Christopher Bischoff

Game designer, co-founder The Brotherhood

Christopher Bischoff is the co-founder of The Brotherhood, the Cape Town-based game studio behind STASIS, one of most commercially successful video games to come out of South Africa.

He’s both a commerical 3D artist and self-taught game designer, and one of those lucky people who have managed to turn his hobbies into a job.

“I’ve always loved the idea of making my own PC games, and have been involved in game development since I could work on a computer. My parents always encouraged us to learn computer skills, and with both being artists, the merging of computers and art was a natural one,” says Bischoff.

He credits a lot of what he knows to the internet, reading articles, interviews, following online tutorials and generally being stubborn about learning.

“We live in a wonderful time where the collective knowledge of mankind is at our fingertips. From a technical side, video games are difficult to create. I feel that they are one of the few art forms that form a perfect marriage between the technical and the artistic. If you can work in the computer game industry, either as a programmer or as an artist, your skills can translate into multiple disciplines and other careers.”
Digital distribution and crowd funding have intrinsically changed the landscape for game developers, especially in emerging countries.

“You no longer need a publishing deal with an international company to get your game to the consumers — which was a major hurdle for any artistically driven industry — something that we at The Brotherhood have taken full advantage of!”
Africa has a lot of challenges when it comes to working in a technology-based field like game design; intermittent power failures and a heavily fluctuating currency both make long-term planning challenging, explains Bischoff.  At the same time, living expenses and game development hubs in South Africa are much cheaper in comparison to the first world.

“Not to mention that South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world! In this industry, it’s easy to get creatively burnt out, but those energies can often be quickly recharged with a walk on the beach or a drive through the countryside.”

Bischoff is working on an additional chapter of STASIS called CAYNE: A Stasis Story.

“After that is complete, the world is our playground!” — Tiana Cline

Twitter: @stasisgame Facebook: www.facebook.com/stasisgame Website: www.thebrotherhoodgames.com