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innovaationeukkari_infim2The Hypermedia Laboratory at the University of Tampere has been officially buried from the beginning of this year as we are fused into bigger complex with information studies. The name of the new department is Department of INFormation studies and Interactive Media (INFIM). But at the moment we are still spread into two locations at the university. During the summer there will be some moving and renovating to do as we are changing places with the Department of Mathematics.

As mathematicians are not that enthusiastic with our dynamic and collaboration driven office space, our rooms are renovated into more traditional ones as well as their space needs a small retouch before we move to their premises.

The game laboratory that we have had for a while is now moved into a bigger classroom, which gives us also possibilities for getting a playful meeting room connected to the laboratory. As one of the GaIn objectives is to study playful innovation methods in general, this is a good opportunity to plan a setting for data collection and experiments. Together with our department assistant Kati Koivu, we are planning the meeting room setting of the play(ful) room. Let’s see what we are able to build!

IMG_0423_1Nordic Game 2009 conference included a session “Pitching the Game”, in Art of the Deal panel series (Led by Jason Della Rocca), that was topical for our interests.

“Pitching the game” was interesting panel from the point of view of ownership of vision and practical issues with communication between developers and publishers. The panel discussion included interesting approaches and was also rather entertaining – much obliged to our homeboy Jussi Laakkonen from EveryPlay.

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Mirror's_EdgeThe Creative Director of DICE, Lars Gustavsson was talking on behalf of the designers of critically acclaimed Mirrors Edge and the studio’s approach towards innovation at the Nordic Game 2009 conference. The presentation was titled as “Innovation – Making the Leap of Faith” (Lars Gustavsson, DICE (SE)).

In the beginning of the presentation Lars Gustavsson was describing the studios design philosophy as “suicidal approach of making games: Let’s do something that no one has done before”. This applied also with Mirror’s Edge. According to Gustavsson the innovation and risks in the Mirror’s Edge were: introducing a new heroine Faith, game being 1st person platforming adventure and fresh art direction of the game. The innovation paid of, since the game has been a commercial success as well as praised by the critics. This years Nordic Game 2009 the bold approach of the studio was also rewarded with first positions in two categories of Nordic Game Awards:

  • Best Nordic Game: Mirror’s Edge by EA DICE
  • Best Artistic Achievement: Mirror’s Edge by EA DICE

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One of the interesting Nordic Game 2009 sessions was titled “The Global Game Jam: Nordic Beginnings” (Led by Gorm Lai, Game Jam (DK)).

On this session Gorm Lai, co-founder of Nordic and Global Game Jams, was introducing the movement and some of the projects risen from the workshop weekends. One of the many interesting Game Jam projects included The Dark Room Sex Game from Nordic Game Jam 2008. The same game was also on display and free to try on the expo area of Nordic Game 2009 . The theme of 2008 Nordic Game Jam was “Taboo” and it is safe to say that this particular game succeeded in this goal. Nobody volunteered to play with Dajana Dimovska in the middle of the session 😉 (maybe it was just the Nordic shyness). Another interesting project presented at the session was  Love Child. Love Child is a game, where you are playing parents manipulating the genes of a child to get the best possible combination.

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Mirva Peltoniemi dissertation “Industry Life-Cycle Theory in the Cultural Domain: Dynamics of the Games Industry” is now available online. You can access the book from The Library of Tampere University of Technology via this link: http://dspace.cc.tut.fi/dpub/handle/123456789/223