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The 100 Rads


This blog is where you'll find news and updates concerning the Zone Survival Guide - Shadow of Chernobyl and the Zone Survival Guide - Call of Pripyat.

Commence Operation Fairway

ZSG: Call of Pripyat Posted on Aug 18, 2010 22:52:40

Wow, have I been looking forward to this moment for a while now: the next chapter in the Zone Survival Guide is finally going public. For the past four weeks or so I’ve been working on a guide for Call of Pripyat, and it’s finally done… well, almost.

You can find the Zone Survival Guide – Call of Pripyat here:

It’s not completely finished – I’ve still got a walkthrough to write, work out some general gameplay tips, and stuff like that… but it’s come a long way, and hopefully it will prove useful to some of you stalkers out there in its current form.

And as always, if you spot any errors, shortcomings or other things that could improve the guide, do not hesitate to leave a comment or get in touch with me. The Zone Survival Guide for Shadow of Chernobyl was far from my work alone – many of you guys sent in suggestions, tips, information and other details that helped me expand that website to a great extend – and I pray you’ll do the same with this one.

A huge thanks to all the guys as the GSC Game World forums for their help, and once again a heartfelt respect goes out to LoboTheMan and Romulous who helped me get the original ZSG up and running again.

Stay tuned for more updates and… some more good news! 🙂

Getting there…

ZSG: Call of Pripyat Posted on Aug 14, 2010 21:00:46

Things are going steadily forward on the Zone Survival Guide: Call of Pripyat. In fact I think the site may be launched sometime next week; don’t count that as a promise though, as I’ve still go through from one end to the other… but so far I think it looks promising. Currently I am polishing a few things here and there, filling in various descriptions and just making sure that everything makes sense… which is sadly not always the case. But I guess that’s what you get when you write stuff in a half-woken state at 6 AM 😉

It’s a great feeling to have come this far; one of the worst frustrations after I just started the site was going in game and just seeing all these things that still weren’t included in the guide… places, people, items, weapons, etc., in a seemingly never-ending stream that constantly kept taunting me. But I’m on the other side of that now so it’s easy to forgive.

Well, I think that’s all I really wanted to say… I haven’t had much time to blog lately, or rather I’ve been more focused on getting the site done. Hopefully once it goes live I will have more stuff to say – I guess the many updates coming after the release will be mentioned here in some form or another, and hopefully I’ll also have a more focused attention which currently is diverted to the site.

The anatomy of a ZSG

ZSG: Call of Pripyat Posted on Aug 06, 2010 23:34:12

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!

What’s to come

ZSG: Call of Pripyat Posted on Aug 01, 2010 23:11:57

As I announced earlier, I am now working on the next version of the Zone Survival Guide focusing on S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. Today I’m going to talk a bit about the changes I’m planning, as compared to the existing Zone Survival Guide.

When the Zone Survival Guide was resurrected it included a new feature, the interactive maps. This is definately a feature that’s going into the Call of Pripyat site, and it’s going to be more of a “first-class citizen”, so to speak. This means that I’ll include alot more links to those maps, and they’re going to be the primary source of “location” information. The Zone Survival Guide for Shadow of Chernobyl features some static maps with stashes and “items in the open” and similar maps are not going into ZSG: Call of Pripyat – instead it’ll rely solely on the interactive versions. I still plan to have a “Stashes” page with lists of information, though, since this is a very different way of browsing stash information; hovering your mouse cursor around a map can be useful for certain things, however sometimes being able to see “everything” at once is quite useful as well (and I guess it’s better suited for printing, although the ZSG was never very print friendly in my opinion – perhaps I’ll get a chance to do something about that sometime, but right now it’s not top priority I’m afraid).

Another things I’m definately going to include is modifications, ie. which upgrades or improvements can be made to weapons and armor. Although this is not something that was relevant to Shadow of Chernobyl (since it didn’t feature modifications), I felt it’s an important aspect of the game that needs to be covered on the site. I have a “prototype” implemented and it looks ok so far I think – well, except for the pink, but I might change that 😉

The idea is to include all the individual modifications for every weapon and armor, including the upgrade “trees”, their cost, effect, and details about any restrictions or special requirements there may be (such as the need for specific tools, for example).

The next version of the ZSG will also be more streamlined I hope… more links where it makes sense to make browsing the site easier. I got some positive feedback about the Zone Survival Guide and the way information was presented and layed out, but I have found places where I think it could be even better.

Well, that’s about it for now… a few things that are going to change or be introduced on the Call of Pripyat Zone Survival Guide. If you have any suggestions or ideas I would love to hear them, just drop me a line or leave a comment.

Heeding the call…

ZSG: Call of Pripyat Posted on Jul 30, 2010 22:39:47

Ever since the Zone Survival Guide was resurrected I’ve been pondering the question about the other games in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. series; should I create similar guides for them as well?

The answer is almost obvious if it were not for the amount of time it takes to create a guide such as the ZSG. But since I have really enjoyed playing through Call of Pripyat I’ve finally made the decision:

Indeed, I have begun working on the next chapter of the ZSG covering Call of Pripyat.

And since this is just starting up, you have an excellent chance to influence it right from the start. If there is anything you’d like to see in the ZSG: Call of Pripyat, whether it’s new content about things that never made it onto the Shadow of Chernobyl ZSG, new functionality, or… well, anything really, please do let me know. If you have an idea, I want to hear it. I can’t promise it’ll get implemented, but I’m always looking for inspiration and I’m sure that if you’ve used the Zone Survival Guide you must have some suggestions as how to improve or expand it!

I’m very likely going to be blogging quite a bit over the next days, weeks and quite possibly months, about this, talking about some of the new features and changes that are going into the next ZSG and in what direction it’s headed. In the meantime let me hear what you think… what would you like for it to be.