Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Score at Nordic Game!

Nordic Game is a two-day conference event focused on the game industry on the Nordic countries. Game Development Club Score, which is operating under TAMK, got sponsored tickets to the event from Neogames, the Finnish Center of Game Business, Research & Development. This year's event followed and almost coincided with Tampere Art Factory, so Score had their hands full of work. Fortunately, we got our business cards ready and organised our traveling schedule with TAMK's travel secretary Sirkku Teikari, big thanks to her. Nordic Game has now passed, and we would like to share some of our thoughts regarding the event and the trip in general.

One group of students traveled by plane (Niko Korhonen, Janne Jaakkola, Pasi Perkiö, Teemu Haila), while others decided to save money and the environment by using a ship (Juhani Hujala, Mikko Kähäri, Tuomas Järvensivu, Juho Hartikainen, Antti Salomaa). Even though the cruise path was consecutively longer and for example we journeyed the trip from Stockholm to Malmö in a bus for over 12 hours, this didn't demoralise any of us. The trip back to Stockholm went on smoothly as we got to ride the bus from Outokumpu Pelitalo, i.e. other game development students from Finland who conveniently stayed in the same hostel as we did.

Nordic Game in itself was really worth attending to. The speakers were cutting edge, so as listeners we just had to find our ways to topics that were most relevant to our interests, for there were a number of speakers and as such most of the seminars were being held simultaneously. Another key component of the event was networking among the game developers. Though we might have not gotten invitations to Norway this time, time will tell if the socializing sparks something concrete, either for the club or its members. At the very least, the coverage won't be hurting us the least bit.

The presentation from Unity 3D showed off their middleware game development platform and convinced many of us to lob it inside the School of Art and Media. The Degree Programme in Business Information Systems at Teiskontie Campus has already ordered 20 Unity licenses, so our wishes just might not be all that utopistic. Alex Evans, the developer of LittleBigPlanet shared some precious hints on how to structure a game development pipeline, and in turn, Bionic Commando Rearmed's development studio GRIN told their experiences with working on a remake from a classic game title. Besides these keynotes, the audience got to witness a vast number of different viewpoints concerning the future of game development, as well as other topics that were very relevant to us as students.

The overall supply that the conference offered got us thinking outside the box. All in all, we are very pleased that we got the chance to be part of an event like this, with little to no cost. During the journey, we also figured that in order to help the Nordic game community we must actively focus on enhancing the Finnish national game industry. It is somewhat ironic to go all the way to Malmö just to grasp this idea, but apparently this is turning into an annual trend, if we're to examine last year's trip to Nordic Game. Hopefully we can improve the matter until the next event!

Author: Juho Hartikainen, President of Score Game Development Club

The TAMK School of Art and Media students of the Score delegation. Juho Hartikainen on left side.
Photo: Teemu Haila


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