Happy Mondoid all. Here’s all the latest on all the stuff soon to come to PZ’s Kentucky heartlands.
NEW MAP STUFF
The two new map areas are pretty much done, and Mash is currently linking them up to the main map with some new roads. They’ll need a brief stay on an internal build for sanity checking, but afterwards will be packaged into one of RJ’s imminent-ish Build 35 IWBUMS beta releases. We want exploration-minded beta testers to discover them on their own terms, but here’s a clue.
(We should probably say that it isn’t Fort Knox, as that would presumably have a few of these!).
We had a quick chat about your/our frustration with anims not joining in with all the testing last week, and are still under the bonnet connecting gears and sprockets today.
At present the code PZ uses for the state machines (ie. what’s going on ‘right now!’ for characters – so a zombie could be in ‘bite state’, or a player could be in ‘swing state’) is being transplanted into the new animation state system.
We’re writing a hook system to allow the xml that defines the animations and states to call Java or lua functions that mimic the structure of the existing PZ state machine very closely. In this way it becomes far easier to transplant the masses of code found in the state system into a similar structure within the new version. We can remove all the code that relies on 2D animation frames (for example: ‘on the 12th frame of swing bat animation, connect the hit and apply damage and XP!’) and then we can take the appropriate chunks of code and transplant them fairly unchanged into the new status quo.
This will both minimize the amount of work in the process, and standardise the system for new gameplay additions and modding in the future.
A test of General Arcade’s latest VOIP build last week revealed a few problems in terms of players whose microphones weren’t being picked up – which further analysis has revealed is connected to the sampling rate of the capture device. Popular ranges like 48000Hz and 16000Hz weren’t working, but now the bug has been worked out our industrious Russian friends are beavering away on a fresh build that (fix dependent) should be ready for a wider test.
BUILD 35 IWBUMS BETA
RJ has been on a roll with MP improvements for long-suffering admins and hosts in the current public beta, and as such didn’t want to break his momentum. To this end the 35.20 release will have a vastly improved Safehouse system, and easier clan/group management that we’ll be calling Factions just because it sounds a bit more apocalyptic-y. Over to RJ:
“I’ve been talking to some of the people who run PZ servers to find out how we can make MP a better place for players. This has entailed a bunch of powerful new tools for Admin, and also new stuff for players themselves.”
“I’ve reworked the Safehouse system with a brand new UI. This will make a Safehouse owner’s life much more easy: you can quickly add people from a list, change Safehouse title, hand over ownership and players can now also remove themselves from the building’s list.”
“There’s also a new server option: ‘DisableSafehouseWhenPlayerConnected’. Basically, if set to ‘true’ by the admin, it’ll remove the safehouse’s anti-trepass and non-looting security if anyone tied to it is connected online, and also a little while after the last player of a safehouse disconnects to avoid ‘safety-quitting’. I’m playing around with the system to check for loopholes and hoping that this will encourage some cool faction wars, while also still keeping peoples’ loot safe when they’re not playing the game.”
“Something else going into 35.20, or maybe 35.21, is the ability to form a Faction and invite players to it. Once you have enough in your gang you can choose a tag, which will always be visible to your faction friends – but you can choose whether or not the strangers you meet can see it and identify your allegiance. Faction PvP will automatically mean that melee attacks won’t hurt your friends, but this can be turned off by players themselves should they want to put friends out of their misery – while firearms will always be deadly no matter what.”
“Something else that’ll be good for servers has also been added and tested too: a ‘No PvP Zone’ that Admins can drag out over the map. Players within this zone will be invulnerable to attack, but also won’t be able to attack – even with firearms. This also comes with a brand new UI that allows for quick deletion, changing the zone’s name and teleportation to other zones that have been created.”
This week’s pin-up player is the thunderstruck Thundahstuck. 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. A general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming can now be found here.