Tuesday, 26 November 2013


Well, here's what is definitely going to be my last update before I go back home to chill for 9 weeks- another atmosphere/touchy feely piece to get across the mood for one of NOVA ZONAs many Industrial areas scattered across the island.
Again, it is to show things like weather/forms/lighting/atmospherics and overall tone, and is not intended to be taken as a literal shot. Although, saying that, just doing these two pictures has given me a lot of ideas and is also helping keep me on the right track design wise- as it's so easy to go off on a tangent otherwise, so I might do some more of these further down the line.

Little details like the reflective dirty water puddles on the ground will be included (If ARMA 3 terrains allow it?) as they add so much to a scene. I know in films they will literally spray water puddles onto road surfaces etc before filming a shot, as it adds so much depth and contrast (Interest) to a shot before filming, so why not use that method here if the engine allows? ;)
Extensive piles of rubbish and debris, huge tall over bearing structures breaking up the skyline, electric pylon wiring and mist patches will all add up to create an atmosphere of dread and foreboding in the right weather conditions so I'll try my best to get those all in and working too.

Anyway, here's the shot- I hope you like it:

Worth mentioning is that I got a considerate PM from Ceh (Bohemia Interactive forums) who pointed out that my logo for NOVA ZONA is in effect incorrect..!
I think because the [I]"N"s[/I] are reversed it seems like Cyrillic, and so is an incorrect spelling unknown totally to me. He is suggesting numerous fixes/advice etc which is completely welcome but if anyone here is also in the know, PLEASE let me know how I could get around this issue, and if it's an issue that is too much of a mistake as to be unacceptable basically. Like saying North America is only 2 miles from Britain or something... but if it's still sort of acceptable, then I'm prepared to swallow it and go ahead with it how it is as I really like the look and feel of the logo- it's exactly what I was trying to achieve.
To my tiny English brain it looks and feels Russian..! ;)

The font has a reversed "N" by default so I took it as correct but it seems to give out the wrong message. :(
Either way, it's great to get this feedback and tell me where I'm going wrong (I have literally 1% understanding of Russian/Ukrainian/Cyrillic!) so I can begin to makes amends...

UPDATED: The NOVA ZONA logo is now correct. Ceh sent me some amazing advice about Cyrillic variations and I've applied what he suggested basically, so a big thanks to Ceh..! Wouldn't have happened without him.
I've left the main NOVA ZONA in large fonts untouched as I really like the look and it's more appealing to us "Westerners", but the Cyrillic spelling has been added underneath and just adds another layer to the Periodic Elements look.
A great compromise.

Thursday, 21 November 2013


Hi again,

I finally got that concept piece done- well, it's more of a mood/atmosphere piece really, as I wanted to get down in an image the kind of feeling I'm going for with NOVA ZONA.

I tried to capture it as the sun was starting to set, as that's more of an evocative time for a location like this- and it's also a bit more symbolic for the island in general as its time in the sun has long since past and now everything is in a state of decay and is slowly being claimed back by nature.
Hopefully you can tell by this image the kind of landscaping I'll be using. It will be varied and also extreme in some places in regards to the changes Anomalies have wrought upon their surroundings...

As this is in the ARMA 3 Engine, it will also be larger and more spaced out- when you go into a swamp area, you won't be able to see the other side- you will have to do a lot of walking to get back out again. I'll scatter little single structures around to break it up in general, but the overall feeling will be very remote, bleak and ravaged. 
I will be having clusters of towns and villages and the occasional Industrial or Experimental areas obviously but just wanted to get across that there will also be a lot of wilderness if you want to get away from it all and set up a camp fire. 

The statue is a reference to NOVA ZONAs hugely experimental past. Man is holding aloft an atom, but is now himself ruined and crumbling- destroyed by the very thing he holds above all else. You can see more evidence of this in the middle background- the ravaged radio telescope and huge array on the mountains edge...

Anyway, here's the full res one, I hope you like it:

Also, I took a little longer as I wanted to get down a logo for NOVA ZONA too.

I wanted it to be a little bit different and strange, and have some relevant information in it too somehow. I didn't want it to be another clone of the Stalker logo, fantastic as that is, as I wanted this to stand out by itself as something separate and new. 
After trying out a few ideas, I went down the route of trying to incorporate the "science/experimental" side of the islands history (As that's the sole reason it's in the state it is now..!), and came up with basing it on the Periodic Table Of The Elements. 
I've changed up the smaller element names and the figures for the atomic mass. 
The names are:


which are obvious references to the creation and state of the Zone itself. 
Also, the first three atomic mass figures each add up to 13. The last one, "101" is yet another reference, this time to George Orwells fantastic book, 1984 and the Room 101 where your worst nightmares are made real.

Speaking of 101, I plan on having the main Experimental area (Underground, if possible in ARMA 3) named "Laboratory 101" just so you know..!

Anyway, here's a larger version of the NOVA ZONA logo guys:

I have only 9 days left before I'm without my PC for 2 months, so will maybe do another concept/mood piece. If I do manage it (time is short!) then it will be more in line with what you're used to from the Stalker games.
It will be down on ground level in the midst of Industrial buildings, piping and overhead wires etc, and will also be darker with storm clouds and lightening etc...you know the kind of thing. 

As always, any suggestions or advice is most welcome, as the feedback is a great motivator..!

Take it easy,


Thursday, 14 November 2013


Hey up,
here's what is probably going to be the last WIP update before I go back to Blighty for 8 weeks and chill...
It's a burnt house structure, of which there'll be MANY variations. This one is mostly intact still, but bear in mind others will be just corner parts, supporting beams or even just the foundations left over etc... Variations again.
I wanted it to retani the look of a strcutre, and only "gut" it out to a certain extent- many others will be almost completely gutted and will offer no shelter or cover.

...No refuge from Blowouts...

Anyway, here's an exterior and an interior shot looking up:

I hope you like it.

Now, I'm going to probably do a concept piece to try to show the feeling/atmosphere I'm wanting to achieve with NOVA ZONA. Basically I've got 2 weeks before I've got no PC access for 2 months, so will just take my time with it, as there's no point starting another WIP at this stage...
Anyway, I look forwards to hearing any comments guys..!

Saturday, 2 November 2013


Hi all, 
sorry it's been awhile, but this one is quite large and extensive. Add to that the way I'm building all these structures is sort of modular in so far as it'll allow my to easily chop and change for those ever important variations so it all adds up to the process length.
I've really tried to keep this as generic as possible looking, as I'm going to be using it (And various layouts of it) a lot across NOVA ZONA- some will have one floor, other will be really low with a slightly raised roof section etc to add variety.

Again, I'm trying to get across a really strong form with these building- the silhouette is mostly key to do that and with this one I wanted it to almost read as a "church" or place of worship with its outline (Like NOVA ZONA's God was "Industry" or something equally as cheesey lol...) , hence the really tall peak to it which is staggered up by three floors. 
Entrance is gained through a small wooden door at the front, or through two large double doors at the back for vehicle access when it was functioning.
The first two floors are accessible by creaky wooden stairs, and the third floor is only reached by a rusty ladder up to a precarious wooden platform where you can snipe and scope to your hearts content.

The round green units inside are meant to be in the same aesthetic as the Stalker games, so I've tried to keep them functional looking but slightly otherworldly at the same time- like something you wouldn't really see in the real world. 
So you're not entirely sure what they were... 

The whole building is meant to be a sort of "Fermenting House" for some sort of grain or crop (Or is it..?), and that is the translation on the front.

That's the main difficulty with doing this island- I want to try to cover all the bases like Laboratories/Factories/Admin/Houses?Stalker made Structures etc, but in doing so will have to create "average" approximations of each class- I can't get too specific otherwise the pattern will be too recognisable each time you see the same building. 
I think this is a problem for Island dev in general, just part of the challenge..! You have to be really selective about what you choose to put in.

Things like populating the buildings with smaller objects will come later and will hopefully break up the repetition... fingers crossed..!

Here's two interior shots too:

Anyway guys, thanks for reading this and also thanks for the PMs I get too- it's really kind and helps keep me going with this..!