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News & Dev

Court Short

October 17, 2016

Hey survivor people. A quick note before we start things off:

We’re aware the wait for the new animation system is frustrating, and it’s also frustrating for us to feel like we’re inches away from kicking them out of the door – only for unforeseen tasks to stretch out beneath our feet and further elongate your already elongated wait.

We don’t want it to sound like an excuse (as we clearly feel that you should have been slapping police zombies with spiked rifles long before now – and as a side-product seen where the new system will take us with our other 1.0 features) but we when we think about it every ‘big’ change in PZ has felt a bit like this. The initial release of the 0.1.5d demo, the long ‘Winter of No-Content’ before the 0.2.0 build and indeed the advent of MP. They have always been necessary and impactful, but they’ve also always strained patience and resulted in ‘trust us, we’re on it’ style blogs like this one.

These days matters are cushioned (to an extent) by us having a wider team: ace and plentiful community request work from RJ can go into Build 35, General Arcade can deliver a steady stream of VOIP builds as we approach its integration, Mash can industriously fill in new areas of the map. The final descent of the anims may feel frustrating, but at least it’s evident that other cogs in the machine continue to whirr.

The peril of devs working in an open window though, and reporting on hopes, problems and progress on the game features we feel will be in our upcoming builds is more than apparent here – likewise the pressure of reporting dev stuff to you on a weekly basis when there are hype trains, roadblocks and necessary diversions to contend with on the journey. We’re far from perfect in this respect, but we hope you appreciate this mentality rather than some of the alternatives. You don’t have to look far online to see what other approaches (or a blanket silence) can bring.

As such, we do apologise for the anims/combat/clothing/backpacks wait and dearly wish it were not so – but we know that ultimately it’s good for Zomboid, good for all the big-name features that people want to play with and ultimately good for players. It’s just a pain in the bum for everyone and their dog in the mean-time.

So, with all this in mind… on to Mondoid!

ANIMS

We’re in the guts of combat at the moment – tying in a bunch of mechanics that had to be disconnected from the previous set-up and transferring them across to the new animation system.

The new animation approach essentially replaces the state machine that the game has used since the very first version of PZ for a whole bunch of character actions. There are two separate systems, one of which has fresh animation states that blend into each other in the upcoming, newfangled, modern and more powerful way.

However, there’s also a whole bunch of code still relying on code that says stuff like: ‘Check if the player is in the last frame of this 2D animation! Switch to this new state! Add some XP defined by what this crazy survivor is up to!’. Sure, as you’ve seen in our videos, the combat’s working – but beneath that there’s XP, damage from stats, world collision, MP, etc etc.

All this needs transplanting into our new events within our new state system. There’s a lot to get through, and it’s of a volume that’s greater than anticipated. But, with that said, we’re chugging our way through the pile.

MAP

Ooh, look at this intriguing new location…

courtroom

(Note: this is part of an area that’s not based directly on the real world map that we’re adding.)

BUILD 35 BETA

RJ is going to return to more universal gameplay areas for both SP and MP areas of the game next, but for now it seemed relevant and sensible to expand the new multiplayer server admin powers in Build 35 to people hosting smaller co-op servers too. To this end he’s just released Build 35.19, which IWBUMS public beta testers can gain access to here. If you’re a regular co-op host then we really, really could do with your feedback and bug reports.

RJ changes

In terms of VOIP: internal balance and tests continue. We’re currently widening the testing pool to include hosts and moderators from our various online communities to get extra feedback, after which IWBUMS will come a-calling.

This week’s amaze-o hideout from Mescalin. 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! Our Discord is now open for chat and hijinks too. If you want to see a general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming then we also have an updated PZ status page these days.