Game Design Workshop

Text: Eevi Korhonen, 09IMP
It was that wonderful time of the year again, when students of the Game Design course gather to present their game ideas in a two-day workshop, where they get feedback from industry professional as well as their peers. To me, this is the highlight of the year, as I find this workshop to be one of the most useful parts of our education here. I've already lurked in the background for two previous workshops making notes and giving feedback, but this time I was finally an actual participant and thus got to pitch my idea.

Team Red Balloon presenting their idea. From left to right: Vasileia Tolou, Johanna Peltola and Anayte Delahay

This year the workshop was organised on 1st and 2nd of December in its familiar place, Demola. Eight teams presented their work, which ranged from bee-themed Facebook games to an RPG based on the Kalevala. The visiting industry professionals, Gareth Noyce from Ruffian Games and Lassi Kurkijärvi from Helsingin Sanomat, were there to give their insider view and expert advice to the students. Unfortunately, Gareth was unable to attend in person due to the Edinburgh airport being closed, but that didn't stop him from attending via Skype and even giving a small talk on where the game industry is going.

The two days fizzed past very fast, but fortunately there was something positive about the end, and that was the after-party. This year it was doubly exciting as people got to try out the brand new Xbox Kinect, which proved to be very popular. Trying everything from river rafting to dancing, from popping bubbles to boxing, people kept on waving and flailing madly in front of the screen, to the great amusement of others (and themselves, of course).

Playing with Kinect. From left to right: Mikko Tikkanen, myself and Olli Hämäläinen.

The workshop is over, but the work continues. The teams will take the feedback and ideas, hone their concept and write their GDD (game design document) as their final project for the course. Hopefully, they'll also make the games or at least a prototype of it during the spring.

Photos: Antti Salomaa