Gamer's Hell has interviewed GSC Game World's PR Manager Andrey Salnikov about their game in development, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. and touches on the game's origions, the technical achivements and the al important FPS question - whats weapons will be in it.

    Obviously judging by its name, S.T.A.L.K.E.R was influenced by Andrey Tarkovsky's movie with a similar name, which in turn was influenced by the book Roadside Picnic written by the Strugatsky brothers. Could you give our readers a brief introduction of what the book and movie were about and what the game took from both of them? Are there any events in the game that were taken from the movie or the book?

    The idea of developing a game setup around the infamous Chernobyl area has been teasing our minds for quite a long time. "Roadside Picnic" by Strugatsky brothers and Tarkovskiy subsequent replication of the same book on the screen served us as spring-board to put all the three ingredients in the same cauldron. We have created a story about a mysterious industrial disaster zone full of the inexplicable. The game will feature a number of the real and imaginary things like stalkers, anomaly formations, artifacts etc. With this game we also wanted to voice a warning about the possible consequences of a human negligence, carelessness and a blind hunt for technological progress.

    To ensure a more real-life perception of the game environment we (note that approximately 60% of game architecture has its real prototypes in Chernobyl zone) we made two field trips to the Exclusion zone. We felt the need to get a real feel of the atmosphere of dismay and despair that ushered the forlorn cities, feel of insane solitude and doom, and even fear that makes people do wild things. In other words we tried to experience a little bit of real stalker's life, that explore the zone in search for artifacts. Artifacts are in great demand by dealers and scientists ready to pay well to get them. The player joins this world as a newbie stalker making his first steps towards exploring the Zone, its dangerous and altering world, eventually trying to solve it's secret and fathom the powers behind it.