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Old 12-09-2010, 04:54 AM   #1
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Default STASIS, an indie adventure game.


A place where anything is possible, where scientists have free reign to perform experiments without that pesky moral compass. Without the need to worry about approval, lobbiests, or religious movements explaining 'why' something shouldnt be done. This was the purpose of the research station Groomlake.
A hub of the greatest scientific minds of the known world. Human cloning, genetic engineering, bio-weapon research, super soldier programs, all with 100% backings from corporations and even some world governments. Nothing was beyond the relms of human possiblity on the Groomlake.

And then it vanished.

On an unused subspace frequency, Captain Maracheck, of The Hawking listens to space noise. Chatter. background interfearance from stars, occasioannly a radio transmission that gets caught up in the static. He is free floating in the Kuiper Belt, 'fishing' for satelites, debri from mining craft, anything worth something.

Marachecks ship, The Hawking, is a small craft, with most of that being engine compartments, fuel, oxygen gardens, and storage space. The living compartment is the size of a caravan, with a small cockpit control deck.
The cargo bay ,the largest area, has a basket ball hoop, and a miniature golf course drawn on the ground in paint-now faded from quite a few years of dragging cargo over it, or just playing. Through the cargo hold is a decon chamber, which leads to the airlock.

Through the chatter, he hears a clicking...a regular pattern. Resetting the reciever to hone in on the signal, he pilots his ship towards it...
Drifting past a huge collection of space dust, he sees a collosal ship. The engines are dead, and the ship is heavily damaged from bombardment by small, and some not so small objects in space. But it is definitely salvagable. Definitely worth quite a bit of money. Definately a good day for Maracheck!

The Hawking pulls up closer to the dead ship. The docking port seems undamaged, but obviously offline. The ship pilots itself along side the docking arms, and fires teathers across. The airlock opens, and Maracheck, in full salvage gear, floats across to the ship. It is almost completely black, except for the running lights from the Dortmunder, and the teather lights flickering on the unknown craft...

Using a cutting torch, he removes the protective panel covering the docking terminal, and attaches a control nodule to the craft. He tells The Hawking to interface with the computer, and opens the airlock...

__________________________________________________ __


The story of Stasis has been in my mind for a very long time. Initially it started out as an outlet for bored weekends...a 'universe' to create artwork for, in between jobs. Then I thought about taking it further. Creating a game, or at least, some game environments and mockups of what it *could* be like.
Being a MASSIVE adventure game fan, this seemed like the perfect genre for an exploration story, so I began to design the game on paper, and started creating artwork for the various puzzles, characters, and of course, the environments.
Its still in the pre....pre...PRE Alpha phase, but I thought I would share what I have so far with the adventure community, and hopefully they will keep me motivated to complete it.

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Old 12-09-2010, 05:02 AM   #2
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Looks amazing. Looks huge. Are the screens just mock-ups, or do you already have an engine behind them?
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Old 12-09-2010, 05:06 AM   #3
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Thanks. Na-these are all shots directly from the game. Im sorta doing graphics as I do the background engine stuff.
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Old 12-09-2010, 06:02 AM   #4
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Looks beautiful and i love the scale of some of the shots like the last one. I love sci-fi space settings, keep up the good work and keep us posted.

You should change the thread title to indie adventure game though, at first i thought i was entering a new Indiana Jones game XD
Favorite Adventures: Gabriel Knight series, The Longest Journey, Still Life, The Last Express, Shivers.
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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definitely stick with it. Pics so far look great (obviously).
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Old 12-09-2010, 10:45 PM   #6
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Wow, this looks quite good. I loved the isometric angle for adventure games. Reasons why I loved Sanitarium.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:54 AM   #7
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Roper Klacks,

Thanks for the comment! I really want to have some truely MASSIVE environments to explore. The scene when the astronauts first encounter the Space Joackey Pilot in Alien is a definate inspiration.

That game scene is quite beautiful to see in action. The Hawking has slow blinking running lights, and the scene has 'space dust' and gunk slowly drifiting past. Its also very easy to get lost if you leave the beam of light, because you literally blend in with the shadows around you.

I tried to contact the mods to change the thread name (also noticed the 'and' convinced my brain is shutting down due to 'end of the year' syndrome!), but I need to have a few more posts before I can private here goes.

Zane, Thanks mate. Ill be updating with some more pics, and hopefully an animation or two soon.

Monolith, I love iso games aswell, not just for adventure games-but for all games! Fallout, Baldars Gate, Diablo-the graphics in those games inspired me for so long-its a sad things to see them fading away.
Sanitarium aswell is just a freaking awesome game, isometric or not.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:08 AM   #8
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How are you handling the characters/npc's? Are you rendering them in 3d with the new shader system? I ask since i see some soft shadowing going on from the lighting. Else, I'm guessing you are rendering the characters in a cg software package.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:16 AM   #9
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Im using visionaire, which (as of the release Im using) has no 3D support, so all the characters are being done as pre-rendered sprites in 3DSMax. The soft shadowing comes as part of the lighting rig I've set up in MAX, where the character is rendered on a base that only picks up the shadows, but leaves the actual ground plane as an alpha map.

In the max shader library its the MATTE/SHADOW map, and in Vray I believe its called VRayMtlWrapper.

It really integrates the sprites nicely into the scenes, although the shadows aren't dynamic, so it takes some fiddling in the lighting on the backgrounds to make sure there are no strong shadows that could conflict with the 'baked' shadow at the base of the character.

I'm testing out a method of rendering the base shadow as a separate sprite, which would allow me to change it, and do some neat effects with flickering lights, and give the illusion of 'dynamic' shadows.
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Old 12-10-2010, 04:23 AM   #10
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Looks absolutely amazing

Story sounds intriguing as well
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Old 12-10-2010, 05:15 AM   #11
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Very impressive. I'm quite glad this got misfiled where it is, as I rarely make my way to the indie zone, and almost certainly would have missed this.
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Old 12-10-2010, 07:48 AM   #12
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I agree -- the zoomed-out, isometric perspective gives a great sense of scale. The only issue I could see cropping up is that some visual details and hot-spots could end up a little on the small side, because it is so zoomed out. I'm mainly thinking of people with smaller monitors, but I guess it's just one of those things.

Great work, though. I really like your use of lighting in the interiors. Just out of curiosity, how long have you been using 3D software (specifically 3DS Max), and how long did each of those renders take to create? I've just started learning 3DS Max recently and it's fascinating to see some of the stuff people make in it, especially if it's adventure game related. I'm making a model of a SEGA Master System controller at the moment
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:05 PM   #13
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The graphics looks amazing. You have a lot of talent. I love the overall look, especially the lighting. Any change of a small tech-demo video type thing? Mainly of the space scene.
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:04 AM   #14
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This looks great! What platforms will this work on and when do you expect it will be released?
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Pyke View Post
I tried to contact the mods to change the thread name (also noticed the 'and' convinced my brain is shutting down due to 'end of the year' syndrome!), but I need to have a few more posts before I can private here goes.
I changed the "and" to "an". I assume this is what you wanted but do let me know if not (I think you should have enough posts to PM by now)
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Old 12-12-2010, 12:58 AM   #16
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This looks absolutely fantastic and incredibly unique. Please don't abandon it halfway through, I want to play this game!
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:00 PM   #17
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Beautiful it a single character game? And do we get to see this
Captain Maracheck up close or will he be a distant third person figure?
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:21 AM   #18
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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.
The story is something that I think many adventure gamers will enjoy. Im really trying to keep it under wraps, but its going to be more and more difficult when I start to show screens from further on in the game!

Lee in Limbo,

The misfiling is entirely my fault, as I didnt even notice the indie section of the site.
Glad you could take a look tho.


Im trying to design the levels and puzzels in a way to avoid the pixel hunt issues-because I HATE pixel hunting! There may be some pixel hunts in the game, but Im doing my best to avoid make 'obtainable' objects pretty easy to spot and manipulate.

Im a proffessional 3D artist, and have been using MAX since the good ol DOS days. Each level takes about a day to plan out, and a day to build and light.


Thanks.Its very difficult to release a smaller section of the game with the way the engine works, because everything is linked to everything else. I am working on getting a demo out to some play testers sometime soon, but I will release some videos of certain areas for you guys to see how the game looks in action.


Thanks mate. Does the 'when its done' answer help? In all seriousness tho, Im going to focus quite heavily on it over these December holidays, so by the end of the holidays I should have quite a good idea of how long it will take to finish.
Right now it will just be a PC release, but there will be support for a MAC version once the PC one is sorted out.


Perfect. Thanks so much!


This is a project I have had in mind for a very long time-it wont be going away any time soon!


Thanks! Yes, it is a single character game. Originally I had two different characters playing the game in two different was the salvager, and the other was a scientist working on the ship before it was 'abandoned'. The idea was cool, but the dynamics of trying to work out certain things just made my head spin. It also killed some of the mystery of the game out, and really diluted the 'exploration' side of the game-which is something I really wanted to focus on. Basically, as the scientist (who's name incidently was Cameron James. ) you knew everything that the salvager was discovering...and it also made it quite difficult to explain 'how' the salvager knew what the scientist had done. I started to look at genetic memory, and mind control things-but it just made what should have been a very simple aspect to the game unnessesarily complicated! Sorry...Im rambling here!

Captain Maracheck will be a fully fleshed out character. I have written out his back story, moulded a personality which will come through in his voice, accent, and dialog. I think adventure games are fun when you almost get to 'roleplay' as a character in the story. If Roger Wilco, or Guybrush were just avatars, I dont think I would have enjoyed those universes and stories to much!

There will also be fully rendered cinematics, so you will see the captain in more than his 200 pixel high glory.
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Old 12-13-2010, 07:24 AM   #19
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I spent the weekend ripping out huge chunks of code that was placed to manage memory, but has ended up just being annoying. Ill be relooking at the memory management systems a little in the future.

Something that may be of interest to some people is a piece of sound design from the game. Im trying to make the game sound 'empty' and kinda freaky, so Im thinking of dropping a musical soundtrack, and just building up the soundtrack of the game with ambient sounds and noises.
This is a collection of the sounds from the Nursery sequence, with some other interface sounds layered over it. Just trying to get a feel for how layered to make the sounds, how loud the ambient sound will be, and to see if it will actually work. Tell me what you think? Freaky? Or just kinda stupid?
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Old 12-13-2010, 08:20 AM   #20
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Hi Chris,

Really like the look of this game and some nice ideas for the sound design there.

I'm a freelance sound designer and wondered whether you were looking for someone to help out with the audio for the game. I think together we could create a really interesting sounding project.

I have a demo reel available at:

Let me know if you would be interested.
(my personal email address is on the site)
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