Jun 7
Project Zomboid - nasKo


 

Evening all! Last week’s vehicles release felt like it went well. The release version was fairly stable, people are enjoying having transport in the game and we’ve seen a huge boost in player numbers – which has in-turn revealed plenty of bugs for us to squash over the next few weeks in patches. Many thanks for all your reports, and please keep them coming!

There are clearly a lot of people returning to the game and wanting to get their friends involved on co-op, so we’ve also decided to put the game on sale from tomorrow for a few days with 40% off. (If people find this helpful we’ll probably do so again whenever bigger features get into the main game.)

VEHICLES FIRST PATCH
We’ve been running an IWBUMS patching some of the more serious issues – but due to the expanded number of people currently playing MP we don’t want to mix it into the fairly stable release build without giving it its due testing.

As such, if you fancy grabbing some free PZ codes for participation, then keep your eyes on the forum over the next few days / week and we will likely be running some impromptu community IWBUMS megatests for those on the beta channel.

UPDATE: In addition we have just updated 39.67.2. In amongst many and varied other things, currently in the patch we have:
  • A fix for the disabled VOIP bug, double doors imbued with physics and fixes to zombie positions on the client.
  • Fixes for players riding shotgun in MP being teleported to elsewhere on the map by preventing drivers from entering areas of the map that haven’t been loaded in their passengers’ game.
  • An increased the spawn rate of mechanic tools in car trunks, lowered player panic when inside vehicles and increased knockback when you’re ramming zeds.
  • A new Car Battery Charger item. This can be used to charge your car battery if you have electricity around you (generator included).
Fixes we are still working on include disappearing keys in MP when someone else removes the key from the ignition, occasional vertical parking splurges (!) and a few cases of MP invisible zombies. If people notice any particular replication steps for any of the above then we’d love to hear them in our bug report section on the forum.


BEYOND VEHICLES
We’ve got a few complete, and almost complete, things that were a bit logjammed while we polished vehicles that we’re hoping to drop into testing over the coming weeks, mainly the new MP chatbox and Turbo’s ‘virtual climate’ weather and seasons upgrade.

In the past week Turbo’s worked out ways to show fog/precipitation from inside buildings, but our larger and taller buildings (mall, prison etc) need some extra thought, as do outside balconies – although this does look pleasingly Exorcist-y even with the visual bug. Here’s a quick video of the fog system as nature intended it though…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeXrnBCTzyU


Meanwhile, over with our friends at T.E.A. the animation build push continues. One aspect of this is that Zac, who is working on the new dev and modding tool AnimZed, has built a nifty clothing and outfit editor into it – from which both ourselves and modders will be able to easily hook up new models and textures to items, and create new looks for zeds and survivors alike.

If you didn’t see some of these looks in our vid the other week you can check it out here. The updated tool within AnimZed looks a bit like this currently, although the bottom of the left hand column did raise some eyebrows…

This tool work is probably going to be followed up with another utility that shows in-game items vs the visual items. At the moment we/TEA/modders have to check an item’s name, then lookup how it appears in-game separately and it would be very handy to have it done in an automated fashion.

Elsewhere Gareth has been tweaking/polishing shaders for body masks, and Bitbaboon Mark has been blending, simplifying and ironing out kinks so that our animator Martin can jump in and get used to the new suite of tools available to him and polish up his work in-game. So hopefully we’ll have a bit more to show/discuss next week.

Thanks so much for all your continuing feedback and bug reports on the vehicles everyone. Please keep it coming!

This week’s station wagon from Julio. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too.
Project Zomboid - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Dominic Tarason)

Project Zomboid

The Indie Stone’s Project Zomboid has been in early access since before early access was a thing. This ambitious zombie survival sandbox has been steadily growing for seven years now, and today it got one of its largest and most game-changing updates yet. Build 39 adds vehicles to the zombopocalypse for the first time, and while that may not sound too amazing on paper the entire game has been effectively rebuilt to support them.

(more…)

Project Zomboid - nasKo


Survivors of the Knox Event can now drive vehicles and explore every nook and cranny of the vast Project Zomboid map.

Vehicles are enhanced with real physics, and come with all the expected sundries such as a UI dashboard, headlights, expanded inventory space, car horns, air conditioning and car radios – and the capacity for breakdowns, part replacement and collision damage.

Mark_exe has been kind enough to record a short video to explain ’em. Please consider going and subbing to his channel if you don’t already!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O8Js_oVLD14

Nine different vehicle models are available – not including variants on these such as branded vans or emergency vehicles. The PZ garage runs the gamut from family cars to police sedans, to Spiffo restaurant vans.

Vehicles can be found outside homes and in parking lots – while keys can be found in nearby homes, in the vehicle itself or on the floor. Hotwiring is also a skill option.



Players can replace spare parts, tyres, suspension, brakes and more – all of which can be damaged by situations such as overuse, off-road driving and collisions.

Vehicles must be topped up with gas, have charged batteries and each variety of vehicle has its own set of replacement parts for players to add to their chosen transport.

To accompany vehicles a Mechanic profession and skill have also been added to the game – allowing for increased chances of successful part installation, and trickier repairs.



PLEASE NOTE:
Due to the massive engine and gameplay changes required for vehicles, game saves from the previous build 38.30 are NOT compatible. If you want to continue your game a Steam beta channel for the previous Build 38.30 has been provided.

PLEASE ALSO NOTE:
While we’ve taken a lot of effort to get this build as bug free as possible, due to these huge changes to the PZ engine we can anticipate many bug reports, and also the potential of operational issues on computer set-ups that weren’t part of our IWBUMS beta process. Please report any issues here, and thank you for patience.


OTHER BUILD FEATURES:
  • The PZ map has been expanded – filling in the countryside between Riverside and Rosewood with farmsteads, camp sites and various nooks and crannies to explore in your cars, vans and ambulances. The official PZ online map has been updated to reflect this.



  • A lot of optimization has been done under the hood to make way for vehicles: general map streaming performance, garbage collection improvements, UI framerate changes, rendering of non-visible internal tiles to provide smoother play around tall buildings etc.
  • Many, many other improvements to game systems including: player-crafted double-doors and gates, new sandbox options, map improvements, MP and co-op tweaks, external generators, loot and XP balance, UI improvements, better gamepad controls and much much more.
For the full changelist, and information on about a million other fixes and tweaks, please visit the Build 39 release thread on our forums.

While vehicles have been a massive group effort from a lot of people within the team, we’d like to give a special thank you to EasyPickins, who did a lot of the technological framework and put a lot of sweat and blood into the system for a long time before everyone else got involved. We’d also like to thank General Arcade, and especially Yuri, for his invaluable help in their integration and evolution.
Project Zomboid - nasKo


Evening all, we do hope y’all are well.



IWBUMS BUILD 39.64
We’re hopeful that today’s public IWBUMS release (39.64) will be the last before the full vehicles release. It contains:
  • A few physics and vehicular position fixes that will hopefully help those playing on co-op and dedicated servers.
  • Improvements to loot kept on car seats, tweaks to the item disassembly system, and the removed item transfer progress bar being restored by public demand.
  • Fixes to faulty item spawn rates (especially skill books) in MP, sheet rope levitation, aspects of zombie pathfinding, missing collision on various objects and various bugs squashed when transferring items between containers. And many other fixes besides.
One other thing we might like to get into the build before release is some recent work that General Arcade’s Yuri has been doing on our Steam integration. We anticipate that quite a few people will want to come back to PZ to check out the vehicles, alongside their friends, and as such it seemed a good time to fix up some player invite issues – namely that PZ has always struggled with inviting players into games when both players already had the game open. We’ve got a build running that smoothens this out backstage, and may also consider adding this to the mix if it’s working as intended.

Please also note that, as mentioned last week, in preparation for the vehicles release, the PZ map has been updated with Build 39’s countryside/vehicle exploration additions between Riverside and Rosewood. For community mappers and interested parties: new versions of PZ tools TileZed and WorldZed have been released, alongside the latest array of Tileset images.


ANIMS
As regular readers will know, our Technical Director friend Bitbaboon Mark now has his own company called TEA – and he and his cohorts Zac, Chris, Gar and Schnitz are working on getting the new anims and models ready for the PZ codebase to switch over to them.

This week from a technical standpoint they’ve been sorting meshes/textures and data that’s loaded from .X files and have hooked up character masks and ‘items’ to create individual characters from with everything hooked up correctly.

The intention is to have the character config inside the dev/modding tool AnimZed – so people can quickly add and update meshes and put them onto characters to validate alongside the animations themselves. In fact Zac has a ‘random’ create for characters all running from AnimZed, and it looks a little bit like this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhhjHrPQ0sg

Music credit: MrEldfuel from free sounds.

Please note: there’s clearly lots of different outfits and items on-show in this video – initial anims build releases will not contain everything seen above, especially if it involves combat markedly different to what’s already in-game. This is purely to show what AnimZed can do now, and the way that anim stances now change based on the weapon being held – which is all data-driven now. (Please also note: Spiffo’s Restaurant mascot outfits are supposed to look a bit… threadbare).


WEATHER AND CLIMATE SYSTEM
Turbo is working on his remedy for the new snow/fog/storms system – in that it’s all fine and dandy having a climate system with morning fog and real-time storms forming and passing overhead, but not helpful when (as it currently is in-game) you can’t look out of the window to see what the weather’s doing.

As such he has been exploring the possibility of using screen masking to allow for the player’s building to not be included in the rendering of rain, fog or other atmospheric effects. This will mean they will be visible to the character through windows, instead of being turned off across the screen when a player enters the house.

Please note this is just a proof of concept and not fully implemented into the game yet.



 

Meanwhile Stas continues his gamepad set-up improvements, Zach continues with his additions to the PZ soundtrack and Mash continues to build some of the larger new building locations to place within the expansion out to Louisville.


PRIVACY POLICY FUN
Twas the night before GDPR, when all through the house – not a creature was stirring, not even an updated privacy policy.

This week’s fare from ㊣ $ℏìᶄ ㊣ . A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too.
Project Zomboid - nasKo
 



The Build 39 Vehicles build (playable in public IWBUMS beta) is essentially ready to go, but we need to be sure that a couple of issues have been solved by today’s release of Build 39.57: one that saw crowds of zombies pinging vehicles off roads in MP, and another on some dedicated servers that had zeds attracted to a vehicle’s previous position that we also think was to do with the physics interpolation. [So please let us know if you encounter either!]

39.57 also improves the way vehicles are arranged in parking stalls by adding directional pointers to the mix, addresses issues with watch alarms, adds extra options to help you tailor/toggle world degradation (erosion) in the game and some tweaks to help modders with the change to the vehicles build. Amidst a lot of under the hood stuff to keep stuff ticking over. EDIT: A complete changelist will appear here in the next day or so, but due to last minute issue with the latest code we’ve released a build that was already in testing and thus we’ll have to recompile the changelist to suit.

In the mean-time let’s go round the houses and find out what other PZ types are up to:


ANIMS
Last week we announced that we’d teamed up with a gang of renegade coders called The Eccentric Ape – ably led by our current anims-focussed Technical Director whizz (Bitbaboon) Mark. This past week has seen them getting up to speed with PZ, and right now they’re getting their hands dirty in the codebase. The plan is for them to do a big push on the animation system, and overall intention is that we’ll be working alongside them on many of our big features going forward.



So, for the next little while TEA’s Grant is fixing up remaining issues with layer/node and blending code, and then adding in the common state conditions that animations will ‘trigger’ – stuff like collision being on/off for combat and swings. Snitz, meanwhile, is setting to work on movement, idle and swing states to remove anything still hard coded and tie them instead to the new in-game variables.

Finally, Zac and Gaz are working on AnimZed, making it more user friendly, filtering and sorting the anims into the first set of released animations and focussing on it from the end user perspective. By the time this push is complete the system should be in a state where Animator Martin, and ultimately modders, can dive in and start layering new anims for the remaining states with very little required coder intervention.


WEATHER
Turbo’s big challenge at the moment with the new precipitation and fog that go hand in hand with his simulated climate system is how to handle it when you look out of windows – in the current game rain isn’t visible outside, and this bug will become much clearer with better rain and fog effects. Particles currently get drawn after the world has been drawn, and the weather is drawn over this final image – so we need a solution for this so you can check the weather outside your safehouse without walking out into it.

We anticipate that looking out of a window when hearing the noise of, for an example, an approaching thunderstorm (thunderclaps at the correct timing, taking into account to your distance away on the map from lightning and the centre of the storm) will be a much more common occurrence with this new system – likewise with checking out the fog. As such it’s something we need to fix up before release.

While he puzzles this all out alongside our other coders, Turbs is also creating a new sound bank for ambient sounds to signal seasonal change. He’s currently got a supply of forest zone sounds, insect noise, rain effects for both indoors and outdoors, extra SFX for heavy weather, birdsong and indoor/outdoor wind effects.

He intends to have it so that, for example, on a hot summer afternoon with little to no wind you can hear the crickets chirping – and for birds to become silent when heavy weather hits. It’s intended to be soft background noise, but if implemented well should really improve your sense of the time of year – and the current weather state created by the simulated climate system. After a meeting with the PZ art brigade Turbo is also going to add some more direction to his ‘clouds overhead’ effect, as currently they look a little too smoke-like.


OTHER STUFF
Bitbaboon Steve is finishing off our updated internal build system, while Connall is investigating ways to help our community translators keep up to date with translation strings that are updated from build to build. Mash continues with Louisville, while RingoD is building a wider roster of house and apartment buildings that she can drop into residential areas when she moves into the suburbs.

When they return from Russian Victory Day vacations General Arcade’s Yuri is working on MP network physics, and Stas continues his work to improve gamepad and mouse settings/bindings. ChrisW is also back with us and will work on giving final polish to his existing rooftop occlusion system when it comes to player-built structures, before returning to his work on Sims-style interior cutaways in houses.

Due to a necessary forum upgrade we’re also having to decommission our current Bug Tracker, which is annoying but has to be done unfortunately. We’ve harvested all the longstanding issues that were present in it, so if you see any of your reports disappearing – please don’t worry as they have a new home in our internal system. We’ll work on getting a decent replacement in the weeks ahead.

This week’s 911 call out from Ghost. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. The BOIT would like to apologise to Mark for calling T.E.A. ‘The Educated Ape’ last week instead of ‘Eccentric’, although that would also have been a good name for his new company.
Project Zomboid - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brock Wilbur)

defend-600x300

There is only one game I ever purchased on Desura and it was Project Zomboid, way back in 2011. This cool little indie isometric game strove to bring a Romero-esque slow zombie apocalypse to life by mixing survival skills, community management, close quarters combat, exploration, mental health, and a lot of good moaning sounds. It was a project I was backing but also getting in on the ground floor for, as I watched the developers list off exciting features they hoped to introduce, and work alongside the gaming community. Project Zomboid finally hit Steam Early Access in 2013… and it has been stuck there ever since.

But stuck isn’t the right word for it. Or at least I’m hoping it isn’t.

(more…)

Project Zomboid - nasKo


 

Evening all. Some good vehicles stuff today as they approach their public release, and info from the animation coalface.


BUILD 39 IWBUMS BETA
As stated last week, we’re in the final IWBUMS beta build(s) before we get vehicles out to public. This week we discovered an annoying map streaming hitch in MP (previously slightly obscured, but made more visible by last week’s improvements to chunk loading) so have this week been ironing it out – which hopefully means that today’s public IWBUMS beta play more smoothly. It has been released today as a part of Public IWBUMS Beta 39.52.

Also included in Build 39.52 are improvements to vehicle collisions with zeds. In essence there’s now a far higher chance of turning zombies into crawlers, and your speed is now tied to the amount of damage you do – and whether you’ll be rewarded with a blood splat.

Vehicles now also bump slightly when driving over corpses and, while there is a ‘boost’ bug associated with this that we need to deal with – illness on the team has meant we couldn’t fix this in time for the release today, but hopefully you can forgive the occasional car-catapult.

Elsewhere loot in cars has been brought in line with what you’d expect from the loot in nearby houses, fixes have been made to zed pathfinding, XP from broadcasts has been increased, the mass of car wrecks has been reduced and outdoor generator use has been enabled in all game modes by default. Full changelist here.


ANIMATIONS
As regulars will know, we have Mark from Bitbaboon working on our new animation system – and he’s using his knowledge from his lengthy experience as a Technical Director in the world of AAA game publishing to make the implementation of new animations (for both the PZ modding community, and PZ developers) as modular and intuitive as possible.

The primary dev and modding tool that facilitates this is called AnimZed, and this week Mark thought it would be fun to give you a video tour around some of its functions – while he continues to prepare AnimZed, and the PZ codebase, for the point post-vehicles at which we can all jump in.

There’s just one quick item of note: in the video when animation stances change in AnimZed they suddenly flick to their new position – this is because in demonstrating the tool the ‘blend time’ was left at 0 seconds meaning instant switch between one pose and another. In the game they would clearly be blended so they look smooth and natural.

(Oh, and our apologies for the robo-voice in the vid, but Mark thought it better than his own gruff Brummie accent.)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UfoY-trxJQ

This vid gets quite technical, but hopefully explores and explains the breadth and scope of what we’re aiming for a little better than dry boring text.


WEATHER
Turbo’s weather system – a realistic representation of temperature, weather patterns, precipitation, fog, snow and ice melt has been taken for a few spins backstage in the recent week to spotlight the key areas that need fixing/improvement before it can be integrated into public test builds.

Tester feedback has been pretty positive, outlining especially that you can really feel the passage of the time of day a lot better now – and people also seem to like the way that a storm will gradually roll over a map in a way that it would in real life.

[Slight warning for headphone users]
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLg4pLyrrWQ


We are also treating this as a way of killing two birds with one stone, as up till now there are areas of the game where visibility has been a problem due to our current shaders – and as such Turbo has been experimenting with many and various time of day and seasonal settings.

His side mission being to get the right balance so PZ’s visuals don’t become over-saturated, and on the other side making sure the winter months aren’t *too* drab and dreary. Please note that the following are super WIP – some are a little too garish still, but do look quite good at the correct time of day.



For now however Turbo is concentrating on the system’s bugs – like the way, for example that fog disappears completely when you enter a building, making the area around the house visible.

OTHER STUFF
Elsewhere in PZ-land Stas is getting to grips with our improved gamepad functionality and set-up options, while long term Louisville construction continues, and Bitbaboon Steve is on hand to go deeper into the optimization of our MP game.

In terms of the Build 39 vehicles release then Blindcoder is also currently working on the update to the official online PZ map that’ll reveal/spoil every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse that’s new in the upcoming release.

This week’s trailer park massacre from Sergeant Giacomo. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too.
Project Zomboid - nasKo


Hey everyone – today we’re retiring our Steam vehicles beta branch and moving it into our traditional ‘I Will Back Up My Save’ beta slot as Build 39.

If you’ve been holding off from trying out our trucks, vans and cars as you were waiting for them to feel stable and (almost/increasingly) non-buggy then we’d politely ask you to consider entering the fray today.

We need an extra burst of community testers for the final patches before launch. We need to know:
  • What’s unclear about the way we’ve implemented Vehicles and the Mechanics skill
  • How the game runs on your machine. [And if there are any issues we will 100% need to know what sort of computer it is, alongside your tech specs]
  • How vehicles are changing the way you play – both in the early and late game. And, of course, whether or not you’re having fun.
  • Any bugs and weirdness that stick out like a sore thumb.
Please post feedback in the Build 39 in the new thread on our forums.

You can find the IWBUMS beta branch in your Project Zomboid – right click on Project Zomboid in the Steam games list, left click on properties and navigate to the Betas tab.

(Please note that, due to the extent of engine and gameplay changes in Build 39, existing savegames will not be compatible – a Steam beta branch of the pre-vehicles Build 38.30 will be available at the time of launch should people wish to finish off their existing games before moving onto vehicles.)

Clearly the team’s main focus is currently on getting Build 39 polished and out of the door – yesterday releasing Vehicles Build 41 that addressed issues impacting on community translations, missing car spawn zones, lots of player-crafter gate related bugs, split-screen niggles and lots of other fixes.

In the background, meanwhile, Bitbaboon Mark continues his animations work for when the team crosses over to them, Stas is polishing his new MP chat system to drop into Build 40 and Turbo is working on ‘type of sky’ game colours (the shade of the screen when its sunny, normal, cloudy etc) and should have some time-lapse vids to show next week.



This week’s ignored rest stop from Wei. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. The 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too
Project Zomboid - nasKo


 
Happy Thursday all, and a Maundy one too – if you’re partial to that sort of thing.


CURRENT VEHICLES BETA
We’ve just updated the Public Vehicle Beta to version 40, the details of which can be found here . It’s quite a long changelist as it’s two weeks of tweaks and bug fixes, but the headlines run as follows.
  • We’ve made quite a few changes to speed up zombies when they respond to sound. This will hopefully reduce the amount of lag from zombies when they’re lured by car/siren noise, and indeed in general when a horde is on the move. The change under the bonnet is that sounds are heard on the game’s chunk system, so will there will be less iteration and tests made by each individual zed. We’ve also slightly lowered the frequency of long range car sound triggers to further ease this, without making too much of a dent on zombie attraction.
  • Currently in Six Months Later it’s too hard to find a working car as batteries have generally died. As such we’ve now changed this to spawn some fully charged batteries, no matter your chosen difficulty or the time since the outbreak, to simulate a more recent use. We’ve also nerfed the impact of world age on the battery remaining delta to help with this.
  • Since the introduction of vehicles it’s been an issue getting them into player-made bases. As such, RJ and Mash have conjured up a variety of gates to make your entrances/exits a little more dignified.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-slZcP7X56U

  • Loot discovered in vehicles has been bugging out for a while now – so in Build 40 this has been fixed up and there should be a lot more varied in-car discoveries. We’ve also added a lot more varied ‘general crap’ in vehicles, and likewise a few extra ‘owner profession’ loot spawns – like construction worker, taxi driver, painter and decorator etc.
  • After our recent bout of optimizations we’ve added a menu option to let people choose their own preferred framerate levels for UI vs. general game FPS, and upped the default UI setting too. We’ll use user feedback from this to determine the best default value in future versions.
  • A big problem in MP has been that passengers got cruelly dumped by the roadside while the driver sped off ahead, and vehicles could get a bit ‘blinky’ too – an issue compounded by lag. General Arcade’s Yuri has been on the case and this should be improved. There’s still a slight issue with the passenger-view of the vehicle jumping around a bit, but on the whole it’s a lot more playable – and Yuri is looking to get it fixed up for next week’s version.
  • There may be a few issues with cars visibly juddering at top speed and occasionally on gear changes in multiplayer. We’re looking into these issues and will resolve as soon as possible.


BUILDS BEYOND
For next week’s build (which we intend to be moved into the traditional IWBUMS beta slot as long as public testing of Build 40 doesn’t throw up any clangers) in amongst many/varied other improvements and fixes, General Arcade’s Yuri has been working on a neat little system that will decrease the irritating occasions upon which the player character is super-imposed on the car it’s standing behind – essentially creating shifting ‘bounding boxes’ around vehicles that are separate from the physics one.

Also for next week’s version Uncle Bitbaboon Steve has done some work improving network connectivity in the fight against lag, and will be with us again tomorrow to implement the final sounds for normal and small cars.

Steve’s colleague Mark, meanwhile, has been plugging away at the animation system we intend to switch dev over to once Vehicles are out of the door – most of his work last week comprising of bringing it all up to date with the considerable amount of core engine adjustments brought about in our recent optimization push. General Arcade’s Stas, meanwhile, has provided a first iteration of his new MP chat update to check out, and is now doing the same ‘bringing up to date with optimizations’ task with our forthcoming lwgl3 upgrade.

Elsewhere Turbo has been working on the new weather system we hope to get into a post-vehicles build – details of which can be found here. He’s been on a lot of ‘under the hood’ aspects this week, but has also improved how general periods of weather work – setting them up so they can be easily changed and transition a lot better. His intent is so that periods of showers, heavy rainfall and thunder clouds generate in a more variable way, and don’t always have the same expected pattern.

Now that the new wilderness/farmland map expansion is out and players are finding cool stuff like the kiddie summer camp Mash is officially moving entirely onto a bigger, and much more urban, setting with our fictionalised version of Louisville – an area that won’t be as big as the real thing, but will still be really big (and plenty big enough) in existing PZ terms.

The broad layout is done (redesigned from what we’ve shown as hints previously) which was no mean feat in itself – and now begins the process of hand-crafting all the buildings and adding details. We’ve got a stash of interesting and previously unseen pre-made buildings to slot in though, and RingoD will be stepping in to help out with residential areas, but even with this it’ll be a long, long task to complete, and as such we won’t be talking about it much about it again until it nears completion.

This week’s featured rooftop party from Bromo BR. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Finally, those open to a spot of YouTube zombie parkour might be interested in a movie version Indiegogo. Cheers all!
Project Zomboid - nasKo


Hello all, welcome to this week’s Thursdoid. A slightly short one, as usual Thursdoider Batsphinx is currently waving the Zomboid flag high at the GDC in that there America, for the betterment of all Zomboids – devs and players alike. Normal Thursdoid blogging will resume next week!

A few things to cover non-the-less.


VEHICLE BUILD 41
We were about to release the build today, as a potential IWBUMs version, and in testing last minute have noticed a serious crash issue in MP that needs resolving first, so we’ll look to fix that then release — if not tomorrow, then early next week. A few highlights for what will be coming:
  • Since we had a few complaints about the slower UI update speed, we’ve added a menu option to allow people to choose their own level of sacrifice of game FPS for UI framerate, and in addition have raised the default UI framerate a bit. (We’ll see what option most people like to try and determine a good default value in the future. Of course ultimately we’d like to get the UI further optimized, but sadly since it’s written in lua for modding purposes its inherently a bit slower to process than most game uis so we’ll do what we can.)
  • Zombie horde optimizations – there is still more to do, but in particular we’ve made significant optimizations to zombies responding to sound, and the way sounds are transmitted across the map, to make handling huge hordes better. Additionally there has been done work on the pathfinding that should make things run better when you’re amongst hordes of the dead. You’ll likely still see FPS drops until we manage to further optimize but you should notice a noticeable improvement, especially when you’re in a vehicle.

There are numerous other fixes and additions, the full changelist of which will be posted when we go live, we just want to get the build fixed up as we’re at the point now where every build should be moving us closer to a polished vehicle build so we can move on to other features we have in the pipe.


WEATHER UPDATE
Since this has been a rather teeny Thursdoid, we thought we’d share a few nice videos showing some of the new weather systems Turbo has been working on, with new shader effects (along with legacy versions for those without shader support)

Hope you enjoy!

Stormy car ride
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kelQMB62qUI

New shader driven fog:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJqxS7FK17c

Super rare night vision goggle prototype:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzgdPDbbUZs

New shader ambiences
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6futPu-g13I


THE LOOT DETECTIVES
Erstwhile investigators ShylokVakarian and his proclaimed ‘Queen of Loot’ ChatNoir have been running a rather impressive study on loot that appears in player’s starting houses, with some interesting revelations on which spawning towns have the best loot, down to the likelihood of running into good bag or a fabled Spiffo doll in your spawn house. It’s very interesting and useful statistics you should totally check out to help you plan your survival.

Thanks to ShylokVakarian for his study, it’s really great that people are willing to dig this deep into the game we’ve created, and we massively look forward to his other studies in future!

That’s all for this week, apologies its a bit short and version-less, we’ll look to get something out to you ASAP.

This week’s image is from BecquerL. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. 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 blogs like this and patch notes direct to your mailbox. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Oh, and check out the findings of the latest great loot survey from ShylokVakarian. Fanks!
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