ESKO is a virtual reality version of the first Finnish built computer
ESKO assigns the player the role of an intern who is tasked with fixing the computer’s processor and writing code for the machine to read. These tasks are simplified in a manner that is enjoyable for all ages. Players have to fix broken vacuum tubes, write some punch card code with a typewriter and place what they have written in a code reader. If the player successfully completes the code writing mini game, a miniature cannon will fire upon one of the assigned targets.
The game environment is modeled after the 1960’s Finnish office attic where ESKO was situated in real life. 3D models for ESKO were created using photogrammetry and historical images of the computer. Even though the game is simplified to be suitable for even the youngest audiences, all of the games content has been carefully planned with the museum staff for as close as possible historical accuracy.
Players are tasked to fix ESKO’s central processor by changing broken electron tubes, writing code on a punch paper, and inserting it into a code reader. If the code is written successfully, a miniature cannon will fire upon one of the three targets. The ESKO game incorporates a simplified version of the actual programming, where the players have to pull a lever and play a mini game instead of actually punching holes in a sheet of paper.
The gameplay environment was modeled in co-operation with the Finnish museum association and The museum of Technology to match 1960’s Finland as closely as possible. All of the models were made by in-house graphical artists and reviewed for authenticity by the museums’ history professionals. The VR aspect and general gameplay was achieved with Unreal Engine 4 by an in-house programming team.
ESKO is part of a project investigating new methods for presenting art and other museum content in a refreshing and intriguing way. The development team is very interested in developing more art or history related projects, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you are likewise interested in developing something similar.
ESKO will be made available for download after the project has concluded at the end of 2018.