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July 19, 2018

Hey everyone! This week on Thursdoid:

We’ve just released a new test build into the weather branch, which contains many improvements to the new weather system, and in addition contains a whole slew of fixes and additions. However, we’ve had a few issues confined to only a couple of testers and think a couple of bugs have slipped into the mix that we’re having trouble tracking down or replicating reliably, and we’d love to get some wider testing done to try and figure out if this is a widespread issue or not.

So multiplayer feedback would be much appreciated! Details on the build can be found here, we’ll look to get you a complete change-list in the next day or so but this is a combination of various branches so general feedback on any issues would be very appreciated!

Multiplayer optimisation

Recently we’ve had a sharp uptick of streamers playing our game, and have been paying close attention to Klean‘s awesome Blacksite server (Long live Trader City) which has managed to amass 100 concurrent players on a couple of occasions–which while we were impressed it functioned at all, did start to fall down under the load. We’re hoping we can use our observations to improve the multiplayer syncing and server performance going forward.

One thing we’ve observed repeatedly in recent times is that it appears certain players seem to suffer worse with getting delayed or missing packets leading to much more extreme lag to other players. This doesn’t seem to be tied to ping, so we’re looking to investigate the lower level networking code to see if a problem could reside there that would cause some players to be starved of packets on busier servers – we’re currently looking to organize a large non-Steam multiplayer test with which to test if the Steam communication layer may be causing any additional interferance, after which we’ll hopefully be closer to nailing down these issues. We’ll post on the forums about such a test when it has been organized.

We’re also noticing some oddities with sound pop up here and there, seeing people not hearing other player’s guns, and a few reports of inaccurate ranges for different sounds, so feedback on this would be much appreciated!

Thermal Expansion

On the weather front, the test build in the weather branch has also had an update to the weather overhaul – the big focus of this build is to improve the game’s simulation of player body temperature, to more accurately model how a player will get hot or cold within the environment, with internal body temperature interacting with the character’s surrounding with various modifiers based on the character’s situation, dress and health. Extra elements are simulated such as sickness lowering resistance to cold, wind and rain reducing the player’s body temperature, as well as adding hyperthermia and hypothermia into the mix.

We’re aware we may have to provide more ways for the player to handle extreme heat or cold, such as more varied clothing – some of this will clearly need to wait until the animation build, so we’ll decide in a future test build whether we need to disable or reduce the more extreme temperature effects until these features or added.

If people are giving the new temperature system a try out, you can pull up some debug information to track the player’s body modifiers. This will hopefully show the depth of these systems!

Full details on the weather build can be found here, with instructions on how the new body temperature system works.

Shiny!

Yuri’s been improving the look of the vehicles, adding environment maps to make cars look much less matte and have the reflective shine one would expect.

We’ll probably have a lot of fun tying the reflective values into how clean a car is, and providing another weirdly in-depth mechanic to the vehicle system in Zomboid in future!

That’s it for this week.

Today’s somber goodbyes are from Rzeznik. 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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