Well, two weeks takes ages to get through right? Here we are with the first fortnightly Thursdoid which hopefully contains enough morsels to keep you satiated.
For details on what’s happening with MP, and why we’ve moved to blogs every two weeks for the foreseeable future, please check out our MP Status Update from last time.
As we discussed last time, we have six months worth of polish, changes, additions and fixes waiting to go into the IWBUMS Build 41 Public beta that are completely unrelated to the parallel MP work.
In this past two weeks, then, we have removed/disabled its WIP multiplayer components, and are now preparing to release this as a beta update.
The changelist is pretty vast, and can be found here if you are interested.
Sometimes in the past when we have released builds with lengthy gestation times they have been buggier than we’d have otherwise liked, which is why we are putting this through a lot of testing – and are currently opening it out to an expanded pool of internal testers over the coming weekend. Please note that when we talk about holding this build back for testing, it’s not in the same league, stadium or planet as the testing for the MP overhaul, we just have to do our due diligence after all the talk of being careful about what we release not to completely break the current b41 build by hurrying to get going with the builds again.
This new version also includes some fairly foundational changes like updates to the Java and LWJGL we are using, that will improve a legion of compatibility issues we’ve often come up against, and many optimizations.
Likewise there is a big savegame file size optimization going into this version, which will mean that your current savegame will NOT be compatible. But, clearly, fret not – the current 41.50 version will remain available to you, and step-by-step savegame transfer instructions will be provided should they be required.
The Noiseworks full soundscape upgrade has just gone into its first round of testing, and we’ve collated a full list of bugs and missing / wrongly wired sounds back over to them.
Primary issues include some rethinking of how we’re doing car noise due to some engine sound issues, lots of stuff that needs an adjustment in how its rigged, and a few sounds that don’t entirely fit the action on-screen. We’re making good headway with all this, but it’s probably best to expect its appearance in 41.52.
A video, and then a few tester quotes.
“The ambient sounds of the wildlife is amazing. I found myself a few times just listening to it all. hearing the zombies shuffle outside a building you are in can put you on edge, but you think you have time until that first bang on a door or window which will make you jump. And the rain sounds changing as it intensifies is amazing, you feel an urgency to immediately seek shelter, you know it’s about to get bad outside.”
“The game feels a lot more… full (?) with all the noises. I noticed it had tactical advantages too, as I heard the footsteps of a bunch of zombies around a corner before I got there. That was super cool.”
“WOW the UI makes sounds now??? Did not expect that it is awesome. Also the tweaks to the This is How You Died screen for loading into the world and all are incredible.”
“I haven’t felt suspense like that while playing for a long time, the jump-scares really get you as well. The new sounds give it a completely new, different experience imo, like just the eerie silence when you walk into a house all of a sudden, instantly makes you put your guard up and listen out.”
Also for likely inclusion in 41.52 are the 3D items that ‘Rockstar Mark’ has provided – which will mean that we no longer will have to use inventory icons for items left on the floor.
We still have to make sure these don’t dampen performance when used in extravagance, but they are already paying dividends in terms of the ‘zed stories’ we tell in abandoned houses – the frat boy zombies will have real-looking beer and chips on the floor now, while the ‘sex zombies’ we suggest were having rumpy pumpy will have real-looking clothes strewn on the floor around the bed.
This has also allowed for RJ to put in an extension of the world-building ‘Marie Celeste’ nature of various homes within the Knox Event – putting items on tables to suggest what was happening (or about to happen) in the build up to disaster striking.
Someone here, for example, was about to bake a cake.
This will be expanded on heavily in future, with our hopes that all items present on shelves will represent the actual items. This is a long term goal however.
In terms of gameplay the 3d items will bring, we do plan however in the more immediate future to make tables into containers, which allow items to be placed on them and be visible at a glance. This will surely be a welcome feature for those packrats looking for some extra storage space.
Also, Mark just sent us these, which should much better allow us and those like us to simulate our bedroom floors within the game with more accuracy.
As discussed last week we are bumping the urban map expansion, our PZ version of Louisville, up the running order of releases – though it’s still too far off to pin down in any particular version.
This week Jamie (Xeonyx) has been on ‘Operation Building Heighten’ – as we have increasingly become aware that we need to reinforce how verticality in the city’s innermost districts will be a big part of the feeling of difference between it and our existing rural areas.
We have an upper limit of seven storeys and a rooftop in PZ, which is an unavoidable performance constraint (and also something of a balance issue even if we one day surmounted it) but it should still feel urban, new and different to what’s currently available. Here’s some of Jamie’s building heightening in action:
Kukrapok/Ayrton meanwhile continues with his own mission to bring more realistic curved roads and road patterns to both the existing and new areas of the PZ map.
There’ll also clearly be loads of new tiles and decorations that come with the map update and, while the blog writer doesn’t find it hugely exciting, I am reliably informed that the ability to spruce up your bases with lovely new vegetation will be of encouragement to some.
As discussed in our last blog, when we return for our next dev update we will get the latest from Yuri and Andrei on MP, who have now an entire month to do deep dives into their work without us poking them with a stick every week for something to show the world – as well as all the SP latest similar to that discussed above.
In the interim we will also put up the next Mod Spotlight from Pat_Bren, who this month will be talking to none other than the elusive Snake. Thanks all for reading!
This week’s featured image from KPKPlays. 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! Our thanks to all bratty stepsisters out there for refusing to relinquish their gaming PC!