Evenin’ all. Here’s the latest from the Knox Event.
CURRENT VEHICLES BETA
We have just released public vehicles build 39. It’s another fairly weighty changelist, but the highlight of it is that the many, varied and major FPS optimizations we discussed last week have arrived. We’d love to hear about any changes you notice in performance. Likewise, however, we will need to hear of any bugs this has introduced. We’ve eradicated most of the gremlins backstage (like checkerboard lighting updates, flickering UIs windows, invisible ground objects etc) but there may well be other curiosities that our in-house testers haven’t found. Please let us know in the build release thread.
Something we are aware of is that in this version there’s more work to do with the UI. We’ve made significant optimizations by sacrificing UI FPS for the sake of the FPS of the overall game, which is clearly of a greater priority. On top of this, some of the windows may appear more transparent than usual. We’ll look to improve smoothness and responsiveness in future builds, but we hope any additional bugs or annoyances will pale compared to the significant FPS improvements. Elsewhere in the vehicles beta, meanwhile:
- In preparation for the full release of the vehicles we’ve also added some tutorial windows that appear when new players first boot the game up. If there are any salient details we’ve missed here then please let us know! We’ve also made it so that vehicles are automatically enabled in all games, unless deselected in Sandbox options.
- For MP we have raised the speed limit we previously imposed when map loading was far more of an issue. The default is now an in-game 80mph, although this can now also be played around with in your Server Options.
- Car spawn zones have been added to the small settlement south of Riverside. Various unclear aspects of in-game text and UI icons have been improved. Car damage at low speeds has been nerfed. Radio transmission ranges have been increased to cater for the extended map.
- In terms of fixed bugs, there are a few, but the biggest irritations hopefully salved include: miniature MP vehicle sizes gone, reversed textures and backwards writing on some vehicles fixed and the much-reported self-duplicating cars on servers addressed. Likewise various background memory leaks and the like have been knocked out of the build, and your FPS no longer holds as much sway over your steering.
Beyond immediate bug fixing from community reports the coming week’s focus will be on wider player-built gates to let players store their vehicles more safely, addressing the teleportation issues that can occur when passengers sit in a lag-impacted vehicle and implementing the final sounds for our ‘normal’ and ‘small’ car types.
BUILDS BEYOND VEHICLES
While the majority of the team work on the vehicles build – Stas (chat upgrade), Mark (animations) and Turbo (fog, snow and new climate/weather system) continue to work away in the background.
Turbo tends to sit away from the main team (his speciality being over-arching systems that we can tie into the main game like his existing seasonal changes and radio systems) and he’s currently working on an improved dynamic weather system that he hopes will make his existing seasons feel more real, and give a greater sense of day-to-day variety.
This will also mean that different weather effects will move over the map in real-time. Here, for example, is a debug thunderstorm moving over the south of the current map – between March Ridge and West Point.
This all generated by a system of simulated cold and warm fronts of varying strengths. An in-game change from Warm to Cold, for example, will result in a day with rain in the morning getting heavier as the day goes on, with the possibility of a tropical storm in summer, or a blizzard in winter. The intensity of the rain, and thunder, meanwhile is all dependent on the simulated front strength.
When mixed in with the new fog that’ll see misty mornings slowly clearing in the sunshine this should give a far greater feeling of variety as each day passes. What’s more, as a part of this weather upgrade Turbo is also looking at improving our current use of shaders to increase the feeling of seasonal change in PZ – giving it a subtle yet tangible feeling of it being either a warm and vibrant day of summer, or a pale and hazy day in winter.
Alongside this Turbo intends to improve the SFX to reflect seasonal change better too – removing birdsong from winter, introducing snow crunch etc. When this ready, in the world beyond vehicles, we will also need to rebalance our farming system too in terms of the change in daily/seasonal rainfall – itself a fairly old system that could do with some TLC.
This week’s bannister-less deathtrap from актёрище. 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 here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Oh, and check out the findings of the latest great loot survey from ShylokVakarian. Fanks!