Upcoming lectures:

NOTE: Due to the ongoing Covid-19 situation all lectures are currently online only. You can join them in our Twitch account: @ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

Psychology of Sound Design
Rob Carr, Senior Sound Designer (Redhill Games)

Mon 26th October
15-17 (EET, UTC/GMT+2)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

In this lecture, Rob Carr explores the psychology of sound in interactive audio and why it’s so important to video games. Rob will draw from his extensive experiences in working with large game productions. 

Rob Carr is currently working as a senior sound designer at Redhill Games and has been previously working for instance at Wargaming and Rockstar Games.


Publishing Games in China
Mikael Leinonen, CEO & Co-founder (MyGamez)

Mon 23th November
15-17 (EET, UTC/GMT+2)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

In this lecture, Mikael Leinonen from MyGamez explores the current issues in publishing games in China.

Mikael Leinonen is a CEO and Co-founder of MyGamez.


Anna Lisa Martin-Niedecken, CEO & Co-Founder & Senior Researcher (Sphery & Zurich University); Raine Kajastila, CEO (Valo Motion); Perttu Hämäläinen, Assistant professor (Aalto University & Valo Motion); Stephan Niedecken, CFO & Co-Founder (Sphery)

Mon 7th December
15-17 (EET, UTC/GMT+2)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

Beat Saber is making VR gamers sweat, and sports like fencing and taekwondo are getting increasingly game-like, with digital impact sensing, scoring and visualization. Recently, Aalto’s own exergame spin-off Valo Motion has created Augmented Reality versions of climbing and trampolining, with worldwide success. The convergence of games, sports, and exercise is a good thing too: Insufficient physical activity is a major health concern, and the more options we have for exercise, the more likely it is that everyone finds something they feel motivated to do.

This panel with mini presentations by exergame researchers and entrepreneurs discusses recent trends and developments of the field. Participants include Raine Kajastila (CEO, https://valomotion.com), Anna Martin-Niedecken (CEO, https://sphery.ch/), and Perttu Hämäläinen (prof. of computer games, Aalto).

Anna Lisa Martin-Niedecken is a Senior Researcher at the Subject Area Game Design, Department of Design, Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and CEO and Co-Founder of the ZHdK-SpinOff Sphery Ltd. With her background in sports science, her research mainly focuses on exergames, fitness games, rehabilitation games and health games as well as motivation design and game experience research. For her academic work, Anna has received several awards. Among others her R&D work was featured by TEDx. Furthermore, Anna offers specific teaching and advanced training modules in the field of Serious & Applied Games and supervises student theses and research projects in various fields such as game design, sports and movement sciences or computer science. In March 2018 Anna founded the Startup Sphery Ltd. Sphery has set itself the goal of revolutionizing the fitness and health industry with a combination of innovative playful designs and training concepts and was among others awarded the renowned FIBO Innovation & Trend Award in the category “Startup” for the “ExerCube” in 2019.

Raine Kajastila is CEO and founder of Valo Motion. He has a strong background in interaction technologies, and international business from a combination of both academia and industry. Previously he expanded his PhD research at Aalto University into two spin-off companies and Facebook ultimately acquired one of them in 2014. After finalization of his doctoral thesis, Raine concentrated his post doc research on augmented exercise and sports training environments, which are still the core of Valo Motion’s products. The research work lead into the successful commercialization of ValoClimb technology and a company with business in over 55 countries. In his spare time, Raine is climbing rocks around the world and endlessly innovating better (sometimes even impossible) solutions for all things that just don’t work well enough.

Perttu Hämäläinen is a professor of computer games at Aalto University. His mission is to improve health through exergames and digitally augmented sports that promote physical activity. Hämäläinen’s research interests include exergame design and gameplay innovation through technologies such as AI, procedural animation, and computer vision.

With his background in Business Administration and Economics, Stephan Niedecken worked for more than ten years as financial expert in different industries. Since 2018 he is part of the Sphery Founder Team and Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Founding a Game Company (in Finland), Again! (panel)
Karoliina Korppoo, CEO and Creative Director (10th Muse), Samuli Syvähuoko
more speakers will be confirmed later

Finland is a country of many successful game companies. The community of game developers is active and supportive of any new entrepreneurs and many of the industry actors have irreplaceable insight in how to found a game company – and still stay alive!  On this lecture, experienced game professionals share their personal lessons on how to put together a game startup as they have done it first, second or even multiple times!

Mon 25th January
15-17 (EET, UTC/GMT+2)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

Karoliina Korppoo

Korppoo wants to create systems for others to express their creativity. These can be sandbox city-simulators like Cities: Skylines where she was the lead designer, or interactive story apps that her current startup is working on. Korppoo is one of the few Finns ever to have done a TED-talk and has spoken at many events around the world.

Syvähuoko is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He has founded 7 game studios and invested in 51 since 1995.


Building Sustainable Gaming Cultures
Mikko Meriläinen, Postdoctoral researcher (Tampere University)

Mon 15th February
15-17 (EET, UTC/GMT+2)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

Gaming cultures don’t simply pop into existence, but are created in the interplay of different actors: the people who create, play, regulate and discuss games. Phenomena such as toxic behaviour, problematic gaming or unethical game design are not inevitable, but can be challenged through both design and other action. In this talk, several key gaming culture problems and steps to mitigate them are discussed.

Mikko Meriläinen is a postdoctoral researcher at Tampere University Game Research Lab. In his research work Meriläinen focuses on questions of youth gaming cultures, gaming-related parenting, problematic gaming and game jam learning – with a side order of miniature gaming. Meriläinen received the Game Educator of the Year award in 2019 for his work in building sustainable gaming cultures and highlighting equality and well-being issues.

Fostering Playful Experiences with Wearables
Oğuz ‘Oz’ Buruk, Marie Curie Fellow (Gamification Group, Tampere University)

Mon 29th March
15-17 (EET, UTC+2)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

Deployment of wearables for games has attracted the interest of designers and researchers both in academia and industry. However, few of these projects treat wearables as an integral part of the gameplay, often considering them as an extension of the central on-screen experience. While preliminary forays into wearable play show promise, we see a need for a rigorous design knowledge to illuminate the possibilities for the future of wearables for playful interaction design. In this lecture we will discuss on Design Framework for Playful Wearables stemming from the extensive research and hands-on experience. We will also illustrate how to utilize the framework in the design process.
Oğuz ‘Oz’ Buruk is a product and game designer and completed his PhD in Interaction Design at Koç University, Turkey. His work focused on creating playful interactive environments. His projects include augmenting tabletop role-playing games with wearables through bodily interaction, and incorporating social touch for controlling games. He currently leads two research projects focusing on integrating wearables to mainstream gaming and extended reality environments.

Next Generation of Interactive Streaming
Katleen Evers, EMEA Business Development and Developer Relations (Genvid Technologies Inc.); Robin Squire, CEO (Black Block)

Mon 19th April
15-17 (EEST, UTC/GMT+3)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

With ever-growing audiences watching game streams today, the question that game developers need to ask is “what does this mean for our industry, now and in the future?” This session will explore how developers can directly address their viewing audience. Starting with examples in eSports, the speakers will explore new forms of engagement, monetization and experiences that become possible, leading to entirely new games and potential audiences.

In the Gaming Industry for many years, Katleen Evers has a solid experience in International Business Development and Relationship Management. From QA Manager at Nexway to Key Account Manager at Plug In Digital, from UDP at Unity Technologies to Genvid Technologies as EMEA Business Developer and Developer Relations, she is deeply knowledgeable about the gaming industry, its actors and competitors and scales the importance of having the right products, in the right place, at the right time.

Robin Squire is originally from the UK and has been living in Helsinki for the last 8 years. Moved to Helsinki to work with Rovio as Marketing Director, and later joined PlayRaven as Director of Marketing & Business Development. Founded Black Block in late 2018, a Helsinki-based game developer on a mission to bring large scale connected open worlds to mobile. Life long MMO player, fascinated about connected, persistent open worlds and amazing player dynamics and emergence that comes with it. Rust & EverQuest had me hooked.

Art of Learning by Doing – The Great Game Jam Panel
Samuli Jääskeläinen, Software Engineer (Varjo); Christina Lassheikki, MA in Art education, MA Student in Game Design & Production (Aalto University)
more speakers will be confirmed later

Mon 3rd May
15-17 (EEST, UTC/GMT+3)
@ https://www.twitch.tv/gamesnowaaltofi

On this lecture, we explore the current trends and ongoing developments in game jam cultures.

Samuli Jääskeläinen is an avid game jammer and unpredictable traveler, who is known for doing more than 100 games and visiting a different country for each Global Game Jam. When he is not busy jamming games, he is pushing the boundaries of virtual reality at Varjo.
Christina “Chride” Lassheikki, b. 1992, is a Helsinki-based game designer, illustrator and narrative designer with an MA in art education and experience from multiple 

games and gamification research projects. She is currently an MA student in New Media – Game Design and Production at Aalto University and working on indie game productions. She is an avid game jam enthusiast and organiser, and game education spokesperson.

Past lectures:

Previous seasons: http://gamesnow.aalto.fi/lectures/past-lectures/