It’s been an up and down week in terms of MP development for Build 41. Last week’s moderately successful Wednesday Night Internal Test Session (W.N.I.T.S.) was followed by another on Friday (F.N.I.T.S) – which was… not moderately successful.
People had fun, but issues (now fixed) with Turbo’s new more compressed savegames made life difficult. Meanwhile, several of Andrei’s additions to the code have now had to be taken back into the garage for further work and testing – as we were seeing far more desync and zed teleports than we have had in previous test sessions.
The good side of obstructions like these, though, is that it gives you more evidence of what’s going wrong – and where to fix it. Andrei has already fixed aspects of what was running haywire, and has debugged the core zed teleportation issue to get it fixed today.
The memory leak we mentioned last week has very likely been making our life harder too, and this week Yuri has tracked it down to the server working its way through masses of packets that have been queued up outside it, causing delays and a build-up of negative server energy.
We imagine this is one of the core issues that’s plagued us with high population servers throughout the life and times of PZ MP. It’s basically a ‘cascade’ effect, one moment of high stress and load and it will get clogged, and being clogged just makes it worse and it gets more clogged. A vicious cycle until it all falls apart.
As such Yuri has spent much of this week installing ways to track this event and protection / filters around what’s fed into server at crisis moments – which currently amounts to potentially hundreds of different perceived ‘bugs’ in the MP game that are really just ‘the server isn’t able to send out replies to keep the clients synced’.
Our hope is that once we open the server to a wider tester audience again we will have far more stable foundations to play on, and this certainly does feel like the way the wind is blowing. So, hopefully more happy-sounding news next week.
Although it was a relatively low playercount we had a deliberately smaller W.N.I.T.S. last night (putting up with the irritating zed teleports) and had a lot of fun.
Items of note include a killer optimization from Zac that gives a 2x boost to the animation system itself (so the anims, not the game entire) which is especially helpful around zed hordes.
Overall on the smaller server it was clear that general work on melee combat and PvP has come along leaps and bounds. RJ is also putting in some improved hit reactions from Martin to help with the PvP over the next few days.
So, fingers crossed, this will be replicated on larger tests once Yuri and Andrei have smoothed over their current respective entanglements.
Here’s a video highlights reel.
That’s about all this week though in the background we have also been doing some tidy-up work to improve it when folks plug in/out peripherals and controllers, and also setting things up for a future big improvement to our soundscape – news of which we’ll let you know about in due course.
Finally, if you haven’t already, please check out Aiteron, iBrRus and friends’ AMAZING boat mod: the AquaTsar Yacht Club. It truly is a thing of wonder and a massive addition to the community’s modding scene.
A changelist of all IWBUMS patches since the 41 beta was released can be found here. 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 you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too!