Hey all. Here’s the current goings-on over in Zomboid Towers.
CURRENT VEHICLES BETA:
We’ve just released Vehicles Build 37 – and it’s got quite a long changelist given as a case of the judders held back last Thursday’s release. You can see the full version details, and find details on how to join the beta, in this thread.
Vehicles are easily the biggest technology upgrade that PZ has had since its inception – and Build 37 builds on work already complete by including the MP lag work we mentioned last week directed by our Technical Director friend BitBaboon Steve, but now also has had a lot of improvements to our map/chunk streaming both online and off, and a big change in how our game handle’s Java’s jolt-inducing ‘garbage collection’. To this end aspects of it remain fairly experimental, in that they work nicely behind closed doors but require wider testing – which is where you guys and your bug/performance/gameplay reports come in.
We’ve also made some changes to how the frame compensation is handled, and have fixed issues with the framerate smoothing which resulted in time slowing down during gameplay, which led to occasional uneven gameplay and treacley movement in a few recent builds. Instead the game may occasionally hitch for a frame, whereas before it might drag the framerate and game speed down for a second or more.
This far more mild hitch is something we can tackle later on, in general the smoothness of gameplay should more than make up for it. Beyond this other highlights of the build follow, some which we mentioned last week – others have been added to the version as the week goes on.
- Mash’s map expansion that fills in many of the gaps between our major towns and zombie troublespots – which will hopefully allow for vehicle exploration and more out-of-town hideaways and safehouses. [Here’s that map showing the general areas you’ll be able to find new stuff.]
- Item and bag loss bug tracked down and patched, that will come as a welcome relief to our testers. This comes alongside a multitude of fixes to the various vehicle parts, errors in the UI screens for the various new vehicles, issues that arose when a co-op friend was in your vehicle and switching seats or trying to sound the horn and bugs that arose when zeds attack your car.
- For testing and MP admin purposes – an admin can now spawn keys, gas and repair cars. [In a quick side community requested side-project Tim also allowed for day length in sandbox to allow all hours up to 24.]
- New switch-seat keybind (Z) to allow you to move around inside the car easier (and choose which door to exit from if there’s a horde pawing at your wing mirror), a ‘V’ keybind to hide/show the radial menu and other interface improvements/fixes.
- Increased spawn chances for tire pumps, barbed wire, sandbags and milk. XP tweaks for the Mechanic Skill. Nerfed tire pressure impact on speed. Fixed up interactions when you’re looting piles of crates – which previously could be a pita – and some player-requested improvements to the composting system. Lots of other tweaks and fixes,
Next week’s build should have some new vehicle sound effects – the new ones in Build 37 are better that what we have before. These will be alongside further optimizations to world streaming, tile-rendering and loaded vehicle textures that we already have in the can, but didn’t want to mix into an already change-heavy beta version. (We realise the code-y aspect of this news isn’t particularly sexy, but hope you’ll feel the difference when you play.)
Beyond this, the process is to knock off tasks from our internal management system (whether found by our intrepid QA twosome of Jake and Sasha, or transferred from community reports) to the point at which we want an influx of new testers from the move to IWBUMS, and beyond that the influx of a LOT of new testers from a public release.
We have the majority of the team working on finalising vehicles at the moment (specifically RJ, Yuri and EP) but in the background there’s clearly Bitbaboon Mark prepping anims for the team to switch over onto once the vehicles dust settles, alongside various other members of the team working on the framework of future map content.
Two other features currently in the oven for a build beyond vehicles, meanwhile are GA Stas working on his chat window – and Turbo’s revamped fog/snow weather progression that we hope to have new timelapse vids/details on next week.
This week’s endangered police vehicle from [TOD]malex97145. 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. In other news check out the new RP Season over on New Dawn. Fanks!