New Year has come, hope all of you are alright and ready to go thru 2019.
I wrote about my Variation Mod edits a few times, but now I can show some results. I finished icons for those approximately 380 visuals. Some people were complaining about very bad fps on stalker bases and crashes, I'll make a simple option which will reduce the variety of NPC visuals loading in the game via configs. Actually, there are about 430 visuals, since I've added Zombies in gasmasks, full exos, sevas. I still remember that moment on the Radar in SHOC, when zombie in exo with SPAS12 were going towards me, that was cool, why zombies are without helmets anyway? Helmets disturbs them? I dunno.
NPC icons file
Right mouse button on picture -> open image in the new tab <- to enlarge
In the end of the file you can see fraction icons. I've thought about making universal icons to spare my time. But, I still can't be lazy about 2.0, and checking every visual helped me to find some bugs and to make all these icons. I've made them on Zaton, but I really like Zaton's weather and that Cromm Cruac's Autumn Aurora style. I think that's like the heart of ABR MOD, Yanov is really looks like my city in November of 2017. That year had very good autumn, vivid colours. I wanted to show that in Yanov, I wish it was less buggy though, may be it's too much like my city after all. Heh. In november also we had that deep fog, that was awesome. The point I'm writing you that is that I've tried to recreate all those my life moments in ABR MOD, back then I didn't know how to edit weather but decided to try. And tuned each weather to particular nature style I chose for the locations.
That was a little flashback, now about the present. I'll show 12 icon collages for each community and will share some my thoughts, decisions, what have been changed.
I wanted to show bandits like violent community that's why some of bala bearers have bruises. I've used zombie models, changed them via AXR toolset (God Bless Alundaio) and created hoodless bandits in jackets. Same to loners in dawns, duty, freedom. Face masks of bandits has a darker leather, it's small detail, but since I've had separate textures for them, why not add some stuff, right? Since vanilla bandits had painted faces, I've kept that idea. Also, I've created new variations for coat bearers with new eye colours. So you can see the first and the third one in the second row - blue and brown eyes. Vanilla had only one eye colour - grey. Now there are grey, blue, brown, green colours. Those are small details but they make NPC's less looking like clones.
Loners, there are about 90 visuals for them. Since I want to add new models not just to random NPC's but for story NPC's too. Check the second row the 2nd and the 3rd icons, small details like lips and skin colour make those faces looking not very the same. In vanilla Variation Mod (later as Vmod) evry bala user was the same, I've made about 400+ textures, different variants of faces for different communities. Same goes to hair colours, I've used face textures from previous games and mixed them up for something new. Now you can encounter blond\grey stalkers in all communities. GP5 gasmask (2nd row, 1st icon), I don't really liked it, vanilla Vmod texture was looking too alien. I've tweaked the colour and made steel parts less shiny, bandits and monolith have brown GP5 gasmask, stalkers have the grey one. I didn't change outfits, since they are cool already.
Duty, I've edited their new outfits. Vmod had too pinky colours and too dark main colour for new outfits (just my IMHO). Duty, same as Loners, have nooded/unhooded dawn bearers. Duty's face masks are black with red plastic parts like their outfit style. Faces are the same with Loners and Freedom, but each fraction has it's own colours for face masks and outfits - in sum, pretty different appearance. Mask bearers (2nd row, 3rd and 4th icon) have different texture mappping compared to visuals with face masks. This type of model uses only half of the face texture and mirrors it on the other side, since it's old type of model. So, for these ones I've made needed copies of full face textures. There are 5 face textures for mask wearers against 1, as it was.
Duty's best buddies, same changes as for previous fractions. Green light facemasks with yellow plastic parts. But, I've changed vanilla's freedom's dawn outfit a bit. Vanilla had red parts of gasmask, same as duty, I've decided to change it to blue, so outfit has more solid style. Also I've fixed missing texture part on shoulders, but, probably, not many people saw this issue.
Mercs have new faces, not very much variated community, same as Monolith. I'll port audio files from CS, so unmasked mercs could speak unmuffled voices, but that will be only for Russian Voices, which will be optional, you could use it with subtitles (God Bless Misery Development Ltd.).
Monolith, brown GP5, as I've said before. 3rd row, 2nd and 4th - I've changed texture just yesterday. This outfit had white helmet and brown parts on chest armour, tweaked it to grey - looks better and more vanilla-like. Also, check the second exo without metal parts, I've added caps on their shoulders, and that goes for each texture of this type. Previously, only loner's light exo had this cap on shoulders, other models used standart exo texture, and there were unrealistic black spots/shadows.
Zombies. BTW, the whole idea of variative faces came from zombies. Well, when I've finished about 14 faces for zombies, I've thought: "Why not make new faces for living stalkers?". That's how I've spent a few months, 2 or 3, don't know for sure. I even added one mustached zombie. Texture from CS, probably. The main guy of Loners - Valerian.
Also, I've made some new sci suites. May be I'll use them somewhere. I think I really like the white one. Reminds me The Predator 2 movie, the mission in the fridge.
Well, that's some kind of exclusive content I developed on the base of cool Variation Mod 1.41 (God Bless Darkenneko).
I'm very happy that modding community created cool mods, so people without too much skills in modelling or texturing, like me, can make something new. Yes, I just changed colours and mixed up some textures, but, I didn't see somebody do it the exactly way I did. So, I think, I've made something new for ABR 2.0.
That's it for now, thanks for comments, recently I've seen good reviews on my mod - that's cool. It lets me know I don't waste my life time in vain, I see ABR MOD as my legacy, since I didn't succeed in music production. So, stay tuned.