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.