“Greetings survivor! I’m Spiffo the Community Raccoon!” “If you want to gaze back into the past updates of PZ, you’ve come to the right place!”
Please note: only bigger changes are listed here, for full build-by-build version changelists please visit the PZ wiki.
For anyone interested in the overall development of PZ over the years then, especially visually, then this video from Emerald King might also be of interest!
BUILD 41 – DECEMBER 2021
Massive animation and character overhaul, more immersive animations and smoother gameplay and combat, highly customizable character that shows clothing and equipment in the world. Visibly ripped and damaged clothing. Visible Backpacks and Bags.
In-game map system to allow the player to chart their exploration and find their way around the huge map.
New animations and new movement systems. Sneaking, sprinting, jogging, racking, reloading, climbing, fence-jumping, collapsing and much much more.
New multiplayer built from the ground up for smooth, immersive and low latency player and zombie movement.
New combat, new weapons, new difficulty balance.
New tutorial teaching you the very basics of the new movement and combat.
New character creation – many, many different new clothing options both on spawn and discoverable in the world as loot or on zombies.
New city to explore, the gargantuan Louisville, as well as many improvements across the entire map, including new buildings, decoration, and curved roads for easier driving.
New zombie behaviour: feasting on recent corpses, lolling against walls, falling over fences etc.
Blood and dirt system that progressively bloodies bodies and clothing of survivors and zombies
New injury system – movement and combat visibly hampered when injured. Lacerations now possible, an injury state that lies between bites and scratches.
Randomized environmental storytelling elements. Death Scenes, zombies discovered in the situations in which people died. Prayer meetings, sports-viewing parties, survivor zeds wearing backpacks etc, vehicle crashes and blockades.
Situational zombie type/clothing and inventories – cop zeds in police station, firemen zeds in burnt buildings, Chef zeds in restaurant kitchens, bride and groom zeds at a wedding ceremony in church etc.
Clothing protection: different clothing provides different levels of protection from zombie attacks.
New Sims-style cutaway vision system.
Vehicle handling improvements, resizing and appearance tweaks.
Updated, remastered and expanded Kentucky-themed soundtrack.
Complete soundscape overhaul – All new sounds, building a more immersive and compelling sonic landscape.
Items now have placeable 3D models in the world, for all your decorative needs.
New Gameplay Styles Apocalypse: Stealth focus. Short lifespan. Combat best avoided and picked selectively. Survivor: Powerful combat. Longer Lifespan. A challenging playstyle based on PZ’s previous Survival mode of Build 40. Builder: Construction, Exploration, and Farming focus. A more relaxed experience.
New Challenges Kingsmouth – A separate challenge map, Kingsmouth puts you on a paradise island vacation resort. Studio – Try to survive as the Knox Infection hits the dream factory. Some of these zombies are not like the others.
Entirely new foraging system.
New inventory slots – belts and holsters now give quick equip slots. Weapons can be attached to the character’s back.
New thermal / body temperature system.
New Tailoring system for clothing repairs.
New Fitness / Exercise system.
New emote system – Hold Q to bring up the Radial Menu for Emotes.
New water visuals – including visible flow direction.
New puddle system during heavy rain.
New fog visuals.
New levelling system.
New VHS, and CDs system.
Broken glass and related injuries.
3D Store Mannequins – can be dressed however you like
Working washing machines and driers
Server-side saving: MP save system now in a server-side database. Offline SP-side, also means no more lost cars via irl power outages.
New radial menu for reloading firearms.
New game cursor
New loot balance and loot balance system: houses and stores now have loot in the containers you would expect from real life – and not in a jumble.
Isometric aiming cursor that shows where you’re aiming in iso space to aid in combat.
‘Shake’ sprite effects. Hits on doors, chops on trees and zeds/players walking through vegetation now shown in-game.
Map to Game item conversion system. System to convert objects placed by mappers so they can be used as functional game objects. This covers items like barricades, campfires, rain barrels, traps, composters, crops etc.
New C++ version of ZombiePopulationManager. This system is what governs the placement and movement of zombies when they’re not directly on your screen, and this updated version should be an optimization for SP and MP – hopefully helping out lower spec machines and busy servers.
New weather-based challenges. A Storm is Coming, and The Descending Fog. Improved Winter is Coming challenge.
BUILD 39 – MAY 2018
Vehicles added. Survivors of the Knox Event can drive vehicles and explore every nook and cranny of the vast Project Zomboid map. Vehicles are enhanced with real physics, and come with all the expected sundries such as a UI dashboard, headlights, expanded inventory space, car horns, air conditioning and car radios – and the capacity for breakdowns, part replacement and collision damage.
Nine different vehicle models are available – not including variants on these such as branded vans, or emergency vehicles. The PZ garage runs the gamut from family cars to police sedans, to Spiffo restaurant vans.
Vehicles can be found outside homes and in parking lots – while keys can be found in nearby homes, in the vehicle itself or on the floor. Hotwiring is also a skill option.
Players can replace spare parts, tyres, suspension, brakes and more – all of which can be damaged by situations such as overuse, off-road driving and collisions.
Vehicles must be topped up with gas, have charged batteries and each variety of vehicle has its own set of replacement parts for players to add to their chosen transport.
New profession. To accompany vehicles a Mechanic profession and skill have also been added to the game – allowing for increased chances of successful part installation, and trickier repairs.
ALSO IN BUILD 39:
Wilderness and farmland expanded. The PZ map has grown – filling in the countryside between Riverside and Rosewood with farmsteads, camp sites and various nooks and crannies to explore in your cars, vans and ambulances. The official PZ online map shows this in detail.
Engine improvement. A lot of optimization done under the hood to make way for vehicles: general map streaming performance, garbage collection improvements, UI framerate changes, rendering of non-visible internal tiles to provide smoother play around tall buildings etc.
Many, many other improvements to game systems including: player-crafted double-doors and gates, new sandbox options, map improvements, MP and co-op tweaks, external generators, loot and XP balance, UI improvements, better gamepad controls and much much more. For the full changelist, and information on about a million other fixes and tweaks, please visit the Build 39 release thread.
BUILD 38 – SEPTEMBER 2017
Riverside Map Expansion. New map area added! The spawn-point town of Riverside, the nearby Knox Heights Country Club, Spa and Golf Course, and many/varied wilderness areas are now ripe and ready for exploration. Found west of West Point, and is of equivalent size. Contains new building types, architecture and item tiles. Includes Riverside lootable map.
World View update. The homes, businesses, advertizing hoardings and outhouses are now seen in all their glory – rooftops and all. Building levels above the player are ONLY hidden for the ‘current building’. Windows must now be peeked through by walking up to them, and looking through. Higher levels blocking your view are removed on approach, and hen zombie hazards are present.
MP and Co-op Improvements. Zombie placement and movement data shared between players heavily optimized to address cases of zombie lag, zed teleportation, unfair bites and general server strain. ‘Server Save’ pause server option for larger servers that pauses the action when saving, reducing instances of sudden zombie lag. Multiple new Admin options added.
Corpse Management. You can now dig graves with a shovel and bury multiple corpses inside. New carpentry crafting items: wooden cross, a cairn and a wooden memorial picket to go alongside the graves you dig. Large piles of rotten corpses will make you feel ill and sad if you stay close to them for extended periods.
Lots of other stuff including: new sandbox options, clothing degradation, a change in custom map loading and a lot of optimization bedded in to make way for the upcoming vehicles build.
BUILD 37 – APRIL 2017
Lootable Map Items. Maps of urban locations within the Knox Event Exclusion Zone can be found in relevant towns, in particular spawning in gas stations. Current maps you can find cover Muldraugh, West Point, Rosewood and March Ridge.
Using the new map UI you can zoom with the mouse wheel, add your own notes and a bunch of provided symbols in four different colours – if you have the relevant coloured pens. Annotated maps can be shared with friends and faction members in MP. Vid here.
In SP you also run a chance of discovering pre-annotated maps that’ve been marked up by deceased fellow survivors. These are mainly found on zombies and can lead you to stashes of weapons, tools and general places of interest. Loot at these locations could be hidden in cupboards, crates, bags left on the floor or even hidden under the floorboards.
You now have access to a new oven/microwave settings UI upon which you can change the temperature, and use the timer dial. Ovens will ‘ding’ when the time is up, microwaves will turn off. Metal in microwaves can cause fire. Some food will become less edible when microwaved, increasing character sadness. Eating food hot/cold will have relevant impact on character happiness/sadness.
BUILD 36 – JANUARY 2017
Survivor Trading UI. The initial MP iteration of a trading system that will later be expanded on in SP modes. Players can drag and drop items from their main inventory, and faction-owned surroundings, so they can barter with other players, make offers and finalise deals.
PZ builds now show changelogs on initial boot-up of new builds so survivors don’t have to hunt through Steam or the forums to find out what has changed.
Player can now move two-tile furniture like signs and paintings around, and also (with the correct tools) deconstruct larger objects into several smaller kit parts that can later be reconstructed. Movable item icons also improved in the UI to make system clearer.
Small stuff: Electrician starts with radio recipes. New tooltips. Recipes now overwritable to make life easier for modders. ‘Invite Friends UI’ made prettier and more user-friendly. Expanded respawn/forage zones. Trapping nutrition adjusted.
New buildings include court house, fire station, shopping areas, new police station, community centre, residential areas and military apartment buildings.
New profession-based player spawn locations in and around the town of Rosewood
New map tiles, furniture, decoration and building styles
LOCATION-BASED VOIP IN MP
Lets you talk directly to your co-op friends, and survivors you meet on MP servers.
Player voices can be heard when in ‘audible’ distance from other characters on the map.
VOIP available in ‘Press to Talk’, ‘Voice Activated’ and ‘Listen Only’ flavours, and accessed in the Options menu.
Metalwork crafting – weld metal sheets to create metal barricades, or put bars in windows
Metalwork profession and skills.
Multiple stage building to combine metalwork and carpentry skills.
Building now utilises items from inside bags carried by survivor.
Objects on the map can now be deconstructed to obtain materials if player has correct tools and skills.
Safehouse UI to claim buildings, change ownership and see connected players
Formable factions, with a visible four character tag above survivors – should they choose to show it.
Melee PvP disabled between faction-members
WILDERNESS MAP IMPROVEMENTS
‘Tree noise’ to automatically improve/randomise wilderness areas of the map.
Big trees in forested areas.
RADIO/TV COMMUNITY TRANSLATIONS
Community Translations of Radio/TV narrative content in French, Polish, Spanish, Russian and Turkish.
Radio/TV content and timelines now operate in-line with narrative tool WordZed, which has been released to the community.
FOOD AND NUTRITION REVAMP
Realistic nutritional values that see your character impacted by what he/she eats and their physical activity.
Visible nutritional information on food items with labels
Added associated professions and traits
NEW MP ADMIN FRAMEWORK
Hugely improved player activity log system
Admin panel to goven players, safehouses etc
TransactionID savescumming prevention update
Warning point system
Admin abilities to check/modify player stats: add/remove XP, change displayed name, heal etc
Server access level ranks for admin staff
Ability for admin to easily create non-PvP zones on the map
Player names decoupled from usernames
Zombies more attracted to house lighting at night.
Night Events. Zombie activity can result in safehouse incursions should it be left unsecured while sleeping.
Alarm clocks and watch alarms are now used to wake up survivors. Tired survivors might wake up late without them.
Character will struggle to sleep when in pain, so should take painkillers or sleeping pills.
Anxious characters might wake up early, or even in the middle of the night.
Quality of sleep now impacted by where player chooses to rest
COMMUNITY REQUEST SPLURGE
Composting – rotting food can be placed in a crafted composter to create crop fertilizer
‘Container’ items weight reduces the more they are used (water bottles, gas cans etc.) and can be combined.
Pots and bowls fill with water in rain
Zombies can tear down sheet ropes.
Wet items dry over time.
More realistic tea and coffee making (!)
Paint all interior walls and wooden furniture
First aid equipment automatically used by First Aid panel
Various other things
Selected loot container now highlighted
‘Transfer All’ button when looting
New tutorials and updated tooltips
Ability to ‘favourite’ items to highlight them and prevent them from being dropped
‘Windows Explorer’ Inventory improvements. Shift selects a sequence of items, Ctrl lets you selected different individual items.
Build 34.23 – May 2016
Easy to host and join online co-op integrated after great technical work by the guys at General Arcade.
Sleeping in co-op and MP, plus new server settings editor.
Updates to: barricading, stoves/campfires, crate movement and smoke bombs.
Bags now displayed on ground
Double-sized textures for every sprite in-game and new player models, making the game clearer and more distinct.
Ham icon looks less like penis.
Build 34 – Feb 2016
Food revamp, freezers and initial test of nutrition system.
New C++ line-of-sight and lighting system to improve performance, especially in areas such as the Mall. Lighting updates are no longer interrupted whenever a ‘map chunk’ is loaded, less ‘black fog’ and more uniform room lighting.
Build 33 – Nov 2015
Full FMOD sound system integrated – allowing for full 3D sound, ambient noises, circling helicopter etc.
Randomized building states while exploring; featuring barricaded houses, survivor corpses, burnt out homes, zombies boarded up into safehouses, profession houses etc.
New starting scenarios allowing different entry points along the PZ timeline – Initial Infection, The First Week, Six Months Later and Survival. Revamped difficulty ‘character starter’ settings for each.
Herbalist trait, medicinal herbs, poultices and countryside cures – also revamped poisonous berries/mushrooms.
Movable furniture – player can pick up items around the map for decorative and survival use in their own safehouse.
Full radio and TV broadcasting system – providing narrative content during the full breakdown of society over 11 different channels/wavelengths.7046 lines of content overall.
Broadcast gradually scrambles visible words the further you go from a television set or radio, or outside the house. Zombies attracted to volume of radios and TVs.
Steam Workshop integrated into PZ’s java framework to allow the current proliferation of user mods.
Steam servers integrated into MP by our friends at General Arcade and EasyPickins, to allow for more admin control and less cheating. Clients can connect to PZ servers using their Steam accounts, let server admins ban players by Steam ID and allow Steam avatars and profiles pop-up in the ‘players’ list in-game. Dedicated server package made available on Steam.
New Crafting UI and Guide showing all the recipes your character knows. System also can see and use everything in your own inventory and what’s in arm’s reach of your character.
‘You have one day’ challenge on original 0.1.4 map
Watermelons no longer fatal
Build 32 – May 2015
Zombie respawn and migration; zombies are no longer static and dependent on on player proximity. They roam around the map and build up over time. Zombies should not appear in closed off areas that are unreachable from the edge of the map.
Generators added for use once power network fails. Consume fuel, electrify homes, noisy and will slowly poison player if used indoors.
Electrician and Engineer professions brought into game.
Molotovs, explosives, smokebomb and noisemaker can be crafted. Those with relevant skills can attach timers, motion-sensors and remote triggers.
Playable Spiffo-led tutorial finally put into game. Edible dead mouse and ‘press E to cure infection’ become canon.
Opening Hours and Winter is Coming challenges added.
Many new items added to flesh out the world: perfume bottle, dog leash, crayons, comic book, pinecones, washing-up liquid, mop, alarm-clock etc.
Blindcoder’s random character mod added to game
Build 31 – March 2015
New Professions System. Professions can provide supplementary skill points, which directly tie into the learning speed of relevant skills as well as starting skill levels. Further diversifies character creation, and to make professions feel like a character’s pre-zombies life has genuine impact on their survival experience.
Character trait rewrite. Profession only speeds up levelling in relevant skills due to a range of traits that act as Hobbies. Many new traits added, some cheesable ones removed.
Challenge modes improved and added – ‘A Really CD DA’ included in play options.
Bitten player character turning into zombies after death reintegrated into game.
Build 30 – Dec 2014
New Health system featuring new injuries, treatments and crafting. Infections, burns, fractures, lodged bullets and glass shards all included. First Aid skill added to help you cope.
Erosion integrated into the game and substantially improved after TurboTuTone joining the team – showing seasonal change, weather effects, the reclamation of nature and post-apocalyptic decay. 11 types of tree with different seasonal variations, 11 types of bush, 17 types of plant, wall vines and cracks in walls.
Weather system tied to real world Kentucky patterns. (So around 12 days of snowfall a year).
‘Zombie clumping’ improved. Instead of single zombies dotted about (though this will still happen to an extent) zombies are constantly be attracted to each other’s groans and movements. Player is much more likely to run into a pack of 5-6 zombies rather than see over 5-6 zombies dotted around a particular area.
Pickling of farmed produce. Improved growing times and ‘agricultural maintenance’ required for crops.
Endurance recoded to model general physical exertion over the course of a day, rather than an occasional arbitrary timer.
‘Couch’ split-screen co-op returns to the game. Two or more players on the same screen, and better pad controls. Playable online.
Shaders replaced to make game appear more moody and atmospheric.
Build 29 – Oct 2014
New sounds. Ambient noises (screams, dogs, owls etc), new crafting noises (sawing, food-slicing etc), footsteps and many more.
Foraging skill coded in to allow for more wilderness survival. Berries, mushrooms, worms etc can be found in woodland areas alongside materials for…
New survivalist crafting recipes. Log walls, stone hammers etc.
Melee skills revamped. Blunt and blade given three sub skills – Guard, Maintenance and Accuracy.
Build 28 – Sept 2014
Ranged weapon overhaul. Range, critical chances, recoil delay and more specialist uses for pistol, shotgun and rifle. Physical timing and panic now taken into account. Aim skill added to game.
Weapon modifications. Scopes, slings, lasers, red dots, clips etc.
Zombie corpses can be burnt.
Zombie population management system introduced. If a zone is unseen for a few hours, then the next time a player sees the area will respawn some zombies and some loot inside the containers. Server owners can now setup a loot respawn, and dabble in zombie respawn management.
New crafting recipes: beds, bookcases, shelving etc.
Paintable signage and ability to paint signs on walls.
Build 27 – May 2014
Multiplayer and public server list released.
World filler sprites to make world feel less empty.
Animal trapping. Snares, cages, bird traps, mouse traps in-game that can be baited with food.