Kajaani aiming for the stars with E-Sports!

It's gathering day 28th of March and Rock House Kulma is full of enthusiastic game industry veterans and students.

Kajaani is aiming to become the E-sports capital of Finland.
We are already famous for Critical Ops published by Critical Force Entertainment and a brand new Critical Force Academy starting next summer.
But it´s not all. Kajaani University of Applied Sciences in collaboration with Vuokatti
Ruka Sports Academy, is arranging the NORDIC eSports Academy Bootcamp
during the summer 2017.

We had a pleasure to have Touko Möttönen, former Kajaani University student and
Niklas Pehkonen to tell us more of this magnificent opportunity in our IGDA March
Gathering. Unfortunately our supposed guest Noel McAvennie couldn’t make it to the
event, but we took care of extra drinks for him.

Touko enlightened us about upcoming bootcamp.

Touko enlightened us about upcoming bootcamp.

The Nordic eSports Academy is a new Finnish summer school and tournament,
which takes place in Kajaani from 12.6 to 6.7 and culminates in 3-day CS GO
tournament in Vuokatti at the end (7.7 – 9.7). The bootcamp includes a series of
lectures, workshops and coaching sessions on a full time basis at KAMK for 80 to
100 students. The total prize pool for the tournament is 10,000€ and we’ll be bringing
approximately 10 to 12 of the best of the bootcamp teams together with a selected 8
to 10 guest teams. We’re hoping to bring some international teams as well as some
top Finnish teams to create something special. The camp is targeted especially for
amateur players, who aim to become professionals.

The bootcamp will be broken down into 5 modules: Business coaching, Physical
coaching, Mental coaching, Gameplay coaching and Testing. The Testing feature is
a new system developed by KAMK that measures a range of performance indicators
for each gamer while playing in a team. The end result will be a radar chart, much
the same as other athletes in traditional sports have to monitor ongoing performance
changes. This Testing system will be developed and exported with the idea that it will
become an industry standard so this is an opportunity for bootcamp teams to be
involved right at the start.

The various lectures, workshops and hands-on coaching classes will be undertaken
by a mix of local experts and international “gurus”. Ville “CISU” Leppälä, the former
Counter Strike player will do the coaching, while Mia Stellberg, a psychologist of
CS:GO team Astralis will handle the opening week lectures.

This is only the beginning of a new surge in local support for eSports, with major
plans afoot to develop eSports as an official sporting discipline that will be coached
at the Vuokatti Ruka Sports Academy, so we expect to see significant national
interest in what we’re doing as we launch the first bootcamp and tournament this

Samuli and Pauliina, after a hard evening of an IGDA Gathering

Samuli and Pauliina, after a hard evening of an IGDA Gathering

Written by:
Pauliina Lammi
IGDA Finland Kajaani Hub volunteer

IGDA Finland January Gathering with Applifier

This week Tuesday meant Club Adams would be full of game developers from dawn till dusk – and beyond! – as LevelUp, the game development tour organized together with Microsoft and Unity, started its second day early in the morning and continued till late in the afternoon. No doubt many great games were worked on and we will be looking forward to seeing the fruits of everyone's labors!

After a hard day of work it was time for everyone to grab their well-earned drink tickets and put them to good use. Before the attendees were too engaged in their chatter however, the gathering sponsor Applifier shared the highlights of their service Everyplay which monetizes with video ads, brings you high quality users and provides game replays for users to share.

Whether it was the belated winter or possibly prolonged holidays that kept a lot of people at home, it was still another successful gathering with a grand total of 177 attendees. Thanks for everyone who showed up and those who made it possible – until next time!


IGDA September Gathering with Mental Moustache, Tekes and Joensuu Science Park

Summer is finally over. For us igdaphiles this is very good news.

The fall season was kicked off with a set of interesting events on 4th September. The magical trio Tekes, Neogames and Finpro, organised the Games Outbreak seminar at Korjaamo in Helsinki. The seminar was also the launching event of Tekes' Skene programme. Tekes is planning to help keep Finland's game industry alive and kicking, visit here to find out the details of the masterplan.

Afterwards the thirsty crowd headed for this falls very first IGDA Gathering in Bar Cuba. The sponsor of this gathering (and the generous bringer of drink tickets) was Mental Moustache, an independent game company based in Outokumpu. Heikki Koljonen, the CEO and mastermind extraordinaire of Mental Moustache, entertained us with a delightful trailer of their new game title Spincraft. We were all cordially invited to the beta testing as well.

There were over 220 visitors in Bar Cuba, a good start for the season. We were thrilled to see you for the first time after the summer, let's hope we keep bumping to each other throughout the long winter. See you around!

Angry Birds Space at IGDA Finland June Gathering

Let´s go where no bird has gone before! Last week the Finnish game community proved its vitality through a collective pilgrimage to a certain exotic bar in Erottaja. This spring's final IGDA gathering in Cuba Bar left us wistful but excited, as the evening was a flying success.

Bar Cuba was filled with space-oriented wildlife as Rovio was the sponsor of this gathering.  Early arrivers were able to grab themselves an Angry Birds Space T-shirt and a deck of beautiful Angry Birds playing cards. Three wise men from Rovio,  Sami Lahtinen, Mikko Häkkinen and Jaakko Iisalo,  offered us a short (to not keep us from using the drink tickets they also provided) but pithy look at the development, launch, and success of Angy Birds Space. The audience was also offered a glimpse of the future. Who is Alex? Why is he Amazing?

One more gathering-related announcement before the summer break. IGDA gatherings are on a trajectory even flying birds could be jealous of: this gathering managed to lure a crowd of 295 people. We couldn't have hoped for a better way to end this season!

A big thank you to Rovio for sponsoring, and another big thank you for all you who joined the fun. See you in Fall 2012!

WildChords at IGDA Finland April Gathering

Bring out your guitars! For many people it was just another Tuesday night in Helsinki, but game lovers know better. Old and new friends alike found their way to Bar Cuba to converse, relax, and participate in sudden brainstorms.

After most of the visitors had settled in the stage was claimed by Ovelin, the melodious sponsor of the evening. Cristoph Thür, co-founder and CEO of Ovelin, was so kind as to entertain us with a few words and a demonstration of their acclaimed iPad game WildChords. The innovation of WildChords is to learn to play the guitar the fun way through gameplay objectives. Be afraid, Guitar Hero.

Ovelin donated visitors a few drinks and a guitar pick, and one especially cozy corner of Cuba was reserved for those who wanted to try the game for themselves. Evening was not short of wildlife as Ovelin´s exotic mascot Carsten the Crocodile was also present, ready to pose for the multitude of cameras.

We had 140 human visitors and one crocodile. Maybe in the next IGDA gathering we will hear live guitar music from one of you? Thank you to everyone and see you in May!

  Photos by Stuart McQuade

Gangs of Boomtown at IGDA Finland March Gathering


Drawing by Jussi Simpanen

Howdy partners!

Another successful IGDA gathering brought Wild West to the heart of icy Helsinki! Evening's Western theme had inspired many outstanding costumes ranging from sheriffs to bandits. We were thrilled to see that so many of you had succumbed to our whimsy and dressed up for the occasion!

The evening was action packed. Digital Chocolate offered a few rounds of drinks and gave out Gangs of Boomtown soundtrack CDs. Head of Digital Chocolate Helsinki Studio, Kaj Häggman and Gangs of Boomtown Producer Miika Tams talked about the production of the game and shared some latest news from Digital Chocolate office in Ruoholahti. We also had a video link to Punit Soni from Google+ who is managing Games and Mobile products at Google. He greeted IGDA Finland crowd and the whole Finnish game industry all away from San Francisco, US.

Gangs of Boomtown was released as promised, and when you combine that with great conversation and live country music it comes as no surprise that the event attracted a crowd of 216 game enthusiasts.

A big thank you to Digital Chocolate for sponsoring the evening, and an equally sized thank you to all who participated. See you next time!

More photos: March Gathering 2012