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Fine and Dandy

February 2, 2015

Welcome back to the second half of our ‘How’s it goin? U ok Hun?’ PZ dev round-up!

With Build 30 now complete the exact features of Build 31 are currently undergoing something of a crystallization process but, alongside what EP and Romain discuss below, the new skill/trait system discussed last week and the lock/unlock functions mentioned a while before that are definitely part of the bundle. [Internal testing of the former is currently underway, by the by, and there is balancing and bug-fixing a-go-go.]

Let’s not dawdle longer though, and instead delve too greedily and too deep into some other major features currently being fed into the Knox Event mainframe.

Presentation #4: Will (and Turbo, technically)

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

Unlike the others I’m actually going to answer this one with a full response, as was originally intended when I wrote the questions. So: ‘I’m fine, if a little tired due to my son’s recent level-up which granted him the ability to somersault out of his cot and faceplant the carpet’.

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

I’m currently working with TurboTuTone on PZ’s forthcoming radio and television broadcast system, and answering for us both in this Mondoid.

Our narrative posits that the Knox Event zone that players survive inside is, at first, surrounded by a military cordon for 5-7 days. As such people will be able to listen to the world fall apart around them at the start of their games. On top of this, we’re also building a system that will simultaneously allow for multiple frequencies to receive, military and emergency service frequencies, broadcasts triggered by in-game events and player-to-player radio communication in MP.

What does that involve?

Turbo has finished his first pass on WordZed, the utility that my multiple broadcasts are fed into and turned into something that PZ can absorb and understand. He’s now dabbling in his own dev code branch to work out the final presentation of the material, while also creating a radio script manager and working out the best ways to have the new systems interact.

Our plan is for four ‘chunks’ of broadcasts to be available for players to listen into every day over multiple channels/frequencies (current aim for timings: 0000-0600, 0600-1200, 1200-1800 and 1800-0000) and also for the system to allow for ‘live’ coverage of events that happens at particular time within it. This means that I’ve got to double the amount of existing radio/TV written content, but we feel that it will be more than worth it.

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

After building the WordZed utility, Turbo is now inside the code-proper and working out the best way to ferry my narrative around your PZ timeline and MP servers. Once this is done his next step will be to go back to WordZed to simplify the process a little, as he’s now making sure that the game itself will be able to deal with some of its complexities. At this point I’ll be able to start feeding lines into it, while Turbs jumps back into his dev branch to polish the delivery system.

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?

I’ll let Turbo takes this one, but please note that it’s extremely WIP – and Turbo’s PC doesn’t record stuff so good. [It’s also a television playing a radio script, but we’ll let that one slide.] Turbo! Show the nice people!

“The following vid is shot with a working in-game radio script manager, although the data is still hard-coded and isn’t reading from a WordZed file just yet.”

“What it demonstrates is the guaranteed delivery of scripted content, if the player is present and tuned in, while still flowing through one system and appearing to be live.”

“Here we have two broadcasts loaded into the scriptmanager, and for our convenience the TV is already on the correct channel. The first broadcast gets activated at 3PM and then, for our experiment, the second gets activated at 4PM.”

“When a broadcast gets activated it doesn’t always go instantly to air: instead the system keeps track of whether there are actually players near a valid device that is a) turned on and b) on the correct channel. If that’s the case then it will play, if not then it will hold onto the lines until the conditions are met later on, or until the timeline has it that the active broadcast is removed/replaced.”

“In this vid when the clock hits 3PM the player is near a TV, so the broadcast airs. Thereafter, I move the player away from the TV and let 1 hour and 10 minutes pass, so the second broadcast at 4PM gets activated. Upon returning to the TV the system detects there’s a broadcast in the queue and the player is allowed to hear it, so then airs the 4PM broadcast.”

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

Well, this is a big job so we’re not looking much further into the crystal ball right now – but clearly Turbo will be moving onto P2P radio comms, while I’m more than aware that at some point Lemmy will be appearing in a Skype window with another huge pile of NPC dialogue requests. I’m hoping to clear my plate radio-wise first though.

Presentation #5: EasyPickins

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?

I’ve been getting an old-old-old feature working again, namely players turning into zombies after they die. In future builds when a player (or player-character) dies they’ll drop whatever they’re holding in their hands (stuff in main inventory and backpacks will remain equipped) and leave a corpse on the ground. That corpse can be looted, burned, and picked up just like corpses always could BUT if the player died while infected then the corpse will rise again as a zombie some time later. I’ve also created a sandbox setting that will control the time your game will allow until reanimation.

What does that involve?

One part of it is getting said zombie’s appearance to match the dead player’s – which isn’t always 100% correct currently, due to there being no hairless zombies in the game. I also have to make sure we preserve reanimated-corpse zombies in the world across play-sessions, get the camera to follow a SP player’s reanimated corpse as it walks around and wrap my brain around getting it all to work in MP.

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

The adventure of seeing if it works properly!

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?

image[1]

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

Another feature I’m working on was brought up by one of our players. Since co-op came along, a saved game can potentially have multiple saved players in it. Although a specific co-op player can be chosen to play once in-game, there’s no way to choose the first character that loads up. As such, I’ve been adding a new dialog that lets users choose from all available players in a particular saved game.

Presentation #6: RJ

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

Pretty fine, yup! I did my first studio recording with my band last week, and it was amazing. I’ve also been having a lot of fun lately with Twiggy, Shannon, Dean and others in PZ MP – doing a lot of playtesting, which has been great fun.

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

Multiplayer stuff!

What does that involve?

Loads of things really. Padlocks and combination padlocks to help you secure your stuff, new admin commands, fresh sandbox concepts… and of course SP/MP bug fixes and some new zoning for farming and trapping.

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

I think that the ability to clean up blood is something I need to work on, as it’s something that’s frequently suggested by the community. We’ve also had a few people suggesting that grain farming to make flour.would be a cool addition – which could be fun too! Oh, and maybe water purification.

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?

bam

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

We’ve been talking a lot about what my personal “1.0 goal” should be, but it’s still a secret so far… that and the fact that there’s so many cool things I’d like to do and can’t quite decide!

Presentation #8: Binky

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

*sobs*

Er, okay. So what does this stage of PZ development find you doing?

Well, you heard from Paul two weeks ago. I’m working on the same stuff as him, which is basically all about the map expansion towards the city to the north. The basic process is: Paul creates the road and building layout, and does the first pass on the foliage. Then I assemble his cells into the main map file and do a pass over the ground and trees. I re-arrange some of the buildings as necessary, and connect it all up to the cells which I’m working on.

Paul’s help has been invaluable because, truth be told, I’m maaaaaybe a bit over-picky as far as this stuff goes. I tend to spend a bit too much time over-analysing tree placement if left entirely to my own devices. So having Paul blasting through the cells and me tidying things up after him, and adding in detail, works really well. It’s great in terms of both me being happy with the map, and also in getting it out of the door! It’s a flupping nightmare though, obv. *sobs*

What does that involve?

I’ve just told you, weren’t you listening? *sobs*

I was listening, it’s just that these are all pre-written questions. What’s the next step in this particular part of the development adventure?

Next up will be finally being able to give Mash a huge bunch of cells to start dropping her buildings into. This will be great on two counts.

Firstly, it’ll let her have a break from just making house after house after house after house and actually start laying them out. Secondly, it’ll mean that Skype can go ‘bloop’ and I won’t immediately get a sinking feeling in my gut – knowing that there’s an 85% chance the Skype message will be from Mash asking when in hell she’s going to get some more map cells off me. She’s a slave driver, that one. *sobs*

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?

No. *sobs*

Okay, shall I just put in Paul’s image from two weeks ago then?

*sobs*

Okay.

H1PZ2

We’re almost there now Andy. Just one more. Is there anything else you’ve got on the brew, or another task you’ll be moving onto?

After mappy stuff, I’ll be moving onto clothing and weapon objects because, well, blimey – it’s been forever since we’ve added any more of that stuff.

Sorry. Will get onto it pronto. *sobs*

Well done Andy. That was great. Thank you.

*sobs*

Today’s featured image from Steam user Weilard, who we very much hope is named after a dog who used to be in EastEnders. Want to feel loved every Monday, and whenever we release an update? Try signing up to the PZ newsletter! Don’t wait! Try it today!

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