Ah hello, you catch us doing one of those ‘keeping the plates spinning’ Mondoids. Everything’s ticking along nicely, but unparalleled feelings of joy remain confined. Behold: development highlights.
Build 29 can super-soon be considered final – wrapped in a pretty pink bow, and adorned with a single rotten cherry etc. All we’re waiting on are a few logistical issues [ie. team members not available to be at their keyboards simultaneously on this fair Mondoid] to release its fourth hotfix on Steam. As such, we’re looking at tomorrow (Tuesday) – and from that should be in a position to update Desura later in the week. As we said on Twitter a few days ago, we apologise for the hold-up in all this.
The next build is the best we’ve done in a while, as we unveiled last week, with both the environmental degradation and seasonal change that come from the integration of TurboTuTone’s Erosion mod and our brand new Medical system. It’s currently fully playable (albeit with rough edges) but is obstinately sat outside our internal testing group while EP and RJ tinker with its innards. We’ll update you as we go on this one, but can at least tell you about an extra cool thing that’s a part of it.
New Sandbox Options
New features in your game’s front-end will allow you to change the amount of erosion [read: environmental degradation] that is present at the start of your doomed travels – although what you see above will soon be changed so that you’re customizing the start date of the game rather than essentially fiddling with an erosion slider. (Please also note that some terms used in this image are WIP.)
RJ has also been adding several new options to further customize sandbox, such as changing the speed that characters level up, and adjusting how quickly basic needs like hunger and thirst increase. This will allow for a lot more difficulty customization: playing with rapidly increasing hunger and rare loot will keep even the most seasoned Zomboid players on their toes.
On top of this, we’re also adding the option to save and load custom presets for sandbox options, to allow people to save their ideal setup, and even to share them with friends or online.
Ongoing map work
We generally like to keep map content under wraps for a while, but will let on that Mash has finished her as yet unrevealed ‘large structure’ that we consider at least on a par with the Mall in terms of coolness. It won’t be making an appearance just yet though, as we’re also introducing various other locations around the map including some denser residential districts than you’re currently used to.
It’s a big job, and still a way off – but we wanted to keep you in the loop on it all. Before Mash can start populating an area of the map with buildings and extra foliage, Andy [aka Binky, aka Captain Binky] must first provide the framework for her to build upon – and it’s this process they currently find themselves in, circling each other warily like caged beasts. Andy explains:
“As an overview, if you were to strip all the buildings and objects off the map what you’re left with is a bunch of general terrain tiles and natural structures like trees and shrub areas. So what we have is two extremely large images – one representing terrain type (water, mud, sand, various grass types, various concrete types) and one representing foliage (various trees, shrubs, and the overlay grasses etc). Each pixel in each image encodes that tile type (so either the terrain type, or the foliage object depending on the image). We paint those maps in conventional 2D image software, and then process the files to produce Zomboid compatible map files. Once that’s done, Mash can then add all the buildings, extra foliage, or tweak the stuff I generate.”
And it’s in this eternal dance of creation, that we will leave them until next time…
As ever work continues on the final big two before 1.0 – vehicles and NPCs, but there’s plenty of irons in the fire elsewhere too. The new FMOD sound system is nearing completion, Animator Martin’s animation work continues apace and as mentioned above the next map update is coming along nicely. Beyond that, writer Will’s TV and Radio work ticklist just keeps on growing as he fleshes it all out – recently adding some commercial-ridden entertainment TV channels alongside his roster of alternatives. Work on this will probably continue until Build 30 is in public testing, so it can be considered for inclusion in Build 31.
That’s all till next week! Keep an eye on our Twitter for any news that appears off the electronic presses!
Today’s main image from lovely LeoIvanov! Be sure to check the upcoming version post and subscribe to our newsletter to be sure you won’t miss anything! That’s it for now. Thanks so much for living and dying in our game! Love y’all.