Nordic Game Conference 23.-24.5

Nordic Game Conference 2013 was organized 23.-24.5 in Malmö, Sweden. NGC celebrated its 10th year anniversary and I was very happy to be part of it!

Togehter with NGC, Unity also organized its first own conference, Unite, which had lasted for a few days. Between them, on the 22nd, was the Nordic Indie night where the best chosen indie developers would show their games accompanied by lectures. In the end, Finnish game Badland won the competition and got the award for Best Indie Sensation! 
Telltale  Games Keynote "The Talking dead - Voicing a Dynamic Narrative with  voice actors and sound designer from the  game The Walking Dead

NGC consisted of great presentations, keynotes, networking, exhibitors.. I wish I had the time to be part of everything organized at the conference! The presentations were categorized by Production, Creation, Handheld, Business and Technology.

Here are some highlights from my point of view from the two-day conference:

Keynote Tim Schafer on creating games ouf of love

Keynote by Tim Schafer - Inspiration Driven Development

The conference was opened by Tim Chafer from Double Fine (Psychonauts, Brütal Legend), who gave an inspiring presentation on keeping your own creative rights and designing with passion. "If you're not making games out of love, I wonder why you are doing it?" - was the most powerful quote from him. Coming from LucasArts, he went through the reasons on wanting to keep all his creative rights and setting up a studio where they can work on what they want.

Matthew Boch - New Normals

Matthew had a very interesting lecture on defining gender roles, sexuality and racism. Using examples from Mass Effect and Dragon Age, he explained with examples how the female and male shepard have differences and also went in depth on how the game world should be creating normals. What if the player's behavior toward's certain game races were acts of racism? It was a great presentation which made people think a bit before using the clichés and way game design has used so far.

Susan O'Connor Play It Again, Sam: How To Connect With Your Audience

Probably one of the best presentations. BioShock writer went in depth with story writing and how it affects the player. O'Connor thought on ways to make the world more fascinating and how to qrite interesting stories that make the player feel immersed. She felt like there is still a long way to go in developing stories in games -- but we're on the right track with the indie games scene growing bigger and bigger. 

Richard Lemarchand - Life of Play, Life of the Mind: What Game Design Can Teach U

Naughty Dog Game Designer (The Uncharted Series, Jak & Daxter, etc.) spoke on his decision to stop working in the gaming industry and moving to teach game design in USC, the ranked #1 game design school in North America. Going through methods from doing paper prototypes to engaging people to talk to eachother honestly,  Richard was sure there are much more ways to learn game design than many people think.
Networking an creating new student cooperation between Kajak and Tamk
The Nordic Game awards was organized after the first conference day. Nordic game companies took homw prizes from different categories, such as best Nordic Game, Best Children's game, best artistic achievement, etc. Supercell's HayDay took home the prize from Best Handheld Game.

Work hard - Play hard. After a long but very exciting and interesting first day of the conference we were transferred to a secret place to network and take it easy in between the conference days. There was a great chiptune-gig for a few hours in one of the spaces, needless to say it was packed with people dancing to sounds from the Game Boy.
Kamk students showing off their spring game projects, BAFTA-award winning Starcrossed and game from the Kavio Cluster
All in all, it was a great and succesfull event, I made tons of new connections and got inspired by the amazing people from the industry. (now to just sort out all of these business cards..)

Minna Eloranta
Student of Degree Programme in Media, Game Development Club Score