games Industry Lunch for women in games, and much more is available on the conference website: https://devgamm.com/

IGDA members get a 15% discount using promo code: IGDA&DevGAMM15

Note: Belarus no longer requires visas for citizens of the EU when arriving by plane, however you need to provide proof of health insurance.

Finnish Game Industry Harassment Task Force Forming

The Finnish Game Industry is committed to keeping our community safe for everyone and has a zero-tolerance policy on harassment in all of its forms. We already have the code of conduct (http://www.neogames.fi/the-finnish-game-industry-code-of-conduct/) but there is more we can do.

For that reason organisations and operations of game industry have decided to form a task force that will deal with harassment issues: share information, knowledge, give assistance and create general guidelines and procedures for incidents and harassment. Neogames, IGDA Finland, Finnish Game Developers Association, Finnish Game Jam and Women in Games Finland are having their representatives in the task force; event organisers are represented by Northern Game Summit. 

The task force will have their first meeting in coming weeks. More info about the topic will be available in game industry channels after the meeting.

Win a Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart!

Game Analytics, a sponsors of IGDA Finland Mentor Cafe at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2018, have a special treat - now’s your chance to win a Nintendo Switch with Mario Kart!

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In celebration of this years mentor cafe at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki, we’re running a competition with GameAnalytics to win a Nintendo Switch and Mario Kart! All you have to do is sign up for the demo version of the GameAnalytics tool to be automatically entered into the prize drawer!

We’ll be picking the lucky winner this Friday, so make sure to enter before then so you don’t miss your chance -> https://goo.gl/3qvNFy

One Gamer Fund Charity Sale on Steam!

What happens when seven great game-related charities combine forces with developers around the world? Amazing bargains for players and an opportunity to change the world.  Get exclusive bargains on Steam from 20-23 September, and 50% of the developer proceeds will benefit One Gamer Fund.

One Gamer Fund is a partnership between Global Game Jam, Games For Change, IGDA Foundation, Take This, Able Gamers, Stack-Up, and Child’s Play to raise money for our charities and boost visibility of our work to support game developers and game players around the world.  Each of these organizations is a 501(c)3 registered charity, and works to support gamers, or game developers, in a meaningful way.  

Games featured in the One Gamer Fund charity sale on Steam include Goat Simulator, Never Alone, Fantastic Contraption, MageQuit, Titan Souls, Hello Neighbor and over 35 other great titles.  Visit the Steam sale page for more information.

IGDA Finland Mentor Café at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki

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Please sign up here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe_T5Alg0Bxscc8Zf3SuSpcDb5HTdf-mJbF2QBYoCdl3CFH3w/viewform?usp=sf_link

The IGDA Mentor café is now being brought to Finland for the very first time - At Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki!

In the IGDA Mentor Café at PGC, games industry leaders will share their knowledge and expertise in short, 20 minute mentoring sessions.

Industry leaders share valuable knowledge, skills and advice in IGDA Mentor Cafés, “giving back” to anyone in the community who is seeking mentorship. Mentees will receive valuable advice and new connections to the industry! Topics can be related to anything in the games industry.

The IGDA Finland Mentor Café will be held on the 11th of September at 10AM and 11AM at the PGC Helsinki venue. Each Mentor Café session will last one hour.

The IGDA Finland Mentor Café team will match make mentors and mentees with each other and provide them with materials to get the most out of their session.

The IGDA Finland Mentor Café is sponsored by Game Analytics. A big thank you to Pocket Gamer Connects for providing the venue! 

Any additional questions can be sent to minna.eloranta@igda.fi.