to our second article of Stalker News, inspired by the Russian modding site Ap-pro!
News sources will be linked alongside the news.
Big thanks to OnegRiot for helping with translating some of these news!
Hope you enjoy reading. Please leave feedback in the comments.
Before the Twitch stream on March 26th, the development team decided to share some new concept art as to celebrate the 14th anniversary of Shadow of Chernobyl. (Source: Official stalker discord)
On March 26th, a dev diary was published by the development team behind S.T.2, here it is if you haven't seen it already:
The creators and developers of the True Stalker mod told what they're working on at this current stage:
- More than a month has passed since our last published news report. Today we are yet again ready to share some news with you. During this month of silence from us, we had done a lot of work towards many directions. At this current stage, we still have a user interface in the works, which we hope you will enjoy, both visually and in terms of convenience of use.
The English translation for all the main mod texts was fully completed. In the future, only texts from the side quests ideas you sent us will remain to be translated—only about two dozen of which have been selected. Though, what will remain a question for now is what part(s) of them will make their appearance in the mod itself.
The development of face models for important characters is continued to be worked on, a weapon pack is in the process of work, all the while bugs found in the earlier versions are being fixed—the list of which is gradually decreasing. (Source)
Dead Air - 2021 April news report:
After the indefinite postponement of version 1.0 for 'Dead Air', the player community had seen no contact with the developers for quite some time.
In order to reassure the community that the development's going fine, the developers decided to publish a new small report about the work done so far.
The weapons part of the mod is on its way to being finalized. The list of weapons, their features, optics and other attachments is already final. In particular, plans are to update some of the weapon models. The list consists of the MP-412, PP-19 Vityaz, OTs-02 Kiparis, vz. 61 Skorpion, and maybe even the PP-2000. There are also plans to add the SOK-94 and the IZH-18 in two variants, which will be chambered in different calibers. But despite these two new additions, the assortment of weapons have been significantly reduced - near-identical copies of certain weapons have been removed, while all automatic pistols and most heavy weapons have been cut. Every weapon that still remains in-game had their model, textures and everything bound to the weapon such as animations, sound, technical characteristics and the like reviewed and changed to the best option available.
A few words have also been said about the locations. Cordon has been changed beyond recognition, another location is being reworked from scratch, while a different one is in the plans for a small expansion. As for the graphics, the developers decided on abandoning static lightning altogether. This added more convenience of work for the developers, as it was holding them down in terms of freedom of creativity, the possibility to implement unusual and unique graphic features, as well as a more complex system of changing seasons.
The dynamic effects system was also expanded upon - a video is linked under this post with a demo.
Another direction that's being worked on is the storyline part of the mod. As of this moment, this aspect of the mod was not been given much attention due to it being low priority, but that'll change when work is done on the other directions. A complete reworking of the in-game lore and world building is in the plans as well. It's too early for the devs to reveal their cards now. However, all that can be said is they didn't recruit a bunch of people for nothing. (Source and Patreon page)
The author of 'SFZ Project' never ceases to excite us with his news! This time we were shown a small video shot on the Agroprom location, which demonstrates how the photomode and its graphical settings work right in the game. The photomode menu is brought up with a simple hotkey press. Alongside the new video, a few new screenshots were also included for us! (Source)
Spatial Anomaly 2
Spatial Anomaly 2 will have an interactive board with posters and notices, on which the player can find side quests and various announcements. The board will be constantly updated as the story progresses on. The screenshots below don't fully reflect on the quality of the final product. (Source)
A new short video and a screenshot from the developer of the Spatial Anomaly 2 mod: (Source)
More screenshots demonstrating level detalizations, as well as how indoor interiors will look like. A link to a fan-made teaser was also included. Not all screenshots are included here, so check the entire collection in the source(s). (First and Second Sources)
OP-2.2 will have less running back and forth and quests revolving going Out of Bounds! This is quite some good news for those who disliked OP-2 due to its quests revolving backtracking and going out of bounds. According to the developers responsible for version 2.2, the project continues to move towards getting rid of storyline inconsistencies, constantly running around like an errand boy and the need to go out of in-game level bounds, where you'd see what you weren't supposed to see. The team likely won't be able to fully cover the legacies of Narodnaya Solyanka and the old versions of OP in the new update due to not having enough time. However they're still going to put a lot of serious work in that direction.
At the same time, steps taken by the developers in making the game harder are clearly visible, all being naturally within reasonable limits. And no, these steps are not expressed with the addition of more mutant spawns, but instead in the appearance of new, unique mutants and the fixing of some cheat loopholes in quests. This will force the player to not only rely on their skills, but also to look for new opportunities, coming up with non-trivial ways to win the situation they're facing in the game. And for when the game seems too hard, version 2.2 has prepared an extended list of options in the main menu that make the game more easier. They can be conveniently turned on at any time without having to resort to installing third-party edits.
With that being said, one of the testers does admit that you'll find yourself fighting more often than in version 2.1. And players who explore every level thoroughly and do small tasks will find the game easier by receiving bonus rewards such as equipment, guns, artefacts, armor and more.
OP-2.2's release might happen in the coming summer, according to the tester. (Source)
CarlKuwait released his hand translation of Reborn: Source - the latest installment in the Reborn-series of mods. Check it out if you're looking for something crazy!
Alone in Windstorm
A new modification based on the X-Ray 1.6 Engine was announced with a new teaser trailer.
Based on this video, we should expect a completely new setting, location and plot, revolving around survival in a winter setting. More details to come. (Source)
The legendary stalker known as 'Strelok' became one of the key characters in the STALKER series. It was him and his comrades that managed to get to the bottom of some of the most intimate secrets of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. But what happened to him and his team before the original game and its prequel, is still unknown to fans. Dozens of modifications tried to shed light on this: with varying success and different versions of their interpretation of the events.
Now, the developers of the 'Strelok's Group' mod are ready to present their own version.
From the developers:
Today we present to you an exclusive video preview of the upcoming modification, in which we will tell you about the project and share the latest footage from it's gameplay. (Source)
The developers of the 'Strelok's Group' mod released a new video today. The video was made on Unreal Engine 4. Now, it won't just be a dream that Strelok dreams, but the players will able to actually take part in the legendary scene at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
Another version is included with alternative lighting. (Source)
The authors of the 'Strelok's Group' mod presented their own composed main menu soundtrack, go give it a listen. (Source)
New remastered 3D main menu from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. UE4 project. Done by PieceMaker085. Check it out! (Source)
Gunslinger mod is getting a new weapon added to its arsenal - the OTs-14 Groza! Everything from the animations, appearance, and sounds are shown in the following video! (Source)
S.T.A.L.K.E.R New Project
'New Project' developers congratulated the STALKER community on the 14th anniversary of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Shadow of Chernobyl, and for this occasion have released a new teaser video.
The teaser aims to demonstrate what the developers wish to achieve with this modification: an improved game engine, a new look for the game world, redesigned sound and graphics, and of course a new story. (Source)
About a week later they also released a few new screenshots, and more recently released a a benchmark test for their mod. Both Russian and English locals are available for the benchmark test results. (Screenshots source)
Recently, a translator from our discord released an hand translation for the 'Doomed City' mod, which was previously only machine translated. Check it out if you're looking for a new mod to play.
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Legacy of Times
The developers of the project called 'S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Legacy of Times' announced that they will be shutting down development of the project and released the final playable build of it online.
The mod was developed on the Cry Engine 2 engine. The final build features a new game location, the beginning of the main plot with a few side quests, artifact hunting mechanics, radiation and gas masks, anomalies and bolts, mutants like the bloodsucker, zombies, poltergeists with unique mechanics and also a unique anomaly that used engine physics. (Source)
Build download link (rus.)
X-Ray Multiplayer Extension
A new screenshot from the new upcoming version of X-Ray Multiplayer Extension: Defence. Weapon pack changes, UI changes, and map design changes can be seen in it. (Source)
Two new screenshots featuring the updated 'Barrier' map from XRMPE in a 360 degrees panoramic view! (Source)
Bad Company 2: Mason
The author of the previously released 'Bad Company', 'The Messenger', and 'How to join Duty' story mods announced his new project, named 'Bad Company 2: Mason', which in an advanced stage of development as of now. The main goal of the project is to show a completely new approach to creating story-based mods. The uniqueness in the plot will present itself in the form of an enormous variability: the player will not be limited by anything, and will have the freedom of choosing which path(s) to go by. The only obstacles will be the endless traps and tests given to the you by the Zone. The script has been written with every action or inaction by the player in mind. This achieved the result of every playthrough being practically different to each other. When taking any type of action, the player must be aware that each of their actions will have consequences in the future, therefore they must think of a solution to the problem they're given before acting on it. You can simply follow and trust whatever instructions you're given by the game and progress through the plot naturally. Or, you can attempt to find a different path and learn the events you're presented from a different side. The story will often not be as straightforward as it might seem at first glance.
In the course of the entire game, the player will have to make a long journey through the Zone, where every location will welcome them in its own way and hand a whole string ball of problems that'll have to be unraveled. The more closer the player gets to the center, the more harder and confusing these 'strings' will be, especially when there is not a single person around - only mutants and a mystical force pursuing lonely travelers. That being said, there's always gonna be a place for what many stalkers go to for their raids every day: the opportunity to hit the jackpot, find a whole klondike of artefacts, or perhaps, maybe even make a wish at the 'Monolith'.
The player won't be left without the opportunity to gain fame and fortune. There are many ways to get up from the dirt and become a known stalker: become a professional killer, start your business or take somebody's, join a faction or help the scientists, or do fuck all and remain a Loner searching for the way to the center of the Zone.
At this current stage, work on the plot has been completed and testing is underway. The gameplay component is also being finalized. As for how long this will take - the Author couldn't really say. But either way, the project will be released one day or another, and be at a fairly high level, the author states. (Source)
Lost Alpha DC Extended: Gunslinger Addon
The full Lost Alpha DC Extended: Gunslinger Addon video-demo previously shown on Wolfstalker's latest stalker news video from March. (Source)
A video-demo of the M4A1 model and of course its animation from the 'Lost Alpha DC Extended: Gunslinger Addon' mod. Animations were made by the animator working at the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. UE4 project, Mechanic. (Source)
The Zone's Secret: The story of Strelok - Prologue
The Zone's Secret' author released a new 2-minute video featuring some gameplay on one of their new locations, where you'll see a tiny portion of the plot, dialogue voice acting and a small firefight. (Source)
The Last Raid
The author of 'The Last Raid' mod, previously known for his 'Goldsphere' mod, published several new screenshots. The following screenshots demonstrate some dialogues from the main storyline, as well as a few spots from the in-game locations. Development is estimated to be finished in about 2 months - according to the creator - after which the mod will be open for testing, as with his previous mods. (Source)
'The Journey' mod's release date has been moved from April 10th. Here's what the developer said in his Moddb article about this:
This update is a bit special, as there won't be another one soon.
The progress has been really slow lately, as I have been plagued by bugs of all kinds.
Compiling bugs, logic bugs, it seemed that every time I tried to add something it came with a new bug attached.
I was planning to reach release candidate in April, but I am far from this.
Problem is that I will have no time for the mod in the coming months. So whatever work left will have to wait .
I finished a bunch of tasks though, included the full textures update for NPC and most of mutants.
You have a preview of the two main stalker groups and the updated flesh mutant below.
NPC also have new faces, and all have at least updated outfits, some have brand new ones.
Flesh mutant is now a very dangerous beast, much faster and very strong. I always found that mutant a little lame, very weak and quite useless.
It has really sharp pointy limbs (I think the original uses lobster claw texture and shape!), and it should be a lot more dangerous with these huge weapons.
So now if it hits you, you get a lot of damages. And they run pretty fast too. Beware.
As dogs and boars, there is 3 variations. Different sizes, two different skins, and different skills. The bigger ones are more resistant and more deadly.
So now the big question.
What about an open beta using the current version of the mod?
As I won't be able to work on it for a while, I was thinking that may be having a detailed feedback from you guys would help me a lot when I'll be back to this. I would have a good idea about how to improve and update the current version in addition of having mod bugs identified and reported.
The downside for you is that as it's a story driven mod, once the plot is spoiled by playing the beta, would it be interesting to play the final version?
Tell me what you think about that in the comments.
Getting a beta version ready for the public would be quite easy, I just want to be sure it's the right move.
I was reading Roadside Picnic recently, and it almost made me scrap the current mod and move to a new one closely based on the novel. Almost all assets are ready for such a mod, and in fact I am surprised we don't have one yet.
I know there is a couple of mods already trying to be more faithful to the novel/movie, but they still are very far from it.
I would really like a mod with a zone without humans, a lot more dangerous and distorted. And also an outskirt where humans live, where life is quite normal, with an underground economic system where a few stalkers are paid good money to scavenge weird items from the zone.
But well, I have no time anyway.
So here is some previews of the new updates, cheers!
The Wonderful Crystal, Bestowed By The Stars
A new story mod has been released today by the name of 'The Wonderful Crystal, Bestowed By The Stars', developed on the Call of Pripyat engine.
The year is 2020. One night, under fire from the military, blaring sirens and the lights of projectors, two unknown figures run through a minefield. A regular guy wearing a leather coat with a mask on his face walks on the asphalt road towards the direction of a soldier up ahead (From the official press release). (Source)
Download link (rus.)
Remember the recently announced story mod 'Oblivion World' which was developed with build aesthetic in mind? Well, the developer of that mod decided to abandon this concept and rename the mod to 'Forgotten Preface'.
The project will now adhere more to the atmosphere of Shadow of Chernobyl. Recently, the developer has completely changed the graphical style, textures and weather. It now also includes such gameplay elements as dosimeters, artifact containers, overhauled anomalies, artifacts, game economy and it also features added factions - Sin, Druids and Black Slugs.
In terms of game locations, Dark Valley and Pripyat were added from the mod 'Lost World Origin'. Previously added maps are already populated and filled with quests and story. (Source)
Area of Decay
Our first view at the Jupiter factory from the 'Area of Decay' mod, developed on the DayZ Standalone platform. (Source)