Now we know how elves and dwarves have sex! – Nordic Game 2010

Redlynx got the Best Nordic Game Award
Story: Juhani Hujala
On Monday 26th of April, a large group of students from Tampere took a train to Turku. The destination was the annual Nordic Game conference in Malmö, Sweden and the students were from TAMK and Score Game Development Club.

The road was long, because first we had to take a train, and a ship after that, and an eight hour bus trip after that. Nevertheless everyone was very excited about the conference, meeting the people, hearing the speeches and talking about games.
We spent the first night on the ship to Stockholm, and the next sunny day went by on the sweaty hot bus. At 8PM we were finally in Malmö. Tired, dirty, but happy. Those who still had some energy left, went to check out the Indie Game Night, aka first day party.
 Wednesday was the first conference day.  The place where Nordic Game was held was nice and we all got cool conference passports with our names on them. While sipping coffee, we had some time to read the program and decide what we wanted to hear and see. There was a huge amount of speeches about freeware games, mobile games, tools and technology, the future of games, business and much more.

Keynote by Kristian Segerstråhle, Playfish (UK)
First keynote was held by Erik Robertson, one of the main organizator of Nordic Game. The theme of his keynote and the whole conference was “Closing the gaps”, and he was talking about the gaps we needed to close in the game industry, between continents and also between people.

Maybe the most memorable presentation on the first day was the one by Guillaume de Fondaumiere, from Quantic Dream. He was talking about movies and games, can we ever combine the two forms of art successfully or is the whole idea doomed. de Fondaumiere had a strong vision that the immersion could create something great, because he has been working on a very movie-like game title, Heavy Rain, for the past years.
After all the presentations, it was time to drink some cocktails and eat a fine dinner. At the Nordic Party we had a possibility to build our own network, so we started to hook up with people.

Even though it was a long night, we all woke up early to hear the most exciting keynote from Remedy’s Art Director Saku Lehtinen. His demonstration about Alan Wake was so mind blowing that even the wildest party animals from last night stayed awake.
Score team testing a yet unpublished title by Epic Games
Of course we had to see the next presentation also, because it was called ”Do we really want to know how elves and dwarves have sex?”, held by Tom Putzki, even if anyone didn’t have the slightest idea what it was about.  The presentation itself was also good, and it turned out that it wasn’t porn after all, instead it was about showing feelings and taboos in games.

The last but not least was a presentation by Mikael Hed, the story of a little Finnish game house Rovio, and their success with their iPhone game Angry Birds. How did the small company survive and get Angry Birds to the number one of all charts around the world? That was an encouraging finish to the two days in Nordic Game.
Everyone was very happy about the trip. Some of us found their dream profession, some got to know interesting people, but I’m sure that everybody took home one great experience.

Juhani Hujala is a third year Interaction Design student at TAMK School of Art and Media

Pictures by Teemu Haila
Nordic Game