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Pump it up

February 8, 2018

Greetings all. We released public beta Vehicle Build 35 last Friday, the top-line of which was the introduction of two new cars – the jeep-esque Dash Ranger and the more luxurious Mercia Lang 400. Build 35 also introduced better vehicle variety/colour spawns, better interaction with the new car overlays on the Mechanic skill UI, better gamepad control and lots of balance/polish. If you want to help out with MP testing then the Spiffospace server is a good place to hang out.

35.3 also introduced Bitbaboon Steve’s new engine/exhaust sound system, which means that driving around is now far less of an irritant on the ears. Please note, however, that currently the truck engine noises are placed on all vehicles.

Now we have the engine noise system in-game it’s easy to get new variants in-game, but sourcing the relevant sounds to feed into it is a little trickier – not least due to our isometric perspective (away from the internal noises of the engine itself) and the fact that we feature ‘normal’ cars rather than the performance vehicles that are in so many other games. We have a few irons in the fire with this, however, and should have more fitting sounds for standard cars in the next few builds.

Here’s a quick video of what’s ‘latest’ in the build right now – alongside the tire pump that’ll be going into Build 36. [The new car’s hood/bonnet might still be a little pinched, we will likely improve on this.]

Something else that came up after the release of Build 35 was the decision to hold back a lot of our work on the item sync optimization until a later version – as it was clear that the gremlins it was going to keep on throwing up were now in danger of delaying a public Vehicles release. As such this has been reverted to the system we have in the current public build, which came at the cost of the reintroduction of several MP sync bugs – half of which have now been hotfixed, with more to follow when we release Vehicles beta 36 in the coming days.

Vehicles beta 36 will largely comprise of polish and bug fixes destined to make our community testers life a little better – with issues addressing safehouses, damaged vehicle textures, Muffler degradation, aforementioned residual sync oddities, odd night-time lighting on vehicles and various other stuff.

Under the hood, meanwhile, it also comes with a networking optimization that should help on chunk-loading when you’re driving at speed – that of compressing info on identical items are now compressed to a single item. So, especially on a modded server, your connection will take less of a beating when it’s being informed of the thousands of lovingly stored nails in containers up ahead. It should hopefully speed things up, and also make for less sync bugs appearing in general. Connall, meanwhile, will hopefully have finished zoning the new parts of Mash’s map for the build next week.

In team news, meanwhile, the PZ workforce (when taking into account our friends at General Arcade currently working on vehicles and new chat functions, and the guys at BitBaboon working on optimization and the new animation system) has doubled in the past year – and it was clear that we needed a few more production people backstage to suit this.

As such we’d like to welcome Sasha to the team – who’ll be working with Jake as a fresh layer of production and QA before our beta builds go live, and helping to filter out show-stoppers before they’re dropped onto our community testers. We’d also like to give a hearty ‘hello’ to General Arcade’s Konstantin to the ‘open task’ sheet – who will be working with Stas and Yuri in terms of QA on their various aspects of Zomboid work.

This week’s house of praise from ssjr66888. 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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