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The Gameplay Influences of S

The Gameplay Influences of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Part II

In the last article, we investigated the distinct looks, sounds, and «feel» that make «Stalkerlikes» a distinct genre. In this, the second and final part of the mini-series, we investigate the gameplay mechanics common to most Stalkerlikes. Put on your gas mask and get out your Geiger counter and join me as we dive in.

Hybrid Theory

First, a quick recap as to what a “Stalkerlike” is. Put simply, a Stalkerlike is any game that is reminiscent in either gameplay or tone to the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise. A Stalkerlike will generally feature a post-apocalyptic Eastern European or Russian setting, with Eastern European or Russian characters, vehicles and technology. They are characterized by their bleak downbeat atmosphere, realistically flawed characters, somber soundscape, and their typically dark and muted visuals. Note that for the sake of brevity I will be referring to all three retail S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games — Shadow of Chernobyl, Clear Sky, and Call of Pripyat, and their respective mods, collectively as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.

Many Stalkerlikes are a blend of genres, often combining RPG elements and survival game mechanics with the game’s core gameplay. In the case of many — but not all — Stalkerlikes this core gameplay is that of a somewhat open-world First Person Shooter.

Semi-realistic

Stalkerlikes tend to take place in semi-realistic settings, therefore no alien worlds, high fantasy landscapes or space stations. This is in stark contrast to many western games such as Skyrim, Prey, Gears of War or the anime-inspired settings of JRPGs. Quite often these settings are real-world locations or fictional locations based on real-world places. Examples include the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and Fear the Wolves, the London «Gherkin,» and «Cologne Bridge» maps of Survarium and the Moscow Metro system of Metro 2033. This focus on realism often extends to in-game technology, therefore no robots, magic spells or sci-fi ray guns. The juxtaposition of mundane technology and realistic locations with the bizarre «otherworldly» post-event phenomena makes encountering these anomalies all the more startling. The nature of the event which caused the apocalypse varies from game to game. In Metro 2033 it was a nuclear war. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R. it was a mind control experiment gone wrong. In Survarium it is a world engulfing sentient toxic forest. The cause of the apocalypse is not immediately relevant to the gameplay of a Stalkerlike; however, surviving the aftermath very much is.

Miasma Theory

A common trope of Stalkerlikes is that the post-apocalyptic environment is toxic, where even the air can kill you. This can be due to radioactive particles, infectious spores, poisonous gasses, etc. Whatever the cause, the protagonist — and by extension NPCs — will need protection from it. As a result, almost all Stalkerlikes will feature a gas mask mechanic to some degree. The Metro 2033 franchise is infamous for its protagonist’s reliance on quickly depleting gas mask filters to survive on the surface. The Metro series’ gas mask wipe mechanic — needed so that you can see when your masks lenses get dirty — has become iconic. (Perhaps ironically — it has recently been added to some S.T.A.L.K.E.R. modifications).

A Protagonist with a Weight Problem

Most Stalkerlikes have RPG mechanics built-in, and this includes «RPG-esque» inventory systems. This is usually quite restrictive, with limits on the size, number and weight of items you can carry at any one time. As such, your character will not be able to carry everything including the rusty kitchen sink, nor will they be able to carry the arsenal of a one-man-army. Stalkerlikes tend to have punishing consequences for exceeding (or even nearing) your carry limit. This often comes in the form of reduced speed and endurance. It may also have other detrimental effects such as increased thirst and hunger or compromised stealth due to having heavier footfalls. This forces the player to be very selective about what they take with them and what they pick up en route.

Resource Scarcity and Survival Mechanics

That said, simply finding enough «stuff» to fill your carrying capacity might itself be a challenge, since «stuff» will be thin on the ground. In a Stalkerlike, you will probably have to scour the environment for useful salvage, and then be extremely frugal with what you find.

Survival in a post-apocalyptic wasteland would be far from easy, and many Stalkerlikes illustrate this fact with their survival mechanics. Many will feature thirst and hunger mechanics, sleep deprivation, fatigue, bleeding from wounds, and the effects of becoming ill, poisoned or irradiated. Some may include environmental factors such as temperature and wind chill. What’s more, your equipment, weapons, clothing, etc. may suffer similar degradation with exposure or repeated use, requiring you to maintain them.

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The in-game economies of many Stalkerlikes are brutal, to say the least. It is doubtful your character will ever get rich in a Stalkerlike; indeed, just having enough resources to survive might be a struggle. Metro 2033 ingeniously takes this a step further, with the accepted Metro currency being bullets. Therefore, every shot missed is literally money wasted.

Due to a combination of resource scarcity, survival mechanics and brutal in-game economies, survivors in Stalkerlikes will need to «get crafty» with the items they can scavenge. As such, many Stalkerlikes include a crafting system. Metro Exodus’ workbench is a notable modern example. However, it is the Anomaly mod for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. that is arguably the «king of the crafters» since almost everything can be stripped down for parts. These parts can then be used to repair other items or create new items from scratch.

Anomalies

In many Stalkerlikes, the apocalypse has left bizarre manifestations in its wake. There are too many varieties of these «anomalies» to list here, but some standout examples include those with hypergravitational, extreme thermal or mind-warping psionic effects. In S.T.A.L.K.E.R., they are a core gameplay element, since the valuable artifacts — the reason most Stalkers are in the Zone in the first-place — spawn from these anomalies. The Metro series, Fear the Wolves, Next Day Survival and Survarium all feature similarly bizarre phenomena. Anomalies are indiscriminate and will kill anything that enters their area of effect. Smart survivors will use this to their advantage by luring hostiles into them.

Wildlife and Mutants

In most Stalkerlikes, the apocalyptic event has twisted the fauna and flora of the post-event world. These mutants may come in all manner of shapes, sizes and species, from the largely unmutated rats in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. to the highly mutated whale-sized «Tsar Fish» of Metro: Exodus. Most of these mutated forms are highly aggressive and will prove a significant threat to the player and both friendly and hostile NPCs.

Most mutants are likely to be insentient animals, such as the irradiated mutated wolves in the battle royale Fear the Wolves, but a few, such as S.T.A.L.K.E.R.’s Controllers or Metro’s «Dark Ones» may be fully sapient and possess psychic powers. Some mutants, such as Metro 2033’s «Giant Amoeba» and the «Biomass» defy explanation, and it is up to the player to decide what they are.

The Human Factor

In the previous article, we saw how Stalkerlikes tend to portray humanity as being innately factional and prone to interfactional conflict. From a gameplay perspective, this often manifests as the player having the option of choosing to join a faction. This almost inevitably leads to getting into armed conflict with one or more competing factions. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. itself has around nine factions — most of which are joinable in the retail games, and all are joinable in the sandbox mods such as Anomaly. Escape from Tarkov — which is arguably a Stalkerlike — features multiple factions vying for control of the fictional city of Tarkov. Some more narrative-driven Stalkerlikes do not allow you to join specific factions; however, you may still get caught up in their crossfire. Metro’s war between the communist stations of the Red Line and the fascist stations of the Fourth Reich is a perfect example of this.

Conclusion

Due to these shared characteristics, many Stalkerlikes will have similar gameplay loops even if the genres of the games are quite different. Because of this, and the thematic similarities covered previously, I feel confident in suggesting that «Stalkerlikes» should be a recognized genre, alongside «Doom Clones,'» «Soulslikes,» «Roguelikes,» and «Metroidvanias.»

But this is only my opinion. What’s yours? Do you agree? If not, do you feel they should have a different categorization, or do you feel they should not have a categorization at all? Have you played any of the games mentioned in this miniseries? If so, feel free to share your experiences, and your opinions, in the comments section below.

About Iain Baker

Iain is a 40+ author and gamer from England, who started his gaming journey on the Atari 2600 36 years ago. He has a weakness for retro games, mods and the cult classics most people haven’t heard of.

Since he is British, his body is about 60% tea.

The Gameplay Influences of S

О компании: Мы — команда разработчиков игр, делаем это в свое удовольствие в свободное от нормальной жизни время 🙂

Мы начали свою историю в 2010 году, набросав простенькую игрушку об эпическом противостоянии студента Артема и преподавателя начертательной геометрии. Показать полностью. Не то что бы она стала очень известной, но свое дело она сделала — увлекла нас созданием [компьютерных] игрушек и других забавных вещей.

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Надеемся вам будет интересно с нами, тем более что в ближайшее время мы собираемся развлечь вас одной нашей поделкой!

Это логическая тактико-стратегическая игра, с простым и стильным дизайном, который даст разгуляться вашему воображению 😉 Сайт: influence.teremokgames.com/ru

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    106 записей

    Есть хорошие новости!
    Сегодня мы запускаем наш игровой форум 🙂

    Мы рассчитываем, что он станет нашей основной платформой для общения комьюнити, публикации обновлений и поддержки игроков.
    Показать полностью.
    Основная фича в том, что игровой аккаунт связан с аккаунтом форума и для того, чтобы войти на него и начать писать свой первый пост, вам достаточно обновить игру до последней версии и нажать лишь одну кнопку: https://goo.gl/93gTFq (v.2.26.7 — в процессе обновления в google play)

    На форум можно попасть с любого устройства:
    https://forum.influence.teremokgames.com/?ru
    Для логина понадобится войти на форум через игру и сгенерировать код авторизации.

    Ждем ваших постов на форуме! До встречи 😉

    С рождеством и новым годом!

    Очередной год подходит к концу, а значит пришло время подводить итоги 2018-го года.

    Как обычно, уже традиционно, мы раздаем медальки за успехи в прошедшем году. Показать полностью.

    Уровни для медальки, такие как и раньше:

    Золото — 10,000,000 IP
    Серебро — 3,000,000 IP
    Бронза — 1,000,000 IP
    Стандартная (голубая) — 300,000 IP

    Медальки будем выдавать уже в начале 2019, ориентировочно 2-3 января, условием для получения ежегодной медали является хотя бы одна сыгранная игра в 2018 году + общее кол-во IP у игрока на момент выдачи медалей.

    Чтобы помочь вам набрать желаемые очки, мы включим новогодний бонус в самое ближайшее время 😉

    PS: Как вы можете видеть в моем аккаунте, мне ещё нужно набрать как минимум 700,000 IP чтобы получить бронзу в этом году 🙂 Так что, идём играть!

    Ссылка на наш форум, не забывайте что он у нас есть: https://goo.gl/jvngt6

    Мы только что опубликовали новую версию игры на Google Play — теперь с приватными играми!

    Мы знаем что это был один из самых ожидаемых режимов с тех пор как мы перезапустили Дуэли год назад, так чего же вы ждете?

    Зовите друзей и давайте играть! 😉

    Сегодня у нас есть прекрасная новость для вас! Новая версия игры уже в Google Play и скоро обновление дойдет и до вас.

    В Influence v2.25 мы полностью переработали работу Дуэлей и как ожидается это будет самая стабильная версия из всех. Показать полностью. Никаких разрывов или других проблем с соединением с соперником. Помогите нам проверить работу Дуэлей и убедиться, что теперь они работают гораздо лучше и месяцы работы были не напрасны. Скачать свежую версию можно в Google Play — https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ter..

    В этой версии вы сможете узнать перед игрой наиболее важную статистику вашего соперника и сравнить ее со своей. Для этого мы реализовали прекраснейшее предматчивое окно и мы очень довольны результатом! Скриншот не передаст всей динамики и красоты, поэтому просто зайдите и посмотрите на него прямо в игре.

    Желаем удачи и отличных дуэльных поединков!

    Inside The Classic RPG and Literary Influences of YIIK, Out Tomorrow

    Play Inside The Classic RPG and Literary Influences of YIIK, Out Tomorrow Video

    The brothers behind this mind-melting JRPG tribute talk about what’s changed since the game’s 2014 reveal.

    Hey everyone! We are Andrew and Brian Allanson, creators of YIIK: A Postmodern RPG, which releases tomorrow at PS Store. It’s been a long journey developing YIIK and we’d like to tell you a little about our journey and the influences behind the game.

    YIIK is a Japanese-style RPG that follows the journey of Alex, who witnesses a woman vanish from an elevator in the late ’90s. Alex summons a band of misfits from the Internet to search for the woman and the truth behind her disappearance, which leads them towards a surreal new millennium filled with brain-bending dungeons and turn-based combat driven by minigames.

    For many of you, you first heard about the game on December 6, 2014. It was a very important date for us: It was the first PlayStation Experience, our first time traveling on a plane, and the first time showing off the game, simply known as Y2K at the time, with just two months of work put into it. Now, just over four years later, the game is finally complete. This feels like both a lifetime, and no time at all. So many things have changed in the four years it took to develop the game. We’ve both moved around a lot, left the US for the first time to travel to Asia and Europe to show off the game, Andrew got married, and our mother lost her battle with pancreatic cancer.

    The one constant during this turbulent time of life-changing events was our relentless commitment to create a full-fledged Japanese-style RPG — a modern game that looks to create something fresh, while honoring the rich history of PSone and PS2-era RPGs, such as Wild Arms (our main gameplay influence), Shadow Hearts, and Persona 4. This sole focus kept us grounded even as these changes in our lives made us feel like the fabric of reality was ripping apart.

    We began the development with some clear goals: create an RPG set in late 90s New Jersey (as RPGs rarely are set in modern times), strike a healthy balance between humor and a compelling plot, as well as make a world with depth. We looked outside of games for inspiration, particularly to author Haruki Murakami. He is an incredible writer, our favorite living author, and someone who makes you feel as if he’s writing your dreams. We made sure everyone on the team read his entire collective works before we began development.

    The novels The Wind Up Bird Chronicle and 1Q84 were our biggest direct inspirations, taking cues from Murakami’s frequent themes of missing people, sprawling conspiracies, and magical realism. The themes and tone fit perfectly with what we wanted to achieve, and analyzing his works gave us interesting insights on how to accomplish it. We used the writing techniques of postmodern authors and paid homage to these techniques in the name of the game.

    As for gameplay, we looked to some RPGs that modern gamers seem to have forgotten; Lufia 2 and Wild Arms for their compelling use of tools inside dungeons mixed up with turn-based battle modes, and the PS2 game Shadow Hearts for its inventive Judgement Ring battle system.

    The YIIK battle mode features eight playable characters. Each party member has a unique mini-game for their primary attack and additional mini-games for their skills and spells. The more skilled the player is at the mini-game, the more opportunity to deal damage and dodge oncoming enemy attacks! We use these mini-games as a way to keep players engaged and immersed when fighting enemies. However, our mini-games made the battles longer than your average turn-based RPG, so we tweaked the game to have less frequent battles, and we prevented enemies from respawning after they’ve been defeated.

    Ultimately, we reckon we’ve delivered a surreal dream wrapped around a JRPG with charming characters, catchy tunes, and outlandish visuals. We hope you consider checking out YIIK: A Postmodern RPG on PS4. It’s been a long time coming for those of you who’ve been waiting, and we believe it’s worth the wait.

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    Path Of Exile: Echoes Of The Atlas Influences The Gameplay

    Feb 26, 2021 Source: POECURRENCY

    • Path-Of-Exile
    • Echoes-Of-The-Atlas
    • POE-Gameplay
    • The-Ritual-League
    • Buy-POE-Currency

    Path of Exile is a dark game, its atmosphere is very attractive, and the unusual economic system based on Orb’s exchange and freedom, these characteristics make it more popular. Last month released the latest expansion — Echoes of the Atlas. It provides a new epilogue for Conquerors of the Atlas, and introduces many new features, and has affected the gameplay to a certain extent.

    The Ritual League

    The Ritual League is undoubtedly one of the most attractive content. These rituals greatly increase the time of gameplay and also increase the players’ chances of obtaining exclusive items. However, the Altar Rituals stand out for being quite difficult, so you need to have a good build and a lot of skills so that you can survive to the end. Sacred Groves also appeared on the map, pre-created groves where you can start Horticrafting, so you will expand the harvesting mechanic.

    The Maven’s Crucible

    This is a feature that POE players most look forward to, because it provides a battle to challenge the boss. Only the most experienced ARPG will have the opportunity to endure it. This is exactly what this expansion has brought about.

    After completing The Maven’s Crucible, you will receive Maven’s Gift, which allows you to assign skill points to the aforementioned skill tree. In other words, this mechanic has now become a sign of the successful completion of this major challenge. Therefore, a good choice is to obtain a large number of Orbs to exchange for some necessary items to improve your equipment.

    Atlas passive skill tree

    This allows players to acquire various skills in each Atlas area. As you progress in the Maven mission line, you will be able to unlock more and more Atlas passive skills. These passive skills not only improve your abilities, but also increase the possibilities in the building.

    Источники:

    The Gameplay Influences of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., Part II

    http://vk.com/teremokgames

    Inside The Classic RPG and Literary Influences of YIIK, Out Tomorrow

    http://www.poecurrency.com/news/path-of-exile-echoes-of-the-atlas-influences-the-gameplay

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