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Rules of Attraction

November 9, 2017

Vehicle Build 25 (aka 39.25) got a release yesterday. Added in Build 25 were the new Mechanic profession and related traits, random highway wreck collisions, Mechanic XP gains through car tinkering and a lot of general optimization in terms of UI, net code and traffic congestion spawns. Today RJ also released a hotfix to reduce zed attraction to car noise, tie engine sound to RPM rather than speed and remove collisions with small items.

It’s all shaping up quite nicely in terms of the general handling/feel of what we want – but also highlights that we need to get back on top of the performance and garbage collection issues that have crept back in over recent builds. So, next up, Yuri will be optimizing the java garbage collection to address the stutter that some people are reporting – while resident artist Mash is also hard at work creating ‘damaged’ sprites for some aspects of road furniture for the next coder task.

Right now static object collisions are improved in that you can’t drive through solid street furniture – which perhaps makes sense for street lights and concrete walls, but less so for household mail boxes and traffic cones. As such we’ve gone through the various things that players are likely to collide with while driving – and working out what should remain impervious, what should look damaged but remain impassable after a collision (as below with the unhappy post boxes) and what should be smashed/crushed when hit at speed (as below with the even more unhappy household mail boxes).

In this way driving will feel that little bit more realistic, and an extra feeling of lasting change to the map will also be added to your survival run.

Meanwhile, Mission: Optimization continues. As discussed last week ChrisW is playing around with what PZ draws – hiding all squares behind solid walls from the game’s rendering system, and thereby freeing up your processor. Our chosen FPS hot spot was the four level flats in March Ridge which pre-optimization was coming in at 26 fps on ChrisW’s system, but is now coming in at 41 fps on an internal test build– which is a significant improvement.

Next on the list for Chris, then, is in optimizing the code so that it also brings benefits to general play – ensuring that the new background calculations themselves don’t clog up any performance gains. Bitbaboon Steve, meanwhile, continues to spotlight other areas for improvement.

In other technical areas of the game, meanwhile, we’re happy to have beckoned General Arcade’s Stas back into the fold – who will initially be finishing off our java upgrade from lwjgl2 to lwjgl3. This will open up a bunch of necessary day-to-day improvements for the game – better support for different resolutions, dpi awareness, neater alt-tabbing and general smoother operation.

Finally, last night’s Community Megatest for the IWBUMS Build 38 patch had to be put back a bit due to various serverside issues we’re still trying to get to the bottom of. Keep an eye out on the forums for more information on when the test will be once we’ve gotten to the bottom of it. We’ll be handing out PZ Steam codes for family and friends to some of the people who help out, so please do pop along. Thanks!

Today’s featured image from Jodidosciervos of Steam parish. 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. Ooh and check out Texas956’s AWESOME TileZed buildings!

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