Post news RSS Dev Diary #1

News about the mod, what is going on and how it is coming along.

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I've been working on the new Garbage map, adding new vegetation, getting as much details as possible and trying to define new areas.
At first, I wanted this map to be the beginning of the adventure. But I always figured the start of the game taking place in a somewhat peaceful and (slightly) enjoyable scenery. If people have stayed 20 years after wars between factions, military and mutants, there should be some good reasons.
One is that the environment would allow a rough but decent living, and provide a pleasant view.

But the more I was working on the Garbage map, the more it felt depressing and hostile (and that's great !).
The decaying vegetation and damaged buildings are working very well, but it doesn't feel like the place you would stay at and build a camp.
When adjusting the little vegetation (detail plants), I used to work on a bare map with just the terrain mesh. It's working pretty well just like that, having that free space of hills, without the dark industrial remains.
So I decided to start from a new location, a map that would provide that feeling of space, devoid of any human trace. I set up a huge terrain, probably the largest piece of land I've seen in any Stalker mod, made of valleys and hills, home of the last loners.
I started populated it with a quite realistic nature, little forests, vast lowlands.
It will host animals, probably not very dangerous ones at the beginning. But we'll be back on that topic later.
The purpose of this map is setting the mood of the mod. Nature, nature and nature. At first it's all about harmony and peace but the more you will have to go far away from your home, the more it will turn against you.
I always remember the first time I played SOC. There was a real sense of peace, security and home at Cordon. And just the idea to leave that place was always frightening and added to the angst of the unknown.
That's what I'd like to bring to the first map. It's your home and leaving it should bring fear.

So now I have a better idea about the maps and the progression through them.
1 - Lost Valley
2 - Garbage
3 - Masheve
4 - Swamps

Masheve is based on the real location of Maschevo, a place with abandonned giant pig farms, small farmers village and forest.
The Swamps takes place near a river, in a muddy land filled with the remains of a rotten nature, mutants, poisonous waters and things from another world.

- Wolves are now done. There is two species, two sizes. Each one comes with three different fur colors and variations. They will be a common encounter.

- Lost Valley fauna.
I want to add as much realistic animals as possible, to bring as much life as possible.
I will evaluate soon all current CoP mutants and see which skeletons and animations can be re-used for new creatures. This also includes birds.

In conclusion of this first dev diary, right now it's about building a first draft of the first map.
The next task will be preparing things for new animals.


Thank you for the update. Sounds great to me. I love the idea of the peaceful valley, I kinda had the same feeling with SoC, really enjoying the nature and the freedom to roam around in it.

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Sound Great. But I have few suggestions.

1. If mod it self is going towards "adventure/exploration" not action/shooting, I would put as many easter-eggs and small secret stashes/places as possible, so game would not get boring that easily and will have that element that make player get back to it again.

You could for example create really simple story of few stalkers/military and put it in game in form of notes AND objects. So for example player would find one note of old stalker saying that he had to left picture of his family in some place and player could find it, and maybe find other stalker who knew owner of this picture and give it back.
Or book of scientist, that miss few pages and you can find them.
Or some new plants that you can pick up and give/sell.

Its technically easy to make, and you dont really need some big stories for it.

2. I would be really careful with amount of stuff on map. Even if you work on CoP engine, Lost Alpha is probably best example of how to screw optimization by putting lots of useless bad made objects on maps that just force game to run on its last breath.
I just hope that you will manage to keep optimization in check.

3. I love idea of proper wild animals on maps, Stalker always lacked that "life" and movement in zone, even with its amazing A-life system. I would love to see some animals, especially some BIG mutations that are not really hostile, like they would run away from player and attack only if player do it first. There should be some huge mutated animals in some part of zone that people dont visit and where animals dont treat stalkers at enemies because they never encounter them.

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Good to see real animals in the Zone at last. As much as I like some of the mutant concepts, the game seemed a bit too alien at times. I'd love to see some animals on smaller side of an ecosystem, grasshoppers, butterflies, dragonflies, bugs in general, frogs & fish. Even domesticated animals in camps such as poultry birds and dogs would add some nice atmosphere.

Civilians living in the Zone could be a nice touch too It would present the player with opportunities to save them from harms way, do quests etc. all while adding to the immersion.

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Looks like it's gonna be my favorite stalker mod). I really like the atmosphere, idea, style, the Zone must looks like a post-apocalyptic place, where everything is forgotten, and nature takes back what is belongs to her, and you can find calm and peaceful places, also hostile somewhere, and there is mustn't be any soldiers watching the perimeter because almost everyone is dead. Just... thanks for your work dude, really amazing, that's what i hoped for the years being stalker fan, and it's finally going to happen, some day, good luck dude.

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┬┐Como va esto?

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