S. T. A. L. K. E. R.: Shadow of Chernobyl is a cult computer game released in 2007 by the Ukrainian developer GSC. In this shooter, the player plunges into the fantastic world of the "Exclusion Zone", formed in the vicinity of Chernobyl after the famous nuclear disaster.
The active development of S. T. A. L. K. E. R.: Shadow of Chernobyl began in 2003, and its original name was S. T. A. L. K. E. R.: Oblivion Lost. Later, the decision to change the name was made to increase the recognition of the game and its concept in foreign countries.
The idea of creating the game was the famous science fiction novel by the Strugatsky brothers "Roadside Picnic" and the film "Stalker" by Andrey Tarkovsky. In addition, the developers personally visited Chernobyl and its environs several times to get the necessary inspiration.
Since 2004, the game has switched to a modern graphics engine, control scripts have been abolished and interaction with other stalkers (hunters for valuable artifacts of the Zone) has been added. The release date of the game was planned for the same year, but in the end the release still did not take place due to the "rawness" of artificial intelligence and the difficulty of implementing several ideas. Also, the release of the publication was postponed due to the appearance on the shelves of several cult games, including Half-Life 2, which promised strong competition.
In 2005, the concept of the game was heavily redesigned. Many of the original ideas have been stripped down, including full life simulation, lack of loading zones for levels, some locations and characters. Active work has begun to eliminate a huge number of bugs.
Then, in 2006, downsizing began in the development team. Only the most persistent and dedicated specialists continued their work. After a while, several gameplay videos and even a beta version of the game appeared on the Internet. The GSC office was actively visited by journalists from all over the world, who were invited to personally try out the pre-release version.
Finally, the exact release date became known - March 2007. The developers kept their word and released S. T. A. L. K. E. R.: Shadow of Chernobyl on the promised timeframe, avoiding the fate of turning the game into one of the many long-term projects existing at that time.