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29th January 2019
Brooke Maggs & Juha Vainio To Speak At Games Helsinki

Games Helsinki is a one-day convention hosted by Epic Games and Housemarque, and taking place at the Games Factory on 2nd February 2019. It's due to feature a number of guest speakers discussing a range of topics from narrative design to company retrospectives. Among its list of speakers are two Remedy developers; Juha Vainio (Lead Producer on Control) and Brooke Maggs (Narrative Designer).

You can check out the full schedule on the Games Helsinki, HERE.

Brooke Maggs will be tackling the topic of Storytelling as Shapeshifting: Narrative Design for The Gardens Between at 11am. The Gardens Between is a puzzle adventure developed and published by The Voxel Agents and launched in late September 2018. The title has received a healthy 80 Metacritic score and a "very positive" reception on Steam's reviews.

The shapes of stories are all around us and games love to use heroic plots. When making The Gardens Between, we asked: how do we make game where the hero work is unlearning, letting go, and taking the time to enjoy the time we have? We searched for the shape of our story and though we found another iconic story structure, our work was only partly done.

This talk will discuss how a narrative designer executes a story when the core gameplay, observational and free of time pressures, it is seemingly at odds with storytelling language such as conflict and drama. It will also consider how to communicate story to the development team and to the player for this adventure puzzle game with no text or dialogue. Doing so requires the narrative designer to act as a conduit of communication in order to tell the story to players by bridging the gap between game design imperatives and narrative themes.

Remedy's Lead Producer, Juha Vainio will be taking to the stage at 17:30 to talk about Keeping CONTROL in AAA Game Production. His perspective is interesting has he has worked at a number of mobile studios before joining Remedy, including Rovio as EP and former-CEO of Epic Owl Ltd. His background provides him with a unique insight into the differences between working on mobile games compared to AAA titles.
Producing a AAA game with a huge multi-discipline team is full of challenges that need to be tackled in order to ship on schedule with the expected high quality. Planning, prioritization, processes, keeping tight focus, and managing the scope are of key importance in any game production and the importance grows even higher in AAA. In his talk, Juha will share some of the challenges he has faced in game production and the methods he has used to overcome those.


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