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The first symposium style Xmas event in Jyväskylä game industry was held successfully on 4th December 2015

Although the time for planning, organizing and preparing was as short as 3 months, the organization team still brought extremely impressive achievement. The number of final attendees were up to 170. The organizer team made it to invite 5 speakers, including Mr. Teemu Närhi, CEO of Fingersoft, Mr. Antti Lax, Game Designer of PlayRaven, Mr. Kari Silvennoinen, Business Intelligence Lead of RedLynx, Mr. Teemu Saarelainen, Head of Game of PLAYA, and Mr. Matti Karhulahti from IGDB, and also have 10 booths for game development teams to demonstrate their games in the event hall free of charge. The event was composed of an exhibition of game development teams, a symposium style lecture from 5 speakers and a pre-Christmas party for professionals and students in game-related industry to exchange information. The event is operated in a non-profit style.


In the symposium, Mr. Teemu Närhi, CEO of Fingersoft shared us their precious experience in growing a small indie game development studio to a game company with more than 20 employees in relatively very short time. Mr. Antti Lax, Game Designer of PlayRaven provided us the important hints how PlayRaven successfully designs their games and what are important in game designing. Mr. Teemu Saarelainen, Head of Game of PLAYA gave us a perfect example how a supportive organization should and could do to support local industries, especially a young game industry. Mr. Kari Silvennoinen, Business Intelligence Lead of RedLynx and Mr. Matti Karhulahti from IGDB also let us know how different works could bring game developers and game industries more value, resource and opportunities. At the end of the symposium, a panel discussion allowed us learning more through deeper thoughts, such as how people and game companies consider their positions in different cities in Finland or out of Finland, and how small indie game developers could do for their future. Although the game industrial hub organization, EXPA, has been organizing monthly gathering in Jyväskylä to provide a great place for lecture style speeches and for fruitful information exchange, a symposium event with bigger scale together with experiential speakers from other cities or countries are truly precious for local people in Jyväskylä to learn more without travelling out of the city.



Except the knowledgeable experience from speakers, there were also great chances to see new games and exchange ideas at this event. An exhibition of games was organized to have around 10 game development teams to demonstrate their games at the event hall through the event. Students from universities, game development teams from Jyväskylä Game Lab or Oulu had the chance to show their product and obtain precious feedback from other industrial professionals. I did feel exciting passion from people there in their discussion.


Furthermore, an after party together with good food and drinks were also provided. Attendees were highly satisfied with the meal and people were happy through the nice activities leaded by great DJ and comedians organized for this event. Besides, a twitter wall was prepared to provide people another channel to show their ideas up through digital form in the event, and a photo booth was also offered by a professional photographer to leave attendees great memory on photos.


Personally speaking, it’s such a successful event by considering the process of organize it within 3 months and by 10 part-time volunteers. The value this event provided is not just an event or just for information exchange. It’s much more as a symbol that the game industry of Jyväskylä has become an international game development community by having guests from oversea. It’s also representing that the game industry of Jyväskylä is growing very fast through strong connection to professionals in other cities. This event is nothing but a first small step of the game industry of Jyväskylä. People are looking and watching how the game industry of Jyväskylä could become bigger on the basis of cooperation with other industries and other related institutes in Jyväskylä in the future. Let’s expect the further surprising growth of the game industry of Jyväskylä in the near future!