If you've ever visited my other Zone Survival Guide website dedicated to Shadow of Chernobyl, you'll know that I really enjoy games and first-person shooters especially. So perhaps I should shed some light on other things I do...
Well, I love to play the guitar... I'm not really that good at it, but I enjoy it and that's the most important thing if you ask me. I've been trying to pull myself together and learn some of the tunes from the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. games, but it hasn't happened yet, possibly because I keep thinking of other things that apparently are more important. Yeah, I'm good at making excuses, too.
I also love to program... you know, write code, create applications and websites, that sort of thing. I do work as a System Engineer (actually I'm just a programmer but "System Engineer" sounds alot more fancy ), and I also spend some of my spare time creating small applications and utilities... if you've read my blog, you may have seen a screenshot of one of them, created specifically for speeding up the process of creating the interactive maps for Zone Survival Guide websites. In a moment of absolute brilliance I decided to call it the "STALKER Map Editor"...
While most of my work is done in .Net (a framework for Microsoft Windows), creating the Zone Survival Guide has taught me a few things about PHP as well. They each have their strengths and weaknesses, but I kinda like them both. As I said before, I love programming so it doesn't really matter what language it is as long as the final product is either useful or... well, it doesn't really have to be useful at all, it's still fun to just do the programming.
Although I must admit I was a bit skeptic the first time I played Call of Pripyat because it felt very different from the previous games in the series. But I quickly realized that it was different in a very good way. Now, don't get me wrong - I absolutely adore Shadow of Chernobyl, but in my opinion the many small changes are for the better, at least the majority of them. I find Call of Pripyat to be alot more polished and it seems like GSC Game World has learned alot from creating the prior two games in the series; the game is alot more coherent and the story, while not as complicated, is more strict and told with a clearer voice, so to speak. Characters are more fleshed out and more distinctive, and many of the missions are alot more varied and interesting.
It's not as long as the previous games, but the ability to keep playing after the main storyline ends is certainly a plus; but I guess it's at that time you'd also wish there were some more missions... the first time I played through Call of Pripyat and started the "free play", there just wasn't that much to do besides killing mutants and hunting for artifacts. But to me, that doesn't matter much actually; I really enjoy the parts that are in the game, and that goes a long way. I've played through it a couple of times now, and they're definately not my last - not just because I'm writing a walkthrough for this website, but because it's a game I love coming back to.
I also find it to be pretty game in many aspects; I still love the atmosphere of the Zone, and some of the environments are just stunning to look at, especially if you catch them at the right time... watching the sun rise over Izumrudnoye is a spectacular sight. Certain parts can look a bit dated, but the game has so much atmosphere that talk about graphics alone is pretty much pointless. The Zone as a whole is still the most important "character" in the game, and it shows.
Hopefully GSC Game World will continue to improve their ideas in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2, the next game in the series that was recently announced. While the game is still a couple of years away, it's going to be very interesting to follow the development. As long as they manage to hold true to the Zone and its inhabitants, I'm sure we'll be treated to a kick-ass game.
If you wish to contact me, feel free to do so... I'd love to hear from you if there's something I have missed on this website, or some of the information is lackluster or possibly outright wrong. You can contact me at the following address, which also serves as my MSN Messenger address:
Please notice, that if you wish to contact me be sure to include something in the subject line that I will be able to spot - eg. "STALKER Site" or "About STALKER"... I guess something including "STALKER" or "S.T.A.L.K.E.R." (or possibly "You're not Strelok!?" ) will do. Otherwise I might not notice it because of my spam filter.
I hope you find this site useful and informative. Enjoy!
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