Stable Build: 41.78.16 | IWBUMS Beta: 41.78.16 | Version history | Wiki
Follow us


News & Dev
July 27, 2023

BagZ of fun

Let’s have a dig into what’s happening in everyone’s favourite apocalypse. (Although other apocalypses are available.

First off a quick check-in with three of the four main pillars of Build 42 – the pillars in question being crafting system revamp, MP improvement, the depth/performance/lighting tech upgrade, and finally animals – which will have to wait till next time as RJ is only very recently back from his summer hols.

Turbo has been finalizing his machine and crafting station systems for a check-in next week, after we decided on some ways to maximise their utility for both our own devs and modders and give them as broad and solid a foundation as we can. The results are exciting and the design process for machines and the numerous crafting stations continues to expand these systems over the new tech tree and across existing devices over the entire PZ map. (Stuff like gas stations, wells, water pumps etc will also eventually be tied to the new system – but maybe not in the initial release.)

Next up: tech upgrade. Lots of stuff going on in codeland for this – but the topline additions have been improvements to the new visibility polygon, and continued work on the tile depth addition that will remove annoying character/wall clipping and ultimately make proper addition of lying and sitting down in all four directions feasible for mainline addition. (As well as the rendering optimizations it will entail obv.)

Alongside this the continued whackamole of things broken by the foundational changes made by the engine upgrades – stuff like (to grab a few random examples) doors not shaking when thumped, muzzleflash not showing, railings not being cutaway properly, rendering of zeds on hidden floors not working and many/varied other important stuff.

Finally, we now have four coders and two MP-devoted testers beavering away on our multiplayer – two coders devoted to the ongoing mission to bring all player inventory operations server-side, and another two knuckling down on general MP bugs and required polish. Over the past two weeks the guys have also been hooking up ‘new for 42’ systems, like the revamped fishing, to the netcode – and looking ahead to properly wiring up the animals too.


Last week our Formosa UK’s primary PZ-dedicated chaps, Michael and Matteo, took the opportunity to do a full new mixing session for the game while they were both on the same island – said island being Great Britain.

A proportion of this was done with MP in mind, and especially gunshots, but seeing as multiplayer is currently broken/WIP in our dev build they instead hooked up an in-game barbecue to a long sequence of gunshots and worked around it like that. (Enterprising chaps, these two.)

We’re still waiting on some improved occlusion settings for indoor/outdoor, and the like, and some tweaks to player related sounds – but otherwise the following has been tweaked and added.

  • Re-balanced all the firearms so they make sense in relation to each other
  • Changed the firearm inside/outside setup for general improvements
  • Rebalanced the ambience setup (from beds, to fog, to rain, wind etc) to make it all more coherent
  • Re-worked some mixer setup/routing for reverb – which has made for a very pleasant upgrade, especially with birdsong.
  • Brought backsome volume/filter changes on the camera zoom, but still subtle.
  • Improvements to zombie voices so when you get bitten to death by a dozen zombies the mix doesn’t wig out anymore.
  • Zombie vocals, music and animal noises now play more nicely over the music – so it all cuts through a bit better.

We are also super-pleased with the new player effort / sneeze / “hey!” sounds – and have also realised that we’re missing a trick not having a range of different voices beyond the current two male/female versions. This would especially sound a bit weird in MP, so we are looking into recording a wider range of actors and actresses for this.


As ever we have a wide range of smaller additions going into the game from other team members while the pedestal pieces are under construction.

Recently these have included:

New containers! Pic-a-nic Basket, Garden Basket, Fishing Basket, Musical Instrument Cases, an improvised Sheet Sling Bag, new Sheriff and SWAT versions of the duffel bag, protective cases, rifle cases and ALICE Belt and Suspender webbing – green and camo version.

Continued farming revamp improvements. Working on the systems for fertilizers, compost, and pests. Optimizing, rebalancing, constituting, simplifying and working out what other new crops we will require – then pestering the art department for them. Making the scarecrows actually spawn in scarecrow-y outfits.

Wallpapering. And we’re also coding in the oft-requested ability to fully wash grime from walls.

New tools. New gizmos for managing our script assets; which upon release with B42 will provide ways to make modders lives easier, such as a utility which exports item display names from their scripts to create new translation files for those items if they don’t already have one. Likewise we’ve built an internal tool to help our sound team notice events that haven’t been hooked up, or are new additions that haven’t had a sound built for them yet.

Zoning. One of the more onerous of mapping tasks is underway for the map expansion – essentially tagging the whole map so the game knows what should be happening where, and what should be spawning where.

In this image light greeny-blue is crop fields, light green is forest, dark green is deep forest, blue is for navigation, purple-ish is for town areas and the blue squares are the new animal zones. Meanwhile the tiny pink dots are parking stalls for spawning vehicles of all sorts, and the yellow is for generic vegetation. Other colours designate different events, to special outfit zombie types etc.

Hiring. The success of B41 has meant we’ve been able to cast our net further, and higher, for additions to the PZ team to work on what the game will become in the mid-far future. We won’t shine any spotlights on anyone until they’re bedded down, and there’s something to show, but we are putting a lot of work into ensuring PZ stays fun, relevant and ever-evolving in the years to come.

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.

Are you a Spiffo admirer who missed out on the recent plushie Makeship campaign? Watch the wires next week…


Knox Event: 30 Years On

News & Dev | 06 July 2023



News & Dev | 04 August 2023
Stable Build: 41.78.16 | IWBUMS Beta: 41.78.16 | Version history | Wiki
Follow us