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Blends n’ Shades

April 26, 2018

Evening all. Some good vehicles stuff today as they approach their public release, and info from the animation coalface.

BUILD 39 IWBUMS BETA

As stated last week, we’re in the final IWBUMS beta build(s) before we get vehicles out to public. This week we discovered an annoying map streaming hitch in MP (previously slightly obscured, but made more visible by last week’s improvements to chunk loading) so have this week been ironing it out – which hopefully means that today’s public IWBUMS beta play more smoothly. It has been released today as a part of Public IWBUMS Beta 39.52.

Also included in Build 39.52 are improvements to vehicle collisions with zeds. In essence there’s now a far higher chance of turning zombies into crawlers, and your speed is now tied to the amount of damage you do – and whether you’ll be rewarded with a blood splat.

Vehicles now also bump slightly when driving over corpses and, while there is a ‘boost’ bug associated with this that we need to deal with – illness on the team has meant we couldn’t fix this in time for the release today, but hopefully you can forgive the occasional car-catapult.

Elsewhere loot in cars has been brought in line with what you’d expect from the loot in nearby houses, fixes have been made to zed pathfinding, XP from broadcasts has been increased, the mass of car wrecks has been reduced and outdoor generator use has been enabled in all game modes by default. Full changelist here.

ANIMATIONS

As regulars will know, we have Mark from Bitbaboon working on our new animation system – and he’s using his knowledge from his lengthy experience as a Technical Director in the world of AAA game publishing to make the implementation of new animations (for both the PZ modding community, and PZ developers) as modular and intuitive as possible.

The primary dev and modding tool that facilitates this is called AnimZed, and this week Mark thought it would be fun to give you a video tour around some of its functions – while he continues to prepare AnimZed, and the PZ codebase, for the point post-vehicles at which we can all jump in.

There’s just one quick item of note: in the video when animation stances change in AnimZed they suddenly flick to their new position – this is because in demonstrating the tool the ‘blend time’ was left at 0 seconds meaning instant switch between one pose and another. In the game they would clearly be blended so they look smooth and natural.

(Oh, and our apologies for the robo-voice in the vid, but Mark thought it better than his own gruff Brummie accent.)

This vid gets quite technical, but hopefully explores and explains the breadth and scope of what we’re aiming for a little better than dry boring text.

WEATHER

Turbo’s weather system – a realistic representation of temperature, weather patterns, precipitation, fog, snow and ice melt has been taken for a few spins backstage in the recent week to spotlight the key areas that need fixing/improvement before it can be integrated into public test builds.

Tester feedback has been pretty positive, outlining especially that you can really feel the passage of the time of day a lot better now – and people also seem to like the way that a storm will gradually roll over a map in a way that it would in real life.

We are also treating this as a way of killing two birds with one stone, as up till now there are areas of the game where visibility has been a problem due to our current shaders – and as such Turbo has been experimenting with many and various time of day and seasonal settings.

His side mission being to get the right balance so PZ’s visuals don’t become over-saturated, and on the other side making sure the winter months aren’t *too* drab and dreary. Please note that the following are super WIP – some are a little too garish still, but do look quite good at the correct time of day.

For now however Turbo is concentrating on the system’s bugs – like the way, for example that fog disappears completely when you enter a building, making the area around the house visible.

OTHER STUFF

Elsewhere in PZ-land Stas is getting to grips with our improved gamepad functionality and set-up options, while long term Louisville construction continues, and Bitbaboon Steve is on hand to go deeper into the optimization of our MP game.

In terms of the Build 39 vehicles release then Blindcoder is also currently working on the update to the official online PZ map that’ll reveal/spoil every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse that’s new in the upcoming release.

This week’s trailer park massacre from Sergeant Giacomo. 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.

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