Things are going steadily forward with the next installment of the Zone Survival Guide for Call of Pripyat. Just starting a new page is a joy, knowing that I’ve stepped into an area that wasn’t covered before. The page may be completely empty, blank if you will, but at least it’s moving in the right direction 😉

Over the last few days I’ve been working on something that probably isn’t the most used on the ZSG, namely coverage of the HUD, inventory and other rather obvious bits of the game. Well, perhaps they aren’t that obvious depending on your experience with games in general, and with previous titles in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series especially , but I think to most people they are fairly easy to understand and figure out… but describing these parts of the game is something I feel is needed in the Zone Survival Guide; they may not be absolutely vital, but without them it would be like not wearing any socks – it just feels wrong, and you know something is missing. But getting into it, trying to explain what your inventory is, for example, and how it works, you begin to understand that it may not be so obvious to everyone.

Imagine if you just started to use computers, and you pick up a game like Call of Pripyat… would the inventory screen be totally obvious to you? Perhaps, I don’t know… but it’s stuff like that I try to keep in mind; the ZSG is meant to be user friendly, and that doesn’t limit itself to the user interface alone, every piece of text – descriptions, explanations, etc. – should be clear and easy to understand. I find it hard sometimes, possibly because english is not my native language, but it’s definately something that I spend time on. Sometimes it’s the small things that are actually the hardest; explaining where a particular stash is located, and what it contains, is easy compared to all the things you need to mention when trying to explain the idea of a weight limit.

Ok, enough about tedious and boring topics. I just noticed today that since starting the guide I’ve taken about 3000 screenshots for the ZSG: Call of Pripyat. That kinda blew me away. I would have imagined… 700 perhaps, 1000 tops… but 3000? That’s crazy. That’s… weird. I feel like a freak. Sure, alot of them are never used, or just to get some icon copied out, or whatever, but still… it feels like I must have been tapping the Screenshot key constantly ever since I hit “New game” a couple of weeks ago.

I’m getting closer to releasing the next ZSG… perhaps in a couple of weeks, who knows. But I’ve made peace with the fact that it won’t be complete from the start – not that I have delusions that I could possibly figure everything out myself, far from it, but rather some sections will be added later – the Walkthrough, for example, is something I’m keeping at low priority at the moment.

I’ve had alot of competent help so far; the talented and friendly guys at the GSC Game World forums have been very helpful; if you haven’t visited them yet, you’re missing out – I heard they’re giving out free diet sausages! 😉 Cheers guys, you rock!