Northern Game Summit 2012

Whoo-ah, whatta event we had! The very first Northern Game Summit (NGS 2012) proved to us to be the event that needed to be here. Nearly 350 people participated in the game conference and networking event at Kajaani University of Applied Sciences on September 27th and 28th.

The idea of organizing NGS originates from two directions. It was a request from CEMIS to organize a seminar on gaming-topic this year. On the other hand, people in the CSE-simulation center, just applying for funding for their game testing project, wanted to create something big to gather up games industry people. So we gathered up a small, luckily very efficient, team to plan an awesome event for fall 2012.

Quite quickly we came to the decision to organize a two-day event, which would include networking & recruiting, as well as a game conference. The date was set to end of September. We got the basic funding from Cemis development programme. That would enable inviting speakers with the promise to cover their travelling costs and providing the caterings during the event. But well, how would we then be able to also organize a nice evening networking event? We should have some money for that too. So we started to seek for sponsors. Wooga was the first one to announce they are willing to be our premium partner. Soon there were many more, and we are really grateful for all the partners! You can find the list of our partners at NGS web page. The evening networking event, now named Ibiza-party, as well as the Kajak Games organized “shadow party” could become reality.

A great job was done to collect a very impressive list of speakers. All the organizing and how to get everything to work required hours and hours of work. Kajak Games set up their own team, Julius Fondem in charge, to promote the event to our students and find the teams that would present their game productions to the NGS-audience on Thursday’s networking & recruiting event. And whatta success that was! For instance Microsoft’s development engineer, Rich Chiodo was really impressed by the games made by Kajak Games and student teams. Other comments from game companies: People were altogether very inspiring, praising the quality of game graphics, as well as Kajak Games’ people giving the impression of being talented, motivated and ambitious.

So, Thursday 27th, we started with Microsoft lecture (just for KUAS students and teachers). The topic was “Visual C++ and the Native Renaissance”, given by Rich Chiodo. About 200 people came to listen. After the lecture it was time for networking. The event was organized in Taito 1 lobby & netcafé and a bit more than 200 people were looking around and getting to know what’s going on in the gaming industry. Later on, P A R T Y time! Ibiza VIP pool party was a very memorable part of NGS 2012. Caribbean Jambalaya (Thanks for the great food, Cabals!), relaxed atmosphere, good music and water volleyball... At the same time, “shadow party” at the local hiihtomaja aka sauna cottage for Kajak Games’ people and students. Haven’t really heard all the details from that, but I guess the guys had lots of fun over there too!

The second day, NGS Game Conference on 28th – more than 300 people listening, questioning and enjoying the presentations from Rovio, Remedy, Stardoll, Wooga, Housemarque, Yager, Digital Chocolate and so on. Such a rewarding day, such a rewarding event! Hopefully NGS will come back in 2013!

You can find pictures of the excitement over here on the NGS Facebook. Also, please be sure to check out Kajak Games on Facebook and Twitter.

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