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Back in Bleak

January 4, 2018

Hey all, cogs and gears are back whirring after the Christmas and New Year break – so we thought we’d do a quick round-robin of the primary work being done at the moment for the Vehicles build, and the next public builds that follow it.

In terms of the vehicles build itself we just released a fix for the roof-rendering bug that had crept back into recent versions, and also some work from Yuri that will hopefully improve some of the MP sync issues that still remain.

We intend to release Vehicles 32 next week, which will primarily focus on balance and bugs – while Yuri is also looking at the sound issues in MP, trees losing collision at high speeds etc. (Once it’s clear that the more glaring MP issues have been knocked out the build then we’ll also be shifting the test build into the traditional IWBUMS beta slot.)

♦ Something that we haven’t mentioned previously is that since he finished his jwjgl3 work (stability/operational improvements due for integration after vehicles are out) we’ve had Stas from General Arcade working on an improved MP chat window. The basic aim will be to give players a more familiar, intuitive and functional chat experience that’s expected from modern games and… looks a lot nicer, and doesn’t get into trouble when it snows.

We intend to have optional tabs that are defined through Server Admin options for radios, safehouse, faction etc. and are also building on the existing (unreleased) General Arcade work on Discord implementation. It won’t be part of the vehicles build, but can be expected in the next one or two builds beyond it. Our thanks to Rathlord and EG for their help with the research and planning doc on this.

♦ Mash continues to work on fleshing out the map – and making the farmland, river banks and country tracks in the ‘loop’ north from Rosewood and up to Riverside, then over to West Point and back down round through Muldraugh feel more real and lived-in. If we encourage players outside of towns with the vehicles, then we’d like those exploring the spaces between our major hubs to find a little less scrubland on their travels.

♦ Bitbaboon Steve is back to do some more optimization work alongside us this week, while his colleague Mark down under is fixing up kinks in the unified animation build so that everything is in working order when the wider team’s primary focus turns away from vehicles. His immediate task is the one from the vid we showed in the blog before Christmas – that of a math issue from the model import changes that’s made cars invisible.

He has a unified math wrapper to put around the whole shebang now, after which the focus will turn to getting the AnimZed tools to Animator Martin and the wider team and then checking through all the data to make sure it looks right when played out in-game. All the while he’ll also be taking note of performance issues as/when they appear and the best way for the game to handle them.

♦ Also as mentioned before Christmas: optimization of zombie cognition, path finding and path following will be our next focus as we seek to reduce the impact of the widened net of zombie attraction that our noisy/speedy vehicles now provide.

With this in mind, at the same time as Yuri considering a new ‘walkaroundbuilding’ state mentioned before Xmas, EasyPickins is also experimenting with a new general pathfinding library that uses a navigation mesh to find paths that could save on memory and optimize the current set-up significantly.

♦ In more general news that doesn’t befit an entire bullet point on its own: Turbo is working towards getting his fog/snow into an upcoming vehicles build, Connall is working on a way to allow modders to easily add settings for their mods in the Options menu and ChrisW is looking into visual issues on tiles where players are building/destroying stuff.

Today’s Spiffo parking lot escape from Hellaries. 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. And check out Willm93’s ‘How to live forever without being undead’ guide if you fancy a few PZ tips, while you’re at it.

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