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News & Dev
May 20, 2021

WreckZ

Happy Thursday all. Things are ticking on okay over here, hope things are well with you.

MP STRIKE FORCE

For those out of the loop, the last few weeks of dev-time on the Build 41 internal test build has been centred around moving control over nearby zed placement from the server over to the client.

As you’ve seen in previous dev blogs the previous system was allowing 32 players to run around and have fun smoothly, but instances of zombie teleportation were still present – along with their game-ending and game-breaking bites. As such the transplant was made, and for the past two weeks the team have been stitching the new organ in.

Last week’s test started out bright, but soon turned into a bit of a mess-on when players congregated in the same area. This week, after a week of pruning, a small scale Wednesday Night Test felt much better.

Over the last week Andrei has been fixing up some problems involving players seeing different inventories on zombies, as well as some odd naked zombie behaviour when they are being run over by cars, and some fixes to combat desyncs involving more than one player.

Yuri meanwhile has been working solely on the zombie desync issues, improving the code that teleports desynced zombies into their correct positions to try and do this when the zombie is not visible to a player.

Last night enough bug fog had been cleared to reveal other smaller-scale issues, but we feel like we’re steadily closing the net around them, and the testers seemed a lot more positive in the playability.

Early indications are that the client driven zombies have the potential to work well and the system seems to be for the most part operational, however all the situations where this can go wrong need to be isolated and fixed up before any true benefits can shine. As before, we’ll be scaling up player numbers as each thrice/twice-weekly test goes by – each time flushing more and more gremlins out of the system.

At the moment the transferal of zombies between clients when multiple players are present is sometimes rather bumpy (resulting in pathfinding complications, ‘Force Push’ zed deaths and disappear/reappearances) but its getting better as every day of work goes into the new system.

The server is now no longer taxed at all, which is hugely cool, and means that when we nail this and release 32 player servers, they should require a lot less in terms of cpu and memory to run, and our upper limit on player counts after that are undoubtedly going to benefit from it.

Here’s a quick vid of the testing from last night.

OTHER STUFF

Nothing huge of note to show you visually (or audibly) this week, everything is very ongoing, but perhaps just a quick rundown of ”who else is on what” for a few PZ workers when it comes to builds in/around the vicinity of the mptest build will be handy – so you know what else is in the works in terms of nearer-future zed survival.

  • The Noiseworks continue there complete overhaul of the PZ soundscape. Our amaze-o composer Zach Beever has supplied them with our whole soundtrack, including files for each separate instrument, and right now they are nose-deep in elegant new ways to mix it all together and match to the action. They will also be delivering the first batch of new vehicle sounds tomorrow, which we can’t wait to hear as (let’s face it) our current ones are prettty shit.
  • Turbo’s chatbox improvement project continues – giving you more customisation options, improving legibility and improving (fixing) its implementation with in-game devices like radios.
  • Fox and Aitor, our graduate coders, are working on better in-game item categorization and fishing QOL improvements respectively.
  • We’re big fans of the Crashed Car Mod here at TIS towers (as indeed should you be, do check it out) and it’s made us realise that we have our burnt out wrecks on the road, and we have our low quality/dented cars, but we have nothing in-between. Having write-off car wrecks extremely common over the entire map doesn’t fit our current or planned lore, but having a few fender-benders and t-boned cars certainly will.

    As such Martin is taking a break from a new range of ‘taking cover’ animations that he’s been working on for a future build, and has started doing a range of front, right side, left side and rear ‘smashed up’ variants of each PZ vehicle. These will then be later used as more atmospheric ‘vehicle stories’ in which you might come across (for example) a front-damaged sports car that’s piled into a side-damaged police car in a barricade – alongside all the relevant zombies.

Finally, wrap your ears around this tribute to the PZ theme from Exxhy. Amazing work mate, really cool stuff.

This week’s emergency service call out from IU.A.TI Cave Troll. 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 hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too!

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