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News & Dev
March 30, 2023

eine kleine nachtmooZik

Wotcha survivors.

The general pattern for 42 dev is that we’ve got four main pillars of Build 42 – all of which are the ‘big stuff’ and the fundamental large-scale tech improvements.

These are: moving much of the MP system server-side to give servers more control and less hackability, introducing our deeper and more expansive crafting systems, bringing animal life to the Knox Event – and engine improvements to optimize, give far greater height/depth levels to our map, and to provide more realistic light and darkness for your survival adventures.

These are the things we need for release, while other things in development by our dev partners (or staff assigned to more general improvement) are seen as ‘nice-to-haves’ – and some may even fall into patches of 42 when things start to shake out a bit.  Going through the ‘pillar’ features though:

  • The lengthy first stage of the MP work (transferring player inventories to the server) is now over, and transplanted very neatly over into the internal test build – so now our MP coders are delving deep into stage two. This will see all operations of player inventories (building, recipes, foraging etc) also move into server control, overview and deference.
  • In terms of the deeper and more expansive crafting – as we mentioned last week the code systems this is all based on has now been merged into the internal test build and as such much of the last week or two has been centred around fixing the longstanding recipes and functions that the new stuff has broken. We’re pretty much back at a standard of ‘operational’ on this, or will be after a commit being made tomorrow, and this too has been a process that was a little smoother than expected. That all said, obviously that has been the focus post-merge, so while progress has been made since its integration, the majority of work has been bug fixing and not much to report otherwise. The team are starting to discuss the next step post merge, and looking forward to it immensely!
  • Animal and animal husbandry meanwhile (or at least the cows, pigs and sheep – chickens are still a little haphazard) are approaching a stage where they’re fun to play around with for extended periods in SP. Following on from the merge of the music system detailed below into the internal test build, they also now moo, oink and baa which has given them a lot of extra life also!
  • Finally, in terms of the tech upgrade we’re mainly at the bug fixing and further optimization phase with the chunked rendering and variable height systems, but it’ll likely be the sort of thing that’ll spit out bugs and countless ‘betcha didn’t think of this scenario?’ gotchas for some time to come, so its not clear when it’ll be merged into main. As said last week, it should be mostly smooth when the time comes though.


Next up, some of the other items being conjured up for 42 either with our development partners, or the smaller cool stuff that our own devs have been working on in the background.

On top of the below we’re almost wrapped on stuff like fishing, work on the farming revamp continues and is having new crop assets built for it, and clearly the map expansion continues apace and will likely be a part of a/the 42 release also. 


First up for discussion is 42’s new adaptive music system – a long term plan that’s now coming to a fairly awesome fruition.

As long term players will know, our OST came from the musical brain, delicate ear and dainty fingers of Zach Beever – one of the most important people we came across in the earliest days of Project Zomboid and whose work many of you have heard over thousands of hours of play.

What Formosa (formerly Noiseworks) have been up to more recently is taking the original arrangements and stems that Zach has provided to create variations of our beloved soundtrack that have variations of different intensities. The composers who have ably taken on this task are Armin Haas and Matthias Wolf – both of whom appear to have nailed it.

Players have experienced the first stage of this system in build 41, with action music which is specifically when players are in combat with the undead.

For 42, this music has then been worked into a new adaptive exploration soundtrack. Based on in-game events, a music intensity parameter is adjusted and the soundtrack adjusts accordingly as well. The aim is to have the exploration music reflect the more exciting times as well as calm moments in the game in a better and more organised way.

The best way to explain this is in the following prototype video. As ever this is WIP! We’ve also cropped it slightly oddly to hide some of the debug magic that lays bare some of the magic, so please forgive the character not being centred on the screen!

Sound up plz! (obv!)

We’re only working of a very basic set of events at the moment – coming across new houses, opening doors, vaulting fences and the like.

We will be adding lots of different game events that will have big and small impacts on the intensity parameter – the discover of ‘special’ buildings, finding useful loot, noticing a survivor zed etc etc. 

The system will undergo lots of further fine-tuning, and will be adjusted further from the version seen above that went into testing only yesterday.

Also happening this week in Sound World has been the recording sessions we’ve had arranged to create ‘body noise’ puffs, pants and pains that we want to play on top of your character’s on-screen manoeuvres.

We’ve also used this opportunity to record many and various experimental dialogue lines that could potentially be played (very, very muffled) over our TV and radio shows in a Simlish kinda way – and likewise automated announcements that may well still be playing in locations such as malls and key Louisville locations even after public zombification has occurred. We’ll have more on this in the next blog, most likely.


A few notes on outdoor sleeping. First off in 42, sleeping bags and tents (when packed) can be attached to appropriate backpacks. It looks quite nice and fun, especially when attached to a survivor zed.

Next up, we’ve made some general improvements to outdoor sleeping. As such tents are now both containers and beds. They are not good beds, mind – and using a sleeping bag by itself certainly isn’t either.

  • You can put a mattress or an un-packed sleeping bag into a tent to make it a better bed.
  • You can also use a pillow to modestly increase the quality of a tent bed, including reducing the chance and severity of neck pain. This applies to all other bed as well, including car seats.
  • You’re protected from the rain when sleeping in a tent, and the tents look a lot nicer than they used to as well.


Given as 42 will increase our height limit (and more particularly our depth limit) our artists and mappers are currently working on new visuals that will better suit locations beneath the ground of the Knox exclusion zone.

Here’s a fun example of the sorts of decoration that we hope will give added flavour to your new life underground, and hopefully bring along some Resi vibes with it.

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 industry gameplay coder and want to join Team Awesome? Jobs page here. Title image is from D4CR33P3R on Steam. That’s all for this week,


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News & Dev | 16 March 2023


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News & Dev | 13 April 2023
Stable Build: 41.78.16 | IWBUMS Beta: 41.78.16 | Version history | Wiki
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