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Runners Return

November 7, 2019

Hi all, here’s some details on our next patch for the current Build 41 IWBUMS beta – and some updates on what will follow.

41.19 Patch

We’ve currently got the next patch in internal testing, and making sure there aren’t any last minute gremlins. Over the course of the 41 IWBUMS beta process we still need to reintroduce and improve networking in MP, improve visual fidelity via our ‘zoom’ work, optimize zombie crowds, mix in our new fire visuals, fix up the tutorial, add in new zed decay skins, create a system for clothing repair and reintroduce optional sandbox sprinters.

And, as of 41.19, the first of these big ticket items will be back in-game. Get ready to run!

[If you want to! As before: runners are an optional sandbox thing!]

Other fixes and balance that will be in this patch include:

  • New SFX for lower impact car collisions
  • Hotbar improvements
  • Through-open-door zed visibility fix
  • Increased gun and ammo spawns
  • Loot balance and game mode loot balance
  • Controller fixes that will hopefully aid players who use gamepads
  • A fix to those weird moments your car duplicates
  • Smoothened fence vaulting
  • Fixed eating and drinking animations
  • Certain headwear now has a chance to fall when hit/attacked. Hats now rendered as 3D models in the world.

Barring gremlins appearing, which they often do, this patch is almost ready to go – but be warned that we rarely release on Fridays for fear of breakage. It shouldn’t be far off though.

Beyond

The next big ticket 41 items that’s likely to drop in an upcoming patch are the zoom and visual fidelity improvements that Zac’s currently on. It’s currently looking like this.

As a part of this work Zac has been doing some simultaneous performance optimization. This week has seen the renderer undergo some scrutiny. The rendering pipeline has been carefully dissected, and various instrumentation nodes have been added at various stages.

We can now toggle individual portions of the render on/off, and measure individual parts in isolation. Another aspect is GPU fill rate. We noticed that some graphics cards suffered more than others when certain shaders were enabled.

So a custom shader was added that shows the invisible pixels that are stealing our performance. The terrain renderer is also getting some attention to try to reduce the amount of transparent pixels emitted by the floor tiles, by cutting their mesh more aggressively to their individual shapes. This is cutting the fill-rate cost by about 40-50%, which is seeing a nice FPS boost, particularly on older GPU’s

Elsewhere Yuri is finishing up crash chasing and save system prodding, so he’ll be getting to work with the new fire visuals over the coming week  – while Turbo’s reintroduction of heat insulation and clothing systems will likely drop into the build over the next patch or two.

Finally: Connall would like community reports on how different community translations are being received in non-English languages. If you have any feedback on them, or have noticed any parts of the game that remain untranslated, please get in touch with him via the translations channel in the Discord – or on the TIS forums.

Thanks all! We’re all glad that Build 41 is still getting some positive buzz.

This week’s image from VunderFiz, who just noticed we’d used his image on Discord and seems genuinely delighted. 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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