April 12, 2006, 02:33 p.m. Chernobyl zone was lit by an intolerably bright light. The clouds were evaporating in the silver bright sky with a thunder and earthquake to follow. People fell on the ground facedown closing their bleeding eyes and ears. The glow spread over an immense territory which was subsequently called the Zone. People ran away saving their lives. It looked like a radioactive explosion at the nuclear plant occurred. The army sealed off the Zone... The explosion epicenter was a kilometre away from the nuclear plant. Obviously, some tests had been held there and they caused the disaster. Presumably, the entire personnel died within seconds, but still there was a probability of survivals among the staff. It appeared impossible to arrange a rescue operation, as the Zone was characterized by strange energy disturbances posing mortal danger to the explorers. Attempts to use robots were unavailing. Several months after the accident the crisis situation peaked when the Zone abruptly grew five kilometres bigger. People from nearby towns and villages were urgently evacuated, and the peril of a difficult-to-imagine scope loomed over the world. Year 2008 The Zone exploded, radioactive clouds covered vast territories. A dreadful amount of people, animals and forests perished. Thirty kilometres of the area got cordoned off by the army, scientists failed to explain what had happened. The Zone grew, various death-bearing anomalies were spotted inside. Some invisible force tore living beings apart, inflicted awful blood-sputtering wounds. Expeditions faced mutant animals, unlikely to have appeared in the Zone through natural course of evolution. The catastrophe, mutants, anomalies, contamination? Everything appeared to be a consequence of some eerie phenomenon? Year 2010 First expeditions can enter the Zone several kilometers deep without mortal danger . Amateur researchers, marauders and poachers, called stalkers, show up. They move around the Zone searching for various anomalous formations, i.e. artifacts, they would sell to various organizations.
World The world of the Zone is a huge derelict territory of half-ruined buildings unruffled for 20 years, woodlands and anomalous greenery. The Zone world features neglected underground and ground laboratories, dead military bases and proving grounds for new technologies. Radioactive land is covered with ulcers of scorched earth, poisonous fogs, deadly gravitational anomalies. This is the world of a disastrous industrial and ecological catastrophe. And in the hub of this man-caused hell the wreckage of Chernobyl atomic facility rests. We create the Zone based on reconstruction of Chernobyl atomic power plant and the 30-kilometer zone around it. Players, while progressing through the game, will see the Dead Forest, cities of Pripyat' and Chernobyl, sneak inside the Chernobyl atomic facility sarcophagus, go through the memorable areas, really existing in the epicentre of the tragedy to have occurred some 16 years ago. We do our best to reproduce the atmosphere of industrial and ecological catastrophe of Chernobyl in detail, so, undeniably, all the zone sights will be easily recognizable. Photos and video materials acquired during our trip to Chernobyl provide ample of information to meet this very purpose, ensuring the textures and architecture are of utmost realism. Gameplay The player travels over immense world of the Zone, its all locations joined into one global map. He can choose any route and will not be limited in his traversing the Zone. The player will be offered free exploration full of generated and scenario-imposed tasks, participation in the eerie events of a murky world. The player will become a stalker, a guy who earns money from shoveling embers out of infernal oven of Chernobyl Zone. Returning from the radioactivity-blazing Zone, he will sell anomalous formations to underground dealers and scientists in research camps on the Zone border. With the money procured, the player will purchase equipment, weapons and protective suits allowing him to reach previously inaccessible areas. This is a role-playing game without growing experience of your character, without changing characteristics and levels. We want the player to develop his real mastery, moreover Stalker is an FPS/RPG game and much depends on his ability to fight. Changing characteristics, levels and player's experience, to our mind, would destroy the realism we try to create. As far as the rest is concerned, this is almost a normal RPG game where players travel the Zone, collect artifacts, weapons, reveal anomalous zones, communicate and trade with NPCs etc. Artificial Intelligence We see AI in our game as a system of realistic character behaviour. Game characters live in a world the player can only drop into, they have their own joys and sorrows. We thoroughly work out artificial intelligence for the player never to feel artificiality of the happening. This principle basically refers to our approach in general, and not only to efforts on AI. We work out all the possible actions of the player and prepare natural reaction of characters to them. As character would react in life, so as he should react in the game. If the player attacks and kills one of the guards, the rest will go to seek hiding, radio their headquarters, and won't stand still, or what's worse, run out towards the player. Communication with NPCs The Player's communication with the game characters will serve an essential part of the gameplay. By means of communication the player will find out important information, acquire tasks, trade or make deals to accomplish a task co-operatively. Apart from humans, the player will also be able to communicate with sapient mutant creatures. The game will be strongly influenced by communication and NPCs' attitude towards the player. For example, under a bad attitude, trader will refuse to trade or will charge an exorbitant price, and stalkers will open fire as soon as they recognise the player. Trade Trade will be realistic, as you are given a chance to purchase, exchange or sell everything: ammunition, equipment or artifacts. You can trade with the army, dealers, stalkers and scientists. To give you an idea how this will look in the game: the player comes across with a veteran stalker in the Zone, they greet each other, agree to remove weapons, then come closer to each other and start trading. They exchange phrases through a communication system. Soviet roubles will go in the game as the currency.
The whole world living its own life:
- Man-made calamity, corrupt nature, psychological and physical threats, anomalies, odd deadly phenomena, mutated creatures, stalkers, military cordons, scientific camps.
- Vast territory of the Zone.
- Absolute freedom of movement with imperceptible level loading.
- Dynamic day-night switching system
- Dynamic weather effects as rain, wind, fog, etc.
- Generation of events, tasks, artifacts
- Anomalous energy blowouts, peaks of anomalous activity, migrating anomalies.
- Anomalous areas
- Unique abilities of creatures as group intellect, telepathy, telekinesis etc.
- Behaviour and life simulation for creatures and characters.
- Characters and creatures move around under control of global intellect.
- Impressive script.
- Non-linear storyline.
- Several endings of the game.
- Events happening regardless of the player's actions.
- Game time system
- over 30 types of weapons
- Unique weapons and their influence on enemy.
- Weapon upgrades.
- Devices and protective suits.
- Trade in weapons, artifacts and equipment.
- 300.000 - 3.000.000 polygons per frame
- Dynamic shadows and lighting
- Characters are correctly shaded by objects
- Powerful physics engine, i.e controlling vehicles, detailing objects, bullet ballistics, skeleton animation, etc.
- Realistic AI, i.e characters' behaviour is adequate to environment and events happening around. Soldiers patrol the Zone perimeter. Stalkers travel the Zone independently of the player collecting anomalous formations, trading, communicating and fighting. Mutants increase their population, migrate in Zone, eliminating stalkers, soldiers and each other.
- Motion capture animation