Echoes of Somewhere

Game trailer. Environments and characters created with the help of AI, or completely with AI.

Echoes of Somewhere is an experimental 2.5D point and click adventure game anthology series developed by a group of game industry veterans on their free time.

The project relies heavily on AI generated content and as such is an experiment in itself. We will be documenting the progress here in this development blog. For good or for worse.

Each episode in the series is about 1-4 hours of classic point-and-click gameplay in a new world with new characters. Even the art style will vary from episode to episode.

The episodes will be released for free one by one when completed.

Download the game demo:

Speech about the game project at Games Now!:

Latest posts from the blog:

  • Simple camera controller+
    by Jussi Kemppainen on June 4, 2024 at 06:26

    I had created a very simple camera controller for the city hall interior scene. But it was not very usable in other scenes. So I rewrote the code and made it universal and a lot easier to use! The post Simple camera controller+ appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Footsteps audio refactoring
    by Jussi Kemppainen on March 23, 2024 at 08:02

    I upgraded my rather simple footsteps audio system to a fully fledged surface type / character type retrieval setup that I can expand in the editor. The old system had hard coded arrays, but this new one is user editable directly in editor! The post Footsteps audio refactoring appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • AI assisted location: Hamburger restaurant
    by Jussi Kemppainen on February 18, 2024 at 16:23

    In the first big puzzle hub, one of the non-linear storylines takes you to a hamburger restaurant. There will be a big, hamburger related puzzle in there! But this week, we talk about creating the AI assisted location. The post AI assisted location: Hamburger restaurant appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Closeup camera angles
    by Jussi Kemppainen on February 3, 2024 at 12:09

    With Magnific now being able to upscale all the way up to 16x I wanted to try closeup camera angles for the game. The post Closeup camera angles appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Animated hotspot icons
    by Jussi Kemppainen on January 10, 2024 at 22:30

    I was working on the Steam Deck compatibility of the game this week and the main pain point was the hotspots. As I was fixing the code, I decided to try to make the hotspots animated! The post Animated hotspot icons appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Accessibility options
    by Jussi Kemppainen on January 4, 2024 at 14:58

    I am big into accessibility. It was now finally time to get started on accessibility options for Echoes of Somewhere. The post Accessibility options appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Project 1 year anniversary!
    by Jussi Kemppainen on December 28, 2023 at 00:43

    Happy birthday! Echoes of Somewhere has now been in “active” development for a year. Lets look back on the year! The post Project 1 year anniversary! appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Echoes Of Somewhere demo release on itch.io
    by Jussi Kemppainen on December 21, 2023 at 09:04

    I have been actively working on the project for one full year now. And to celebrate this milestone, I am releasing a short Echoes Of Somewhere demo of the game for Windows & Mac OS! The post Echoes Of Somewhere demo release on itch.io appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Preparing for demo release
    by Jussi Kemppainen on December 16, 2023 at 23:06

    The beginning part of the game has been almost ready for release as a short demo for quite a while. But it was missing some polish that I am working on now. The post Preparing for demo release appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

  • Talking about Echoes of Somewhere
    by Jussi Kemppainen on December 4, 2023 at 14:39

    I have an Echoes of Somewhere presentation I have done a couple of times around Europe. You can now watch it here in full. The post Talking about Echoes of Somewhere appeared first on Echoes of Somewhere.

3D Characters for Sanoma Pro

I modelled, textured and rigged a set of 3D versions of 2D characters created for Sanoma Pro Educational books. They are used on AR content on an ABC book called “Ystävien Aapinen”, ”Ystävien Lukukirja” and an English language book series, “Come With Me”, with 3 installations rolled out.

I also developed the scripting for the Unity scene-flow and asset bundle loading, user interactions and the Morph-based facial animation workflow from Blender to Unity.

Character animations by Janne Roivainen.

Iron Danger – Shard of Time

A release trailer I created for my game Iron Danger

Iron Danger is my debut PC/PS5/XBOX game as a game director.

It is a game all about maximising your actions in combat with the help of infinite redos and intuitive trial and error. It is basically a gamified combat sequence animation tool (so cool)!

Play Experience

Gamescom 2019 Best experience: Winner

Finnish game awards 2021

Best creative achievement of the year 2020: Winner

Big screen game of the year 2020: Nominee

Finnish game of the year 2020: Nominee

TechRaptor

Best of E3 2019: Nominee

Rock Paper Shotgun: The best game you missed in march: Iron Danger

A lot of games market themselves as being built around a “unique” mechanic. And while 90% of the time these mechanics are not in fact unique, every so often you get one that’s the real deal, and this tactical RPG with functional time travel is certainly one of ’em.

Iron Danger for consoles

Iron Danger was released for PS5 and Xbox S/X in 2023. Gamepad controls were finally added to the game and I think this is the best way to experience the game.

Soundtrack

Iron Danger main theme cover by Game Music Collective

Screenshots

Info about the game

Gameplay

Iron Danger is a tactical combat game with a unique time manipulation mechanic. A never before seen combination that blends the tactical depth of turn-based games with the exciting action of real-time games.

Tackle challenging encounters with your party of two characters, using a variety of skills and highly interactive environments.

Maybe you will set an enemy on fire and kick them into a grain field for a proper barbeque, or set up a trap and fell a tree on top of them. The options are endless and it is you who will be deciding your own approach!

You have control over time

You have control over time

The core of Iron Danger is its unique time control mechanic. You can rewind time for up to 5 seconds whenever you want, trying different strategies and combinations of moves until you find the right one for the task at hand.

The time manipulation allows us to combine real-time combat gameplay with controls from more traditional, tactical turn-based combat games. This gives tactical combat a puzzle-like element, as you can continuously keep trying new approaches to turn impossible odds to your advantage and synchronize the actions of your characters for the perfect outcome.

You will die, but you will not fail!

World and Story

Iron Danger is set in a world of lofty fells, primeval forest, and placid lakes… as well as living gods and monsters of steel. The city of Kalevala, home of the humans who rebelled against the gods and forsook their protection, shines in the middle of this world, surrounded by towns, sea lanes and and woodlands under its protection.

But from the frozen north, a witch queen is leading her army on a quest for vengeance against the lords of Kalevala. Ancient ruins from the days when gods dwelled on the earth are opening to unleash forgotten powers, tempting humans and striving to overtake the world.

You’ll take on the role of Kipuna, a sharp-witted village girl, who becomes imbued with an ancient power that grants dominion over time and death. You must use your wits to control it as you’re drawn into the midst of a war between the city of Kalevala and the armies of the Northlanders driven by their witch queen Lowhee.

Your task is to master the power, in order to use it for mankind’s protection, while your enemies will seek to harness it in the service of total destruction.

Features

Use unique time-rewind mechanics and experience a new take on tactical combat combining best aspects of real-time and turn-based combat.

Use highly interactive environment for your advantage to succeed against impossible odds.

Adventure in a world of steampunk fantasy and meet its unique inhabitants inspired by Finnish folklore.

Fight epic boss monsters on the path to fulfill your destiny.

No grinding; character progression pace is controlled by the story and every fight matters.

15+ hours of gameplay

Reviews

PC Invasion – 90
“Iron Danger is a fun game that takes us to fantasy Finland and lets us play with time. This is a surprisingly good combination before you take interactive environments and the vibrant art style into account. If you want to play a fantasy RPG that’s lighter on the RP and heavier on G(ameplay), try this one out.”

DarkStation – 90
“From its inception to the execution, Iron Danger showcases a rare, coherent vision where everything comes together to form a unified experience, not least because of truly novel gameplay that holds it all together. I’m afraid that Iron Danger has spoiled other games in its genre for me. I can no longer imagine playing formulaic fantasy tropes with rigid combat and eternally repeated, tired systems.”

Player2 – 83
“Iron Danger feels like a breath of fresh air for CRPGs. While not a perfect game, its unique, time-based combat system is a pure joy to play with and worth the price of admission alone.”

Iron Danger Dev blog

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Videos of Iron Danger from around the web

Video about Iron Danger by Force Gaming
My interview by Geek-Pool
The full Finnish Game Awards ceremony 2021

Behind The Scenes

The first prototype of the game rewind mechanic from 2015

Related works

Iron Danger – Teaser Trailer

A teaser trailer I created for my debut PC game as a game director.

Iron Danger Proof of Concept

A proof of concept trailer for Sami Timonen’s Iron Danger movie.

Iron Danger – Teaser Trailer

A cinematic teaser trailer I created for my game. Music by Ilmari Hakkola.

I created this trailer from a level I made for Iron Danger. The VFX, models and animations I used we from the game, but naturally I had to create custom animators and special versions of the particle systems to create a frozen in time effect. An effect the game leans heavily on, as time stands still while you plan your next moves.

My debut PC/PS5/XBOX game as a game director. A game all about maximising your actions in combat with the help of infinite redos and intuitive trial and error. Winner of Best Creative Achievement of the year 2020 at Finnish Game Awards.

Iron Danger – Shard of Time

Olavi Elää

A cool album cover for a Finnish rock album from Olavi Uusivirta. I did the layout and rendering and 3D scanned model cleanup for this project. The director of the project was Tero Ahonen.

Quantum Break

Trailer for Quantum Break, showcasing some of the work we did for the cinematics in the game.

Quantum Break is a blockbuster game with time-amplified action and a suspenseful storyline brought to life in a way never done before by fusing gameplay and a gripping live action show. Time itself becomes fractured in a time travel experiment, Jack Joyce fights the secretive Monarch Solutions to put things right before it’s too late. The actions you take and choices you make shape your experience in the show, creating a new and unique entertainment experience.

The Visual Effects Society

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project: Nominee

Slush 2015

Promotional behind the scenes video of our Slush 2015 work

My company, VAU, produced the visuals and the tools for all the stages at Slush 2015.

Animatics

The first rough animatic
The first 3D animatic
An almost final 3D render of the Slush Main Stage presenter introduction video

Remedy logo animations

Collection of the different types of text animations I created for Quantum Break

For Quantum Break I also got to create a set of various motion graphics. Mainly logo animations and in-game branding for Monarch corporation.

Quantum Break logo animation

The Quantum Break branded logo animations were created in After Effects with Video Copilot Element 3D & Trapcode Particular, carefully mimicking the look of the in-game stutter effect created by Janne Pulkkinen.

The CFR branding video example

I also created a bunch of in-game used branding content for screens in various levels.

Michael

A video installation of Michael Jackson created for Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.

I worked on the face replacements for the wide shots. We painstakingly created this with Nuke & Maya well before the time of AI face replacements.

VFX Production Company:Troll VFX
Artist:Adel Abidin
Director:Sam Shingler
Technical DirectorJuuso Kaari

Missä Kuljimme Kerran

A historical movie set in Helsinki in the period from 1905 until 1944. Among its motifs are the often vain search for happiness, love and prosperity. It tells the stories of the aristocratic Lilliehjelm family, the middle-class Widing family and the poor Kajander family from the Finland’s independence through the Civil War and the Roaring Twenties, and ending during the Second World War.

Behind the Scenes

A behind the scenes look at some of the matte work
Before and after shots of the car accident. A scene I directed for the show.

Halton

Halton presentation video

A corporate video created for Halton indoor climate solutions. I did the direction on this one.

We made a number of different company presentation videos at Kombo, many of them very nice in their respective ways like this one, but they are almost all lost to time.

W3 Awards 2011

Silver

Vuoden Huiput 2011

Shortlist

Cosmic Avenger

A short animated film about 2 mail-robots that encounter an abandoned package. I was contacted by the director duo Mariko & Ismo after they had seen my music video Pieni ja Ihmeellinen. They loved its style and wanted to create an animated movie using the same visual style.

This time we went even bolder with matching various animation styles and we introduced traditional stop motion puppet animation and servo controlled robots. We also expanded our use of costumed live action elements as parts of puppets.

Behind the scenes image gallery

MTV3 MAX – WW2

A ad for donations to help the finnish war veterans. Created from actual war-time photographs.

Fun facts:
Made from concept to final video in 3 days in a very high fever with a laptop at home.
1 day / setup.
Uses basic camera projection techniques, but I wanted to move the camera "too much" to make it more interesting.

Flora Christmas

A miniature based advert for a vegetable spread.

This ad is almost completely made with miniatures. We built a small globe and filmed it spinning. The actors were shot on a crane. 3D elements; like the cars, ships, road and water; were overlaid on the globe to add life to the scene.

The globe asset and me as a young, bald eagle.

Kauppalehti

A film to celebrate an update to the Finnish financial magazine

The animation and post production for this film celebrating an update of a Finnish financial magazine was created by me and Ilmari Hakkola in one week. We combined 3D, after effects and some filmed elements.

Biisi Liisi & Kurittomat nuotit

A teaser video for a new kind of note reading teaching method. Created at Kombo in the year 2008.

DirectorJussi Kemppainen
ScreenplayLauri Konttori
IllustrationsLauri Konttori
Director or PhotographyToni Pasanen
ProducerKatja Kostiainen
CompositingJussi Kemppainen, Ilmari Hakkola
3D ModelingJussi Kemppainen
2D AnimationLauri Konttori
3D AnimationJussi Kemppainen
Costume DesignerAnna Vilppula
VoiceoverJarmo koski
EditingJussi Kemppainen
Color GradingJussi Kemppainen

Pieni ja Ihmeellinen

An AI HD remaster

A music video for Retropop.

For the longest time I had this idea of a music video with very very small planets. I tried to shop it around for quite a while without finding a great song to make it for. Then Universal luckily had a song about small planets as well and the rest is history!

Original video on YouTube
Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Screenplay:Lauri Konttori
Puppets and Miniatures:Lauri Konttori, Jussi Kemppainen, Antti Kemppainen
Wardrobe:Mirkka Kallio
Gaffer:Toni Pasanen, Lauri Konttori
Grip:Antti Kemppainen, Jyrki Kemppainen
Drawings:Lauri Konttori, Tommi Ojala
Thanks:Jyri Sääksjärvi, Tero Ahonen, Riitta Kemppainen
Roosa Saarinen, Alex Keskitalo, Vanessa Riki, Markus Kallio
Topi Kemppainen, Anna Kemppainen, Mikko Haapala, Arttu Kotisara

Muuvi 2007

Audience Choice Winner

Behind the Scenes

These photos are from my archives from all the way back in 2007

Costumes

Miniatures

Principal photography

Snow

HD version

A music video for Pooma. Shot by me, my dad and brother Antti at our summer cottage during one rainy night using self-built camera wire rig and a dolly.

I actually had to shoot the cabin sections twice, because it was so dark and the image vas unusably noisy on the first go. GH5s or Alpha 7 s camera would have been a something!

YouTube version
Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Grip:Christoffer Forssell, Juuso Kemi, Antti Kemppainen, Jyrki Kemppainen
Thanks:Jere Leskinen, Arttu Kotisara, Tuire Lukka

OMVF 2008

Honorary Mention

Warhammer 40 000 Squad Command

Gameplay footage of Warhammer 40 000 Squad Command for the PSP.

Squad Command is the only PSP & Nintendo game I have worked on. I did the 3D production planning for the project and modeled many of the characters and other 3D assets for it.

The nicer part of it was that the game production was sold to Games Workshop using a prototype I produced together with Sebastian Aaltonen and Vesa Halonen.

Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command is a turn-based tactics game set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, released on November 16, 2007, for the PlayStation Portable and Nintendo DS. It was developed by RedLynx. The game features three Space Marine Chapters pitted against three Legions of Chaos (two and two for the DS) battling it out on the planet of Ruhr III. The game features units from the tabletop wargame.
A cutscene from Warhammer 40 000 Squad Command.
Squad Command on the Nintendo DS.

Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands

A behind the scenes of sorts for PtG: II. I can be seen with my silly hat at the very beginning.

Our second Pathway to glory game. My responsibilities were the same as with the first game: 3D assets, UI, characters and terrains.

Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands is a tactical turn-based game for the Nokia N-Gage, published by Nokia and developed by RedLynx, released in late 2005. The game is a sequel to the original Pathway to Glory.

Pathway To Glory

This was the first game project I ever worked on full-time.

I mostly worked on the 3D assets for the game: tanks, soldiers, weapons and structures. But I also created the UI and terrain textures.

World War II in Southern Europe, 1943: the struggle for Europe is at a critical point. Special forces are urgently needed, and you're going to lead a platoon of them. But be prepared for full immersion: one look at the painstakingly researched uniforms, weapon types, and locations, and you'll be itching to get on the battlefield. With intuitive controls and nearly innumerable variables in gameplay, Pathway to Glory is like any great game - it takes a moment to learn, and a lifetime to master. PATHWAY TO GLORY is the most anticipated N-Gage title for 2004, and rightly so - it's built to deliver more depth in detail, emotion, and playing experience than any other mobile game made before.

Gamespot best and worst of 2004

Best N-Gage game: Runner-up

Pelit magazine games of the year 2004

Best hand-held game of the year 2004: Winner

The vehicles I modelled for the game. I had one or two days of time for each.

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