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 info@theindiestone.com!
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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Community Announcements - nasKo

It’s always a bit of a weird one when we release a new build publicly of a Monday. It’s a Dulldoid for our wonderful IWBUMS-ers who’ve been there, done that, reported the bug and ripped their t-shirt into bandages.

But then again, it’s a resounding Fundoid for those who don’t partake in our public beta – and those who boot up Steam to see an exciting progress bar next to the words Project Zomboid. Just imagine that joy for a second…

Which is all as much to say, that on this day Build 31 came out to play.

You’ll be able to find the full changelist here!

News on Build 32 will be fermenting throughout the week, and will no doubt be mulled over next Monday. Meanwhile we’ve had really good progress on NPCs this week (but will hold back details so we don’t re-engage the hype machine when there could still be bumps in the road), meanwhile Turbo has been given a first test radio station script for integration while Will is filling out all his existing spreadsheets to fill the now wider daily schedules. The foundations of the Louisville map, meanwhile, continue to spill out of RingoD and Binky’s paws in preparation for Mash’s building deployment.

It’s all go basically. Fun times are ahead. And welcome aboard if you bought the game over our Steam Sale weekend! Good to have you with us. Try the bleach!

Today’s featured image from Overstalker! If you like your Mondoids and you like emails clogging up your personal inbox, why not enquire within and receive our newsletter every week, or on every build release?
Announcement - Valve
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Look for the deals each day on the front page of Steam. Or follow us on twitter or Facebook for instant notifications wherever you are!

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
Community Announcements - nasKo

Welcome to the second part of the great Russian PZ question-o-thon! As expected, this one is too long to be posted as a Steam accouncement, too, so head over here to read it in all its glory:

Community Announcements - nasKo

Welcome to the first ever Matryoshka Mondoid! This week we’ll be addressing the questions of our Russian-speaking audience, as collated and collected by the wonderful LeoIvanov.

Due to Steam's maximum character limitation you Steam folks will have to go here to read on for what's going on with Build 31, 32 and in order to read the questions and answers from our russian community:


Community Announcements - nasKo

Mondoids are pretty good when there’s a video to show off, and really good when they come in playable form. So when we do both? Criminy. Even now we can hear the distant drum of simultaneous international palpitations.
So… coolest stuff first!
Build 31 IWBUMS
Build 31 is now available for public testing, and should you wish to partake you’ll want to investigate this thread that details the necessary steps. The current changelist can be found here but highlights include: the revamped professions and traits, the new key/padlock system, tainted water, the new Challenges system, some much-desired MP Admin features and all manner of general balance and fixes.
If you’d like a video run-down then Mister Tooks has you covered with his video playthroughand deep-dive video into the profession revamp.
Clearly, as ever, we’d like you to report all previously unreported bugs on our tracker but in this instance it would also be of huge value if you could report back on how the balance feels in terms of the professions and traits you choose. We think it’s in good shape, but there will still be kinks to iron out that’ll no doubt be revealed on MP servers.
There will also be additions to 31 in the coming week, with RJ currently making noises about providing presets for character creation.
Re-Animation Revolution
Now that our awesome friend Martin Greenall’s animations are being fed into the game it’s becoming clearer and clearer that they’ll have a huge impact on the way PZ plays and feels.
We’ve spent the last week building processes that will blend animations together seamlessly and allow for easy modding. What this video shows is our branching anim state machine, deferred movement for accurate animated travel / foot sliding reduction and advanced blending. This is still WIP, but will lead to a huge improvement in animations and flow of gameplay – and will revolutionize combat. And the way it looks in-game? Well, just have a look at how it looks in-game.
(IMPORTANT: Watch to the end of the video to see the awesome-sauce zombie anims!)
So… when? Well, we’re aiming for Build 32 but there’s a lot of work that still needs to be done. Watch this space. And EreWeGo’s remix too – while we’re at it.
That’s all for now, but rest assured that there’s plenty more cool stuff bubbling under the surface. It’s a really exciting time for Project Zomboid at the moment, and we hope that it’s the feeling you’re getting too. See you in seven days!
Today’s Featured Image by Steam user Nik_RJ . Want an email every time Mondoid comes around, or we release a build? Just investigate here!
Feb 23
Community Announcements - nasKo

Hello folks! Mondoid time again. How time flies!

This week is a busy week. As usual we’re grinding away at our respective grindstones either trying to get Build 31 ready for testing on the I Will Back Up My Save branch (this will be pretty soon, most likely. How soon is not clear quite yet), chiselling away at the huge map expansion, filling up the airwaves, poking in AI brains or rejigging the animation system.

Build 31
The most recent addition to build 31 is tainted water. Survivors will need to boil water to sterilize it to make it safe to drink without getting sick. As well as rain collector barrels, survivors can now finally get unclean water from rivers. This should make non-carpenter survivers happy! Finally big props and thanks go to the amazing blindcoder, who totally beat us to this feature, just as we were planning it, with his amazing mod.

We as usual have no ETA on when 31 will drop to IWBUMs, but any internal test version could be the one we go with.

31 is just the start of a massive push to increase the crafting recipes and skills in the game, as we discussed last week. These elements will likely make the bulk of future updates all the way until release, with exception to bug fixes and features such as map expansion, NPCs, vehicles, stealth, accessibility improvements, and general polish etc. We’re also in discussions at the moment that may lead to us getting a lot more support in the future when it comes to taking the game toward release, particularly fixing up and optimizing the multiplayer code. We’ll see how it all goes!

Anim Update and 3D Character Support
In the rewrite of the animation system, we hit a problem where the new animation driven movement would have been completely incompatible with our characters, and in trying to solve this problem it turns out it looks like it may be feasible for us to remove the requirement of FBO and Shader support for the 3D characters in the game.

What this means is it will be possible for the pre 2004 PCs that so far have to have 3D models set to none, may* be able to get away with having a 3D player character, to take advantage of all the new animations, as well as the smooth movement and cool lighting.

*It all depends on the PC in question, the CPU in particular. Milage may vary.

It’s not clear yet quite how well they will deal with it, but generally a PC with a decent processor and a poor GPU may still manage to have a single player 3D character without much of an FPS hit. It should be pointed out that the whole reason 3D characters tend to be done on the GPU is because they are pretty expensive, so no one should expect to be able to put ten 3D zombies on an old laptop and have much luck, but it opens up the 3D characters non-the-less.

It’s too early to say for sure how successful it is, but just so ye olde’ PC people out there know we have your back and are trying our hardest to get the best game possible for the low spec PCs. At the end of the day though it’s balancing act and we can’t shy away from pushing the game forward.

On the animation system itself, we’ve more or less got animation driven movement working in the game. It’s not to video quality yet, since the above changes to the 3D characters have made things a little odd looking at the moment, but it’s already clear the impact this will have to the quality of the movement of the characters is huge. The actual movement of the characters across the world being determined by the animator improves everything about them, particularly the zombies, with their uneven and stumbling movement, it will make them feel 10x more like zombies you see in them there films.

The new XML driven anim state system (as well as being moddable) will allow for us to do quite intricate branching animations that could lead to some really cool stuff, particularly in combat, allowing for more realistic and interactive combat (potentially involving two characters, say struggling to get free of a grabbing zombie).

That’s it for this week! Sorry if it was a bit short and was more waffling on about the animation system without showing anything new, but we’re well on the way and have exciting stuff ahead, so back to work with us!

Title image by Bullwinkle. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, please send a self addressed envelope to the following link.

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