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Chris_Bischoff

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About Chris_Bischoff

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  1. Wait, what is that?! I got that shirt at a thrift store and people are always asking me what it is, but I have no idea!! They are a hardcore punk...erm...thrash...erm...metal...uuum...'somewhere in between there' band from your neck of the woods! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Locust Fast-driving-music.
  2. Thank you corfu! I've been pouring my blood sweat and (occasional) tears into this game! Thought you guys may be interested in the final Stasis key art!
  3. Thanks guys! Full update: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bischoff/stasis-2d-isometric-scifi-horror-adventure-game/posts/940503 KICKSTARTER UPDATE! Music is incredibly important to me. While I'm usually a I-can-do-it-on-my-own person, I knew that having the perfect music for Stasis would mean having to find a pro. One of the main goals of the Kickstarter campaign was to bring on a professional composer to translate the Stasis world and story into music. That is way easier to say, than do! When Mark Morgan asked to be a part of the project I almost fell off my chair. It's no secret that the Fallout series was a transformative experience for me when I was younger; to have Fallout's composer work on this little project of mine... well, I was more than a little intimidated! From the get go, Mark and I shared the same vision for the sound of Stasis. The main sounds of the game come from John's surroundings (you know who John is by now!) but the music comes from within. It's his experience - his personal story - that is being told through the score. Mark instantly understood what I was trying to put across and has created a haunting internal score. The idea was to have a strong melody base around a lullaby. Creepy, huh? There are early leanings towards this idea in the trailers, as well as the opening piano music in the Alpha (played by me when I was in my I-can-do-it-on-my-own stage). Mark took this concept and created a beautiful melody that we are using as a foundation for the score. Instead of focusing on scene based music, we're using the score to accentuate John's emotions. HOPE, FEAR, TERROR: these are the central themes for the music of Stasis - the skeleton that everything hangs off of. I'm incredibly proud to give you a small glimpse into the musical world that Mark has created. Q&A WITH MR MORGAN! The main lullaby is a strong piece of music as a melody - something I know that was difficult to pin down. When creating 'Dream Of Us' (the main lullaby tune), what were the inspirations for the piece? Mark Morgan: To me, it was about John singing a lullaby to his daughter so I envisioned what that would be like and went for a simple melody that could be sung by itself. Is it difficult to create the emotional aspects from this melody? Do you draw from previous experiences? Or is it a process of trying different keys and instruments and seeing what fits? Mark Morgan: I think it's a combination of both. The goal is to have a melody that can speak to you differently depending on the vibe. I believe that it all indirectly comes from your existence and experiences as a human being, rather than finding that emotion though the music. Certain orchestration portrays a certain emotion. Both Chris and I decided that for the more emotional pieces, cello, violin and piano would be the solo voices for the sound of Stasis. Then it’s just a matter of fitting the puzzle together. While John's external journey is being told visually, his internal journey is being told through the score. Are you still using the visuals as inspiration or does it help to focus JUST on the story elements? Mark Morgan: I think for John's internal journey, musically I am focused on the story elements but I’m always aware of the visuals so not to lose sight of where he is. The visuals directly or indirectly have a huge influence on the musical palette. Is working on Stasis any different to the other game projects that you have worked on, and if so how? Mark Morgan: As of late, most of the games I’m involved in are in some way story driven, but in then case of Stasis, the story is so important and the music plays a huge role in telling that story. Sometimes I have found when it’s just about gameplay, musically it's hard to feel that you're immersed in the moment. It becomes about broad stokes as opposed to written for the moment. PROJECT UPDATES We are past the halfway point and things are moving as smoothly as ever! Nic and I have spent the last few weeks focusing on our writers, even adding another to the team. Mark Odell has provided us with an incredibly terrifying piece of writing. Each body you find has a story to it and exists as a small piece of the puzzle. It's satisfying to see all of this come together. Graphically, the game is pushing to completion. 90%, with one final scene being added. I'm purposefully leaving this screen towards the end of production because of how intense it will be to produce. I've also been implementing some additional effects - courtesy of the latest release of Visionaire. GET IT HERE! The implementation of camera effects and screen shaders will add extra life into Stasis. The script has only the last two chapters to be completely refined before we can send it to the copy editors and the voice artists. There will be a time when I have to say, "enough editing!", but until that day, I will continue to tweak! -Chris
  4. I did a small piece of fan art of one of my favourite games in my favourite style! Bioshock as an isometric 2D game.
  5. Thank you so much for the wonderful words! The final game does have some rather gruesome deaths. We removed them from the demo for 2 reasons. 1 - The autosave system was spotty at best. The way it works now is that even with death, you are only set back to the entry point of the room. The idea is that death is a penalty...but not so much of a penalty as to be a frustration. I have a feeling that there will be people who specifically hunt out the many ways that John can die! I experimented with all sorts of gameplay ideas with death. Limited save points, rewards for completing puzzles - at one point there were even 'quantum spheres' that you would smash on the floor which would provide a save point for John (a sort of 'in world' reason why saves exist), but at the end of the day the simplest solution was the best. 2 - I wanted the game to have a presence with Lets Players during our Kickstarter Campaign, and I know that to people who aren't familiar with Adventure Games it could be quite frustrating to poke around and...well..die a horrible painful death! That, combined with the spotty Autosave/Autoloading system as it existed would have possibly killed the Lets Plays, or at least stopped them from finishing the demo! The tense atmosphere was however kept in terms of 'I can die at any point', so I'm hoping that when you play the final game, and that atmosphere combines with the deaths that it will make for a very 'on the edge of your seat' game experience! Each death is a custom animation created for those specific situations, very much like the Sierra games of old! One rather gruesome one involves you being inside a room that's heating up...and having the skin melt off your body. Its...disturbing to play through but awesome to see. One of our stretch goals was to add suicides...its a little morbid, but I have been having fun trying to think of the ways that John can commit suicide with the various tools in his possession. (Un)surprisingly most people tried the glass shard and the neural drill on themselves at some point...I think those people are in for a surprise!
  6. jussi-k, The entire game is 2D sprite based. Essentially I render the entire scene as 1 big animation and then cut out each of the animated sections creating a unique sprite for that area. Things like flickering lights are just a few frames played in a random order. The lightning is done in the same way as the flickering lights, but has a sound attached to it, with different strikes being called randomly. There are 'some' transparency effects and blending happening (the water and the floaty dust particles), but but for the most part they are all solid sprites. There aren't any lighting layers in the scenes - its all prebaked into the images. It can be limiting, but you get a really good result with highly realistic shadows and lighting effects. Corfu, Thats for that link! I had almost forgotten about Flashback....damn that game was awesome!
  7. Hey guys, I know this is a bit of a necropost, but you guys may be interested in a new video showing some of the environments of Stasis! Always happy to answer any questions.
  8. Oh I enjoy the conversation! Death in Advenure Games is one of those strange polarising topics. At the end of the day, STASIS is a game that I would want to play (and I'm making it because nobody else will!), and I really enjoy death in games. Dead Space has some amazing death sequences, and I'm one of those strange people that hunted down as many deaths as possible! Ironically, my favourite Adventure Games are from the classic Lucas Arts collections. AND on that note: Stretch goals: Even more death!
  9. I think that its very much in how you handle the situation, but its very difficult to create tension and a dangerous environment without putting the character into direct danger. Originally in my design document, I had John being injured when things happened instead of death, and actually had a 'health pack' element to the game....but honestly, it felt MORE punishing to the player than death did! Its still something Im willing to explore later on, but from my initial tests it really felt like adding in complexity for complexities sake. Some adventure games are certainly like that! I think that Broken Age will definitely invoke those emotions, but STASIS is really a different experience. I want it to be foreboding, and intense. The game is all about exploration, but the emotions I want to to evoke are those feelings when you first entered the derelict in ALIEN, or when you first boarded the Event Horizon. Its not about being 'pushed' along the plot...its about being careful what you may find in the next room. Apprehension, tension. and a sense of discovery! They are better in motion! Head over and download the alpha demo if you get a chance!
  10. As for building tension, I have spent a long time on setting up a very unsettling atmosphere in the game. Danger IS out there-but the truth is that in real life it's quite difficult to get yourself killed if you are a cautious person. If you stick a fork in a socket, you are probably going to hurt yourself-so don't stick a fork in a socket! Death is easy to avoid in Stasis, by just being a careful, logical player. Someone who keeps this in mind should be able to play through the game without dying once.
  11. Stasis does have deaths, but they certainly aren't there to frustrate the character, but in a way they are there to make you care about John. You don't want him to be melted by a vat of acid, or gassed to death! But I have implemented a very robust auto save feature in the game which virtually eliminates backtracking after death. At most you'll loose 10 seconds of game time. Therefore death isn't a penalty, but becomes a learning experience. That, and the death animations are pretty spectacular!
  12. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bischoff/stasis-2d-isometric-scifi-horror-adventure-game Hey Double Fine backers! My name is Chris Bischoff, and I am the sole developer of an Adventure Game called STASIS. STASIS -Classic point & click adventure game played from a unique isometric view point set in a science fiction universe in 2D. Stasis is a 2D isometric, point-and-click adventure game for Windows & OSX, set in the distant future on a desolate spacecraft. John Maracheck must interact and solve puzzles to save his family, while uncovering horrific experimentation, illicit research and an ever deepening mystery. Recently there has been an exciting resurgence of the point-and-click adventure genre. Standing on the shoulders of greatness, Stasis follows the game-play mechanics of classics like Space Quest, Kings Quest, the Monkey Island series, The Dig and Day of the Tentacle. The critically acclaimed, Sanitarium - a psychological horror adventure game - used a similar graphical setup to Stasis. Stasis follows this unique visual aspect to bring the terrifying tale to life. Stasis EXISTS and is playable. Several chapters have been fully completed, remaining areas have been technically planned and large portions of graphics have been created. Experience Stasis for yourself, by going to www.stasisgame.com/getstasis Stasis hopes to reinvigorate the mature isometric adventure gaming genre by combining an exciting sci-fi, horror story and awesome graphics with classic game-play. There are a few LETS PLAYS here for those that don't want to check out the ALPHA Demo: http://www.stasisgame.com/lets-play-stasis/ And yesterday we announced that Mark Morgan will be doing the orchestral soundtrack for STASIS! If you are a fan of Fallout 1, Fallout 2, Zork, or the Planescape: Torment universes, you have an idea of what's in store! In just a few days, we have gotten more than 60% of our goal! I've been a huge fan and backer of the Double Fine Adventure, and I know that if it wasnt for you guys, and Tim Shaefer, none of this would be possible! I would love to answer any questions you guys have, and look forward to keeping the Double Fine community up to date! -Chris
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