Game Development World Championship
Haaga-Helia Event Management students got to work in a Game Development World Championship project. It provided students international and real-life event management experience.
The Game Development World Championships is an annual indie game development competition run by Ace Lagoon, a Finnish company. The Game Development World Championship gives those within the industry, whether novices or professionals, the chance to showcase their games to a wider audience. This project gave students the opportunity to work for an international event audience, and to learn more about a new target market.
The project started in August 2021 with the planning of the concept of the event and then continued with the planning and implementation of the event. Throughout the project there were two different student teams, each team linking to a semester module. Some team members continued with the project in the Spring semester with the continuation of their courses, whilst other team members joined only in Spring. As the project expanded in the Spring semester, it was thought to be best to bring the expertise from the Virtual Experiences in Meetings and Events course to help deliver a hybrid event.
With the expansion of the event and the new team members joining, it was decided that in Spring the roles and responsibilities needed to be reassigned. This led to Emmi Sarajärvi becoming On-Site Event Manager and Chloe Twist becoming Virtual Event Manager to support Elina Martiskainen as Project Manager who continued with the project. The other tasks and roles were divided by the strengths and experiences that each team member brought to the project. The planning process provided the students with many learning opportunities, particularly working within a short time frame to execute the event.
As well as working for an international audience, the student team was internationally diverse. This provided a new experience for all team members involved and helped to develop students’ cultural understanding and awareness, particularly for non-Finnish students.
The Game Development World Championships 2021 was a three-day hybrid event taking place in Finland between 15th – 17th March 2022. The first two days were fully virtual showcasing the nominee games to allow the audience to learn more about the new games ahead of the Awards Show. This provided students with the opportunity to learn about moderation and hosting of virtual events. The students were able to experience a professional studio setting and learn how to engage the audience in virtual events.
The event came to a close on 17th March with the Awards Show on-site, as well as streamed online, in downtown Helsinki. The on-site award show was the relaunch of game industry events in Finland and gave opportunities to network and reconnect with the gaming community. The event program provided guests with the chance to play the nominated games, including those not yet publicly released, contributing to many conversations.
The team were able to adapt and be flexible in order to ensure that the event days ran smoothly. The event days resulted in positive feedback, despite some stress for the students they enjoyed the project and learnt many new skills for their future development. This project provided new tools and insights into event agency work for the students. The students are looking forward to putting their new skills and knowledge into practice in the future.