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Exploring the Roots of Gaming: Recap of the 2023 Global Game Jam in Rovaniemi


Last weekend was a historical event for the gaming community in Rovaniemi, Finland as the Global Game Jam 2023 was hosted by IGDA Finland in the premises of Lapland University of Applied Sciences.

This year's theme was “Root” and participants were tasked with creating a game idea based on this theme. The event was an enormous success,

Global Game Jam posterwith 24 participants from all over the region coming together to share their passion for gaming. Creativity was flowing as participants explored the theme in new and innovative ways, resulting in a diverse range of games that were developed over the weekend. 

One of the event's highlights was the variety of games created. From board games to VR games, mobile games, and touch screen games, there was something for everyone. The participants also used a variety of tools and technologies to bring their ideas to life, with games developed using Unity and Unreal, among others.

The board game idea update the classic format with a fresh take on the “Root” theme. Players build a root system from pieces to harvest potatoes in the game.

One of the most notable games of the event was a VR game that had the audience in stitches. The developer had created a dentist's clinic where, in the VR world, the customer's teeth were pulled from their mouth. This game caused a lot of laughter in the audience, showcasing the developer's sense of humor and creative approach to the theme.

Another game that received a lot of attention was the mobile game that was based on the same concept as the VR game, but with the added twist of being played on a mobile device. Player had to pull teeth on their mobile screens, providing a new and exciting take on the theme.

The Unreal engine game was another standout, with players exploring a dark cave as they collected roots for food for a monster. The enemy was moles that were also trying to collect roots for food, making it a challenging and intense experience for players. If the player did not collect enough food, the monster's head would eat them, but if they collect enough, they were freed from the cave.

Unity engine also had several successful games, including a rhythm game and a potato game where carrots attacked the potato. The game was played using touch on the screen and had the audience in stitches with its quirky and comical approach.

A 2D carrot game what was a platformer was also made using the Unity engine as well a mushroom game, where the mushroom character builds
mycelium on terrain and avoids natural disasters.

Also, a game that was a RISK- style game where different telecommunication companies tried to take over Lapland and northern Finland was made.Picture of the game
The participants in Rovaniemi were passionate and dedicated, working hard to bring their game ideas to life. With so much talent and creativity in one place, it was no surprise that the event was an enormous success.

In conclusion, the Global Game Jam 2023 in Rovaniemi was an unforgettable experience for all who participated. With so much creativity, passion, and talent on display, it was clear that the gaming community in Rovaniemi is thriving. We cannot wait to see what exciting game ideas will be developed at the next Global Game Jam.

- Ismo, International Student Ambassador - 

Picture from the Game Jam