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Back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. November 2022 development report.

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Back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. - November 2022 Update

The publication of news in November has already become a tradition for our team. Well, let’s not break it this time either!

We will start our selection of news with a trump card - a new video for the AP-PRO Showcase. It shows updated maps, storyline moments and much more. Many thanks to Alexey «Zippa» Pavlov for beautiful soundtrack, written specifically for the video, as well as for Vlad «SevenRus», Denis Ivanov, Tihon Eshanu, Ivan Isaenko, Nicolay Zozulin, Gleb Polikarpov and Sergey Severov for voice acting.

What is Back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R.?

Back to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. project is a free vision on the theme of Good Old Stalker. The project aims to show the build-style Chernobyl Zone from a different angle. Unlike other modifications, our project not only restores cut content, but also actively supplements it. The main innovations of the modification are: an extended and redesigned storyline, a completely redesigned weaponary, reworked weapon animations, improved build levels, our own engine with a huge number of innovations and the ability to customize the gameplay of the mod by yourself.

Storyline elements

New storyline is currently in-development. It will differ from the original in the following ways: first-person cut scenes, in-depth narration, varied voice acting, new scenes.

In a lot of the story moments, we try to create an element of surprise. The player will be sure that he will go on some trifling task (for example, to search for an artifact), but suddenly something goes wrong, and one task becomes into another.

As for the secondary tasks, they will be actively worked out. For example, a player can take on quests to find unique artifacts that are so rare that they exist in a single copy. After finding and bringing it, scientists study it, and after a few days they will give the player a valuable item (improved armor, detectors, etc).

The quests themselves will be different from each other. Including, many quests can be completed in two ways - a simple assault, or stealth.

About game levels…

We pay great attention to level detail. As inspiration, we use GSC materials from 2002-2003 years. It's no secret that the levels in the early builds of the stalker are much more detailed than the levels in the release version of the game. So, for example, each house had traces of the arrival of other stalkers: various garbage, sleeping bags, empty cans, cigarettes, etc.

Thus, a feeling of the living Zone is created. But the matter does not end there. Many peoples may remember that most of the buildings and structures on the levels are closed one way or another. I think many people would like to open the "closed" doors and look at what is hidden behind them. Our team is actively correcting this nuance. Some closed places become open. In addition, some low-poly models are being actively replaced. For example, models of abandoned cars.

As for factories and industrial zones, they will be actively filled with details.

Each industrial zone will be different in one way or another. All such zones will be filled with secrets, so exploring locations will be not only interesting, but also enjoyable!

Another aspect that, in our opinion, locations have always lacked off - is the Soviet style. Sometimes, walking through some industrial premises, you can notice Soviet propaganda posters.

Separately, I would like to mention the Dead City. The level of detail in it should become one of the hallmarks of the location. In the building of the City Council you can find many interesting posters and household items. In the main hall, there are portraits of communist leaders from the past.

The school in the Dead City has also many new changes. We tried to remove the monotonous interior, replacing it with other objects. We have added an canteen, laboratory, director's office, medical room.

Many may remember our plans to extend the levels. So far, work is underway only on filling, but not on expanding. Unfortunately, this is due to the fact that I work on the project, in fact, alone. The storyline, maps, the engine and the graphic part are only handled by me. Many developers are busy either with their studies or with their personal lives.

New Anomalies

During breaks, we try to create and restore some of the anomalies that have been redone or completely cut from the game.

Poppy Field

One of the new anomalies that have been added to the project. In some levels, the player can find a small poppy field that emits fog. If a player enters the area of effect of this field, then after 2 seconds he takes damage. Mutants try to bypass this field. With prolonged exposure, the mutant becomes more aggressive and may begin to attack its relatives

No-Gravity Anomaly

A small area in which gravity does not act. By itself, it's harmless.


Electrical anomaly. It is a more "serious" version of the "electro" anomaly. Before impact, Thunderstorm accumulates a strong charge of energy, after which it splashes out in a radius 2 times greater than the zone of the anomaly itself.


Chemical anomaly. It is a small field of green vaporisation. Most often appears around metal garbage.

Orin (Rin)

Small purple electrical anomaly. Rumored to appear after being struck by lightning.

Reworked GUI

The screenshots show an updated interface adapted to widescreen monitors:

Also, many people can remember old screenshot, which shows the customization menu. It has also changed:

The customization menu is divided into 4 sub-sections: General, Interface, Weaponary and Gameplay.

In the "Interface" section, you can configure the type of hud (you can choose from interfaces from different builds of the stalker: 1472, 1511, 2232 and 2571), the language of the game, and some interface features (for example, grouping identical items).

In the "Weaponary" section, you can enable or disable the weapon features of the mod. For example, you can completely turn off strafes, weapon inertion (while shaking, jumping and moving), camera effects, and so on…

In the "Gameplay" section, you can configure some gameplay features: corpse collision, belt ammo, and other stuff.


For the excellent work on the interface, we thank the developer of Legend Returns 1.0 and Alone in Windstorm - Charlie Carious. Between the LR and BTTS teams, friendly relations have been established for a long time. It was the Legend Returns team that was one of the first to support me on the forum when, back in 2018, I created the first theme of the mod. Now I help the Legend Returns developers by fixing and adding maps for the project. We are confident in the fruitful development and success of our projects.

Improved lighting

We keep improving static lighting. In two months, I updated PC components, due to which the compilation of locations sped up 10 times. This allows us to set our maps to higher settings, which in turn improves baked shadows in static lighting.

Full dynamic lighting has been tweaked. We got rid of the old bloom by replacing it. Now the overall lighting is most similar to what we could see in the early screenshots from 2005.

In the future, we are planning to port a few graphical innovations from S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky: for example, soft particles and soft water.

Engine Updates

Text highlight feature from build 2232

Flashlight system from build 2571.

The flashlight works only from the belt, but for NPCs it does not go out and remains after death.

Restored build-style shooting effector

At the end of the shooting, the weapon returns to its original state...

Restored sleeping system from build 2571

You can sleep through inventory, in safe areas. This was done for those players who want to skip a certain period of time.

Animations and Models

We have created new animations for L-85, Winchester-1300, PM (Makarov) and PB (Silencer Makarov Pistol), AKMS-MF, Anomaly Scanner and USP.

Models of Marked One, for which we thank «Comrade_Yoda», "world" models of RPK, AKMS, AK-74

That is all for now. I really hope that you liked new article about BTTS Project. Feel free to ask some questions about the mod (if you have some). Thanks for reading this article :)

Feel free to visit our Discord Server.

Have a great day!

PsyWarVeteran - - 1,996 comments

Saw the teaser on AP-PRO showcase.
Nice video, nice new content 👍

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Nikita_Nikson Author
Nikita_Nikson - - 102 comments


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fontar - - 37 comments

Excellent update, can't wait!

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Isthar - - 282 comments

Gorgeous work, really glad to hear about the static lighting improvements.

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JadeyMoyaison - - 122 comments

Definitely will play it right after release. 10/10 for presentation

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Erik313 - - 459 comments

Thanks for this hard work of yours gentlemen - love and respect from the Southern USA!

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Nikita_Nikson Author
Nikita_Nikson - - 102 comments

Thank you very much and greetings from Serbia :)

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J00B - - 1,118 comments

Loved the showcase video, very impressive.

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