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News & Dev
June 17, 2020

ParaZedics

Hello survivors and welcome to this week’s Thursdoid! A few things to discuss.

IWBUMS BUILD 41 PUBLIC BETA

This week we released 41.35 and 41.36 (to fix a few things hot style)

Changes in this were manifold, but the primary items were visible bags in hands, a make up system, a nerfed carmageddon meatgrinder exploit (further balance to come) and a rebalanced night to encourage flashlight use. Give it a whirl and let us know what you think, and what needs tweaking on the forums.

Currently in the works for 41.37 meanwhile are:

  • Fixes for zombies heads clipping through walls when they fall over, which in turn makes zed head smoosh attempts awkward.
  • Rockstar Mark’s new pass on car textures, which uses a second UV channel to vastly reduce video memory usage of the game – and also will let us get vehicles bloody. This is still underway, but progress looking very good.

MP WORK

In the MP camp, or the #multiplayer_strike_force slack channel as it’s more accurately called, things are starting to warm up nicely. General Arcade’s Andrei, a new addition to the team, is up to speed with the codebase and is at work getting the clients animation state for players transmitted over the network and synchronised. Still lots to do, but Andrei and Zac have been back and forthing and pumping code into the repo all week and it’s been exciting seeing it all roll in. 

It’s still unclear exactly how long until we can start doing some tests, there’s still a lot to chew through, but hopefully we’ll be able to see stuff in action before long. For full details on our MP improvements, and our reasoning why we’re going for such a huge overhaul compared to older builds, please check out this earlier Thursdoid if you missed it previously.

FIRE

Elsewhere, in some of our branches, other coders continue to work on some cool things.

Yuri is continuing on with the fire overhaul, tying in the fire effect with the ‘meta’ map of combustible materials you may have seen in earlier blogs.

Long story short, the system allows for fire to spread more realistically, but also for it to spread in areas of the map that are unloaded. (Don’t worry, we have measures in place to avoid the entire map burning down)

The system uses more detailed modelling of combustible materials, which include: wood, cloth, grass, soil and brick. It can add materials for items from wood, tables, chairs, counter-tops, sinks, doors, curtains, sinks, trees, soils and floor tiles.

Here is a video of Yuri experimenting with some debug fires and some useful timestamps:

  • 00:00 – Yuri shows the spread of fire in an area far from the character. This area is not loaded into the combustible materials map and game map. Then he loads the area.
  • 00:14 – Yuri sets fire to a tree, also enabling the unloading of non-burning tiles. 
  • 1:36 – Yuri teleports to an area that is on fire, and sees the fire and the aftermath of the fire (calculated despite the tiles not being loaded during the fire!).
  • 3:40 – Yuri sets fire to a couple of houses to watches the spread of fire.
  • 6:02 – Yuri sets fire to the grass and watches the spread of fire.

Please note this is still very much in development and will likely undergo a lot of balances and tweaks to make sure it sits well with the gameplay, but what’s underway is super cool and impressive, and along with the much improved visuals, we think fire will be much more interesting in future.

DEVICES

Turbo has been continuing work in his long-time passion project of a comprehensive ‘device’ system for Zomboid.

For those unaware of what the system is going to do, if you’ve played something like tech modpacks on Minecraft you’ll probably instantly ‘get’ the inspiration behind it.

It is a comprehensive and generalised system for handling devices of all kinds and communication between them – which should open up a metric crapton of doors both for systems and devices in-game, but more crucially provide a base for some pretty in-depth mods for those creative types.

In this screenshot you can see that a walkie talkie, instead of just being ‘a device’ specifically and uniquely programmed, now has modules such as speakers and a microphone attached.

This modularisation and generalisation of devices inputs, outputs and communication on one level will give us new and easily adaptable ways of setting up our radios, TVs, VHS recorders, and security gate systems – but it is also a system that we/modders can allow to run deep.

It will also provide us the option of doing stuff like wiring things together into circuits, having an in-world computer running as a functioning lua programming device (you’ll have to pretend lua was in general use in the 90s) that can be programmed to create security systems, CCTV, and all manner of cool stuff for late game zombie fortress use.

While it’s not something that’s within the remit of Zomboid base game (at least to this level), we can fully imagine modders adding automated production chains and all that Factorio/Technic style goodness in mod overhauls.

This is likely all very much far future stuff though, so don’t be expecting it in the next build or two, but we’re excited to see it develop and the potential it will bring in all manner of ways!

This week’s medical emergency from $ℏìᶄ. 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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