General info

Open lecture series on game development

Games Now! is an open lecture series on the dominant topics and emerging trends in games.  In Games Now! we dig deeper to what is current at the game scene – and what will happen in the near future. The topics and speaker invitations are curated in collaboration with Finland’s game industry leaders and companies. Our guest speakers are industry leaders and inspiring individuals providing their insights and advise for students and practitioners.

The lecture series is run by Aalto University’s Media Lab and is open for public.

The lecture series has been developed as part of the Aalto University’s A!OLE program.

The lectures will be held on Mondays once a month, see schedule for the exact times and locations.


New lecture once a month!

Mon 17.9.2018, 15:00-17:00
Design Factory (Stage)
Game Design – A Year in Review: Triple A, VR Games, Indie Games, Board Games and Serious Games – Samuli Jääskeläinen (Varjo), Panu Saarenoja (Pelaaja), Sonja Ängeslevä (Zynga), Jouni Jussila (Playmore Games), Reidar Wasenius (Serious Gaming Cluster Finland)

Mon 8.10.2018, 15:00-17:00
Learning Centre/Makerspace (Otaniementie 9, Espoo)
An Introduction to Blockchain Gaming – Jon Jordan (Accidental Gizmo)

In this talk, Jon Jordan will explain the fast-emerging blockchain games sector, looking at how blockchain technology is being integrated into game services and games themselves, and in the process creating new type of gaming experiences.

A key case study will be the rise of #1 blockchain game CryptoKitties, which has spawned a new crypto collectibles genres, while also giving rise to a strong community of committed fans.

Jon Jordan is a writer, speaker, and data fiend, who has been involved in the games industry for 20 years. A co-founder at Steel Media (Pocket Gamer), he now runs game sector consultancy Accidental Gizmo.

His current area of expertise is the fast-emerging blockchain gaming sector where, as well as being editor-at-large at and consulting, Jon has given speeches at Nordic Game, Develop, and Blockchain Game Summit.

Mon 12.11.2018, 15:00-17:00
Design Factory/Stage (Betonimiehenkuja 5C, Espoo)
Idle Games Deep Dive – Tatu Laine (Futureplay)

To the surprise of many, Idle games have become their own formidable genre after their birth as tongue-in-cheek browser games. After multiple adaptations they’ve found a new home on millions of smartphones in the recent years. What makes idle games such a good fit for mobile gaming? We go through key design components of idle games and focus on learnings and observations from multiple design challenges faced at Futureplay while shipping 4 idle game titles.

Tatu Laine is a student-engineer-entrepreneur turned designer who’s worked on games since 2011 starting from educational games and moved on to f2p mobile games. Long history of volunteering in Finnish Game Jam and IGDA Finland associations. Now kicking ass, taking names and creating games at Futureplay.

Mon 10.12.2018, 15:00-17:00
Design Factory/Stage (Otaniementie 9, Espoo)
Gameplay Programming Challenges – Anna Kipnis

Sure, it’s great to learn from one’s own mistakes and failures — but what’s better is to learn from the mistakes of others! Come hear what I learned throughout my 15 years of doing gameplay programming. Hear some harrowing development tales from Psychonauts, The Cave, Broken Age, Headlander, and even some Kinect and VR games. Find out how the team solved the many gameplay and design challenges, and where technology for games might be heading in the future.

Anna Kipnis started her game development career at Double Fine Productions, as a Gameplay Programmer in 2002. At Double Fine, she contributed to various unreleased and top secret projects as well as Psychonauts (2005), Brütal Legend (2009), Costume Quest (2010), Once Upon a Monster (2011), The Cave (2012), Dear Leader (designed and led the prototype, 2014), Broken Age (2015), Headlander (2016), and the upcoming Psychonauts 2. Anna is currently working on prototypes for yet to be announced technologies. She is active in the indie game community and has collaborated with Santa Ragione on Final Candidation (2013) and Wheels of Aurelia (2016). She is also the founding organizer of Molyjam, a game jam inspired by Peter Molyneux and his fake Twitter account, @petermolydeux. Anna has served on the IGF technical jury, the Global Game Jam theme committee, and as an adviser for UCSC’s MS Games & Playable Media program.

January 2019

11th February 2019

11th March 2019
TBA – Inger Ekman, UX Research Manager (DICE/Electronic Arts)

April 2019

May 2019

May 2019


Prepare for the lectures!

In order to get the best out of Games Now! content, you should take part on the pre-lecture assignments. By participating to the pre-lecture assignments you also help our lecturers to prepare for their sessions. The deadlines for the assignments are usually one week before the lecture and they are published at least one week before the deadline.