January gathering – Intimate and Interactive despite “tipaton tammikuu”

Year 2008 got a kick start on 8th of January when there were both IGDA Finland Presentations and a pub night in snowy Helsinki. This time IGDA Finland Presentations in association with Remedy was held at Papa Giovanni Showroom just opposite System Rock. The room was fully booked with 56 persons. It was especially good to see new people joining as well as individuals who usually don’t visit the pub nights -- something for all that is!

Pub night was in line with "tipaton tammikuu" (Alcohol-free January) with slightly less people than usual. This time 106 developers reached SystemRock. Both lectures and pub night attracted new faces which is always super! There were also regulars from Bugbear, Housemarque and Sumea. Also a group from Tampere were there again which can be seen as a challenge to fellow developers from other bigger towns like Oulu, Jyväskylä and Turku! Next time I am hoping to see other towns' strike forces joining the party!


For more photos of the events, Click here

The topic of IGDA Finland Presentations was "Tools". Kai Auvinen (Art Director) and Lassi Leppinen (Technical Director) from Digital Chocolate and Sami Vanhatalo (Lead Technical Artist) from Remedy talked about their design and development tools. The key lessons learned from the sessions were that mobile developers deal with short development cycles and broad range of handsets. Efficient tools shorten the production times and help to retain the quality. Sami Vanhatalo focused on Alan Wake and tools utilized in the development of the game. Sami showed some pretty impressive stills of their landscape texture tool and talked about the proper mix of public and internal tools. Check out Teemu Haila’s liveblog for details!

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It was also delighting to see that not only Nokia but also game studios attract foreign talent to Finland. Sulake and Sumea have been doing pretty nice work with international recruitment – this time Recoil Games brought their foreign guests who were in Helsinki for an interview to the IGDA gathering. It was another cozy night with good discussions and a lot of hopes and wisher for the New Year!