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.

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

    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

    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

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