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.

Monetization in Games by Aalto ENT & IGDA Finland

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19.10.2018 - SAVE THE DATE!

Aalto ENT and IGDA Finland are co-organizing the Monetization in Games seminar in Espoo, Finland on October 19. Finland is a top country in games and is now bringing together international experts to talk about how to monetize effectively and ethically. Join us on this learning mission with the Doom creator “John Romero”, Maarten Noyons, Michail Katkoff and Oscar Clark – either in person or via our free live stream!

 

More info:

https://www.facebook.com/events/276407792954825/

FREE Bus Ride to Connects Helsinki 2018!

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(NOTE: THE BUS TICKET DOES NOT INCLUDE ENTRY TO THE CONFERENCE – you will need a conference ticket to get access to the event(s). There are discounted and even free options available)

IGDA Finland and Pocket Gamer want everyone to have a chance to take part in upcoming #PGCHelsinki event, no matter your location, and to make everything more accessible and convenient for our friends outside the Helsinki area we are organizing bus rides from hubs all around the country. The buses, provided by Pocket Gamer, are completely free of charge - you just need to register on the form below and turn up!

We will need to know for the total numbers for the buses so please register by Friday August 31 to grab your seat. First come - first served!

Buses will go from Jyväskylä & Tampere, Turku, and Kouvola & Kotka, please register here:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/free-bus-ride-to-connects-helsinki-2018-tickets-48922369123

More info on the conference: www.pgconnects.com/helsinki & www.pgconnects.com/helsinki/blockchain-gamer-connects

 

Get a Free Demo Space at PGC Helsinki

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Attention Indie Developers! Pocket Gamer is raffling off the last of the free Showcase Tables for the Big Indie Zone at PGC Helsinki. That's right, FREE! Clearly the hot weather has melted their brains. 

Winners will get the following: 

  1. One display table in the Big Indie Zone, inc two chairs and one power socket
  2. Two standard conference passes
  3. Access to all conference content
  4. Access to the Global Connects Party
  5. Access to all non-exclusive/invitation-only fringe events

Just enter your details in this form before July 31st.

And if you're not an indie developer, July 31 is the last day to purchase early bird tickets.  

Intuitive Digital Workflow with Loish!

We wish to invite you to one of a kind digital art seminar with Loish!

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On Saturday, the 8th of September we are privileged to have Loish presenting her unique approach in art creation and visual language at University of Turku.

Meet the artist, learn about the best practices in digital art production and above all HAVE FUN in creative discussion with loish and fellow creatives!

We are aiming to organize free transport for students from bigger cities in Finland, who wish to attend the workshop. More information about bus rides will be announced later on.

We have limited amount of spots so be fast and GET YOUR TICKET TODAY!
https://loishworkshop.eventbrite.com

Event is organized and supported by University of Turku, The Hive - Turku Game Hub, IGDA Finland and IGDA Game Art SIG.

_________________________

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Language used at workshop: English

Availability: 200 people

Note for students: attending the seminar will provide you with 2 ECTS.

Get a 20% Midsummer discount on PGC Helsinki

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Pocket Gamer Connects, one of the biggest game events in Finland, returns to Helsinki on September 11-12. Over 1,200 delegates from 600 companies will network and learn from over 120 speakers across 16 tracks. The event promises to cover every major part of the mobile games industry from Game Design and User Acquisition to Live Ops and Global Expansion. We also have a dedicated Connects X track for PC, Switch and XR developers, tracks on Hypercasual & Instant Messenger Games, Esports, Influencer Marketing, Cloud Gaming and more. Plus a brand new Blockchain Connects sister event, with its own speakers and 4 tracks explaining this new tech and the opportunities for game companies. Indie developers will have their own dedicated track and pitch events for mobile and PC and there’ll be an expo to explore, game jams, PechaKucha sessions, and the legendary Global Connects party.

Use promo code MIDSUMMER at http://www.pgconnects.com/helsinki to get 20% off by July 3rd.

Double your savings by getting your tickets before the Super Early Bird rate expires on June 28th.

Get 15% off The Big Indie Fest at ReVersed

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The four-day Big Indie Fest @ ReVersed will unite the best of the indie game developers from central and southern Europe with publishers, service providers, media and other games industry professionals. Organizers expect over 500 trade visitors to attend the show in 2018 with a strong focus on developers (over 70%). An additional 4,000 consumers are anticipated for the final two days, offering game developers and publishers a chance to promote directly to players and gather feedback.

The 2018 event will take place in the incredible surroundings of Vienna’s museums quarter (formerly the imperial stables) in the very heart of the city, providing easy access for attendees both locally and from across Europe. Spread across two full halls, the Ovalhall and Arena21, and boasting fringe events in the surrounding spaces, ReVersed 2018 is twice the size of last year's event.

IGDA Finland members can use promo code IGDAF when registering for 15% off their ticket.

For more information visit the conference website: http://www.reversed.at/

Finnish Game Day '18 in St. Petersburg

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Finnish Game Day is a free, one-day, "East meets West" style event where industry leaders from Finland discuss topics like investments in games, publishing and international markets, attracting and retaining talent at game studios and Finland as a place to grow you game company. Panelists will share their views about trends in the market, discuss business opportunities. 

Details and agenda, along with registration for the event, can be found at:  https://finnishgameday.com/fgd18

Finnish Game Day is hosted in cooperation with the White Nights Conference, an international game development and marketing event that follows Finnish Game Day on June 28th-29th. As a bonus, the first 15 Finnish game studios participating in Finnish Game Day ’18, will get a special package sponsored by Business Finland: A free private booth with two free standard tickets to the White Nights conference

Sign up here by June 8th to reserve your booth. Be sure to enter "Play Finland" under “How did you find out about the conference?" so the organizers will know you’re are attending our event. The first 15 applicants will get a free booth!

Given that St. Petersburg is one of the host cities for the World Cup, hotels and transport will likely be booked to capacity. Here's a two page info sheet with tips on travel, accommodations, and Russian visas.  

Get 15% off White Nights St. Petersburg

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The next White Nights conference will be held on June 28-29, 2018 in St. Petersburg. Over 1,600 attendees are expected. 

The program is available on the conference website. The conference will additionally feature workshops held by Google, Facebook and iOS representatives. Pre-registratin for these sessions is required on the conference website. 

The Developer Exhibition will once again be held as a part of the White Nights, where over 150 talented teams from all over the world will showcase their best games in order to meet leading publishers, representatives of platforms, investors and to receive valuable feedback from industry gurus and fellow colleagues. Best of the best will receive a trophy and great prizes at the Indie Game Cup Awards Ceremony. We are accepting applications for the Developer Exhibition (https://goo.gl/forms/k0R7cpmJPFuO3r633) and for the Indie Game Cup until June 8, 2018. 

The agenda also includes great networking events: a pre-party sponsored by Unreal Engine to be held on the day preceding the event and the main all-night party on the huge sailing ship The Flying Dutchman at the end of the first day.

IGDA Finland members get 15% off the ticket price by using promo code IGDA-Finland on the conference website.

Information on obtaining Russian visa is on the conference website

Helsinki Hub: May Gathering with PlayFab

By Giorgos Riskas and Roope Sorvo

The May gathering was sponsored by PlayFab, a complete backend platform built exclusively for live games.

Brendan Vanous, head of developer success at PlayFab/Microsoft was really impressed with how inclusive the game development community is in Finland. As he said, in many other communities competitiveness make developers grow isolated and he is really happy to see that this is not the case.

In his brief talk, Vanous spoke about live game operations and how they can shape the future of the gaming industry. Live operations, or LiveOps, help games to grow according to the needs of the users, so that they can be evolve and therefore, live longer.

Vanous described how the growth of mobile games has changed the scene since the early 2000s and how LiveOps services have played their part in driving the mobile industry to the top. The said services allow developers to either complement their existing infrastructure or adopt the LiveOps platform in its entirety.

Probably the most interesting part of the presentation was the comparison between two teams of developers that followed different approaches on how to engage their audience. One of the said teams kept collecting data and tried to stay aligned with what the audience needed, in contrast to the other one that stopped their support after some early updates. The results indicate that the old way of supporting games as in the previous decades is not anymore viable in the live games market.

“The developers should always listen to their community’s feedback and build on it”, Vanous said. “That’s the way to do things nowadays, and unfortunately many people don’t understand that,” he added.

This time the Demo Corner was divided into two distinct categories: projects by Aalto University students, and independent game projects that both happened to make their second appearance in the IGDA Demo Corner.

It was the first time that Aalto students had the opportunity to gather valuable feedback outside their university. The games were developed as part of a course and is a collaboration effort between different Master’s programs of Aalto’s Media Lab. The 3 featured projects have been in development for roughly five months by teams of five to six students.

PlusMinus is a third person puzzle game in which the main character uses magnetism to fight enemies and solve puzzles. The story of the game finds the main character trying to escape from the system in futuristic dystopian world.

Metsä is an atmospheric hybrid installation game that is played while sitting in a dark tent. The player controls the footsteps of their avatar by pressing two individual buttons situated on a blanket, attempting to make their way through a dark woodland avoiding obstacles by jumping and sneaking.

Hidden Wish is an asymmetrical co-op adventure game with a combination of different mechanics. The stylized game mixes 3D segments with literally hand drawn levels where first player makes their way through a 2D platformer, meanwhile the second player uses a more cursor-oriented UI to create a path for the other player by moving around different parts of the levels.

In addition, two games made their second appearance in IGDA.

Exploding Babies was developed by Nut Farm during the Global Game Jam and is a hectic 4-player battle arena game where the players try to win by detonating the babies of other players using sound waves. The developers’ return to the demo corner of IGDA after March is part of their focus on live events where they can get people to try it in teams of 4 and test its full potential.

Another team that returned to the demo corner was LunarByte, with their first title Trail of Relics, a puzzle game where the player draws a path for their avatar through increasingly difficult mazes. The game has been in development for about half a year and it is currently on beta. As the developers said, the feedback that they receive at IGDA gatherings is a lot better than average which helps them focus on the areas that they should during the development.

See you in August!

 

IGDA Nordics Party at Nordic Game 2018

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Welcome to the IGDA Nordics Party!
Nordic Game Conference 2018 is taking place in Malmö on 23-25th of May. We are delighted to announce that this year, IGDA chapters from Nordic countries are joining forces to make the BIGGEST IGDA PARTY ever and we wish to highlight our gaming companies in this event. 

When and where?
23rd of May, after the first day of the conference we will gather at 20:00 in Moriska Paviljongen, Norra Parkgatan 2, 214 22 Malmö, Sweden. 

A HUGE thanks goes to our main sponsor Fingersoft and associate sponsor Apprien!

Get 20% off the Helsinki Game Music Festival

The Helsinki Game Music Festival is a one-day event dedicated to video game music and features performances the Game Music Collective and more!

The festival kicks off at 14:00 at the Helsinki Hall of Culture on May 5th. 

For more information visit the event website: 
https://gameharmony.com/concerts/helsinki-game-music-festival/

IGDA members get 20% all ticket categories when using the link below: 
https://gameharmony.com/igda

Please note: Normal prices are 39, 49, 59, and 69 Euros and the discount will automatically be applied when clicking the link.  

Helsinki Hub: April seminar and gathering with Futureplay and AppsFlyer

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

The April IGDA Helsinki Hub Gathering was sponsored by AppsFlyer and Futureplay.

AppsFlyer specializes in mobile attribution and marketing analytics, with Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pinterest, Snap Inc., Tencent and 3,500+ other integrated partners, and clients including HBO, Alibaba, Skyscanner, and Activision.

In his seminar, “The State of Gaming App Marketing: Data Benchmarks,” Patrik Lehti, a senior sales manager at AppsFlyer, talked about attribution and how the information it offers can help the developers understand where users come from, how to maintain their established user base, and what actions they should take to grow.

His presentation covered the topics of marketing, installs, engagement, revenue and return of investment, though Lehti did a lot more than simply scratching the surface on the mentioned topics: he offered insights and dug deeper into the platform specifics of Android and iOS.

 Patrik Lehti addressing the audience. Photo by Casimir Kuusela

Patrik Lehti addressing the audience. Photo by Casimir Kuusela

One of the most important aspects of his talk was the relation between organic and non-organic engagement, and how it impacts on retention, revenue, and return of investment. As Lehti explained, both types of engagement are needed since they affect different fields of the user acquisition. Lehti also took some time to talk about the rising phenomenon of fraud: how developers can be tricked into a bleeding cash cycle and waste valuable resources on high value campaigns based on fraudulent information.  “Developers should always keep an eye for anomalies and act quickly when they show up,” he said.“They should stay close to their attribution team since their job is to protect them from cases like that”.

Futureplay is a studio that in their own words believes in playfulness and fast shipping instead of rigid processes, endless iterations, and burnout epidemics. They have released six games in the last three years, and show no signs of stopping.

Jami Laes, CEO and co-founder of Futureplay discussed soft launches and early access in his presentation “Creating a New Category of Multiplayer Games by Launching as Early as Possible”.

The presentation shared details on how the company’s “View-to-Play” monetization model has worked out so far, as well as their ambition of creating a new category of casual yet competitive multiplayer games. Multiplayer Online Casual Competitive Arena games, or MOCCA for short, combine elements of .io games, MOBAs, and battle royale games.

Laes also explained the importance of soft launching their games very early. The purpose of the so-called ‘minimum awesome product’ is to realize early on if the game works, and whether or not to develop it further. That way they can validate the direction, and updates are developed based on data and feedback from the community. “The biggest risk that we take by releasing early, is that a game won’t work. But that’s exactly the point of trying it!”, Laes said. When asked about the seemingly big transition from idle to MOCCA games, Laes answered: “If there is a good level of experience and a solid plan on the correct direction and technology to be used, the transition becomes a lot easier to make”.

“There had been a research period of six months before we started development,” he added

After the seminars ended, everybody had some time to relax, socialize and enjoy their evening. The speakers seemed to be very popular, so they were constantly trying to make space for everyone that wanted to talk with them.

Tristin Hightower, the Director of Operations of IGDA also attended the event. She is spending the month in Europe for personal reasons, but while abroad, she is doing outreach with IGDA Chapter and SIG leaders at various events, Her first trip aboard was to Finland in 2016, so it has a special place in her heart. She always enjoys being part of the IGDA community, and she has attended various events in Helsinki and Turku and has a fondness for Porvoo, which she visited in on her first trip.

Also visiting  Helsinki was Felicia Prehn. She is a manager and accessibility adviser at Nopia, as well as an active crewmember in IGDA Finland’s Satakunta Hub. Nopia is an animation and game company that has worked on ads for the likes of Mercedes Benz and Tactic, as well as games like HALO 5 and Wolfenstein II.

The day prior the gathering Prehn gave a presentation called “Looking Bright – the Current Landscape of Accessibility for Gamers with Disabilities” as a part of Aalto University’s Games Now! lecture series. The presentation focused on raising awareness for accessibility, and how it is an issue that touches everyone. She was on hand during the gathering ready to discuss accessibility issues in games with anyone interested. “Approaching accessibility only as a problem of the few who need it is a wrong way to think about it”, Prehn says, “Accessibility features can be beneficial also for those who do not need them.”

 Attendees absorbed in a session of LaserGrid. Photo by Casimir Kuusela.

Attendees absorbed in a session of LaserGrid. Photo by Casimir Kuusela.

The month’s demo corner was occupied by two titles. From Village to Empire, has been in development for 1.5 years by the one-man company Witch Laboratory. In this turn-based strategy game the player assumes control of a civilization and advances in a procedurally generated map in order to grow and take control of it. The game should be released on Steam in the coming months. LaserGrid is a multiplayer SHMUP where up to four players take on one another in a four-way fight to the death. It is being developed by a  five-person team of Metropolia students.

See you on May 15th.

20% off for Game Music Collective concert in Turku!

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GREAT NEWS EVERYONE!

Game Music Collective is giving to IGDA members 20% off from VIP tickets at their TURKU gig in Logomo!

It includes concert and after-party 🎮😎🥂

https://holvi.com/shop/exclam-digital/product/ff4ed93f9b634abf906c18c43cfe590f/

Use code: IGDAVIPxGMC, for receiving 33e VIP ticket

Menestyksekkään ensikonserttinsa innoittamana, Game Music Collective lähtee Suomen-kiertueelle ja saapuu myös Logomoon. Konsertissa nähdään ja kuullaan täysipainoinen pelimusiikkikokemus toteutettuna isolla orkesterilla sekä mieskuorolla.

Konsertissa soitetaan musiikkia mm. seuraavista pelisarjoista: Final Fantasy, Destiny, Chrono Trigger, Elder Scrolls, Undertale, Halo, Secret of Mana, Angry Birds, Journey, Mega Man ja Kingdom Hearts. Konserttien visualisoinneista vastaa kotimaisiin kärkinimiin kuuluva videotaiteiilija VJ Sellekhanks. VIP-lippu takaa paikan VIP-alueelta konsertissa, vain VIP-lippulaisille järjestetyn afterpartyn Logomossa konsertin jälkeen yhdessä muusikoiden kanssa sekä pelimusiikkiaiheisen paneelikeskustelun ennen Game Music Collectiven konserttia.

Get 20% off your ticket for Nordic Game Conference 2018!

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Discount offer on NG18 tickets

Nordic Game offers you a very special 20% discount on conference passes for this year’s event, 23‐25 May, in Malmö, Sweden.

This is how you do it:

Hurry up, go to www.conf.nordicgame.com, push the “Register” button, check the “Organisation discount” box, choose “IGDA” from the drop down menu, and then enter the code “XJ7VnpGDsM” in the “Discount Code” box.

CEO Summit in Cyprus Tickets Still Available

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White Nights Conference organizers are inviting game industry top managers to their CEO Summit in Limassol, Cyprus. The conference aims to create a dialog where leaders can share their experience and concerns in a setting of openness and trust. Topics include work/life balance, growing a global company, taxes & legislation, recruitment & corporate culture.

Attendance is limited to 250 people and is only for game industry executives. Participants need to apply using the following form: http://wnconf.com/cyprus

IGDA Finland members get a 10% discount using promo code: IGDA-Finland

 

Get 10% off your ticket to Game Access

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Game Access is an annual game industry conference that will take place in Brno, Czech Republic on 1-2 June, 2018. The conference is expected to attract more than 1000 game developers to the Brno Exhibition Center (BVV). The event also features an indie showcase that is accepting applications until April 30, 2018, 23:59 CEST

IGDA Finland members get a 10% discounts on standard and premium tickets. 

For more information visit the conference website: http://game-access.com/ 

Turku Hub - Report from February Gathering With NAPCON

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”To err is human. To improve is NAPCON” says the slogan. NAPCON brought a whole team of people to their presentation at the IGDA Turku Hub February Gathering.

What is NAPCON? It is a company that is part of Neste, and they make games to teach operators how to operate different complex industrial plants.

It takes years to learn to operate these systems, and previously teaching was done with normal classroom and textbook studies. Newbies got mentoring from senior operators as they learned how to run the operator systems. The idea of NAPCON is that educational games could make this process much more effective, and fun. Speaking of fun: David Hasselhoff promotes the company’s games in a series of commercials.

Learning how to run petrochemical plants and biorefineries is very complicated. It takes a lot of skill to control a plant. The systems are more complex than passenger air planes. It takes years to learn all the dynamics, says NAPCON production manager Tuomo. With the game the operators can learn the basic principles and controls. So far there have not been many good tools to train the operators.

At the same time the simulations need to be innovative. The games have to be accurate representations of the real thing. At the gathering the audience had a chance to see the game in action.

The development team consists of people with different skill sets, but most have a background in chemical engineering. The team wants to make customer oriented educational games. The operators need to learn the right things. That is why the team has close contact to the industrial customers, visiting the plants and so on. Pedagogical skills are of course also important in developing educational games. NAPCON is a tiny unit, and that means they can be flexible like a startup, and make fast changes.

The learning process has also been gamified by company wide operator competitions: the operator world cup. This way the operators can also show off their skills. And like the Hoff says: it is important to stay zen and keep cool in stressful situations. This is certainly tested in the operator world cup.

Q & A with the audience:

Q: Is the UI same as the real refinery?

A: The UI is a simplification, it kind of looks similar but not quite. We wanted to make it more pleasant, beautiful and more illustrative. So you get an idea of what is happening in there. We replicate the information and the numbers, and let them learn step by step

Q: Can anyone play?

A: It starts easy… *Natasha tries the game, and fails miserably after few minutes :D* If you know nothing you might have to read something about processes.

Q: Do you have levels where there are no right answers?

A: We considered it, but situations where you cant do anything are not so educational.

Q: Will the player see what went wrong?

A: There is a ”game over”. When something went wrong, something was not allowed. In most situations there is feedback for how you can do better etc.

Q: You don’t have a game designer in your team, how do actually get your player on board the game? Where is the game designer?

A: I would not say we don’t have game designers. Most of us are multidiscipline people that have connections to game development, but we also use outsourcing. We don’t have graphic designers, that is also outsourced. We are bit by bit expanding knowledge in game design, and we do have some serious hard core gamers in the team. FYI we have an office in Turku.

Q: The best learning comes from fun. How do you make it fun? Who is responsible for making the fun? And the team that won the world cup, did they get more money?

A: We don’t know what the Hungarians got :D Some companies do connect the salary level to the education that operators have.

On the fun side, it’s hard to make educational games fun. We have to take the aspect of the game being closely tied to the real environment, and then adding a layer of gamification around something that is complex.

Q: You said you have done this to biochemical companies, what other fields?

A: Customers in bioindustry. But with the generic games, like distillation games, it doesn’t matter what industry teaches the fundamentals. Then we make tailor made games for specific customers related to their industry. These are not as fun…

Q: The score: what are the criteria for the first level and the process score? Could these be used for cruise ships?

A: Scores are tied to what we want to teach. Yes, why not for cruise ships!