Introducing IGDA Finland Vaasa Hub

Vaasa game development scene is ready to take the next step. There has been a lot bubbling under in Ostrobothnia in recent years. One of the most visible parts being Vaasa Game Days, an annual event combining both consumer and professional sides in one enthralling game fair. And of course: there are plenty of people developing games!

Introducing IGDA Finland Satakunta Hub

In Satakunta there is plenty of know-­how in game development, gamification and related fields, but for a long time the companies and schools have worked mainly on their own. Well, that’s about to change right now: We are proud to introduce the brand new member of IGDA family – ­IGDA Finland Satakunta Hub! The first gathering for the students, professionals and enthusiasts was held in Pori in October 2015 under the name “Peliala Satakunta”. The organizers were expecting from 10­ to 20 people to participate, but the total number was almost 40! Lots of contacts and plans were made, and from the start it was clear that the gaming community in Satakunta wants to be part of a larger network: ­ IGDA.

Since then there has been a gathering every month and the network has expanded even more. Over 80 people have attended to the gatherings and other events and the hub´s Facebook group has well over 100 members. In the process of gathering the network, a local audiovisual development and production facility Villilä Studios has been a big help with the project “Cogas – ­Concepting Gaming Seriously”. The aim of the project is to gather a network in Game Development and Gamification and search for joint development ideas and new areas for business. Cogas is financed by The Regional Council of Satakunta.

But so far the enthusiasm of the game developers in the area has been in the biggest role in networking and boosting up the game industry in Satakunta; local game companies, education providers, development companies and all the great people sharing the passion for making games.

IGDA Finland Satakunta Hub warmly welcomes everybody to the gatherings and events in Satakunta. The first official gathering as IGDA Finland Satakunta Hub will be held in April. Join the group and find out about the upcoming events on Facebook:

IGDA Finland at PGConnects

It's that time of the year again: Pocket Gamer Connects returns to Helsinki! If you work on mobile games, this is THE place to be: whether you want to stay on top of the latest trends and technology, meet investors and grow your professional network, or pitch your game - PGC has it all. Industry veterans will be sharing their knowledge and experiences on several aspects of mobile gaming, while the hottest indie devs get a chance to showcase their games at I Love Indie Showcase and The Very Big Indie Pitch, a pitching competition with awesome prizes and an excellent opportunity for exposure.

As if all this wasn't reason enough to join the conference there is also going to be an epic Pocket Gamer Party you don't want to miss.

IGDA Finland wants everyone to have a chance to take part in this event, no matter your location, and to make everything more accessible and convenient for our friends outside the Helsinki area we are organizing bus rides from hubs all around the country. The buses, provided by Pocket Gamer, are completely free of charge!

You can register to a bus near you on the EventBrite page we've set up for your convenience.Deadline for registration is on Friday, August 28 at 18:00.

The buses will take you to the conference on slots no deposit bonus Monday and leave back on Tuesday - you can choose whether you want to stay overnight or only Monday. (Note: You need to find your own accommodations for the night!)

Don't have a conference pass yet? IGDA members will get 40% off by using the discount code PG_IGDAFIN. Register here:

Developers who enter and are shortlisted for The Very Big Indie Pitch will get free tickets. Register here:

There are 20 free student tickets available for each hub. You can apply for a free ticket here:

IGDA Finland Turku Hub April Gathering with Epic Games

IGDA Finland Turku Hub was again happy to have Epic Games as a guest in our gathering. This time we tried another a slightly bigger venue Ravintola Mauno which turned out great. The gathering was the official party for this years Turku Game Day. Gathering in action

Sjoerd De Jong gave a live gamedev demo of Unreal Engine 4 and also showed off his own project Solus by Teotl Studios. We were very impressed what kind of freedom the tools in UE4 give to designers. Solus has basically been pieced together by Sjoerd almost on his own so quite an achievement.

Sjoerd demoing

We also had the pleasure of hosting guests from Fingersoft in our gathering so the night was great in many ways. 120 people attended the gathering this time so that sets a new record for IGDA Finland Turku Hub gatherings!

We’ll be back in May!

IGDA Finland Oulu hub: Polar Bear Pitching – pre party!

People attended:170Sponsors: Fingersoft, IBM, LudoCraft, PAVA Ry. Place: Gloria Nightclub Time: 24.2.2015 klo 20:00-01:00 (Afterparty @ Fingersoft jacuzzi)

IGDA Finland Oulu hub combined their forces with Oulu Pitch fest to warm up the people heading for the icy waters. This turned out to be the biggest event by Oulu hub so far with 170 people. We had a lively demo corner, snacks and drinks. We even had a polar bear visiting us!


Demo Corner presented: Icesolation (Oulu Gamelab), Gerty, Gobblin’ Goblinz (Frozen Vision), Happy Circus racing ( Meizi Games),  End State (Henry Vuontisjärvi), Fast and Futurous (Viima games), 5 seconds to kill, Disposables (Teemu Väisänen & Jonne Väisänen), Renegade Rockets (Naapukka productions)

Related links

Fingersoft (
Ludocraft (
PAVA Ry. (
Polar Bear Pitch (

Kajaani Industry Beer, now also an IGDA Finland Hub!

Industry Beer gathering had been active for two years until last February we got the title of IGDA Finland Kajaani Hub! We are really excited to have Kajaani as one of the hubs of IGDA Finland.

Game scene has been active in Kajaani since 2007, when Kajaani University of Applied Sciences started Finland’s first professional game industry degrees. Our community has been growing and working together since the beginning.

Industry Beer started in 2011 as a local game industry gathering, where people could catch up and discuss their ideas. First there were less than 10 people and the event was organized irregularly, but others showed interest and the gathering exploded. Past two years the event has been a monthly event open for everyone interested.


Starting left, Lauri Komulainen, Mikko Romppainen, Janne Remes, Jermu Joki and Aku Mähönen at Rock House Kulma

Our organizers are actively putting Kajaani scene on the map, it is important for us that the young talent that starts in the small city like Kajaani, gets discovered when the time is right.

Visions of the theme presented by Ilkka Leino from Supercell.
Visions of the theme presented by Ilkka Leino from Supercell.

Visions of the theme presented by Ilkka Leino from Supercell

Ilkka talked us about how their teams are self-guided at Supercell and how important it is to have someone holding the vision of the product. He also studied in Kajaani among us and it has been great to follow a young man moving forward on his career.


We had 100 visitors at the event which is a local record, and according to official statistics 40 of them became IGDA Finland members on the site. This clearly shows how active our local developers are, and if you would like to meet them come and visit us.

Contact one of the organizers below to plan your visit to Kajaani.

IGDA Finland Kajaani Hub Facebook Group
Linkedin Aku Mähönen
LinkedIn Janne Remes
LinkedIn Lauri Komulainen
LinkedIn Mikko Romppainen

IGDA Finland Turku Hub Gathering with BoostTurku & Turku Indies

September came quickly around the corner and it was once again time to gather around to talk about games and game development with BoostTurku, the local entrepreneurship society! This time, we had a showcase where people could come and and present their awesome indie game projects & companies.

BoostTurku with it’s accelerator program Startup Journey has been a great source of very promising game companies and they are really central in the development of the game scene in Turku!

Here’s what’s hot in the Turku area!



NordicEdu, an educational and serious games company is about to release Tile Tail, a unique casual number puzzle game very soon. The game has an awesome look & feel and here’s  hoping it will find it’s puzzle-loving audience!



Tony Sundell, a Turku indie game developer who has been creating an adventure game all by himself for about 2 years now is reaching the beta stage with his preposterous and really fun adventure game “Bunker The Underground Game” promising over 4 hours of gameplay. Truly an achievement to behold. Check out the awesome trailer! (Amusement guaranteed!)



Walk Mode is a recently founded indie games company formed by 2 experienced game developers Juuso Mattila and Matti Faler. Their game “Papa Void’s Power Skateboarding” is not a platformer game - it’s a jumping game! Such a genre defying concept comes alive in this sweet looking screenshot and believe it, the game looks a lot better in action!



Bugbyte’s latest project is a mixture of a simplified mini game for mobile devices and a bigger  game for PC! Battlestation - Humanity’s Last Hope is a game where Babylon 5 meets Faster Than Light. This ambitious project has a lot of wind under its wings so we strongly recommend to check it out!



NoName Games is a very recently formed games startup that is looking to combine fresh game mechanics with classic game concepts. They were showing off their infinite runner game with drawing gameplay. Follow their interesting journey here!



FakeFish is also a very recent games startup and they were presenting their Kalevala inspired upcoming role-playing-game Northbound. The startup has a large team so we’re expecting to see big things from them! Take a look at their devblog follow their undertakings through here

We did this kind of Turku Indie Gathering a year ago and it has been incredible to see the immense progress happening in the local scene. Rock on and be back for another gathering in October!

Tatu Laine

IGDA Finland Turku Hub Volunteers

IGDA Finland Turku Hub Gathering with Epic Games

Game developers and alike were quick to come back from their holidays and away from the scorching heat outside to meet with Epic Games in the Fall's first IGDA Finland Turku Hub Gathering.


Andy Hess, Technology Evangelist from Epic Games (with an impressive background from Apple, Ageia and NVIDIA)  was over at Turku's gathering showing off many of the amazing features UE4 has to offer. It was incredibly interesting to hear about what made Epic Games radically change course with their subscription model which of course in the end is all for the good of us, game developers. Andy's presentation was met with great interest and with a bombardment of clever questions. We wouldn't be suprised to see a few new UE4 games being developed in the area.

IGDATurku-HT-2014-08-05-8131 IGDATurku-HT-2014-08-05-8111 IGDATurku-HT-2014-08-05-8151 IGDATurku-HT-2014-08-05-8156 IGDATurku-HT-2014-08-05-8148 IGDATurku-HT-2014-08-05-8133

Almost 100 visitors came to enjoy the gathering atmosphere and of course - the drinks. Prepare to look forward to the upcoming gatherings! Next gathering will feature some of the coolest indie game projects in Turku!

Text: Tatu Laine Pictures: Henna Tuunainen Gathering: IGDA Finland Turku Hub volunteers

Illusion + IGDA Finland Hubs

During the past year new IGDA Finland Hubs have been popping up all around Finland. Thus, we felt it was a good time for the Hub volunteers to meet, discuss and have fun during Illusion 2014, held in Joensuu Science Park on July 10 through July 12. In the midst of the buzz of Ilosaarirock right next door, Illusion emphasized in game music but introduced interesting talks in all areas of game development. Right from the start everyone was eager to share their experiences and bounce around ideas for the future of regional hubs. The relaxed atmosphere of the event itself was genuinely inspiring for gathering new ideas and getting to know new people – in other words, a perfect event to brainstorm! For the hub volunteers the event culminated on Friday evening at the IGDA Finland Round Table, curated by Suvi Latva from Neogames. hub1 Every hub area except Rovaniemi was attending the event. From the left: Tommi Virolainen (Joensuu/East), Tatu Laine (Turku), Mikko Kähärä (Kotka), Jonne Harja (Jyväskylä), Minna Eloranta (Tampere), Anna Salomaa (Oulu), Vesa Raudasoja (Helsinki) and Suvi Latva (Neogames)

When Illusion was over, the rest of the games industry folks drifted to Ilosaarirock right next to the event venue. Our hub volunteers, however, continued their gathering to share ideas about the future, tackle common matters in hub volunteering as well as celebrate the success of the active volunteering all over Finland. With all the new ideas and energy we are ready for another great year of hub activity!

hub2 IGDA Finland East Hub sharing the love.

Pictures: Anu Malm

Tekes Skene Roadshow & EXPA May Gathering with JES

The Tekes Skene Roadshow visited Jyväskylä just one day before our monthly meeting. It ended up being a very personal visit, with Kari Korhonen talking about how the Skene program works and answering questions from game developers from Jyväskylä. ryhmakuva

We were happy to arrange our May Gathering with our good friends, Jyväskylä Entrepreneurship society. The Gathering was at the Jyväskylä Train Depot, a great space all kinds of cultural events at Jyväskylä.

We had two great guests, with Kati Heljakka and Samuli Syvähuoko, who also visited us this time last year. katiheljakka

Kati Heljakka is a toy and games researcher, with a PhD from the university of Turku. She is also a creative director at the Finnish board game company, Tactic. Tactic was a very exciting example of a Finnish games company, since it does something most of us are not that familiar: board games. It also manages to be international and still make the games in Pori, Finland, when most board game companies have outsourced the production into Asia. Very inspirational to hear someone with both the theoretical training and practical experience about making physical games.


Samuli Syvähuoko is veteran of the Finnish game studies, having been involved with starting such game companies as Remedy. He’s been touring Finland, talking about the Game Brewery, a project for “refining the Finnish games industry.” On top of that, they managed to make actual beer for the games industry! He also argued at length that Finland is the best place to be making games. The numbers he showed us of Finnish games industry’s growth seemed pretty convincing.


The evening came to a great end at the Bar Paja, with the games industry’s own beer. This was also the last gathering this spring, with the next one waiting us in September.

Thank you JES, Kati and Samuli and see you all in September!

IGDA Finland Turku Hub, the year 2014 so far

Wow, the year 2014 started out in a hurry! We've already had 4 gatherings in the IGDA Finland Turku Hub! 2014 Started out with a stroke of bad luck with our gathering venue as we lost our dear old Ravintola Bryssel to Sedu in January! 1½ years worth of gatherings flew past in that venue so fast. We were left with some dear memories of the great atmosphere and the lively discussions from the venue sauna... So we found a new venue and the January Gathering was held in The Castle, which attracted almost 100 visitors since it was arranged with the Microsoft LevelUp -tour. Iraklis Grous from LudiCreations was over at the gathering the show off the Kickstarted board game Gear & Piston. It was mighty interesting to hear how they arranged a successful kickstarter campaign on a game that was actually developed in Finland. thecastle

The Castle was also a great place for an IGDA Finland gathering, but on the same evening we found out that The Castle was closing down! Talk about bad karma losing 2 venues in a row... So we were off again to find a new venue! Luckily it didn’t take long to find the next suitable venue: Hunter’s Inn! We had a “test run” gathering there in February and by looks of it all, we found a new great venue. In March we combined the evening with the Turku Game Day with Mikael Haveri from Housemarque also visiting us at the gathering. We had Resogun running on the bar's big screen and the people were really impressed with the game! (Luckily we had a 1080p projector...)


Come April and because of the need for more space, we arranged the gathering this time in our old (where it all began in 2011) venue Panimoravintola Koulu since we had a big guest for the evening,! We had the biggest hall for us and free drinks for the evening and Alexander Shilyaev, the Director of Global Operations at gave an insightful presentation about the growth of the company and other fun details along the journey. Suffice to say, it was a great evening for game developers and alike.


See you again in May! - Tatu & Turku Hub Volunteers

EXPA & IGDA Finland Jyväskylä Hub April Gathering

This month Expa put local game companies on the stage to show their talent, projects and games. We got four great guests making games in Jyväskylä. First on the stage was Patty Toledo from FanART Games. Their game Mega FAN! is a combination of music and games, giving fans new way to interact with their favorite bands and giving bands a chance to connect with their fans. They already have an impressive roster of bands and first game features on the way.


Next, we heard from Juuso Hietalahti, the designer of The Infected: 28 Cards Later. The Infected is a card game in the vein of Werewolf or Mafia, with survivors trying to survive in a world of zombies with a traitor in their midst. He was also in the middle of converting The Infected to a digital card game.

We also had the pleasure of seeing what the brand new Zaibatsu Interactive had made in just a few short weeks. They recently moved to new offices and have worked furiously making a new prototype that was for now called simply Game#1. Game#1 was a co-operative game of moving small slime-balls around on a tablet device.


Our last invited guest was Olli Rundgren from Pisamala, working on bringing games to education. They were just a couple of short months away from publishing their game. Olli has experience from being software developer and shared stories and experiences of what is it like to run a business.

We also got to try out a soon-to-be-published Windows Phone game Goldfish in the Sewer, from our good friend Tuomas from Add Inspiration.


Next month we’ll join the Tekes Skene Roadshow. See you there!

- EXPA & IGDA Finland Jyväskylä Hub

Game Spring Oulu 2014 & IGDA Finland Oulu Hub After Party

On the 1st of April 2014 the Game Spring Oulu game development seminar was held for the third time at the campus of the Oulu University of Applied Sciences. This time the seminar was divided into two tracks, dev and biz, which attracted roughly 200 visitors from near and far. The main theme of this year was the future of gaming, especially in indie games. The speakers included people like Jay Ranki (Next Games), Fredrik Wester (Paradox Interactive), Andrew Walker (GameFounders) and many others.

After the official seminar programme it was time for the After Party, which was held at the Business Kitchen premises and was sponsored by Playraven and Fingersoft. The evening was all about mingling, networking and just having fun with fellow developers. The place was literally packed to the max with developers!

As a surprise program number a game related quiz was arranged. The battle was fierce, but luckily only egos were harmed during the competition.

photo 2 Teams pondering the correct answer for a question during the quiz


Hamsterscape developers enjoying the evening.

A big thanks for all the participants, partners and sponsors of both the Game Spring seminar and the After Party. See you again next year!

Cheers, IGDA Finland Oulu Hub

IGDA Finland Tampere Hub March gathering with TEKES and Next Games

Once again game developers and game industry enthusiasts in the Tampere region gathered in Jack the Rooster on the 25th of March for another IGDA Finland Tampere Hub gathering. The event was also the after party for a Tekes event held earlier that day. We were also glad to get Next Games, which had just raised $6 million in its initial investment round with two games in development, to sponsor the event. Next Games provided attendees with drinking tickets and the opportunity to learn more about the company and its projects, including a game about the popular TV series The Walking Dead. next1

The event was a success yet again with around 80-100 attendees. It was kicked off by a presentation by Jay Ranki, the Head of Studio at Next Games. After a short introduction to the company, people once again went into networking mode.


Until next time, IGDA Finland Tampere Hub volunteers

Expa Game Lab & Expa Game Club & Expa Gathering

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

Jyväskylä February Gathering


Expa’s second gathering this year was held on its usual spot and time, on a Tuesday at Shaker. We had two great guests, researchers from the Gamecloud-project from Lappeenranta University of Technology and Lasse Seppänen from PlayRaven.


Before the gathering we had a workshop with Gamecloud, connecting game projects to the cloud service developed in the project. Janne Parkkila, Kati Järvi and Timo Hynninen helped us figure out Gamecloud and get the service running. It is now in closed beta, but the API is open and on Github. At the gathering, we heard a bit more on where their research is now and how we can use it for making games.


Our other guest was Lasse Seppänen, CEO of PlayRaven, which just received $2.3M in seed investment. Lasse told us about his history at Remedy, for example about making Alan Wake. He also told us more about PlayRaven, and the game they are currently making, Spymaster. A game about managing spies in mid-war Europe? Can’t wait for it to be out. Everyone was eager to hear tips from a games industry veteran, so we almost didn’t let him off the stage after the questions started pouring in.


Thank you everyone for a fun gathering and we hope our guests visit us again soon!

Expa & IGDA Finland Jyväskylä Hub volunteers

Jyväskylä Expa, now also an IGDA Finland Hub!

Expa's December Gathering had both a great guest and lots of cause for celebration. Formally, Expa is registered in 2013, but actually, it was already alive and well in 2012. This means that Expa is now one year old!

Congratulations Expa!

But there is more: Expa is now officially an IGDA Finland hub, representing game developers from Jyväskylä around Finland and the world.

As a guest, we had Joachim Achrén, formerly the lead analyst at Supercell and now running his own company, Next Games. Joachim gave us great tips on what kinds of numbers to crunch in games.


We also heard about the game projects that are part of Expa Game Lab. Four games in total are on their way to completion in 2014, and we heard what Buggers, Seth, COMA and CyberAfrica had been doing.


In January, Expa kicked the year off with Unity and Microsoft, when the LevelUp-tour came to Jyväskylä. First, developers spent the day doing games for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. It was a great chance to hear tips and tricks for Unity, and then have a chance at publishing a game on the Windows platforms.

Later in the evening, we played Tekken Tag Tournament 2. There was a tournament of 12 players, with Sami Sorvo taking the lead with an unbroken chain of wins. Congratulations!