2008 was a special year for Score, the Finnish game development club heavily associated with IGDA Finland. We decided to provide you with a wrap up of all our coolest activities that took place last year, just to get the feeling that a lot is happening!
Supernova Game Development Lab
Just in the beginning of 2008 Score hit a major milestone and got it's very own game lab inside TAMK School of Art and Media, called Supernova. Our undisclosed budget got us top of the line audio equipment, large screen, four well specsed workstations with all of the important licenses. This really allowed us to have a place to gather in daily and share the newest updates while working out the next grand scheme.
Microsoft Student Partner Programme
Our (ex-)president Teemu Haila got chosen to participate in Microsofts Student Partner Programme and since then Microsoft has been positively active towards our club and it's goals, especially by providing training material for XNA and various other opportunities disclosed later on.
Neogames and TAMK sponsored our key members for a trip to Nordic Game 2008 in Malmo! You can read our post-mortem from the trip, but in short we got some really valuable contacts and got to see the actual state of Nordic game developer community. The trip was a real source of inspiration and next year we wont be just visitors any more!
A result from our game development course, Steamsky was one of the first â€œrealâ€ playable games from Score. It was an experimental title with XNA in the spirit of Star Control and, sad to say, we had more trouble with production management than actual coding or design skill. Still, it was a two month project and a milestone of itâ€™s own.
Game: Epic Flail
Epic Flail was also made as a part of the previously mentioned course. The reason for making this impish little flash-game was to teach its coder some Actionscript 3 in which he didn't have any previous experience.
At the time, most of the people from Score were somehow psyched about physics engines which lead to Epic Flail having physics in a major part as well. Actually there was only one gameplay feature in EF which utilized the physics engine, only making it more important: a huge stone boulder attached to a rubber line. It was only natural to make the slaughter of infinite amount of zombies using this epic flail as the goal of the game.
As it was paramount to get a grip on AS3 with this project, no existing code could be used. Every technical element of the game (sprites, physics, gameplay logic, memory handling and effects, etc.) were wrapped up into a single library, the first game engine of its creator. Zombie engine - not only slow but a damn ugly one as well!
Game Project: 5D
5D was an experimental project of fast paced prototyping. In short: five games in five weeks with five people, five days a week and five hours a day. This project was inspired by Lasse SeppÃ¤nen from Remedy/IGDA Finland and not only marked a milestone in communication with the local developer industry but also focused on the important things that our school canâ€™t teach. We tried to document everything, so please go read our reports and watch the games.
Assembly Summer 2008
We got VIP seating thanks to Microsoft and Teemu Haila kept an XNA for beginners seminar. We didnâ€™t have the time to participate in the game development compo but decided to do so at any costs next year. We also got in touch with some nice people and probably will feature our own (or shared) booth!
Trip to Norway
As a result of our visibility in Nordic Game we got an invitation to the University of Hamar! We kept two presentations about the benefits of club activities and how to start one. To our very pleasant surprise we met some of the local companies in their IGDA Hamar meeting and were even invited to party at their own game development lair! Please refer to our post-mortem from the trip for all juicy details.
XNA game by Heikki LeppÃ¤nen about spiders battling it out on a rainy glass window. The official description in finnish: "Peli sijoittuu ikkunalasiin, jonka karmien alalaidoissa on hÃ¤mÃ¤hÃ¤kin verkot. Ulkona sataa ja lasiin lentelee pisaroiden lisÃ¤ksi havunneulasia. Kaksi hÃ¤mÃ¤hÃ¤kkiÃ¤ kiipeilee ikkunalasilla ja yrittÃ¤Ã¤ tehdÃ¤ reitin toistensa verkkoihin ikkunaan lentelevistÃ¤ havunneuloista, jolloin pisarat valuvat neulasia pitkin verkkoon. Pelaajat saavat vuorotellen hetken aikaa siirrellÃ¤ ruudulla olevia neulasia. Pelaaja voittaa kun toisen verkkoon valuu liikaa pisaroita."
XNA game development course
Some of our members, Teemu Haila and Heikki LeppÃ¤nen, kept a course on designing games with XNA in TAMK. The course was very special in the sense of everyone participating in Imagine Cup and thus getting free XNA training material from Microsoft! We are looking forward to keeping the course again next year, if possible.
XNA @ JKL
Again, Teemu and Heikki went of to keep a two day intensive course on XNA in the University of JyvÃ¤skylÃ¤, sponsored by Microsoft. We got some very positive feedback and will definitely do something similar in the future again!
As 2008 was brought to an end, we got some Christmas presents from our school, consisting of (nearly) every top console title release in the last six months and some long awaited new hardware to keep out lab equipment up to date. Thanks, TAMK!
All in all, we saw a lot of members come and go during the year with great and unique projects. Jenni JÃ¤rvinen joined in our administration with a long background in IGDA volunteering, Teemu Haila gave room for Juho Hartikainen as the current standing president and both Heikki LeppÃ¤nen and Antti Salomaa took much more active role in developing Score to the point it is now in.
We are also thrilled to say that all our board members (and several normal ones) are both IGDA members and IGDA Finland volunteers with Teemu being the web coordinator and Juho the webmaster of IGDA Finland.