Winner Announced! GameLab Indie Devs Competition


July 4, 2013


min read

Drumroll please?!The winner of this year?s GameLab Indie Developer Competition is, Headnought! This scrappy, young Finnish studio impressed our panel of expert judges with Woodchopper, a physics-based side-scroller 2-D game. Players control a bright orange helicopter to tackle puzzle-based obstacles. As winners of the GameLab competition, Headnought will be the first indie group to attend the next Chartboost University in San Francisco!?We caught up with Pauli Jutila, Headnought?s studio head shortly after his team?s win.


?Left to Right:?Saku Hatakka, Miikka Kosonen,?Valtteri Kekki,?Pauli Jutila, Joona Kosonen

Chartboost: Tell us about yourselves and your studio! How did you get into making games?

Pauli: We are just a bunch of students that started working on a game a few weeks back. During Gamelab, I had been CEO of the newly-formed Headnought for roughly two weeks. In addition to myself, we have lead programmer Miikka Kosonen, animator Joona Kosonen, renowned 2D/3D artist Saku Hatakka of Kotaku fame, summer trainee Isto Sipil? and Valtteri Kekki, our IT support and muscleman.

The game itself got started as a 48-hour Finnish Game Jam project that myself and a few friends worked on back in 2012. Turns out our game with a silly helicopter got a pretty positive reaction and I decided to follow through with it. The final team changed quite a bit along the way, but the core idea remained pretty much the same. Setting up a company was necessary for us if we wanted to keep working on the game.

Our office is a part of a EU-subsidized project, LevelUp. Having an office space where we can efficiently function as a team has been incredibly important to us. We?ve been working on the game for four months, but we?ve been officially a studio for just about a month.

Chartboost:?How did you hear about the Gamelab Competition?

Pauli:?We share our office space with few other startups. The CEO of Seepia Games, Jani Tiet?v?inen?told me to submit our game for the competition, so I did. I?m sorry to say that I hadn?t even heard of Chartboost before that.

Chartboost:?How did you feel when you found out you won?

Pauli:?I was pretty ecstatic. I think I ran to the stage shouting a profanity and fist bumping into the air. For the next fifteen minutes or so I shook a lot of hands. Later, several drinks later, I became quite emotional about the fact that I was alone in Barcelona celebrating and the team was still in Finland working. Then I had a few more drinks and continued partying. We talked a lot about old video games. The next morning I climbed Montju?c to call the team about the good news and then phoned my parents that I?ve finally done something they can be proud of.

Chartboost:?What inspires your game design?

Pauli:?Everything, movies that I have seen, books that I?ve read and of course games that I?ve played. We?ve borrowed elements from classic Amiga games such as Lemmings and Ugh! for Woodchopper for instance. The last thing that inspired me was a archeological museum I visited later on my trip to Barcelona.

Chartboost:?Are you excited for Chartboost University? What are you looking forward to most?

Pauli:?I?m really excited about the fact that I get to travel again, Barcelona was a lot of fun. I can?t wait to experience San Francisco with my team.?We?re very much looking forward to attending Chartboost University and meeting all the professionals.

Chartboost:?What advice do you have for other game developers?

Pauli:?Since I have really no experience and I?m just working on my first game I don?t think I?m really in any position to give advice to anyone. But If you were to insist I?d say the most important thing is to be passionate about what you do. And I?d aim for something unique gameplay vice, rather than blatantly copying another?s game?s mechanics.

Check out the trailer for Headnought?s winning title, WoodChopper below. Plus, stay tuned for more exciting details on the next Chartboost University!?