3 years ago, I started development on the adventure game Stasis.

After working nights, and weekends on the game I decided to take it to Kickstarter where I raised just over $100,000 to work on the game full time.

KICKSTARTER LINK: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bischoff/stasis-2d-isometric-scifi-horror-adventure-game

GAME WEBSITE: www.stasisgame.com

ALPHA DEMO: www.stasisgame.com/getstasis

PROOF: https://twitter.com/StasisGame/status/408309066444705792

EDIT: Thanks so much for this guys! I had an awesome time! If you have any other questions, you can reach me on the contact page on the STASIS site, or through Kickstarters comments/messaging system!


Comments: 118 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Chris_Bischoff36 karma


imariaprime8 karma

Steam has an excellent sense of timing ;)

Chris_Bischoff5 karma

Its like it was all planned... :D

Chris_Bischoff7 karma

And my first ever Reddit gold!

The_0racle10 karma

Hey Chris. I backed your project a week or two ago because it reminded me of the classic adventure games that I played as a kid. Full Throttle was by far my favorite one.

My question is how much of a puzzle element will you be putting into the game? Are the puzzles going to be small such as figure out how to get this console working or do you plan to make then large such as figure out how to progress to Chapter 3? I assume it will be a combination of small puzzles that are pieces to a larger one.

Chris_Bischoff6 karma

The puzzles are really in the game to drive the story. Whenever I come to a part in the game where the story needs to take precident, puzzles move to the side.

But yes-the puzzles generally are smaller pieces that form a larger puzzle to get through an obstacle. That way you aren't bombarded with this HUGE thing to get passed, but rather you are fed small manageable bits, and put them together yourself.

I find the best way to think about puzzle design is how would someone describe that experience after! It has to sound awesome when explaining it.

Cutting off a hand with a shard of glass is awesome. Stick cat hair in your face does not. :D

dakkster8 karma

Hey Chris! Congratulations on getting funded!

I pledged to the kickstarter when it was below $5000 so seeing it pop $100k get me VERY excited, especially since it seemed to slow down a bit at around $70k :)

But anyway, I tried the alpha yesterday and I have a few questions about how representative it is of the full game and what the biggest changes you have planned are.

  1. Options. I understand that since it's an alpha you don't really put in a lot of options for a point and click game like this, but I was thinking that it would be nice to be able to up the resolution.

  2. Walking animations for the main character. A lot of the time he was walking crooked, so to speak. The way he was animated told me he was going to walk in one direction, but then when he veered it looked a bit weird. Do you have more animations in store?

  3. Pathfinding. Clicking to get to some places made him walk some VERY strange paths. Will that be optimized?

  4. Highlighting. I don't know if you've played Baldur's Gate 2, but in that game I think we could press TAB or some other key and then all the items you could interact with would be highlighted on the screen as long as you kept that key pressed. I like adventure games, but having to scan every room screen with the mouse cursor can get old pretty quickly :)

I love the ambience in the game, the general feel of it. I was blown away by the intro. I love that you are using just about the ultimate list of pop culture as inspiration for this. It's going to be fantastic!

Chris_Bischoff5 karma

Thank you for showing support so early on! You guys really are amazing!

The resolution is unfortunately locked at 1280 x 720, as thats what all the screens are rendered at. The next game will be full HD!

John currently only has 8 directions, but will have 16/32 in the final game, which will get rid of that 'sliding'!

Path finding is currently being worked on!

Im still in 2 minds about highlighting objects in the game...but its certainly something Im not discounting!

ColOfNature7 karma

Congratulations on hitting the target! Really looking forward to playing Stasis, and have been enjoying the world-building. Will I be able to geek out by immersing myself in lore prior to the game releasing? It sounds like a very interesting future history you're working on!

Chris_Bischoff8 karma

We may release more history of the world as the game gets closer to completion. I have an entire timeline of the last 100 years before STASIS takes place, including everything from Hendry Caynes birth, to the construction, decommission, and re purposing of The Groomlake.

Im also a massive geek when it comes to the extended universes AROUND games and films, so having all this content planned out before was a must for me!

We have also written a few other stories which take place in the same universe, with the idea to scatter those references inside Stasis. I hope to one day have an entire 'network' of media in this universe, spanning games, stories, and even graphic novels!

ShoganShongololo5 karma

Very proud to see a fellow S. African game developer/hobbyist programmer gain a successful funding via Kickstarter. I am a massive fan of this genre, so am really looking forward to playing the final product. I have played the Alpha for an hour or so already and am enjoying the story so far. What language do you code with on the Visionaire engine?

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

Dankie! Visioniare supports LUA scripts, but has a fantastic WYSIWYG editor!

Hiro_ZA4 karma

Very excited about STASIS, based on the videos alone. I don't want to play the Alpha as I do not want to spoil anything. How will you ensure a smooth and intuitive UI for your Point-n-Click game ?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

I have taken my inspiration for the UI design from Dead Space. The 'less is more' route that they took to their UI is incredible, and having everything actually happen in the 'game world' was inspiring. It really keeps you rooted in the world.

The UI in Stasis is supposed to be an unintrusive as possible, limiting the amount of superfluous clicking. The idea is that in the 'real world' you don't have to decide when to look at something. Your brain automatically processes the information that you are focused on.

I tried to get that same feeling across in the interface, by making the information as accessible as possible to the player!

If you give the demo a try, you will see how streamlined it is!

domboscb3 karma


What other games have you been creating other than Stasis - i really think your work looks superb and looking forward to getting my hands on your current creation. What engine do you use? Who does the art/animation/engine/particle physics/physics/ai work?


Casey Dombos

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

I have created lots of small games that have never left my hard drive!

There was a scorched earth clone a few years back called Blast Radius, and a Star Control 2 inspired game called OutWorld (later called AlienME)

Stasis is running on Visioniare, the same engine behind The Whispered World, and the Deponia series!

I do everything in the game. Art, animation, programming, etc.

adamblahuta3 karma

How much access are players going to get to the alpha version of the game and how are you working around avoiding spoiling important content?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

The Alpha is only a very small slice of the game. If you look at it in movie terms, its the first 5 minutes of Alien when they are just waking up!

The chapter is very important from an establishing point of view, but the real 'meat' of the story will start to happen in chapter 2.

imariaprime2 karma

This was an easy Kickstart for me from the first time a friend showed it to me.

What would you say the most innovative element of Stasis is? There's a lot of familiar mechanics (isometric view, point & click investigation, etc), so what is Stasis bringing to the table that hasn't been seen before?

(This sounds like a critique, but it isn't. I backed Stasis because it was what I knew I liked, but I'm curious as to what else I'm going to see down the line.)

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

Thats the funny thing about Stasis...it really isnt bringing anything 'new' to the table, but rather just polishing whats already there!

The idea was to create a proper 'old school' adventure game, and hopefully capture the magic that I felt when playing games like The Dig, and Space Quest.

Combining the AG mechanics with a highly detailed Isometric world is perhaps the most 'unique' feature of the game, but again - its something that has been done before!

I think people are cottoning onto Stasis precisely because it has an old school feel, but with updated graphics, and perhaps a slightly more unique (in comparison with other games) look and feel.

qnnplmr2 karma

Do you have any estimate of the final length of the game you're shooting for?

Backed the game as soon as I opened up the alpha, the atmosphere is dripping with dread. I love it!

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

The final game will be 8 - 12 hours in length. Possibly longer if you get really stuck!

GotenXiao2 karma

Would you be open to releasing a Linux version at some point? It's the one thing holding me bank from pledging.

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

The idea is to release Stasis on as many platforms as possible. Linux is high on that list!

The engine actually DOES already run on Linux, so there is no reason for Stasis not to be released on it as a platform...the only thing thats standing in the way of an official announcement is my overly cautious nature!

Until I actually SEE the game running on the platform, I don't want to make any promises!

Some people have had good experiences with WINE tho.

FastRedPonyCar2 karma

Just popped in to say I'm so glad you hit your KS goal. I pledged after seeing the thread on GAF.

The thing that pushed me to do so was actually the fact that you had a TANGIBLE product you could show potential backers. Not just sketches or concepts or ideas on what it will hopefully eventually be but an actual playable proof of concept/alpha.

That to me instills so much more confidence as a supporter and almost all of the KS projects I've backed have had some sort of in-game demonstration of progress that tells me the creators have already invested quite a bit of time and resources towards their game.

So yeah. Thanks for spending the time to get your game up and going to show us instead of just tossing a bunch of concept pictures to us.

Good luck with the rest of development and I'm looking forward to playing!

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

Thanks so much! Especially for the money! :D

Yeah-getting the Alpha demo out was VERY important to us, in that its a game that works best when you can actually experience it for yourself.

For anyone on the fence about the game, PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE ALPHA! Even if you dont pledge, you can still email me with any comments, crits, or suggestions about what you think would make the game better!

FastRedPonyCar1 karma

Hey chris I'm downloading the demo and I have an unrelated question. on the downloads page, it has what looks like a computer screen for each system. Do you have a full resolution (1080p or higher) version of that picture showing the view from outer space looking down at the planet that we can download and use for wallpaper?

It looks like something from deviant art or something.

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Its a hand painted matt that I did (to get the lighting strikes). I'm sure I can get something in higher res out a little later!

Naffetz2 karma

Is´t possible that stasis is translated into other languages​​?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

We will look at localisation once the game is complete, but it is certainly something I want to do!

Hiro_ZA2 karma

With a game of this nature, the crisper the image, the better. What are your plans for the Max RESOLUTION ?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Currently its locked at 1280 x 720, but future games will be done at true HD, or higher!

For Stasis I felt it was important to keep things as manageable as possible!

mradfo212 karma

I'm an artist at Naughty Dog and i just want to say, I've been a huge fan of yours for years now. Really inspired by the work you've done. Can't wait to see what happens with Stasis!

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Damn! Naughty Dog are HIGH on my list of 'Developers I love the most'.

Thanks so much for the high praise!

tdemiris2 karma

Hi Chris and congratulations! I am really looking forward to it and from what I've seen you have already proved that you are more than capable of pulling it off and deliver a great game. I was wondering what softwares have you been using to make the game and how much coding was involved on your part? I am a vfx artist myself and have more than once though of the prospect of following on your footsteps at some point in my life. What kind of technical skills would you suggest one acquires before he jumps on a journey like yours??

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Visioniare is an amazing engine, and really requires minimal input from you from a coding point of view. Most of the game could easily be made just using the WYSIWYG interface.

All graphics are done in 3DSMax, and rendered in Vray. For textures I use Paintshop Pro, and video editing is done with the Adobe Suite (After Effects, and Premier). Music and sound is FL Studio, and Audacity.

As for technical skills, its something that you don't know until you try! I had NO experience in creating something of this scale before I started Stasis, and I just jumped in feet first!

blendtech20002 karma

Where do you take your inspirations from when you need to create a small puzzle in the game ?

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

McGuyver! Seriously...I think what would Mac do in that situation. I look at what would be in that room, and how it can be combined into something else.

John isn't a marine, or a scientist. He is a normal guy, so its important to put myself in his mindset when trying to figure something out. He isn't going to rewire a machine...he is going to jam a wrench into it!

yoelish2 karma

What was your day job? Are you keeping it still?

In what language is the game written? In retrospect is there a different one that might have been a better choice?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

I am an architectural artist. I own an illustration company with my brother, but the idea is to eventually move into full time game production.

This Kickstarter will allow me to do just that!

I'm a pretty shyte programmer, so honestly the best choice is the one that allows me to make the game! Visioniare is a VERY powerful engine, and lets you get excellent results in a very short amount of time!

robotgentleman2 karma

Huge fan of adventure games, can't wait for Stasis! Congratulations on reaching your Kickstarter goal.

How long did you prepare for the Kickstarter campaign? Have you considered launching it earlier in the development?

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

We prepared the campaign for about 4 months.

I dont think that the game was ready before, but Im an artist that believes that great art is never complete, only abandoned! I could have worked on the Alpha for another 6 months, and still wanted more time on it!

Hiro_ZA2 karma

I noticed in one of the trailers that the little girl singing the bedtime song had a strong "Saffer" accent :-) For the record, my personal preference would be for US and UK accents to be used, as it gives it a more realistic flavour.

Will you be using ZA voice actors ? Can you get Claudia Black and Nathon Fillion to jump on board ? :-)

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

The little girl is my brothers niece. :D

Ill be using a variety of actors in the game. The main character, John, is played by an American, with Te'ah being played by a wonderful British actress. The rest of the cast will be as multinational as I can muster!

Patrick-Boutin2 karma

Signed-up on Reddit just to say congratulations on hitting the target! And I am truly looking forward to playing your game. From what I've seen so far, it really has hit all the right spots for me - haven't played the alpha though, just want to wait for the final version.

You must somehow feel sort of indebted to Fargo, Obsidian and the likes, they're the ones that brought it to my attention, Patrick From Giant Bomb also wrote about it I think...

Anyhow, cheers and congratulations once again.

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

Brian Fargo has been an absolute champion of Stasis, and I am forever in his dept for the support he threw my way!

Same with the guys at Obsidian. They are holding the torch for Kickstarter, and the indie movement!

blendtech20002 karma

Hey Chris, glad you made it, Im happy I helped :) Do you believe in Oculus Rift as a platform for point n click ?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

I think it could be very interesting! I know that Oded (from Bolt Riley) played around with a Rift, and he said it was an interesting feeling...almost like seeing a play.

I would love to know what puzzles could be done by using stereoscopic vision....

domboscb1 karma

If there is more than just you - you are all doing a fabulous job and keep it up as well. Any software that your currently using for your game that is new or different than the usual Maya/Mudbox/Photoshop/Vue/ZBrush?

I appreciate the help as a fellow game designer myself I am not on your level by any means but getting better and learning each and everyday. Your studio and kickstarter are a true inspiration to finally want to create full time again.



Chris_Bischoff1 karma

My brother and sister in law are helping run the campaigns. They are true champions, and there is NO way I could have come this far without them!

My toolset is pretty standard. Max, Paintshop Pro, After Effects...the one unique piece of software is possibly the engine Im using (called Visioniare).

Please let me know if you go into full time game design again!

whyufail11 karma

Just stopping by to say hi and congrats on meeting the goal. Looking forward to Stasis, has a real Sanitarium vibe to it and haven't seen something like that in a long while. PS: you should probably mention the greenlight entry as well :D

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Thanks so much!

anonynamja1 karma

What is your design philosophy to adventure games and puzzles? Which adventure games have inspired Stasis? Did you prefer the Lucas games or the Sierra games?

Chris_Bischoff3 karma

I loved the death and more 'serious' tone of Sierra games, but love the characters of the Lucas games!

The Dig is probably my favorite Adventure Game, followed by Space Quest 5, and then Day Of The Tentacle.

The design philosophy is really that the puzzles must make sense in the context of the world. You aren't going to use a sliding puzzle to unlock a door on a spaceship...but you can blow open an airlock and use the air pressure to suck it into space!

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Adventure Games have never died! Many of the mechanics simply migrated to other games. Adventure games are the distant evolutionary cousins of the Action Adventure, and RPG genres.

I think that 'pure' adventure games probably have the same sized audience as they did in the early days. The difference now is that if a game sells 500 000 copies, its considered a flop.

Anosognos1 karma

Chris, congratulations on the successful campaign!

I'm really looking forward to STASIS. It's as if you're making a game specifically tailored to my interests in setting, atmosphere, and world building.

I have a question about a backer reward:

I contributed at the collector's edition level. Will it be possible to have any input on the condition of my corpse in-game?

I know the realities of time constraints may preclude it, but I figured it was worth asking. I have a scene from a medical bay in Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds in mind...

Edit: Spelling

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

The dead bodies are pretty well planned in the game itself, but if you have something unique and crazy cool, send me an email and Ill see what I can do!

Thomas64891 karma

Is there a sex deck on the ship?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Its next to the poop deck.

newloaf1 karma

I'm a backer and I'm going to go ahead and offer a criticism of the demo:

Don't make people watch the animations over and over again. I imagine I'll be taking the elevator (for instance) a lot in the full game. Having to wait for it to rumble and shake every time gets tired really fast. Same goes for crossing numerous empty rooms (or rooms one needs to backtrack through). Making people wait for the sliding door animations also gets old.

Solution for elevator-type animations: let player his ESC to skip it.

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

The door opening animations (the pause) will be sorted out in the final game. :D

Fire_Torpedo_11 karma

Any relation to Eric Bischoff?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Sadly, none. :)

shootalotofwater1 karma

Congratulations! Any advice for someone starting their own project?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

It has to be something you LOVE! Something you know you will be obsessed with for a long time, because people can feel the passion in art - and at the end of the day that's what you are trying to do...get people to buy into your artistic passion and vision!

That, and challenge yourself! Make sure you do something that you know you can learn from, and that will push you into new directions. This is important, because you need to stay interested in what you are doing - and the best way to do that is by forcing you to learn new things!

Roninspoon1 karma

Thank you for developing for the Mac as well as Windows.

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

The Mac version came a little later than expected, but I'm so glad that I got to share Stasis with the Mac community!

maninbucket1 karma

What advice would you give to fellow Indy game developers in South Africa?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

There is an awesome game developer community growing in South Africa. We have some amazing talent here! Desktop Dungeons, Broforce, Toxic Bunny, all Proudly South African products!

My advice would be to be as active in the community as possible! The largest community is the MakeGamesSa one, over at http://makegamessa.com/

They have monthly meetups, and a very active forum to discuss you games. If you haven't had a chance to head over there, please do! I will be at the next Joburg meetup (next Tuesday).

Also, just makes games!

maninbucket1 karma

Thanks for the advice. Nice to see when fellow south africans are successful internationally. Good luck with finishing the game!

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Thank you!

Nash731 karma

First of all, GG for your success on Kickstarter and for the Greenlighting :) You did a lot of work around the game with all the story, background, fluff and so on. What about a sandbox-style survival tabletop rpg within the bowels of the Groomlake ?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Thanks Nash!

The universe we have created is incredible vast, and I think that you could really set a variety of games in the world of Stasis.

I personally would LOVE to see a tabletop RPG set in The Groomlake...following a small group of 'survivors' at the moment of...well...we have to finish the game before giving away too much of the story!

maninbucket1 karma

Do you plan to add the typical humour element like Space Quest and day of the tentacle?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

No - Stasis is strictly a serious, gripping Science Fiction story. There are perhaps some moments in the story where a bit of black humor comes into play, but there are no gags.

The truth is that I'm really not a funny person, and If I was making a funny game it would come off as forced! But horror...tension...that I can do!

spoonersMom1 karma

Wonderful Chris. Huge Fan. What does it feel like to have hit your Kickstarter target?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

I thought that it would be a weight off my shoulders, but as soon as we hit that $100 000, I started to stress about the next step in the process!

But actually hitting the target was an amazing feeling, especially when you consider that there are now well over 3000 people who have put their trust in me to make the best game possible! Its a huge responsibility, but something I'm certainly looking forward to!

MyOnlyAlias1 karma

Hey Chris! I've been backing your Kickstarter for a few weeks now and I just wanted to say AMAZING JOB! The Alpha is already really good! :D Keep it up!

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Thanks so much!

schrodingers_lolcat1 karma

Thank you for Stasis, I wanted your game so badly since I first saw it and I am happy to have backed it.

Question: what are your main influences?

Do you like Arcanum? Would you like to see a sequel or spiritual sequel?

What was your favorite game in the '90s?

What is your favorite movie?

Would you like to collaborate with me for an isometric adventure with a time travel mechanics?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Alien is probably the largest influence on the world. Crusader, and Fallout! Alien! Time travel stories are always a bitch to get right! But they are fascinating.....you never know. :D But first...STASIS needs to be complete!

Naffetz1 karma

Hello, I liked the look of Stasis, first time i saw it. Grats for 100k! I would like to know, how is working with the Visionaire Game Engine?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Its a wonderful engine, and VERY artist friendly. But something to keep in mind is that its an Adventure Game engine. It does one thing, and it does it well - but you aren't going to be making an RPG with it!

I had to prototype of Stasis up and running in a weekend, from having NO experience with the engine at all.

popscythe1 karma

This game looks awesome

Chris_Bischoff2 karma


fued1 karma

how do you handle multiple height levels in your engine? i find with dark lighting etc ones like this i can never get it working adequetly, it just looks confusing to the player.

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Lighting plays a big part in the layout of the levels. Drawing attention to paths through light, and showing how things pass over others with shadow. There isnt really a 'trick' to it...its just what feels right.

That said, there aren't many level changes per screen, and when they do happen they can be very tricky to get right!

YouShithead0 karma

How did it feel to lose the Monday Night wars?

And will you ever drop the biker gimmick?

Thank you!

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Wrong Bischoff!

rfield190 karma

I'm a kickstarter backer already, as I love the art style. One thing I've not seen mentioned however - how many hours gameplay are you anticipating people will get out of the finished game?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

Im aiming for 8 - 12 hours of gameplay. Its difficult with an Adventure Game, because some people are better than others, and some puzzles may stump people for longer. But Stasis will be a BIG game!

xaninator130 karma

What is your name?

What is your quest?

What is your favorite color?

Chris_Bischoff2 karma

Chris To make awesome games Blue

Bocaj64870 karma

Are you related to WCW's Eric Bischoff?

Chris_Bischoff1 karma

No relation!