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Faster Zombie Kill Kill

November 30, 2017

Plenty going on at the moment with the majority of the team cranking out optimization, fixes and vehicles stuff for Build 39, while in the background Mark and Martin continue work on Build 40+.

We released Vehicle Build 28 on Tuesday. This primarily brought in some heavy garbage collection optimization from TIS and our good friend Bitbaboon Steve – bringing the habitual round-up of data that Java enforces down to happening every 50 seconds when walking, instead of Vehicle Build 27’s stutter-inducing 1-2 seconds.

This ongoing performance hamperer is now lower than it has been in a long time – and has provided a good base to dripfeed our next optimizations into the vehicles build, which is very much the focus of this week’s work.

Right now we have ChrisW’s optimization that centres on not rendering hidden tiles (like the interiors of buildings) in closed testing, and probably due for release this week alongside general bug fixes. This optimization is specifically aimed at the slowdown that currently occurs when driving through areas like West Point that are building-heavy.

On our internal test system we’re getting an FPS jump from 16-20 when driving downtown, up to 30-40. When it’s released we’d also love to hear from community mappers who’ve created large structures, as it should also mean that buildings with 4+ storeys will now be less of an issue performance-wise.

Next up, in this step-by-step layering of our optimization work, will be BitBaboon Steve’s streaming upgrade. As discussed and displayed last week this should universally improve chunk-loading as you sprint/drive over the PZ map and, from the noises Steve has been making, this isn’t too far away from an internal test.

General Arcade’s Stas, meanwhile, has finished our upgrade to LWJGL 3 and is now fixing up gamepad and resolution bugs – which should also come with a few performance benefits once it’s integrated. Once this work is complete Stas will be looking at MP support, and specifically in the form of a better MP chat window.

In other general news:

  • Vehicle Build 28 added in a bunch of stuff for Mechanic skills in terms of vehicle maintenance and repair. The Mechanic profession starts with all repair/maintenance recipes, and skill books have now been added to the game for those without. More aspects of repair will also be added, mainly to do with individual elements that often go wrong under the hood in real world situations.
  • ChrisW has been rectifying a long-term issue for players who like to build. Up until now wooden floors (or indeed any floor surface with identical tiles) on two different levels can appear to merge together and you can’t see the edge. This has resulted in countless broken legs over the years. As such he has been adding some darkening to levels below the player so that the drop is obvious. As seen here before and after.
  • Turbo is tidying up his new fog and snow effects, setting up the best way to see them in a debug setting (as seen in the vid below) and working out the best way to integrate them into the PZ calendar/timeline. In general it seems that fog/mist can be a fairly year round affair in our chosen area – occurring just as much in summer as it does winter. The main difference being that the morning fog will burn off way quicker in the summer months. We’ll be trying to strike the right balance between ‘real’ and ‘good gameplay’ though, and would value your feedback here.

  • Are you a fan of ORMtnMan’s excellent ORGM gun mod? If so, please check out and support Fenris_Wolf’s work on ORGM Rechambered – a detailed continuation that comes with the blessing of the great ORMtnMan himself. Awesome stuff guys!

Today’s featured image from DaraganD. 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 dev blogs 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 hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too.

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