Follow the Lab now in Instagram!

We now have Instagram! đŸ“· @FrostBitLab

There you will find current and relevant information about the lab, our ongoing projects and events.

Throw us a follow! 👋

Good vibes at the Spring 2022 Frosted Game Jams

A weekend full of games and pizza! 🍕🎼 In Spring 2022, FrostBit arranged Frosted Game Jams together with students at the LapUAS Campus.

The event began by gathering at the University of Applied Sciences’ ShowRoom, where desk setups and PCs had already been arranged. The theme was unveiled in the form of a fun trailer, and the theme of these jams eventually ended up being: “There’s nothing in the beginning. / The beginning was emptiness.” And traditionally, the theme is always fully interpretable by the participants, so anything can be expected as a result!

Participants were divided into groups of their choice and some decided to want make a game alone. After that, the ideation stage started, and the participants jumped to work immediately. That is how the weekend started rolling: in the form of game development with a lot of snacks and drinks!

If you’re wondering what Game Jams are all about in practice, the concept goes this way: People from different backgrounds (e.g. 3D-modelling, 2D graphics, programming, UX design 
) and people interested in making games find themselves together and make the game according to the Jam theme. The games can be, for example, PC games, board games, card games, console games, or whatever games the participants come up with. The end result, however, is not to pressure the participants into creating something completely ready and playable, and this is often an integral part of the Jams: Projects aren’t always completed to the last detail. The main goal is to innovate together, have fun, and share a passion for games! So you don’t have to be a Programmer God to participate, you’re sure to find your own place in one of the groups.

What it looked like at the first Frosted Game Jams:

So what amazing games were produced in the end?

We put together a small trailer compilation of the games created, which some of the participants shared afterwards. Projects have been produced e.g. With Unity, UE5 and of course crafted with real hands!

Only your imagination is the limit.

Where from now on? When will there be more Jams?

Well, tentatively the second Jam is planned for the coming fall of 2022, as long as we find enough time for arrangements! We gathered feedback from those who participated in the Spring Jams, and received a lot of good suggestions for improvements that could take the Jams of the future much further. We are putting more effort into the space arrangements and investing in the Jams as well as an audience event that would be interesting for non-developers as well. So in the upcoming Jams, you can also invite friends to hang out, even play console or board games, or try out the lab’s VR outputs and other interesting things.

One of the hot topics among our lab has also been the previous Jams that pLab once organized: photography and clips of the old games are planned to be shared here in FrostBit’s website. Many people are interested what do Jams actually look like and what kind of games are created – so stay tuned at the FrostBit website in the near future for all of that. We are excited to be involved in producing gaming events in Rovaniemi, where they definetly are needed more!

For non-Finnish-speaking participants: If you would be interested to join future Jams, please contact the admins in the Frosted Game Jam Discord. We will take this into consideration when planning the future Jams, in case there is demand.

Thanks to Lapland University of Applied Sciences for letting us use their facilities for the event!

Bit1 competition – Looking for the student game of the year!

Do you have a dev team ready and a game idea in mind?

Take part in Bit1 competition, where you get to showcase your talent as a game developer and connect with game industry professionals!

Registration for PreBit preliminaries is open until 31.3. PreBits are held in Helsinki, Turku and Tampere on 20.-22.4. The Bit1 final is in May.

Learn more and apply at www.bit1.fi 

On Facebook @bit1event
On Instagram @helsinkigamescapital

The competition is held in English.

Energy ECS Project– FrostBit partaking in the development of the future of electric cars

The Smart and Secure Energy Solutions for Future Mobility (Energy ECS) project started in 2021, and we in the lab have now stepped along in the journey.

This ECSEL-IA project explores the smart energy solutions of the future, paving the way for a new kind of European business and technology ecosystem. The entire project consortium includes 16 SMEs, 8 large companies and 6 training and development organizations from eight different countries: Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Ireland and Italy.

The project will implement six interlocking UCs (Use Cases) to find solutions to the challenges and future needs of ICT infrastructures and electronic devices. The key focuses in the Use Cases are smart drones, intelligent transport containers, microgrids, vehicle charging technologies, self-powered tire systems, and the independent driving of an electric car to a charging station. The main responsibility of the FrostBit laboratory is the last of these, i.e. driving the e-vehicle to the charging station (UC6).

Independent electric bus parking

FrostBit’s part in the project includes implementing a digital twin at the Icelandic StrĂŠtĂł bs bus station, which aims to serve as a safe test environment. UNIKIE’s control system reads data from virtual sensors, on the basis of which it directs 3D-modelled buses from the parking screens to the charging point and back.

3D-model is being made of the StrĂŠtĂł bus

Currently, the necessary data transmission buses and user interface have been designed and implemented for the simulation. The 3D model of StrĂŠtĂł’s bus is almost complete and the station’s 3D modelling is about to begin.

So, what is expected to be the final result of this Use Case? As a result, the simulation is intended to act as a test environment before buses start moving in the right environment – allowing for controlled and safe testing.

Read more about the project in its official site and in LapUAS current news!

—— 8.3.2022 ——

SHARE IN

The FrostBit Code – YouTube Live Streams Spring 2022

The FrostBit Code is a live event where you can join in to listen to and discuss coding- and everything-game-field related topics. In the spring of 2022, the focus will be mostly on the world of game programming, and the stream will be hosted by Onni, Joel and Samuli. In addition, other experts in the field are sometimes involved in the streams. Grab a cup of coffee and come listen! ☕

The streams are broadcasted at the FrostBit YouTube-channel, where you can also find the previous stream VODs. During the streams, you can participate in the chat.

The streams are public and in Finnish, but international streams are planned for the future.

SPRING 2022 TOPICS

JANUARY: Friday 4.2.2022 – Unreal Engine 5 is the future – FI
MARCH: Friday 25.3.2022 – Become Metahuman – FI

The FrostBit Code – YouTube Livestreams 2021

The FrostBit Live Code is a livestream event where you can grab a coffee together with our hosts, entertain and learn about a variety of buzz topics in coding/programming. The event is hosted by FrostBit Software Lab’s engineers with coding at their heart: Juhani Kuru, Matias Hiltunen and Mikko Pajula. In one hour of livestream, the hosts will discuss about a specific topic and give concrete examples and share their know how from their experiences while working in diverse projects at the Lab. Jokes and silly coding mistakes are part of the show.

Why join? To learn, be entertained and improve you coding know-how while enjoying your afternoon coffee with the coding gurus. The event is for students and general audience with minimum to an extended knowledge in coding. Disclaimer: No prior coding knowledge required to join the event!

The livestreams are broadcasted and recorded on the last Thursday of each month from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm on the FrostBit Youtube-channel, where you can also find the older broadcasts (some months don’t have streams and we update the schedule in the email list). You can participate in the conversation during the streams in the live-chat or by contacting some of the hosts via Teams or email.

The streams are public and always in Finnish, but we aim to arrange international streams in the future. If you would like to receive a notification on your calendar, the specific stream link and more comprehensive information about the topic and upcoming streams, you can register your email address by following the link below (this newsletter is in Finnish):

THE STREAM HOSTS

MATIAS: IsÀ, koodari, paikkatietoon perustuvien AR-pelien aktiivinen kÀyttÀjÀ. 

MitÀ mahdottomampi tehtÀvÀ, sitÀ kiinnostavampi haaste.
MikÀÀn ei ole mahdotonta kunnes toisin todistetaan!
Intohimona koodaaminen: Työ ja harrastus.
Toimin web- ja mobiiliteknologioiden parissa FrostBit ohjelmistolaboratoriossa erilaisissa hankkeissa asiantuntijana ja koodarina.

JUHANI

"IsĂ€nnĂ€llĂ€ on 13 vuoden kokemus softa-alalta useasta eri projektista monella eri kielellĂ€ C++:sta C#:n, Perlin ja Javascriptin kautta Pythoniin, Javaan ja Dartiin. Parhaiten isĂ€ntĂ€ viihtyy full-stackin parissa, mutta minĂ€hĂ€n en nĂ€istĂ€ mitÀÀn ymmĂ€rrĂ€. Parasta työpĂ€ivissĂ€ on se, ettĂ€ saa nukkua isĂ€nnĂ€n jalkojen pÀÀllĂ€ lĂ€mmittĂ€en varpaita." t. Nyytti 7kk pomeranian đŸ¶
MIKKO: FrostBit-labran projekti-insinööri

Legacy-koodissa uiva vanhan liiton koodipohjalla tehty insinööri. Unelmoin siitÀ huolimatta paremmista arkkitehtuureista ja kauniimmasta koodista. Annan innokkaiden johdattaa ja pyrin innostumaan mukana. Vapaa-ajalla mieluiten koodailisin full-stack -juttuja arkea helpottamaan, kuten vesimittarin automatisoitua lukemista helpolla ui:lla. Tietotekniikan on tarkoitus helpottaa elÀmÀÀ. KÀyttöliittymien tulisi tukea kÀyttÀjÀÀ, ei turhauttaa. Jonain pÀivÀnÀ onnistumme koodaamaan itsellemme paremman elÀmÀn.

Kiinnostukset: UX-suunnittelu, Olio-ohjelmointi, paikkatieto ja helpot ratkaisut.

STREAMS IN YOUTUBE

Summer Game Studies 2021

Registration for the 2021 summer game studies has started and will continue until 4pm of 10/05/2021!

Course topics this year:

  • Game design and scripting
  • Game art (3D modeling, texturing and animation)
  • Game programming Unreal Blueprint
  • Game production
  • Game sounds

Follow the link below to the official information page of the Summer Game Studies, where you will find more information and instructions on how to register. If you have any questions, you can contact Sanni Mustonen (Sanni Mustonen, firstname.surname@lapinamk.fi).

A glimpse of R&D projects at FrostBit – WinterSIM project kicks off

1. FrostBit engineers testing the measuring station (Credits: FrostBit Software Lab)

The large scope and complexity of R&D projects encompassing topics such as digital solutions, smart cities, smart health, etc., are often difficult to understand from the public. Similarly, at FrostBit Software Lab, we are constantly working on multidisciplinary projects that blend game engines, XR solutions, web development, and data systems. To give some concrete examples of our daily tasks, the ongoing project of ‘MiGaEL’ aims to improve education in the mining industry through digital game-based learning, whereas the ‘VR Slaughterhouse’ project will create virtual reality training and simulation for reindeer husbandry. In one hand, FrostBit is also running the ‘Towards Sustainable Tendering’ project that will develop a web-based tool to enhance the process of tendering of acquisition that will lead to a long-term economic and environmental impact in the Lapland region.

Executing R&D projects is complex and requires comprehensive planning. How does this work in practice at the FrostBit Software Lab? When developing new tech solutions, we employ an iterative process based on researching, applying, and testing. I will try to break down the workflow by focusing on the case of the ongoing WinterSIM project: In brief, WinterSIM which is funded by Business Finland aims at turning Lapland and Snowbox testing facilities into the European ‘hub’ of winter testing and simulations for autonomous vehicles. The role of FrostBit in the WinterSIM project is to create virtual simulations for autonomous driving vehicles using game technologies such as Unreal and the open-source CARLA simulator. This will be done using sensors, LIDAR’s and cameras, which will gather real-world data, for example, snowfall and ice, to create the virtual simulation environment. The data will then be exported into the CARLA simulator and combined with urban and rural road winter conditions.

Designing the measuring station – data collection point

FrostBit engineers have designed a tailored measuring station which will be used to collect the data from the real-world simulations. The measuring station will be located at the Lapland UAS. The measuring station includes two LIDAR sensors, a depth-sensing camera, a radar, and a weather station. The measuring station will be controlled remotely supported by a wireless connection. Currently, the engineers are testing the station and preparing for real data collection. Additional measuring devices will be used for data collection in the later stages of the project.

2. The 3D visualization of the measuring station and the components (Credits: FrostBit Software Lab)

Utilizing CARLA open-source simulator

The CARLA simulator is an open-source simulator developed with Unreal Engine 4 that will be used to develop the winter layer (conditions) simulation for autonomous driving vehicles. FrostBit Software Lab will be the first one to create the winter layer for the CARLA simulator. The expected outcome is a validated virtual winter simulation in CARLA, which combines data from the measuring station, a digital twin of the Aurora Intelligent Road, and 3D surroundings of the Aurora Road.

3. Unreal 4 Engine

RoadRunner to create a virtual model of the Aurora Intelligent Road

The FrostBit engineers use real map data in RoadRunner to create a virtual model of the Aurora Intelligent Road. RoadRunner is fully compatible with Unreal Engine 4 and enables altitude model, point cloud, and aerial view. By using RoadRunner we ensure that the virtual model represents the real road as accurately as possible.

Data collection through 360 degrees video in Muonio, Lapland

Since there was not sufficient material available, the FrostBit team went to the town of Muonio, Lapland, and took 360 degrees video in order to use the material as an accurate source for 3D modeling of the surroundings of the Aurora Intelligent Road. We will use Blender (open-source) to model a virtual environment. The 360 camera was mounted on top of the car, which drove 40 km/h alongside a 10 km long road.

4. Filming the Aurora Intelligent Road in Muonio, Lapland using a 360 camera mounted on top of the car (Credits: FrostBit Software Lab)

Early-phase prototype

In the video below, you can see an early phase prototype of the working simulator. We are ready to integrate the dataset into the simulation as well as 3D models of the Aurora Intelligent Road. The aim is to create a virtual simulation environment in which the visual winter condition can be simulated according to the data. For instance, users can simulate heavy snow or very icy road conditions. The first results of the visual winter simulations are promising although the project is in the early stages.

5. A prototype version of winter condition simulations (Credits: FrostBit Software Lab)

The project is a joint collaboration between companies and universities such as Lapland Proving Ground, Ramboll Finland, Lapland University of Applied Sciences, Roadscanners, Sensible 4, Toptester, and Aurora Snowbox.

If you would like to know more about the project, you can contact Pertti Rauhala at (firstname.lastname@lapinamk.fi).

The FrostBit team working in the project include Pertti Rauhala, Tuomas Herranen, Reko Paananen, Samuli Valkama, Miko Piitsalo, Aleksi Narkilahti, Juha PetÀjÀjÀrvi and Joel Koutonen.

Teachers working in the WinterSIM project: Minna Korhonen, Tauno Tepsa and Petri Hannula.  


Written by Erson Halili | 01/12/2020

Summer Game Studies 2020

In 2020, the Summer Game Studies are held for the fourth time, but this year is exceptional in many ways. For the first time, summer game studies will be conducted entirely remotely, due to the prevailing epidemic situation.

Remote Teaching and studying have posed many new challenges, but at the same time provided an opportunity to try out new teaching methods. Teachers in the Summer Game Studies have become “YouTube stars” and all teaching materials are pre-prepared and uploaded to YouTube for students to use, allowing each student to progress individually – and if something feels difficult, they have the chance to rewind and watch the video again. Although the material is available on YouTube, students are offered individual guidance during the week: Question hours are held from Tuesday through Thursday, teachers tour in groups on Mondays and Fridays, and a Sprint Review is held every other Friday. Sprint Reviews are good opportunities to get to follow the progress and see the different stages of development of the game projects.

At the beginning of the Summer Game Studies, 16 groups of students were formed who will be working together throughout the summer. The Game Studies began with the basics of game design and grouping, from which we continued to learn both programming and modeling with the help of videos. This year, a record number of students took part in summer game studies: more than 110 students were enthusiastic. Students applied from high school, university, and university of applied sciences and each group found their areas of interest and strengths. Best of all, during the summer it is possible to try out different tasks in a group and learn something new. You don’t have to code or model all summer, but you can try different roles according to your preference.

Summer Game Roles
Producer, Game Tester, Sound Designer, Screenwriter, Field Designer, Game Designer, Gameplay Programmer, 3D Programmer, Concept Artist, Technical Artist, VFX Artist, Game Engine Programmer, Network Programmer, Programmer, 3D Artist, Animator, UI Artist, Community Manager, Data Analyzer

Currently, most student teams are spending their summer vacation week, which this year is during the Midsummer week. A week’s holiday after an initial clutch in studies is surely a warm breeze. Spring 2020 has been full of studying for most students, after which summer game studies began with full steam. Now students are allowed to enjoy the summer and take it easy.

After Midsummer, we return to continue our Summer Game studies: the next goal is to build a working prototype that will be tested at the next Sprint Review. Once again, amazing games are to be expected. Although this year’s theme is “Adventure Games”, there will be various genres of games to test at the closing ceremony on August 21st. There will be 2D and 3D games that utilize different game mechanics: so plenty of fun is to be expected! We hope that by the end of the summer we will be able to hold a joint closing ceremony and test the games of each group in the University facilities.

The Summer game studies are organized in co-operation between Lapland University of Applied Sciences and the University of Lapland. The staff of the University of Lapland and the Digital Solutions Competence Group of Lapland University of Applied Sciences work as teachers in summer game studies and are responsible for supervising students.

We will be publishing Game Trailers from the Summer Game Studies on the FrostBit website at the end of the summer – so stay tuned!


Written by Toni Westerlund & Jarkko Piippo | 15/06/2020