Happy Thursday all, and a Maundy one too – if you’re partial to that sort of thing.
CURRENT VEHICLES BETA
We’ve just updated the Public Vehicle Beta to version 40, the details of which can be found here. It’s quite a long changelist as it’s two weeks of tweaks and bug fixes, but the headlines run as follows.
- We’ve made quite a few changes to speed up zombies when they respond to sound. This will hopefully reduce the amount of lag from zombies when they’re lured by car/siren noise, and indeed in general when a horde is on the move. The change under the bonnet is that sounds are heard on the game’s chunk system, so will there will be less iteration and tests made by each individual zed. We’ve also slightly lowered the frequency of long range car sound triggers to further ease this, without making too much of a dent on zombie attraction.
- Currently in Six Months Later it’s too hard to find a working car as batteries have generally died. As such we’ve now changed this to spawn some fully charged batteries, no matter your chosen difficulty or the time since the outbreak, to simulate a more recent use. We’ve also nerfed the impact of world age on the battery remaining delta to help with this.
- Since the introduction of vehicles it’s been an issue getting them into player-made bases. As such, RJ and Mash have conjured up a variety of gates to make your entrances/exits a little more dignified.
- Loot discovered in vehicles has been bugging out for a while now – so in Build 40 this has been fixed up and there should be a lot more varied in-car discoveries. We’ve also added a lot more varied ‘general crap’ in vehicles, and likewise a few extra ‘owner profession’ loot spawns – like construction worker, taxi driver, painter and decorator etc.
- After our recent bout of optimizations we’ve added a menu option to let people choose their own preferred framerate levels for UI vs. general game FPS, and upped the default UI setting too. We’ll use user feedback from this to determine the best default value in future versions.
- A big problem in MP has been that passengers got cruelly dumped by the roadside while the driver sped off ahead, and vehicles could get a bit ‘blinky’ too – an issue compounded by lag. General Arcade’s Yuri has been on the case and this should be improved. There’s still a slight issue with the passenger-view of the vehicle jumping around a bit, but on the whole it’s a lot more playable – and Yuri is looking to get it fixed up for next week’s version.
- There may be a few issues with cars visibly juddering at top speed and occasionally on gear changes in multiplayer. We’re looking into these issues and will resolve as soon as possible.
For next week’s build (which we intend to be moved into the traditional IWBUMS beta slot as long as public testing of Build 40 doesn’t throw up any clangers) in amongst many/varied other improvements and fixes, General Arcade’s Yuri has been working on a neat little system that will decrease the irritating occasions upon which the player character is super-imposed on the car it’s standing behind – essentially creating shifting ‘bounding boxes’ around vehicles that are separate from the physics one.
Also for next week’s version Uncle Bitbaboon Steve has done some work improving network connectivity in the fight against lag, and will be with us again tomorrow to implement the final sounds for normal and small cars.
Steve’s colleague Mark, meanwhile, has been plugging away at the animation system we intend to switch dev over to once Vehicles are out of the door – most of his work last week comprising of bringing it all up to date with the considerable amount of core engine adjustments brought about in our recent optimization push. General Arcade’s Stas, meanwhile, has provided a first iteration of his new MP chat update to check out, and is now doing the same ‘bringing up to date with optimizations’ task with our forthcoming lwgl3 upgrade.
Elsewhere Turbo has been working on the new weather system we hope to get into a post-vehicles build – details of which can be found here. He’s been on a lot of ‘under the hood’ aspects this week, but has also improved how general periods of weather work – setting them up so they can be easily changed and transition a lot better. His intent is so that periods of showers, heavy rainfall and thunder clouds generate in a more variable way, and don’t always have the same expected pattern.
Now that the new wilderness/farmland map expansion is out and players are finding cool stuff like the kiddie summer camp Mash is officially moving entirely onto a bigger, and much more urban, setting with our fictionalised version of Louisville – an area that won’t be as big as the real thing, but will still be really big (and plenty big enough) in existing PZ terms.
The broad layout is done (redesigned from what we’ve shown as hints previously) which was no mean feat in itself – and now begins the process of hand-crafting all the buildings and adding details. We’ve got a stash of interesting and previously unseen pre-made buildings to slot in though, and RingoD will be stepping in to help out with residential areas, but even with this it’ll be a long, long task to complete, and as such we won’t be talking about it much about it again until it nears completion.
This week’s featured rooftop party from Bromo BR. 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. Finally, those open to a spot of YouTube zombie parkour might be interested in a movie version Indiegogo. Cheers all!