A Night with PlayRaven and Aalto Game Executive Programme

Lasse Seppänen, CEO of PlayRaven, started the night by explaining to us why strategy matters. Going into game design is a serious business. Saying we "just want to make games" is like saying "I just want to drive a car": it's vague and directionless.  Lasse's piece of advice is to work out the details and have people who can actually handle managing all these decisions:  It's not enough to just make games without this foresight.

The Game Executive programme at Aalto University: an intensive three-part "bootcamp" for game developers that combines insight on such topics like Financial Planning, Free-to-play, Asian markets, Branding, and Pitching.  During the evening, Saila Laitinen, Co-founder of Sfonge Ltd gave us a breakdown on the facts about China as a mobile market:  China has had the largest number of active smartphones in any country since 2013.  China's mobile game market is expected to maintain growth over the next three years, while the global game market growth drops slightly.  But what Laitinen warns us about is that the Chinese market is much different.  Here, there are four times more Android devices than iOS users, and double the revenue.   The channels for distributing Android games is fragmented between many different providers, including China Telecom's own channel, Play.cn, and almost a third of iOS players derive games from third party platforms instead of the official AppStore.  Because of expensive mobile data tariffs and bandwidth limits, and the popularity of low to middle end devices, games developed for the Chinese market need to take this limitations into account to deliver the smoothest game experience possible.


To conclude the talks for the night, Anca Agapi, program manager for Aalto University Executive Education gave a run through of the full programme and prices of the education program, open to all game developers, which is starting on October 29th 2014.  Afterwards, the participants enjoyed mingling and sponsored drinks courtesy of PlayRaven.


IGDA Finland October Gathering and Presentation with Unity

Upcoming Unity 2D toolkit, tips&tricks, physics, etc... The list goes on what the awesome IGDA Finland Presentation held for the attending crowd at Club Adams, which peaked at 270 attendees!

Andy Touch from Unity presented us with the upcoming feature to Unity. He showed us a glimpse on how the developers can use Unity more easily to create 2D games with the build-in tools. After Andy, Marco Trivellato took to the stage, also from Unity, and provided some essential tips & trick to help the developer on daily tasks, which ranged from profiling the game to garbage collection. Sampsa Lehtonen (Recoil Games & Draconus Entertainment ltd.) revealed what he had learned in making 2.5D games, such as Rochard which focused on the physics in 2/2.5D games. Brendan Erquiaga from Retora Game Studion wanted us to use our time better and so focused on the essentials of Editor Scripting in Unity. Examples ranged from simple short-keys to changing how Unity pre-/post-processes models. And last but not least, VIOPE launched the Game Development World Championship 2013 in the event, see more info here.

Warm thanks to all presenters and attendees. Stay tuned for updates of the upcoming gathering!

IGDA Finland October Gathering and Presentation with Unity

The weather is getting colder, but our season is just getting warmed up! We have cooked up for you a hot bowl of IGDA Finland Presentation on the topic of Unity to keep you warm, so check out the presentations and speakers below:

Native 2D is coming to Unity! (Andy Touch) Andy will demonstrate the new framework and how to setup your projects to use 2D features such as physics, polygon collider generation, sprite objects and spritesheet animation. He will also talk about how the new features fit into Unity's existing asset-creation workflows and give examples of 2D-related additions to the scripting API.

Unity Tips&Tricks and Good Practices (Marco Trivellato) In this presentation we will talk about different Unity tricks that the audience will be able to take away and use immediately. Topics include profiling and optimisations, memory and garbage collection, editor tricks as well as Unity game development good practices.

Unity Physics Gameplay (Sampsa Lehtonen) In this session we delve into the physics features of Unity and explore how they can be used to implement and enhance gameplay. The focus is on Sampsa's personal experiences and lessons he has learned while working on Unity games with 2D / 2.5D physics gameplay.

Unity Editor: Make it work for you (Brendan Erquiaga) In this presentation we will cover all aspects of Editor Scripting and how everyone should leverage them to improve development. We will talk about scripts to help remove friction from your pipeline, methods to automate tedious tasks, and tricks for improving day-to-day Unity use. Additionally we will explore the strength of giving editor tools to your designers, allowing them to maximize their efficiency. 

Game Development World Championship 2013 (VIOPE) Game Development World Championship 2013 is a sequel of successful Viope Game Programming Contest 2012, which engaged over 500 teams from 70 countries. The GDWC 2013 is open to game developers and enthusiasts all over the world, from students to freelancers and professionals. The competition starts from 8th October 2013 and lasts to 26th January 2014. Especially throughout the competition, participants will be couched by the world's famous companies - Rovio and Microsoft - to name a few. The winning team will get great prizes (to be be announced at the Opening Ceremony), more importantly to showcase your talents and grab future opportunities in the gaming industry.


Andy Touch (Unity) Since he added physics to a cube and watched it bounce, Andy has been interested in experimenting and playing around with gaming technology. Having specialised in Unity at university, and then going on to teach the engine to higher education students, he is now part of the Evangelist team at Unity Technologies and helps to spread the word to new users and to show off what it can do! He loves creating interactive 3D art experiments, taking part in game jams & hack days and helping Unity Developers to get the most out of the game engine.

Marco Trivellato (Unity) Marco is a veteran in the game industry with a strong background in computer science and a passion for programming and video games. He worked for many years in Italy, Canada and now England. In his time in Vancouver he worked for Electronic Arts and Next Level Games as systems and rendering software engineer on triple-A titles like FIFA, Fight Night 3 and Captain America, spending most of his time on game engines, focusing on their performance and architecture. Then he decided to move on and joined Unity for a new career challenge. He now works in UK as Field Engineer helping other game developers to make great games!

Sampsa Lehtonen (Recoil Games & Draconus Entertainment ltd.) Sampsa Lehtonen is a game programmer with over 10 years of experience in the industry. Even with a Master's degree in computer science, he is self-taught what comes to developing games. He has been working on titles ranging from indie (Triplane Turmoil 2 for PC) to mobile (Rock Runners for iOS and Android, Bad Piggies) to "triple A next-gen" console games (Rochard for PS3, PC, Mac and Linux).

Brendan Erquiaga (Retora Game Studios) Brendan is an independent game developer who has been using the Unity Engine to fuel his creations for the past four years. Being a Designer/Programmer, he has always enjoyed the freedom & speed of working in Unity. He started as a self-taught hobbyist, then attended university for game design which helped him work his way up to full-time developer. He has lead large teams, created solo projects, done Unity contract work, developed for Retora Game Studios, and last year he taught teenagers to develop mobile games in Unity. Currently Brendan is the Creative Director at Retora Black, a mobile game studio out of Phoenix, Arizona.

IGDA Finland Gathering start at the same place right after the presentations. Stay tuned for updates!

IGDA Finland Presentations – Unity Time: 8.10.2013 at 17:00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

IGDA Finland October Gathering Time: 8.10.2013 at 19:15 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

IGDA Finland Gathering with Bitsquid

The season has now officially started! We had a great crowd to see what was on Bitsquid's sleeve. Johan Strömberg gave us a brief rundown on Bitsquid as a company and Niklas Frykholm followed it with extensive Bitsquid engine demo.

In case you missed the Presentation part head to http://www.bitsquid.se/ and Bitsquid GDC 2013 Showreel to see what's the fuss is all about!

See you at the next Gathering!

IGDA Presentations and June Gathering with Grand Cru

Summer is here, we think.

Prepare to pampered, because the summer starts with IGDA Finland Presentations! In June the hot topic is game design and we have gathered awesome people to tell you about it. The presentations are as follows:

Articy:draft 2 Kai Rosenkranz (CEO, Nevigo) Articy:draft 2 is the first professional tool for game design in commercial studios. This tool helps to create, organize and communicate the game vision while being tightly integrated into your pipeline. Read more here!

Game Design Miikka Junnila (Aalto University, Media Lab) : Game Design – where to start? Before we make games it is useful to know what they actually are. We’ll examine one definition of ‘a game’ and then take a brief look into what game design consists of. The presentation is especially useful for those who have just entered the world of game design.

Joni Suvanto (Design Director, Digital Chocolate) Digital Chocolate develops and publishes casual and social games for the web, Facebook, and mobile phones. The company has operations in the U.S., Finland, Spain and India. Joni is going to give us his thoughts about f2p, metrics from game design perspective, how they have used them and what the future holds for it.

After the presentations it’s time to put those sweet drink tickets to good use! We are proud to be sponsored by Grand Cru, a game company with a knack for mobile and social games. The Cru in question also seem to have a thing for mind games because they have a cryptic message for all of you: this time there is something special about the drinks! What could it be? In addition to all this you will get an update on Grand Cru’s current affairs. If you didn’t know they have a new game coming it’s about time you did!

Can you take two more plot twists? We will have the fabled Oculus Rift head-mounted display at the Gathering, here is your chance to try it yourself! Don’t forget to check out the 3D Leap Motion  controller as well (we just can’t resist cool inventions).

Grand things are happening at this Gathering, so bring your own cru to enjoy it all! See you there! - IGDA Finland Presentations Time: 11.6.2013 at 17.00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland - IGDA Finland April Gathering Time: 11.6.2013 at 19.00 Place: Club Adams, Erottaja 15-17, Helsinki Finland

IGDA Finland October Gathering with Unity and GameFounders

9th October was a day of tricks and treats for the game folk in Finland.

October’s IGDA Finland Presentations are now behind us, and they were a success! All 250 tickets were reserved in advance. The theme of the evening was Unity 4, and a few lucky ones even won themselves a full Unity Pro 4.0 license. Just in case you inexplicably missed the event, let’s recap.

Nick Jovic and his merry men from Unity Technologies gave us a taste of the next generation of their platform. Colossal Order’s very own Damien Morello shared his tips and tricks for Unity, and you even get a chance to put your freshly gained knowledge to good use: Antti Lihavainen opened VIOPE’s world wide Game Programming Contest.

What comes to the post-Unity Gathering in Bar Cuba, the words of a fellow attendee sums things up nicely: ”It's a bit crowded.”

Nick Jovic was in the mood for a popquiz, and awarded correct answers with Unity’s t-shirts. We learned, for example, where the company’s main office is situated (San Francisco, for future reference) and where Unity will established their newest office (Berlin, now you know).

The other big thing came from across the Baltic Sea. Kadri Ugand from the Estonian game accelerator GameFounders first greeted us with kind words and then dropped the proverbial bomb: the second round of GameFounders program is now officially open!

Thank you for spending an evening with us! This time the number of attendees in the Gathering went up to 261. See you in November!

IGDA Finland Proudly Presents: Unity special on January 10th!

Happy New Year! IGDA Finland had a fantastic season 2010-2011 and we expect 2012 to be even better. We'll start the year with a bang! NOTE! IGDA Finland Presentations venue has changes: NEW VENUE Aalto University building called Chydenia. The address: Runeberginkatu 22-24.

The first IGDA Finland Presentations and Gathering is on January 10th. Unity Evangelist Carl Callewaert will talk about the latest from Unity. On top of that we'll hear presentations from Umbra, Recoil Games/Colossal Order and DiceWorks Games on utilizing Unity.

Sulake is sponsoring the IGDA Finland Presentations in 2012. The Presentations event will take place at: Lapuankatu 6. It is a bit further away from Cuba but you can either walk or take 3T tram from Kauppakorkeakoulu to Aleksanterinkatu stop.

The evening continues at the Cuba bar from 7PM onwards. Besides Carl, also Nick (Sales Director), Tomas (Unity XBox Lead Engineer) and Akouvi (Education licensing) from Unity will be joining us! Drinks will be offered by Unity & Umbra! Additionally Unity will have special program at Cuba. If you want to win a t-shirt and see something cool, better not to miss the party!

IGDA Finland January Presentations Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 5-7PM Kauppakorkea auditorium, Chydenia, Runeberginkatu 22-24, Helsinki Finland SIGN UP: Eventbrite

IGDA Finland January Gathering Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 7PM Cuba Bar, Erottaja 4, Helsinki Finland

Other IGDA Finland activities in January: YLE Teema "Pelinrakentajat" exclusive screening for IGDA Finland on 18th January. Andorra movie theatre, Eerikinkatu 11

Global Game Jam, various locations in Finland (Finnish Game Jam) 27th-29th January

Guide to Showroom - January 08 Presentation

Greetings everyone! As you already probably know we are having another presentation from the IGDA Finland Presentation series. This time we are having it in Papa Giovanni (WTC building) Showroom, central Helsinki. So here us a map to find your way in, there will also be signs posted to help people find their way in however.

See you there!

PS. It's right opposite of System Rock (Public Corner), so it should not be hard finding the building at least.

Map to Showroom

January 08 Gathering and Presentation

Hiho again! Santa is knocking on the door already but before xmas holidays and celebrations begin IGDA Finland wants to tell you something before you dig in to the ham and pudding. On January 8th, IGDA Finland will be organizing 2008's first IGDA Gathering, what a perfect chance to get that xmas ham or turkey out of your system! But wait... there is more. In January IGDA Finland is also organizing the second presentation in the IGDA Finland Presentations series!

*IGDA FINLAND PRESENTATIONS #2: TOOLS* Place: Papa Giovanni Showroom at WTC (opposite of System Rock/Public Corner) Time: Tuesday 8th January, 17.30

The second session focuses on Tools. Game industry is under constant evolution. Companies have grown and technologies improved which has made it necessary to evolve work processes and tools as well. Agile methods are widely in use but what else is there? What kind of tools the leading game developers use? How tools fit together with novel design processes and alterable teams? On January 8th, Kai Auvinen and Lassi Leppinen from Digital Chocolate (Sumea) and Sami Vanhatalo from Remedy will talk about Tools in mobile and console game development.

The session starts at 5.30pm and end at 7pm. After IGDA Finland Presentations it is pub night as usual! Welcome! The second IGDA Finland Presentations in association with Remedy will take place on January 8th 2008. This time the place is Papa Giovanni Showroom at WTC -- just opposite System Rock!

*IGDA FINLAND JANUARY GATHERING* Place: System Rock, Keskuskatu 4, 00100 Helsinki (map: http://igda.fi/?page_id=5) Time: Tuesday 8th January, doors open at 19.00

One afterword: w00t! Merriam-Webster's Word of '07: 'W00t'

XNA Game Studio European Tour 2007 liveblogging

xna start.jpg

14:30 Dave


* Dave explains the common things/tips to notice when starting a studio or just trying to get into game industry to make games * Dave moves on explaining goals of XNA * XNA goals as follows; Make it easier, Establish a vibrant community, low friction publishing channel for community games * XNA wants to establish itself as a tool to democratize game development * 700,000 downloads of toolset now, Adopted by more than 300 universities worldwide, More than 400 games (XNA Express 1.0) * Dave explains XNA as a robust educational platform & shows an example project (Aliens) that works from desktop computer using 360 controller * Dave explains XNA creators club, starter kit. Example games given with this kit, of all major genres. Shows off template functionality of XNA 2.0 briefly & shows off a template example project that users can dissect and modify freely. He continues showing a just compiled game deployed to 360 console. Looks and works exactly the same way in PC and 360.

15:00 Dave * Dave continues to explain minigames and samples provided in starter kit. Variety seems endless here. He shows off how to investigate components of the game in real-time, like a chase-camera and prototype how it works. * Dave shows off a visual game-like programming app called Boku that was made by Microsoft research, aimed towards kids. Apparently made with XNA, Boku allows you basically to create small games & interaction via a very simple programming interface. Microsoft wanted to use XNA to have fast iteration in the project. * Dave shows off Schizoid as an example. * He shows off examples from an XNA Dream.Build.Play competition, no Finland in competition apparently. Many of them games were done by one person or just a very small team. A lot of student projects also. * Dave said they will be doing the Dream.Build.Play again on December 08. * Dave showed off a Swedish made game Ragu, again wondering where is Finland. Ragu was one of the games in Dream.Build.Play competition. * Dave mentions about Imagine Cup 2008, a game development contest lobbying students to join since it's only for students. Game development is a new category in Imagine Cup 2008. * X360 XNA development will be free for students in near future apparently also and not only faculty members. * Dave thanks the university and wraps up * Jyri Ranki prepares his presentation > The presentation will be show with video and published to internet later on

15:30 Jyri



* Jyri explains his experience and agenda & the company he comes from * Jyri briefly goes trough an overview of Finnish game industry companies & famous games made in Finland. * Jyri moves into explaining about IGDA Finland. * He explains a basic cut-through of a basic console game development cycle & a sample org.chart with explaining roles in more detail. * Jyri talks on how to get into the industry and what is required to get in the industry.

16.00 Charles Cox


* Game in 60 minutes example

17:20 Break

17:45 Charles

* Charles goes more indepth with XNA 2.0 features * Button press deployment to XBOX360, builds and transfers it. * Allows you to use older "any" version of visual studio * Button press WINDOWS/XBOX live support * On Windows and XBOX you can store profiles (use it to save game and use other similar features) * Get the beta at creators.xna.com today! Final version avail. very soon!

* It's a wrap!

XNA Game Studio European Tour 3.12.2007

xna Microsoft and Helsingin Yliopiston Tietojenkäsittelytieteen Opiskelijajärjestö are organizing an XNA Game Studio presentation in Helsinki. It is part of the bigger XNA Game Studio European Tour. The event will be held on Monday December 3rd, from 14.30 to 19.15. It is open for all and free but you do need to register for it online.

More information and online registration available here.