Aug 232013
 

Alright, this has been a long time coming… I’ve worked at AH for about a year now and haven’t written anything to the blog! Naturally I should introduce myself before I start blabbing about other things so the guys threw me some interview type questions and I went on to answer them.

Please introduce yourself!

Hello everyone! My name is Jyri Ullakko and I’m an artist here at Almost Human. I’ve previously worked on games like Trine 2, Shattered Horizon, and on some mobile games back in the day when I was at Fathammer. I’ve also spent a number of years working at Fake graphics creating graphics for advertisements.

How did you end up at Almost Human?

Well, I knew all of the AH guys before I joined the team. Most of us had worked together at one point or another. I’ve known Antti longest as we met in highschool and then after that worked together at Fathammer. Juho & Olli I met at Futuremark. After Grimrock’s success the guys started thinking about adding some muscle to the art ’department’ and pretty soon I got a message from Antti asking if I wanted to join their little operation. I pretty much pounced at the opportunity as it’s not everyday you get to work in a small successful company with a bunch of your friends on an interesting project where you really get to contribute! … also I felt it was quite the honor that these guys wanted me in their gang as they are one of the most talented people I know!

What is your role at Almost Human?

Juho and I are responsible for creating the graphics for our games. We create the walls, floors, vegetation and whatnot that Antti then uses to build the environments. Then there’s the occasional monster I get to do and sometimes I tinker with creating items for our game…  but everyone at AH sometimes do things outside their main focus. (Like writing up blog posts!) I like to take part in game design when I can or atleast listen in on Antti & Petri to find out what cool stuff they are coming up with. It’s nice to have some variety and not get pigeonholed into working on some narrow bit of the game.  Ofcourse this also means that sometimes we have to do stuff that might not be as fun as bringing to life some weird fantasy creature but hey, that’s a small price to pay for the creative freedom we have!

What does your average day at work look like?

Usually I’m one of the first ones to arrive to the office. I boot up the computer and make myself a couple of sandwiches which I then proceed to consume in front of the computer while I go through the usual set of art and game sites on the interwebz. … and no, no coffee. Oddly only Jykä, our animator, drinks that stuff at AH! (What kind of a twisted band of misfits is this..?) After the morning rituals I fire up zbrush, modo, 3dcoat and photoshop. There will be probably more to follow about the workflow I have in later posts if you guys are interested… Rest of the day consists of sculpting away at whatever monster or a piece of environment I have under construction minus the usual interuptions like lunch, discussions about the game, funny videos, general monkeying around etc. Also it would be nice to add ”workout at the buildings gym” to this description of an average day but I’m still at the gathering motivation phase.

What are you currently working on?

Currently I’m working on a creature that has a special relationship with the player. ;) More on that in a later update!

What else do you do beside working at AH?

I play games. At the moment I’m trying to finish The Last of Us as Mikko from Frozenbyte graciously lent me his game AND console! Thanks Mikko! I’ve also played a lot of Civ V: Brave New World with a friend. It’s a lot of fun now with the dlc, the multiplayer works well! … and then there is our much awaited Descent: Journeys in the dark campaign we’re gearing up to start here at the office! Petri is the evil Overlord and the rest of us are the adventurers trying not to get steamrolled by his minions. Sometimes also I dabble in music. I like to play guitar and beat on my electric v-drums set, both equally poorly, but hey it’s fun and that’s what counts right?

Rest of  (or should I say most of) my freetime is spent with my lovely girlfriend and our furry dog Sulo. :)

Favorite games/books/movies?

I really liked the new XCOM: enemy unknown. Strategy games are where my heart is because usually they are pretty well condenced to contain a lot of meaningful choices and you really have to use your brains in them. XCOM showed nicely that altough it’s turnbased, it can still be fast paced and not boring at all!

Movies eh?  …let’s just say there are so many movies and tv-series I like that it’s probably best if I don’t go into those here… This could become a wall of text, if it isn’t that already.

Why is AH the best place to work at?

Simply because I get to work with talented and fun people, use the set of tools I like and contribute my ideas to the game! There are hardly any of the problems that big companies have and it’s all very immediate.

So there you have it folks! You can expect to hear from me in future blog updates! If you’d like to know more about me you can write your questions down in the comment section.

 

 

 

  11 Responses to “Meet the Team: Jyri”

  1. I registered just to ask you this very specific question: Are you using the new Zremesher function in Zbrush? I would absolutely LOVE to see a breakdown of what your workflow is like.

    Can’t wait to play the new Grimrock :)

    /Johannes

    • Hello Johannes!

      Sure, zremesher is great! I use dynamesh a lot and that tends to create very dense mesh which makes certain things like posing difficult. zremesher is a fast and easy way to make the mesh easier to pose and make bigger adjustments. One trick I use is I zremesh an object with a high polycount, take its lowest subdivision to Modo and pose or adjust it there. When I then import it back to zbrush it replaces the lowest subdivision level and higher subdivision levels automatically take the new shape!

      I suppose we could shed some light on our workflow in some later blog post. :)

      • Awesome! That modo trick is brilliant, i need to check that out. Theres loads of info about how a company like Bioware uses this kind of software, but I think it would be really neat to see how an indie company does it. So i’d personally love to see a more in depth post about how you work, and i’m absolutely sure i’m not the only one!

  2. Great to hear more about you Jyri and interesting to hear what your day is like. Would love to hear more about your workflow in a future post. While primarily a programmer – I like to dabble in 3D work, but am overwhelmed by the idea of creating a monster so far. For people like me it would be nice to hear how you do a monster from start to finish (and a very rough time estimate for the major steps would be interesting too).

    Also intrigued by your little teaser about what you are working on too – eager to hear more about that!

    On a complete side note – have always thought Descent: JITD looks great, but haven’t found any players to subject to overlording! Maybe we will one day see a video game version like Warhammer Quest.

  3. Hello and welcome, Jyri! I absolutely loved the graphics in Trine 2. So you might have made something I REALLY enjoyed looking at! What was your favorite creation in that game?

    • Thanks! Great to hear that Trine 2 was pleasing to the eye. There’s no particular favorite creation really. I upgraded the wizards box and plank objects for Trine 2, you might have seen those! ;) I guess if I’d have to say something I’d say that my best work was on the Goblin menace expansion.

  4. I love Descent: Journeys in the Dark! It one of my all time favorite board games. Are you guys playing 1st edition or 2nd? Which heroes are each of you using? Which campaign?

    • Descent is great! We’re playing the 2nd edition with the Labyrinth of ruin expansion. We’ve also played the first edition for a long time. We started in Remedy’s meeting room when Antti & Petri were still working there. During weekends of course. ;)

  5. How big is your team? How many people are full time and how many are contractors? I know you have one programmer (must be a superstar to program the whole game :) so I am guessing your company is 6 full time with perhaps 2 contractors….

    • The team is only 6 people: one programmer, two 3D artists, two animators and one level designer, although everybody does stuff outside their primary “job description”. For example, Antti, the level designer did audio work for Girmrock 1, I did about half of the levels for Grimrock 1 while doing all the programming, Olli pays the bills etc.

      And yes, we are outsourcing some stuff, for example, the portraits and music production of LoG2.

  6. How about some new screenshots? :)

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