We did it. We released a game! STASIS hit the digital shelves in late 2015. The culmination of thousands of hours, sleepless nights, copious amounts of coffee, and more than a few good old emotional breakdowns. After its release, it felt like a weight was lifted from one of my shoulders and then promptly shifted onto the other!

Patches, user support, interviews, marketing, and then more patches – in a way it felt when the game was complete the real work could start. And start it did! Nic and Kristal did masterful jobs at keeping everything afloat while I attempted some sort of emotional recovery from the 2 years of crunch time I’d just gone through.

I’ve heard people say ‘never read internet comments‘ and I ignored them. I can tell you that I obsessively googled STASIS for weeks after the launch and still find myself doing searches now. It’s hard not to.

We made STASIS for people to play and for people to enjoy. To publish it and then move onto something else instantly just seemed so…heartless. Thankfully, players loved it.

The feedback we got was excellent and I took it all in, both good and bad. I’ve read every Steam comment, thousands of forum replies, and hundreds of reviews. I’ve watched a lot of YouTube Let’s Plays and Twitch steams (even those in languages I don’t understand). I’ve consumed the feedback from STASIS like a dying man who finds an oasis, and it’s been thirst-quenching, even with the occasional mouthful of dirt.

STASIS is a game that we’re incredibly proud of. I personally grew more as an artist in the last 2 years of solid development, than I have in the previous 10 years of doing it professionally. And after all of that, what did we decide to do? Yep, we decided to do it all again.

The Brotherhood is now running as a full time development studio. We can officially call ourselves game developers with a straight face and an enormous sense of pride! We asked ourselves, “where to from here?” as we’d already completed much of the graphic content for the Cayne chapter so that was the most logical thing to tackle… but we aren’t people who take the easy route for anything. So we made the difficult decision to build Cayne from the ground up, and apply all of the lessons we’d learned from STASIS to create the best experience we can.

While STASIS provided a foundation for our future projects, Cayne will most certainly be providing the brick and mortar. We’re going to use Cayne to test out new ideas, technologies, and a new workflow that has both Nic and I working full time.

Our future games will be created around this core, and what we have coming up is going to astound, disgust, and amaze you.



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.

The interface, for example, appears simple, but it took countless iterations to get the workings and feel we wanted. We can now take that R&D time and funnel it into other aspects.

While the 2D characters in STASIS were wonderful, we want our next games to use a 2.5D system with 2D pre-rendered backgrounds and 3D characters. This allows us to have smooth transition animations and an unlimited number of directions for the character. More importantly, it eliminates a step that was needed when getting the characters into the game.

In STASIS, I needed to animate everything, render it out, set it up in a scene, tweak it, re-adjust if necessary, re-render, tweak… This process took an enormous amount of time with the results sometimes being less than satisfactory.  By using 3D characters that are rigged with bones, I can animate and import them directly into the game and see what adjustments need to be made.

I can’t explain how satisfying it is to see something in-engine a few seconds after I’ve finished the animation. Less time spent with the technicalities of importing into the engine means more time spent on getting the movement and animation flawless.

Lighting was a challenge in STASIS because it required more planning for even the most basic ‘special’ lighting. A scene had to be constructed in After Effects before it got added into the engine which allowed for almost no iterative design adjustment when it was in. How it came out in render was how it looked in the game.

In Cayne, we’re using Normal Maps and other techniques to get more dynamic lighting. Shader systems allow us to tint the scenes and adjust the mood of the rooms in real time, again allowing a more fluid nature to the games creation. Seeing adjustments to the game as you play it is both satisfying and helpful from a design standpoint. ‘The freedom to experiment’ is SO important in art, and using new systems allows us flexibility, especially where we can overlap the technical expertise with the artistic vision.

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.

The work we’re doing will hopefully blow your minds, because the passion is palpable and the excitement we have for the future is tangible. It’s going to be a wild ride.

  • Gareth Runnalls


  • stasisadmin


  • James Mauger

    This sounds fantastic! I adored Stasis and I’m so happy to hear you’re making more.

    All of the design changes sound very smart, not having to go back and pre-render things like the character every time you make a change is probably going to be very refreshing from how you had to do it last time. I’m still so impressed with the sheer amount of work that you put into this. As a long time fan of pre-rendered BG games like Oddworld, Resident Evil and Final Fantasy (9 takes the cake though) I have such a huge appreciation for the amount of work it must take to do an entire game to such a beautiful level. That’s why I had to take so many Vines, haha, so that some day I can look back and on them and be reminded of this awesome experience.

    I think I’ve said this to you before via twitter and I’m not sure how much render time impacts your workflow (I know there’s still plenty left to do in post, programming and design etc) but I highly recommend giving the CUDA GPU renderer Redshift a look.

    I’m not affiliated with Redshift in any way other than simply being a customer of the Maya version and having it completely change my world when it comes to 3D rendering. It was so fast and intuitive to get started I’ve never even thought to look back. I think I saw that you use 3dsMax, I can’t speak to the stability of that version like I can the Maya version but I know that alpha versions are available for free for commercial use. Maybe too late to implement now as I’m sure you’ve got a steady workflow but the speed and ease of use really is something special. Not to mention the fastest support I’ve ever seen for a product in this industry.

    Take care! Can’t wait to venture back into this world!

  • Red Knight

    Here is my review of STASIS! If you are interested what an old school adventure fan thinks of your game, please read this. Btw, thanks for bringing the genre back! Finally someone who gets it!

    There are some minor complaints, but for the most part this is an adventure game every adventure fan should have in their collection.
    – Great atmosphere that portrays perfectly the feelings of isolation and depression
    – Great musical score
    – Beautiful 2D hand drawn isometric backgrounds
    – Great voice performance by the main character. The voice performance in general was very good and the only character who souned weird was John’s daughter, but she doesn’t have too many lines, so its not a gamebreaking.
    – Very logical puzzles, although they could be a bit harder in my opinion.
    – Interesting and engaging sci-fi-horror storyline with a shocking ending.
    – Many surprises and small touches that make you appreciate what the developers did with limitted tools they had at their disposal. For example, almost seamless transition between the game and video sequences, crawling in the air ducts, riding various vehicles, the operation part, etc. There is so much variation between the areas and how they are presented to you that the game never becomes boring.

    CONS: (Most of these things are minor gripes, but I need to mention them):
    – DEATHS. This is a personal preferance, but I do not like deaths in adventure games. This is because most adventure games use cheap unpredictable deaths to kill you. Stasis is a bit better and you get hints you are about to die, but still it feels a bit cheap. For example, when I opened the furnace, the computer starts talking to warn you of the dange, but you die even before the computer is finished. So I died not because I was too stupid to run away, but because I didnt realize I have control over my character while I was waiting for the computer to finish it’s sentence.
    – The game seems to be divided into different sections, so when you clear one section you never can go back. This results in puzzles being very localized and as a consequence much easier to solve. You will never have more than 5 items to work with, which makes progression much easier. Not a big issue (if an issue at all), but I wish the game forced you to go back a bit.
    – Majority of puzzles rely on you noticing details around you and then putting them together in order to solve a puzzle. As long as you are observant, you will not have any problems with any of the puzzles. I wish there were at least 1 or 2 puzzles that required genuine intelligence to go further.
    -The game did an excellent job in keeping puzzles logical. However there is 1 instance that does not make any sense. When you need to look at the corpse in a cage in order to trigger an event that leads to your capture by the mad scientist. There is no way to figure this out! The problem is that you trigger the afore mentioned event by using the eye symbol, which took me completely by surprise and it felt like a very artificial way to move the storyline forward. Unless you walk by or press on that cage by accident or curiosity, you will get stuck for no apparent reason.
    – I liked reading the logs and they are very well written (am ignoring a few typos here), but 2 complaints:
    1. The whole premise of the game is to save your family. This creates a big sense of urgency which makes you want to skip over the logs.
    2. Also, why does nobody on that ship ever lock their journal entries with a password? Even when they talk about things they dont want other crew members to find about!
    – The game seems to build this huge story about SAMANTHA, but it never goes anywhere with it.
    – Pathfinding can be awkward from time to time.

    I know I have mentioned quite a few things in my CONS section, but quite honestly they are not huge issues and some of them stem purely from my personal preferences. I give it 8/10 and recommend it warmly. I also hope we will get a sequel or more adventure games from this developer!

  • Nicolas Bischoff

    Thanks Red Knight! Be sure to post the review on the portal you purchased STASIS from.

    We are using a total new engine, so things like pathfinding will be sorted out – the engine we used for STASIS was not designed for isometric games and as such had a few quirks.

    You are in for a treat with regards to Samantha and CAYNE…

    Be sure to send us the Spelling errors. We had 4 editors on the project – so there shouldn’t be any! :)

  • JJ

    This post from Chris saved lives… I was about to start a riot and kick random people in the face because there was no mention of a second entry to a great game… and then I stumled upon this. For now, the peeps of Jo’burg will remain safe.

    Keep up the amazing work. – There are lives at stake here.

  • Nicolas Bischoff

    JJ- you have a way with words :)