Lost Alpha FAQ

Q: First of all, when will LA be released?

A: As soon as we finish it :) Currently its TBA, but as soon as we change the data, and you are an active member of  our community, you will be informed :)

Q: What are the pc reqs for LA?
A: Well it definitely needs a stronger pc, than SoC, you can find some more info here: http://forum.stalker.pl/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=4484&p=118139#p118141

Q: Will you make LA on CoP engine?
A: No. :)

Q: Why not?
A: Ok, let me explain. Transferring the geometry (levels) wouldn’t be hard, just some compiling and work with tools. But the features we already made would be pain to rewrite and debug for more than 1 year again. I say, only those move to CoP engine, who don’t have much to loose with the transfer. We have too much done in SoC engine, and we have a lot to loose.

Besides, we promised our fans, that we stick with SoC engine… plus this engine is still closer to the old, even if some features are disabled, but many others still present which can be done, but those wouldnt work in the new engine.

So to sum it again: we won’t move to CS or CoP engine, because of the progress we already did in SoC. If we would be somewhere 20-30% in the project, we could reconsider it, but above 80% its a complete suicide. Now i hope it is clear for everyone.

Q: Don’t you want to use any sources from CoP?
A: Maybe some models, textures etc, nothing more.

Q: What about storyline? Is it ready?
A: Yes its ready. We started to implement it into the game in early January, 2011.

Q: What can you say about it?
A: It won’t change the world, but will bring smile on our fans’ face :)

Q: Will you add free play function in game?
A: Yes, after finishing the story, you can go back and do some sidequests, which will only appear in the jobs list after the ending.

Q: Don’t you need beta-testers?
A: No, not yet.

Q: Will you release a beta version of Lost Alpha?
A: No. We won’t release half-made projects. Please do not beg for it, it won’t change anything.

Q: I can’t make mods, but want to help you anyway, what can i do?
A: You can donate to us. Everybody who will donate, can send us a character description with name, short bio and equipment list, which he would like to see in game. Also donaters will be included in credits. We have webmoney and paypal accounts. For more info, drop us a pm or email.

Q: Will you add any secrets to the game?
A: Yes. If you played Priboi Story, you know we like secrets :)

Q: What about physics?
A: It will be “more realystic” with ragdoll implemented from old builds. However, which can not be fixed, won’t be fixed. Don’t expect us to rewrite the engine, which is impossible anyway.

Q: Will we be able to kill crows?
A: Yes.

Q: Hud will be used from SoC?
A: We would like to make it more similar to the old style.

Q: Will you replace torchlight?
A: Nope.

Q: Will you remake global map?
A: Yes of course. But let’s not talk about it until the release :)

Q: Did you leave any vanilla SoC levels?
A: SoC Yantar, but drastically changed it, and of course the lab under it (x16) :)

Q: How will you make sleeping? Through the sleeping bag or inventory?
A: There will be sleepbags, as its really fast, convenient way, and more realistic than a button. Of course there will be sleepzones, since we liked the idea from CoP.

Q: Will you include Panoramic Mod by Argus?
A: The creator of Atmosfear mod (Cromm Cruac) joined us to make some nice weather for the R2 render, so you can expect real good panoramas.

Q: Will you make pda-chat like in 1935 build?
A: Yes, for more details check our videos here or on youtube :)

Q: Will you make new guns?
A: Yes. We will add 3 new weapons – P90, PKM and Mosin by Gosuke, and 3 own made little pistols.

Q: Will you make faction wars?
A: No.

Q: Any new factions will be?
A: Sin aka dark stalkers. They are needed for the story, and of course, there were planned in old stalker too.

Q: Will you add bullet decals on bodies?
A: Yes.

Q: And what about cardoors?
A: They are all fine, you can open-close them as it was planned.

Q: Will you make wpn-upgrade system like in CS?
A: Our upgrade system is based on cs-cop version, moreover it will be in next alpha format video.

Q: Will there be detectors to looking for artefacts?
A: Detectors will be, but they will only help to get in the anom zones.

Q: How much LA will “weight”?
A: Currently its 10.6 GB. We removed all unnecessary soc files, the rest is needed, and it will come with nice installer, so you won’t need to edit/merge/move anything, just install & play. The game is packed to xray database packs, which helps to reduce size as well, plus easier to handle. No worries, all available db unpacker can unpack them. The game will be packed with 7z zip as well, so the packed size is around 3.8 GB (2011.02.28.)

Q: What time of year will be in game?
A: Summer, but this does not mean that all levels will be green.

Q: What kind of vegetation will we see?
A: Similar to old screens. Mostly green, but the dried levels will contain dried grass, and even the green maps have some areas where trees are dead or dried…

Q: If some new builds appear in the network what will you do?
A: Each build destroys us a little bit, but we spent too much time on the game to simply give up.

Q: Will you make rats?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you return old munats?
A: Yes. All of them we could find in soc gamedata, plus the green dwarf, and some custom made swampbeasts, which are based on the poltergeist’s visible form.

Q: What kind of patch will be needed?
A: SoC WorldWide 1.0007 “beta :)” version. No worries, it will be included with our custom bins, so no need to degrade to 1.0004 or 5.

Q: How will this work with Steam version of SoC?
A: Lost Alpha currently doesn’t need to be installed over SoC, only needs the original disc in dvd drive. We haven’t tested it yet with Steam version.

Q: Will we see military patrols?
A: Yes.

Q: Will you make yellow karlito?
A: We tried, but it looked more lol than cool. Don’t think so… We might include the model in LA build, so anyone can finish it…

Q: What weapon TTX should be waiting for?
A: Ballistic won’t be changed, you can later install or edit the files as you wish.

Q: Will be there blowouts and how will they look?
A: Random blowouts will be, which is default in nowdays mods. You will be able to hide from them in special shelters, which you will see marked on your map as soon as the fun begins. They won’t give 100% protection, but you will survive easily. Npc will go to shelter too, if they find one. If not, they will run around in panic, or attack an other selter. Birds will fall down (as in priboi story), animals will go crazy and attack camps… If you go underground, you will get the feeling of the blowout too, which we call “underground blowout”. You saw these in Priboi Story already :) Nothing more we can say. It’s perfect as is.

Q: What hud will you use?
A: Hud changes all the time. We cant say which will be the last. But there will be option to add beta style, and our own.

Q: Will NPCs be able to avoid anomalies?
A: We use anomaly zones, which was originally an old idea of GSC. They returned it in Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat. We use very similar method. Npc will try to avoid, but everyone can  make misstakes, so its highly possible, that some npcs will stuck in the zones, and die :)

Q: Will npc-s avoid hitting dynamic objects?
A: All dynamic spawned object is visible for AI, but why should they e.g. go around a wooden box? They will simply toss it away, like you would do. The dynamic objects are not heavy, so they wont block AI movement (except some doors :)).

Q: Will you use the edited dll from Zenobian mod to be able to use the new zoom for some weapons?
A: Nope.

Q: Will you add cut animations of stalkers?
A: Yep, but only those which suitable for gameplay, and looks acceptable.

Q: Will you add back the old round cursor?
A: Yes. But it can be turned off in console, if someone would prefer the default cross.

Q: Will you leave Sidorovich in?
A: Of course, yes.

Q: What kind of textures will be used in Lost Alpha?
A: We will use only the necessary textures for the levels, which is currently near 1 GB. We also use weapon textures and some npc-monster textures from the betas, but thats all. Player will be able to use his favorite texture packs, We won’t force anyone to use our favorite. (also with this step, we can spare a lot of unneded GB)

Q: What about weather?
A: We will use sky textures from old builds and unused from vanilla game. User will be able to choose wheather during install, or in game with the sv_setweather command. There will be few presets. (2003,2004,AF). The 2003 preset will use static skybox for each level. The 2004 preset will use 24hour weathercycle for all levels except undergrounds. The AtmosFear (AF) is mostly for DX9 renders, but looks nice on static lightning too. This is a special weather which was made for LostAlpha.

Q: Sun is returned:
A: Yes!

Q: The sun will rise on the east, and set on the west as in real life? In SoC it wasn’t realistic!
A: This is a complex thing, which first you need to understand. The game uses r1 – static – lightning too (LA is mainly based on r1), and static lights and shadows are painted on lightmap texture files (you can find it in levels folder) which the game loads, and then you see the shadow on the ground, or on buildings. In SDK level editor, you can set the sun position on the sky, and then during compile, the shadows will be generated, computed, drawn related to the sun position on the sky. This is absolutely NOT dynamic. So if you later in game put the sun to the West, the shadows will still appear on the ground and walls, as if the sun would be on East (because the shadows are precalculated during level compile)! Thats why you see in SoC, that sun raises and sets on the same side (mostly West), and not because poor GSC forgot to set it properly.

If you play on r2 – dynamic – lightning mode, then (however still lightmaps are being used, except for the terrain one) the shadows are totally dynamic. The r2 (dynamic lightning) weather for LA was made by Cromm Cruac, and that has realistic sun positions, since dynamic render allows it. Hopefully this helps you to understand how the game works related to shadows.

Q: Which weapon textures you use?
A: We use textures from old builds and our ones.

Q: What about Russian version of LA?
A: When all the dialogs, stories are ready, we will look for helping hands to translate LA to russian.

Q: What about graphics?
A: Static render was improved & enhanced, but nothing serious, it looks perfect already. The r2 render won’t be changed, but old 2005 shaders will be included as option. The r2 weather is a reworked Atmosfear weather by Cromm Cruac.

Q: Will you use DeadCity from 1935 build?
A: Nope. We use our own which we started in 2008 april and finished in 2009 september. We will include some extras about development stages, and some easter eggs. :)

Q: Which Garbage map we will see?
A: We are using 1935 garbage objects as base, but we had to fix geometry bugs, and added more custom stuff, like vehicle junkyard, more vegetation and many others.

Q: Will you make any new maps, what wasn’t in stalker?
A: There will be one surprise map, if we can make it. We don’t want to promise it though…

Q: Radar map contains forested areas and the garbage hills too?
A: Both. :) Check our latest screens (on Moddb). :)

Q: Which Yantar map will you use?
A: From 1935 build with lots of changes. First of all, fixed geometry, added water, added new vegetation, added enterable bunkers and a lot more :)

Q: What about Darkscape?
A: One of our best maps. It’s huge, maybe too big, but engine can take it easily. We already spoiled the map :) It contains a big mine, several villages, bus station, and long -long roads.

Q: The power plant is now one big location, or you split it?
A: One big location with lots of changes. We are sure, players will like it.

Q: Will we be able to join factions?
A: Can’t say anything about these. We are still working on storyline.

Q: Will you add cars?
A: Yep. you will need to buy them at traders. Forget about the randomly spawned working vehicles in game. It’s rather unrealistic. If there would be a working car, bandits have already taken it :)

Q: Will you make trunk & gasoline in cars?
A: Yes. We made it long ago during the works on Priboi Story.

Q: Where will you add the faction bases?
A: Work in progress :) Well, as many people already saw in old builds… darkvalley will contain the monolith base, and bandit base. I can’t say more, let it be surprise :)

Q: Will you return weapon shaking, like in Clear Sky?
A: That’s impossible, since it was deleted from the engine, not just disabled.

Q: What about ambient sounds?
A: We use a lot of cut or unused sounds from final game or old builds. They will make some oldschool atmosphere in stalker’s world.

Q: What about the main menu. You made new?
A: As in 2005 builds with minor changes, but you can see it in our latest deadcity video on youtube or moddb. :)

Q: Can I suggest some mod to be added to Lost Alpha?
A: You can… but we said many times: we won’t :) simply because most of the requests does not fit to that atmosphere which we want to create, or we don’t find it interesting. Let us deliver our gem, as we would like to :)

All right, thats all for now. Later, if there will be more questions, we will extend this FAQ, or write new one. Thanks for your time!

(last updated: 03 March, 2011)

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