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H1PZ2

January 19, 2015

This Mondoid and next we will be asking members of the Zomboid development team to the front of the class to give a presentation. It will then be graded for clarity and content, which WILL be a proportion of their final grade. Stop talking at the back please, we need to get through the housekeeping first…

Housekeeping

We need to confer with EasyPickins when Canada wakes up, but Build 30 feels pretty much done in terms of fixes. Once we’re sure he doesn’t have any fingers still meddling inside the engine we’ll slam its bonnet shut [American translation: ‘close the goddam hood’] and Desura can be updated.

In terms of Build 31 stuff, on top of the door locking mechanisms we discussed last week, we’ve been doing some heavy 30 playtesting with Twiggy over the weekend. From this, and some community suggestions, we’ll be working on a few tweaks for 31 over the start of this week. In short: padlocks, blood-cleaning, new zones for farming/trapping and some bug fixes.

There’ll be plenty more to come on the 31 front, but until then let’s listen to what the rest of the team have to say for themselves…

Presentation #1: RingoD

Hello! Apart from replying simply with the word ‘fine’ and an exclamation mark, how are you?

I’m hunky-dory thanks! Keeping warm with coffee in the cold of the north!

So what does this stage of PZ development find you doing?

I’m currently designing large sections of the map that will expand the world north up to our rendition of Louisville. This includes large, dense sections of suburbia, thick woodland with secluded neighbourhoods and everything in-between.

What does that involve?

I use Google maps as a visual tool to help me create the images used by WorldEd. This lets me recreate large sections of the road layouts and vegetation that are true to those found in the parts of Kentucky we’re focussing on. The vegetation is split into 9 different layers: from sand, to short grass to thick woodland. This lets us create quite detailed and accurate isometric representations of their real world counterparts.

What’s the next step in this particular part of the development adventure?

Next up will be completing the outskirts of Louisville along with the industrial district that will run north along the river into the city. Then Louisville itself, you can expect a heavily gridded city area with dirty back alleys and a very claustrophobic feel.

Is there anything audio-visual or picture-y you could supply me with that could make this mini-interview more beautiful? No matter how dull?

For fear of spoilers, here’s an obscured version of what I’ve got currently. Muldraugh is included to give you a sense of the scale of what’s coming up. Click for biggening!

Louisville-outskirts

Is there anything else you’ve got on the brew, or another task you’ll be moving onto?

I’m currently keeping my eye on all the brilliant, new map mods (New Denver, Vacation Island, Radcliff et al) being released on the forums. At some point in the near future, with the creators’ permissions, I’ll be looking to stitch together into one big community map mod along with Bedford Falls V3. I already have an idea on how I’ll incorporate this into the vanilla map (as a mod) without breaking the immersion of being in PZ’s version of Kentucky.

Thank you! Bye!

Cheers! I’m off for another coffee! Binky…!

Presentation #2: Mash

Hello! Apart from replying simply with the word ‘fine’ and an exclamation mark, how are you?

Fineamundo!

So what does this stage of PZ development find you doing?

I’m making houses to fill those large areas of suburbia that Ringo described above. *shakes fist at Ringo*

What does that involve?

Well, making houses! There should be a sense of more distinct neighbourhoods, where houses share similar looks, as you head into suburbia from more rural areas.

What’s the next step in this particular part of the development adventure?

MORE houses.

Is there anything audio-visual or picture-y you could supply me with that could make this mini-interview more beautiful? No matter how dull?

A HOUSE.

house

 

Is there anything else you’ve got on the brew, or another task you’ll be moving onto?

HOUSES EVERYWHERE. CAN ONLY SEE HOUSES. HELP.

Thank you! Bye!

*Weep*

Presentation #3: Lemmy

Hello! Apart from replying simply with the word ‘fine’ and an exclamation mark, how are you?

Fine?

So what does this stage of PZ development find you doing?

NPCs. At this moment I’m putting more work into the AI behaviour system. Basically the huge decision tree AI brain that controls NPCs movement.

What does that involve?

As mentioned a few weeks back I’ve ported the behaviour system to use a text script format to easily allow behaviours to be edited (and reloaded in-game for quick testing). I’m basically adding more and more behaviours to allow NPCs to be able to survive in different situations. Most recently, I’ve added a behaviour to change dirty bandages since this wasn’t a feature when the bandaging behaviour was developed.

Testing at the moment is literally running the game with the player controlled by the NPC brain, and seeing what survival times they can get. The ultimate aim is to get a decent survival time on the 8 Months After scenario to allow the NPCs to be proactive enough to get enough food and water, and have the zombie avoidance / diversion skill necessary to handle insane zombies.

Is there anything audio-visual or picture-y you could supply me with that could make this mini-interview more beautiful? No matter how dull?

This I guess? Not something most people would use, but this is how I debug the behaviours. You can break and step through them step by step, so modders will be able to use this to edit how NPCs behave, and to step through and debug their behaviour in-game. Click to make big!

npcs

Is there anything else you’ve got on the brew, or another task you’ll be moving onto?

I might be dropping into this from time to time whenever my brain needs a break from decision trees.

[PLEASE NOTE: In the following sneak peek taster vid, there’s no transition animations. These are anims that blend the bone positions between two anims over a second so final product will be way smoother, there are also some specific anims for bending and standing that aren’t in yet.]

Till next week!

Next week we’ll be listening to nervous, stuttering presentations made by the likes of Will, Turbo, Binky and Romain as they read from the back of a sheet of A4 covered in biro scribble.

In the mean-time, as a special treat, we’ll also be having a SHOCK Thursdoid blog this week when we have a quick chat with lovely New Denver creator Xeonyx about the epic creation of the latest community-created PZ barnstormer.

Fed up with internet browsers? Distressed by inputting web addresses? Why not experience that Mondoid thrill as a part of your daily email inbox routine? Sign up to the PZ newsletter so all future updates and blogs are sent direct! [Disclaimer: web-based email accounts will still require both browsers and address-input, unless it’s maybe in your favourites or something.]

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