Community Announcements - nasKo

It’s been a week since Build 32 broke the barricade of IWBUMS public testing (information here) and so far we’ve been hearing lots of happy noises. Well, amidst the renewed screaming. EasyPickins’ new zombie management system has brought the average player lifespan down significantly, and with it most reports suggest playing the game is more tense and enjoyable.

That’s not to say, however, that it’s job done. From this point onward in Build 32 EP will be tweaking and experimenting with the new system until we hit a point that we’re happy with. We need a difficulty and population numbers that don’t necessarily lock off survival content [farming, fishing etc] for experienced players, but still throws in some migration curveballs. Then again, through making the challenge surmountable we don’t want to lose the added feeling of danger that we’ve reintroduced to the game. So this is…

We need to find quite a tricky biting point, and as such we need your reports from the game, generally from a few weeks/months into your playthroughs. Don’t just play in Survival mode either, but experiment with the new sandbox options – having more/less zeds in your game, and increasing and decreasing spawn times. Report your findings here, making sure to state what gameplay settings you have selected. Then, soon, the sweet spot will be sounded out.

We’d also like feedback on the new Challenges so we can fix them up, adjust rules, timings etc to provide maximum fun. For that we’ve created a separate thread here.

In terms of general Zombie Population experiments and tweaks, one current concern is that after meta-game noises some cells may get a huge surplus of zombies while others become fairly deserted. We’ll be addressing that, and also have had an idea about migrating zombies from the overpopulated cells to the underpopulated ones. There’s also a concept that EP has discussed with RJ that would see the total population rising as time goes by to make things tougher. It’s all heavily dependent on community feedback though, so let us know your thoughts.

So that’s the current stuff, but what of Build 33 content? Well…


The delectable TurboTuTone has been working on a system that lets you put previously immobile objects (furniture, paintings, flooring tiles etc) into your inventory and carry them elsewhere. You can also rotate them to your liking. As such, base customization will now be a thing. Here, for example, is a [long] video of Turbs moving office in West Point:

“Many single tile objects can now be picked up.” Turbo explains from his underground lair in the Netherlands. “Some can be picked up right away, like chairs and other non-fixed objects, but others require tools and certain skills to be picked up. A good example is perhaps that to dig out plants you’ll need a shovel and a skill level in Farming. Likewise, for a counter you’ll need a hammer and experience in Carpentry.”

“I also currently have it that multiple tools will sometimes be needed – like a window that requires a crowbar to try and break it out from its fitting, and a hammer that’s required to put it back into an empty window frame. All moveable objects are generally quite heavy so you’ll only ever be able to hold a few, not unlike the way you currently carry corpses. In fact, larger objects can be extremely heavy and will require a certain strength. If a tool is required, then there’s also a chance of breakage – and of leaving debris behind.”

“Now, most objects are purely cosmetic to pimp up your safehouse, however some retain functionality: like container objects, and the barbecue. Objects with water pipes attached will lose functionality when moved too, but can be made operational again when one or more water barrels are placed in the 3×3 surrounding the sink (or one level above) and will draw water from them, if they have any.”
So what’s the potential end-point of this new system, especially if you’ve got a team of players with Grand Designs in MP? Well, something like this if you’ve got the time and the inclination…
“This base was constructed with a building cheat mode on, and several cheats for the moveables on – like severe weight reduction and fast pick up – and it still took me eight to ten hours to build and decorate”, explains Turbo.  “Still though, it shows what the system can do.”
“The structure was set up with plain carpentry, floors, walls and doors. I then plastered and painted the walls, before heading all over Muldraugh collecting various objects and floors etc after which the interior design phase began.”

“Sadly, I died once while laying tiles on the roof, which is why there’s a corpse somewhat ruining the atmosphere in the Zen garden.”

Are you a member of the French Community, and would you like the opportunity to AskProject Zomboid Developers The Indie Stone Anything? Well next Mondoid you can. Or you could just use Google Translate and fool us all. Up to you. Thread found here!

That’s it for now. Until next week, Mondoiders of Mondoidton!

Today’s Featured Image from Minus_Kot over on Steam . If you’d like nonsense like this delivered in a more personal manner, why not supply the fine fellows [and lady] at The Indie Stone with your electronic mailing address?
Community Announcements - nasKo

Short, sharp Mondoid this week because, yes, Build 32 is now in public IWBUMS testing. If you’re not aware of this process then check out this thread, agree to the consequences and start downloading. Report the bugs you find on the bugtracker here, and gameplay feedback and balance below this lovely changelist post.  We’d especially like to hear your thoughts on tweaking the new challenges towards maximum fun.

Included in Build 32 are the new tutorial, two new challenges, EP’s new zombie management system and RJ’s new professions, generators and trap/bomb crafting. In fact, we gave the keys of the build to youtuber ManBearPig and he recorded the following rundown.

Finally, MP players who are looking for more ways to deal with griefing might also be interested in reading about RJ’s new (optional) "claim safehouse" server option that’s also a part of Build 32.

Community Announcements - nasKo

Hello desperate survivor. I can offer you the latest news on Project Zomboid development in return for two Spiffos OR ten nails. Okay, thank you. That will just about do. Now let’s just go our separate ways… but not before we hit you with the baseball bat of Build 32 banditry of course!

Build 32 is currently in internal testing – the top-line of which is the extended crafting system (featuring traps and generators), the new challenges, the new tutorial and a myriad of tweaks, fixes and under-the-hood fiddlings. It’s going well so far. Here are some new items of note that will also feature.

New Zombie Respawn and Management system
Deep in EasyPickins’ Canadian fix factory, a new zombie-respawning system has emerged from a fiery furnace. Below is a pictorial rendition, accompanied by the man himself’s explanation.

“This picture shows a part of West Point. Each large rectangle is one cell (300×300 tiles). The small rectangle is the loaded part of the map around the player. Each red dot is one zombie. The yellow dots are the ‘real’ zombies in the loaded part of the map. In the top-left corner of each cell you can see the number of zombies in that cell followed by the number of zombies there were when the game first started (the desired population). The third number is how many hours before new zombies can spawn.”

“The sandbox option ‘Zombies Respawn Interval’ controls how often zombies respawn. Zombies will respawn only when the current population in a cell is lower than the desired population. In multiplayer, the HoursForZombiesRespawn server option is used instead. In survival mode this is set to ‘Every Day’. Meanwhile, the sandbox option ‘Zombies Respawn Percent’ controls how many zombies respawn in each of these intervals – adding a percentage and then another percentage until it hits a overall desired population. In MP the ZombiesRespawnPercent server option is used instead, and in Survival mode this is set to ‘10 percent’.

“Zombies won’t respawn in loaded parts of the map. This is to avoid zombies popping up in front of the player, and to double-down on stopping players from noticing it they also won’t spawn in any part of the map that was loaded within the last hour of game time.”

“Another benefit of this new system is that zombies should never respawn in any buildings or fenced-off areas. The game will check to see if there is a clear path from one randomly-chosen square on the edge of the world to the place it wants to place new zombies. If a path can’t be found, then no zombies will be spawned in that part of the map.”

You Have One Day Challenge
A challenge that we’re getting ready now, but will likely release towards the end of the Build 32 IWBUMS process to keep things fresh, is a challenge that takes place in the old PZ map from the 0.1.5d days. Community mapper BobHeckling rebuilt it with the current PZ toolset, and with his permission it’s now going to be part of the full game.

The challenge gives you one day of relative safety – filled with only sporadic zombies who won’t attack you. Come morning, however, zombies will arrive in huge numbers – and they will find you.

The jury is currently out on whether we recreate the old jukebox crash bug, but other than that your nostalgia glands should be pumping out rose-tinted endorphins like no-one’s business…

Death by Mall
The moment the zeds break through in the Opening Hours challenge is so much fun that we wanted to share. Slight spoilers in that it’s better to play, rather than watch. (It’s still good to watch though!)

Other Stuff
There’s currently a lot of work going into making the online experience smoother and far less niggly both as player and admin. There’s several irons in the fire on this one, some big and some small, so hopefully you’ll start to see improvements in both build 32 and 33. Oh, and in 32 you can remove broken glass from windows too by the way. Which will be a relief to patched up legs/groins everywhere.

We’ll hopefully be seeing some streamers and youtubers blessed with an early version of Build 32 showing off our wares later this week, so keep an eye on @theindiestone for news on that. See you all next week!

Oh, and check out the Russian community’s awesome Spiffo drawing contest. Still some time to go if you want to join in!

Today’s Featured Image taken by your own correspondent after a TV dinner burning incident after 25 hours in the You Have One Day Challenge. Want to get Mondoid in your email inbox amidst all the other companies pleading for your attention? Click here! 
May 11
Community Announcements - nasKo

Why a Blue Mondoid? Perhaps it’s because you’ll let out a cuss-word in surprise and delight at the treats in-store for you below? Maybe Zombies turn blue, as well as green, sometimes? Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s because the guy writing this really likes the songs of New Order. Who can say?

Over to Lemmy for a quick description of what you’ll see in our latest, long-awaited, animations video.

“This is still WIP, and is just a demo of a few new things in the new animation system. General running will be separate from a sprint ability, which gives you a boost to speed but quickly tires you, lowers your ability to manoeuvre and increases a risk of a fall or collision.”

“Characters will have much more physical presence in the world, and inertia and change of speed is now a factor with regard to animation. This will also allow us to branch off different ramifications given the character’s mental and physical state. Panicked survivors who are not looking where they are going may run into problems (quite literally) while unfit, clumsy or undexterous characters may perform actions slower, or be more likely to mess up, fall or perhaps fail to scale a fence at an inopportune time.”
Mondoiders with keen memories might remember that back in the days of Build 25 there was talk of a Tutorial that would teach the most basic of basics to new survivors. A script was written and initial code was tapped in – but then tasks elsewhere diverted our attention and the poor thing was left on the shelf for a while. Left alone that is… until a brave Frenchman called Romain ‘RJ’ Dron found it, blew the dust off and finished it like the dreamy gallic hero he is!

Now a part of Build 32, the tutorial is an introduction to the mechanics and ambience of Project Zomboid – and should be quite fun for established players to check out too as there’s some fun forced-feeding of rotten foodstuffs along the way. We’ve been sure to write it so it complements the more narrative tutorials of Kate and Baldspot, when they return, who’ll be more concerned with ‘advanced’ gameplay. This tutorial is very much aimed at making new players feel less confused in their very first couple of minutes of gameplay.

Okay, so slight annoyance time. The coders have left Writer Will [[i]that’s me, hi[/i]] in the dust and he’s not comfortable with his radio and TV spreadsheet going into Build 32 as a WIP. He needs extra time to polish, proof and be sure the multi-channel coverage of simultaneous events is watertight. So, sorry about that one.

In ‘positive spin’ news, however, this does mean that players will be getting the entire radio system when it comes to Build 33 – incorporating all of Turbo’s player-to-player transmission system brought over from his ApCom mod.

Turbo is simultaneously working on a system for those who’d like to customise their safehouses a little – letting you rotate and move (via your inventory) certain items of furniture, paintings, items and vegetation. More of which we’re sure you’ll hear a lot more about after Build 32 is released and the build-up to 33 begins. (Although seeing as a lot of the groundwork for all of the above has already been laid, it presumably won’t be a hugely long wait as far as PZ updates go)

In the background mappers continue to set out the foundations of Louisville, EP’s doing stuff with zombie population management that’ll make you tingly and we’ve also got various other cool things we won’t tell you about until they’re a smidge closer. All cool stuff. Have a lovely week everyone!
This week’s Featured Image is Lenged91’s ‘Pride and Joy’ safehouse. God bless her, and all those who cower within. Would you like to receive weekly updates on Project Zomboid? How about every Monday or, as the cooler kids say, ‘Mondoid’? Follow this link for voluntary enlistment.
Community Announcements - nasKo

Hello survivor! It’s been a pleasant Bank Holiday Mondoid in sunny Blighty, if you ignore the rain and the fact that we’ve been sat inside coding zombies of course. We’ve got some cool Build 32 nuggets for you this week although sadly the new animation vid isn’t ready at the time of writing since, despite the eventual obliteration of last week’s bug, there’s now a lighting issue that keeps on plunging them into darkness.

Games development: yaaaay. We’ll stick it up when it’s ready and make a fuss still though, as we’re quietly confident that it’ll stir loins in safehouses the world over.

As the Builds tot up towards 1.0 we’re going to be introducing more and more cool new bits and bobs to the PZ Challenge menu. These will provide new activities for long-term players and take place in interesting areas of the map that are a little off the beaten track. By the time of 1.0 they’ll also have a progression and unlock system attached to them for any fresh faced Project Zombateers who buy the game in the world beyond Early Access.

We currently have two new Challenges up and in the game, which will shortly be going into internal testing for ‘fun factor’ feedback. They’re both pretty nifty, and come from the keyboard of Romain ‘RJ’ Dron.

Winter is Coming
As Game of Thrones obsessives will know all too well, endless winters are rarely pleasant. This Challenge spawns the player in one of several isolated locations on the PZ map, armed only with the knowledge that in seven days’ time a winter will set in like no other before it. The undead hordes will be slowed slightly by the cold, but your challenge will be to survive as long as you possibly can as the temperature suddenly starts to fall.

Opening Hours
This challenge is us trying to get a real feeling of Dawn of the Dead into PZ. You are alone inside an empty mall with countless zombies building up at the doors and ambling around the parking lot, but you won’t be alone for long. At 9AM the Mall will be ready for business: doors will automatically open, and the hordes will enter. Can you survive until the doors close again at the end of the day? Shame the mall is open seven days a week really…

We also want to make a quick shout out to forum user BobHeckling, who was the guy who rebuilt our original map in the new map tools and allowed it to be used in the Bedford Falls mega-map. We really want to build a cool challenge in the old 0.1.5d/0.2.0 location so if you read this then please get in touch (!) as we’d like to make sure it’s done with your blessing.

Build 32 will also see Blindcoder joining the illustrious ranks of those who’ve had a mod incorporated into Project Zomboid. [You hear that Stormy/RJ/Turbo? We called you: illustrious!]

His excellent Random Character Creator and Character Build Saver mod will become an official part of the game, and we will watch his uncanny ability to predict the next item on RJ’s ‘to do’ list with great interest. Thanks Benjamin!

  • Turbo has been working on how portable radios will work in-game and also have the potential for player-customized frequency presets, all with an eye to having it mesh with the walkie-talkies when his ApCom mod is fully integrated, as well as in future when there’ll be military and survivor frequencies to tune into that’ll deepen the narrative.
  • Amidst his animation bug battling, and various other duties that lay on the path to his NPC nirvana, our Lemmy wrote an interesting blog about Valve’s recent ‘paid mod’ furore and what its implementation would’ve meant to his time as a modder, his career and PZ in general. It’s quite interesting and I’m not just saying that because I work with him.
That’s all for this week. See you next Monday!

This week’s featured image from Romain ‘RJ’ Dron, who emailed me the picture. Fancy receiving an email every Mondoid or whenever there’s an official or IWBUMS game update?Click right here, bucko.
Apr 27
Community Announcements - nasKo

The big plan was to have a super-cool new animation video today, but despite a valiant all-night effort to eradicate a glitch that stands in the way of an exciting vid – it stubbornly persists. So: sad face.
Mondoid waits for no man, however, so Romain ‘RJ’ Dron has thrown his hat into the ring with the full run-down on his current contribution to Build 32! Over to RJ!

Traps have receive some more RJ love since last week, in fact they’re pretty much done. I’ve had a few more ideas I want to add in, but all the items and systems are now working, present and correct. We’ve mentioned it in a few Mondoids now, but haven’t really put anything in an easy-to-read fact list – so here are the basics of my stuff in Build 32.

With new engineering and electrician skills you can now build, throw and detonate device and traps to aid you in your survival attempts. There are explosive devices, fire-spreading weapons like molotovs, a smokebomb and a noisemaker – for example.

As well as throwing these in/around crowds of zeds, they can also be set down and triggered in various ways. There’s the movement sensor, for example, that will need to be crafted from the movement sensor in a home’s burglar alarm. Each constructed device, meanwhile, has its own level of effectiveness – meaning that a character who is an electrician by trade will be able to build a better movement sensor than someone who’s just learnt from books they’ve looted.

Beyond the movement sensor we’ve got a timer – an old classic! This can be crafted from a kitchen timer or an alarm clock and it’s pretty simple: put it into your device, set the timer before ignition and wait! Finally, there’s a remote control. You can craft a trigger from electronic scrap found in devices and a receiver that’s found in, for example, radios. Then take a remote control for a television set, link the devices [through a simple right click ‘link to’ dropdown menu] and place the crafted receiver on your device. The higher your skills, the better the receiver – and the further away you’ll be able to trigger the explosion. Just think: when NPCs come around you’ll be able to leave all sorts of surprises in their safehouse!

I’m currently working on generators, after doing a lot of research on them. You’ll find them in sheds, garages and storage units in Build 32. They’re not all that rare BUT they do require certain skills to operate them. As such, an electrician will know how to use a generator, but an average joe will have to get some reading done!

If you know how to operate them, however, then you can carry them [although they are really heavy!] to the outside of your safehouse, plug it in and turn it on. A wise survivor, however, probably won’t place it inside the house as, yes, the threat of poisoning will be very real. Electricity will then be provided in the home – and the generator will slowly consume fuel and lose condition as it does so. Fuel itself will be obtainable at any gas pump in the game, while there’s still electricity to pump it. Comfort does have a price though, and users should be aware that generators make a hell of a lot of noise, and might get a bit explode-y and fire-y should their condition deteriorate to dangerous levels.

Will continues to write radio and television transmissions, and is looking with mounting horror at how much there’s left to do compared with what Romain is industriously ticking off his Build 32 list. Turbo meanwhile, with 95% of his broadcast system in place, is still fiddling with the innards of his ApCom mod with an eye to bringing it over in a future build.

He did, however, find the time to allow certain images in MP chat. This led to a spurious demand from Will, which ultimately led to the creation of a video in which a lady hacks zombies to bits while singing ‘The Hills are Alive’ from ‘The Sound of Music’.

Our favourite PZ video in a fair while surfaced over the past week. Before you go, please do check out what happened to poor old TehMikal’s brother:

This week’s featured image from Healerus over on Steam. Do you read to the end of Mondoid every week, but still persist in NOT wanting to receive the Project Zomboid Mondoid and Update newsletter? Only you can change your life for the better, by clicking here.
Apr 20
Community Announcements - nasKo

It’s just another Manic Mondoid, and no: we can’t quite believe that it’s taken us this long to make a reference to The Bangles either. There’s lots of fun stuff brewing here in Zomboidton, and today we’ve got a few updates on the upcoming animation system as well as Build 32’s new crafting and broadcast system. Hope you like!

Chris and Martin’s Animation Adventures
After running into some export issues that slowed us down for a bit while when we tried to get all of PZ’s current hair and clothes working with the new animations we’re now back to the exciting stage of implementing them over into the game itself. Let’s go over to Lemmy for some on-the-spot reportage!

“Animation stuff is going well. The bank of animations that our animator Martin is creating is growing larger by the day. We now have a tall fence climbing anim, for example, so survivors have another escape route from the horde. On top of this panicked or clumsy survivors will soon find themselves tripping over when running, turning corners and vaulting fences at high speeds – as well as scrambling along the floor trying to get back to their feet. This will all be done with animation driven movement, and should make for some really exciting gameplay moments. We’re not quite ready for another video, but hopefully soon!”

RJ’s Build 32 Adventures
Meanwhile in France: coder Romain Dron is still worrying his fiancée by leaving windows open on his PC that contain information that would be of interest to paranoid government officials.

“Right now I’m still balancing and testing the new trap crafting and recipes, and doing some additional research on them too. It’s important that they’re not too overpowered or too useless, after all. I’ve got all the MP code up and running, but whether in SP or MP a mix of engineer and electrician skills will be the most useful if you want to turn your safehouse into a trap-laden nightmare for interlopers.”

“I’ve also just added sound effects, and if you think zombies are attracted to the noise of gunfire – wait and see how they react to a pipebomb! While I’m in there I’m also playing around with fire spread, so you don’t burn down a whole neighbourhood with a single Molotov. After a lot of talk with Twiggy we’ve also thought of a few more traps and devices that would be useful, so there might be a few more surprises.”

Will and Turbo’s Broadcast Adventures
Finally over to Will, [who’s actually the guy writing this buy… hey-ho] for an update on the new TV/radio system that will let you listen in on the world falling apart.

“We’re at the point now at which all the systems are ready and waiting, so basically I’m going to be ‘writing up to the line’ in terms of Build 32 testing. In a perfect world I’d like 5 TV channels and 5 Radio stations ready to go in the first drop, so there’s still quite a lot to do – not least because whenever I think of fun new events and lore elements I have to go back and tweak each of the broadcast timelines. The thinking is that this batch will cover ‘official’ broadcasts and transmissions, while survivor/military channels commenting on the same events will follow later on.”

“That said, to give me some extra options, Turbo’s also worked on a way to get different fonts and custom images into the lines that appear on-screen. This came from my request to have a ‘musical notation’ symbol so that it’d be clear when a line was sung or a radio jingle – it should put us in fine stead for the development of the system too. Turbo is now off investigating the integration and development of his ApCom Ham Radio and Walkie Talkies mod for future builds.

In Other News about Adventures
A quick request from EnigmaGrey to see if anyone would like to help out as Admins on the new TIS SpiffoSpace Server. We basically need some nice community types to help out new players and keep an eye out for cheats. Please contact him via a direct message on the forums if you’re interested.

This week’s featured image is from Mrniffty. If you’d like Mondoid thrown onto the porch of your electronic house every week, then why not give consideration to a newsletter subscription?
Apr 13
Community Announcements - nasKo

Good Mondoid one and all. A fairly decent offering this week, spotlighting work that’s taking place on both the current and next build of the ongoing Project Zomboid saga.

Due to Steam's character limitation for announcements, you'll have to shoot over to our official blog for the latest news:

Today’s featured image is of our least noticed in-game reference. Can you spot it? As taken by Olaf the Merchant. Would you like to receive babble like this in email form? Well who wouldn’t? Click here!
Community Announcements - nasKo

Don’t be expecting much this week, survivors! This week is going to be one of those lazy ‘we’re getting on with it’ Mondoids. It’s Easter and there are eggs to be eaten! A few updates / bits of news though:

Multiplayer Code
As of late there have been increasing reports of unstable multiplayer, so we’re going to be looking into some multiplayer work, optimizations and changes that will hopefully improve the multiplayer experience of the game, decrease lag spikes and the such. There are some changes to the map loading stuff EasyP is trying out at the moment, and we’re hoping we’ll be able to stop the lag spikes on players joining the server. It’s a tough problem though, so its not clear if or when we’ll get this sorted.
Since we want to make sure we can provide the best multiplayer we can going forward to 1.0, we are starting to consider we’d be best off finding someone with the specific experience we need to work on the net code up to release, to free the rest of us to focus on the gameplay and bugs still remaining. We would be very interested to speak to any experienced C++ game developers out there with experience in online multiplayer game coding, preferably with some experience with Steamworks, and replicating physics systems reliably over a network. Java experience preferred but not completely necessary. If anyone out there has these skills and would like to be involved with Project Zomboid, then please get in touch with us via!
Sorry to our community folks who are usually first in line for consideration, but we have a very specific skill set we’re looking for here so may have to look further afield this time.
Build 32
Work continues apace on the crafting update to the game. A few issues to resolve with the new animation system that is holding that back from further development at the moment (models and the hundreds of anims needing reexporting, which is quite time consuming, while we nail a few lingering problems with the core system) but we’re still hoping that will be able to make an appearance in build 32.
Insomnia 54
So for the last few days, CaptainBinky went along to the Multiplay Insomnia Festival with friend of Indie Stone Sir Twiggy, where they did a talk on stage about Project Zomboid. As well as this we got an opportunity to show off the game on the floor thanks to the amazing Team 17. So just a big thank you to all the Team 17 peoples who made it possible <3! Unfortunately since the impromptu author of this Mondoid wasn’t actually there himself I have little more to say than that, and will get the post-show gossip myself tonight, but early reports indicate it was all very GOOD, so hurray!
That’s all folks, I guess!
The title image is courtesy of Ayatuki – Newsletter be here
Community Announcements - nasKo

Welcome to a Mondoid precipitated by an exciting community event. On Wednesday a nice survivor called Nynuc dropped by with an offer. Post an update about NPCs, they asked, and then we would all see what was inside… the mystery box!

Well, it was pretty clear what had to happen next. Stick with us, though, to not only find out what was in the Mystery Box, but also to read some cool Build 32 Molotov-related content and more! [Please also note the Mystery Box ruse, once used, can never be repeated].

“Now first of all: Mondoid news on NPCs does *not* mean they are imminent or soon. However! Here is a picture of the behaviour debugger doing its thing: poking into the brains of AI NPC brains.”

“At this point in time most of the NPC survival behaviours are in. AI survivors can loot for food, barricade, will stockpile water, hang sheets as curtains, change dirty bandages, sew deep wounds, and all the stuff to keep them alive. I’m currently coding in specific looting targets based on items the characters want, say going specifically to Cortman Medical for medical gear.”

“Their combat skillz ain’t too great, but since there is a big combat rewrite incoming with the new animations there is zero point in working on zombie (or npc -> npc/player) combat as it’ll all need rewriting once that goes in – and that will be released before NPCs, almost certainly. So at the moment I’m focusing on group interactions. Group interactions use an entirely different system built based on inspiration from Crusader Kings 2, and use xml driven event chains to describe story beats in kind of mini-plots that will be stitched together.”

“Currently I’m writing an event chain for when a group walks toward an NPC safehouse. What happens if a patrolling guard spots you? What happens if a guard at a window sees you? What happens if you get spotted while trying to jimmy a window on the safehouse? What happens if you’re spotted inside the safehouse?”

“Each of these events will lead to their own consequences, which are branching events based on the personalities of the people both in the safehouse, and the people approaching the safehouse. From a stand-off with shotguns to begging for help to deal with raiders – there will be all manner of outcomes based on numerous factors. The whole idea is to build whole metric ton of different branching possibilities for single events, so that they can play out in dramatically different ways. We’re going to have all these little ‘storylets ‘ that branch in numerous ways, and when pieced together we hope they’ll make for a Walking Dead story-like experience that’s different each time.”

[Caveat: without actual game wide plot arcs, as considered and discussed and written by a team of writers, our results are unlikely to be as narratively sound and tight as a TV show story or purposefully written main quest game story. However, we hope for enough variation that it feels like a unique story each time.]

“For more details on how behaviour trees work, look here. NOW WHAT’S IN THE BOX?”

TurboTuTone has the system in-game, with multiple broadcasts playing alongside each other to simulate the last days of civilization before everything slowly goes dead. There’s still a fair amount of writing to do after the decision to create more narrative content timeslots per day, but we’re really motoring with this one now. Turbo has also made it possible for WordZed to suck dialogue, speakers and general info straight out of a global excel file, so modding should prove relatively easy.

A primary part of Build 32’s crafting update will be some rudimentary offensive and defensive devices that can be thrown, or maybe have timers/sensors attached to them if your character has the relevant skills. Romain is still beavering away at the code, but was kind enough to create the following video demonstration!

(NOTE: This is all very WIP, there's still no SFX and visuals need polish. The system is also currently using the ‘old’ PZ throw code. As such it looks a little bit odd at the moment with the new 3D characters. Please note that we'll be moving to more realistic physics once vehicles go into the game, and we will have more realistic throwing physics from that point too. Also, clearly this raises new issues when it comes to fire spread – so in MP we’ll add disable spread/spawn/crafting options into server options, while also perhaps playing around with just how flammable different tiles are. Concrete isn’t famous for its combustion properties, after all. Oh, and the Molotov probably shouldn't bounce either.)

More fun and games with Build 32 development next week!

It turned out there was an axe in the Mystery Box by the way, which was a relief as we’d been looking for one for DAYS.
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