Trafficking game development blog

Footage from the game in progress. AI car mechanics and some art asset evaluations. The environment is a Google Earth capture placeholder.

This project has been my hobby for a while now. A game I am slowly working on all by myself! I set up this blog to chronicle the progress of the development.

10 latest posts from the blog:

  • Introducing our AI overlords
    by Jussi on May 29, 2022 at 16:00

    With the emergence of AI image generation tools such as Google Imagen, DALL-E 2 and Midjourney and my day job keeping me too busy to create any hobby project content myself, I thought it might be possible to create a short adventure game with the help of these AI tools.

  • First Pivot
    by Jussi on August 9, 2021 at 13:38

    My goal for this project has always been to create “mini games” under a larger umbrella. To create varied experiences bundled in one game under a larger story that unfolds slowly. I have now begun to challenge this idea.

  • Pushing a car into the ocean
    by Jussi on April 15, 2021 at 10:00

    In this post I will tell about the game scripting in more detail. We will start by pushing a car off of a container ship.

  • Planar Reflections and Patrol Boats
    by Jussi on February 24, 2021 at 18:26

    After modeling a small patrol boat I realised that I need real reflections in the water!

  • Isometric, large location learnings
    by Jussi on February 15, 2021 at 20:27

    After working on the ship location for a while, I ran into some issues that came from the fact that I was working on a game that had fewer spatial limitations than adventure games usually have.

  • Very early gameplay
    by Jussi on February 12, 2021 at 20:40

    I started to work on the actual story content after making the first script for the opening act. I captured some footage of that progress.

  • Procedural tools introduction
    by Jussi on February 8, 2021 at 18:45

    I added procedural level creation tools into the mix and set up the ship level to test them!

  • Uncharted charts
    by Jussi on December 26, 2020 at 15:59

    Creating a vertical slice of the game with around 1 hour of gameplay is my goal for 2021!

  • The origins of the game
    by Jussi on December 19, 2020 at 20:18

    This is the story of how the idea for the game came to me during an 8 year period.

  • Ship location update 2
    by Jussi on December 14, 2020 at 12:59

    I did a quick pass on the ship location populating some areas.

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)!

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.

Screenshots

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

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.

Iron Danger – Shard of Time

My debut PC 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.

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

Heaven Or Hell

I got this gig just when I was returning from a holiday. I spent the whole trip home playing the song on a loop and feeling the visuals that it would give me. The idea I got was to visualise the DAW software: to replace each and every bar of music with a copy of the band member playing the correct part of the song.

When I presented this idea to Osmo, he had just one catch: he played most of the instruments himself. The last video we did together featured multiple copies of him! I was still so exited about the DAW idea that I did this video with my original idea anyway.

Maybe this is a trilogy? With the last video still to be made?

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen
Grip:Lauri Konttori, Jyri Sääksjärvi

Distorted Love

Director:Jussi Kemppainen 
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen 
Gaffer:Ville Vainio 
Grip:Sami Kustila 
Animators:Jussi Kemppainen, Ilmari Hakkola, Lauri Konttori, Tuomas Gustaffson

Muuvi 2009

Shortlist

A supplementary video filmed during the video shoot.

All By Myself

A live performance of a song by Osmo Ikonen. All video material is of the actual takes.

The story behind this video is pretty freaky. I had discovered this cool Myspace artist, Osmo Ikonen, that was on heavy rotation at our animation studio office. We had listened to his stuff for maybe a week and I suddenly got a phone call from an unknown number. To my amazement, the caller was Osmo Ikonen, asking if I would like to direct a music video for him.

Of course I did – free of charge!

I can no longer remember where I got the idea for the duplicated people from, but needless to say I am into Michel Gondry big time!

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Performers:Osmo Ikonen, Petteri Sariola
Director of Photography:Toni Pasanen
Sound engineer:Niklas Nylund

Luonnonkuoret

Direction:Jussi-Petteri Kemppainen
Performers:Antti Kemppainen, Jyri Sääksjärvi, Paavo Vartiainen,
James Barnes, Heidi Kauppinen
Drivers:Tiia Arnberg, Jyrki Kemppainen

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

Huudetaan

An AI remastered HD video on YouTube

In memory of Markus.

A music video for Zarkus Poussa. A story about a couple who can not stop fighting but can not break up either.

The first music video I have ever directed. This made me quit my then on-going game development career and go into video production for almost 10 years.

Direction:Jussi Kemppainen
Screenplay:Jussi Kemppainen, Zarkus Poussa
Actress:Minna Puolanto
ThanksJyrki Sukula, VIA ravintola

OMVF 2006

Honorary Mention