I'm very happy to find that 1.1 is much closer that I had anticipated, and may end up seeing release within the next few days, let alone this month. However there have been some complains regarding the previous update. Usually complaints are across the board but this time around it's centralized around the usual culprits. One of which the lack of randomized blowouts. I specified that I did not intend to speak about them further and that you should refer to previous articles about that, but clearly it does not suffice, so I will provide an explanation for it, referred from some recent comments of mine on the matter:
"Blowouts are a poorly scripted annoyance that in their current state, have extremely inconsistent safe areas, some areas like Red Forest being completely impossible of escaping from emissions. They often kill quest related NPC's, and causes AI pathing errors where the NPC's will go far enough off track of their smart terrains that they'll be frozen forever. It's an immersion killer in it's execution so far in ANY S.T.A.L.K.E.R. or any mods.
They also severely dampen the impact of the final emission that occurs outside of the NPP, making what was once an exciting and frightening moment 'just another blowout'.
There are blowouts that 'purge' people from getting closer from getting closer to the Zone. Both scripted ones outside of the NPP as well as in Yantar, as well as the Brain Scorcher which was what caused as Sidorovich says, people to rush to the center of the Zone after you disable it.
I'm not 'killing the lore' by not adding something that wasn't in the game in the first place, and blowouts from SHoC mods are so inconceivably shitty that it baffles me why anyone wants them. I endeavored to make them better but I realized I was wasting my time only to make an obnoxious occurrence only tolerable for so much work. I hate random blowouts and I'm not going to pander to people by adding them haphazardly."
With that stated, I can hope that I've delved some insight on the reasoning behind this decision. I had hoped that more faith would have been delved into our decisions at this point, as we're the only ones currently who have 1.1, and are at most liberty to say what will and will not work with it at this point.
Blowouts could in theory become a positive addition to the game, but as of yet I've yet to see it be done in such a way, nor can I envision it, nor can I be convinced to waste more time trying to accommodate it, as of yet it feels like a decision that sounds nice on paper but poor in execution. I said I wouldn't speak further on the matter, but now I am absolutely serious in saying so. I will hope that this article can act as a point of reference for those who are curious as to why they were deliberately withheld from the final release.
Before I kick into full gear, I suggest you read the previous article before reading this one. If you haven't already.
You'll be happy to find that we manage to stuff things in moments before release. I should say that I wasn't entirely finished when speaking about complained about developments. One of which being the Dynamic HUD System. I should say that it's inherited an unfair amount of stigma, as being associated with more modern FPS games that feature things like regenerating health, an indeed very unfitting aspect for S.T.A.L.K.E.R.. However it should be known that the only thing we've derived from this system is the on screen effects and it L.U.R.K. does not and never will have regenerating health.
This is something that's fairly difficult to communicate through images or anything other then gameplay, but while the new system doesn't give an exact idea of your current health, it is a much better and more responsive indicator of lowering health, and gives a stronger sense of urgency that is a common theme in newer video games for a reason. However there have been some allowances made in order to soften the fall into new territory.
For one thing, we've reimplemented the health bar into the inventory screen, which is also accompanied by the armor indicator, and the radiation indicator. Being shot by a bullet also ensues a duality effect, the blood is now a deeper, less defined burgundy, and your vision will become darker and more obscured as you take more damage, giving multiple indicators of a strong sense of urgency. Bleeding is indicated by a pulsating effect.
HUD UI Part 2
I'm also very happy to declare a recent breakthrough in our coding, that will only be shown in it's infancy in L.U.R.K. 1.1, but will allow us much more freedom to create situational aesthetic design, giving us a dramatically higher level of control over visuals depending on time, weather, and levels.
This has allowed our HDR to become much more advance then ever before, giving light sources underground, in which your eyes haven't adjusted, a much more prominent warm glow, with a more adjusted lack of blurryness from light on a sunny midday, or a more rich glow to surfaces as the sun sets, and one of our most interesting features, emulating the wet effect from Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat.
Dynamic Wet Effects
As you can see, surfaces take on a reflective wet look on them. Combined with work we've done on reflective texture maps and bumps, as well as finally incorporating a texture set, we've managed to create a very convincing wet effect that is just short of reaching Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat in terms of quality.
Underground High Dynamic Range
This High Dynamic Range effect, combined with a throttled color palette, high resolution textures and soft shadow jitter has brought Shadow of Chernobyl's already aesthetically magnificent underground portions to an even higher level of quality then ever before.
General Above Ground Images
Much ado about HDR and rain effects, but there's still much benefit to reaped in general. Images unfortunately do not do justice, but they can elaborate more then words.
I'm sorry that these images only depict a few of our many weather cycles, but I have very little time for product representation, as the release date for 1.1 is inches away, and there's still work albeit little that needs to be done before we release.
Thanks for reading and following our project, we're very proud of our work and we hope that you will be proud to play it! There's always work to be done and hopefully 1.1 will be another entry in a long running construction of an ideal vision!