Last Tuesday was an eventful day, with the ending of Expa Game Lab, Expa Gathering and Expa Game Club on the same day. Expa Game Lab was a half year project with participants making game prototypes from ideas they had. In the beginning there was 13 game ideas, but they were ranked in two votes down to four. In the end, there were four teams making games. None of the games were finished in the limited time frame, but that wasn't a surprise to anyone. The games presented were: Buggers, COMA,CyberAfrica and Seth.
Probably the most positive outcome of the Expa Game Lab was the birth of a new game company, Zaibatsu Interactive, soon developing more games in Jyväskylä. You can find them on Twitter. Expa Game Club was a more focused project, with a group of firsttimers making a small game in three weeks (plus polish) under the guidance of an experienced producers, our own Klaus Kääriäinen. Klaus' direction helped them limit the scope of the game to a product that can be finished in the time given. Their game, Back from Afar looks pretty impressive.
Our guest at the Expa Gathering was Jussi Autio from Oulu Game Lab and Viima Games. Oulu Game Lab is what sparked the inspiration for our own Expa Game Lab so we were eager to hear things were going in Oulu. Oulu Game Lab seemed to be a pretty autonomous part of Oulu University of Applied Sciences, with a multidisciplinary game education program teaching everything needed to make games, from programming to art. They've already managed to create seven new startups, with one more to come. They've helped make 16 game demos, got investors and millions of downloads for the games made there. Pretty impressive!
Expa doesn't have the institutional backing, but we'll our best to catch up next round, when we start a new Expa Game Lab later this year. We'll put everything we learned from the previous Game Lab and from Jussi to use and make the next one even better.
Stay tuned for next month, when we put the local talents on stage. Do you have game company or a team making games in Jyväskylä? If we haven't already contacted you, drop us a message and come show your projects at next months Expa Gathering.
EXPA & IGDA Finland Jyväskylä Hub Volunteers