The Finnish Game Jam Pre-Event

Story and photos: Emma Kiiski.
Since the Finnish Game Jam (FGJ) and the Global Game Jam (GGJ) are held from the 27th to 29th of January (this week’s Friday) in over 40 countries around the world, we in Tampere decided to arrange a pre-event in the New Factory a week before the actual jam. The event was organized by three active Score members and we provided the event with some snacks for everyone. This was the first time we ever had an event like this before the FGJ. The meaning was basically to hang around, meet new and already familiar people and to hear about some things like Score, ManseGames and Highscore. The whole event was streamed to the internet and could be viewed the whole evening. Some people have been following our talks all the night!
Score members, misters Andy and Lukas, preparing the snack for the event.
It was serious business.

During the event we also heard some presentations. At first I explained what we are and do in our beloved game development club Score. Some important things about FGJ was explained pretty clearly by Annakaisa Kultima. Suvi Latva introduced the New Factory shortly to everyone, since they are hosting both FGJ events. She also talked about ManseGames. It was especially interesting for us Score members to hear about Highscore. What they have is a quite nice way to publish games and help people that want to try publishing. Our game club should have some co-operation with them in the future. To me it sounded pretty fair; they make it possible for us to gain some money by offering licenses for game development tools and the chance to publish the games.

There were also three jammers from previous years to tell about their experiences in the FGJ. It was cool to hear about their fails and successes. There’s a lot to think about when you’re making a game in 48 hours: you should at least have one real programmer in your team, apples as snacks and audio kit from home since there’s always less music specialists than others. Think about that!

Henri Sarasvirta explaining about his experiences in FGJ 2010 and 2011.

The idea about this event came when I thought about the new people in for example Score; some have never made a game before and have no experience how the process might work. The FGJ Pre-event could then provide them information about the actual jam and help them to see if they have enough skills to be able to participate. Game jams are pretty good experience about game development. This first tryout of FGJ Pre-event was held after the registration had been closed, but we will see about the next year! Would be nice if people still have a chance to make up their minds about joining after the Pre-event.

Hanging around tha snack table.

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