We began our ethnographic research phase with our industry partners at the end of the last year and will continue it during the winter.

In order to grasp a better view on real-life game design our researchers will be spending a few weeks with some of our partners, actively participating in their daily work. The researchers will be reflecting and observing the game design processes of the companies and keeping a detailed diary during their stay.

In addition to understanding the daily life of a game designer, we are particularly looking at how the companies nurture and support creativity.

During last autumn, GaIn has been busy on running two sets of workshops with our industry partners.

First round was a blue-sky ideation workshop with 2 to 3 ideation methods per workshop. The methods included GameSpace methods such as VNA, GameSeekers, GameBoard and some other methods such as ThinkCube.

The other round included restriction-based ideation, where the companies could propose a restriction for their session. We developed new prototypes that try to facilitate more focused ideation sessions. The results have not yet been overly promising as this “idea game” design challenge is more demanding. The restrictions used in workshops varied from platform, theme and social aspects to old concepts.

In both rounds the ideas were documented, and the best ones were introduced and talked about. We also gathered the experiences by conducting a group interview about previous experiences, thoughts about the workshop, methods and ideas as well as what restrictions means in general level to the developers.

GameSpace project methods are available here:  http://gamelab.uta.fi/gamespacetool/

GaIn is proud to inform that the registration to FGJ is now open and can be found here.

Make sure to register early! The registration will be open until Monday, January 25th, 16:00. However, the participant number is limited and in case it is exceeded, the registering order is one criterion to select the participants. In addition, participants registering before 15th January get a free Finnish Game Jam t-shirt!

More information of the FGJ on www.finnishgamejam.fi and on the global event it is part of, Global Game Jam, from www.globalgamejam.org.

Finnish Game Jam (FGJ) is part of the Global Game Jam 2010. Finland is taking part in the Global Game Jam for the first time this year with three locations: Helsinki, Tampere and Kajaani. Tampere location is organized by GaIn with the help of Demola and Score.

A Game Jam brings together both game development students and professionals to innovate new games in a single weekend. Global Game Jam is a worldwide event, in which several jams are organized all over the world at the same time. The event lasts 48 hours, starting on January 29 at 17:00 local time in each time zone.

The first GGJ was held in 2009 with over 1600 participants in 23 countries, producing 370 games. More information about the GGJ and examples of previous game jams and games can be found on the GGJ website, Finnish Game Jam details are found at new domain www.finnishgamejam.fi.

During the Game Jam, GaIn will be conducting research on the development process, ideation and time-constrained creativity. We are interested how this approach could be developed into a method that can be tied into game companies innovation processes.

GaIn team has enjoyed Christmas holidays and is ready for the second year of our project. The year 2010 brings more workshops, participatory observation periods, surveys, writing loads of articles and travelling once more! On the behalf of the whole team, Happy New Year 2010, Have fun!