Hey everyone. Time for another update. A lot of ‘art man’ Andy’s work recently has been in tackling some of the large-scale and time-consuming art jobs that were lost last month, but need to be in the bag for future updates – including animation cycles and sprites that will introduce the fairer sex to Knox County. Seeing as these need clothing still (and heads, come to think of it) they won’t be part of the game for a while, so won’t get posted in a blog until they’re a fait-accompli.
What we can post up, however, are sneak-peeks of the grab-bag of new weapons and recipes that’ll go live with the next update. Prime amongst them is the ‘Hacksaw + Shotgun = Sawn-off Shotgun’ recipe pictured above. The idea behind this is that the sawn-off will provide a wider – if shorter range – shotgun blast and will be a great tool in fending off crowds of zombies as they flood into a room through a broken door. Clearly, however, we don’t want to give you an undue advantage and as such the sawn-off (seeing as you’ve cut half the barrel off) will degrade faster and make a louder noise.
As mentioned in the last blog, Chris has been knee-deep in the processes required to optimise the engine so it can cater for the added demands of fellow NPC survivors playing the same game you are. By increasing the potential framerate to 60 fps we can be sure that the game will run smoother on better machines, but this also means that we have to introduce some frame compensation to ensure that the game won’t slow to a crawl on lower spec systems.
PZ has, essentially, then been given an elastic frame-rate to suit the capabilities of the machines it’s played on. The main body of work this has produced has involved trekking through the code and rescaling everything that’s timed so it bends alongside the processes of the code – from zombie movement, to player animation to how quickly your character gets hungry, tired or scared. This is pretty much done now, and Chris has started to turn his attention towards NPC pathfinding and orders – the AI brainwaves that’ll tell your fellow survivors to move from place to place, forage for supplies and all that jazz.
Thanks again for your continuing patience. We’ll be back blogging at the end of the week with part two of StinkyTiger’s mod update – this time taking in some of the awesome map projects that’ve sprung up on the forums. Until then we advise you to back into the corner of the room, aim your shotgun at the door, shoot first and ask questions later. That’s the PZ way.