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Know Your Pre-Release Builds - 1098 through 2215

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  01:01:17  29 November 2009
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>>opinions will differ>>


On forum: 07/04/2007
Messages: 2586
really informative.
well written.
short and concise.

thank you for putting this together.
  00:49:49  29 November 2009
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Звуковой Шаман


On forum: 10/29/2008
Messages: 3075
Awesome read, even for some of us long-time players.

The models and textures for the HP and LR-300 made it all the way to Clear Sky with minimal changes. Can any Call of Pripyat players comment?

In CoP - the LR300 model and animations are exactly the same as in CS. IIRC, same goes for the HP.
  00:33:39  29 November 2009
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Doom metal in the shade of the flying radiators


On forum: 07/23/2005
Messages: 1902
I really liked 2215 back in the day.
  23:31:40  28 November 2009
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On forum: 06/02/2009
Messages: 655
cool bits of information and a good read!

thanks BobBQ
  23:28:11  28 November 2009
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Senior Resident

On forum: 01/31/2008
Messages: 883
A good and informational thread

I've actually implemented the blue eco-stalkers into the work-in-progress full version of Darkness of Chernobyl.
  22:56:28  28 November 2009
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On forum: 07/30/2007
Messages: 3336
Know Your Pre-Release Builds - 1098 through 2215

I wrote this up mostly for the benefit of newer members and those with limited disk space or bandwidth. Corrections, comments and contributions are welcome. I'll add screenshots if I can find the time to work out some technical issues.

Build 1098 (February 3rd, 2002)

In the beginning S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was not S.T.A.L.K.E.R., but a more overtly sci-fi game called Oblivion Lost. Build 1098 – frequently misidentified as 1096 because of the build number in the startup splash screen – is the only known build of this early game in circulation.

What's in it?

Not much: 1098 is a pure tech demo. Screenshots and trailers from Oblivion Lost reveal quite a bit more, much of which was carried over to S.T.A.L.K.E.R. only to be gradually replaced as development went on.

-Maps: just one, the well-known Aztec level which would have been fifth in the original sequence. It contains a temple complex surrounded by hilly green terrain, with caves underneath.
-Weapons: F2000, Groza, Protectra, M134A. Only the Groza and M134 are actually usable in 1098. None of these weapon textures/models made it to the final release. The M134 has been restored with mods, and a remodeled Protectra appears in Call of Pripyat.
-NPCs: a compact bipedal robot with integral machine gun, in friendly and hostile flavors.

What's different?

Almost everything.

What's left from it?

The basic functionality of the X-Ray engine was done by this point, and much of that is immediately recognizable. Some details of the HUD, like the overhead map and crosshair behavior, made it to the end product. Some ambient sound effects from 1098 can be found in the final version's data archives.

Build 1114 (May 19th, 2002)

Sometime after – or possibly shortly before – the creation of build 1098, GSC decided to drop their original game world in favor of the closer-to-home Chernobyl setting we all know and love. Oblivion Lost duly became S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Oblivion Lost and the NPP sarcophagus began appearing on the game load screen. The splash screen from 1096 would persist for a while longer, Aztec pyramid and all. Most of the weapon sounds and animations were placeholders borrowed from Counter-Strike.

What's in it?

Again, not much: two levels, a few weapons and a few NPCs.

-Maps: the Agroprom factory courtyard, where Marked One encounters Mole in the final product, and a primitive version of the Cordon.
-Weapons: Hi-Power, F2000, AK-74, LR-300, M134A. The HP, F2000 and M134 were all inherited from Oblivion Lost, and the others probably were as well. The models and textures for the HP and LR-300 made it all the way to Clear Sky with minimal changes. Can any Call of Pripyat players comment?
-NPCs: a plain rat, later driven to extinction by the familiar tushkano, an early and cleaner version of the slow zombie, and a human soldier left over from OL. This soldier evolved into the Spetsnaz seen in the end release.

What's different?

The Agroprom is little more than a boxed-in arena: it may have actually been larger than this, since GSC was known to use cut-down versions of it as dedicated tech demo levels. The proto-Cordon displays a skeleton of the familiar layout – a north-south road with gated checkpoints at each end, crossed by an east-west rail line with a bridge – but the military outpost is located at the (unbroken) bridge, there is no rookie village or Sidorovich's bunker, and the deserted factory which persisted until build 1935 is set atop a high outcrop.

What's left from it?

The setting is established in 1114, but the details remain rough and unfinished. The part of the Agroprom which appears here underwent relatively little change during development, while the Cordon was overhauled multiple times.

Build 1154 (August 28th, 2002)

A few more months, a little more progress. By this stage GSC had begun work on vehicle implementation. The build 1096 splash screen was still present, however.

What's in it?

Basically the same as 1114, only more so.

-Maps: the Agroprom, all of it this time, and the Cordon.
-Weapons: Hi-Power, Makarov, Fort-12, F2000, AK-74, LR-300, M134A. The Makarov and Fort persisted into Clear Sky. The familiar binoculars were also added.
-NPCs: mostly soldiers, same as in 1114. They duck and roll along the ground when fired upon.

What's different?

The environment is garishly bright and green compared to the builds which came before or after 1154: there are flowers everywhere, a la the Priboi Story mod. The Agroprom's terrain and buildings are more or less finalized, though the fringes of the level would be expanded later. The Cordon is a direct upgrade from 1114, with the rookie village and perimeter checkpoint added and the factory lowered to a more accessible elevation.

What's left from it?

Weapon models, the Agroprom and more details of the Cordon.

Build 1469 (May 9th, 2003)

1469 was apparently a build intended to test the new DirectX 9 renderer. Due to the large number of missing shaders, it is literally impossible to see anything. The file/directory structure used in the final game had begun to appear by this stage, and the throwable bolt had been implemented.

Build 1511 (August 20th, 2003)

By the summer of 2003, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. had begun to look much as it would upon release. Build 1511 was used in a number of trailers showing off the advanced features players could expect.

What's in it?

Quite a bit, compared to the earlier builds. Most of the game assets were complete or almost complete, though some would still be reworked or replaced in successive years. Vehicles, explosion physics, artifacts and anomalies were all present.

-Maps: the Agroprom factory courtyard again, this time obviously cut out of the larger map for use as a demo level, unfinished versions of the Army Warehouses and the Brain Scorcher, and the Dead City, the Generators and the sarcophagus interior. There are also two minimalist test levels used to show off physics and mutant AI.
-Weapons: the TOZ-34, SVD, VAL, VSS and RPG-7 joined the player's now-accessible inventory, as did the RGD-5 and F1 hand grenades.
-NPCs: though several monsters and most of the various human factions had been modeled and textured, only a few were actually given AI since build 1511 was mostly pre-scripted.

What's different?

The ecologist faction uses a blue version of the stalker suit with a yellow peace symbol on the back of the hood, rather than the orange and green specialized suits in the complete game, and the exoskeleton is modeled as an addon to the same stalker suit. The player's inventory window displays each selected item as a rotating 3D model above the item's descriptive text, which was later replaced by the familiar 2D texture. The inventory also includes developer cheat buttons to eat, sleep, apply medkits and use antirads. Grenades and ammunition boxes must be transferred from the player's backpack to his belt before they can be used. Some parts of the HUD were rearranged, though they reverted to their old positions in later builds. The grass is often greener, though not quite to the same degree as in build 1154.

What's left from it?

The Army Warehouses and Brain Scorcher are immediately recognizable, though neither of them include the surrounding terrain which appears in the final versions.

Build 1935 (October 18th, 2004)

One of the best known builds, thanks to GSC very generously releasing it to the public. Having assembled their content base, the developers apparently spent most of 2004 working on the global AI system. The game's 'find and kill Strelok' storyline also began to come together, though Strelok was instead called 'Gunslinger' at this time. The game was now called S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and publisher THQ's logo appeared with GSC's own on the loading screen.

What's in it?

Just about everything that was done or semi-done up to this point.

-Maps: all of them, except for Darkscape and Pripyat.
-Weapons: almost all of the game's final arsenal is present, with the notable exception of the Abakan. There are also partial implementations of two more guns, the PKM and FN P90, and inventory icons for several others which never appeared in any known build.
-NPCs: just about everything and everyone, including some unique characters.

What's different?

This build offers a greater degree of freedom than later versions: some of the levels are much larger and there is no immediate string of tasks given by Sidorovich. The Zone is darker, more dangerous and less populated. Some of the levels had been reworked, and would be reworked again. Three would be cut entirely before release. The game environment tends to be darker and gloomier than in past builds. Sidorovich and his bunker were added to the Cordon. Selecting stalkers in the PDA's Contacts window displays biographical data about them, though only unique stalkers have any information of interest.

What's left from it?

The player starts in Sidorovich's bunker and gets an early version of the 'I don't give a shit why you want to find this guy' speech. Outside the bunker is a modder's paradise.

Build 2205 (April 15th, 2005)

By this time GSC had figured out – or been told by THQ – that the free game world they'd been creating wasn't going to work very well. The result was the led-by-the-nose storyline players experienced upon final release in 2007.

What's in it?

A sizable portion of the game, compiled before Dean Sharpe's reign of terror had run its course.

-Maps: the Cordon, the Garbage, the Agroprom, the Dark Valley, Rostok, the Army Warehouses and the Brain Scorcher.
-Weapons: more or less the same as in 1935, still sans Abakan. The icons for the unimplemented weapons were deleted to make room for new suit icons.
-NPCs: most of the unique NPCs which appear in the end release were implemented, or at least allocated.

What's different?

The atmosphere is a little brighter and drier than in 1935, though the levels still tend to be larger than they were at release. The Cordon is heavily reworked again, with the rookie village populated by Wolf and friends and the factory replaced by a vehicle park which persisted unchanged into the final product. The rookie stalkers belong to a separate 'stranger' faction, which gives Marked One the cold shoulder until he performs a trial for Sidorovich – actually an artifact/anomaly tutorial for the player's benefit. The PDA biography feature from build 1935 was cut some time after 2205 was assembled, as were a number of steps in the main storyline.

What's left from it?

The beginning of the game is more or less finalized, complete with Sidorovich's opening speech, optional PDA tutorial and mission to raid the bandit camp at the car park. The anomaly tutorial was cut, but the actual anomaly, artifact and scripted death of a mutant pig all made it into the final game. The main menu can be seen, but has little use.

Build 2215 (April 25, 2005)

The multiplayer counterpart to 2205, build 2215 came with a Gamespy-powered launcher application and several maps, including multiplayer adaptations of the Wild Territory and Yantar. Its content and features are otherwise the same.
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