Iron Danger – Shard of Time

A release trailer I created for my game Iron Danger

Iron Danger is my debut PC 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)!

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

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.

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

  • Friday Rewind #27: What’s going on?

      15.11.2019 – HP Noronen Woah, it has been some time since last post! After miserably failing our once per week – cycle, let’s try to get back to track. This time it’s more progress report kind of thing. The main reason why we haven’t been posting anything is that our hands have been even The post Friday Rewind #27: What’s going on? appeared first on Irondanger.

  • Friday Rewind #26: Community heroes

    13.9.2019 – JP Lyytinen Community Challenge We held a small challenge in our Discord server rewarding the most active weekly member with a “shard”. Everyone with 10 shards (10 weeks of being most active) would get a character with their likeness in the game! And as it turned out two heroes came out on top: The post Friday Rewind #26: Community heroes appeared first on Irondanger.

  • Friday Rewind #25: Skills and more skills

    13.9.2019 – HP Noronen   One of the major things we’ve been working lately is to polish character skills, add some new skills and rework on our skill upgrade mechanics. Let’s take a look at main things on that work.   Gaining new skills When adventuring in the world of Iron Danger, our playable characters The post Friday Rewind #25: Skills and more skills appeared first on Irondanger.

  • Friday Rewind #24: UI elements in After Effects

    5.9.2019 – Jussi Kemppainen Using After Effects for UI artwork For the longest time I tried to fight back the tropes of fantasy game UIs, but now after a lot of push-back from the team I have succumbed under the pressure and am now redoing the UI artwork. I wanted to go all in crazy The post Friday Rewind #24: UI elements in After Effects appeared first on Irondanger.

  • Friday Rewind #23: Gamescom conquered, now it’s time for Pax West!

    30.8.2019 – HP Noronen Gamescom conquered Gamescom, the biggest consumer event in gaming industry, and we survived through it! As mentioned earlier, we had own booth at Gamescom as well as had pile of press meetings booked. During the three days of press meetings, we showed the game to over 200 journalists. In addition, our The post Friday Rewind #23: Gamescom conquered, now it’s time for Pax West! appeared first on Irondanger.

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

Screenshots from the final game

Behind The Scenes

The first prototype of the game rewind mechanic from 2015

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

Ainola Alive

A live visual VJ set for Meidän Festivaali celebrating Jean Sibelius and especially his wife, Aino. Together with my brother we produced visuals for 4 concerts in total.

We did not know of the performances in advance, so I built a live visual set capable of adapting to any type of music. All effects were reactive to the music being played and we could control things by hand as well during the live performance. 2 persons were required to control the visuals and keep them going at all times. It felt like playing an instrument as a member of the band. We could play off of the performers and they of us as they were encompassed by the screen.

I also designed the stage which was a first for me.

A promotional clip created for the concerts
A promotional clip created for the concerts
Timelapse of the concert stage being built. I have the bald spot and the red shirt.
The first performance at the stage we did.
Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Illustrations:Antti Kemppainen
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen

Stage previz renders

One of the motion graphics sequences previsualisations sent for the client

Behind the scenes

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