Hey guys,

Really quick request from me! Could you please click on the below chart, and let me know on which line the writing is *just* in effect, the next line to the right you wouldn’t be able to read anything.

This is to set a brightness benchmark for the average monitor, so I know how bright or dark to make the scenes. 😉

Just leave a comment below with your result! Thanks!


Read More

Cinematic: The Groomlake

Ah, the slow spaceship reveal. Every epic Sci Fi needs one!

Here are some shots from the (unfinished) intro cinematic. Just thought you guys would like to get a look at the place nightmares are made real.

I was inspired by the miniatures from my favorite film, Aliens, aswell as the ship design of The Event Horizon – which I think its the coolest ship EVER.

Something I thought was pretty cool was the idea that the skin of the ship isn’t nessearily refined metal, but rather some sort of mined asteroid slate.  It has the properties of metal sheets, but also has a slight ‘organic’ quality to it. Not really story specific, but just something that came about while modeling this bad boy.

Im trying to get that ‘filmed model’ feel to the ship, degrading the image a little…adding in some nice noise and grain, and grading it a sickly green instead of the ‘usual’ space blue.

Scale wise, its pretty difficult to tell without a point of reference. The final scene will have The Hawking, giving you a sense of the massive scale of the ship. The main ‘shaft’ of the ship holds everything, from crew quarters to medical labs. The ‘front’ of the ship is all operations and refinement and recycling. The mid dock (where the two Egyptian looking crest things are) is the docking bay, with everything behind that housing the engines. Percentage wise, the engines are probably about 30% of the ship.

Otheriwse, I just wanted to design something that looks cool…and I think it looks pretty. 🙂


Read More

Updated Medical Bay

Ive had this update on my ‘to do’ list since the weekend! The medical bay in the previous post brought some awesome crit from you guys, so Ive addressed those changes in the next revision.


To go through the crits:

From Mike:

– If the floor was designed to channel blood, the indented circular center piece would pool blood like crazy (speaking from experience here of course) I’d suggest a central drainage hole, maybe a very gentle slope towards the center with the drain hole in the middle (like a vet’s operating gurney). Plus then you could hide a key or something in the muck in the drain hole, but when Maracheck tries to put his hand down there, it gets CHOPPED OFF cause it’s like a garbage disposal and it’s got rotating blades that mash up any foreign objects. Dont ask me how the key survived the blades.


I added two drainage holes, with grates over them. I figure this is a little more ‘realistic’ than the channels to drain blood. I like the idea of the captain getting his hands lopped off, but this rooms puzzles are more focused on listening to the holographic recordings for information to get into a medical supply closet…

But I love the idea of a garbage compactor, with something ‘just’ out of reach. Im adding that to the ‘cool shit’ book. 😀


– I’d add a lot more pipes and things coming from the torso, there’s a lot of biological fluids and things that need to be fed in and out of there…

– Is there a reason in the plot why the skeletons are all bleached dry white? Assuming this ship was occupied say, 5 years ago? there should still be some gristle on them bones. I’d imagine the air on the ship to be quite dry which should almost mummify the bodies, rather than strip them to bones.

Done and Done. 😉



About the surgery/butchery it looks pretty cool, but I think it’s import for it to have a meaning in the game and not just be there for a shock factor.
For example, a psyco doctor/scientist that drugged someone and tried to perform some crazy experiment, like connecting robotic legs. Or performing some head transplant (for fun google gorilla head transplant).
It would be interesting to uncover the mystery, even if it’s a side story.

Story wise, the game is more along the line of ‘organised scientific chaos’. Crazy people dont scare me…poised, composed, psycho people do! Ive tried to  move the feel of the surgical hall away from the slaughter house vibe, and more to a proper ‘surgery’. However, I really don’t want to loose the hard military edge of the environments-especially this early in the game.

If possible (since this would require someone to do this after the videos have been recorded), I think it would be pretty cool to leave the operation table completely covered with those surgery blankets and let the player have a surprise when he clicks on it. Maybe the skull falls off to the floor


I did a few tests with multiple blankets and such over the bed, but the real issue with that came that it was very difficult to make out what was going on with the blankets and stuff. There is also a puzzle specific element, where there are trays of surgical tools that slide out of the side of the operating table, that you need access to. Having the blanksts there seriously got in the way!

There are going to be some holograms of the surgery ‘in progress’, so I will defiantely make those scenes feel more…surgical. 😉


And from David Edwards

A few minor thoughts, try to get a little more variation in the texturing, i imagine running through a whole game of this palette would become a little distracting. I understand you’re under-painting the render, which is probably the best approach given the amount of renders you’re working with. Also try to break up some of the hard edge “CG” lines.

I’d like to see more subtle illumination in this scene, maybe a bluish strip light around the outer arc of the floor circle could be interesting. Like on commercial flights, i imagine even when powers off, there will be some kind of fail safe illumination.


There are quite a few other areas in the game that have vastly different palletes. Engine rooms with huge glowing orange generators, oxygen gardens, ‘clean rooms’, etc. This initial pallette is definately not going to be the norm throughout the game. 😀

I added in some lights behind the fans, and some cool uplighters on the floor. I think they really add to the scene!


Here are some of the interim renders I did to get to this final scene…

And here is something just for fun. 😉 This level has some nice little animated ‘things’. I added in a quick overlay of sounds, just to get a good idea of the mood of the scene. This weekend I will be implimenting all the background stuff that will make the static flicker are different rates per screen, aswell as offset the fans.

The screens will also change depending on the hologram playing. Now I’ve just gotta model a cool looking surgeon…Im thinking of going for a female doctor…what you guys think?

Chat later. 😀


Read More

Medical Bay

I have been busy with the first chapter of the game, which is full of ‘introduction areas’. More industrial places…train stations, tracks, elevator shafts. While its awesome to have these areas, because it really does build suspence, and give you the impression of going deeper into the ship-they can get a bit boring to build.

So, I jumped the gun a little, and went into the medical bays. These will be in the early parts of chapter 2, or the late parts of chapter 1, depending on a few story, and ‘flow’ related things….but trust me when I say that when you eventually get to the medical bays, they will be AWESOME.

Something thats rather difficult in a game like this, specifically one where the character is, for all purposes, alone, is how to get information across in an interesting way. For a while, I toyed around with the idea that there are some survivors on board that you find, and while I’m not discounting that entirely, to find survivors this early on in the game would really be counter productive to the atmosphere in the game. You are completely alone. You must FEEL completely alone.

Now there is also the computer terminals to get information…but thats a bit boring. This is Science Fiction dammit! Ships logs can be done in a pirate game. Its not unique enough to the genre! There ARE computer teriminals in STASIS but again, I really want to make them…different.


There is a scene in Lost In Space, and Final Fantasy, where they are performing surgery through a holographic interface. Holograms just ‘go’ in Sci Fi-so if I can find a place to put them in STASIS, Im going to!

I thought about how beneficial it would be for a doctor to be able to record, in high detail, a surgery. Be able to walk around it, see what was done. Now imagine how scary that would be, if you discovered a recording of that surgery….when the patient wakes up, mid surgery, with nobody around them. I have a fear of hospitals, and waking up during surgery, so this was right up my ‘shit that creeps me out’ alley!


I first built the bed, with the surgical consoles and robotic arm thing hanging above it. The room was then built around the bed.

The ‘rays’ from the center of the room are channels to allow blood to flow into drainage systems under the room. The center ‘disk’ was originally supposed to rotate into place, but that just became way to memory intensive.


The actual surgery was built around something that I find…disturbing. Cutting a man in half, and having him complain that he cant feel his legs…having him plead to just let him walk out. I lined up the hologram so that the skeletons eyes are almost fixed on the PLAYER, and when the hologram turns his head it lines up with the skulls eye sockets. The effect is subtle, but adds to the disturbing nature.

Something to note is that from the surgical terminal, you will be able to call up different recordings. It will work through simple DIALOG tree system. Each recording will have some different information in it, be it ‘mission specific’ or just recordings that set the tone of the game.

There is a scale issue..the player should be about 5% bigger.


The voice overs is again, me with a mic. Ill be looking for actual voice artists to do the voices, but for now we are stuck with my voice and pitch changes!

I have set up the sound tho that, I just have to replace the sound file, and the rest of the scene will play out no matter the length of that file. This helps, not only for replacing the sound with ‘actual’ actors voices, but also for localisation. If a sentence is longer, or shorter, the rest of the scene just dynamically adjusts itself to fit.



Read More