S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Weather Overhauled PART 1

This mod changes the complete weather system in the game. This is a brilliant mod and well worth the download. This is only PART 1...

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This mod changes the complete weather system in the game. This is a brilliant mod and well worth the download.

This is only PART 1, you must also download PART 2 which can be found here.

- new, sun-based lighting system which makes the game look much more like real-life - during the day the sun always gives at least some lighting, but the color, intensity of it and the way it transits form one setting to another is depended on the time, clouds, fog, angle etc.

- realistic sunsets and sunrises

- new weather settings for all outdoor game levels (clear weather for Pripyat, Yantar, Dark Valley etc)

- included StalkerSkies and S.H.A.R.P.E.R.v95

- effective rain periods, thunder-storms

- included thunder sounds by Darius6, also reconfigured thunderbolts to make them more random and effective

- completely re-done sun positioning / shadow settings - shadows are realistically long (check out the screens) and point to the proper direction. All this perfectly synchronized with time of day, geographical orientation (sun rises in the east and sets in the west) and visible sun position

- sun travel "emulated" with proper sky texture transition and sky texture color settings

- realistically dark, spooky but playable nights

- more detailed cycle, number of periods multiplied (there are more than 40 periods of the cycle, instead of vanilla 24) - a lot of 30 minutes and even 15 minutes periods (instead of commonly used 1h ones) to better reflect and control the subtle lighting weather changes

- cycle synchronized for Kiev, UK, 01.05.2012 (original idea by MrKlorox Badmagic and their DarkerNights mod, so credits for it go to them - I recalculated the timings and since my sunrises and sunsets are animated, they are perfectly synchronized to the minute)

- two optional versions - darker and brighter nights

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Readme
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S.W.O. (S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Weather Overhauled) v2.0
 
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CURRENT VERSION: 2.0 (updated)
 
LAST UPDATED: 29.01.2008
 
TESTED ON STALKER VER.: 1.0004, 1.0005 (all language versions)
 
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PEOPLE INVOLVED:

Trojanuch 		- author

Alex (aka Alexsoft) 	- 3d graphics advisory, BETA-testing
DC			- BETA-testing
Decane			- user.ltx advisory, BETA-testing
Gnomus			- BETA-testing

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FEATURES:
 
- new, sun-based lighting system which makes the game look much more like real-life - during the day the sun always gives at least some lighting, but the color, intensity of it and the way it transits form one setting to another is depended on the time, clouds, fog, angle etc.
 
- realistic sunsets and sunrises
 
- new weather settings for all outdoor game levels (clear weather for Pripyat, Yantar, Dark Valley etc)
 
- included StalkerSkies and S.H.A.R.P.E.R.v95
 
- effective rain periods, thunder-storms

- included thunder sounds by Darius6, also reconfigured thunderbolts to make them more random and effective
 
- completely re-done sun positioning / shadow settings - shadows are realistically long (check out the screens) and point to the proper direction. All this perfectly synchronized with time of day, geographical orientation (sun rises in the east and sets in the west) and visible sun position
 
- sun travel "emulated" with proper sky texture transition and sky texture color settings
 
- realistically dark, spooky but playable nights
 
- more detailed cycle, number of periods multiplied (there are more than 40 periods of the cycle, instead of vanilla 24) - a lot of 30 minutes and even 15 minutes periods (instead of commonly used 1h ones) to better reflect and control the subtle lighting weather changes
 
- cycle synchronized for Kiev, UK, 01.05.2012 (original idea by MrKlorox Badmagic and their DarkerNights mod, so credits for it go to them - I recalculated the timings and since my sunrises and sunsets are animated, they are perfectly synchronized to the minute)

- two optional versions - darker and brighter nights
 
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3RD PARTY ADDITIONS:
 
- integrated StalkerSkies (by Combragol) - SS textures mixed with the vanilla ones to create the best sky transitions and sun travel possible
 
- clear weather in yantar, dark valley, pripyat, stancia etc. - all of those use the same cycle as cordon, garbage etc. (original solution for this taken from Oblivion Lost Project by Kanyhalos)

- thunderbolt sounds (by Darius6)

- s.h.a.r.p.e.r texture pack (by nocturnal)
 
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CHANGELOG:

v1.1

- fixed the issues with near objects in fog being transparent
- fixed the issues with a lot of materials (like asphalt on roads) shining in sun
- fixed the issue of the cycle being not synchronized with the summer time change in Ukraine (thx to yellow_helicopter)

- some lighting settings tweaked and balanced
- some thunderbolt settings tweaked
- rain settings tweaked a lot
- fog settings completely revamped - I try to use to reproduce the air perspective effect (the objects become a little blue and desaturated in distance)

- added new thunderbolt sounds (by Darius6)
- added detail (textures\detail) textures from sharper v95 (by nocturnal)

- added two optional editions - darker and brighter nights

- updated readme

v2.0

- whole cycle redone from scratch - lighting have been toned, became more realistic
- redone the sun-rises and sunsets - they are less dynamic but more realistic
- attempt to fix all reported bugs - fog and material mostly

- changed shader support for vanilla (dropped float32 for a while)

- customized some of the sky textures (night one especially)
- edited or created of more than 25 light-boxes (#small textures)

- created 3 separate, custom user.ltx presets

- updated readme

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FUTURE PLANS:

- finishing the STATIC version (expect soon)

- adding the proper moon-flare and moonlight for nights (expect soon)

- customizing and adding the full set of day-time sun flares

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AUTHORS NOTE:
 
This mod started out as a little tweak to the weather cycle which was used in the Oblivion Lost mod. During my work on it I started to change more and more variables, replace the sky textures, create new periods and so on... At some point I decided to animate sunrises and sunsets. The effect is almost totally new cycle with almost everything customized in order to make the weather in STALKER the most realistic and eye-pleasing experience.
 
The feature which I am personally most proud of is the totally new lighting system - it is sun-based meaning that the only real source of light is the sun. As we all know the sun does not shine in the same way during the day - the light intensity, color, direction change dynamically as the sun makes it's voyage form east to west. Not to mention other factors such as clouds, fog, rain all those things have their role in the outcome of the light the sum gives. 
My aim was too reproduce this effect in the Stalker world, to make the sun light realistically transformed during the whole cycle. If think I managed to achieve this aim.
For example let's take the mid-day afternoon settings when the bright sun, without any obstacles shines above the STALKER world giving it warm, summer feeling. The color of it saturated yellow and the intensity of it makes bright surfaces to shine. After this the sun starts to collapse, the light becomes more and more orange too finally become blood red - when the day is finishing with an effective, dynamic sun-set.
Other example - the mornings - first, pale sings of the coming day are soon replaced by a warm, rose-colored beams of the rising sun and when it finally appears above the horizon - you are almost overwhelmed with the intensity of the light it gives. At the same time the morning fog starts to fade. The world has just received colors again. I think it's rewarding to survive the night and be able to witness this.
Also don't forget to check out the new rain and storm periods - there is the one session during the night and one during the day.

As for the 2.0 - it took me quite a while to wrap everything up for this update. One of the reasons for it is that I began to edit the sky boxes in Stalker. Sky boxes are all those #small textures that accompany all of the sky textures you use. I initially thought that it where the sky textures themselves where responsible for the lighting caused by the sky_color parameter (and also caused the blue shadow areas issue). It turned out that - likewise the "real" 3d graphics (ex. 3dsmax rendering) - the visible sky texture has nothing to do with the "sky" lighting. The "things" that are the source of this lighting are light boxes - sort of another sky-cubes but very blurred and in extremely low resolution (32x32) - their not visible and their only purpose is to cast the ambient light which outcome is depended on their saturation, brightness etc, 
It took me a long time to learn their mechanics, I had to solve a lot of issues - and finally managed to create proper, almost bug-less but still very much scene-enhancing versions of them.  

I hope you'll enjoy my mod and give me some feedback about it, so I can make the future versions even better. I also would like to thank all the ppl who tweaked the STALKER weather before me, I checked almost all the tweaks available before I embarked on creating my own. All of them had their role in inspiring me - and I would like to credit their authors for it. So please check the list of credits below.
 
At the end I would like to encourage you t post your comments, suggestions, observation - and generally feedback in the feedback thread - the link too which is in the bottom.
 
See you somewhere in the zone!
 
Pozdrawiam!
 
Trojanuch
 
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CREDITS:
 
- MrKlorox Badmagic authors of The Darker Nights - first Stalker weather tweak I can remember and I play this game form start
 
- Kanyhalos - OL custom weather and default cycle for all level integration
 
- Combragol - StalkerSkies creator
 
- Edomae - author of the great Realism Graphics Mod which inspired me and with which I spend many, many hours in the zone
 
- jjwalker - author of the mind-blowing Float32 shaders - must have for all FDL Stalker players!
 
- miraclefreak - author of the REAL ATMOSPHERE Patch for StalkerSkies

- all the ppl who gave me feedback on my mod after it's release - especially DC, Decane, emace, Gnomus, Groundhog, miraclefreak, silverpower and yellow_helicopter
 
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TECHNICAL NOTIFICATION:
 
- this mod should be compatible with any other mod that does not tweak the weather. 
 
- if the mod changes the weather cycle in Stalker, and you would like to use my settings instead, I think it is only a matter of replacing the weather_deafult.ltx and adding textures from my package to textures > sky. There are three exceptions of this that I can think of at the moment:
 
	* if you use any version of STAKERSkies - delete your entire texture > sky folder and replace it with the one from this package. My mod contains the stalkerskies textures but the files are renamed (they have the _ss ending) - this is because in my mod the SS textures work together with vanilla ones instead of replacing them.
 
	* if you use a mod that features chaotic weather (like ABC Inferno) - I don't know if it can be made compatible - didn't look in the matter so far
 
	* I remember there where some mods which changed the tempo of the game clock - sun-rise and sun-set animation required some neat synchronization to work fine - and I don't know if changing the tempo of game clock will not affect this.
 
- at the moment I don't know if this mod will slow the game down on weaker machines - for me it does not reduce FPS. Please choose the user.ltx preset according to your machine specs
 
- also since I changed the visibility and fog distance settings it can have some impact on AI detection behavior - I did not see this mod to cause any problems in this matter in vanilla and in few common mods (Redux, OLP) I tested it with, but - who knows
 
- mod is intended to be used with Full Dynamic Lighting but it should work fine with Objects Dynamic Lighting - some features such as dynamic sun shadow will not work but everything else will
 
- mod should work in Static Lighting - but I cannot guarantee the effects - Static edition coming up - so a little patience advised
 
- please, ALWAYS use on of the user.ltx presets enclosed with this mod, note that you will have to rebind your keys and re-set other in-game specific settings after replacing your user.ltx with one from the mod's package.

- PRESETS overview:

	* low-end - this one is based on "medium" in-game preset, the resolution is set to 1024, all settings set to give maximum performance
	* mid - medium setting, based on the in-game "high" preset, 1024 resolution
	* hi-end - this one is designed to give the best visual quality, the in-game preset is maximum and the resolution is 1280. I have an average of 50 FPS on 8800GTS 640 with this one

- you can customize the presets from the mod’s package - but avoid using the in-game preset switch (medium, high, maximum etc.).


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INSTALATION:

0. DELETE the float32 shaders ([gamedata] > [shaders] folder) prior to use this version of my mod
 
0.5 delete (move) the [gamedata] > [textures] > [sky folder] if you have it in your Stalker installation dir - do it also if you are updating form 1.1
 
1. copy the gamedata from the [S.W.O.v2.0] > [#base] folder to your main Stalker installation dir (after this you will have the darker nights edition - which is default) - overwrite everything if you are updating from 1.1

1.5 OPTIONAL: copy over the gamedata from the [#1_-_S.W.O.v1.1] > [#optionals] > [#brighter_nights] - to make the nights brighter (you can revert to the darker nights by using the gamedata from [#darker_nights] folder)
 
2. copy the included user.ltx of your choice from the [#2_-_[user.ltx]_presets] folder into [documents and settings] > [all users] > [documents] > [stalker-shoc]

3. OPTIONAL (S.W.O.v2.0_FULL only): copy over the gamedata from [#3_-_S.H.A.R.P.E.R-Textures_v.0.95_RECUT] to your main Stalker installation dir

NOTE:
 
if you did not install or use any mods previously - in the fsgame.ltx (main STALKER dir) change the first line into:
 
$game_data$ = true| true| $fs_root$|
 
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LINKS:

MAIN FEEDBACK THREADS:
 
[eng] http://www.gsc-game.com/index.php?t=community&s=forums&s_game_type=xr&thm_page=1&thm_id=12622&sec_id=16

[pl] http://forum.stalker.pl/viewtopic.php?t=1640
 
RELEASE THREADS:
 
http://www.gsc-game.com/index.php?t=community&s=forums&s_game_type=xr&thm_page=1&thm_id=12620&sec_id=17
 
http://board.oblivion-lost.de/showthread.php?p=165703#post165703

http://forum.stalker.pl/viewtopic.php?t=1640
 
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LEGAL:
 
For all cases of modifying, re-releasing, including etc. of this mod please 
contact me at: trojan158@poczta.fm
 
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created 29.01.2008 by trojanuch; trojan158@poczta.fm
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Trojanuch


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Registered 21st December 2007

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