Call of Pripyat takes you once again into the vicinity of the Chernobyl nuclear reactor that exploded in 1986. This so-called "Zone" is a highly contaminated area cordoned off by the military and now is combed through by the so-called stalkers, modern fortune hunters, in search of unique artifacts.

In the role of Agent Alexander Degtyarev, who is dressed up as stalker, you have to investigate the mysterious disappearance of five military helicopters and thereby stand one’s ground against the various stalker groups.

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So I promised a news update regarding graphics that this mod will have. However: this is going to be a less content filled post than what I had initially planned. I had planned a bunch of screenshots and a video but there simply isn't enough done in a final state to show yet.

So, what new graphics features have currently been implemented? Well, since I'm new to rendering and I'm doing most of this alone, so not a whole lot...yet.

I'm registered as a Nvidia Gameworks developer, so I have access to various effects Nvidia uses and I'm taking advantage of that.

So far I've added:

  • Nvidia's HBAO+
  • Color grading from OGSE (which we may use to give certain scenes different moods)
  • Metlac's reflective visors (yep, we have dynamic helmets/visors if you choose to enable them. I'm not a fan of visors personally but I'm finding that I'm leaving them turned on so I can see the reflective effect :p )
  • K.D.'s SSDO (however the adaptation didn't go as well as I was hoping: either the SSDO formula will be replaced, or I'll use SSGI instead)
  • K.D.'s DX9 Percentage Closer Soft Shadows (Heiker is working on integrating Nvidia's advanced PCSS for DX11)
  • SMAA 1X
  • Bokeh DOF
  • K.D.'s Thermal vision (though it isn't picking up heat the way I like as it was meant for SOC's system that uses textures.ltx: without it we need a different solution)
  • A different motion blur formula


Effect's currently being worked on:

  • TXAA (have access to it, facing one small dumb hurdle due to being a noob)
  • Wet surface reflections for both DX9 & 11 (again, have a small hurdle: this time it's not knowing/remembering proper shader model 3.0 to shader model 5.0 syntax)
  • On a small scale: physically based rendering. This won't be done everywhere, as that would be a lot of work. At the moment I'm only working on weapons, and as you can see in the image below, I briefly tested it on the ship in Zaton (though obviously the effect is not meant for a beam in a rusty ship, it's just a demonstration)
  • Height-based fog


Then comes the long list of things we would like to have in a world where we have another graphics programmer or two, or I learn more or Heiker becomes less busy.

As I mentioned I have access to pretty much all of Nvidia Gameworks. Heiker will be adding Nvidia's PCSS solution to DX11, and he's also interested in giving VXGI a whirl.

The effect he's worked on the most, and hope I can show you guys soon, is DX11 displacement mapping. Optional of course, but I think it could make certain things look a lot better that steep parallax mapping simply can't achieve.

One global illumination system that anyone could use, and I would like to have implemented, is Light Propagation Volumes. Whether or not Stalker is suited for it remains to be seen.

Other potential effects:

  • Lens flares and lens dirt (pretty easy: it just depends on whether people want it as an option, as I'm not a big fan of lens flares)
  • Volumetric clouds
  • If I end up with a ton of time on my hands or someone new joins the team: subsurface skin scattering. This would be quite an undertaking though as it would mean going through every human mesh (and I suppose some mutants too) and individually selecting the the parts of each model that represent exposed skin, grouping them separate, and then in the SDK assigning an SSS shader to those parts. It probably isn't as hard of an undertaking as it sounds, just a boring one


I am also interested in another thing that is partially visual based but would take a good chunk of time to implement: a PhysX solution or two. This would allow us to have very complex particle effects that allow for shadowing and light as well as great collision detection. The reason we're interested in this is due to the limitations of GSC's particle system: it's slow, even after some optimizations have been made, and it performs poorly with collision detection enabled.

To clarify, we're not using various Nvidia effects because we don't like AMD or want people to miss out: Nvidia simply has lots of cool effects we can use, plus I don't believe any of us have AMD cards so we can't test out effects that would be catered to AMD users. We will try and make this up to you though.
In terms of something like a PhysX solution: we would simply offer GSC's system in it's place for AMD users, and there's nothing wrong with that as Loner has done an amazing job with various particle effects and working around the limitations of GSC's system.
If someone knows of a complex particle system that allows for hundreds to thousands or particles at once, with self-shadowing and lighting, great collision detection, and it works on all graphics cards, feel free to tell me about it. Otherwise PhysX will be the direction I hope to move in.

Another thing I want to mention is what renderers we have. As I mentioned in the past we have removed the DirectX 8/static lighting renderer. We are approaching the year 2016 and it would simply be a hassle to provide support for this ancient system. Don't fret if you have a laptop as all graphical effects are optional and you can still choose any of the DirectX 9 modes you'd like.

Likewise, we are giving DirectX 10 the boot. Why would we do that? For several reasons. One reason is out of all the rendering systems it is by far the slowest. Another is that we fixed the inherent problems in DirectX 11 such as the blurry text, the static lighting for various effects, and a bunch of other things. Another reason is simply due to the fact that it's extra work adding all the rendering effects to DirectX10, and it doesn't make a lot of sense: it has absolutely nothing to offer over DX9 or DX11. I'm expecting some users to protest this, but the fate of DirectX 10 has been sealed. I promise you that you won't miss it.
I'd like to add that few game developers use DirectX 10. These days games are usually DirectX 11 only, or they provide two renderers: 9 and 11. We're simply adapting to the times.

I have also mentioned both DirectX 11.3 and DirectX 12 in the past, so what about those? Well 11.3 works, but I see no benefit to it really. It's not as good as 12, and only a little better than 11. Away it goes.
That leaves DirectX 12 which I was pretty adamant about at one point. DirectX 12 is a huge undertaking, much more so than I had realized. I will not be pursuing it. That said, Heiker is very interested in it, and may experiment with it in the future.

In related news, and I don't mean to make this a footnote, we are teaming up with several modding groups, all organized by the Ray of Hope development team.

We will be sharing some of our creations with them, and in return we have access to some goodies they have made. Among those goodies is a 64-bit, heavily optimized engine, which they will be providing the framework for. A huge thanks goes out to them in advance, and be sure to check out Ray of Hope!

Last but not least: we are looking for more people to work on the engine, specifically graphics :) If you want to help and know HLSL feel free to apply to the team. Knowing C++ certainly helps but it's not required.

SZA Team continues to develop the project!

SZA Team continues to develop the project!

3 days ago Zone Apocalypse 1 comment

SZA Team continues to develop the project! New levels: 1 - Laba Audron 2 - Blacker Screenshots and videos!

AO 3.1 - Call of Chernobyl 1.2.24 Addon - November 20th

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2 weeks ago Ray of Hope [Co-op & Online] 14 comments

We've included all the last news and described them with the main details. We hope you'll enjoy the main features we're working on as they take a lot...

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2 weeks ago Ray of Hope [Co-op & Online] 25 comments

Ray of Hope server server/map test with x64 bit. Enjoy!

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1.2.24 incremental patch for Call of Chernobyl. Requires 1.2.22 patch! If you use the CoCdater.exe you do not need this at all!

Post comment Comments  (40 - 50 of 153)
legionostra Apr 8 2014 says:

Can someone pls translate these 2 awesome russian mods? :
S.T.A.L.K.E.R Мод Упавшая Звезда Честь Наёмника№44

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - Смерти Вопреки 2

+5 votes     reply to comment
nashathedog Apr 21 2014 replied:

The first mod is for Shadow of Chernobyl, the second is the Death defying mod by geonezis, Go to the GSC site and search for links there. I know death defying has been worked on as I put up a machine translation for part one months ago and it's had people working on it since then and I imagine on this newer "part 2" aswell.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Rads27 Aug 25 2013 says:

Am I the only one here who believes that a "Jurassic Park" or something with dinosaurs would be totally awesome on this engine, graphics, atmosphere?! :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
PunishedLamia Apr 27 2014 replied:

Yeah I agree, a mod that adds dinosaurs would go great with that tropical environment mod! :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
AudioGhostX Dec 1 2013 buried:


Lololol, no.

-5 votes     reply to comment
loner85 Feb 6 2014 replied:

Why always so negative, AudioGhost?

+3 votes     reply to comment
nashathedog Aug 31 2013 replied:

Something like that would be great on any suitable game engine if that's what you like, The Zaton and Jupiter land maps would fit in well, If you had the buildings removed it would create a great area with good vegetation etc.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Sp34k May 3 2013 says:

Quest help needed:
I'm currently located at the Cement Factory - the quest involves finding a personalized weapon of some sort?
Can anyone direct me in the right path towards the item/objective?

Thanks in advance!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Aug 16 2013 replied:

its by the building with rats in the basement, outside in something that looks like the bend in the pipeline sort of thing from a ventilation complex, you know, big square tube in a 90 degree bend, sits right outside of the main entrance, facing the river and barb wire side of the game area.

+1 vote     reply to comment
drusus May 8 2013 replied:

edit: not Yantar, its Jupiter quarry

+2 votes     reply to comment
drusus May 8 2013 replied:

Spoiler Alert!

Might be Strelok's Sig 552. You need 3 documents. One is underneath the Cement Factory at water level, the second could be in the earthmover in Yantar and the third is at Jupiter Facility in a pipe near an excavator were you have to step down in a chemically contaminated pit. Strelok's Sig 552 should be there also..

Good hunting, Stalker!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Major_Degtyarev Jul 4 2014 replied:

Ah,so that is where he left that accursed rifle! Major Degtayrev approves. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
nashathedog May 9 2013 replied:

It think he's playing the SGM mod not vanilla. It's the Vintorez bomber he's looking for.

+4 votes     reply to comment
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Developer & Publisher
GSC Game World
X-Ray Engine
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Release date
Released 2010
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419 votes submitted.

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Highest Rated (16 agree) 10/10

Awesome final installment with the potential for modding greatness.

The downsides, It is too short and when you do jobs in certain places you end up with an empty area afterwards. But Modding is the answer and mods like MSO solve that particular problem.

May 31 2012 by nashathedog

Single Player
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Build 1935
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky
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S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
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