STASIS - 2D Isometric Adventure Game

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  11 November 2010
STASIS - 2D Isometric 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 movmements 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.

I will be focusing initially on the scenes inside The Hawking, with a few mini-puzzles to get myself familiar with the engine (which is fantastic by the way!)

Looking forward to hearing from you guys!

Ive posted this in the 3D WIP SECTION, but as this is technically also game art, I would love to get some feedback here as well.
  11 November 2010
Very nice. What platform are you looking at? I like all the detail and it reminds me of the old SNES game Shadowrun. Does seem a bit dark, but very cool.
.rick |
  11 November 2010
What Fallout 3 should have looked like
  11 November 2010
heavyness, Im using visionaire studio for the engine. Its really an amazing little piece of software-very 'non-programmer-friendly', and VERY artist friendly!

I agree that it is a little dark, and its quite difficult to get that 'dark and foreboding' feel, without delving into 'what the f**k am I looking at???'

CGIvan, couldnt agree with ya more! Infact, one of the main reasons Im doing this project is because I just LOVE 2D isometric games...and Im very saddened to see them fading away. Im even a little sad that DIABLO is going the 3D route. It makes sense...but still.
Fallout has been a MASSIVE inspiration for me, and you can definitely expect a ton of little 'Fallouty' things in the game! Even the radio has 50's jingles on it.

Durty, with an awesome word like STASIS I'm sure there are many sci-fi projects named around it! I don't think that there will be many issues with a short film having the same name as a little indy game. Ill keep that in mind tho.
  11 November 2010
UPDATE! I got the inventory up and running. Instead of having a 'backpack' or something, Maracheck uses something called a HSD...a Hyper Storage Device. This device can demolecularize any item (assuming it has a certain mass), store it, and remolecularize it whenever it is needed. Some nerdy sci-fi'ness for what is essentially a backpack.

Game-wise its a normal inventory, but it has a really cool 'opening' animation, where it opens up and the inventory is holographically displayed. Havent added in the items yet, but the inventory 'opening' and 'closing' works perfectly.

  11 November 2010
This is looking lovely Pyke. So you're working on this all by your lonesome? Quite impressive. How long have you been working on this for? Sorry if this has already been answered.

I'm loving the atmosphere you've created (I had a look at that clip on the Visionaire Studio website).

  11 November 2010
Originally Posted by mindrot: This is looking lovely Pyke. So you're working on this all by your lonesome? Quite impressive. How long have you been working on this for? Sorry if this has already been answered.

I'm loving the atmosphere you've created (I had a look at that clip on the Visionaire Studio website).


Hey Mindrot! Ive had your zombie girl in my 'inspiration folder' for ages. Thats why I love CGTalk-I get to actually communicate with the artists that inspire me daily!

Yeah-I'm tackling it all on my own. Its not that bad ways its much easier to do it on my own than to work with others. I have deadlines and stuff on a daily basis...if I was working with other people I would have to have deadlines with this as well-or its unfair of me to 'waste' other peoples time.
Some people in the adventure gaming community have offered to help with the voice acting, and Im going to need help when it comes to the soundtrack-but all of those will only come MUCH later on-and if I get to that point I should be far enough into production to know that this isnt going to sit on my backup drive for a while.

I've only been working properly on this for around 3 weeks now-but I've had the assets and design doc in one form or another for quite a while. The main ideas stemmed from a little project I was working on after watching EVENT HORIZON. I wanted to make a few environment animations/stills of a ghost ship. The thead is here, but work over took me again.
I bought the SPACE QUEST Collectors series, and started writing an adventure game story, and designing a few puzzles, and eventually did a few tests using the assets I'd created when doing the Ghost Ship environments-and the rest just sorta grew from there.
  11 November 2010

Video of the Hyper Storage Device

Worked more on the look of the hologram. The previous version was a little chunky, and didnt quite have that sleek techno feel to it. So I added tons of crap to it.
  11 November 2010
HAHA! Thanks Pyke. I know that thread of yours. I remember being pretty impressed by it

I've been wanting to tackle a small solo project myself - just finding the time to do it all is the problem

I'll be keeping an eye on your progress

  11 November 2010
Originally Posted by mindrot: HAHA! Thanks Pyke. I know that thread of yours. I remember being pretty impressed by it

I've been wanting to tackle a small solo project myself - just finding the time to do it all is the problem

I'll be keeping an eye on your progress


Thanks man. I've always thought an awesome adventure game could take place in a zombie Apocalypse. The deaths alone would make the game awesome. Having to improvise traps to kill zombies, infiltrate other survivors hideouts, find food/water...
In fact, my original idea for a short adventure game before STASIS was a survival type game set on another planet with 'zombie' like creatures. It was a little cheesy, so I went with the more hardcore sci-fi-horror concept...but when I was looking at the zombie idea, your art was right up there on my list.

Time is always an issue. But who needs sleep eh?
  11 November 2010
Thought I would show you guys some of the interim designs and ideas I tend to throw together before settling on something solid.

I was setting up the SAVE GAME menu, and thought about, instead of calling them 'save games', being all sci-fi'ey and calling them that owuld allow you to move back to a certain point in time. The chronosphere pack would clip into your salvage suit. It was still normal save games, but just in a clever way...or a way I thought was clever!
The more I worked on the logistics of it, I came into a few issues-the main one being that I can save the screenshots of the save games into circles.

Onto design 2!

I decided to go to the hologram way of doing things, and came up with a few interfaces for it, but really, it was losing a bit of that 'old skool' style of buttons, gauges, and 'heavyness' that I want. I have a few cool ideas for the menu systems in general...but they just werent 'flowing' for the save game system, SO...

I went to just a normal menu. Based on the same idea of the elevator control system. Its simple, and effective. I may still go back to the 'chronosphere' idea, but for now Im doing the 'KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID' was of game design. This works.
  11 November 2010
I really do like you idea on the way the saved game works and how you've turned it to work for your game. Clever stuff

  12 December 2010

Heres a shot pf the Space Walk sequence, when you first get into the Groomlake.

Originally this entire sequence was going to be a cinematic, with an in game 'cut scene' of the captain going towards the airlock-but after going back to my original story treatment, I realized that half the fun of sci-fi ghost ship stories is the initial discovery....the building of excitement BEFORE you enter into the ship-and having that as a cut scene is taking a lot of that away from the player. SO! Here we have the first piece of the spacewalk sequence.

You can also see the Hawking in the bottom right, for those wondering just what you ship actually looks like.

The scene has some really nice little animated touches....running lights blink on The Hawking..the captain in his salvage suit is animated to kinda 'dangle' his legs, and I've implemented a particle system to have bits of 'space dust' randomly drifting around. Combined the the 'hollow' sound of Marachecks breathing, the sequence is quite...cold, for lack of a better word!


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?
  12 December 2010
Dang, that's looking really impressive. A definite early Fallout inspiration but don't go overboard with the references. Looks like your project was listed on the front page from Visionaire Studio, too. I have to agree that at the moment it is too dark, over all. My primary monitor is typically much brighter than most people I know and even then it's difficult to make out detail in many of the shots in your demo video.

It's still pretty exciting and interesting though. Your work makes Visionaire look almost too easy to produce high quality stuff.

P.S. the more I read the more I think of Lucasart's The Dig.
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