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News & Dev
February 24, 2014

Drake-onian Measures

Hello hello! Blimey, it’s Monday already (where the heck do these days go, anyway?) which means it’s time to panic about not having written a Mondoid yet and then write one.

This week, as well as a few little updatey nuggets, we’re going to do what we’ve wanted to do for a while and shine the spotlight onto one half of our support team and Mac aficionado, Drake “I’ve not checked whether he has a nickname” Barron (follow him on Twitter @Rathlord)! Wooo!

We gave Mash interview duties so it’s quite likely there’ll be questions involving either guinea pigs or pancakes *checks transcript* it’s pancakes. That’s a spoiler.



Drake wearing a hat

Mash: So, “Drake Barron”: has anyone ever told you (besides me) that that sounds like a superhero name?
Drake: …

Mash: I mean their real identity.
Drake: It’s been brought to my attention a few times before; I’m not sure if my manner is mild enough to be called an alter ego, though!

Mash: Describe your thrilling back-story… in twenty words or less! GO!
Drake: Oh my! Well, I live in the U.S. (originally from the south, now hailing from the frigid state of Iowa) and I’ll be 23 tomorrow. I’m a massive hobbyist – I hunt, I mountain bike, I’m a gearhead*, I love (American) football, I’m the geekiest geek you know (World of Warcraft, Dungeons & Dragons, tinkering in programming, the whole nine yards!), and I write poetry and fiction in my free time. That’s me in a very quick nutshell!

* Editor’s note: Urban dictionary defines “gearhead” as “someone who is, like, totally into cars and that” (slightly paraphrased)

Mash: *Gasp* You’re only 22? I had no idea you were so young! Also: HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY [party emoticon]
Drake: Heh, yes I tend to give the impression of someone much older. I’ve been kind of an old man since I was about 17 (I read the newspaper). And thanks!

Mash: What brought you to PZ? Are you a big zombie fan?
Drake: I am a big fan of zombies as a rule. I love the lore and I feel zombies bring something to the table that no other monsters really do quite as well- a fear of our own humanity, and how much we terrify ourselves. As such I try to stay up to date on zombie movies and games, though before I found Zomboid I had been a bit disappointed by the games. When I first found PZ, I downloaded the demo and it was just instant love. I loved the crafting, I loved the visuals (thanks Mash!) and I loved the abject horror that PZ brought to the player. I didn’t register on the forums until late 2011 (I was busy playing until then), but when I joined I found a friendly community and awesome devs, and I just haven’t been able to pull myself away since then!

Mash: With all your hobbies, you seem to have a headstart on some survival techniques!
Drake: I’m a bit of a survivalist, too! I keep a kit around the house and I’m armed to the teeth. If push came to shove I could probably live in the wilderness for the rest of my life as long as I had a sharp knife with me (not that I relish the thought). I love being in the woods- it brings an overarching sense of tranquility that I don’t find elsewhere, and that’s driven me to be as passionate about hunting and survivalism (that’s actually a word?) as I am. I also owe a lot of my love for the outdoors to my father and grandfather; they took me hunting and fishing when I was young and taught me to respect and enjoy the woods. That’s a debt I’ll never be able to thank them enough for! I’ve also worked on a ranch, so dealing with nature is a bit of a must there, too.

Mash: You’ve mentioned being a big gamer before, yet you are *gasp* a MAC GUY. Make your case for the Mac as a gaming platform!
Drake: Haha, here we go then! I wouldn’t exactly recommend OS X for most gamers, but if you’re tech savvy and like a slick OS it can be a really good experience. I’m kinda weird in that I enjoy the stimulation of porting games, so having technical difficulties is always a challenge more than a problem for me.

Mash: Speaking of technical difficulties, what’s the one tech question that constantly comes up in the PZ forums that you’d like to answer here and now so that it will NEVER APPEAR AGAIN?
Drake: Ooooh such power! I’d have to say the problem some people have where the game world appears black. Thanks to the excellent EasyPickens, this problem is now dispatched quite simply by turning off Zoom in the options!

Drake: Can I interest you in a Macbook Pro?
Mash: Never!

Editor’s note: The IndieStone would like to clarify that we very much like Macs every bit as much as proper gaming PCs

Mash: I guess as a tech guy, i should ask you to display your specs.

Editor’s note: Phwoar!

Drake: Well I’ve got a couple of computers floating around the house, and I’m probably about to build another more gaming oriented computer, but the one I use most often is a MacBook Pro:
OS X 10.8
2.5 GHz Intel Core i5
And a silly Intel HD 4000 graphics solution!

Mash: We all know you play Project Zomboid, and as you’re a DM in the community D&D games (linky), you seem like an avid RPGer in general. What draws you to these types of games?
Drake: Well I owe a large chunk of my original interest in them to my parents; they read me The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings aloud when I was just old enough to understand them, and I’ve been fascinated with fantasy ever since. RPG’s tend to really scratch that fantasy itch in all the right ways. It’s also really enjoyable to be able to jump into someone else’s shoes, and games like PZ and D&D really hit the spot for that. You get to experience what they’re experiencing, feel what they’re feeling, and I find that not only entertaining but also intellectually exciting.

Mash: Pancakes or Waffles?
Drake: Waffles of course. They’re like pancakes with better texture and perfect pockets to hold your syrup and butter. No contest!

Mash: Anything else you’d like to say?
Drake: Just a big thanks to The Indie Stone for keeping me around this long, and to the awesome community members who make my time here fun and exciting!
Mash: Aww!

And there we have it! Woo!

3D Model Update

The last few cosmetic bugs with the realtime 3D characters have now been fixed – basically, what we were seeing in previous versions were a lot of “skin poking through clothing” issues. This was a result of the fact that with the current sprites, the models get quite heavily processed before becoming game-ready and because of this, it was not necessary to be too careful with the way the base models were set up. Rendering these models in real-time, however, and all of these short-cuts taken months back become visible in-game.

There are still occasions when a teeny tiny bit of the skin can poke through, but it’s insignificant enough to not really be an issue – the only way to fix it would be to increase the polygon count of the assets which we don’t particularly want to do if we can help it. You can see the sort of extent of the issue as it is now below:


Arrow points at skin poking through shirt, not really a big deal

Multiplayer Update

The upcoming build 25 contains (amongst other things) some rather natty controls for administrating multiplayer servers. There’s a whole bunch of commands for controlling the game, as well as ways to administrate users. It’s worth reading the forum topic for further information (Linky), but for a sneaky-peaky at the sort of stuff you can expect, here’s a picture (click to enlargulate):


Woo! Ban! BAN! Ban them all with your mighty ban-hammer!

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