Finnish Game Jam 2012, Part 1

Friday, 27th January
Story and photos: Emma Kiiski
This is it. It’s starting. The largest global game developing event. This year we expected even 10,000 jammers to create games in 48 hours. It's a huge number of people! About 44 countries all over the world at the same time. Already in Tampere site, there were at least 60 jammers in the New Factory premises, ready to create the best games and have incredibly much fun over the weekend! Finnish Game Jam for the win!

All the jammers gathered in the early afternoon.

After registration, the event got launched with some presentations. The Tampere site host, New Factory, was presented with new cool Demola projects by Antti Salomaa. There is going to be quite many game projects this time. Especially interesting were the three cases from Wooga, a game company in Berlin that creates mainly Facebook games with huge success. Two important Score members, Teemu Haila and Eevi Korhonen, are by the way working at Wooga at the moment!
The main coordinator in Finland, Annakaisa Kultima, also shared a couple of words as usual. She also made a nice greeting video for whole Finland to see a bit later, presenting this year’s theme for the games.

The theme was something quite new this year: a picture. It usually has been a word but this year they wanted to give a brand new challenge to the jammers. I find this change great, it gives a different approach to the theme and can be understood in so many different ways, making it possible to create loads of awesome ideas!

And then something quite different. We had awesome Pecha Kucha presentations by various people, including one of our organizers and some people from the Tampere game industry. The presentations were really enjoyable and fun, created with delicate taste of humor!

Sohvi Sirkesalo telling her amazing story about intuition in decision making.
How to grow chili peppers by Timo Nummenmaa.
Karoliina Korppoo told us about lol cats!
Time travel is possible. Henri Sarasvirta.

We watched the global keynote that had four speakers from all around the globe. They gave really nice tips about the event and game development in amount. The video can probably be found in Youtube if you’re interested!

It wouldn’t be FGJ without social exercises. This year there were a couple of new ones, one of which was speed dating. The point was to write the thing that makes you tick about games, like game mechanics, explosions or whatever! Then everyone got into two circles around demola and started dating; telling about their favorite things about games and trying to combine those two together into a game.
Speed dating!
Are you sure it'll work?
Janne's style impresses us all.
The arriving of these huge pizzas disturbed some jammers' idea creation process.

Some jammers were working hard anyway.
Designing an awesome idea!
Out of ideas or just resting a little?
In the end there were a great amount of cool ideas on the wall.

After pitching everyones’ ideas, all the jammers had to find their group. For some it was easy but some had to think real hard whether the idea was good enough or not.

Is this idea good enough?
Searching for the perfect team!

Groups formed and everyone on their places. The games didn’t have to wait too long to be created. All the jammers were enthusiastic about starting and many continued late in the night, even though the brain might not work so well after staying awake for so long.

Jammers at work.
The coolest FGJ jams!

You can watch us at Ustream through the weekend, just click here! Let’s see if we do something crazy!

Emma Kiiski is running Score Game Development Community, also a student of our Media Programme.
Read more stories by/about Emma
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