STASIS - An isometric adventure game made by one man

Amazing work dude. I love atmosphere and how it looks.

Do you consider kickstarter ?

I mean you have very solid game on hands and if Penny arcade can do kickstarter i don't see why you can't. Thanks to this you would have cash to hire someone to help you with game making it more polished. I am amazed that this is created only by one person but one person can't do anything nor it can do work of two people.

I feel this kickstarter would easily do 500k. At least you would have cash to completely focus on game without any things like work or bills.
I actually wrote a blog post about why it isnt on Kick Starter. Ill paste it here if Im not violating any rules (Im pretty new to NeoGAF).

http://www.stasisgame.com/stasis-and-kickstarter/

This post has been a long time coming, but I figured it was finally time to throw it into the wild…
One of the questions I get asked most often (ok, second most-the first being ‘When is Stasis going to finished), is:
WHY ISN’T STASIS ON KICKSTARTER?
I think that Kickstarter is a wonderful platform, and I avidly follow quite a few of the projects that have gone up. Project Eternity, Wasteland 2, Torment, and Broken Age are my staples, along with a few smaller ones.
But even these projects seem to be running into issues-and these are projects with multitudes of experience behind them.
.
ISSUE 1
One of the big issues, and one that I think is one of the most important ones, its keeping the community updated on your progress. A big selling point in these projects, and any project on Kickstarter, is that you get to see the project emerging-see how the sausage is made. Now while thats a really cool idea for the gamer who loves these things, its a very difficult thing for the developer.
I personally feel that I announced STASIS way too early. The truth is that I never thought it would be a large project, so didnt see the harm in showing it off in its early states. If I look back at this blog, a TON of time has gone into the blog posts, talking about various aspects of the game, whats happening in the background, why I do what I do. Now this has been beinifial in some way, I think that I can be hurtful in others.
For a game that relies on STORY as one of its major selling points, to have 2 years of stuff talking about the game, without mentioning the story, is VERY difficult. But see-because I view this blog as my personal thing, Im not bound to talk about the game. There are quite a few posts here about…well..other things. Articles I like, other games, and other random ideas. These other projects have to have a media communication plan that’s SPECIFICALLY TAILORED TO THE PROJECT, WITHOUT GIVING AWAY TOO MUCH INFORMATION. And they have to update OFTEN, because this is part of what the backers pay for. This adds in an extra layer of complexity to an already complex situation, and one that I wouldnt want to find myself in.
If you go dark, and have a media blackout, your backers will (rightfully) complain. If you update too often, you are going to start to dilute the games content in the minds of the players. Now with the RPG’s mentioned, this is a little easier, because the idea with an RPG is to create enough tools and rules in the game to let the player craft the story-but in a much more linear game (like STASIS, or Broken Age), its almost impossible. Im surprised that Double Fine actually managed to go for almost a year before even announcing the name of the game, and a screenshot. And people were starting to notice it, and getting agitated with them for being so scant on aspects of the game. Which brings me to issue 2….
.
ISSUE 2
People are mean, and artists are sensitive! Ask ANY artist if they enjoy showing people unfinished work, and they will say NO. Unless they are sadists.
Reading the comments and discussions of things like the first WASTELAND 2 screen, or the Torment locations, or the PE level prototype makes me shiver. Complaints about there not being dust on the footsteps, too much blur in the back grounds, ladders not being properly scaled….these are things that can be a bit of a crushing experience for artists, specifically when they KNOW that its not something that’s complete.
Ive been quite lucky, in that the reactions to the screenshots and videos of STASIS has been pretty good-but that’s because everything I release, I release on MY schedule. I release them because they are complete. I’ve done my internal QA, external QA, double and triple checked everything, and when things aren’t correct, thrown them out and started over. There are actually about 3 game play videos that I haven’t released, because I just didn’t like 1 or 2 things with them. Thats the power of NO EXTERNAL PRESSURE.
.
ISSUE 3
Lets say STASIS goes on Kickstarter, and I raise $100 000,00. That means, that, before I even release the game, I’m $100 000.00 in debt. I have to give away $100 000.00 of product ON THE DAY I LAUNCH. Now, I know that people have the ‘but without the money you wouldn’t have a product’, and that’s a very fair, and true argument. But the problem with an Adventure Game, is that the market IS small.
The RPG projects have a much wider appeal, and I have NO doubt that they will double, triple, or even make 10 fold what they have put into it. But a smaller Adventure Game like STASIS? I have high hopes for the sales, and concrete plans for what the money I make from STASIS will go into-but I would hate to, at the end of a grueling few years of work, come out with giving away all of the product that I would have ever sold, and starting from square 1. I know thats its a worst case scenario-but the truth is that its a possibility-and on that I need to be very mindful of.
Thats why I don’t think that Stretch Goals are a very good idea. I understand WHY they are there, but I think that the feature bloat they cause, and spending money that you don’t have, isn’t the best way of getting out an ALREADY incredibly complex product.
Looking at Broken Age, the initial budget for that was $400 000,00, with the final funding coming in at almost 8 times that. It would have been better for them to stick with the original goal, and had enough money from that game alone to create another 8 games! Or 4 larger games. or 1 big game and a sequel! Instead, the entire budget, again of money they technically dont have, has been put into ONE SINGLE PRODUCT.
.
ISSUE 4.
I’m not employed. If I got a large influx of cash, I couldn’t really quite my job and work on STASIS full time, because I own the company. Its a company that my brother an I built from the ground up over a decade. I have many other lives that are dependent on me to be here every day. Because of the worries of ISSUE 3, I couldn’t go at this full time. Not yet at least.
.
ISSUE 5,
STASIS IS MY KICKSTARTER. I have a goal in mind for how many sales STASIS has to make for me to go into full time Game Development. Make no mistake, that is the end goal. I want STASIS to be the beginning of that journey. I want to create an awesome game, that people will love-and use that foundation to do the same again and again and again. I don’t want people to buy into the promise of future things-because those are fleeting at best, and gut wrenching when they fail.
IN CLOSING…
I think that Kickstarter is a wonderful idea, and I know without it we wouldn’t have some truly incredible projects coming up in the next 48 months…but its not for me, or STASIS.
-Chris
 
Such intricate work.

I love the vaguely Alien-ish aesthetic.

What engine are you using? Is your background programming or art or..?
ALIEN is my all time favourite movie. Im borderline obsessed with it.

The engine is called Visionaire. Its the same engine that Daedalic use for their games (Deponia, The Whispered World, etc)

http://www.visionaire-studio.net/cms/adventure-game-engine.html

My background is in 3d architectural art. I own a company called BURN. www.burn.co.za
 
Oct 2, 2010
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I actually wrote a blog post about why it isnt on Kick Starter. Ill paste it here if Im not violating any rules (Im pretty new to NeoGAF).
1. Well there isn't anything in kickstarter that prevents you from preventing info about your game to your customers after lunch. Many people in fact do this. They share info about progress but not about story or details (like PE for example)
2. You don't need to create stretch goals. Stretch goals were done first by Wasteland kickstarter and that doesn't mean that all kickstartets need stretch goals. So you could just sum up your goals for a game like adding music composer, better animation maybe some VO.

For example above will cost let's say 60k and that is your kickstarter goal. No stretch goals so when you meat 60k every dollar after that will go directly into your pocket and believe me there are many people who support developers even if goal is reached. Just look at Star Citizent where their final goal was 6mln and they are now at 9,5mln.

As you said you have cash to do this game without problems so it is ok but there are people who would love support developers like you.

I for one decided that every month i will pledge for some interesting game. Many gaffers here are also like that pledging even more cash.

Basically if you ever will have problem with finishing Stasis just do kickstarter and let community do the rest. You may have as you said DEBT but it would be killing hug of your community. Even if your game will fail (that can happen but i feel it won't) and game will be good you are guaranteed to have kickstarter for another game.

In any case bast luck with your project and i hope i will have a chance to play it in near future.
 
Basically if you ever will have problem with finishing Stasis just do kickstarter and let community do the rest. You may have as you said DEBT but it would be killing hug of your community. Even if your game will fail (that can happen but i feel it won't) and game will be good you are guaranteed to have kickstarter for another game.
Thanks! Im not completely discounting Kickstarter - but for now its not a path I want to go down. I must say the gaming community really is quite amazing. ;)
 

Saty

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Sep 4, 2009
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I would imagine the costs and time of producing and sending KS rewards can sink a 1-man project like this.

Is there any estimation of release period?
 
Oct 18, 2007
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I would imagine the costs and time of producing and sending KS rewards can sink a 1-man project like this.

Is there any estimation of release period?
While true, couldn't the kickstarter itself fund a community manager who would handle this stuff? I'm sure there are people interested in being a part of it.
 
Oct 2, 2010
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I would imagine the costs and time of producing and sending KS rewards can sink a 1-man project like this.

Is there any estimation of release period?
Well as i said earlier kickstarter is what creators want it to be. If he is one dude then he don't need to do more logistic higher tiers. just normal tier 20 and dinner 10k
 
May 22, 2010
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Oh shit Chris is here? Welcome aboard, man!

Been following Stasis since 2011. Game looks fantastic and the atmosphere seems excellent.

Can we expect a new gameplay vid or perhaps a trailer any time soon?
 
Dec 5, 2008
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Welcome Chris and good luck with the game! I was afraid in the first page you would be snatched by a big studio and the game was put on hold. I'm glad for the game you weren't but I'm sure your talent will take you far.
 
Sep 23, 2010
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Thanks for the support and comments guys. If you have any questions about the game, please don't hesitate to ask!
Hi!
Good to see you here!!!
Really looking forward Stasis...Alien is my obsession too and I got a nice Alien-vibe since the first time I saw the first screenshot.

If I remember well, in a interview, you said that the developers of the engine you are using were looking into iOS support (where the genre is pretty appreciated) and certainly your circular menu UI seems fit...any news on that?

Thanks!

Anyway, looking forward the game (on any platform).
 
Oh shit Chris is here? Welcome aboard, man!

Been following Stasis since 2011. Game looks fantastic and the atmosphere seems excellent.

Can we expect a new gameplay vid or perhaps a trailer any time soon?
Thanks man. I will put up another gameplay video in the next few weeks, but have no plans for a full trailer right now.

Welcome Chris and good luck with the game! I was afraid in the first page you would be snatched by a big studio and the game was put on hold. I'm glad for the game you weren't but I'm sure your talent will take you far.
Fear not! Stasis WILL be released!

My brother and I are actually working on our own engine, which we can expand into doing full blown RPG's, and strategy games like Commandos - but keeping the high detail 2D of STASIS.

The plans of our game company very much rests on STASIS - but if its successful, there will be many many awesome games to come!
And if its not, there will still be games coming-just at a slightly slower pace.. ;)
 
Hi!
Good to see you here!!!
Really looking forward Stasis...Alien is my obsession too and I got a nice Alien-vibe since the first time I saw the first screenshot.

If I remember well, in a interview, you said that the developers of the engine you are using were looking into iOS support (where the genre is pretty appreciated) and certainly your circular menu UI seems fit...any news on that?

Thanks!

Anyway, looking forward the game (on any platform).
I have designed the game to, from a gameplay point of view, be easily ported to tablet-but honestly, I think that its just too memory intensive for that. There are really big limitations when designing for tablets, and I had to kinda make a decision of 'More detail for the PC version, or cut it back for a tablet' - and I decided to rather focus on a more detailed PC experience.

After the game is done, I may go back and start to look at an iPad version, but currently the only platforms on the plate are PC and Mac.
 
Any plans to put it up on Greenlight as an Early Access title once it's in a publicly playable state?
Steam is the holy grail of an Indie, so Ill definitely be aiming for it as a portal. If through Greenlight, or directly being accepted by them.

I dont think there will be any alpha playable 'public' version of the game-as I would hate for someone to experience the game in any state but 'awesome'.
 
Mar 27, 2008
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Steam is the holy grail of an Indie, so Ill definitely be aiming for it as a portal. If through Greenlight, or directly being accepted by them.

I dont think there will be any alpha playable 'public' version of the game-as I would hate for someone to experience the game in any state but 'awesome'.
Welcome to GAF Chris [Pyke], donatelli [indigoo] here! The engineering deck is looking fantastic.
 
I am really looking forward to this one. It looks like a mix between Sanitarium and Dead Space.
Definitely 2 of my favourite games right there, so the comparisons are most welcome!

Welcome to GAF Chris [Pyke], donatelli [indigoo] here! The engineering deck is looking fantastic.
Hey Don! Thanks man-wait until you see the 3D printing lab, and actual engine room... ;)

You know, I've never played any of the Final Fantasy games. My exposure to the universe pretty much begins and ends with The Spirits Within...which I actually enjoyed-if not from a story point of view, definitely from a production design one.
 
The puzzles in the game are done in a very straight forward way. I really dislike the 'obscureness' of some of the older Adventure Games. The mustage and the cat hair is probably the most well known example of this.

My favourite AG puzzle is the one from Space Quest 6, with the creation of the homing beacon. It wasn't so much about experimentation, as it was about actually trying to work out how the thing worked.

STASIS is probably more akin to MacGyver than to anything else. Its a more 'straight forward' way of figuring out the puzzles. They are also written from a character point of view-Maracheck is a normal guy - he isn't going to be hacking into computers, rewiring robots, or disarming bombs. He can however find a password, smack a robot with a pole, and blast a bomb out of an airlock.

So easy? No...but if you are a logical person, you should be able to follow the 'flow' of the game well enough, and not get too stuck.
 
Dec 28, 2011
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The puzzles in the game are done in a very straight forward way. I really dislike the 'obscureness' of some of the older Adventure Games. The mustage and the cat hair is probably the most well known example of this.

So easy? No...but if you are a logical person, you should be able to follow the 'flow' of the game well enough, and not get too stuck.
That's great to hear. I can't stand irrational puzzles, seen in most of adventure games used only to artificially extend longevity of an experience.

Good luck with your project.
 
May 22, 2010
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The puzzles in the game are done in a very straight forward way. I really dislike the 'obscureness' of some of the older Adventure Games. The mustage and the cat hair is probably the most well known example of this.

My favourite AG puzzle is the one from Space Quest 6, with the creation of the homing beacon. It wasn't so much about experimentation, as it was about actually trying to work out how the thing worked.

STASIS is probably more akin to MacGyver than to anything else. Its a more 'straight forward' way of figuring out the puzzles. They are also written from a character point of view-Maracheck is a normal guy - he isn't going to be hacking into computers, rewiring robots, or disarming bombs. He can however find a password, smack a robot with a pole, and blast a bomb out of an airlock.

So easy? No...but if you are a logical person, you should be able to follow the 'flow' of the game well enough, and not get too stuck.
Sounds awesome.
 
www.stasisgame.com
NEW WEBSITE!

Hey guys!

I know a few posts up I had a few conflicting thoughts on Kickstarter, but I'm an artist...and I'm allowed to change my mind!

The blog post is here if anyone wants to take a look!

I posted a redaction a while back, and announced that I would in fact be doing a Kickstarter Campaign, allowing me to work on the game full time, and really give it the love and care I believe it deserves.

That said, I have also relaunched the website, with new Screenshots, information, and an announcement of the Kickstarter dates!

Please head over, and take a look. And if you haven't done so already, please sign up to the news letter to get a reminder about the campaigns, as well as any other juicy info!

And here is a desktop background for your time!

 
Jan 1, 2009
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Jesus christ, it's so good looking. You're up there with Project Eternity at least.

Your thoughts on KS are very close to mine, specifically:

I’ve spoken before about how art in a vacuum is a bad thing, and honestly, through Stasis I’ve realised that pretty much anything in a vacuum is bad! Except for the International Space Station…that’s just awesome.
I still feel strongly that crowd sourcing in general can be easily abused by some game studios who are promising the world with a few concept pictures.
I've said that with small projects, you just don't get enough vetoes. There tends to be less refinement, fewer experiences contributing to something which probably needs more people working on it than it has.

I don't work in game development, but I have occasionally made really aggressive production decisions which didn't get tossed back and only strengthened the final product. Alternatively, I've also made a long series of good decisions followed by a few bad ones which were rejected. Even as a professional, there's no way for me to get to 100% by myself. I can get to 90 or 95, but there has to some kind of push back at the end of the process - maybe even a gauntlet - which I don't see happening with a lot of KS-driven schema. So you're absolutely right about art made in a vacuum being less than ideal. I think it's an incredible breeding ground for source material but needs extruding to acquire end game gestalt.

The Spirits Within was a fantastic production exercise as well. From a sound POV I don't think I've seen many top it: the way voices reflect off of surfaces when digital actors near them; the soundtrack being a 21st century classic. Even some of the performances. It was closer to the games than many people give it credit for precisely because it had this acute sense of how to place a viewer in the world on a macro and micro level. There's a level of design lore which you don't see enough of in films since then (or games, for that matter).

You're right about:
I think Stasis is a bit different because It’s a live and kicking game – not a promise of things to come. It’s well on it’s way to being completed, and now I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to add the extra level of polish needed to get Stasis to AAA level.
I take it that you're deep into production, and more importantly you have a game which people already like. Sure we haven't played it, but it's more than a pretty concept at least. This tends to sell me on a title much faster than "We've made good games in the past". Anyone can make a bad or mediocre game in spite of their past success. It increases the chances of a good product getting made, but all I really care about are results, not pitches. Kickstarters which are either small, bridge the gap of production expense, or are somewhere inbetween are the ones I don't have a problem with, at least not anymore. The cash grabs and scams are what tend to drive me away.

I also like that it isn't taking a brand and running with its torch or making ambitious promises which could never be kept. There's a scope, this is what the game is AND NOTHING ELSE. Nuance, small ideas and a slow evolution are better practices than reinventing the wheel and failing several production levels down.

Finally, I wouldn't look at KS money as debt. The probability of product delivery is high, so there's not much risk to a backer. It's really a question of distribution costs.







And BioWare should probably read this: http://www.stasisgame.com/starting-at-the-end/
 
Jun 7, 2004
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I've been looking into this game every once in a while and I'm glad to see that it'll finally be up on Kickstarter. Is there any chance that you'll have a short demo for prospective backers?
 
Mar 27, 2008
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www.stasisgame.com
NEW WEBSITE!

Hey guys!

I know a few posts up I had a few conflicting thoughts on Kickstarter, but I'm an artist...and I'm allowed to change my mind!

The blog post is here if anyone wants to take a look!

I posted a redaction a while back, and announced that I would in fact be doing a Kickstarter Campaign, allowing me to work on the game full time, and really give it the love and care I believe it deserves.

That said, I have also relaunched the website, with new Screenshots, information, and an announcement of the Kickstarter dates!

Please head over, and take a look. And if you haven't done so already, please sign up to the news letter to get a reminder about the campaigns, as well as any other juicy info!

And here is a desktop background for your time!

Can't wait Chris, can't WAIT. Will back your KS.
 
Dec 5, 2008
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My monies are yours. This is the best KS campaign in my opinion. There is a game already, we don't have to wait for years until it releases and the extra money will go to polish the game to the next level. Godspeed Chris!
 
Nov 16, 2006
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How can you not like Moon with a soundtrack like this?



This still looks excellent, I'm actually glad you realised this project is a good fit for Kickstarter after all, Chris. I think it'll greatly improve the chances of the game coming out and turning out well. At the very least, it'll reduce your financial burden and increase the time you'll be able to spend on it on your end.

Good job and good luck!
 
Yasae, thanks for such a comprehensive post!

Alternatively, I've also made a long series of good decisions followed by a few bad ones which were rejected. Even as a professional, there's no way for me to get to 100% by myself. I can get to 90 or 95, but there has to some kind of push back at the end of the process - maybe even a gauntlet - which I don't see happening with a lot of KS-driven schema. So you're absolutely right about art made in a vacuum being less than ideal. I think it's an incredible breeding ground for source material but needs extruding to acquire end game gestalt.
I have been doing extensive testing in the last few months, and the game has changed quite a bit. Its small things...puzzles that didnt have clear objectives, a piece of dialoge that needed to be rewritten, an interaction that wasnt clear...but it makes the game play SO much better when you have some sort of external voice. That said, I think that as an artist you have to know when to say NO, and trust your instincts with something.
Its a fine line to tread!

The Spirits Within was a fantastic production exercise as well. From a sound POV I don't think I've seen many top it: the way voices reflect off of surfaces when digital actors near them; the soundtrack being a 21st century classic. Even some of the performances. It was closer to the games than many people give it credit for precisely because it had this acute sense of how to place a viewer in the world on a macro and micro level.

I loved the first 2 Acts of TSW...it just fell a little flat at the end. But you are correct about the sound, and the design. It really is an amazing looking, and sounding film!
I like your take that the reason it has such a viseral feel to it is because of the face that its so close to the game.
Sound Design is somehting that I never thought I would get into, but (ive mentioned before) that it easily the thing I've enjoyed most about STASIS. Sound in games is (I believe) far better done that in Film.
Certain movies DO have masterful sound design. Aliens is one of the best examples of Sound Design I can think of, and of recent films I would probably put TRANSFORMERS right up there.

But games! Dead Space's sound is IMMACULATE. Bioshock 1, and Infinite have incredible soundscapes. The Assassins Creed series are also masterful in the way that they make you FEEL like you are walking on hard snow, cobbled roads, or sneaking across tiles.

I also like that it isn't taking a brand and running with its torch or making ambitious promises which could never be kept. There's a scope, this is what the game is AND NOTHING ELSE. Nuance, small ideas and a slow evolution are better practices than reinventing the wheel and failing several production levels down.
Thanks! I actually have 'ITS ABOUT THE GAME' taped above my desk, and have looked at that as a mantra when planning anything to do with the Kickstarter, Greenlight, and generally anything about the game.

Finally, I wouldn't look at KS money as debt. The probability of product delivery is high, so there's not much risk to a backer. It's really a question of distribution costs.
I think that its a mind set, and perhaps looking at the money as debt isnt the worst thing to do. It keeps your eye on the prize, and your focus on 'paying it off'. I view the risk to the backer as "You have put your trust in me-I OWE it to you to deliver".

-Chris
 
epmode,

Im currently only doing a Press Demo, but have been thinking about a backer demo as well. Im going to give myself a bit of wiggle room during the campaign to see if its necessary.
Its a strange thing in that, I wonder if only playing the opening chapter of the game, and then having to wait a few months will kill the 'flow' of the story.
When the final game comes, will the player rush through the first chapter, and then not nessesarily 'enjoy' the following ones?

Maybe you guys have some ideas on that?

dark_prinny - thats probably the best compliment I could hope for!

Vulcano's assistant, INDIGO_CYCLOPS, Corto, Haunted, Cydonian__Knight, BigDes, Mister_Bubbles

Thanks guys! Reading comments like this calms my nerves a little. Not a lot...but a little. :D

Dawg,

Im a sci fi fan, with a soft spot for Sci Fi horror!
Moon is just amazing. I LOVE the fact that they used physical models in that movie. The entire look of it was SO 70's it instantly became one of my favorite films!
And SUNSHINE is probably the most beautiful film I've ever seen. I dont know what else to say about it. :)
Event Horizon is also right up there!

Haunted, I feel rather intimidated by the GAF community, but that would be awesome. :D