Gorm Lai

Gorm Lai

Independent Game Maker
Senior Contract Programmer
PHD Student @ Goldsmiths
Co-Founder @ Nordic & Global Game Jam

I am currently a late-in-life PhD student at Goldsmiths, University of London, as part of the IGGI PhD Program. If all goes well, I’ll be finishing my PhD by September 2022.



Gorm Lai, Kai Erenli, Foaad Khosmood and William Latham. Game Jam License. In the Proceedings on the Foundation of Digital Games 2019. (pdf)

Allan Fowler, Gorm Lai, Foaad Khosmood (2015). Trends in organizing philosophies of game jams and game hackathons. In Journal GJ Workshop. FDG2015. June 2015. (pdf)

Allan Fowler, Foaad Khosmood, Ali Arya, Gorm Lai (2013). The Global Game Jam for Teaching and Learning. In Journal Proceedings of the 4th Annual Conference on Computing and Information Technology Research and Education New Zealand:28-34, October 2013 (pdf)

Gorm Lai, Niels Jørgen Christensen (2007). A compression method for spectral photon map rendering. Short Proceedings of the 15-th International Conference in Central Europe on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision’2007. Václav Skala-UNION Agency (pdf)

Gorm Lai (2004). A Spectrally Based Global Illumination System (winning poster). Graphical Visionday 2004 at Danish Technical University (DTU).


The aim of my PhD project is to research algorithms and human / computer interaction methods that can be used to create a tool that will let a game designer direct and evolve believable digital creatures, from nothing to full model using machine learning, with the purpose of being able to directly use and export those creatures’ animations and meshes into existing asset pipelines. The ideal output of such a tool / set of algorithms, is a polygonal mesh with a bone structure and several weighted animations similar to the output of industry standard 3d modelling and animation packages such as Maya and 3D Studio Max, potentially saving modelers and animators thousands of hours of work.


Game Engine Design, IT University, Copenhagen, Denmark Fall 2010
I designed the curriculum and taught the Game Engine course in the fall of 2010. The course was 15 ECTS, and had a focus on architecting, designing and implementing a game engine in C++. In earlier years, the course had gotten very bad reviews with different lecturers, so when I took over, I redesigned the whole course from scratch. Luckily I was successful, and at the evaluation at the end of the semester, I got outstanding scores on most of the parameters of quality, satisfaction and relevance.

Raster Graphical Systems, 3D and Virtual Reality, Spring 2003, Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark.


Workshop Chair for Foundation of Digital Games (FDG) 2021

Proceedings Chair for the International Conference on Game Jams, Hackathons and Game Creation Events (ICGJ) 2020

Program Committee for Foundation of Digital Games 2019

Talks and Guest Lectures

Being a Game Developer & The Changing Tides, Leeds Trinity University, February 2019

Keynote – Global Game Jam, Goldsmiths College, University of London, January 2019

3 talks; A Career In Games, Game Jam Intro & Fugl – A Case Study”, Norwich University of the Arts, December 2018

Game Jams, Continue Workshop at The British Library, London, July 2018

Being a Game Developer & The Changing Tides, Leeds Trinity University, February 2018

Keynote – Global Game Jam, York University, January 2018

Being a Game Developer, Leeds Trinity University, November 2017

Game Jams, Summer PIT 2017 - Hackathons, Game Jams, The Demo Scene and other kinds of rapid design event, Aarhus University, Aarhus, Denmark, August 2017

The Inner Workings of a VR Capable Game Engine, Vision Days Conference 2017, Danish Technical University (DTU), Lyngby, Denmark, May 2017

20+ Years of Creative Coding – Tips & Tricks Every Game Developer Should Know, Universidad de las Ciencias Informáticas (UCI), Havana, Cuba, Global Game Jam, January 2017

How To Make Your Own Game Engine, Intel Buzz, London, UK, August 2015

Making A Game Engine Is Easier Than You Think, DEVELOP, Brighton, UK, July 2015

Keynote – Global Game Jam, at Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, January 2015

3 Roundtables on Mobile Game Development, at GDC, San Francisco, United States, March 2014

Game Jams and Hobbyists, at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland, December 2013

The Global Game Jam – Experimenting on Principle, at University of Bedfordshire, November 2012

Global Game Jam, at Tech-Hui, Honoulu, Hawaii, United States, December 2011

How To Make A Playstation 1 Game In 48 Hours, at Nordic Game, Malmö, Sweden, April 2010

Speaker at GDC, San Francisco, United States, March 2010

Speaker at DEVELOP, Brighton, UK, July 2009

The Global Game Jam: Nordic Beginnings, Nordic Game, Malmö, Sweden, May 2009

Speaker at GDC, San Francisco, United States, March 2009

Supervising and Other Academic Experience

Master Thesis Supervisor, Different Universities, Denmark 2006 – 2010
I have supervised lots of students writing their master thesis. Especially in recent years, these students have tended to get top marks.

Teaching Assistant, Center of Advanced Visualization and Interaction (CAVI), Aarhus University, Denmark 2001 – 2004
At CAVI (Center for Advanced Visualization and Interaction) my primary responsibility was supporting the teaching activities at the Center. I helped students and acted as a teaching assistant preparing example programs for the lecturer. I was co-teacher at a class, with a focus on ray tracing, global illumination and tone mapping (HDR). Technologies: C++, Performer, OpenGL, Silicon Graphics mainframes, midi, System 6000, motion-capture, holobench, blue screening, infrared tracking equipment, Windows, Linux, Unix

Recent posts




Currently a late-in-life PhD Student at Goldsmiths, focusing on A-Life, Evolutionary techniques, modelling, animation and rendering.

I am an experienced senior graphics & game engine programmer, with a swiss army knife certificate in cross-platform development and experimental game development. I have worked on 16 commercial games since 2004; among them the multiple award winning LIMBO as well as 2015 BAFTA winner The Dumping Ground.

Besides video games, my portfolio includes virtual reality, a few interactive installations and non-game applications. I am a cross-platform specialist, and have just in the last couple of years, helped bring games to Windows, OS X, Linux, iOS, Android, Oculus Rift and more. Going back, I have worked on most modern platforms (Xbox 360/PS2/embedded devices/ etc).

I am very interested in experimental game development, and have co-founded the Nordic Game Jam as well as the Global Game Jam.