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Community Watch

April 18, 2016

ANIMATION UPDATE

Nothing super interesting to talk about this week with the animation system, but plenty of progress. We’ve been doing a lot of work on fixing up various bugs with the new software skinning system (the system that allows for 3D models to work across much older hardware) that became apparent when trying to make the video for last week’s Mondoid and resulted in huge scary spikes of flesh petruding from players chests. We’re meeting up with Martin on Thursday to discuss what comes next for models or animation work for the update, or perhaps future ones (ideas are always welcome!), and Binky is progressing with the model texture and UV revamp that will bring in new opportunities for blood overlays, as well as to get the ladies back into the animation build of the game.

EASY CO-OP

We were planning on releasing a build of the co-op system alongside the Mondoid, however a few last minute fixes are still being pushed out, and as 11 o clock ticks around in the UK we thought we better get the Mondoid out there before the panic buying of canned food starts. It’s still possible it will make it out tonight, but if not you can otherwise expect it very soon, likely tomorrow. Keep a look out on the TIS forums for an announcement, as it will not be appearing on IWBUMS and will in fact be on an entirely new branch for testing purposes.

Big thanks to General Arcade for their tireless efforts bringing some clever networking tech to Zomboid, as well as to EasyPickins for his work on the in-game server settings and his work getting the new system ready to test out,. At the moment it’s only the Steam version using steam invites that we’re testing out. There are still a few changes in the pipe to make non-steam servers work comfortably, though we’re on the case and this will be in place before it goes into IWBUMS proper.

The new multiplayer uses UPnP to completely avoid any requirement for port forwarding. In addition the way maps are transmitted to clients has been changed, and we’re hoping it’ll be much more robust with less chance of the langolier style black border issues that strike some players. At the moment the current version in testing still has a few UI improvements required to make it completely newbie proof, but it should prove infinitely more straightforward for the technically challenged. The steps are as follows:

1) The ‘host’ simply starts a game using the HOST menu option, launches the server from within the game, creates their character and selects a spawn location.
2) Once in-game, the host can send invites to their friends via the ESCAPE menu INVITE FRIENDS menu, here all their steam friends who own PZ and are online will appear. Invite away!
3) Their friends will get the invite through a Steam message, and when they click on it, the game will launch and …

That’s it. It really is that simple! In fact, in lieu of the version being live for the Mondoid, we planned to provide a few screenshots until we realized the process is so simple there’s not really anything to show!

There is of course the potential for bugs with some people’s set ups, in which case please let us know your router and PC configuration and we’ll try and get them resolved as soon as possible. We hope this will bring multiplayer with small groups of friends to a lot of people who until now found the process daunting and confusing.

UPDATE: Here it is!

In a related topic we apologize for the random update people will be getting. This is the Visual Studio 2013 redistributable package the co-op system will require to function. Sadly we don’t have the option of switching this on for only the testing branch, so will undoubtedly get a few people excited about a main branch update.

NUTRITION FEEDBACK

We want feedback from people playing the current IWBUMS build (34.15) on the way they currently feel about the food system balance. We’re aware it needs some extra love before it’s released, and will only release stuff to the wider community when we’re happy – so knowing your relative happiness levels to the whole shebang is pretty vital. So please deposit thoughts here.
We want to know how its impacting on your survival, what you’re doing differently while you play and overall if it makes you happy/sad. If possible, please keep your suggestions as to ‘how’ it can be improved to other threads – it really is the ‘feeling’ of the game in this current iteration that we want to hear back about in this instance.

SLEEPS

Recently added to Build 34.15 is a server option that allows sleep during co-op MP , something that EP and the team felt important given the imminent easy co-op builds. When all players sleep the server clock speeds up until players wake themselves by aiming or moving. As we move on into other builds our non ‘BIG STUFF’ focus will be a lot more on polishing our older systems to gain more control and gameplay nuance – fire, moodles, boredom, building… that kinda thing. Sleep is also on the list, wanting to return to the scariness of waking up at unknown times from our earliest builds – and this is a step towards that. Similarly, EP has been experimenting with how we process rain in-game and seeing what other effects we could get from the system .
Unrelatedly, while we’re on EP stuff, wood stoves now work like fireplaces. They emit light, warm/dry the player, can be used for cooking, and don’t require electricity. Likewise barbecues, campfires and woodstoves can now warm/dry you.

FIND YOURSELF

We didn’t realize that quite an important feature for large construction projects wasn’t known about by some proportion of our playerbase. Upon reading mertsu’s quite humourous revelation on Reddit and a few people responding in shock at his findings, we thought we should give the community a reminder that while our game is hardcore permadeath, there is nothing to stop you creating a new character in your single player world, finding your old stomping ground, introducing your old dead self to your base-ball bat, and your new character claiming your previous self’s construction projects and loot as their own.

This week’s Featured Image from Max, with an RP shot taken from the Aggressive Gaming New Dawn Server. Amazing stuff guys! The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to point earnestly in the general direction of the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter here!

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