I'm looking to get into Stalker modding, but before I begin I have a few questions. 1) What are the major limitations? Can we make levels? New Weapons? Characters? What can we not do? 2) What improvements in moddability does CS have over SoC, if any? 3) If a SDK is released, will it only be for the multiplayer? 4) Where can I learn about the different modable components, as in what files and how to change basic characteristics. Thanks!
I will leave what I didn't answer up to a more experienced modder who can answer them. But I know this much. You can't make new levels. Although it should be possible to change or edit the ones that are there already. New characters are possible to a certain extend. If you were to make any new levels or characters, it's best usage would really only be for the intent of a total converation of the current story line. There is no SDK available for GSC's X-RAY engine, period. Most of the editing consists of changes to the games LTX & XML files, which can be edited with Notepad. They contain pretty much all the game's data in a text format. Textures for these games are in a DDS format. The 3D models are in a OGF format. I'll leave it at this for now. Again a more experienced modder can explain whatever I've left out.
Honestly...alot of people assume that there are limits on what you can mod in a game. The truth is that there aren't any limits. In theory you could add: - new weapons, armor, and gear - new characters - new quests - new dialogue - new music - new plot - new maps - new factions - new animations - new monsters And so on. The real obstacle is knowing how to do it, and having the imagination / patience to add it into the game. Is it worth it to you to spend 300 hours coding up a whole new STALKER adventure? There are practical limits on what the engine can handle in terms of animation & graphics - but within those confines you could theoretically do anything you can imagine.
Is there a site or guilde that would be a good starting point?
There's also the Stalker Wiki