The envisionment of TK is to bring you what was promised by GSC for STALKER: Shadow of Chernobyl, instead of the gutted retail release we were left with. TK aims to cover every aspect imaginable from gameplay intended to genuinely scare the player, to graphics for the absolute best visual experience, cut mutants, absolute realism, optimisations, stability, and a complete game mechanics overhaul, all without breaking the story. The idea is to present the player with a complete retail experience for the purist that liked SoC but wished it was far more fleshed out. In no way what so ever does TK try to be like old beta or alpha builds of SoC, TK aims to enhance everything SoC already has - nothing more, nothing less.

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Meowjar
Meowjar Jul 27 2015 says:

This is so amazing..... I love it!

+2 votes     reply to comment
ketxxx Author
ketxxx Jul 27 2015 replied:

I'm glad you like it, but the picture is here to give a important reminder; me and meltac have got every last drop of beauty out of X-Ray but despite this the aging of the engine is now ever-present sadly :( Theres one or two textures I'm looking at increasing the resolution of to aid in their rendering in-engine, but thats all that can be done theres no more polishing just things to finish.

+1 vote   reply to comment
7ty7
7ty7 Jul 27 2015 says:

Yes it's an old engine and that's bound to show, but perhaps this beautiful screenshot wasn't the best example of it's limitations :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
ketxxx Author
ketxxx Jul 27 2015 replied:

lol the idea was to deliberately show one of the finer examples to make people think of things like Witcher 3, which while not really a pretty game in that way (theres plenty of areas its downright fugly.. thanks consoles) it still looks better. Maybe some post process anti-aliasing would help things. AMD and nvidia have such a thing in their respective CPs, guess I'll test that out at some point.

+1 vote   reply to comment
☣GenezisO☢
☣GenezisO☢ Jul 27 2015 says:

Briiiiiiing it ketxxx !!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Meltac
Meltac Jul 27 2015 says:

No soft water edges !? (LOL)

+1 vote     reply to comment
ketxxx Author
ketxxx Jul 27 2015 replied:

Soft water edges FTW! Hurry up and finish them lol :p

+1 vote   reply to comment
Argoon
Argoon Jul 27 2015 says:

Xray is capable of much more than what you are showing there, if you wanted to make X-ray look bad you were certainly successful that pic is hideous, but to me Stalker CP on Dx11 is still fantastic looking and there's few games that can top that.

Xray 1.6 has used on Call of Pripyat is capable of - AA with HDR lighting, God Rays, POM, wet surfaces, soft water, physical smoke, Tessellation and Contact Hardening Shadows (this last two on dx11 only).

Saying X-Ray is old IMO is wrong but ok if you are using the 1.0 (shadow of chernobyl) version then yes, it lacks some cool stuff.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Meltac
Meltac Jul 28 2015 replied:

Ket was definitively talking about (unmodded) X-Ray 1.0x as we know it from SoC, without any engine hacks or anything applied to. There is no DX11 or any engine-based god rays or whatever you might know from either newer X-Ray based games or modified binaries.

+2 votes     reply to comment
ketxxx Author
ketxxx Jul 28 2015 replied:

Lets break this down.. TK is in the mod section for Shadow of Chernobyl, so obviously it is X-Ray 1.0. Most the stuff you talk about Argoon is only available in X-Ray 1.5 and 1.6, Sunshafts, Tessellation, advanced shadows, etc, etc, is not possible in X-Ray 1.0 without extensive DLL, shader, and engine modifications. X-Ray is old and primitive, even X-Ray 1.6 looks incredibly dated. No cloth physics, almost zero destructable objects, extremely limited detail in geometry, even the bushes and trees are mostly made out of flat 1D textures. The physics engine just plain sucks too in all versions of X-Ray. Sorry, but to say X-Ray can still hold its own against modern engines is just denial, it can't. X-Ray (all iterations of it) has had its day, its time to let it gracefully fade in to the sunset while it still has some dignity. That is why once I finish TK I will do just that, better to remember a engine for its hayday than beat it like a dead horse.

For the record, IF X-Ray were to be bought up to modern standards it would need;

- Native DX12 support and all the benefits it brings
- Physics system ripped out entirely and completely replaced
- Be true 64bit
- True multithreaded support
- Support complex geometry (that means lots of polygons)
- Support large open world map (no level loading)
- Properly implement DX11 features not just have them tacked on

All of that is before I've even touched on things like animations, character and weapon models, making a new SDK, etc. See, I've already looked in to all of this and the amount of work it would require to bring X-Ray up to modern standards it is faster to completely design a new engine.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Argoon
Argoon Aug 21 2015 replied:

I know X-Ray 1.0 is old by today standards, but in no way X-Ray 1.6 is old, is a full dx11 capable engine with state of the art graphic effects, imo many X-Ray modders let themselves fall into a kind "grass is always green on the other side" state of mind, regarding other engines and fail to see the immense power they have in the later X-Ray engine versions. As someone that has plenty of experience in game engines, i realized by my own mistakes and others, that many people let go one engine for an other, thinking this new one is the answer for all their dreams, only to realize latter that all engines have pro and cons and aren't never a magic bullet.
About the physics engine, the one used in X-Ray is indeed old, based on ODE, lacks modern effects like soft body physics and cloth, like you said, but for rigid-body physics is good enough, for example HL2 used a very old version of Havok, it lacked this same features, but HL2 add a impressive amount of physics effects on its gameplay, it even used what is called pseudo sofbody physics (using ragdools to simulate cloth like objects), i'm pretty sure the same could be done with X-Ray ODE.

About your bullet points:

- Native DX12 support and all the benefits it brings

- Almost no AAA engine support dx12, for now, is W10 only and this OS is still very new and not fully optimized. Going with dx11 is not a bad bet, why, first because dx11 is supported on all windows OS's from Vista up, it is capable of running even on dx9 GPU's (without any dx11 only functionality tho) and with full dx11 support it is capable of impressive graphics (just look to the Metro games), many GPU's on the market fully support it (only high end Nvidia Gpu's support dx12 and some only a small subset of it, AMD has better dx12 support even on older cards) second dx11 will still be supported for many years to come, is easy to code compared to dx12.

- Physics system ripped out entirely and completely replaced

- Not a absolutely necessary thing imo

- Be true 64bit

- it would be good but again not a absolute necessity, if you make the exe large address aware.

- True multithreaded support

- I'm not sure but i think X-Ray 1.6 is multithread already, at lest for two cores, but i could be wrong.

- Support complex geometry (that means lots of polygons)

- X-Ray already supports large amounts of polygons, but being crazy on polygon count is imo the mark of a bad developer/modeler, objects should be optimized and only have the necessary amount of polygons to maintain the illusion, and with POM and dx11 tessellation is not like you need to worry about low polygon count.

- Support large open world map (no level loading)

- Not even Cryengine 4 support this feature and is not like stalker worlds were that small either, more times than not i used the fast travel option because walking or running all that open terrain was boring.

- Properly implement DX11 features not just have them tacked on

- Yes Stalker CP dx11 features were tacked on but i'm pretty sure that with time they could be refined.

Bring X-Ray 1.0 to "modern" standards is a big undertaking indeed but bring X-Ray 1.6 to "modern" standards is not that hard, why would it? It already supports a full dx11 render, you just need to change or code new HLSL 5.0 shaders and you are good to go.

This is all my opinion, i don't claim that i'm a X-Ray expert or even that i have ever modded Stalker, all my knowledge about this subject come from years of playing around with other game engines, since the old Max-FX engine used on the Maxpayne games from remedy to Unreal Engine 2, idtech 4, C4 engine, Cryengine and Unity.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Argoon
Argoon Aug 21 2015 replied:

"even the bushes and trees are mostly made out of flat 1D textures"

I think you meant 2D and that is how all game engine vegetation is made even Cryengine 4 vegetation is still made primarily of flat planes, even the famous speed tree software (used on many Unreal Engine games and Skyrim for example) uses flat planes for its trees small branches and bushes, is just better for performance that way, stalker just need more high rez textures and a slight increase on the trees trunk polygon count.

+1 vote     reply to comment
slipkid69
slipkid69 Jul 28 2015 says:

Wow that looks great.

+1 vote     reply to comment
grazegrabber
grazegrabber Jul 29 2015 says:

It is a hard fact to face after so many fun filled years in the zone.
After a short run around on dayz X-ray does indeed look and feel old :(
Thank goodness for people like ket making mods :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
ketxxx Author
ketxxx Jul 29 2015 replied:

Yup, I think X-Ray has only lasted the extra 2-3 years because of massive HD texture packs redoing almost every texture in the game and even they can't hide the fact of how old and dated X-Ray is anymore its just natural development, there are far better engines than X-Ray now.

+1 vote   reply to comment
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This might be somewhat of a sad realisation but X-Ray, that now old girl that was abused and beaten at birth by THQ and GSC, shes aged. Even with all the upgrades and improvments myself and meltac have made, the age of X-Ray can't help but show through no matter what now. I'm making one final push to improve the shadows but theres nothing left in the tank now, X-Ray is showing her best to the best of her abilities.

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Jul 27th, 2015
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ketxxx
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