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News & Dev
July 8, 2021

Mod Spotlight: Snake

Buen dia, zomberinis!

This week we take a look at the work of Snake, one of our most popular modders. “Most popular?” I hear you say, scanning the Steam Workshop. “Why, I can’t find a whiff of this so-called ‘Snake’ fellow anywhere!”

But hold on a moment – Snake’s mods are only to be found on his own website, pzmodding.blogspot.com. The mods are easy to download and install, and the couple of extra steps to get them to work hasn’t hurt Snake’s high standing in our Spanish-speaking community.

From an abandoned ship to a hunting and food mod, Snake has many mods and several maps, but has thankfully made an all-in-one pack to bring many of them together for easier installation. We’ve prepared a short list of some of the contents of the pack and asked the creator a few questions below!

Le Gourmet Revolution

Snake’s piéce de resistance mod, and much more than the name suggests. It is in fact a sort of modpack of its own, bringing together new crops to farm, foods to find and cook, with new and advanced fishing, hunting, and foraging systems.

Read new seed packets of crops like rice, pumpkins, and wheat to learn how to plant them, then use your new crops in a variety of recipes. It also adds the ability to make food like waffles and cupcakes that appear in our game but are not creatable.

The hunting system lets you use a bear trap or a slingshot to hunt animals like sheep, boar, chickens, or bears for their meat or fur, and the new fishing system (a hobby of Snake’s as we’ll see below) adds many new types of fish and bait, along with a metal detector to find pieces of metal to use in crafting. This is a mod for true survivalists.

Abandoned Ship

At the bend in the river northeast of West Point, you’ll now be able to find a huge cargo ship, devoid of all life apart from the undead. Even to reach this is a huge challenge. Unless you have a boat mod, you’ll have to use your carpentry skills to build a bridge from dry land out to the ship. Reach the ship and fight off the horde inside and who knows what treasures you might find below decks?

Fuel Tanks, Table Saw

Two smaller mods that add useful craftable items. Fuel tanks let you store your fuel in an easy-to-use container that’s much more handy and tidy than, say, fifty gas cans dropped on the ground (we’ve all been there). The table saw uses electricity to cut logs into planks faster but be careful – it’s very loud!

Military Complex

The first map Snake made, the military complex is a very post-apocalyptic base filled with great new custom graphics (body bags, US Army crates and boxes, new graffiti) and lots of cool loot including Alice backpacks and new weapon parts from the other mods in the pack. The complex includes barracks, an overrun hospital, and an airfield. The hospital especially is a sight to behold, filled with blood and barricades that make it difficult but rewarding to explore.

Weapon Accessories (WPA), Ammo Maker Reloaded

These separate but related mods add the ability to add cool accessories like a tactical light, lightweight grips, a suppressor, and even a silencer to your guns, along with recipes for creating ammunition from shell casings, gunpowder, and lead, and a few new guns to fight off/attract those deadly hordes with!

And that’s not even everything! With the modpack you’ll find more advanced car mechanics like tyre maintenance, a factory in Muldraugh, metal baseball bats, a gunstore in Riverside, reinforcements for log walls, and containers of acid to clean new rusty metal items with.

An interview with Snake (Snaaaaake?)

Hello! Who are you in real life?

“My name is Christian, I’m 37 years old and live in Argentina. I’m a graphic designer and also repair computers. I’m a self-taught person so I always enjoy learning new things!”

How did you first discover PZ? Why do you like it?

“I found PZ through a Battlefield clan I’m part of. I like it a lot because of how open-ended it is, the isometric graphics style, and the focus on realism, along with its notorious difficult level!”

How did you get into PZ modding? Did you have experience modding other games previously?

“It all started when I downloaded a very buggy mod and wanted to make a better one myself. As I’m a self-taught person (I’ve never studied programming) I began to read scripts and base game code along with another mod’s code in order to understand how it all works. Then it was just a matter of applying my new knowledge along with what I know about graphic design and audio editing to start developing mods.”

“I had never made mods before, but as I began to understand how Lua code worked I also started a simple but very laborious mod for Starbound, the continuation of a Spanish translations mod, which I have 90% finished.”

What do you consider your best mods/maps? Are they also your most popular ones?

“I could never choose a favourite as I work hard on balancing and improving all of them but the most popular one in the community is Le Gourmet Revolution!”

Why have you made your mods available only on your website instead of the Steam Workshop? Are you afraid this limits your audience?

“I’ve had my website for several years and am very fond of it. The Spanish speaking community is used to coming to my blog because I always post when I update some mod either on Facebook or Discord.”

“I don’t really care about the limits of my audience, but I plan to publish my mods in the Workshop when Build 41 is out of beta and stable. Then I hope, with some help, to translate the mods into more languages.”

The Spanish-speaking PZ community is one of our most vibrant and prolific communities. How have you found that community? Are there any members of the community you want to mention?

“I first found the Spanish PZ community on Facebook and that led me to explore the game a little deeper. There I met Atox creator of Eerie Country.”

“Then after a few months I met Karen who is now my girlfriend! We’ve been dating for more than 3 years. She used to ask me about how to configure the PZ server with the mods I made and that’s how we got to know each other.”

“Dydimos helped me to open the blog, and when I joined the official Project Zomboid community I met ditoseadio, who helped test the mods I was making. Then we decided to open a Spanish speaking Discord for PZ.”

What are your general principles for PZ mods? Do you think things should be made harder, easier, more realistic etc.? Have any real life interests informed your mods/maps?

“Quality over quantity! I prefer to improve what I’ve already done (be it balance, bug fixes or details) before adding new content. I think things should be balanced; when you add something good you also have to add something bad to balance the scales in survival. For mod development I usually do a lot of research before adding something.”

“Regarding inspiration, I consider myself a very creative person. I like computers as well as spending time outdoors camping whenever the weather permits, so many ideas have come from my days in the outdoors.”

“I also want to mention that many members of our community contribute ideas to improve or add new things to the mods and others help in development, for example Truji, who is in charge of adding the 3D models of food and weapons.”

Your modpack adds a lot of new survival elements to the game: more crops to farm, foods to make, guns to scavenge, hunting, and even cheesemaking. Can you tell us a little about how these change the experience of the game?

“With the mod pack, I want to allow the player to create all food items that are finite in the base game (such as salmon fillets, cheese, pork chops, peanut butter etc), to expand the player’s options for survival in a very long game.”

“Playing with the mod pack prioritizes the skills of scavenging, cooking, fishing, traps and aiming, along with metalworking and electronics for some things eg. the table saw.”

Your modpack also adds several new areas to the map, such as an abandoned ship, a gun store, a military base, and a factory. Which of these areas would you use as a base in a zombie apocalypse and why?

“Actually none of those sites can be considered as good places to make a base if you are not experienced as they have very high zombie spawn! The zones I added are made to get finite items from the game and to force players to have to leave their base in order to build their dream home.”

“I usually build my bases from scratch in remote areas or beside lakes and after some time go and explore my new areas to find materials to improve my base.”

Your maps/mods have a very strong visual style. Do you have to change anything about your style for the graphics of PZ?

“I try to make the content as similar as possible to the base game’s art. As I’m a graphic designer it’s quite easy for me to create sprites. I’ve always loved isometric art so I’m very fond of the graphic style of the base game!”

I understand you love fishing. Can you tell us about this interesting hobby and, most importantly, can we see some big fish you’ve caught?

“I could spend hours and hours writing about fishing! I am a sport fisherman and it’s a great passion as well as a family tradition all the way back to my great grandparents. I’ve been fishing since I was 5 years old, and I’ve learned an incredible from my own experiences, as well as my father.”

“As I said before, I am very passionate about learning and know a lot about the behaviour of the different fish species in our rivers, as well as how the weather influences their feeding times, tides, changes in the river bed and many other things.”

“Here’s my favourite fish, a dorado or golden dorado. It’s a very strong fish – a perfect predator!”

“And here I am searching for a good spot to fish dorados in my city (they hunt close to the rocks).”

Other than your own, which mods/maps do you enjoy or find interesting?

“The first maps I played with were Downtown, and New Denver (now Slocan Lake, BC). Then Eerie Country (which has an excellent level of detail) and Lobii City, to both of which I have contributed some custom tiles and loot spawn code.”

“Before Build 41 I used to play with mods like ORGM, lockpicking, and Project Farmoid. Now I play with Dynamic Traits, and Worse Looting and Even Worse Looting.”

What’s next in your modding plans? What’s the dream?

“I’m currently expanding the Riverside Gunstore area, adding some stores and places of interest such as a restaurant, coffee shop and even an arcade.”

“My plan is to unify all the mods in my pack into one mod, so it fits perfectly into the spirit of the base game and gives the player more hours of entertainment in a long term game without affecting the balance.”

“My dream has always been to create content and make video games. As a kid I used to imagine making my own fishing game. And now Project Zomboid has allowed me to realise this dream through modding!”

Thanks to Snake for taking time to answer our questions! You can find all of Snake’s mods on his website pzmodding.blogspot.com.

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News & Dev | 01 July 2021

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News & Dev | 15 July 2021
Stable Build: 40.43 | IWBUMS Beta: 41.54 | Version history | Wiki
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