Hi everyone, blog-writer has been drenched in the vomit of children tonight so it’ll be short with occasional sweetness. (Even if the actual smell of the blog-writer is quite sour.)
Item 1: We’re going to have weekly streams of the internal test build up until the public IWBUMS beta release. Last week’s with Mark.exe went really well, and was also super valuable in terms of all the team being present together to watch out for bugs and frailties.
(Because of the usefulness of seeing the game played for an extended period for us, they’ll only be English language streams we’re afraid).
This week, then, it’s the turn of Cromulent Archer.
The Cromulent Archer will be streaming tomorrow (Friday) at 6pm Eastern US time – which equates to 10pm GMT, and 11pm BST. More international timings here. The vid will then also be hosted at his home on the YouTubes.
So what will have changed from last Thursday’s Mark.exe stream? Read on, MacDuff…
Overall the stream went very well, with almost every comment we’ve seen being positive about the longer look at the animation build: unedited and unfiltered. Something we were anxious about!
Viewers got to see Mark limp around in a panic after a thigh injury, get eaten multiple times while reading his chat, dress up like your dad, sport a Spiffo backpack, and nearly but not quite wear a dress.
The stream was, however, hit by a few gremlins: some graphical resolution bugs, errant zombie behaviour giving him a much easier time than he ought to have had, and a crash due to a vehicle bug that we’re still in the process of ironing out.
Mark, in fact, had to turn vehicles off for the remainder of his playthrough – and it’s likely Crom will have to do similar tomorrow. However, the flow and steadiness of the gameplay encouraged us that beyond technical gremlins like these it’s getting closer and closer to being ready for the wider IWBUMS audience.
As well as looking into said gremlins, then, we’ve also spent the week improving zombie grouping and attraction rates (rural surviving was just too easy for Mark, despite the tougher multi-zed combat) – while EP is also doing some exciting work with general pathfinding, although this will be a big change and as such might not be something that’s part of the IWBUMS beta on first release.
Zac, meanwhile, has been spending more time on his optimization efforts, his AnimZed performance tracker and horde-handling – which is all part of our ongoing effort to bolster the new build’s playability on lower-end systems.
Not a biggie, but still one that’ll have an impact – but we’ve added an optional isometric cursor when aiming, that will allow new players (or those who struggle with estimating the direction of facing from the mouse cursor when aiming) to see in isometric space where their mouse cursor is situated in relation to the ground plane of the character
Since characters do not automatically turn as much now to engage zombies, having an accurate idea of the character’s facing is more important than ever, and we’ve tried to make something as unobtrusive as possible.
Sadly due to what seems to be an LWJGL 2 bug we’re unable to turn the mouse cursor off when the cursor is visible, but it still looks pretty neat. As you may notice, we’ve also got the custom cursor system working so we’re finally free of the ‘default windows cursor’ lack of polish we’ve had on display for a long time. The shown cursor is not final however, and we are working on a more zomboid appropriate one as we speak.
MEANWHILE IN ART LAND
There has been a changing of the guard in terms of map creation. The remainder of the work on our version of Louisville will be undertaken by Binky and RingoD (who initially landscaped the overall ‘ground map’ of the area) – in order to free up Mash to improve the look, feel and general feeling of variety of the game in general.
For example, her first mission is to add overlays thanks to EP’s addition of an overlay system to TileZed. So, for example, at the momen tshe’s adding numerous overlays to help make walls and floors look more natural and less tile-y.
Cracks and worn away mortar around bricks, peeling off wallpaper, and other details will appear throughout the entire map, and with Mash’s 100% focus on art instead of having to divide her time between that, buildings and assembling and dressing the map, she’s hoping to improve the visual detail of the Zomboid game world dramatically.
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!