April Gathering - where to find talented game gurus?

18.jpg 15.jpg The third IGDA Finland Presentations session was held on 8th of April at Papa Giovanni Showroom. This time the theme was education covering everything from most interesting research findings to current state of games’ education and recruitment: how to boost up collaboration between companies and school which would benefit both.

The night was kicked off by Koopee "Neogames" Hiltunen who gave a briefing of a survey on game education (Pelialan koulutusselvitys) which will be published on 24th April by Neogames. One challenge for the growth of the game industry will be the lack of skilled work force. Neogames survey will suggest actions to enable the growth of the industry.


Frans Mäyrä from the University of Tampere and Petri Lankoski from University of Arts and Design talked about universities´ role in “education”. Universities do not train programmers or 3D artists but generate a lot of important data about the gamers, technical trends as well as tools for ideation or software development. Frans reminded that Tekes is a good source of funding. Especially when companies do not have the needed resources (time or people) an alternative would be to join a project where companies would collaborate with researchers as well as other companies along by the value chain. University of Tampere is currently preparing SoGame project which focuses on integration of social media and games in online services. Petri Lankoski brought up that University of Art and Design (Taik) is closer to praxis and hands-on work but still would also educate “educators of educators”.



The next three talks focused on professional training. Juha Vanhanen from Adulta gave a talk about courses Adulta is offering. Currently there are both basic and additional training available from basic game industry education to Game producer / manager course as well as business course (Pelialan liiketalouden valmennusohjelma). The students will graduate every second year and according to Juha majority of them have found work at the industry. KAJAK (Kajaani University of Applied Sciences) has a Game Programming Module. The studies started in 2006 and first students should graduate in 2009. KAJAK would be interested in closer collaboration with companies around Finland because there do not YET exist that strong game industry in Kajaani area. On-the-job training offers should be targeted to Veli-Pekka Piirainen. The last but not least was Veikko Miettinen from Outokumpu Pelitalo. Pelitalo is focused on 3D graphics. North Karelia College Outokumpu started game level designer and 3D-animator education in the fall of 2005. Currently they have a good line of applicants and good skills on 3D modeling and animation. They have also worked with Swedish Playsquad.com and utilized their motion capture equipment. 5.jpg Education theme continued at the bar where Outokumpu Pelitalo and Taik were showing some of their works. Petri Lankoski presented “Lies and Seductions” game project and Outokumpu showed their showreel, 3D models and animations. IGDA Finland Presentations attracted 40 people this time and the pub night gathered 105 gamers to the System Rock.