Last friday I attended a great game industry event in Joensuu. Illusion 2015 brought together game industry veterans, young game developers, sound designers and many other digital entertainment professionals. Our little group from Jyväskylä took a minibus to Joensuu and we arrived at the venue well on time. Even though the official event was an hour away we were warmly greeted with a lunch and some beers. And we quickly learned that we wouldn’t run out of neither beverages nor food, which (stereotypically) among Finns is a sure way to start a social event.
The keynotes ranged from new tech and services to career stories and best practices on different aspects of game development. There were quite a few new cool games announced too! The best part about the whole event was that while we listened to keynotes and talked business basically all day, it didn’t feel like working at all. Everyone was already on a summer vacation mood, even if they weren’t exactly taking one. It was great to meet some old and new game industry friends, learn new things while listening to keynotes and thus getting great experiences to bring home – and to the office on Monday morning.
Once the official program was over it was time for the official afterparty. That meant sauna, chilling at the roof terrace, crazy raves and both stupid and meaningful discussions with interesting people. One of the most memorable quotes I heard at the sauna: “If you don’t love games, you won’t have any chance of making it in this industry. If you do it for the money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.”
I wouldn’t mind trading a day a the office for an event like this more often. As I heard on the way to Joensuu: “Everyone who matters will be there. And nobody’s really working.” It was true. And that is the single reason I’m definitely attending next year and also staying for the rock festival Ilosaarirock for the whole weekend!