Dear jammers and all jam-minded people! We are glad to invite you all to the Finnish Game Jam Awards 2019!
A good amount of jams have happened this season, and we’re happy that all of you jammers and volunteers, both old and new, made these events possible. Together we want to celebrate the spirit of jamming community and creativity that has no limits!
When: 13th of December, 18:00-23:00. Where: Arcade5, Lapinlahdenkatu 16, Helsinki Why: Because we can!
Some programme highlights include red carpet, good music, official award ceremony, fancy photoshoots and fantastic people.
Join the event by purchasing the ticket through Eventbrite link. You can find the Facebook event here.
Pocket Jam #4 is over! This year the entire conference has been moved into the Kaapelitehdas, and where is the conference – there is a jam! The location was very cool this year in all means. Jam took place in the cellar, right under the main conference with 45 jammers in total. By this way, Pocket Jam #4 was in the middle of the conference and at the same time, it had a cool, chill and creative space with many visitors from upstairs.
This time the topic was “organic”. The topic was chosen because of its simplicity and wideness at the same time. “Organic” as a theme is relevant to mobile gaming and can be interpreted in many different ways: nature, insides of us humans, organic coffee, etc. In this way, this word turned into a creative push for our jammers for implying organic vision into the games.
This year in total 11 games have been created. All games were finished and uploaded according to the deadline and each participant was inspired by friendly competition. Despite the limited amount of development time, with a bit more than 24h, published games really can blow your mind!
Also, we had a panel of judges from Pocket Gamer were nicely colour coordinated with their fashionable outfits – all of them had flowery white and blue shirts, maybe because we were in Finland. They are professional game journalists that have already a long career with them, so they were able to ask good questions from the teams and appreciate the level of polish and creativity.
Overall this year Pocket Jam is a great success again. The creative crowd that developed an amazing jamming vibe with conference touch. Also, we even have received feedback in case of comparison with hackathons – how nice the atmosphere was, how welcoming everybody was and also how much learning happens in the jam compared to the hackathon.
Pocket Games Connects Conference returns to Helsinki on 1-2 October 2019, and so does Pocket Jam! The Pocket Jam is run now for the fourth time at the heart of the conference, and while the setting is ideal for making a mobile game, you can always choose your own platform and technology.
Pocket Gamer Connects is Europe’s biggest mobile games conference with developers, investors and other industry experts from all over the world, as well as fringe events like indie demo expo and pitching.Due to the event’s huge success it will move to a new venue in 2019! PGC Helsinki will take over The Cable Factory in Ruoholahti.
The participants will receive full access to the conference program, expo and networking events plus all the other benefits that come with the conference ticket and a seat to jam.
In addition the participants who finish and upload their game according to the deadline will have a chance to win a ticket to the PGC London in January 2020, and a chance to present their game there. All uploading teams will be also automatically considered as candidates of the Finnish Game Jam Awards 2019.
See you there!
Pocket Jam #4 1-2 October 2019 Kaapelitehdas, Helsinki #pocketjam4
Pocket Gamer Connects is Europe’s biggest mobile games conference. PGC Helsinki is one of the several PGC events held during 2019. All of these events provide value to a wide range of industry players, from global corporations looking to hone their strategy, down to indie developers seeking a little inspiration and new contacts. Website:https://www.pgconnects.com/helsinki/
The Cable Factory (Kaapelitehdas) is the largest cultural centre in Finland. It houses 3 museums, 10 galleries, dance theatres, art schools, artists, bands and companies. Around 900 people work at the Cable Factory on a daily basis, and each year nearly 340,000 people attend special events. Website:https://www.kaapelitehdas.fi/en/info
The biggest weekend of summer is now behind us. On August 1-4 Messukeskus was again the stage for one of the biggest demo parties and computer festivals in the world, Assembly Summer, and within Assembly, as usual, was the ASM Game Jam ‘19.
The location was as inspiring as ever! The jammers were able to attend the entire event, and see the demo scene competitions and esports trounaments in the middle of jamming. We had over 40 participants, and 9 games were made in total, including one AR game, one card game and one Game Boy game!
The jam ran from Thursday afternoon to Sunday morning, and despite all the distractions the jammers managed to develop amazing games once again. This year the theme was tradeoff, and and many teams implemented a mechanic where players have to decide between equally impactful resources or actions.
Immersal provided their Augmented Reality development kit for the jammers to use, and one team took up the challenge. In Bon Appetit you fight flying croissants that appear on the phone screen. Immersal also sponsored pizzas for the hungry jammers on Saturday!
Just like last year, we set up the voice acting on two days to record audio for the jam games. Anyone could come and record lines requested by jammers. Assembly visitors turned out to be great voice actors, we recorded many excellent evil laughters!
As a part of our scholarship program, the Finnish Game Jam sent Adelina Lintuluoto to the Slavic Game Jam (PL) to represent the Finnish jamming scene. Here is Adelina’s report about her jam experience.
Slavic Game Jam 2019
Slavic Game Jam (SGJ) is an event focused around game development. It takes place each year in Warsaw, Poland. At its core lies the 48-hour long jam. SGJ is all about providing a competition-free, friendly environment for jammers with lectures, workshops, a pre-party and a hand full of other activities. This year was the fifth edition with over 200 participants. They aim to be a truly international event, this year with participants from places like all the Nordic countries, France, Switzerland, Russia, Germany, Czechia and many more.
I arrived in Warsaw early on Thursday and swung by the hostel recommended to me by the event organizers. My naivety and optimistic view on life usually puts me in trouble, just as it did when I arrived at the reception, and tried booking a bed only to have the staff laugh in my face saying I definitely should have booked ahead (disclaimer; don’t imagine a Disney villain laugh, more of an amused chuckle. The staff at this hostel was incredibly nice and helpful. In general, the hostel was in top shape!). They said they could offer me one night, which I gladly accepted. Sleeping at the jam site was always an option anyways!
The ‘Slavic talks’ would only start at 2 P.M., so I had a few hours to explore the city. This is about the time I realized Warsaw is an amazing place for vegan cuisine! I happened to pass by a few vegan restaurants thinking ‘oh I must’ve stumbled in on a vegan street’. However next corner — same thing. I enjoyed the street food as much as I could, but the catering at the jam was amazing so I also made sure never to skip a meal there.
The venue for the talks, as well as, the rest of the jam was the Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management, located at the Warsaw University of Technology. The Centre is a newly built six-story building that provided us with plenty and spacious rooms with big windows and nice air condition. The talks were versatile and interesting! Ranging from ‘A Narrative Designer coming out of her well to shame mankind!’ by the one and only Julia Rässa, to ‘Game jam pitfalls and how to fall into them gracefully’ by a new favourite speaker of mine, Sos Sosowski (footnote; this is when I realized Julia would also attend the jam! Which made me so happy. Isn’t it amazing traveling for jams and reconnecting with friends you’ve made along your jamming path?)
Thursday ended with a pre-party at a cool location, cool music, cool people. So cool that when the night ended, me and my two newly made friends, Lucas and Gin, didn’t feel like heading back to the hostel just yet. We decided to head for the closest open shop. However when we reached it we had sobered enough to realize that getting two extra hours of sleep before a game jam is definitely more valuable than two extra hours of beers and late night storytelling.
The Slavic Game Jam is the chillest jam! The organizers encouraged the participants to have fun and goof around as much as possible. And I had the best team for that! My team for the jam consisted of Julia Rässä and Arash Naderi. The theme of this year was ‘Growth’ and we came up with an amazing idea: fondling low hanging fruit, hold the applause, to check for cancer! It was an idea we had a hilarious time coming up with, and it kept us laughing throughout the making of it (as well as fairly clear as to give us as much time as possible to goof around at the site and have fun with the rest of the jammers). Arash found a spot for us in the board game-jamming room. I kept glancing over my shoulder at this one board game being made. It looked amazing and finally I cracked, leaving my teammates for a few hours to selfishly play the game with creator Mantis Kozlowski, and somehow apparently help them create it. That’s the beauty of board games; the game mechanics can be set up in a matter of minutes, and then you iterate them by playing until you find the best version of the game. Playing is essentially making it!
The organizers came up with this thing called Hydepark, which happened for the whole duration of the jam. Anybody could book the seminar room to.. do whatever felt right. Do you want to have a project showcase, give a lecture or just play switch on the big screen? No better place than Hydepark. I can’t possibly count all the different activities, since there were new ones almost every half an hour, but to name a few; relax workshop, loving and owning your bugs a story sharing opportunity, karaoke, blender workshop, second and annual Mario tennis tournament.
So far I’ve only mentioned it once, which is not nearly enough. The catering at the jam was legendary. Full stop. We had meals three times a day; breakfast, lunch and dinner. In addition to that we had a full-time available stock of fruits and bottled water. Even more, thanks to Google for Startups, who had a coffee stand open most of the day, we maintained the correct levels of caffeine and happiness. The organizers tediously encouraged us to eat lots of fruits and greens, drink water, sleep enough, move around, leave the computer now and then. The latter was nicely achieved on Saturday when we had an outdoor barbeque! Barbeque at a jam? Yep, that’s right, all you other jams now have to live up to that.
So much happened at the jam, so many amazing encounters with people. You remember me not getting a bed at the hostel? Well, Vador, a SGJ veteran with an apartment in Warsaw, stepped in and without hesitation offered me to stay with him and Julia. I can’t name drop every person I met but also worth mentioning are Radim, who always stuck by my side no matter how hopeless I was (#iblamelinux #justkiddingiloveyoulinus), Pablo for dropping by to make sure Julia’s and my humor stayed as cringe worthy as possible and that the puns of fondling fruit kept rolling in, and Elias for being a great conversationalist and my first opponent in a long row of people who I heroically beat in my favourite game jam game ever made.
The jam ended on Sunday with showcasing the games. To stay true to the chill ambience that had been present during the whole jam nobody had to prepare presentations for the big screen. Instead we just walked from room to room and checked out the other games. As it seems, keeping a non-competitive environment and encouraging everybody to eat well, drink water and sleep, resulted in a bunch of amazing games. You can find all the games here, among my favourites to try out is a snowboarding pear, a sawfish that saws and a two-player vine vengeance game.
The jam ended with a heartwarming talk from Kacper Domanski and the rest of the organizers. I had to actively resist my urge to stand up and go full Keanu Reeves, “Kasper you are breathtaking! Organizers you are breathtaking! Everybody attending the jam is breathtaking!”
I had plans to leave for Krakow after the show reel with a friendly soul who was driving there from the jam. However the day was not completely over with an after-party still on the schedule. How could I leave all my friends there? Instead, I decided to take the chance and find a way to get to Krakow the next day. The after-party was the perfect ending to the event, just all of us chilling at a bar reminiscing about the past couple of days. Kacper being the amazing host that he is invited as many as could fit to the after-after-party at his apartment. I heard whispers of Soplica and Switch, however sadly at this point the jam tiredness had viciously caught up to me.
I was really eager to go to Slavic Game Jams. After all the amazing things I’d heard from friends I thought ‘surely flying to Poland must be worth this.’ I was not disappointed. This event exceeded all my expectations. The relaxing atmosphere, abundance of awesome people and generous organizers made it all to what it is. It was my first time in Poland and I fell head over heels for it. It was with a bitter taste I left Warsaw however happy knowing that there is only one year left until the next one 🙂
The Finnish Game Jam (FGJ) is sending Adelina Lintuluoto to the Slavic Game Jam in Warsaw as part of the FGJ’s Scholarship Program. Lintuluoto is a physics student at the University of Helsinki and has always enjoyed being creative. She recently found an outlet for that in game development and has jammed by programming in both Unity and Godot engines, while helping out with pixel art and story writing. She has participated at the Global Game Jam in 2018 at FGJ’s Arabia site and in 2019 in Geneva Switzerland. She has also jammed at Quantum Wheel 2019 and volunteered at Jam Jam Festival 2019.
The scholarship includes a ticket to the event and a 200 EUR travel stipend.
The FGJ Scholarship Program was created to help Finnish jammers to travel to international game jams to promote the Finnish jamming scene, share jamming culture and promote international cooperation.
Slavic Game Jam (SGJ) is a game jam in Warsaw, Poland, organized for the 5th time in 2019. Last year SGJ had over 200 participants, and the total number of games developed at all previous events combined is over 250. Website: https://slavicgamejam.org/
It is that time of the year again: Assembly Summer! The Assembly Computer Festival is one of the biggest demo parties and computer festivals in the world, and as per usual there will be the ASM Game Jam during the weekend! ASM Game Jam always has a certain atmosphere, thanks to the unique surroundings that offers endless inspiration.
Registration is open in Eventbrite! You can either buy a jam ticket that grants you not just entry to the game jam, but to the entire event as well! You can also buy a regular ticket from the Assembly’s own ticket store and register to participate in the game jam in Eventbrite for free.
ASM Game Jam ‘19 1-4 August 2019 Messukeskus, Helsinki #ASMjam #ASMparty
Assembly Summer is a demo party and a computer festival that has been organized since 1992, and is one of the biggest and most respected demo-scene events in the world. In 2019 the event expects over 5000 visitors. Website: https://www.assembly.org/summer19
Sixth Isolation Jam was held June from 5th to 9th in Laxahvammur fishing lodge, middle of nowhere, Iceland. I was there with 13 other jammers to jam and have fun for a weekend. We were also joined by Subpixel Team who were filming a documentary about the jam. The documentary should be out in a couple of months, keep tuned! Jam produced a handful of games, you can see some of them here. Submitting the project was voluntary and working on personal projects was allowed, so not everything that was produced during the jam is at the Itch page.
The jam didn’t have a theme, but the extreme nature around us and the isolated jamming environment were encouraged to be used as a source of inspiration. Jóhannes, the organizer of the jam, is a sheep farmer and we got to pet his sheep and newborn lambs on one evening. You can see sheep as an indirect theme as the jam as most games featured them in some shape of form. We also did a small hike on the fields before starting the jam. The weather was really nice, the wind was strong, as it always is in Iceland, but the sun was shining warmly. We really lucked on the weather for the weekend!
Our team made a pocket sized ram adventure, Woolball’s backyard, during the weekend. I wrote the game logic and Sofi Kurtti organized the pixels on the screen into nice shapes. Our goal was to try out zgb, a game engine for the original Game boy. The game turned out really well and we had fun tossing our Game boy during the development to other jammers to get some quick playtesting in. The lodge also had a lan setup of three original Xboxes for nightly Halo 2 battles after each jamming day. So obviously we also put the game on a game boy emulator on Xboxes and played it on the big screen after it was done!
I’ve jammed around the world on various different game jams. Isolation was definitely one of the more memorable jams I’ve had the pleasure to attend. The relaxing atmosphere, inspiring locations and fun people made it an awesome weekend. All the non-jamming related activities gave nice breaks to coding, but didn’t divert too much to affect productivity. Iceland is an interesting country and every time I visit there I learn more how horribly ruthless nature there is. All the people jamming were great, it was nice to catch up with some distant old friends and make new jammer buddies!
Isolation Jam will happen next year one again. Follow Kollafoss Game Farm for further information. The space is limited, so be quick to apply when registration opens!
Let us know if you are traveling to an interesting game jam somewhere in the world – we would be happy to host a story of it at Finnishgamejam.com!
Third international Jam Jam Festival 2019 gathered jam organizers from all over the world to the forests of Sappee, Finland, to network, share ideas and relax in good company. This year was the biggest Jam Jam ever with almost 80 participants!
The Seminar Day offered talks from jammers and game jam organizers from all over the world: Finland, India, Romania, UK, Poland, Estonia, USA and Denmark.
Keynote speaker Yadu Rajiv from Bangalore, India,talked about the game jamming and game development communities and in India. Jupiter Hadley, the founder of indiegamejams.com, talked about her journey trying to play and document as many indie games as she can.
The full Seminar Day schedule was as follows:
Keynote: Yadu Rajiv: Game Jams in India – Our Story So Far
Kacper Domański: Game Jams of Poland
Mathias Jensen: More than a Jam: Nordic Game Jam’s Evolution
Chris Filip: Learning to Let Go
Johanna Summers: 47 to 47,000 – Managing Community Events on a Global Scale
Sebastian Laitila: Using Service Design in Hackathons and Game Jams
Licia Prehn: Jamming With Blind People and Being Nice
Jupiter Hadley: Trying To Document All the Game Jam Games
Julia Rässa: Love Is Tested… and Debugged!
Elie Abraham: How Jamming Saved/Ruined My Life
In addition to the seminars on Saturday, the Sunday was filled with workshops that any participant could organize. The workshop themes ranged from jam stories to making pancakes to jamming an entire song.
Naturally there was also a game jam! Henri Sarasvirta hosted a 1 hour game jam in one of the cottages. The theme world tries dilation was randomly generated. A total of 11 games were made! You can find and download all of them in itch.io: https://itch.io/jam/jam-jam-1h-jam-2
Thank you for an amazing event, and see you at Jam Jam Festival 2020!
It’s soon time for the third international Jam Jam Festival! The festival is held in the beginning of June in a cozy summer cottage environment. We are expecting more than 70 visitors this year!
Jam Jam is a festival and retreat for game jam organizers and anyone interested in learning, discussing and sharing ideas on game jams. Jam Jam 2019 is organized by the Finnish Game Jam and located in the middle of a Finnish forest, on a mountain called Sappeenvuori – only around 2h car ride from Helsinki.
The event consists of a one-day seminar with talks on game jams and jam games and one day of retreat. On the seminar day visitors can attend talks by many interesting game industry speakers. We have speakers from Finland, India, UK, Poland and Romania joining the Jam Jam this year!
On the retreat day you can decide what you work on – bring your jam organizing team and work with planning or debriefing your jams or come without an agenda and talk with all other jam organizers and jam-organizers-to-be, brainstorming new jams and sharing lessons on organizing events.
The venue is on top of the mountain Sappeenvuori, surrounded by beautiful Finnish nature and the power of the midnight sun of the Northern summer. The lodgings consist of eight well-equipped cabins with saunas and hot tubs.