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News & Dev

Smash n’ Grab

September 19, 2016

Mondoid time everyone. We’ve got good progress going on the new map stuff, handy feedback being addressed on last week’s VOIP integration tests and should have community radio/TV content going into the test later this week – but here’s the more headliner items:


The public beta of Build 35 now has a pretty goliath changelist, and if you so choose you can get into the IWBUMS action using the info available here. Over the past week there have been three builds: 35.13, 35.14, 35.15 and 35.16 and they’ve covered a bunch of fantastic additions, smoothenings and ‘quality of life’ improvements. Many of these have been direct community suggestions, so if you’d like to add to the pile then you can do so in this handy thread. Here are some notable additions that’ve gone in over the past week:

  • The container or corpse that your character is currently looting now is now highlighted in orange, meaning that it’s now far easier to be sure you haven’t missed anything. This seems to be making the beta testers make happy noises. (Final colour choice still being debated).


  • Drainable items now reduce in weight according to how many times they’ve been used – so water bottles, bags of coal, gas cans etc. get appropriately lighter when they contain less and less. Drainable items can also now be consolidated into one so, for example, two half full gas cans can be now be consolidated into one that’s full and another that’s empty.
  • Composting is now in-game, providing a use for rotten food. A wooden compost bin can be built from the Carpentry menu, after which food placed inside will slowly turn into compost. You can then use a sack to retrieve it, and use it to fertilize your crops.


  • It was indicated that on MP servers it’d be good to have clearly identifiable crates for particular item storage, so you can now paint anything wooden in your chosen colours – as well as almost any interior walls, which was another request.
  • Leaving cooking pots, bowls, buckets or saucepans on the ground when it’s raining will result in them (slowly) filling with rainwater.
  • A new smoker trait has been added, which means smoking will reduce stress and increase your character’s happiness, but increase stress and unhappiness if he or she goes without smoking for an extended period. Non-smokers might also feel mild nausea if they have a puff or two.
  • Other stuff: UI panel tutorial info added, fatigue/boredom/unhappiness tweaks, Health panel auto-uses inventory items and fire extinguishers added to loot table.
  • More other stuff: Park Ranger and Lumberjack move faster through trees, Generators are more drained the more objects they’re plugged into, mail boxes now spawn magazines and newspapers and zombie-damaged sheet rope sprites are now added.
  • More, more other stuff: Jars can now be found in packs of six to encourage players to pickle their food. XP balancing. Lots of bugs quietly smothered in their bug beds.


We’ve got plenty in and working, and doing so in awesome ways, but want to release something for testing once we’ve got the gaps that’ve popped up filled in. Now we’ve got slick animations any omissions, or stuff the game could get away with in its more basic form, stick out like a sore thumb.

Formerly we could just have it happen with no animation (have the character walk through the counter to open a window for example) and it’d be fine, now everything looks so good this sort of ‘visual smudge’ looks wrong and really stands out. Another example of this is making ‘looting while carrying a weapon’ look half sensible. We’re going to keep on filling in the gaps rather than throw it out into the mix of the current IWBUMS test, which is a pain but will be worth it in the end.

Once we’ve got the Incidentals out of the way (and, yes, that was an Alisha’s Attic reference) we can release and get motoring with the pipeline that leads to all of our other 1.0 features.

While we have this back and forth with Martin the Animator we’re also making sure that keyboard and mouse feel fun and responsive with the new system. You can’t turn on a dime with the new animations, so it can feel a little clunky when you’re indoors – so we’re also balancing that as we go along. Likewise we’re making sure that the shift between running and walking, and vice versa, feels nice and responsive.

More next week gang, thanks for dropping by.

This week’s zombie stick-up from Sergeant Giacomo in Steamsville . The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to 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 right here! The CBOIT is now also excited about our Discord chat too. Oh, and check out Nolan’s awesome Nocturnal Zombies mod. Nolan is cool.

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