Post news RSS A tour of Trucks Cemetery

Progress is well. New level fully implemented. New feature faction randomizer and economy overhaul.

Posted by on

Viva la Call of Chernobyl

Hello, everyone! I know, it's rare to see news! But that only means we are busy (and lazy). I thought I would give a quick news update as we near the inevitable release and so that you don't go bored out of your mind checking back here. The mod is in an overall good state. Ironing out final kinks with the task system, minor issues and even implemented a few tiny new features:

  • There is now a randomizer button in the main faction selection menu. This randomizes the player's name, faction and loadout: Epicstalker.com
  • I developed a new tool, called xrTradeEditor. It's a lua script and you can find it in the mod section of this forum. It was made for CoC but it will work with any CoP mod if the ini is configured properly. But it allowed me to quickly redo and adjust and balance the economy by altering the price conditions of all traders. Trade exploits no longer exist because the script found and appended all the missing item sections and It's a bit harder to gain money by selling junk.
  • Helicopters have been nerfed and there is now a game option to disable the helicopter engine sounds. They now have less accuracy, take more damage from normal fire_wound type damage and no longer engage enemies more then 300m. This should make them more enjoyable to engage and allow them to continue to serve their purpose which is strengthening the military and monolith factions. Helicopters are intended to create risk and suspense in some locations to force the player to make a conscious decision to either engage, avoid these areas or approach during nightfall/heavy weather.
  • The custom created level by our beloved Borovos, Trucks Cemetery, has been fully implemented with A-Life. It awaits some final tweaks and polish! See the preview, below:


  • Oh! I almost forgot. Open X-Ray engine has a new feature implemented by CoC project member AxelDominator. This feature allows you to set any consumable to use item condition. It is now possible to create consumables with infinite uses, multi-usages or equipment like weapons to not have a condition bar at all. A good example usage is pill items that allow more then a single use:

    use condition


  • While in trade menu with a stalker, you are able to right-click on an item and select "donate" to trade an item at no cost to the stalker. This can be useful to get rid of unwanted gear or to give companions equipment:

donate


  • Through an optional engine feature by setting slot_persistent = false in system.ltx for a slot, You can now enable a new feature. With this feature you can equip different knives, binoculars or grenades via the context menu! Equipped item will be highlighted in your inventory. No new slots have been added. This means you can easily switch grenade types, too.


Don't worry, these new changes/features barely took any time to develop and is not holding back progress towards release since I have much more free time then Bangalore who does most of the Level Editor work and manages the final full build and installer.

Questions and Answers

Q: Will you be releasing the SDK assets?

A: Yes, this is planned. This will even include Borovos's Truck Cemetery level.

Q: Will you continue to develop and support the mod after release?

A: Bugfixes, definitely. New addons and features? Not so sure yet. Some of us want to either break or retire from Stalker modding. Support, advice and expertise on Open X-Ray and the Call of Chernobyl mod will still be provided on the official forums at www.epicstalker.com regardless if we decide to stop or not. There is a slight possibility we may put together a new team, like MDT did post Misery 2.0 development, that would continue to work on the mod in our stead (If enough people are interested).

Q: If the mod leaked why not release it now or go to an open beta?

A: My opinion is that open betas are very disorganized. We do have a very good dedicated testing team that follows a specific guideline, knows how to fill out issues and reports and knows exactly what is expected of them in these reports. Having dozens and dozens of misplaced reports on several community forums or false reports due to mod merges will only make developing the mod more chaotic. Our development team is very small, too small to manage such a task.

Comments
Guest
Guest

Wow, only just discovered this mod and words fail me, it looks like the Stalker I have always wanted, a true sandbox experience!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+16 votes
Capt.Host
Capt.Host

Viva la vida! It's a great time to be a Stalker.
Can't wait for the release. I'm gonna be sinking tons of hours into this :D

Reply Good karma Bad karma+13 votes
trojanuch
trojanuch

The level looks awesome :) Great job on this one guys.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+12 votes
INtense! Staff
INtense!

Amazing job, the quality of STALKER mods is just mind blowing

Reply Good karma+18 votes
kahului
kahului

So beautiful video which shows us how this map is extraordinary and the mod awesome!So many thanks for your amazing works TeamEpic Guys!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+10 votes
kcs123
kcs123

Those helicopters behave more/less like any other NPC/monster, once spawned they follow their scheme of behaviour forewer, until they were destroyed and spawned again on S_T after some time.

How about bind a timer with helicopter ? When timer triggers it will force helicopter to go at certain S_T or other map spot and then despawn themself or wait again certain amount of time before going to same scheme of behaviour.

Purpose of this is tu simulate fuel usage by heli, they can't stay in air forewer. So, patient players who will be able to avoid heli for quite amount of time will be rewarded when heli "runs out of fuel" and helicopter still can be quite dangerous without being anoying.

Damm, I should stop thinking loud on it or I will be dragged into modding again :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+9 votes
Alundaio Author
Alundaio

They do now, I written a helicopter alife script. Helicopters now use Smart Terrains like stalker/mutant squads. But they will only use smarts with heli_* = 1 prop in the simulation_props.ltx. They will switch to new target smarts when "stay_time" depletes. The smart they are currently entered they actively defend. Anything that goes within a radius is immediately flagged as hostile if spotted by the helicopter. This means they will use gulag_general and waypoints that follow a name scheme for each smart allowing for different logics for each location.

They don't despawn but they are supposed to go to a waypoint under the map during surge but it got busted at one point and I haven't taken the time to fix it.

Reply Good karma+11 votes
kcs123
kcs123

I missed that multi usage consumables. Is it actualy one item(spawn section) with addition of condition bar from weapons/outfits or you use same trick like in Misery, to despawn one item and spawn other item with "lower" usages in actor inventory ? It is sort of "lame" thing to do it with different items that mimics multi usage of one item, but it did a trick considering engine limitation and overall knowlage available to team.

If it is actualy one item that is huge improvement to overall multiusage idea.

From moders perspective, thing that I realy like to be documented and possibly "ready to use" simple functions, is those that alter weapon/outfit conditions. Not only weapon/outfit, but NPC/actor values too that can be readed only trough UPD packets.

For weapons/outfits most common need is to alter condition to desired level on NPCs/stashes etc. For actor/NPC is those dynamic values that alter current maximum carry weight, stamina regeneration and such. Static values for it can be modified trough system/actor ltx files, but it is hard to find out value after it is altered by outfit and belt attachment.

It is something that was not so easy to figure out how to do it with vanilla x_ray game engine. I was managed to alter weapon/outfit condition in dynamic stashes, for upcoming Misery 2.2, but I guess that many other modders still don't have a clue about it, how it works.

Without reliable info how game engine handle this stuff it was realy hard for other moders to develop usable scripts in the past. You got now full insight to game engine and such info will be of great value for further development, for anyone that will use CoC as a base for further moding.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
Alundaio Author
Alundaio

Hehe, yeah I snuck that in there with an edit! This feature was implemented properly in the Open X-Ray engine. You simply define the use_condition field under the item section. These are the new fields:

1. use_condition (true or false)
2. max_uses = (number)
3. remove_after_use = (true or false)

So no, there is no clever hackery involved, like using multiple items and spawning them on the player after use. Code for equipment was simply re-implemented for all the consumable classes in the engine. While completely new code to draw and refresh the condition progress bar for these items was added.

I'm not sure if I want to add ways to alter static values read from system ini, like weight (except for the actor since there is only one). You would have to store this information in both memory, when the object is online and in the packet. There are thousands of instances of items in the game, just adding a new variable will have a huge impact on RAM usage, savegame and packet size, which all have limitations.

You can find out what is in CoC by looking at my Open X-Ray repo: Github.com

Working branch already includes the use_condition feature. There are a few undocumented changes but the feature list on the wiki for the repo should be fairly accurate.

Reply Good karma+8 votes
kcs123
kcs123

That was some valuable info, thanks. With more insight how game engine works it will be easier for moders to alter it further.

About actor values, it is not much for adding new variables, but rather altering existing ones. One of ideas include to alter maximum caried weight based on info portion if actor have backpack or it is droped trough QRS. Or instead of max carried weight to alter stamina regeneration etc.

Plenty of ideas with it, unfortunaterly I only recently figured out semi-how to do it, so I will need some time for properly include idea in game. Well, we have to wait for official release to try bunch of possibilites that CoC have to offer.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
trojanuch
trojanuch

Yeah - great stuff with expanded functionality.

But still - it would friggin fantastic if the item usability could be expanded by multiple, definable 'use' functions. So that when you press the RMB on item in the inventory, you get a custom list with what you can do with it.

Like 'use1' >>> do... or 'use2' >>> do...

The possibilities of such solution in-place would be tremendous.

Possible?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
kcs123
kcs123

You mean like vodka can be used for eating as food and for weapon repair, for example ?

Throwing just blind shots here, but I think it is possible to add such thing in ltx. Like:

usage_1 = eat_function_name
usage_2 = repair_function_name

But also game engine modification is needed to recognize this when showing right click pop up menu. Things like that opens quite more possibilities.

Damm, it looks I will be dragged into modding more than wanted :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Alundaio Author
Alundaio

Yes, it's possible. I will look into it.

Reply Good karma+5 votes
Alundaio Author
Alundaio

Okay, I implemented this request into Open X-Ray and will probably make it's way to my working branch on my repo tomorrow.

The new fields for item sections are:
default_use_text = (st_drink, st_eat, st_use or your own custom string; which allow you to change the default 'use' text in context menu)

use1_functor = some_script.some_function
use1_text = st_some_text1

use2_functor = some_script.some_function
use2_text = st_some_text2

example of what it will look like when you r-click:

eat
st_some_text1
st_some_text2
drop
drop all

Reply Good karma+6 votes
kcs123
kcs123

Wow. That was quick.

Regular users, won't bother with it, but for modders it will be huge improvment. I'm certain that lot of other modders will be grateful for this feature.

Thanks !

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
mp5lng
mp5lng

Damn, reading these new functions blew my mind already :p

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
trojanuch
trojanuch

Wow - that's just pure awesomness there alun :) I already feel like in the old days.

Now - not that I wan't to cross the requests overload treshold or anything but here's another one that has been bugging me greatly :) :

In short: would it be possible to have stackable booster effects?

In long: the way it is now the actor can have only a single 'stats midifier' per each statistic on him at every particular time. For ex. if you have an effect on you that boosts stamina regen by 5% for 30 minutes and you use another booster that boosts stamina regen by 1% for 2 minutes - then the 1st effect gets completely overriden by the 2nd one and the boost ends after 2 minutes (timer of the 2nd booster).

What would be extremely cool would be if game stored info about each booster effect (or even more broadly each actor stat modifier) separetly including both: the stat modification and it's timer.

Above limitation is the only thing that prevents us from having a true RPG-like perks / consumables system comparable to what some more insightfull Fallout 3 mods provide.

And I mean not only a properly robust drugs system (including additictions which in such case would only be some extremely pronlonged modifiers of actor stats) but also stuff like 'perks / traints / levels' - which in fact would simply be indefinite booster-like effects triggered by item usage, dialogs, xr_statistic etc. etc.

I know it might be way more complicated that above multi-use tweak but then again - if we have it, we have a shot a beating 'true' RPGs in what we can do with our dear actor.

Tempring? - definately :) Possible? - I'm leaving it to you to judge :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
kcs123
kcs123

That is more/less reason why I asked for actor packet values to be more exposed for modders use :)

I think that is possible, but even with provided game engine source it will require quite some time for average modder to figure out how to do it.

Of course, whoever plan to alter those, need to be very carefull with it, if alteration is made on every single frame it will kill CPU/RAM usage.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Olku_
Olku_

tour de trucks

Reply Good karma Bad karma+4 votes
FoxFort
FoxFort

I see lot's of objects there, does it have impact on FPS?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
kcs123
kcs123

Can't tell for true accuracy, but I don't think that will impact performance. Other games have even more poligons than shown on video, so new GPU cards should handle this without problems.

Thing that have most impact in performance in x_ray engine is mostly AI calculations that happens in loop on each frame. So someone who wants to alter variables that were calculated on each frame need to be very carefull about it, to not degrade performance.

Recently I was discovered vanilla COP bug with hungry merc quest. Once quest was accepted game calculate on each frame if actor have enough items in inventory for quest to complete.

Calculation was done by iterating trough all items in inventory and comparing with "healthy food "item table. That kind of calculation have caused FPS drop from stable 60 FPS to 10-15 FPS on modern machine.

If moders are aware of this and avoid such calculation on each frame, there should not be serious impact on FPS performance and overall immersion is improved with such nice map included in game.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Borovos
Borovos

This is the bigger map in stalker about geometry count.
But it's mainly lod objects with addition of hom objects, so no problem with fps.

It killed my cpu during compilation, not in game.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+7 votes
Borovos
Borovos

Erratum, some ppl have lowering fps in this level. The geometry count is as three vanilla levels in a single one.
It explain why.

But it's playable as I did my best to improve the scene.
In conclusion, I'll not replace low poly trees by high poly.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
kcs123
kcs123

I'm sure that it will be possible to fine tune this level with optimized S_T spawns, so FPS can be at acceptable level to play.

Besides firefights I see plenty of possibilities to hide some cool stashes :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Guest
Guest

please let there be a option to loot armors from npcs (damaged of course) just like in sigerous sgm mod :) adds a lot to realism :P (you might get a exo soon but wont be able to repair it.)

Reply Good karma Bad karma0 votes
Plaargath
Plaargath

Great work with the maps, guys. Also it was incredibly good news about those engine tweaks - such tweaks open a massive load of scripting opportunities. Is there any chance you'd be interested in an enginges tweak wishlist to maybe take some of them into consideration?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Plaargath
Plaargath

EDIT: for exapmle expanding the possible number of context-menu inventory custom actions to 10 with possibility of conditioning their apperance via scripts? Or making it possible to add buttons to inv UI?

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Alundaio Author
Alundaio

To 10? I added 2 custom actions, so far. 10 sounds extreme unless maybe you are thinking about a hand radio with many options to do commands or something. Changing icon might be complex, but maybe not.

Expanding the actor UI might be a possibility, would simply just need to export the UI window to lua so that it can be manipulated just like scripted UI.

But go ahead and write suggestions. Maybe write a post on the Open X-Ray topic on epicstalker.com

Reply Good karma+4 votes
Plaargath
Plaargath

Thanks for reply. Yeah, I know 10 sounds a bit shocking, but in fact it is reasonable. I can easily make a good use of it. Anyway - OK, I will get my thoughts together, rewrite some concepts with possible engine coding in mind and I will give you a holler at your epicstalker home.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+3 votes
kcs123
kcs123

To externalize actor UI to lua will be great. It offers plenty off additional options that is quite limited in vanilla x_ray.

I assume that Plaargath aim to add something like this: Moddb.com
to current inventory UI. That will reduce item clutter. Also some additional buttons for ingame help - for some advanced options not present in vanilla game.

Possibility to add button for unload ammo from all weapons in inventory and remove all attachments like GL and scopes.

Those are just few ones that pops up on top of my head. But take your time, way that you already have tweaked game engine is awesome.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
K_Ary
K_Ary

damn, after 2 weeks i gone .. now CoC have been more complex than before and have new engine
Great work team, you've surprised me for so many times
in hope will have less glitch / bug and will release soon :D

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
SimonX45
SimonX45

When can we have a download ?
(i'm french)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Toskin
Toskin

Hard to say. Mod is still not ready, and team said they are only polishing about 2 months ago (Don't take me bad,I am sure it totally worth waiting). If you really can't restrain yourself, there is leaked version flying on the internet. It's working so good that I think that finished mod will be like for gods. Only stupidity are NPCs blocking doors.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
SimonX45
SimonX45

ok thanks

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
yanovarich
yanovarich

Imgur.com having this issue

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Guest
Guest

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Guest
Guest

This comment is currently awaiting admin approval, join now to view.

Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.