It's been a few weeks since the release of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., the anticipated FPSRPG—or Oblivion with guns, as some people have come to call it—set in the ruined lands of nuclear fallout. Things haven't been going so well for the title. After a roughfirst patch that created some issues for fans, rumors began to circulateabout the possibility of stolen assets being found in the game. Reportedly, certain graphical assets had been taken from Valve's Half-Life 2 and id Software's Doom 3. It didn't take long for some of the gaming press to run with it. However, it appears as though the assets in question are merely part of a generic texture pack sold by third-party asset creator Marlin Studios. The Inquirer has the scoop:
Thanks to reader Rob S. for pointing out that the water textures used by both Valve and GSC GameWorld, the makers of STALKER, come from a texture pack sold by Marlin Studios. The chaps at Marlin make all kinds of exciting textures, including 'Home & Office Furniture – High Detail, Low Price!' and 'Traffic – Low Poly Pretextured Vehicles, SUVs and trucks you can even animate!'
Valve has confirmed that it picked up some textures from Marlin for HL2, and separate sources have discovered that the IMP_Light texture that it was thought could have been pilfered from Doom 3 was, in fact, just a standard Impact Light texture, rather than referring to the Doom 3 monster.
The use of generic third-party assets is a common practice in many design firms, game or otherwise, so I'm frankly surprised that this is the first time that such an inquiry has been made—at least as far as I've witnessed. Regardless, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. has now been cleared of all controversy and can resume its normal duties as the current post-apocalyptic shooter/RPG hybrid of choice amongst PC gaming fans.