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Just recently we announced that the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is scheduled for May 2005. We are very confident that this extra time will help the team achieve the objectives it outlined for the game.
For a long time we've talked about the unscripted nature of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Our aim is to have a game that constantly surprises the player by moving away from the spectacular yet predictable scripted events of other games and into a different realm where the unpredictability of the game provides each player with a highly personal thrill.
Therefore, you can think of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. as a kind of highly sophisticated windup toy--when testing, we literally wind the game up and watch it go. As each entity has its own "mind," you see creatures "living" within the gameworld, and they move around, feed, interact, and fight with each other in completely unscripted ways. Of course, this is not random. There is a "food chain" in S.T.A.L.K.E.R., and creatures "know" what is and is not dangerous. Therefore, while we can understand creature behavior, we never script it.
Of course, given the complexity of such artificial intelligence, we have had our share of challenges and general weirdness. During early development and testing of the combat AI, one stalker went mad and began to consider himself an enemy, and promptly set about trying to dispose of this "enemy" as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, our animators did not foresee the need to create an animation where a stalker puts a gun to his own head, so the poor guy shot the only part of the "enemy" he could--his own feet.
The game wouldn't be complete without radioactive mutants. For a good 10 minutes, the entire ......
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