The 100 Rads

The 100 Rads

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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.

The Zone Survivors are...

Zone Survival GuidePosted by Dawnrazor Sep 08, 2010 21:14:32

Drumroll, please! Ok ok, never mind... who's ever seen a drum in the Zone, anyway?

It's time to announce the winners of the Zone Survival Guide competition. A while back I asked you to send in any suggestions you could think of, regarding the Zone Survival Guide - and fortunately for me, some of you decided to send in your thoughts and ideas.

The first prize is going out to someone who made an excellent suggestion. The decision has been mine alone, based on whatever I thought made sense... I've received some really good ones, and I think that I'm definately going to explore many of them once I get some more time on my hands. Sadly, only one could win and it's a suggestion that is simple, direct and very true; the winner of the first prize is skeksistower with the following:

"The stashes page would be infinitely more useful if you could include even a bit of information on where one might learn about the stash in game - whenever this is possible, of course."

While not totally useless, the Stashes page and the Interactive Maps currently provides no information about where or how to obtain stash locations. That is a serious flaw in the ZSG; I'm not sure if I'll ever get time to remedy this severe lack in information, but it definately something I'll keep in mind for any possible future Survival Guides.

The next two prizes are given out to two persons who sent in suggestions. The draw has been made from everyone who entered the competition (except for skeksistower... sorry!) and has been completely random, chosen by one of my old roleplaying dice!

The second prize, consisting of the three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, goes out to Dimitroff! Dimitroff actually sent in some very good and detailed suggestions as well. One of them, entitled "Run-downs and links for the major mods for all three of the games" is about having a dedicated mod section on the ZSG; Dimitroff elaborates:

"Aside from the legendary (and still immersive) Shadow of Chernobyl, the unmodded vanilla versions of CoP and CS had only managed to secure my attention for a couple of playthoughs each before I got bored. It was the mods for the games that kept me hooked. Whereas some fix bugs, update textures, balance gameplay, or do similar, minor tweaks, some (like Priboi Story), change the storyline of the game entirely. Due to the amazing success of these mods, I scarcely play vanilla at all anymore, and neither do most of my friends."

The third and final prize - S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky - goes out to Zeno. He sent in two suggestions; one of them focuses on more information about the weapons in the games, demonstrating weapon effectiveness, hits-to-kill, spread, and other detailed information - all stuff I would have added from the beginning if I had only thought of it ;) He also shares the suggestion about an extended focus on mods for the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, something I can only agree with.

With my personal congratulations to the winners that concludes the competition! Thank you for participating and taking your time to think of and send in your suggestions! It's been a treat reading through them all and it has certainly given me alot ponder for future expansions of the Zone Survival Guide!

Competition update

Zone Survival GuidePosted by Dawnrazor Sep 05, 2010 10:12:36

I apologize for the late update. My "internets" sort went out the window yesterday, and I've spent my time since then crying and shaking in a corner. It's a weird and empty feeling when you can't access the WWW.

Anyways, back on track. The competition has ended and I will be looking at the entries over the next couple of days. Sadly, I've got a busy schedule at the moment but I hope to reach a decision by wednesday. I'll also make the random draw once I've decided on the no. 1 prize winner. I will make the announcement here, and if you're one of the lucky winners I'll also send an e-mail your way.

Thanks to everyone who has taken part in the competition. It's been fun and from what I have seen so far, I also got both some really good and some funny suggestions.

And now for something completely different...

Zone Survival GuidePosted by Dawnrazor Aug 26, 2010 19:50:34

And then not so different after all, as we're staying on the Zone Survival Guide topic. I'd like to point you towards a new addition to the sites:

And before you scream: "Why, oh dear lord, why!?" or possibly "Aren't you creating a guide for Call of Pripyat?" I can tell you that it is in fact an old addition to the ZSG. The Far Cry 2 survival guide was created about 18-20 months ago, a good while before the ZSG went down.

The site was never really advertised, and the original Zone Survival Guide for Shadow of Chernobyl didn't inlcude any links to it... so I'm pretty sure it was unknown to the world that the site even existed; and for some strange reason, I couldn't get it added to Google either - and if Google doesn't know about a website, no-one does. While not 100% correct, there is alot of truth to this.

Since the Zone Survival Guide was recently brought back to life, I thought I might as well add this one for Far Cry 2 as well... I had already created it, and it was just gathering dust - so why not get it back up and running. I have no idea how big a player base the game has these days, but since alot of people are still playing alot of older games, I guess there's a chance someone is still playing Far Cry 2.

For those of you who are interested, you can find the Far Cry 2 Survival Guide here:

http://farcry2.zsg.dk

I'll probably get it "officially" into the ZSG network soon, but until then it'll remain hidden here, where no-one will ever find it! :)

Competition time - update!

Zone Survival GuidePosted by Dawnrazor Aug 21, 2010 13:15:26

Just a small update regarding the competition... when you send in your suggestions, please state your name as well so I know how to "refer" to you in case you win. It doesn't have to be your real name, so if you frequest forums you can use your "display name", clan name, or whatever...

Also, I will return a "receipt e-mail" when you send in a suggestion so you know that I've received your e-mail. If you don't receive such a "receipt" within a day or two after submitting your suggestion(s), please send them again or get in touch with me.

That's all... keep the suggestions coming! Thank you :)

Competition time!

Zone Survival GuidePosted by Dawnrazor Aug 19, 2010 21:02:06

With the release of the next Zone Survival Guide for Call of Pripyat, I've decided to create a small competition. A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough that someone from the community was kind enough to help me resurrect the old ZSG, and even went as far as to pay for hosting the website. So I was thinking that perhaps I should give something back to the community as well.

The competition is quite simple:

All you need to do is e-mail me with one or more suggestions for the Zone Survival Guide. While it doesn't have to be about the website, I guess that's the most obvious thing. But any suggestions related to the Zone Survival Guide are welcome. My e-mail address is: dynduo@hotmail.com

I will give out a prize to the one with the best suggestion, or make a draw between those with the best suggestions in case there are many equally good ones, or if you came up with the same one(s). This is my decision alone and will be based on my thoughts of what could best serve or improve the Zone Survival Guide.

I will, however, also make a random draw between anyone who simply enters the competition, so you can just e-mail me with a suggestion about changing the font or use more purple, and you'll be among the possible winners.

But if you're going for the best prize, you'll have to come up with something more useful. You are also free to send me more than one suggestion, however once the draw is made you'll only be listed one time - so if you've sent in a dozen suggestions you'll still have the same chance of winning as someone who just sent in a single one.

I hope to receive some good suggestions but I cannot make promises at this point about actually implementing them; if you suggest that I visit Pripyat myself and document the journey on the ZSG, that might not actually happen even though I find the thought appealing... but I guess I'll just have to see once I actually get some suggestions.

The competition is open from this point on and until midnight on the 3rd of September. That gives you roughly two weeks to think of something clever ;) As mentioned, you are free to send in as many suggestions - silly or not - as you'd like.

There are a total of three prizes; the winner of the competition will be the one with the best idea, and he or she will receive Prize #1 (see below). The second and third prizes will be given to two persons randomly drawn from everyone who entered the competition. You can only win one prize, so if you win the first one, you're out of the random draw.

The prizes are:

Prize #1: THQ Ultimate Box Set, consisting of 9 games in all their glory (ie. no dumbed down jewel boxes or missing manuals).

The box includes:

1. Company of Heroes
2. Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts
3. Frontlines: Fuel of War
4. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
5. Supreme Commander
6. Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance
7. Titan Quest
8. Titan Quest: Immortal Throne
9. Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Dark Crusade

Prize #2: A copy of the three S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, ie. Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky and Call of Pripyat.

Prize #3: A copy of S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky.

All the games are english or worldwide editions on DVD, all completely new and in their plastic wrapping. Sadly I could not get a hold of any special editions of the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, so they are just the regular versions. Sorry!

Obviously, the final requirement for participating is that you'll need to provide me with your full name and full, physical address if you win. I need to ship the prize to you and can only do so if I know where you live. Also, you must send in your suggestions through e-mail, using an address I can write back to - I need to get in touch with you if you win.

After the end of the competition, midnight September 3rd, there's probably going to pass a few days before I make any announcements... but I'll keep you posted right here as we go along.

I look forward to some funny and hopefully excellent suggestions as well! :)

Commence Operation Fairway

ZSG: Call of PripyatPosted by Dawnrazor 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:

http://cop.zsg.dk

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 PripyatPosted by Dawnrazor 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 PripyatPosted by Dawnrazor 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!

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