In keeping with the times, reincarnated S.T.A.L.K.E.R. dev Vostok Games will openly develop new game Survarium hand-in-hand with the community.
Survarium is a post-apocalyptic, free-to-play MMOFPS for PC that was announced last night.
"Stage by stage we will be actively involving the gaming community," said co-founder (I think - translation issues) Oleg Yarovsky in Vostok Games' first developer diary, posted below. "We will be communicating, posting regular updates."
"We intend to establish a very open dialogue," added project lead Ruslan Didenko, "up to the point of posting ideas we are considering so that fans can influence it, telling us what would be more interesting for them.
"We are making world-class game, and with your help, with your ideas and feedback, we really are going to deliver a product of extra class."
As mentioned last night, Survarium will be set in a world - not a single region as S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was - ravaged by an "ecological catastrophe". Creepy creeping vines!
"The S.T.A.L.K.E.R. game series always carried an ecological context and was a kind of warning game," explained Didenko.
"When S.T.A.L.K.E.R. originated, our heads were preoccupied with one anthropogenic catastrophe - the Chernobyl NPP accident. But since that time, there happened many others - oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the recent events at Fukushima. We really fear that sooner or later the Earth will give us all a good knock back."Ruslan Didenko, project lead, Survarium
"When S.T.A.L.K.E.R. originated, our heads were preoccupied with one anthropogenic catastrophe - the Chernobyl NPP accident. But since that time, there happened many others - oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the recent events at Fukushima. We really fear that sooner or later the Earth will give us all a good knock back.
"The idea started to float around and resounded in our heads to finally give birth to a new concept."
Lead designer Aleksey Sytianov added: "We are talking about a new world at the time of apocalypse, it's a post-Soviet environment, maybe wider.
"The topic of mankind who survive, but in totally new conditions, very dangerous ones where death is around, where there are mutants, factions, where there are some mysterious goals, where there is something like the Zone, explored by the well-known stalkers."
The video shows clips of buildings and characters being designed. It's a fleeting glimpse, to be sure. The talking heads are accompanied by menacing music and super-imposed silhouettes of giant spiders and the like.
Vostok, venture capital funded and comprised of 21 staff, was born out of the ashes of GSC Game World, which was shut in December 2011 without notice. The studio had been working on S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2.
Aleksey Sytianov said he thought it was "a joke" when GSC CEO Sergiy Grygorovych called the team in and announced the closure. "But it turns out everything really is for sure," he said. "As if a murder happened, this is something unbelievable."
A voice over introduction to the developer diary declared: "The team of developers [that] have worked on the same game for several years could not just surrender. They decided to unite and continue the development, no matter what.
"We have not yet said our final word in the post-apocalyptic genre."