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The Darkness

November 22, 2018

Hey everyone, lots to get through today soooo…


We’ve just patched Build 40, which is now up to version 40.36. Primary improvements you’ll notice are:

  • Local text chat now audible/legible from a distance, and no longer obscured.
  • Weather period frequency throughout the whole year increased, and more heavy weather.
  • Car alarms now attract zeds again.
  • Chat now logged on server (format will be improved later)
  • Less getting wet in inappropriate places

There’s a fair amount of other stuff too though, details on which can be found here on the forum.


One of the biggest problems with Build 40 on release was that the new time of day, and time of year, shaders didn’t play very nicely with the lighting system. Flashlights, internal lighting and vehicle headlights all suddenly look very washed out. Players who venture out in the dark weren’t having as much fun as usual.

As such, Turbo has been working on an improvement that we want to get into the current public version before he moves fully into Build 41. Vids of this can be seen below.

We hope you agree that it looks far, far better – and more than a little scarier to boot.

“In the above videos the ambient values have been changed along with the colours during dark periods (night/storms)” Turbo explains. “This fixes the headlights, flashlights etc and makes darkness look better in general.”

“Also seen below is some improved and indoor lighting during dark times. In the initial Build 40 release my shader overlay coloring messed it all up – so now the shader coloring is disabled when you’re indoors. This did come with the problem that when you’re looking outside you wouldn’t see darkness or weather effects, however, so I’m now using the mask cut-out I created for rain to overlay an external colored texture too.”

“Before we patch I will probably adjust storms a bit too though, as currently they lose a bit too much of their storm tint.”


We’re transitioning the PZ coders over to the work that TEA have done on animations for Build 41, but in the mean-time guys like Zac and Grant are continuing to improve tools and, in the case of Grant, do some optimization of the anims codebase.

“I’m doing a lot of work on the new clothing tech at the moment” explains Zac. “Using AnimZed wearable bags like backpacks are now visible on the character, and characters can equip custom clothing meshes on top of the base rig.”

“This allows outfits such as baggy jeans, coats, dresses, hoodies, jump-suits, and so on and parts of the base mesh can be now be masked out to prevent clipping and/or overdraw. When this gets to the modders then it’d be fairly simple to even do something like replace a character’s hand with a pirate’s hook or something.”

“It’s all customized for each clothing item, using the paper-doll UI inside the new ClothingItem Editor. There’s also random tints for more variety in the clothing too.”

(please note: on the spot turning animations are not in the build yet but will be before release!)


Regular Thursdoiders will know that Yuri is currently working on the improved appearance of water for Build 41. Below you’ll find what it looks like currently, but here’s a note on what to look out for:

  • A ripple effect has been added to the water, that will let players to see the direction and speed of the wind added to the game in Build 40 on the water’s surface.
  • The water shader now accepts data for flow direction and speed for each tile in the map, so rivers are now more realistic. In the video you can see how the water flows more slowly near the bank, and also how the flow of water smoothly changes its direction along the river.
  • Three water ‘visual quality’ options have been added. There is now a high and low quality option for both dynamic water and static water. Low quality dynamic water puts a very small load on the GPU, so it should be okay on most PCs.

You can also see Yuri playing around with the different debug values for this system here.


We’re currently running a beta for the work that Stas has recently been doing on gamepad controller improvements, and folk have been contributing some absolutely brilliant feedback.

If you enjoy playing PZ with a pad want to join in, and earn yourself a FREE PZ CODE, then simply visit this thread, install the controllers beta, play for a few hours and answer the ten questions we’ve provided.

This morning we released a new version of the Controllers build using your feedback, and Stas has quashed many of the bugs that were irking people. So now is a great time to join in.

Please note that currently only PC players can run the build, and also that the joypad back-end system, configuration and bindings have been completely rewritten from the ground up. In the process some aspects of the controls and default bindings have been changed in the rewriting process – if you have any issues with the default bindings and behaviours of the controls we’d like to hear about it.


A quick shout out for Xeonyx, the creator of the wonderful map mod New Denver – which has recently been renamed as Slocan Lake. Jamie is now making Challenge maps for the main game, the first of which will likely appear in Build 41 at this point, but wanted to bring his most famous mod creation up to date.

The new version of Slocan Lake now has vehicle spawns and lootable maps, and no longer covers up areas of the vanilla zomboid map. You can find it here.

“With the additions of the towns of Silverton and Rosebery,” explains Xeonyx, “I felt it necessary to change the name of the map mod to Slocan Lake BC to better reflect the region the map takes place in, and not just the first town that was completed.”

“Players can now choose to start in one of the three towns as opposed to just New Denver, and with vehicles being added it makes for easier travel between places. I’ve also added forage zones to let players to gather supplies, even when they’re kilometers deep in the bush.”

“Traveling players will find the map no longer covers parts of the vanilla map (Farmlands, Rosewood Prison etc) and has been pushed South. So if you find a road going South off the highway here, this will take you to New Denver.”

“I’ve also added lootable maps to the mod, so you have maps of Silverton, New Denver, Rosebery, Full Region Map and Golf Course Cards out there to find. I also added in the real world street names on the town maps for players wanting to better navigate, and clearly to underline how the map mod is a 1:1 scale recreation of the real life region where I live.”

This week’s pile-up from Maris. 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. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to all our American survivors!

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