Two files allegedly containing partial technical documentation of the game STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl have hit the network. They show that the developers want every item in the game – even an old fridge – to tell a story.
“No matter who”, published more behind-the-scenes leaks on his profile – this time in the form of two several-page text documents. They allegedly contain partial technical documentation for STALKER 2: Heart of Chornobyl . They are written in Russian and are to come from the period when the game was still developed on the Unreal Engine 4 technology – in August last year, the developers announced that they had switched to Unreal Engine 5 .
What has leaked out?
The first document is entitled “How to run a project” and consists of 12 pages (A4 size).
- It is most likely intended for new employees at GSC.
- It presents, among others organization of work. It describes, for example, the contents of the employee’s personal folder.
- The second document is entitled “A guide to creating assets for the STALKER 2 game ” and consists of 34 A4 pages.
- It is most likely intended for newly hired GSC as an environmental artist .
- The Russian youtuber ” Antysznaps ” supported the “No matter who” leak.
The artistic side of STALKER 2
I will discuss the second document in more detail below as it is probably more interesting to most players. It begins with the following text:
The task of the environment is to tell the player a story. In fact, a single scenery object is only a small part of the larger picture.
A person is used to looking at everything at once, perceiving a bigger picture, not realizing that everything around is made up of small stories of insignificant objects. Understanding this is what ultimately makes the environment meaningful and attractive. No object exists outside of the world around it; it always fulfills a role (…).
A story told by the environment
It seems that the creators of Heart of Chornobyl attach importance to even the smallest elements of the environment .
Almost every room, forest or wetland tells a story that we will learn through an in-depth look at objects in a given scenery. The creators even go a step further and when creating the elements of the environment, they ask themselves:
What did the object go through before it was included in our “frame”? What is its path and by whom was it used? Example: an ordinary “Dnieper” refrigerator, manufactured in 1957.
Before the tragedy in 1986 [talk of the Chernobyl disaster – note ed.] it was somehow used by the people who bought it (one person, family, state organization?). Therefore, apart from rust, it will have traces typical of households (…).
The dents – not random, but where they should be – make objects look more realistic. For example, damage to the door of the aforementioned refrigerator may be the result of its repeated careless opening (…).
Each object is part of something bigger
Another example featured in the document is an old stove:
Before the stove was abandoned, it was used by someone (most likely by the inhabitants of an ordinary household).
It had been torn from the place where it stood. You might think that the looters did this to temporarily hide their belongings in it. (…) The logic behind creating such an object is as follows: damage caused by domestic use> leaving it alone for many years [by evacuating people from the vicinity of Chernobyl – add. ed.]> dents as a result of displacement or other actions of the looters> left to fend for themselves again (…).
The work of the hands
In many cases, the creators try to avoid the procedural techniques of generating objects and focus on those created almost 100% by hand :
Crafts are very important. The fact is that the procedural nature of a model often reveals its artificial origin through excessive homogeneity or repeatability.
On the other hand, the artist’s task is to create a convincing object – which would also work in the real world – and not one perceived by the player as a kind of “prop”, intended to fill the empty space on a given level.
It shouldn’t have happened. That is why we try to make each resource as unique as possible and we use procedural maps wisely. If we make rust, we wonder how it will be located, where will it be darker and where it will be brighter (…).
So if you get any graphic artifacts somewhere after applying the procedural mask, try changing the overlay type from UV to Triplanar first. (…)
This kind of sloppy shocks the player out of the general atmosphere, especially when hitting the visible sides of objects (…).
Facts beyond your imagination
In creating objects, the creators do not rely only on their own imaginations. They also search for information and curiosities about the appearance and operation of the object they create , so that it resembles its counterpart in real life.
It is not an easy task – after all, we are talking about items that, in most cases, have not been produced for decades. Finding their documentation is sometimes almost a miracle.
The rest of the document
In the further section of the document – as well as in the file “How to run a project” – there are strictly technical information: naming of individual elements, such as model meshes or textures, or guidelines regarding, for example, Texel density. Those interested can read them at this link.
“No matter who” also published an archive full of materials allegedly coming from an emerging stalker modification called Grupa Striełoka . Interestingly, it will feature the voice actor from the original STALKER trilogy , Oleg Stalchuk (he played the role of Lebedev).