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well...no forum for this yet so i'll just post here muhahaha


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STALKER was just at Nvidia's "the way it's meant to be played" event in San Fran last week. Not sure if anyone here saw any of the coverage, but IGN did a decent job with it.


Posting it here cause they make a small comparison to HL2. Totally different games of course, as the not only are the gameplay mechanics designed differently, but the graphics and physics engines are totally different.

Anyway, just an update in case you're interested. Move if you want to stick this elsewhere.

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it will definetly be an epic game if all the systems and features described over the last year or so actually make it into shipped game. The lack of anykind of proof of gameplay this far down the road is semi-worrysome, hyped epic-sounding games that show nothing but tech demos are seeming to become more common. But the engine truly does sound impressive, and it seems to deal with a lot of features differently than hl2, which could be a very good thing if it actually performs as described.

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Indeed a good point Zaphod. I struggle with this everyday. The game is being developed in the Ukraine, and the Global Product Manager is in the United Kingdom. I'm helping out the US Product Manager on it, but it seems i'm the only one in product management who undertands hard core PC games or the mod community to any degree at all.

It seems the developers want to show off AI, graphics, physics etc, but they don't want to show off 'actual' story elements yet or hint at the plot. My gut feeling is that hard core PC gamers are starting to get reminded of Daikatana.

Just floating it out there. I appreciate any feedback because I don't want Stalker to blow, and if it passes the mapcore test, you know it has to be good.

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i've been very impressed from wat i have seen from this game so far even blah months or a yr back when i first saw a vid of it but i still get the feeling of empty promises (duke) luks to much like a "game" to sell the engine rather then game it self ¬_¬ but if it is true to it self and has good modness i fink hl2 might get stamped on D:~ ONO

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what all does the article cover?

i'm at work right now and because of firewall i can't access some webpages.

October 23, 2003 - A slew of developers came out for NVIDIA's Editor's Day this week, including a few guys all the way from the Ukraine who showcased STALKER.: Oblivion Lost. Oleg Yavorsky, the PR Manager at developer GSC Game World, was on-hand to give us a real-time demo of this amazing looking game.

STALKER is set in the near future, shortly after another disaster in Chernobyl. The authorities surround the area with the Russian equivalent of the U.S. National Guard, and they begin to hear weird screams and rumblings coming from within. After a while, though, most of them are returned to earlier posts. Curiosity also gets the better of some people, so they sneak into the 30-kilometer area to do some good old-fashioned investigating. These people are called Stalkers, and they report back to the authorities with their findings.

The first thing that will strike you is the graphics engine. Created entirely from scratch and in-house, the X-Ray Engine is nothing short of spectacular. The indoor and outdoor environments are authentic-looking and finely detailed, even though the external maps are outrageously enormous. The development team visited Chernobyl twice, taking thousands of pictures, and approximately 60% of the game is actually a recreation of what they saw, right down to the rusted-over valves and a stadium so abandoned that trees are growing on the playing field. There are approximately eighteen "levels" that cover all 30 square kilometers of the game, and every area we were shown was breathtaking.

Oleg loaded a test level containing "death-test" dummies lined up on the top of a wall that had wooden protrusions sticking out of it like a larger-than-life slot machine. Shoot one person and the dummy goes tumbling down the protrusions in an incredibly realistic fashion. Shoot twenty of them and they crumble, falling on top of each over and bending around objects. We never saw the same thing happen twice. Another test involved rows of people just floating on nothing above you. Whip out a machine gun, take out thirty of them, and watch them crash to the ground, painfully bouncing and bumping on the ground in front of you.


But wait, there's more! Now that we've littered the ground with bodies, it's time to hop in a vehicle and run them over to "test" the physics of the SUV. Oleg left the passenger door open so we good see it swinging realistically during turns. Then he ran over some of the bodies and the truck bopped and grinded as it went. The death-test dummies also reacted appropriately. He repeated this with a cement mixer-type truck, with accordingly different results. The heavier weight of the vehicle meant that it didn't bounce as much. It may be a little too soon to say this, but from what we saw, this stuff looked on par with the demos we've seen of Half-Life 2.

The final demonstration involved the game's real-time day/night cycle. In what was probably the most beautiful map shown, Oleg accelerated the cycle to ten times normal speed. It started off at dawn, and over the course of the next 30-45 seconds, it was dusk. The entire world transformed, complete with real-time shadowing, as he walked around the enormous outskirts of a nuclear plant. The sunset was stunningly gorgeous, followed by an equally impressive moon. Here, the entire game became very dark, especially if you were behind a large abandoned building that blocked the moonlight.

STALKER bills itself as an Action/RPG, although it may look like a survival horror FPS. In addition to the usual health/armor type of meter, there's a radiation meter, a hunger meter, and even a weariness meter. You'll have to eat on a regular basis, and your meter adjusts according to the quality of the food. If you're really desperate and you kill and eat a mutant dog-like thing, you'll feel a little better but your radiation level will go up. At this point, Oleg joked, "As you would expect, Vodka will cure radiation poisoning." He added that radiation-fighting pills of some sort would be available as well.

Keeping with the RPG spirit, the game features "at least one hundred" NPCs that all keep their own schedules and agendas. Some of these NPCs are other Stalkers, and they may provide you with tips. Others include hostile looters and drifters. Because they are all on their own schedules, chances are slim that you'll run into the same person in the same place several times. They will even judge you, based on what you're carrying and your reputation. For example, if you come up on someone carrying a pistol and you've got an AK-47, chances are they will be cooperative even if they'd normally be hostile toward you. Combined with the fantastic graphics and convincing physics, this all combines to provide a scarily realistic environment ripe for exploration.


Multiplayer has not been left out of the equation either. While standard deathmatch and team deathmatch will be available, things like "mutants versus humans" are also present. Most compelling, though, is the promise of cooperative play. It's not clear exactly how many people can be cooperatively playing, but at least a dozen real human Stalkers will be able to play at the same time, perhaps trading tips, teaming up in difficult areas, and exploring places otherwise too difficult to approach solo.

This is important, because the game offers multiple endings. Depending on how much exploring you've done and what difficulty level you've set, you'll get progressively "better" endings. If you select Easy Mode, for example, you can save anywhere and breeze through the game, but you'll get a weak ending. If you select the hardest difficulty mode, though, you can only auto-save at certain times and everything is a life-or-death situation. Making it to the end is much more rewarding, though. They've even provided a custom settings where you can decide how many saved game slots you want to start with and difficulty you want for specific enemies.

There is no clear-cut ship date for this game; the best Oleg could tell me was "late spring or early summer [of 2004]". Based on what was shown though, this looks like another sleeper coming out of the woodwork.

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Thats what i said ages ago (like a year ago or sumthing). Ive always thought it looked awesome, but the fact that they posted the same area over and over for 6 months sorta turned me off. And they havent really shown or told anything about what will keep the gameplay together, what the point of the game is. To me it has always seemed like a graphics showoff where they have just tried to build a game on. But maybe they can pull off a good game, but i dont hope they r just relying on the graphics to carry it through.

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