STALKER: “There Is Cause For Hope”

By Alec Meer on December 23rd, 2011 at 2:18 pm.

What light from yonder Ukraine breaks?

A surprise Christmas present from GSC, at which there appears to remain some life despite the awful news that they (and with them Stalker 2) had apparently been shut down earlier this month:

“Dear Stalkers: We will not be releasing any official news until around mid January. However there is cause for hope! Good hunting!”

That is all. But that is something. And it’s the second claim that all might not yet be lost in as many weeks, meaning the rescue operation is hopefully bearing fruit. Good luck, brave Ukrainians.

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61 Comments »

  1. coldvvvave says:

    Maybe in 2016.

    And to be honest, leaked art was horrible.

    • Tuco says:

      No. No, it really wasn’t.

    • Mistabashi says:

      The character concepts were great. The environment concepts were pretty amateurish, although they may have been very rough early concepts.

    • BarerRudeROC says:

      Welp, looks like I’m behind.

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      lurkalisk says:

      The concept art was good. Your words are HERESY.

    • washaa says:

      I wouldn’t call the pieces horrible, rather plainly decent. Although, for something that’s supposed to inspire level designers with new ideas they didn’t seem that inovative.

    • Muzman says:

      They look like design concepts more than pure concept art. Which means they’re specific locations being conceptualised. Which means the poor sods doing that sort of thing churn out several a day, most of which get chopped and changed or cut.
      Cut ‘em some slack.

      Besides, it’s not like it has to look like a finished wall hanging. The crudest line drawing can throw up ideas.

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      Why 2016? Explain.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      They are probably making fun of GSC’s release date attention disorder: Stalker (:SoC) was announced in 2001 but released in… 2007.

  2. Echo Black says:

    Yes! It’s a xmas miracle!

    • outoffeelinsobad says:

      A Festivus miracle, surely.

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      lurkalisk says:

      Yeah, a christmas miracle would have been something more like, “Stalker 2 gets release date!”

    • King of Herrings says:

      @outoffeelinsobad: Haha surely! …for the rest of us! My aluminium pole stands tall and proud.

  3. AngryBadger says:

    They should do what Frictional games did after struggling for cash after the Penumbra games and ask for fans to pre-order through them to fund the development of Amnesia. Id put money down to help keep them alive and support STALKER in a heartbeat.

    • Mistabashi says:

      I don’t think the problem is that they don’t have enough money, it’s that they haven’t managed to get a suitable publishing deal for the planned console version. Sergey Grigorovich is one of the richest people in Ukraine, he is easily able to fund the project if he wants, the problem is he obviously doesn’t see the it as viable/worthwhile if there’s no console release.

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      Overload-J says:

      Possibly, he has *too much* money, if the the unwelcome attention from the security services is a shakedown.

  4. Premium User Badge

    sonofsanta says:

    Fingers crossed, eh?

  5. Hisui says:

    Good on them, I guess? I enjoyed and finished Shadows of Chernobyl, but couldn’t bother proceeding past the first 30 minutes with the other two games. Eh.

    • Duckee says:

      I’d venture to say that CoP is the most solid fun, whereas SoC is the most memorable.

    • MattM says:

      And CS is the ugly middle child. There were some fun missions and some new areas, but even when I played with the CS complete mod, the factions system was still bugged like crazy.

  6. Capt. Eduardo del Mango says:

    I don’t think I’ve enjoyed any FPS series more than STALKER. Let’s hope for a good result from this.

    If, however, they do manage to release another title but saddle it with crap DRM, it’ll be the first STALKER game I haven’t paid full price for at launch.

  7. DickSocrates says:

    The Steam sale the other day gave them the £30 they needed to keep the electricity on.

  8. ukpanik says:

    sorry to interrupt…but this:

  9. Recidivist says:

    I seriously hope they manage to get back up. I played throguh SoC 3 times and CoP twice at around 50+ hours each time and it was fantastic, the best single player games I’ve ever played (it knocked Morrowind off the top slot). STALKER2 was the only game, besides Guild Wars 2, that I was looking forward to.

    • Orija says:

      Bethesda could learn a thing or two about making open world games from these guys.

    • Jumwa says:

      Like how to make your open world game not really open world?

      Don’t get me wrong, I am a massive STALKER fan, but Bethesda does manage to do the open world aspect better. Sure, STALKER does most everything else better, but on that one issue I don’t see your point.

      STALKER’s worlds are lovely, of course, but they aren’t REALLY open worlds. They’ve still got a lot of the old Bioware style segmented bits to them.

    • Blackcompany says:

      Bethesda could learn a little bit about open worlds from these guys. They could also learn a little bit about writing and choice from Supergiant or Obsidian. They could learn a little bit about using new game engines from almost anyone. They could learn about QA and patching from their own modders.
      .
      In short, as much fun as Bethesda games can be, Bethesda can learn a great deal yet about making great games from a lot of places.

    • Jumwa says:

      In that general sense every developer could learn from every other developer. Just like how the director of Bioshock just said he considers it a good designers job to keep up on other products out there.

    • digitalfoundry says:

      Bethesda could learn from any college-level coder how to write code that doesnt crash to desktop every few seconds. They could learn from Obsidian how to have an actual good story on a game. And from GSC how to make an actual open world game thats not just a themepark. And this is not in the general sense of learning, but in that Bethesda is a mediocre developer that needs to learn the most entry level skills on making games. Why GSC closes down, while a crappy developer like Bethesda overflows with cash is beyond me. You stupid gamers that are lead by the nose on hype and bling have something to do with it.

    • newprince says:

      Oh boy, digitalfoundry. Come off your high horse for a second. Did it ever cross your mind that maybe people just like you in many respects actually prefer Skyrim to STALKER for legitimate reasons? I was part of QA for STALKER on the THQ end. I appreciated STALKER in some respects, but found a lot of its hyped features just as lackluster as you claim Skyrim’s hype to be! That’s where we should agree to disagree, instead of claiming with absolute certainty that people who enjoy one game over another are mentally inferior.

    • wearedevo says:

      @digitalfoundry Because the STALKER series is so notoriously stable and bug-free? Piss off. GSC and Bethesda are both phenomenal developers. I do wish Bethesda would take a few more risks with their recent games, the way they did with Daggerfall, but they’re still doing things that no other dev will take a chance on.

    • lijenstina says:

      @newprince

      You were participating at the QA for Stalker ? That hatchet job ?
      I’m not impressed at all by THQ actions in this case. English voice acting was worse than the Russian – Ukrainian one.
      Gutting maps, monsters, quests, ai schemes, items, sleep, blowouts…
      Not impressed at all.

    • scatterbrainless says:

      wow, that got personal really fast. Back to what Orija was saying though, I think the world-building part that Bethesda could learn from Stalker is less on the “open” side and more on the atmosphere, or the sense of an independently operating world ecosystem, that, even if it is less open, gives a much larger sense of an environment.

    • newprince says:

      Yes, it’s easy to blame THQ for STALKER’s shortcomings, but why can’t both GSC and THQ be mutually responsible? Let’s just say from my vantage point, that was certainly the case. Without getting into too many details, developers can’t just ignore their obligations to publishers and keep a game in stasis with no communication, while on the other side, publishers should not be so pushy and should realize a developer halfway across the world might not be so agile in their responses and making new builds.

      STALKER would have never become the sleeper hit it was if not for securing a major publisher. Yet GSC was simply not up to the task in getting it done in a reasonable amount of time in a final state, which resulted in STALKER being released in the state it was (which, trust me, that was an amazing build compared to the one that we had only a month prior). Is that completely not GSC’s fault?

    • lijenstina says:

      @newprince
      I agree with you on that – a big part of the blame is on the GSC side – Clear Sky was a sign of it (it wasn’t that good ) plus the leaving of some core devs in 2006. However I can’t get that modders working with hacky tools could relatively easy restore them to a mostly stable and working state and THQ could not press on polishing the existing features and code with vastly more resources and manpower.

  10. Psychopomp says:

    “GSC has been purchased by Zenimax software, and is now Bethesda Ukraine. We here at the original Bethesda studio are excited to begin work on the next installment of Stalker, while Bethesda Ukraine begins work on Skyrim DLC.”

    • applecup says:

      Do not even joke about that.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Didn’t Bethesda purchase the studio making the open-world Prey 2? It’s a plausible outcome.

    • El_Emmental says:

      ಠ_ಠ

      I hate it when I can’t be mad at people for telling me a possible truth.

      I’ll forget what you just said and go back waiting for more news in mid-January.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Anomaly DLC for Skyrim!

      Come on, that’d be sweet! Emissions to hide from (causing you to go in a cave you might have skipped), wolves become pseudodogs, Ulfric becomes the leader of Freedom and the Empire becomes Duty.

      Ok, I’d much prefer them just recover and make Stalker 2, but Skyrim invaded by elements of Stalker would be very interesting.

    • Voon says:

      NO!

      NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO

  11. Daryl says:

    It’s going to be picked up by Activision and become a yearly franchise! Hooray!

  12. celozzip says:

    publicity stunt

  13. Linfosoma says:

    All I want in life is a Stalker with decent character models. There are, and always have been, some of the worst I’ve seen in any game. Everything else is incredibly detailed and realistic, even the animations are pretty good, I hope they get better character modelers.

  14. Robin says:

    Fork Parker intervened?

  15. Vandalbarg says:

    I recently picked up the STALKER bundle on steam. Only been playing Shadow for a day, but it’s probably my second favorite game of 2011. Holy crap was I missing out.

  16. InternetBatman says:

    I’ve only played Call of Pripyat but it was a really fun little romp. It definitely kept that old school dynamic of being absolutely brutal at first, but eased into a steady and fun difficulty once you got going. It was quite enjoyable if anyone hasn’t tried it.

  17. Navagon says:

    WORLD NEEDS MORE STALKER
    Come on, GSC, make it happen!

  18. Commissar says:

    http://twitter.com/#!/gscstalker/status/150324514121719808

    “The Stalker team continues work on the project and hopefully everything will turn out well. Good Hunting Stalkers!”

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  20. born2expire says:

    Here’s hoping CD Project Red picks this up. They are really the only company that could improve the game and understand what is to release a PC game this day in age.

    • kud13 says:

      Here’s hoping they don’t. I loved WItcher 1 (am yet to get seriously into TW2, since i’m building a new PC for it, but I liked what little I played on my crappy lappy), but they wouldn’t do the atmosphere right.

      S.T.A.L.K.E.R breathes post-soviet. Poland, although it was part of the Eastern Block, doesn’t share the same mentality. the approach to atmosphere and story would definitely not be the same.

    • MultiVaC says:

      I wouldn’t really want anyone other than GSC doing STALKER, I just can’t picture anyone else doing justice to it in the way I want to see. Maybe 4A, since there are a lot of ex-GSC developers there, but I think we’ve concluded that can’t happen since they aren’t on good terms with Grigorovich.