Northern Game Summit
1st – 2nd October, 2015

Bio Rex Kajaani

@ Kajaani, Finland

About The Event

Northern Game Summit 2015 is now over!
The NGS team would like to thank all of our speakers for the great talks, all of our partners and benefactors for making this event possible, and all of our attendees for coming to our event! We hope you enjoyed your time at NGS 2015.

We will upload the official photographs from our event through our social media channels later this year. If you don't want to miss out, be sure to follow our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram!

We're making the archive of this year's page available for future reference.

Northern Game Summit, or NGS for short and sweet, is a 2-day conference with suitable additional action. It has now formed into an annual event with the main goal to encourage mutual networking between the Novices and the Masters of the game development trade. NGS provides an easygoing environment for game makers to mingle, meet and exchange ideas.

Our Master of Ceremonies this year is Carl Wideman. This is Carl’s third year hosting NGS and although a familiar face to NGS regulars he expects that this year's remarkable speakers will steal the show, making this the most energetic and valuable event so far. A former British submariner for ten years, Carl has had a long and fruitful career in Britain and in Finland. Currently he's busy working to attract further FDI, DC and IT business cases to Finland and Kajaani, but when he has spare time, Carl performs as an entertainer and sings under the name of Flatman Steve.

Every year the participants have prized the friendly and comfortable yet informative feel of our event and we do our best to live up to your expectations once more.

As always we keep ourselves the right to make changes to the Schedule for whatever reasons in addition and not excluding sad dogs and deadly cat attacks.

DAY 1:   1st Oct


11:00 – 12:20
They keynote is streamed to halls 2 and 3.

12:50 – 13:50
Jurie Horneman, NL
The Dark Side of Game Development

Making games is great! Except when it's not. Jurie's going to talk about impostor syndrome, depression, and other gloomy subjects.

14:10 – 15:10
Pascal Luban, FR
The Six Golden Rules of Level Design

Level design remains a key dimension of great games. Discover the rules that you must bear in mind when planning your level design.

15:30 – 16:30
Karoliina Korppoo, FI
Cities: Skylines - Six Months Later
Skylines launched in March 2015 and went on to sell a million copies in just five weeks. What has happened since?

Registration opens in BioRex at 9:00.
Please arrive in a timely manner.


11:00 – 12:20
Streamed from Hall 1.

12:50 – 13:50
Marek Rosa, CZ
Space Engineers' Creator on In-House Engines

An intro by the creator behind the Space Engineers, on creating an in-house game engine in the age of ready-made.

14:10 – 15:00
Jani Nevalainen, FI


15:30 – 16:30
Sampo Lappalainen, FI
Evolution of Umbra – a Decade of Culling

An overview of how Umbra has changed over the decade and more that it has been in active use in the world’s biggest AAA games.


11:00 – 12:20
Streamed from Hall 1.

12:50 – 13:50
Ed Biden, GER
Big Fish, small pond

Ed draws on extensive market analysis and experience developing games to explain on strategies for surviving in a maturing market.

14:10 – 15:10
Timo Ylikangas

15:30 – 16:30
Johan Toresson



17:30 – 20:00 STAR DINNER
We will feed our Speakers, Partners, Sponsors and Benefactors. We encourage our attendees to feed themselves. When our bellies are full, we will continue on to the Bonus Stage.

20:00 – 01:00 BONUS STAGE
Evening party! The party is only for our Day 1 attendees.

DAY 2:   2nd Oct


10:00 – 11:00
Mariina Hallikainen, FI

Colossal Order

11:20 – 12:20
Ilari Kuittinen, FI
Tales from the first 20 years

Kakskytä vuotta – ja sikana! This talk will go through few of the key moments of Housemarque´s 20 year history.

12:40 – 13:40
Jaakko Kylmäoja, FI
How we became a publisher
A story how Fingersoft grew from a one man company to a game publisher with over 400M downloads.

14:00 – 15:00
Led by Ste Curran
Panel: Everything there is to come

Panellists: Antti Seppänen, Mehdi Benkirane, Luke Savage and Tuija Lindén

Registration opens in BioRex at 9:00.
We start at 10. Sorry! We know it's early.


10:00 – 11:00
Ian J. Bowden, GER


11:20 – 12:20
Hunter Grant, USA
Lessons Learned

Practical solutions to rigging and animation. Lessons learned from real world productions.

12:40 – 13:40
Tuomas Pirinen, FI
Form Follows Function

This lecture focuses on how art can be integrated into video game without conflicts with game design and user experience.

14:00 – 15:00
Streamed from Hall 1.
Panel: Everything there is to come
Microphones will be available for attendee Q&A


10:00 – 11:40
Mikko Kasanen


12:00 – 13:40
Luke Savage & Colin Hughes
Developing on PlayStation®

Luke Savage & Colin Hughes from Sony Computer Entertainment will reveal the background and technical history of the PlayStation® platforms and discuss how you can develop and publish on PlayStation®.

14:00 – 15:00
Streamed from Hall 1.
Panel: Everything there is to come
Microphones will be available for attendee Q&A

Bonus Stage Party

The official party of NGS 2015 will be held on Thursday evening after the first conference day at Club 96.

As in previous years there will be small numer of exhibitors present to give you an ample opportunity to mix pleasure with business.
There will be awesome people, a DJ, lots of tex-mex style food to last all evening and a bar open - what more do you need to have a blast of a time?

Bonus Stage is going to be hosted by Fingersoft. And if the past is to be belived it's going to be once again a thing to remember.

NGS Star Dinner

City of Kajaani invites the VIPs and the Benefactors of the NGS 2015 for an exclusive dinner at the Old Town Hall.
In this nostalgic venue with a touch of memory of the days long gone you can enjoy good company and simple food after the long day at the conference on Thursday.
The dinner will be over in time for you to continue on to Bonus Stage party at Club 96 just a few hundred meters down the street.

  • for the SPEAKERS
  • for the PARTNERS
  • for the BENEFACTORS
  • for the SPONSORS

Speakers of the Event

We’ve got the experts from around the world

This year our speakers will loosely follow the theme “Industry in Flux”.
There will be the usual tracks for designers, producers, programmers and artists. Our speakers, coming to the summit from far away and close by, will cover several aspects of the industry based on their own wit and experience. Whether you are a rookie or a pro there will be something worth listening to in the NGS 2015.

Founder and CEO of Keen Software House (2010), Marek has been specializing in programming, artificial intelligence, game development and last but not least entrepreneurship. Marek and his team are responsible for developing this year's cult sandbox game Space Engineers as well as an in-house game engine VRAGE.

CEO & Founder at Keen Software House

Karoliina is currently working as a Lead Designer at Colossal Order. Earlier this year the studio became famous for the fenomenal city simulation game Cities: Skylines. She also does creative writing and level design and has previously worked as a lead on a public transportation simulation games Cities in Motion and Cities in Motion 2.

Lead Designer at Colossal Order

Formerly leading the art departement at Rockstar and a Grand Theft Auto veteran, Ian was also the co-founder of Mobius Entertainment which later became Rockstar Leeds. His input has been seen in games like GTA V, GTA IV, Max Payne 3 and L.A. Noire. Last year Ian desided to become a part of Gameduell team in Berlin.

Art Director at GameDuell

Hunter is a veteran of game industry with 15 years on the belt. His resume includes companies like EA, Interplay and others. Currently he works as the Lead Animator for In-Game Cinematics at Blizzard Entertainment. And you know what they say about animators at Blizzard, so here is a man definitely worth listening to.

Lead Cinematics Animator

Ilari is one of the pioneers of Finnish game industry running a game development company since 1993. Not only that but he is also one of the founders of Housemarque - an award winning and internationally acclaimed Finnish game development studio which is best known for its Super Stardust and Dead Nation series.

CEO at Housemarque

Over the years Ed has studied biology, genetics, human behaviour, anthropology, sociology and a few other Human Sciences. He has worked as a management consultant, in venture capital, as an entrepreneur, in business development for a tech start up and his most recent post is as a product manager for a social games company Wooga.

Product Lead at Wooga

Being part of game industry since 1991, Jurie has worked as a game designer, a programmer, a producer and done some management and quality assurance for good measure. It is no wonder that his proffecional history includes companies such as Rockstar Games, Kalisto Entertainment and JoWooD Productions.

Game Design / Production Consultant

With more than 19 years in the industry Pascal has worked with several studios including the "top names" like Ubisoft, Activision, DICE and SCEE. He's been responsible for the multiplayer versions of Splinter Cell - Pandora Tomorrow and Chaos Theory. He is a regular contributor to and steers his own Game Design Studio.

Freelance game designer and creative director

Sampo is a coder and a business development guy with over a decade of experience in graphics and systems programming. Jani's particular interests lie in video games, game engines and shipping software. Besides coding, Jani also has a keen interest in business and strategy.
Sampo Lappalainen - FI

COO at Umbra

Colin is a Senior Principal Engineer at SCEE with nearly 20 years experience of technical programming and graphics across all PlayStation platforms - mainly concentrating on optimisation.
Colin Hughes - GB

Senior Principal Engineer at Sony

Luke is Senior Academic Development Manager at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE). He manages PlayStation®First, SCEE's Academic Development Program. That means he has a very cool job - he helps students make games on PlayStation®.
Luke Savage - GB

Senior Academic Development Manager at Sony

Jani is a Senior Technical Evangelist focusing on Windows development platform. He has worked for Microsoft Technologies since 1996 in various roles including software development and management roles, and has received several awards including MVP.
Jani Nevalainen - FI

Sr. Technical Evangelist at Microsoft Finland

Johan's motto is 'Learn fast, work hard'. He has tried his hand at writing, project management, concept development, marketing and much more. Since 2013, he's been in charge of the 0-budget Marketing Workshop at Blekinge Business Incubator.
Johan Toresson -SE

Founder at Creative Coast Festival

Mariina came to Colossal Order from a background in industrial management. She is a versatile leader, and does marketing, sales, human resources and finance. Mariina is especially good with money, and making things happen with very small budgets.
Mariina Hallikainen - FI

CEO at Colossal Order

Jaakko has worked as Fingersoft's Vice President of Publishing ever since their smash hit Hill Climb Racing. As Fingersoft has moved into game publishing, his role has come to include commmunication with other game developers.
Jaakko Kylmäoja - FI

Vice President, Publishing at Fingersoft

Ste wants to make better games, and to make games better. He's a consultant, and in this role he does a lot of thinking, talking and writing.
Ste Curran - GB

Cofounder, Lead Consultant at Agency Consulting

Tuomas has worked in key creative roles on multiple console games with total sales in excess of 20 million copies, and been the designer of the world's largest Fantasy wargame franchise. He's been a Game Director, Design Director and Producer on games from triple-A to pen and paper. Now Tuomas is at Reforged Studios, which aims to turn expertise into world-class games.
Tuomas Pirinen - FI

CCO at Reforged Studios

Technology has always been Mikko's passion. He blew his first fuse aged 4 when he tried to build "electric legos" out of a broken lamp cord, and broke his first computer (486) within the first month by rewiring the whole thing inside... the pc repair shop still hasn't returned it!
Mikko Kasanen - FI

Technical Evangelist at Microsoft

Timo is one of the most best connecter people in the Finnish game industry. He has a solid educational background combined with broad hands-on-experience in developing SME operating environments, especially at Game branch. He is interested in everything related to games, gamification and alterate uses of game technologies.
Timo Ylikangas - FI

Ambassador of Kavio Cluster

Master of Ceremonies
Originally from UK, Carl worked in various fields in senior directorship roles and co-founded a group of companies, providing services to corporations and individual investors. He moved to Finland in 2008 and has lead the Invest in Kainuu team and IT services sector at Regional development company Kainuun Etu Oy, leading the Kajaani DC cluster to several successes.
Carl Wideman - FI

FDI & IT Service Director at Kainuun Etu


Our Esteemed Partners and Sponsors for NGS 2015

Our heartfelt thanks to all of our partners and sponsors for making NGS possible. We could not do it without you!

For Your Information

Generic Information About This Event

There are not that many hotels in close proximity of our venues, so you better be early with your bookings should you fancy to move around on your own two feet.

On the same street with the venue:
Original Sokos Hotel Valjus

Within walking distance:
Scandic Kajanus Kajaani Hotel
Karolineburg Manor House Hotel

A bit further away:
Hotel KainuunPortti Apartment Hotel Vanha Kulkuri

There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in Kajaani, whether you like pizza, burger or fine dining we are sure you’ll find something suitable. Here is a list of some of the eating establishments in the area.
You can get 10% discount while eating in the restaurants Rosso and Sulo when you display your NGS 2015 badge.

Rosso Sulo Ranch Wanha Kerho Golden Dragon
Nepal Aama Subway

Taxi is a quick way to get comfortably around when walking is not an enjoyable option:

0600 398 100

If the front of the venue you are looking for looks substantially different from these photos you are probably lost. We suggest to backtrack your steps and replay.

Do you want to support the NGS 2015?

For the benevolent ones we offer the Benefactor Pass.

This Pass grants you the admission to the both days of the conference and all the awesome additional activities like Bonus Stage and NGS Mixer, most importantly this Pass grants you a place at our exclusive Star Dinner.

Benefactor Pass costs 300 € and it can be bought by contacting us at
Through the same email-address you may also enquire about the sponsorship opportunities.

Because they are cats.
And they are nicer than demons. Look, here is one for you right now:


BTW we are fairly certain that lions count as cats.

NGS 2012
The year 2012 was the year of the first NGS ever. It was held at the campus of the Kajaani University of Applied Sciences and was organized by university in close collaboration with CEMIS Development program.
It culminated with the VIP Pool Party, which legend is still alive at the campus.

NGS 2013
Year 2013 saw the move to the new venue location - the Bio Rex cinema. The attendees fell in love with the plush seats and the big silver screens. The event itself was characterized by pitching contests, two to be precise: the smaller NGS Pitch on the 1st day and the superb Playground Challenge Final with the grand prize of 50 000 € on the 2nd day.

NGS 2014
The NGS 2014 will be forever remembered for the awesomeness of the Bonus Stage (the soirée) thanks to the cool guys at Fingersoft and the longest poop joke in the world as presented by Tomáš Jech. It was also the first time the Very Important Persons at the event were welcomed by the City of Kajaani in the Old Town Hall.

NGS Event Staff

These guys and gals have worked on the NGS for a better part of a year, already. Many of them were already involved in the earlier events, too.

  • Tommi Krogerus
    Event Manager
  • Leevi Rasila
    Event Manager
  • Antero Juutinen
    Technical Manager
  • Henri Juntunen
    Marketing Monkey
  • Suvi-Pauliina Peräsarka
    Assistant Marketing Monkey
  • Janne Joensuu
    CSS & Photoshop Guru
  • Leili Mård aka Lady-with-the Hat
    Event Producer
  • Janne Mustonen
    Consulting Technical Manager
Technical staff

These guys and gals know how to use a movie theatre to view a slide show.

  • Antero Juutinen, the boss
  • Samuli Kumpulainen
  • Mikael Immonen
  • Mira Salenius
  • Valtteri Koppelo
  • Juho Kouvonen
  • Touko Möttönen
  • Juuso Toivanen
  • Jari Tuomainen
    Sound Technician
  • Susanna Nurmi
    Assistant Sound Technician
Additional Art

These guys and gals are perfectly normal, know nothing about secret identities, and are sworn to secrecy so you shouldn't ask any way.

  • Teemu Palomäki
  • Heta Lampi
  • Veli-Matti Korhonen
  • Lara Monteiro
  • Pauliina Lammi
  • Lasse Pänkäläinen

Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) is a proactive, genuinely international university of applied sciences with a strong regional and national profile. An international learning and development community consisting of approximately 2000 students and 230 experts operates in its own compact campus area located in Kajaani’s impressive natural surroundings.

The operations and organizational structure of KAMK are based on five areas of competence: Activity Tourism, Information Systems, Nursing and Healthcare, Mechanical and Mining Engineering and Business and Innovations. The three fields of focus - activity tourism, games and vehicle informations systems - serve to provide KAMK with international competence, visibility and impact.


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