Student Selection (2.7.2012)
Kajaani University of Applied Sciences has published the names of the students chosen to study in the Finnish taught degree programmes. 44 students were accepted into the Business Information Technology programme, in which students can specialize in Game Development or DataCenter Solutions. 50 students were accepted into the Information Technology programme, in which students can specialize in Game Technology or Vehicle Information Systems.
Congratulations to everyone!
Game Programming Summer Camp (8.6.2012)
Kajaani University of Applied Sciences’ traditional game programming summer camp once again took place in the beginning of June. In the summer camp, students learn to use XNA programming environment and everyone programs a small game during the week-long camp.
Many of the students in the camp are people who applied for Kajaani University of Applied Sciences game studies, but there are also others who are interested in game programming. The camp is open for anyone over 15 who has an interest in game programming. If you are interested but missed this summer’s programming camp in June, there will be another one in August due to great demand.
The teachers at the camp are KUAS game development students who operate under the supervision of lecturer Veli-Pekka Piirainen.
The camp is suitable for both beginners and more experienced programmers. 17-year-old Antti Honkanen (in the picture) was one of the participants this year. Antti started programming when he was 14 years old and some of the programming languages that he’s familiar with are, among others, Basic, C++, C# and Pascal. He came to the programming camp to learn XNA programming and it has paid off. “Here I’ve learned how XNA works and C# programming language – which is used in XNA – has become a lot more familiar to me,” Antti says. “Before C# was one of my weakest languages, now it must be one of the strongest.”
However, prior experience is not a requirement. According to Riku Leinonen, one of the teachers at this year’s camp, there are a lot of beginners who have no programming experience and they have learned fast. Even though a week is a short time to teach programming, it’s long enough to cover the basics. And a week is long enough for figuring out whether or not programming is your thing.
If someone is wondering should or shouldn’t they attend, Riku has some advice: “You should! You should come try it out. You don’t have to know anything beforehand, no experience is needed. You come to the camp to learn.”
Kajaani's Team to Represent the Nordic Countries at Dare to be Digital (16.5.2012)
Game development students from Kajaani University of applied sciences Kimi Sulopuisto, Vili Viitaniemi, Minttu Meriläinen and Petri Liuska have won the Nordic preliminary for Dare to be Digital. The team is headed to Scotland for the summer to represent the Nordic countries as one of the finalists, and they are in for 9 weeks of game development at the facilities of Aberdeen University, mentored by industry professionals. The Scottish government will pay for the winners’ trips and each developer also receives a weekly stipend of 150 pounds and accommodation. The teams also have a 200 pound team budget in addition to the available facilities, equipment and software.
During the summer the game idea will be turned into a prototype that will be showcased in the Autumn at DareProtoPlay event, where the audience and industry professionals get to test the game and vote for their favourite. The best games will be awarded at the end of the event, and the winners will also qualify for BAFTA-gala’s Ones to Watch category.
Peter Tokoi from Rovio (27.4.2012)
On Friday, Rovio’s Quality Assurance coordinator Peter Tokoi visited Kajaani University of Applied Sciences to give the game development students a lecture and a workshop.
The day began with a two hour lecture for all the students who are interested in game testing. Peter talked about what a QA tester’s work is all about and how the QA has been done in the famous case of the Angry Birds game.
After the lecture, Peter gave a workshop to third year students as a part of their game testing course. During the workshops games made by the students were tested and feedback was given. Peter gave constructive ideas for how problems can be found and used to improve the game product.
Everyone who is interested in game testing and other game jobs should also remember that Rovio lists open positions at their website. And if your own dream job isn’t on the list, there is an open application you can fill. At least according to Peter Tokoi, Rovio is a great place to work.
Game Developers from Kajaani to the Second Roud in Dare to be Digital (27.4.2012)
Dare to be Digital competition’s Nordic representative Eivind Brevik wanted to see a team from Kajak in this year’s competition. We made his dream come true. A team made of Kajaani University of Applied Sciences first year game students reached the second round of the competition and will be heading to Oslo to pitch their game idea.
Kimi Sulopuisto, the team leader, talked to us about how they’re feeling right now:
“Our game is ‘Starcrossed’, a 2 dimensional platform game where you move in space using a rocket launcher as your ‘vehicle’. The weapon is used to fire at nearby asteroids to gain momentum to make the character glide through space back to his home planet.”
The team is made up for four people. Kimi Sulopuisto is the designer and a graphics artist. Vili Viitaniemi is in charge of the sounds and music, Minttu Meriläinen’s role is a graphics artist and Petri Liuska does the programming.
How did they win the first round? Kimi tells us: “I and Vili shot a simple video where I read from a paper, my well-prepared ‘pitch’ speech. At the same time, on the blackboard I was standing next to, concept pictures that we’d edited to the video and text clarifications flashed.”
“I’m completely surprised that we were chosen! We put the game idea and the presentation together in less than two weeks, so we were in a hurry and I didn’t think we’d make it. But now we’ll go forward with full speed!”
And going forward full-speed means that before the next round, they will better the game idea based on the feedback they received, write a new pitch, improve the concept pictures - and practice pitching, of course. Good luck to the team for Oslo!
And at the end Kimi has a word to all the other game developers: “I recommend that next year everyone who can takes part in Dare. The competition is a great opportunity to gain new experiences and see the world!”
Motion Capture Workshop (23.3.2012)
A week-long intensive study course for the graphics artists turned the classrooms into motion capture studios. Motion Capture workshop was arranged in co-operation with Outokumpu Pelitalo.
Students from Kajaani Wanted to Partake in Dare to be Digital (16.3.2012)
Eivind Brevik, the Nordic representative of Dare to be Digital, visited Kajaani University of Applied Sciences. He came here, to the ‘heart of Finnish game development education’, to talk to the students about the Dare to be Digital competition. The competition is the UK’s biggest and unique game competition in the global eye as well.
Winners of the competition will take part in BAFTA, which is the UK’s version of the Oscars. Dare to be Digital winners compete in the Ones to Watch category where rising game industry talents are rewarded. The winners of Dare to be Digital have won the Ones to Watch award at BAFTA before.
The winners of the Nordic pre-competition will be send to Scotland, sponsored by the Scottish government, to develop their game for 9 weeks in the facilities of Aberdeen Dundee University, with the help of game industry professionals’ visits and mentoring.
To take part in the competition, students need a team of four game developers and a new game idea. Ideas will be ‘pitched’ via documentation and a five minute video to a jury made up of Nordic game industry professionals. Every team that takes part will receive feedback from the jury.
Brevik said: ‘We would love to see a team from Kajak this year’ so let’s give them a team from Kajak, right?
More information about the competition can be found at: www.daretobedigital.com
Finnish Game Jam: Jammer's Choice Award to Kajaani (27.1.2012)
The Jammer's Choice award was won by the 'crazy, innovative and hilarious' Hyper Manly Rainbow Chesthair Shooter that was developed in Kajaani during the 48 hour event. Jammer's Choise award is given to the game that the jammer's vote to be the best of the event.
Congratulations to Samuli, Riku, Juha, Tuire and Juho!
Nokia Windows Phone Game Development Competition (17.1.2012)