Game development in the home city of SIEIDI: Jyväskylä

Written by Klaus Kääriäinen

Have you ever thought what would it be like to watch tv-series like “Idols”, “Dancing With Stars” etc but the competition would happen in a game development environment? The teams compete against each other to create the most awesome game and win by getting the highest amount of votes from the viewers. Teams get week or two sprints to develop their product further. After every sprint there would be a live show where the products are presented. The team which get the least votes, get dropped and the developers are divided into the other development groups to continue developing some other product. My friend, this all is happening right now in Jyväskylä, Finland.


A little more than week ago I was a part of kicking off the “Expa Game Lab” project with an awesome group of passionate game developers. Game Lab is approximately two month project. The goal is to form small teams which will start to design and develop small game projects. Last Tuesday was the first official presentation day, where all the groups presented their game design. All this epicness took place at pub Katse in Jyväskylä. The event was public and all the viewers gave points in three categories:

  1. How awesome the design was?
  2. Would you like to work with this project?
  3. How realistic is the scope of the projects (to be finished within two months)

After two months we will hopefully have more than couple of different games finished and polished and ready to hit the public. One of the awesome parts of all this, is that most of the developers are not professional game industry employees and some of them have no previous experience with game development. During this two month period, the developers have a chance to receive coaching from game industry specialists and gain all the knowledge they need to create a finished game.


I’m (Klaus Kääriäinen) one of the coaches in Expa Game Lab and I’m more than excited in seeing the progress of the teams and give them as much help as possible. I’m not actually sure if there is any media in which you can follow the progress of the teams if you don’t live in Jyväskylä, but I’ll try to update the situation here as often as possible.