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Call of Pripyat: Redux

 

 

 

 

‘The big daddy of CoP mods…’

Rock, Paper, Shotgun

 

Call of Pripyat: Redux was my first released modding project, and comprises almost a year of work within an extremely challenging engine and modding environment.

Redux is a realism and difficulty modification for the third installment in the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, ‘Call of Pripyat’, and was created to address the issues I personally felt affected the ‘vanilla’ game, as well as tailor it more toward my own preferred style of play.

 

Redux Statistics

– Version 1.0 of the mod was released on ModDB on August 30th, 2010. It received widespread popular acclaim and established a firm following.
– The mod has been #1 on ModDB’s ‘most popular mods’ numerous days since release.
– Downloaded over 40,000 times.
– 633,000+ views on ModDB.

 

After working on and releasing version 1.0 of Redux on my own, I decided to start a team to tackle version 2.0, which would address any shortcomings of the initial version and greatly improve upon it, adding more game systems and large amounts of content to the game.

Redux v2.0 became S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Wormwood in January 2015, and is currently in development.

Tools Used

– Management:                 Trello, articy:draft, Google Docs, Slack
– Level Design:                  X-Ray Engine SDK
– File Editing/Scripting:    Notepad++, Microsoft Visual Studio
– Image Editing:                Adobe Photoshop, Paint.Net, GIMP
– Modelling:                      Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max
– Version Control:           TortoiseSVN, Dropbox, Git

Skills Utilised:

Team Management

Leading a team of modders from across the globe is a daunting task.

Managing time-zone dissonance, free-time problems and overall project cohesion can be extremely difficult at times, and it can be a hard task to co-ordinate a group of people who are working on a project not for monetary gain but simply for pleasure.

With the possibility of over ten people working on Wormwood at once, sensible use of version control, organisation software, and a lot of communication are vital to our workflow.

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Community Management

As a modder, maintaining a professional image and interacting with both fans and critics is crucial.

Through the use of a large ModDB page, the running of a large STALKER site/forum and the frequenting of multiple game forums, I can maintain an online presence and respond to criticism and suggestions concerning the mod in a timely and professional manner.

Design

A large part of my job is designing and creating new areas and experiences for the player, which is mainly done through STALKER’s proprietary ‘X-Ray’ Engine Software Development Kit (SDK).

The X-Ray SDK is notoriously buggy and difficult to use, and there exists almost no English documentation or tutorials.

In my time with the SDK, I have produced multiple tutorials on its use for the benefit of others.

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Scripting

STALKER exposes much of its code to external files, written in LUA, and to proprietary ‘logic scripting’ language files.

We use these to create entirely new game-systems (such as a realistic magazine system for weapons or the creation of a new PDA system) and to create new missions for the player to enjoy.

Modelling

One of the main features of Wormwood is the expansion of interior and exterior gameplay spaces, such as the fleshing out of buildings and even the creation of a brand-new level from scratch.

Competent 3D-Modelling is required to create the geometry necessary to achieve these tasks. Because of shortages in modellers among the STALKER modding community, necessity dictated my own adoption of Autodesk Maya and 3DS Max, and the creation of 3D models of my own, to a very satisfactory result!

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