My journey at Oulu Game Lab

At the beginning of August, I was depressed because I had not found a place to do my practical training in. Luckily, a friend of mine told me to apply for Oulu Game Lab, since he knew that I was interested in programming games. I was reluctant at first, thinking that they would never accept me. But then I gathered up some courage and applied.  

On the next day, I was asked to come to an interview in the Business kitchen. The interview went well and they told me that they would tell the applicants later that day if they got accepted or not. I was excited but nervous, because this would decide if I got the practical training spot I wanted, and what I would do for the rest of the year.  

And I got in! I was really happy about it! I started my studies & training at Oulu Game Lab on September 1st. The first day was all about getting to know what OGL was about and also getting to know all the other students and of course the teachers. 

On the 2nd day I got assigned a partner. Our task was to develop an idea for a 3D top-down racing game with influences from Guitar Hero and AudioSurf. We developed our idea for 2 weeks, and after that it was time to show our results.

Our idea turned out to be too mediocre and it did not pass an event called ”Gate 1”, in which Oulu Game Lab coaches evaluate game concept designs and decide which designs pass and which ones don’t. After Gate 1, all teams that didn’t pass got assigned to a team that passed.  I was put into a team called State of Matter, a 2D puzzle platformer in which a blob of water (the player) can switch states between liquid, solid and gas. 

At first I was a bit reluctant to work with this idea, but soon I realised that this was a really clear and simple idea which could actually make it big in the game industry. I got so excited that on the first day of working with the team, I created a simple demo in which the player could move a solid block of ice in a basic plain game level. 

After 2 weeks of working with the State of Matter team, the event called ”Gate 2” is upon us, which means our idea might get abandoned. We are currently working hard so that doesn’t happen.

Lasse Takkunen, student BIT2SN