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News & Dev
September 1, 2022

Broadened HorizonZ

Okay, so here’s a run down on our current basic plans for finalizing Build 41, and then beyond.

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We’ve left Linux server operators hanging out to dry a bit over the last two weeks and feel awful about it – especially ones with larger/busier servers.

41.73 came with crashes on Linux servers, and the version with the updated Steam API we put into the Unstable beta in 41.74 turned out to bring in as many issues as it solved.

As such Yuri and Andrei are currently working on another approach that will be going into Unstable beta (and then Stable) as soon as we can muster – which will have the crashes fixed, and should also have increased networking performance and improved connection stabilities for everyone. We’re hoping to conduct an internal test on it tomorrow.

In essence the game will now also use direct communication with dedicated servers, instead of going entirely through Steam’s own networking. This should improve things for all players on dedicated servers – including the Linux servers that were sadly the canary in the coalmine that flagged up the fact that something needed to be done here.

Again, our apologies to those impacted – we are thinking of ways to repair some of the damage done during the outage and appreciate your frustration.

THEN

We have a staging branch backstage that all our coders are feeding aspects of their work that they wouldn’t want people to have to wait until Build 42 for – so no big features, but instead a lot of fixes and balance.

We will also be trying to limit mod disruption and big/controversial changes, as this will be the version that we leave folks with for quite a while when all of us are 100% working on new features alongside the existing 42 team. (Apart from anything urgent we might need to attend to on 41, clearly).

The sorts of things we’re currently testing for this patch include: many and various visual issues with the cutaway system, colour blind accessibility options, better crate highlights, many recipe improvements, better ways for the game to handle car alarms and (hopefully) fixes for sounds cutting out in busy MP situations.

There’s also some new 3D models where we’ve had icon mismatches, new tooltips to better explain what different items can do, weight/encumbrance rebalancing on some items, the lighter/Molotov fix we mentioned last time and many and varied other fixes. We’ve also done some work improving the in-game server browser that we would certainly like to include as well.

There’s a lot of other stuff too, but you probably get the gist. Nothing that’s going to rock the boat, but also enough stuff to keep the boat sailing until we reach the glittering shores of 42.

MAP NEXT

While we can’t and won’t go into forensic detail on which towns and what design themes we’re going for, it’s perhaps time to talk about the next map expansion – which will most likely hit with 42.

Xeonyx and Ayrton are essentially pushing the map out on all sides, apart from beyond the game’s traditional Ohio River boundary.


The map team are returning to fictionalised versions of real places on the Kentucky map – Riverside and March Ridge being entirely fictional. We don’t want to name exactly which ones, but it might be worth mentioning one of them will be Ekron.

The location currently commonly known as Ekron within the community is not supposed to be our version of that place, and (for reasons that will become explicit when viewed on the PZ map) is internally known as Fallas Lake. We will erect a sign in Build 42 to make this information more prominent.

Here’s a few WIP screens of some of our future locations to keep you all going.

ALSO

Other things currently being worked on for B42 inclusion that we haven’t mentioned before are:

  • The Sound Team are working on sprinter zed growls and screams – our first inspirations here will be the Dawn of the Dead remake but we will iterate until we get it right. Formosa have also created a variety of bullet impact noises (on cars, dirt, glass, plastic, trees, walls and wood) that we will be integrating come 42, alongside the further improvement of the dynamic music system. They will also clearly have their hands full with the cows, chickens, sheep, improved fishing and many and various new post-apocalypse items and actions that B42 will bring along with it.
  • RJ is currently experimenting with rats, which could also become part of the Knox Event alongside domestic animals. Martin, meanwhile, has been working on animal transportation – namely new trailers and potential new vehicles.
  • Pat_Bren has been expanding the breadth of different TV and radio channels available to tune into at the start of the outbreak, and is now moving onto some other frequencies that players might be lucky enough to come across later on within the PZ timeline too. Right now he’s added Public Access TV, a Music channel, a Sports channel, a movie channel, a new entertainment channel and a radio station called Upper South Radio.

We can’t remember if we showed it before, apologies if so, but seeing as RJ is back working with his rats – here’s what a PZ rat looks like when it bugs out with human hair.

Thanks all, and thanks for your patience. We’ll see you next time.

This week’s foggy overview from the Universe of Gamer. A changelist of all our pre-release and post-release patches since the 41 beta began can be found here. 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. Experienced games dev and want to work with us, especially if you’re an Animations Engineer as Christ alive that would be handy? Details here.

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Stable Build: 41.78.15 | IWBUMS Beta: 41.78.15 | Version history | Wiki
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