Chris Bischoff

Chris Bischoff

Hi there! Tell us about yourself!

My name is Chris Bischoff and I’m a professional 3D artist from sunny South Africa. I’m currently developing an adventure game called STASIS, while setting up an indie game studio with my brother, called The Brotherhood.

How would you describe Stasis to someone in 101 words or less? 🙂

STASIS is a 2D isometric adventure game, set aboard a derelict medical research ship called the Groomlake. The player takes the role of John Maracheck, who awakes from stasis alone. You have no idea where you are or where your family is. Solving puzzles, reading diaries and computer entries while trying to avoid the dangers lurking in the shadows, make your way through a maze of humanities darkest secrets.

Can you give us a little teaser as to what the story is about?

I don’t want to give too much away, because I think the STASIS experience is tied closely to the story. I can say, however, that at its core, STASIS is a story about family and the journey of an ordinary man in an extraordinary situation. It also touches on morality, asking the question, “if we take away everything from a man, how far will he go to get it all back?”

Stasis - System Breaker

How do players progress in the game?

STASIS follows the adventure game mechanics of the classics. To progress through the game, you’re required to collect items or information from the environment, use them to solve puzzles and make your way through the story.

An isometric adventure game is a tough project for an independent developer to tackle. What motivated you to develop a game like Stasis?

I wanted to tell a story and create a world – STASIS is letting me do exactly that. The game really is the culmination of my love for all things Science Fiction. I also love 2D isometric graphics. I feel that they have a magic to them; a hand-crafted feel. STASIS is a game that I’d love to play and I felt that it was never going to be made unless I did it myself!

You mention in your Kickstarter video that The Dig was a significant influence on the idea behind Stasis. That’s a game that a lot of people may not have even heard about. Can you talk about that game and how it has influenced Stasis?

The Dig is one of the few adventure games that took a mature Science Fiction story and told it using the mechanics of an adventure game. It was a game that sci-fi lovers (like myself) as well as adventure gamers were waiting for! I think that the adventure genre is the perfect vessel for stories of mystery and discovery – a genre that puts story and exploration above everything else.

Stasis - Airlock

How long has the game been in development?

The game officially started development in December 2010, so nearing three years.

What has been the most challenging feature to implement into the game from a development standpoint?

A challenging aspect of development has been bug testing the puzzles.

Puzzles themselves are one thing to implement, but then you need to take into account everything else the player will do to discover the solution. All the ‘what ifs’ – what will happen when they try different items? Reentry of a player into a room… Let’s just say, I’ve used a lot of gigantic notebooks to map these all out.

This is why watching the Lets Plays’ of the STASIS Alpha has been a fascinating and helpful experience for me. To see people playing the game, who have never experienced it, try out all those different combinations that we tried to plan for. Phew!

What is your favourite element in Stasis?

The sound design is certainly one of my favourite aspects in the game.

It can change the mood and feel of a room or scene in just a few notes.

It has become the element that I enjoyed most about the development, but I was certain that STASIS would need a professional on-board to help with, so I could focus on the rest. And I’m chuffed to have Mark Morgan on board now.

Stasis - Observation

The question on everyone’s mind at this point must be; “When is it coming out?!” 🙂

If the Kickstarter is successful, we are aiming for an August/October

2014 release. It sounds far in away, but a year flies by all too quickly.

The game looks absolutely incredible and I sincerely wish you the best of luck as you wrap up your Kickstarter campaign and continue development. How can gamers support you and the game?

The easiest way to support STASIS is to get the game out there. As an independent company, we have to rely on the gaming community to bring attention to our projects. One of the main reasons the Alpha was released is to have gamers experience what the game has to offer, so that they can confidently tell others about it (from firsthand experience)! If there are STASIS fans out there, they can also visit our Kickstarter page or vote for us on Steam Greenlight.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview!

It’s been an absolute pleasure.