The yearly Northern Game Summit was once again held last Thursday here in Kajaani. It was a fun time as always.
This year the event was held at a local night club rather than the traditional Biorex movie theatre. I heard some complains about this arrangement, but I think it turned out quite alright. Maybe a minor part of the feeling of the grandness of the event was lost, but then again, NGS is intended to provide a chance for developers to connect with other developers, and students to connect with them in turn. The night club setting worked, I think, quite well for that. In terms of practical complaints, the only one I heard after the event was that the speeches were difficult to follow due to the layout of the venue, and the placement of the screens.
The 2019 speaker list was special in that I'm pretty sure all of the speakers had some previous connection to Kajaani, many having worked at the local university of applied sciences or a company located in town. It was cool: as every year so far, I was disappointed in the low amount of technical topics, but the other speeches were still useful, some especially to students who are the most numerous target audience of NGS.
I've heard rumours of NGS struggling a bit financially. From the bottom of my heart, I hope KAMK and the other sponsors keep on supporting the event, of course alongside with the many volunteers (whom I am very thankful towards despite not volunteering myself). Kajaani has managed to build a significant game development community considering the city's population and location, not in small part due to the game development programmes offered by the local UAS. Some people have worked hard to achieve this state, with many active companies in the area and new eager developers graduating every year. Northern Game Summit has an important place in keeping Kajaani a friendly town for devs, and it deserves to be kept well and alive.