S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Developers Answer Burning Questions About the Long-Awaited Sequel

The devs talk about what to expect from the game, how much of it is already done, and what the future hold for the series

A Russian YouTuber Vyacheslav Tsybuk, who is more known by the nickname Antishnaps reached out to developers from GSC Game World with a long list of questions about studio’ next game, the long-awaited S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2. Surprisingly enough, the studio agreed to answer most of his questions and while their answers remain pretty vague, there is still some new info about the upcoming game. We’ve gathered the most interesting facts from the interview.

You can check out the original video below, but beware — it’s fully in Russian:

On current state of the development process

Even though it’s been almost 10 years since S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat, the last game in the series, was released, the studio doesn’t hide that the sequel is still pretty far from being finished. Devs say that the decision to announce S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 so early was made because the team wants fans to be ‘’a bit happier’’. Of course, the pressure has increased greatly, but now developers can at least talk to their fans, ask about their ideas and get some feedback. GSC Game World also feels very confident about the project.

Developers won’t tell how much of the game is already finished, because “it’s not something to be measured in a percentage”, but it sounds like they are past the prototype stages and currently working on their best ideas. Devs also mention that right now the team is somewhat ahead of their deadlines.

GSC Game World states that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 team is the biggest one yet for the franchise, with the addition of some mod creators from previous titles. Who are those people exactly, they won’t reveal — for now.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 Developers Answer Burning Questions About the Long-Awaited Sequel-1
S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 key art is the only “look at the game” we have right now

On managing fans’ expectations

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is as much a cultural phenomenon as it is a game series, so when it comes to a sequel, the expectations are very, very high. Developers from GSC Game World are aware of that, but they are not frightened.

‘’It doesn’t scare us, but inspires. The team consists of series’ fans only and we develop something that we, ourselves, have dreamed of.’’

Obviously, it’s not possible to create something that will match all of the expectations, but developers are sure that they are making something to be proud of and there are only “the best of the best” in the team. They confidently classify S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 as an AAA-game.

On interacting with fans

For now, there is almost no concrete information about S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 besides the fact that it exists and will be released at some point in the future. However, devs decided to challenge fans with a very cryptic riddle involving numbers ‘’’’ and ‘’35’’. No one still knows for sure what that means, but GSC Game World has pointed out that it’s only the first part of the puzzle. When asked about this whole augmented-reality game with audience, developers agreed to give one more clue. They say that the next piece of a code is hidden somewhere in the game’s updated website — but ‘’’not exactly in a place where most people are trying to find it’’.

Instead of teasers, screenshots or even concept-arts S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 news so far look like that — just a cryptic number.

We can also expect to get some form of developers’ diaries in the near feature. Creators of S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 say that they want to show the entire process of the development and right now they are trying to get “enough materials” to not only deliver fans the game, but to show how it feels to make such an anticipated project.

And just in case you were wondering, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 won’t rely on a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter, the entire game is funded by GSC Game World alone. The team says that if you want to contribute, you can always buy studio’s previous games.

Something that was also made clear during the interview is the team’s position on rumors about the game — they just won’t ever comment on any of them. We’ll have to wait and see.

On pursuing the series’ legacy

Before S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was announced last year, there was a previous attempt to make a game back in 2010. That project never came to be and was canceled in 2012. The game that is in works today is something completely new and it uses ‘’all the best ideas’’ that GSC has.

There will be ‘’a lot of’’ innovations both in gameplay and graphical aspects. Developers listen closely to fans’ demands and countless emails with their suggestions. The inspiration also comes from previous games’ mods as they obviously represent audience’s desires.

Overall, GSC Game Worlds assures gamers that S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will be an organical combination of the series’ unique atmosphere, things that fans consider “canonical” and new ideas.

Developers’ strategy for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was made clear by team’s lead Sergiy Grygorovych: ‘’We won’t talk a lot, we make.’’

On future projects

GSC Game World is being extremely vague when asked about if S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 will come to current or next-gen consoles, or will they remake previous games in series — sounds like it’s something that the studio certainly considers.

They also talk about ‘’many plans to expand’’ their beloved franchises (the studio is also known for their strategy games series Cossacks), but for now, developers want to focus on making S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 the best game possible.

It’s not clear when we’ll get to see the game, not to mention when will it actually release. Since S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2 was announced in May 2018 all we’ve got is one official art and a sample of game’s soundtrack. It’s nice to know that the game is real, but for now, all we can do is wait and try to decipher devs’ cryptic messages.

Updated: check out the second part of the interview where the developers talk about the game’s features.