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News & Dev

Stages of Infection

August 3, 2015

Good afternoon Mondoiders, thanks for stopping by. We’ve got some fun and interesting nuggets of desperate survival today, so let’s crack on with it!

Steam MP Integration update

EasyPickins is currently plugging away at Uncle Gabe’s electrical plumbing, making sure that we hit the ground running when we release the final iteration of Build 32 with its Steam Integrated loveliness.

Most excitingly, he’s coded a function that allows servers to use Workshop mods and maps. This means that, when joining a server, players will be given the option to automatically install any required items before the client joins in the fun online. Or to disconnect if they’d rather not, of course. Work in Progress screenshot below!

ServerWorkshopItems WIP

EP has also built in the functionality to create and update Workshop items from inside the game, and also edit the change notes visible to any and all interested parties who are browsing the Steam mainframe. For all the above reasons he has been officially lauded as TIS hero of the week.

Narrative Planning and Game Modes

We’re at the stage of formatting all the radio and TV content that has been written for Turbo’s system [latest debug vid found here] that will serenade the opening week or two of people’s survival. All things being well, we’ll have the full script in and working this week, while radio sets are now in-game alongside the walkie-talkies we showed last Mondoid. At the time of writing Turbo is linking up the whole system to his ‘item moveables’ work. It feels like it’s all coming together.

Thing is, it also got us thinking…

While many players will enjoy listening to the infection taking hold while they swipe fresh food from well-stocked fridges, a large number of players clearly prefer to feel that society has entirely fallen. They favour the atmosphere of solitude, despair and total breakdown of apocalypses such as that of The Road, The Last of Us or The Walking Dead. As developers, we don’t want to start getting in the way of how you enjoy RP-ing our game.

Likewise when we introduce themes more in keeping with a ‘post-apocalyptic’ vibe – then murderous NPCs, survivor radio stations and all the empty silence in-between… well all that just doesn’t make much sense if we’re starting while there’s still a scared newscaster on the television telling people to keep calm and that help is on its way. Likewise, Bob smothering Kate with a pillow is even MORE harsh if it’s happening on Day Five.

As such we’re currently giving serious thought to having two entry points to an overall ‘Classic’ timeline – one at the start with the downfall of humanity chirruping through TV sets, and another six months later in the heart of Winter with rotten food, the electricity cut-off, more burnt out homes, more ransacked buildings, and more ‘Scenes o’Horror’. The hardcore Survival mode, meanwhile, would still be played from the start of the timeline, for as long as you are physically able. Indeed, for all people playing the full gamut there’d be plenty of cool stuff hidden at the harder-to-reach time periods of the overall PZ experience.

Coming at it this way also brings other advantages. For example, we’d likely have new preset difficulty levels that land between First Bite and Survival coming alongside the new framework – for those who don’t want to fiddle with deep and complex Sandbox options. [Although the internal debate on exactly how we’d present this is ongoing!]

Most importantly, however, this will provide structure and goalposts for all future creative content being dropped into the game. Key events in the timeline can be targeted at these key periods, more secretive and mysterious stuff can be put at a distance from them. It’s also a great way to repurpose older plans for Kate and Baldspot stories within the framework of what the game has become in their absence.

TLDR: Long-held plans are crystallizing at the moment, and it’s all very exciting.

SpiffoSpace Announcement

A belated mention of the fact that the SpiffoSpace servers have now been whitelisted, which is why you might have seen them drop from view on your Public Servers list. If interested to play on them, as you should as they’re great, you can enquire within.

The Prodigal Mathas Returns

It’s great to see YouTuber Mathas, amazingly enough the originator of the term ‘Mondoid’, back playing the game. Woo!

Thanks everyone! See you next week!

This week’s featured image is from Wolish over on Steam. You know what needs some love? The PZ Wiki can get lonely without regular factual input. Go on, won’t you be a sweetheart? Also, be at one with Mondoids, changelists and other big news with our email subscription service!

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