As mentioned in recent weeks, we’re now on clean-up duties before the release of Build 40 – which will then be patched with whatever’s necessary, before the animation branch being worked on by the guys over at TEA is fully merged into the main dev codebase for work on Build 41.
Last week, on IWBUMS beta 40.21, we put in the reflective windows skybox to better show season/day/night (and in prep for a future build’s reflective water), and also included Turbo’s more natural-looking snow, which can also be seen in the featured image above.
In the mean-time we’ve had several other test builds backstage, and are now putting out beta version 40.25. The full changelist can be found here, but the headlines are below.
- Weather patterns are now more random, generally shorter, less intense in terms of screen darkness and have more periods of clear sky.
- Cloud patterns seen on the ground have been updated, and have new textures – night has been improved.
- Ground snow accumulation has been improved and updated, also working better when snow is turned on with admin/debug tools.
- Weather periods can now also be fully modded, including a designated ‘modded’ stage which can be freely modified.
- Insulation properties of different clothing now more clearly shown in the UI.
- Spawns have been added for McCoy Logging and Fossoil vehicles, which weren’t appearing – alongside improved car spawns at gas stations in general.
- Fixed: various chatbox and admin issues, a longstanding MP issue in which loot was respawning way too soon, the weird tile visual effect with some zombie corpses, crowds of zombies launching cars like bottle rockets (!) and players sometimes being trapped in their car (and zombies getting confused) by Yuri’s invisible anti-clip forcefield.
We will be holding an IWBUMS Community Megatest tonight to see how many major irritations remain, and to gather info on the login issues that hampered the last Megatest – should the same problem arise.
If you would like to join in then keep an eye on the TIS forums. Free PZ codes for participants will be available (usual conditions apply) but please note that this isn’t a stress test so the required player number on the server might be limited.
It’s been a busy week for TEA preparing for the code merge of the animation build into the mainline development branch as soon as build 40 goes final. They have completed the vast majority of the tasks required for the handoff, at which point they will continue to work on bits of extra technology to make the main animation build development go smoother, and end up with better results, while the rest of the team beavers away converting the main branch’s character states to use their new fancy state system.
TEA have implemented all the character control and combat features that were present in the early animation build, but with the new elegant and fast to implement data driven state logic that will act as example for the rest of the team to use as a basis, as well as being a much more robust and bug free base than what existed before, so we’re hoping that while it certainly won’t be a quick task, with the entire team pushing toward it we’re hoping progress will be swift, and we can finally start showing more exciting videos on the Thursdoids with the confidence that they are finally around the corner. Animations represent a huge amount of work as well as a linchpin for the rest of the major features to be implemented into the game. Each build after and including animations (intermediary quick builds aside) on our roadmap to 1.0 and filling in those missing features everyone has been waiting for (yes, those). It’s going to be an exciting 2019!
After the hand off, TEA will be looking at some extra tech, such as animation retargetting, which will not only mean a much easier time for modders to implement their own animations and models by allowing animations to be adapted to slightly differing skeletons, but will also save poor Martin many many hours of reexporting hundreds of animations whenever we decide to add a bone to the skeleton (looking at you, backpacks!). In addition, they are going to look into finally getting the proper rotation blending working nicely, which has been a thorn in our side since day 1, and would if nailed allow for better turning and much more immersive turning animations. Though obviously it’s key that we retain the nice responsive character movement, so we’ll need to experiment with how to allow for animated turning without the character feeling sluggish to control.
This week’s snow scene from Taquitosito. 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.