Two weeks ago we at Digiverstas received four Erasmus+ interns from Malta. Matthew is studying game programming and Shaun, Karel & Isaac are students of business and marketing. Our interns will be working in various projects and activities during their two months internship. In the beginning of their internship they were invited by our partner organisation Cursor to experience Assembly. Read more: 

Assembly Summer 2018 

What is ‘Assembly’? Assembly reflects 25 years of computer festival history. It first started out as a small LAN party amongst a few friends in 1992 which turned into one of the largest computer festivals in Europe.

The first party was held in a school in Kauniainen where it came out to be a great event as over 700 visitors attended. The first main organizer (Meegosh) pulled this off together with demo groups like Rebels, Complex, and Future Crew.

After 3 years of constant success and an ongoing community, the 1995 party organizing team decided to incorporate as a non-profit Finnish company and it became known as ‘Assembly Organizing’ which consisted of 60-80 people. They specialized in creating their own actual demos to present to their audience.  

Nowadays, the Assembly organization consist of over 200 volunteers with different backgrounds that made all of this possible.

Our experience at Assembly Summer 2018 was astonishing. We got invited to take part in the VR section by FIVR, to test out their games and we volunteered to work at their VR section. When we got used to all of their VR stations, they left us in charge with all of their VR equipment like HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift. People kept on coming continuously and every player had 10 minutes to try out the VR
game. Even by giving us a short introduction on how things operate, we tackled all problems like champions.

After a few hours taking care of the VR station, they took over and we went out to explore and participate in other activities. There were products that we’ve tried out which are not commercially available as they are yet to be introduced.

We later met our friend from the IGDA Vesa Raudasoja, where he got us front row seats to see the old school demos. These would be short videos, where the participants would create short animated videos without any 3D software that is used today. These demos were something new for us as we’ve never seen anything like it before.

Once the demos finished, all of us were exhausted and we needed to find a place to rest. We found out that there were sleeping areas, since a lot of attendees brought their own mattresses. It came to a conclusion that in order to sleep there, you need to get your own mattress, which neither of us had. So we went back and continued to look around for a place to sleep. Karel spotted a charging post in the middle of the arena, where it turned out to be a chill out area with bean bags and sofas. After a quick chat and us being exhausted, we all fell to our knees and took a bean bag for our own.

The following day, a security employee woke us up at around 6:00 A.M. due to the fact that we were resting in the chill out area. The scheduled activities were going to take off and the employees were coming to start their preparations and make sure that everything is in place.

In the meantime, as it was so early, we took a tram and headed to the city centre in Helsinki. We strolled around the city centre and went sight-seeing as there are numerous places of interest that any individual needs to visit.

As time flew by, we headed back to Messukeskus were Assembly Summer 2018 was taking place. In the entrance of the large arena, preparations were under way for Robo-Wars. For the duration of the preparations we had a talk with the main organiser where he compared and contrasted with previous years, and stated that applicants and the cage itself are decreasing over the years. This is a shame for such an exciting hobby, which may die out in the years to come. When the fights took off, it was such an extraordinary thing to watch live as we only watched something similar online.

Afterwards, we headed out towards the VR station so that we could lead a hand and test out other new games that they developed.

When we were ready, we made our way towards the GameJam section where we met Vesa. He introduced us to his colleagues that were programming and developing new games. They showed us their projects and gave us demos to try out. After testing their work, we gave them our feedback which they found useful. We also took part in voice acting sessions and added sound effects to their games. Such an activity was very interesting and enjoyable.

We spotted some really classic arcade games from the 1970’s, where we spent quite some time playing as such arcade consoles aren’t that common nowadays. We couldn’t experience it anywhere else but at Assembly. Moreover, games from the 1990’s were also available for us to play again which made us relive our childhood memories.  

In addition to all of the electronic entertainment, there were also a variety of board games to be played and for sale.

This brings us to the most mind blowing activity throughout the whole weekend which took place on the main stage where a large screen displayed a whole new level of graphic design competition. Such activity involved 4 categories which are the, 1k compo, 4k compo, 64k compo and demo compo (what the best computer can produce nowadays).

These would be animated videos that are under a strict storage limit. This puts more pressure on the graphic design team and even the programmers as they had to watch their storage limit.

 

After the competition ended, we headed to the chill out area to get some rest as we were exhausted. The following morning we went back to Kotka.

 

By
Shaun Saliba
Matthew Farrugia
Karel Tanti
Isaac Grech

Erasmus+ Interns at Digiverstas

 

 

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