Sci-Fi Scares: Stasis’s Prequel Chapter Is Coming

I enjoyed two sci-fi point and click adventures last year: Technobabylon and Stasis [official site]. This post concerns the latter – a grimy adventure game analogue to Soma – and the post-release plans of developers The Brotherhood. They’d listed a prequel chapter as a stretch goal during the crowdfunding campaign, and have now begun work on that new slice of horror. Rather than taking the relatively easy route of building the Cayne chapter using the tools and techniques used for the base game, The Brotherhood are taking things to the next level, like some kind of extreme sports personality. This post explains all.

Essentially, the plan is to take all of the experience gained from working on Stasis to make the experience of making Cayne more efficient. All of the lessons from Stasis aren’t just feeding into Cayne, they’re changing the way development will play out from the ground-up.

“STASIS started off as a hobby project, and during production much time was spent trying to get things working. While I wouldn’t consider this time wasted (I discovered a lot of ways how NOT to do things), we’re going into this new chapter with a better knowledge of how our future games need to be put together.”

That should mean a prettier, smoother serving of horror, although ‘prettier’ and ‘smoother’ are relative terms. It’ll still be gross and grungy, no doubt.

“I want to push the design of Cayne into new directions. Cayne will portray more of Nic and my personal game styles – in all aspects, from the story to characters and environments. We want to bring in something slightly different to STASIS universe to challenge ourselves. But Cayne is set in the same universe, so we aren’t going to stray too far from our 80s roots.”

For more on Stasis, take a look at Alec’s review of the original release.

13 Comments

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    Dorga says:

    Very good news for a very good game

  2. stiffkittin says:

    Awesome. In effect they want to prove all the production pipelines and processes developed through their virgin project, instead of just scraping together a last hoorah of their current tech and art. To push themselves to show how they will make their next incredible game.

    Obvious win for me.

  3. Zaxwerks says:

    I gotta say I wasn’t really impressed with Stasis, I started to play it over Christmas but lost interest about 3/4 of the way through. I really started to get fed up with finding yet another PDA to read every 2 meters, whilst the first few were good in building a sense of atmosphere and feeling empathy towards the dead crew and their terrible last few days, the mechanic was relied upon far too much until for me it because a pain, and actually resulted in my feeling LESS sympathy towards characters I was supposed to be feeling for. The voice acting of the main protagonist was good but the whoever the “actress” was who played your female companion was truly atrocious and painful to listen to, she couldn’t deliver a single line convincingly. The above combined with pixel hunting (which should have been a mechanic we’d got rid of years ago) and a few timed puzzles that gave no indication that they were timed and that gave no indication that was even a mechanic that was present in the game when you came across the first variant of it just added up to a disappointing experience.

    I can appreciate it’s potential and can understand how some people can rave about it, but as someone who have loved adventure games since the C64 days this left me bored and didn’t hold my interest.

    • aircool says:

      Yeah, I lost interest once it became clear that it was just a run of the mill point and click game with the usual drawbacks of pixel hunting and repeatedly trying every object in your inventory with every interactive object.

      Point and click adventures had their time, but these days you expect games to give you the freedom to find your own solutions, rather than limiting you to one solution.

      • Buggery says:

        I don’t know that it’s a bad game, per se, rather it just seemed very by the numbers.

        I know that in this day of Telltale style decision points and conversation simulators, an actual old-school adventure game is probably quite refreshing. But it reminded me of that very certain type of adventure game that was released in the early 2000’s–not actually bad, but with a bunch of weak puzzles and a poorly voiced story. See Still Life (and its awful sequel), Jack Keane, Midnight Nowhere, etc.

        For some reason people like to compare it to Sanitarium, but in many ways, Sanitarium is a much richer, more experimental game. As an adventure fan from way back, I don’t dislike Stasis, but I certainly don’t see what all the fuss is about.

    • Earl-Grey says:

      Tried Stasis.
      Wanted to gouge my own eyeballs out from sheer boredom and frustration.
      “Oh, so I need to pull this dirty towel out of the toilet so that I can burn it in a furnace in half an hour? Of course, it all makes sense!”
      Do fuck off, sodding shite.

      Needles to say I burned the installation file to a disc and launched it at the sun.
      Good riddance.

  4. Sardonic says:

    As somebody who suffers from a large amount of back pain, A certain sequence in Stasis was an extremely immersive experience.

    • axxa says:

      My lower back problems have been causing me immense pain over the last year, I even got shingles because of it. Try doing regular exercises, it helped me. But yes I can relate to your feelings in that scene, that was just painful to watch.

  5. geisler says:

    STASIS was a great game, can’t wait for whatever comes next by these guys.

    The only (fairly big) nitpick i have with the game was the lack of proper scaling, and the fact that the game didn’t run at higher than 720p resolutions. On high resolution monitors (WQHD and up), this resulted in a very blurry experience indeed. Not the ideal way to take in all that awesome art.

  6. Garou says:

    I loved Stasis, thought it was one of the best adventure games in ages. It does require a fondness for point-and-click conventions and a lot of reading, but I think the strong theme and atmosphere keep the whole thing together brilliantly. Very much looking forward to the new chapter.

  7. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Good on them for learning and trying to get better, because Stasis was really rough for a game released in 2015.

  8. boidsonly says:

    I enjoyed the game. It’s not like there is a plethora of Adventure games to choose from nowadays. I’ll buy the prequel to support the developer.
    I, too, likened it to Sanitarium; maybe it was the similarity of mechanics and artwork.
    Now if they would only release Stasis in physical form for us collectors…