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Maul Rats

January 18, 2018

Happy Thursday one and all.


Getting the Spiffospace Test Server up last week has proved really fruitful in terms of both showing us what’s not readily explicable to players about vehicles in the gameplay, and in terms of revealing the MP-related issues that vehicles dev is now turning a little more towards. If you want to help us out with the community bug hunt you can find the server in-game, and report findings here.

Overall vehicles seem to bring a fresh dynamic to the MP experience (should people choose to enable them) as you’re not stuck trying to try your friends on foot, or dependent on lucking out with a choice bag. It’s now a race for a working car to find the rare items and get out of town.

In terms of the community bug harvest, meanwhile, Spiffospace has revealed a seg fault in our PZBullet physics, and let us address most of the item sync issues. There’s still a bunch of stuff to fix up, and some lag to address, but Yuri and RJ’s work towards general server stability in Vehicle Builds 32 and 33 has certainly improved things over the week gone by.

Other issues addressed in these builds include XP changes (with more to come), physics collisions at highest speeds not registering, the erosion system’s saplings no longer causing damage, fire crashes fixed and the spammy game console getting a clear-out.

We’ve also just released 33.1, that sees Connall fiddling around with elements of loot spawn to boost appearances of some items in-game (antibiotics, canning apparatus etc), and RJ introducing some new RNG to give more reliable probability calculations and the like while crafting or dabbling in the Mechanics skill.

Aspects of the vehicles build also being worked on right now (omitting improved fog/snow as irl stuff might knock that into the next version, we’ll see) include:

  • Mash is finishing off her countryside map additions and ‘map gap filling’ work. These will generally be found south of Rosewood, the current wildlands between Rosewood and Riverside, along the banks of the Ohio river East and West of Riverside – and a smidge of land close to West Point. This should be handed over to Connall for zoning quite soon, at which point she can turn her attention to the different Mechanics Skill car overlay images for the various different car types we have.
  • As discussed last week Bitbaboon Steve has taken over on the new vehicle sounds due to his wealth of experience. When he’s done he’ll be looking into potential memory leaks and garbage collection issues that have been reported on the forums, and on the Spiffospace server.
  • Meanwhile: EP continues with his zombie navmesh experiments in terms of zed pathfinding and following that’s intended to reduce performance snarl-ups in high density undead areas.


Stas from General Arcade’s work on the new MP chat system continues – this week bringing his existing work that’s brought all the different methods of communications into something that works visually – also thinking about hearing range for whispers/shouts, the ability to ignore/block and making sure it’s all customisable for the different requirements of different servers.

In terms of the animations build, meanwhile, BitBaboon Mark has added in some extra debug info to the code to make both his life of bug-hunting easier, and that of Martin when he goes through to polish visuals. Each character in the world now has its anim state info visible – so it’s clear when things get stuck, and what on.

You can see a video of what this all looks like here.

Since this video was taken some of the major bugs have been worked out – the primary one being zeds who get stuck in a particular anim state having to have it beaten out of them, but there are also ‘slide-along the floor’ zombies for Mark to deal with and for some reason all zombies seem to appear curled up in a little ball when loaded from a savegame.

There’s still some debate as to whether we’ll have to adjust vehicle size too (a fresh image here) but we’ll leave that until everything has been tidied up a bit more – likewise whether or not we keep that t-shirt that has RJ’s face on it. That doesn’t really feel like it’s canon.

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. Fanks!

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