The Finnish Game Jam

Story and photos: Emma Kiiski
This year’s Global Game Jam was launched with more participants than ever before. It was officially announced on Saturday that there were 7,000 jammers around the globe! In Tampere, Finnish Game Jam was arranged the second time in Demola. The main goal of this whole weekend’s global event is to create games in 48 hours at the same time with people all around the world.

Sounds awesome, doesn’t it? I myself am a newbie in the field of creating games, but this event really taught me new things about game design and was an awful lot of fun. Even if you weren’t the best coder, artist or designer, you could participate and create a game with people who knew more.

This year there were Score members, but also many people from the Finnish game industry as well as hobbyists and students. Other Finnish cities participating in the Finnish Game Jam were Oulu, Helsinki, Turku, Kajaani and Outokumpu. We had web-camera connections to some of these cities, which was really funny!

There’s one theme for the games every year. This year’s theme was extinction which seemed to get many ideas rise from the creative minds of all game developers. All the final games that were created had unique ideas and interesting designs. It was a lot of fun on Sunday to see what others had created.

As participants registered in the Finnish Game Jam, they selected themselves a title: an artist, programmer, game designer and so on. There were only one producer and a couple of audio experts. I’m pretty sure those gentlemen had a really busy weekend trying to help several teams with their music and sound since the audio brings the deep feeling into the games.

Although we had 48 hours the time ran at least doubled that while coding, drawing, illustrating, designing and so on. Many brave and strong jammers worked also through the night, especially on Saturday-Sunday night. The tiredness didn’t stop jammers to continue their work. On Sunday a few jammers looked pretty done, though.

Finnish Game Jam was really entertaining and educational. It also made people connect with each other and work as a team. I personally encourage everyone who has at least some skills in arts, game coding or good game ideas to join this event next year. It’s really good practice for your skills and since there could be people who know more than you it’s a good chance to learn new techniques!

The author is student of Degree Programme in Media
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