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Higher Fidelity

February 14, 2019

Hey all, another busy week in Build 41 development – so here’s a few of the different things that people are up to.

An area that was proving strange in terms of 41 development was that somewhere along the way some of the visual fidelity of characters had been lost – and simultaneously, somehow, models looked far more buff/hunky than intended. Feet, also, seemed a little on the large side. After a bit of a dig, this week we finally located a bug in the exported model data that explained it.

Due to this bug, the lighting of the characters was broken, which resulted in very washed out characters with little lighting shading – which in turn removed definition that made muscles look bulkier. This has now been fixed and will, after re-exporting all the clothing, allow us to achieve much better character model rendering and lighting than we’ve shown off previously during this recent leg of anim development.

With that said, this Before and After shot should still be taken as WIP. We have a lot of the definition back, but we’ve still not balanced the colouring, saturation, definition and lighting. We’re now in a far better position to polish though, and future Thursday screens and videos should look MUCH improved. This screenshot is taken with evening light.

Next up, a key aspect of PZ mapping is zoning – which we primarily use to mark up areas that are (for example) suitable for foraging and car spawns. Now however, with different clothing for zombies, we can flag which parts of the PZ map can spawn which particular zombie – or which group of particular zombies.

This, then, is how we can spawn only guards and orange jumpsuit-wearing prisoners in Rosewood prison.

(Please note the following screens still have slightly wonky colours and lighting)

Likewise, RJ has created a ‘wedding’ spawn zone over one of the churches on the map – which ensures that all zombies inside it, and outside for the selected area, have a very high chance of dressing in smart clothing, with a guaranteed bride, groom and church minister amongst them.

This system will allow us to have many and varied different pockets of particular zeds – police in police stations, military in military areas etc. Likewise, we will be examining the best methods to make sure that zeds in bathrobes or not wearing clothes are only found in homes and home bathrooms in particular.

(It should be noted that aspects of this will also involve a very slight rewrite of PZ lore in terms of the outbreak, but we had intended to return to the radio/TV broadcasts soon in any case).

RJ has been experimenting with this system while waiting for additional work on rotational anim movements and programmable anim-speed support in AnimZed from Zac and Turbo – but has also this week worked on knife attack animations, and tying survivors and zeds getting bloodied to them in-game.

This has also involved us adding some additional combat skills, and in the process removing the skill point system. From Build 41 onwards skills will automatically level up when you gain the XP requirements, as we felt the manual skill point system never worked particularly well and would do so even less with many more skills.

Elsewhere Mash has begun creating icons for new clothing and weapons, Will had begun setting naming conventions for them, and Connall has continued to implement new timed actions. Yuri is finishing off adapting his water/puddles into Zac’s revamped shader system, and starting to make plans for fire improvement. The other Zac meanwhile, Young Zach, continues to deliver new South-tinged music, and Xeonyx is currently chasing map bugs in his now complete Kingsmouth Island challenge map.  

We’ll try and get a gameplay video showing the improved lighting, blood and blade combat next week, have a good one until then!

This week’s home on the range from Old Gregg. Bailey’s. Mmm… creamy. Soft creamy beige. 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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