S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is a real-time RPG in the mode of Morrowind that makes use of an original yet familiar apocalyptic environment. The game takes place in a place called The Zone?a twenty square kilometer area surrounding the destroyed Chernobyl nuclear power facility. As often seems to happen after these fictional disasters, Zombies and other mutant beasties are on the loose. Players control a ?Stalker?, a glorified scavenger who braves The Zone to recover artifacts to sell to scientists, collectors, and military representatives in the outside world. Of course, since said artifacts are valuable, conflicts between other stalkers is inevitable. Between battles with zombified humans who are seemingly controlled by some kind of overmind and stalkers with hidden agendas, The Zone seems like a pretty dangerous place to vacation.
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 PRG 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 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.