Hola gang. Here’s the latest slice of Monday.
Build 38 is fully baked, but requires two roof-rendering fixes to player-made bases from ChrisW who’s beavering away at them as we speak. We didn’t want to wreck the views of solo savegame and server player bases with a public release, and will be patching in further tweaks to the system (improved peeking, fairer window/zed visibility at NW corners etc) after release.
In the mean-time there’ll be a new public IWBUMS beta release tomorrow with other general/necessary pre-launch bug fixes from RJ and Connall.
With the current vehicles beta soon to transform into Build 39 this week we’ve had extra hands descend upon it. Yuri will continue to oversee physics issues, car shadows, visible damage and general vehicles performance – meanwhile Steve will be providing optimization support game-wide, and now RJ is in amongst it working on gameplay aspects like realistic vehicle spawning, the Mechanic skill, gas used during journeys and the like.
[In the meanwhile Turbo will continue to work on his devices code, work will begin on the next big map update and Bitbaboon Mark will continue to work with the PZ team with the new animations for integration into the build(s) that follow.]
In terms of Build 39 RJ has begun this work with Vehicle build 19 (directions on how to access here) in which he transferred aspects of Yuri’s work into the overall PZ zoning system, added Mash’s latest textures for burnt-out cars, balanced attributes of particular cars, restarted work on car keys and added various Sandbox options to let players tailor their vehicular PZ experience a little better.
Build 19 also introduced some of Yuri’s fixes to vehicles in co-op and MP, so that will hopefully make for a smoother ride online – with less disappearing cars and loot.
Over to RJ for a brief word on his automobile work:
“Up until Vehicles Build 19 properties like engine condition, maximum speed and how much gas a car had were purely dependent on where the vehicle spawned. So at the moment I’m giving each car some individuality, although spawn area still matters as a vehicle spawning in a beautiful neighbourhood won’t have the same condition as something found in a trailer park.”
“Also now in the vehicles build the amount of gas consumed by a car is no longer static – previously you lost a set amount per-tick, but now it depends on various things: stuff like the total mass of the car and your loot, engine quality and the speeds you’re travelling at. So gas usage will really depend on how you use the car.”
“I’ve also made sure that when driving on non-tarmac surfaces cars will be slowed – and ultimately damaged if you’re driving over bumpy wilderness.”
“In terms of car spawning zones – that should now be improved, although spawn numbers will likely still need balance. Not every zone is done but where I’ve done work then cars should be appearing in more accurate places, burnt out cars should be appearing in junk yards and trailer parks, and ‘special’ vehicles like the Spiffo’s truck should be parked outside the Spiffo’s restaurant. Still to come is work that’ll make the way that they’re parked look a bit more ‘natural’.”
“Until Build 38 is released and I need to get back onto bug fixes I’m also working on engine power, car keys and locked cars, and balancing general vehicle stats. We’re also finalizing the ‘Mechanic’ skill design doc, and should be getting the sign off from the rest of the team this week.”
Optimization is currently vital as the vehicle build is careering towards a wider audience. As such Bitbaboon Steve’s opti-mission continues – chalking up two more FPS salves that we’ll test out in the Vehicles Build (Build 39) towards the end of the week, and also spotlighting something funky deep in the PZ engine rendering system that’ll require further investigation.
To aid him in his quest we’re investigating an update from lwjgl2 to lwjgl3 – which is no simple task, but has been on the ‘must do’ tasklist for a fair while. We’re at a point with it that should help Steve a fair amount when he dives deep into the rendering code, but when it reaches its full fruition then this will hopefully make for general better running of PZ, remedied display issues and general headache easing.
- Connall’s work on the ‘small things that make a big difference’ suggestion list continues, with the integration of imperial measurements (pounds, miles, Fahrenheit etc) to make our American audience feel a little less like… they’re in a European zombie apocalypse.
- We’ve stolen Nasko, our community manager, away from his actual real world workplace for a month or two to work on revamping the PZ Wiki – so it’s more accessible and better structured for community efforts. If anyone has any thoughts, or maybe even would like to help him on his quest when details need to flood the system, then please give him a shout.
A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless Mondoids for info. 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 open for chat and hijinks too.