Afternoon all. Here’s where we’re at with life and love in Kentucky.
This update was a general mixture of changes, fixes, balance that had been building up over the six months we were working on MP before deciding it needed extra time – while also providing some important foundational updates to the underlying systems that the game runs on and some advances in optimization.
Given the breadth of things covered in the patch and the java/lwjgl upgrades we were expecting a few bugs, and got a few bugs, but overall things went quite smoothly – and a final patch to clear up residual issues is releasing today.
Many thanks also to all the modders who have worked so hard to update their wares alongside the new version – your toil is appreciated by gamers, game developers and everyone in-between.
41.53 contains a few things but primarily the following:
There are a few things that we need from you in terms of feedback from the 41.51 – 41.53 builds also.
Primarily, we would like to hear about loot balance across all the different loot scarcity settings. How have recent changes impacted on your game? Are you finding too much or too little of your required items?
We would also like to hear back from our Mac players – how is the game launching for you? We have improved aspects of your game display but our Mac tester pool is quite shallow so need to hear from some more voices.
Barring any further fixes to the IWBUMS Public beta our next step will be to mix some of our game features that have been kept in a holding pattern over the past few months into our internal test build.
First and foremost in this will be our Noiseworks sound revamp, which you have seen a bunch of over the past few months in blogs – but just in case you’re out of the loop here’s a quick thunderstorm video. (Be sure to spin on to the middle of the video for when the storm really gets going if you choose to watch.)
We anticipate a few weeks of testing, rebalancing and fixing alongside the Noiseworks team once their work is in the internal test build.
Beyond this we have already arranged for ‘Round two’ of their work in which the Noiseworks crew will adjust anything that needs improving from the initial integration.
They will also work on improving (by a lot) the systemic music integration, and some of the sounds that are still missing like fence climbing, tripping, painting, plastering, farming, improved gear shifts and more in vehicles etc. They will also record some more rabid SFX for sprinters, and many many other things all on our shared spreadsheet.
As mentioned last time, we are expanding our ‘in-game entertainment’ options by moving a lot of our existing TV and radio content onto playable (well, legible) CDs and VHS tapes that can be looted throughout the world.
We hope this will end a reliance on tuning into Life & Living for established players, and also allow those starting at times later than the first week to access any broadcast-based bonuses.
No new video from Turbo this week, but this also means that we can announce the first of two ‘new people!’ announcements for this blog.
The resplendent Pat_Bren, famed throughout these lands for his mod blogs, has a writing style and sense of humour that more than matches our existing writer – and as such he has been on-hand writing a wide variety of movies, TV shows, audio books and Kentucky residents recording themselves on camcorder.
This is being mixed in with new content from Will, and a bunch of our existing broadcast content, and should provide some colour for your more idle moments of survival. In all there’s 31 movie VHS tapes, 8 different TV shows with five episode seasons, 22 episodes of ‘Skill TV’, 75 home-recorded VHS tapes, 26 audiobooks and 27 music CDs.
We hope that this will add some colour to your survival adventures, making our 90s VHS rental stores feel a bit more real, and also provide some evidence of the former lives of the zombies that you are murdering.
The above two features are dead certs to be mixed into the internal test build once the IWBUMS beta is fully patched up. Here’s a few other items that’ll be going in alongside ‘em.
The 3D objects made by Rockstar Mark are currently being implemented by RJ, though there’s still a fair amount of work to go on them so they might not arrive alongside all the above.
Here are a few WIP screens from our existing Zed Stories to show how things will start looking in future builds.
Many players will know Eris from her fabulous mini-map mod, and we’re delighted to say that she will be joining the PZ team.
Behind the scenes we’ve been seeing her work on an excellent improvement to our existing foraging system – in which players have to actively move between foraging spots in woodland rather than click through the UI.
It’ll take some time to get her hooked up to the PZ mainframe and to convert the mod, but right now it looks a little like this.
It’s our intent that Eris will be joining RJ in future endeavours to bring this kind of interactivity to all the zomboid survival mechanics, which is a direction we’ve wanted to move toward for a long time. At the moment a lot of mechanics involve operating the right click menu and waiting a lot which (while functional) does not offer any real ‘gameplay’.
RJ has made some initial steps toward this with his quality of life improvements to farming, but our plan is to go further in areas like farming, fishing and construction: mixing some basic player skill and decision making alongside, and augmented by, the character’s skills.
Our overall plan is to make all the individual survival systems have a lot more meat to them: make them more fun, give you more satisfaction and involvement, and make them far less laborious and menu-ey. Eris popping up with her foraging overhaul was perfectly timed and showed she would be a great addition to the team to bring this into the game.
That’s all for now, next week we’ll have another mod blog from the dainty fingertips of Pat_Bren. The Thursday beyond that we’ll have the latest on MP dev alongside where we’re at with all the features mentioned above and maybe a few more. Thanks all!
This week’s desperate last stand from Feiticeira Supervixen. 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!