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!

IGDA Finland May Gathering with Yousician: The Aftermath


The last gathering of the spring is behind us! If you couldn’t make it and want to know just how much you missed, or want to relive the fun, read on. The seminar reports can be found below!

Yousician did a tremendous job of- transforming the venue into a massive music party. Demo spots equipped with guitars, ukuleles and keyboards were very popular, some people trying out the instruments for the first time. The app worked incredibly well despite the noise from the crowd and the occasional guitar shredding.

Guitar shredding? Yes! Yousician had come with an arcade cabinet that featured a competitive rock guitar tournament version of their game, solo and in pairs. Although a real electric guitar is definitely more of a challenge than, say, a guitar hero controller, the songs available were simple yet fun enough to let even the casual guitar player enjoy rocking out.

The best players were rewarded with an actual acoustic guitar or a ukulele, depending on their preference. And some lucky participants got the same chance in the random raffle, including yours truly! Woop woop!

Yousician CEO Chris Thür gave an engaging presentation about the company. A question often apparently arises whether Yousician really is a game or rather educational software. According to Mr. Thür, since the app, in fact, fulfills several conditions of a game product – Voluntary participation, feedback system, rules, winning conditions – it is indeed a game. If the side product of the game is that people learn actual real life musical skills, then everyone wins!

And if this wasn’t enough, the Yousician house band stole the stage and blew the roof off the party. With great energy, experience, excellent musicianship and brilliant song choices (Megaman!), they had the audience crazy dancing by the end of their set.

Thanks everyone for making the last gathering of the spring such a blast! See you in August!


IGDA Seminars, May 2016

Professional audio design for video games 101

Ari Pulkkinen from AriTunes kicked off the evening with a presentation about how to achieve the best audio design in video games. He stressed the importance of planning ahead, knowing your game’s tone and mood and communicating well with the audio team.

Keep the audio people in the loop from the beginning – that was Mr. Pulkkinen’s key point. Audio has a massive role in how a game communicates to the audience, and cannot simply be slapped onto an otherwise finished product in a week. His most recent work was Alienation for Housemarque; making the final mix took one and half months, but he worked alongside the team from early on to create music and audio effects.

In Alienation, he went from peppy '80s demoscene/arcade style towards a darker mood with some military, even apocalyptic notes with the idea of an “endless war, but not all hope is lost”. Judging by the before-after demo, letting go of the nostalgia really did enhance the mood and make the music better suited to a high sci-fi setting, but some elements of the first style still remained, consistent with Housemarque ideals.

Mr. Pulkkinen had some great tips for teams about working with audio contractors. Make playlists of music and videos that reflect the desired mood. Devs also need to think of lasting impressions. Music that works well in a trailer won’t necessarily work well in-game. The loop needs to be long enough, and not too intrusive, or it will distract and begin to annoy.

It’s also very important to keep well-organised, clearly named asset lists that are updated at least weekly so that the audio guy has access to them and can work consistently throughout the project, also when something is altered. If this isn’t done, there is going to be a massive explosion of assets at the end of the project when all of the audio is dumped in. Not fun!

At the end, Mr. Pulkkinen said he would love to get the chance to challenge himself as a composer, to make something more emotional, classical in style. Many games leave emotions out of the equation, but he mentioned new games such as Quantum Break and Uncharted 4 as great examples of how to evoke feelings with music.


Role of Audio in F2P

Next up was Ilmari Hakkola talking about the role of audio in F2P, and whether there’s a chance it could be used to increase retention and revenue.

In a delightful in-depth introduction, Mr. Hakkola started from the very basics of his subject, from hearing as a sense and human reactions to different sounds. He explored the history of meaning in music, taking us through Plato’s thoughts of how music shapes societies, the Pythagorean ideas of perfect harmony through mathematical ratios, to Schöpenhauer’s theory of music as a direct manifestation of the metaphysical will. Musical information, stored on the right side of the brain, is very memorable. From ancient times when information was passed on through singing to children’s songs you still remember the lyrics to, it’s a source of incredible remembering power.

The different purposes of game audio

For games, audio can do so many jobs. From an aesthetic point of view, it not only sets the mood but can convey information about the game world, the characters or their emotional state. Even the situation of the game world can be told through music and audio.

The music can be very much in line with the game world, like in Braid, where the art style is very painterly, and the calm acoustic string instrumental music underlines it beautifully. In Fallout 4, the occasionally heard 50’s style music reminds you of happy days gone by, the pre-apocalyptic utopia. It creates a very cool contrast with the broken world of the game.

Audio also boosts immersion, gives shape, size and context to objects and materials, even ones that don’t exist in the current reality. And it certainly serves an indicative purpose, providing feedback about the game state and events to the player.

Branding is also not to be frowned upon. For instance, Angry Birds has very consistent audio throughout the different products, thanks to very comprehensive guidelines. Audio logos and theme songs are also very memorable and can instantly take our minds to certain products just by hearing them.


Going beyond the traditional: audio in F2P

Mr. Hakkola postulated that audio can be used to boost game performance also in F2P games. To date, the vast majority of the effect of audio on customer behaviour has been made in the real world. Shops regularly work on providing pleasing audio experiences to boost sales, and the figures indisputably show that this works. According to Mr. Hakkola, a handful of supermarkets in Helsinki have begun experimenting with separate ambient sound environments for different parts of the shop, with great results.

Since F2P is all about monetization, devs really do need to start considering the chances of using audio as a sales booster. The first thing to look into is audio metrics, same as stores and other features. Do people play with sounds on or muted? Do the music and audio feedback boost purchases in the shop?

Anticipation points, according to Mr. Hakkola, are the points where players make decisions. Do they want to upgrade? Do they want to keep playing the level after failing, buy a booster? Audio can have an effect on this since after all, sounds can awaken primal reactions in us. A great example is Peggle blast, where the use of audio anticipation and actual human ‘audience’ reactions (Ode to joy when finishing a level, or a gasp when you miss) really add to the experience. Using voiceovers is a very good idea in any case since we are so used to human voices they immediately grasp our attention.

A fresh experience through new music

Mr. Hakkola also wanted to examine the way we currently ‘force’ the players to listen to the same music over and over again. It does get rather boring, but composers are expensive, not to mention how time-consuming the process of creating new musical content for games is.

He suggested that since there is more music available in the world than ever before, to the point where the music industry is struggling with visibility, it would be wise for everyone to take advantage of the extremely wide spread of the mobile platform. For a lower fee than exclusive compositions, games would be a great place to introduce music to different audiences, so mutually beneficial deals can certainly be worked out. Since casual games aren’t as immersion-critical, adding music as background playlists would work nicely particularly in that genre.

A radio player functionality would work best, says Mr. Hakkola. It gives the player the choice to select the music while in-game. There can even be customised personalised playlists, for individual players or even countries, since the servers tend to run separately for each country. So if getting huge international stars would be hard to achieve, local stars would be an option.

You can even use new music as an incentive to play further, by indicating in the level maps that playing ahead will unlock new music. In the end, Mr. Hakkola suggested doing A/B testing with different audio scenarios and seeing how it goes.


Photos by David Jakob

Spring season 2016 gathering dates

Happy New Year! I hope everyone has had a relaxing holiday break and a wonderful start to 2016. I've got some news to kick off the new year: the gathering dates for spring season 2016.

  • January 12
  • February 9
  • March 8
  • April 5
  • May 17

That means the next gathering is only a week away! More info will follow early this week so stay tuned.

The list of gathering dates are also available on the gathering info page.

Fall season 2015 gathering dates

I hope everyone is enjoying their summer so far, whether you are spending it here in Finland or traveling around the world. If you haven't lost track of your calendars yet I have some dates for you to mark down: the gatherings for fall season 2015.

  • September 1st
  • October 6th
  • November 10th
  • December 8th

We also have a special event coming up next month, on August 18th, so stay tuned! Event details are to be announced later.

The list of gathering dates are also available on the gathering info page.

IGDA Nordic UA Forum & June Gathering with TUNE

Before we would send everyone on their merry way to the summer break, it was time for the last IGDA Gathering of the spring season. This time we had an extra special treat for our guests in the form of The Nordic UA Forum sponsored by the mobile marketer extraordinaire, TUNE. With in depth presentations, panels and Q&A's about mobile user acquisition, The Nordic UA Forum has been touring all around the key Nordic capitals. It was not a surprise that the Forum was fully booked!

The presentations from Eric Seufert (Rovio) and Juha Matikainen (Seriously Entertainment) paved the way for the starstudded panel with Teemu Huuhtanen (NextGames), Olli Laesvirta (Boomlagoon) and Mika Kuusisto (Unity). Thank you again to all of the speakers, the wonderful host of the forum, Ilja Goossens (TUNE) and of course our sponsor TUNE for an insightful evening.

Guests from the forum did not have to leave empty handed since they got decked out for the summer with some cool new sunglasses and bluetooth speakers for the perfect picnic.

Now that the fun part was over it was time to have even more fun at the official IGDA June Gathering! The crowd was buzzing with interesting conversations about the previous presentations. "It was nice to hear from other companies how they have tackled the issue of user acquisition in the mobile market. It gave a new perspective on the whole topic", said one guest.

The night was drawing to a close but everyone still had some time to say their goodbyes to friends and colleagues before the summer break. Do not fret, because IGDA Finland will be back in September! Thank you to all of our guests and sponsors, it has been a busy spring and we will see you again in a few months!

IGDA Finland June Gathering with Rovio

Welcome to the IGDA Finland June Gathering on Tuesday 10th June! Summer holidays are right around the corner but before it is time to run off to the beach with those plastic shark fins to scare all of your friends, there is still time for the IGDA Finland June Gathering. The evening will be hosted by none other than the enormously successful entertainment company Rovio! As usual the gathering will begin at 19:00 at Club Adams.


What are you waiting for? Come to connect and have a relaxing evening. Be there, or be a bad piggy.

IGDA Finland June Gathering Time: 10.06.2014 at 19:00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

As usual, the cloakroom service is offered free of charge on behalf of Club Adams.

IGDA Finland February Gathering with Amazon Web Services and VIOPE

Now that the year has finally gotten to a great start, we decided to ramp it up in IGDA Finland February Gathering.


First up we have a small message from this year’s awesome Finnish Game Jam 2014. After that the people from Amazon Web Services will give you a short intro on how gaming companies are leveraging their platform. And last but not least is the VIOPE crew presenting the Game Development World Championship 2013 which has reached its end. The 4-month-long competition drew massive attention of developers from 79 countries around the globe. It’s now time to reveal the finalists and announce the winners. Come and celebrate with us at the GDWC Closing Ceremony!


Here is a sneak-peak at what Amazon is presenting at the Gathering:

Amazon offers a comprehensive set of development tools and services that make it faster and easier for developers to build, deploy, distribute, scale, analyze, and monetize successful games. Learn how companies like Supercell, Rovio, Grand Cru, and Mojang are utilizing AWS platform to innovate faster and focus on game development instead of undifferentiated heavy-lifting of managing IT infrastructures. You will also get a chance to hear about some of our latest developments including application and game streaming from the cloud (Amazon AppStream) and C3, our latest generation of compute-optimized instances providing customers with the highest performing processors and enhanced network performance making this instance type a perfect fit for MMOG games.

The lovely people Club Adams offer the cloakroom service free of charge!

IGDA Finland February Gathering Time: 11.02.2014 at 18:00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

December Gathering with Supercell

Things are getting heated in the Finnish game industry and one of the hottest companies in town is throwing Christmas party with us: Supercell!

New console generation is just around the corner and another year is upon us, which makes December Gathering the best place to meet up and reflect on the awesome past year. Supercell will make sure that you won't get thirsty while thinking! So come join us in the Club Adams for the most Super Christmas party this year with IGDA Finland and Supercell and lets ready ourselves for the year 2014. See you there!

IGDA Finland December Gathering & Christmas Party Time: 10.12.2013 at 19.00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

Mobile Mixer event & IGDA Finland Networking event with Facebook

Slush and Splash! The audience of the November Gathering was presented with a double feature: Pocket Gamer Mobile Mixer mixed & IGDA Finland Gathering!

First up was the Mobile Mixer panel with variety of industry veterans talking about the present and the future of mobile game development. After the panel people had the opportunity to talk to panelists and get to know a bit more about the companies represented in the panel.

After the panel there was a brief moment to let the new info sink in. After that the IGDA Finland Gathering kicked into gear with Facebook presenting their mobile gaming platform. The presentation was short and sweet with code samples detailing the implementation using different frameworks.

Here are few links for the interested: Games hub of the Facebook developer site, Open source sample apps and tutorials for iOS, Android, Unity and Canvas. Oh and last but not least here is something special: Facebook presentation with code samples.

Stay tuned for updates on the greatest party this holiday!

IGDA Finland June Gathering and Presentations

Midsummer is right around the corner and there was just enough time for the season's last IGDA Finland Presentations and Gathering! IGDA Finland Presentations focused on several important aspects of game design. We had three presenters, the first one being Kai Rosenkranz from Nevigo. He showed us how Articy:Draft, the first professional game design tool, helps with the design process.

At this point the Presentations was hijacked by couple of guys from company called RILBITS who presented us with tools to create merchandise from our games.

Miikka Junnila from Aalto University gave us a lecture on the basics of game design, starting from the definition of a game.

And lastly we got some advanced curriculum from on free-to-play and its impact on game design process at Digital Chocolate.

After the two hour back-to-school we got drink tickets out and had a blast by the courtesy of our sponsor, Grand Cru. They showed us a cool trailer of their upcoming game Supernauts along side mansized logo!

Because this was our last Gathering of the seasons we had something special for the partiers, Oculus Rift and Leap Motion! These cool gadgets were on the floor for everybody to test and experience.

All good things come to and end, although for us this means just a two months rest before we kick off season 2013-2014. Check out the coming Gathering dates HERE!

IGDA Finland May Gathering with PlayHaven

Hi there!

Playhaven @ IGDA Gathering

We hope that you all have recovered from last Tuesday’s IGDA Gathering, the amount of awesomeness was once again very much to our liking.

When the party had properly started the stage was occupied by Ville Heijari from PlayHaven. Drink in one hand and a friend in the another we listened through a brief introduction to PlayHaven’s business. Heijari gave us some insight into in-game marketing and to the basics of knowing your diverse audience and how to reach them.

Playhaven @ IGDA Gathering

Our Hi-Tech Gathering Monitoring System informed us that 182 thirsty visitors had found their way to Adams. Thank you for coming! We had tons of fun, hopefully so did you.

See you in June!

IGDA Finland May Gathering with PlayHaven

Bioshock may be Infinite but the spring isn’t, so we better bring you another Gathering! In May we join forces with PlayHaven to deliver to you the much-sought-after drink tickets.

PlayHaven delivers a lifetime value maximization platform to help mobile game developers better acquire, understand, and intelligently engage and monetize users. For more information check out their website at www.playhaven.com.

PlayHaven recently opened a European office, headed by Ville Heijari. The May Gathering is the perfect opportunity to join PlayHaven and Ville to learn about PlayHaven and mix and mingle with the IGDA Finland community all at once!

We hope to see you all in Adams once again, so come spend the best Tuesday of May with us. See you there!

NOTE! This is K-18 event for game industry professionals. No IGDA membership needed.

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IGDA Finland May Gathering Time: 7.5.2013 at 19.00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

IGDA Finland February Gathering

The year of the Snake is already full of game related extravagance. You are going to see a lot of exciting action in the next IGDA Gathering, so let’s take a quick look to pique your unmatched curiosity.

The February gathering will be sponsored by the one and only Viope Solutions, an eLearning virtuoso from Helsinki. They will bring not only drink tickets but also good tidings: the Viope Game Programming Competition 2012-2013 is now behind us, and it is time to announce the winners!

The multi-purpose February Gathering also serves as the prize ceremony of the Finnish Game Jam 2013, that was held 25th-27th January. Prepare to see categories you’ve never seen before!

Don’t forget that the Gathering has moved to new locations in Erottajankatu 15-17. We’ll see you there! IGDA Finland February Gathering Time: 12.2.2013 at 19.00 Place: Adams Club, Erottajankatu 15-17, Helsinki, Finland

We'd also like to invite you and your friends to the movies before the IGDA Finland Gathering. Wreck-it Ralph at Kinopalatsi for free! Sign up now: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5225638024#