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News & Dev
September 9, 2021

Zedsommar

Hey all, it’s an MP Strike Force update blog this week – so here’s the latest from the test server.

We now have three coders from General Arcade working on Build 41’s multiplayer – alongside two dedicated QA operatives. Work primarily takes place in GA territory with regular code top-ups from the in-dev 41 codebase, though there’s clearly a lot of communication between our relevant QA and organisational peeps.

First off then, here’s a quick update from someone who has been playing it more than most – multiplayer QA chap Oleg. Welcome to the blog, Oleg!

“Multiplayer is quite solid at the moment. There are no critical errors that would lead to a crash, data loss or anything like that. I’ll be honest, right now it’s far more interesting for me to play in MP than on my own!”

“At this exact moment we’ve got some smaller problems with zombie corpses, synchronization of various animations and many and varied other issues popping up from areas throughout the MP game – so there is certainly still something to work on.”

“The difference between the game that myself and Mikhail started playing two months ago when we started QA and now is pretty big. In terms of the smoothness and synchronization of the movement of the characters, most of the animations, how pvp feels – all this stuff has changed for the better.”

Big thanks to Yuri, Andrei and Aleksandr – and of course to TIS’s Sasha who has been a great go-between answering questions and raising issues between the teams!”

So that’s the baseline stuff but, as Jennifer Aniston once said in a commercial that half of the people reading this blog are too young to remember, “here comes the science”. Over to Yuri.

“Our focus this month has been in improving the synchronization of zombies between different players, and also in PvP.”

Our QA team has been spotlighting bugs, and right now the majority of them aren’t zombie or player character related – but are in other areas of the game that need polish like throwable weapons/items, vehicles etc.”

As such the focus of our next month of work will likely be in turning to these issues and fixing them up to raise the overall playability.”

So, right now, everything seems to be ticking over and on-track. We should have a clearer overall picture when we put out the next MP blog.

Some of the individual items fixed recently:

  • Zombies didn’t have the ‘alerted’ animation in MP when they heard a sound, leading to various issues and it not looking as good.
  • Character sync accuracy was increased. The remote character makes less extra movements when turn around.
  • Standing characters are now on the same square on all clients due to setJustMoved and isJustMoved functions being added.
  • Further improvements to positioning through prediction points when players turn around, a new PZMath.roundFromEdges function and the threshold for starting and ending remote character movement being reduced. The algorithm for calculating the forecast of the player’s position has also been changed.
  • Many and varied new debug tools
  • Fixed gunshots happening twice at the end of zed bites.
  • Many PvP upgrades and improvements starting with the calculation of damage in PVP – meaning that the game uses BodyDamage instead of Health for player hits now.
  • Addition of sync for falling players in PVP.
  • Fixed clothing on zombies sometimes disappearing after being killed.
  • Fixed issues with bomb devices not causing damage to zombies. Calculation of damage from bombs had to be moved from server to client.
  • Fixed an issue in which some zombies were not visible to the other player.
  • Refactored a loooot of complicated things that the blog writer could not hope to understand.
  • Zombies could get up if the remote player hit  the zombie first.
  • Remote clients would see the zombie on the ground in different poses after each hit.
  • Desynchronization when one player enters the an area where certain events caused by another player had already happened – for example if a zombie was on the ground, and a new player appeared the zed wouldn’t be lying down.

41.54

We are currently finalising 41.54 for a release to the IWBUMS public beta. The biggest items of note in this are the full Noiseworks sound revamp, the new VHS system and the placeable 3D models. You can read the full current changelist here.

Foraging needs some more time in the oven at the moment so that is being put back to a later build we’re afraid, while we are currently at 90% of our available 3D items sized, imported, tested and signed off – with the full range of food items most recently mixed in.

We’d like the full list of these in-game, and some important bug fixes, to go in before we release. So we’ll see where we have gotten to next week. Fingers crossed it’ll be good to go.

In the meantime here’s a quick vid of a wintry scene to whet your whistle.

Likewise we gave a key to the Noiseworks build to our good friend (and total PZ noob) Dean Cutty in the run up to 41.54’s release, and this is what emerged.

RJ would also like it mentioned that this week he’s also put in a nerf to the current 360 degree shooting from cars, will only allow shooting with one-handed guns when the car is in motion and other such weapons/driving polish.

NEXT BUILD

Also underway currently is the second phase of our work alongside Noiseworks, the amazing sound team redesigning our soundscape. This work will effectively straddle 41.54, which contains many of the new sounds mentioned below, and 41.55. Over to NW’s Michael Klier for some details on this.

“The next phase of the Zomboid sound overhaul will add new content to many other areas of the game – with our emphasis on the stuff heard most often by players while they play. There’s additional foley for player actions like climbing fences, tripping over obstacles, carrying heavy bags, cooking, smoking, UI sounds for map interactions… the list goes on.”

“We will also be adding new zombie voice sets, and the zombie voices in the context of hordes will be improved upon.”

“On top of this we will be adding even more content for melee weapons when it comes to weapon-specific hits/impacts to further build upon the general/generic melee set that was covered in the phase 1. The same will go for the firearms, which will have more specific weapon sounds for each available firearm as well as additional foley for things like shell drops. We are also currently redesigning some of the current firearms, like the shotgun, from internal tester feedback.”

“Something we want to include and redesign, but which will involve a fair degree more work with the TIS coders, is how sounds are affected by obstacles in the world. We want this to have more realistic behaviour, so sounds get occluded more or less based on the properties of the occluding obstacles.

“Inside buildings for example, sounds should be occluded differently depending on there is a concrete wall between a zombie or the player or if there’s a wooden wall. In 41.54 the occlusion is a catch-all – if there’s something in between the player the sound is occluded.”

“And last not least the ambiance and music systems will further be improved upon.”

TILL NEXT TIME

Pat_Bren’s mod blog will return next week spotlighting on the remarkable Daegu map and our amazing Korean community, while in two weeks’ time the dev blog should be covering some of the 41.55 content we’re currently working on including a pretty cool cartographic feature. Till then!

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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News & Dev | 23 September 2021
Stable Build: 40.43 | IWBUMS Beta: 41.56 | Version history | Wiki
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