Every year when we open the call for Nordic Game Indie Night we get flooded with amazing entries by people from all over the Nordics. From lone individuals to small or medium sized teams, we get short, long, mobile, adventure, arcade, story, space, zombie, strategy, art,.. -games dropped on our desk that we are then asked to make a selection out of.
It’s kind of like being presented with a huge bowl of all different kinds of candy, and being asked to say something profound about each one of them. After a few, it becomes harder and harder to keep finding ways to describe things. “This one is sweet, but that last one was also sweet, but in a different way.” You’ll end up saying things like “well this one tastes kind of pink, while that one was more… happy”.
To avoid this scenario, we call in the help of our expert external judges, whom we now have the honor to present to you:
Anchel Labena (ES)
Anchel Labena has been working in the Danish games industry both in education (EUCROMA and The Animation Workshop) and in game studios (BetaDwarf) now currently working as Project Manager and PR at KnapNok Games. Besides that, he is Chairman of IGDA Denmark and Lead Organizer of the largest game jam in the world: Nordic Game Jam.
Annakaisa Kultima (FI)
Game researcher Annakaisa Kultima has been studying the creative processes of game developers almost a decade at the University of Tampere, Finland. She teaches game research, design research and game design at the University of Tampere (and sometimes also elsewhere). From 2011 she has been part of the Nordic Game Program expert group deciding on the annual funding of Nordic games, which is serious business. In order to gain more street cred, she participates in organizing different kinds of game events including game jams. She also claims that she enjoys creating design and graphics for jam games whenever and wherever she is not the organizer. As a president of Finnish Game Jam, she has been part of building a strong Finnish game jam scene resulting to 700 participants of Global Game Jam 2015 from Finland only.
Armin Ibrisagic (SE)
I’m Armin Ibrisagic, I work as a Game Designer and PR Manager for Coffee Stain Studios. We’re the studio most known for Goat Simulator. We’re all a bunch of crazy but pretty funny people and we love making innovative games.
Bram Michielsen (BE)
Bram Michielsen writes for comic books, movies and games. After falling in love with the Danish indie game community, he decided to help kickstart one in his own country of Belgium. He co-founded indie game collective The House of Indie and is one of the main organizers of screenshake, Belgium’s only indie game festival.
Casper Friis Farsøe (DK)
Casper is Co-Founder and Technical Director of Frostwolf Studios, and has previously worked on Expeditions: Conquistador and NGJ15 award-winning Look At My Drawing. In his spare time, Casper enjoys strategy games, RPGs and (in particular) JRPGs.
Daryl Hornsby (UK)
Jóhannes Gunnar Þorsteinsson (IS)
A game sound designer based in north Iceland. Founder of the Icelandic game assembly known as Leikjasamsuðan, the host of the Isolation Game Jam, and last but not least, a farmer.
Jo-Remi Madsen (NO)
D-Pad Studio is a indie developer from Norway, working on Owlboy, Savant – Ascent and Vikings On Trampolines.
Karin Bruér (SE)
Karin is a Swedish artist with a love for mobile games. She made the art for the mobile hit Leo’s Fortune, won an Apple Design Award 2014 and works as a game artist at Rovio.
Karin Ryding (SE)
Karin Ryding is based in Malmö, Sweden. She started her career as a programmer but left the crashing web industry in 2002 and began to study games. Surprised and frustrated to find so few women in her class she became co-founder of SuperMarit – a EU funded project about women and games. In 2006 she went on to found Ozma Games together with Bobbi A. Sand. Under the motto: “Everyone has the right to play”, Ozma has been working with a wide range of projects starting off with board games and moving on to locative games and games for change. In 2011 Ozma was selected by the Swedish Institute as one of the most innovative companies in Sweden.
Karin has been a panelist and a speaker at the Nordic Game conference, the Binger Filmlab in Amsterdam, Norwegian Film Institute, Stanford University, NGDC and at innovation conferences in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
Martin Kvale (NO)
Martin Kvale is a sound designer for Norwegian games such as Among The Sleep, Teslagrad and The Plan. At the moment he is knee deep in cool and weird projects, recently he was travelling while working for 6 months, covering the whole globe with blogs, diaries, working over git and Skype.
Martin Pichlmaier (AT)
Martin Pichlmair is Assistant Professor at ITU Copenhagen and co-founder of the Vienna-based indie studio Broken Rules. He has exhibited media art pieces in Hong Kong, has spoken at a conference in Tokyo, had games nominated at IGF and IndieCade, is on and ongoing quest to eat strange food and dreams of getting kidnapped by aliens.
Natascha Roosli (NO)
Jack of all Trades kinda girl who has worked in the game’s industry for a very long time on both Indie and bigger titles. Addicted to both playing and making games. Currently Producer and Biz Dev Wizard at Rock Pocket Games in Norway. Working on Oli&Spike and Shiftlings.
Olli Harjola (FI)
Olli is a known for making a game called The Swapper. By 2023 he hopes to have built an AI that writes bios.
Runa Hauklund (NO)
Runa is in charge of Hamar Game Collective, a coworking space consisting of 9 game development studios in Hamar, Norway. She spends her days working with the studios towards building a sustainable game development industry, and she’s also in charge of running the office and for organizing awesome events.
Sabine Harrer (AT)
Sabine is a cultural researcher and game designer interested in social power, identity and intimate experience. Sabine has a background in english and media studies, has taught cultural and game studies at the University of Vienna and the ITU Copenhagen, and is currently doing her PhD on loss and grief in games.
Sara Cecilia Lempiäinen (SE)
Community Manager at Unity Technologies, helping users with their Unity editor and scripting problems. Has a past in web development, WebGL and mobile games. Loves games that leave people wondering if what they experienced was actually a game or not. Likes when people break rules and have ridiculous ideas. Engages in workshops and seminars for young women to spark their interest in game development. Currently creating an interactive faery tale together with a friend. Tweet me @saracecilia
Simon Gustafsson (SE)
Simon Gustafsson – Game designer, graphic designer, designer designer-designer, likes martial arts and hates the system.
Zuraida Buter (NL)
Zuraida Buter is a playful culture curator and vine master based in the Netherlands. She curates, initiates, consults and documents events focused on playful culture and games. She brings people together for creative creation and playful experiences. She is founder of playful culture organisation zo-ii and regularly speaks about playful culture, game jams and collaboration at conferences and festivals worldwide. She co-founded Playful Arts Festival in the Netherlands, which aims to explore and showcase the cross-overs between different fields of art, play, interaction, technology and design.
Previously she initiated indie games showcase INDIGO in the Netherlands and was worldwide Executive Director of the Global Game Jam. At festivals & events, Zuraida can regularly be seen with a vine device or camera in her hand to document the moment.