Visiting Kajak Games and the Kavio Game Cluster

At the end of last week I bought a train ticket to Kajaani and went to find out what the Kajaani game development area was all about! The Kajaani University of Applied Sciences is known throughout Finland as a strong game development school with their own co-op and lots of other happenings (Like the Northern Game Summit in the autumn). Students from Kajaani also won the BAFTA Ones to Watch-award this spring with their game Starcrossed. With only about 40k inhabitants, they're doing a terrific job on staying on the map of the Finnish game industry.

I was there to see their working methods, meet students and ask for some tips on how they've done it all. I was hosted by Julius, last year's CEO of their local game development co-op Kajak Games. I also chatted with the current CEO to discuss on future cooperation plans with Score and Kajak Games. (Game Jams, LAN parties, who knows?)

The Business Information Systems district of KAMK
Merging in
Students working hard on a Friday morning, getting ready for next week's Nordic Game Conference to show their games

I got a tour around the campus, which had really nice spaces to work on game development. Classrooms with computers organized in groups offered a nice way to work on project work. On Friday morning the classrooms were buzzing of people working on building their games for devices they needed for the next week's Nordic Game Conference.

I also got a tour around KAMK's game testing laboratory, where researchers test games from game companies using neurological and physiological tests. It would be quite interesting to see my brain's reactions to different type of games!

In addition to the student-driven Kajak Games, I also visited the premises of the Kavio Game Cluster at the campus, which  is working on enhancing the Kajaani Game Development area even further by helping game developers and students to get into the business in the Kainuu area.
The Kavio Game cluster guys gave me an artbook on game projects from KAMK with lots of coolio graphics

A very successful trip I'd say, back to Tampere with lots of inspiration! (You can find the Kajak art book from the Score lab)

Minna Eloranta, student of the International Media programme
Score Facebook page