EDIT: Am adding a note to say here that our last few days of testing have gone remarkably well, and we're comfortable saying that, bugs aside, Zomboid seems to be shaping up as an enjoyable and stable MP. Although it's not ready for the main branch, and there are still issues present, it seems time to admit we have multiplayer in this game. Weee! Thanks for your support everyone We have another patch incoming but want to give it a good test and don't want to risk destabilizing what is, for most people, pretty stable MP..
Then NPCs next!
TL;DR to play Zomboid online:
Awesome vid here: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=i8nIk6SlkNM
Yes, we're finally biting the bullet and throwing the PZ multiplayer onto a separate branch on Steam.
A few bugs aside, MP is starting to feel really solid and there's plenty of fun to be had. We are sure there are various issues, both discovered and undiscovered, that need resolving in the near future, but are feeling its in a stable enough state where people could have a play. However, we would like people to be mindful of the following point:
It's not finished!
This is not an official public release, or even a Steam beta release. There will be bugs. If you would like a stable multiplayer server with no chance of world corruption destroying your stuff, or potential bugs that could affect your enjoyment of the game, then please wait until the official release which should hopefully not be too long.
This version of the game is multiplayer only. Since this build has so far incomplete new zombie spawning systems etc, single player is a little broken so has been disabled for now. If you want to play single player, you'll need to switch to another branch on Steam.
Several intended features are currently missing, such as a 'safety mode' for PvP to avoid accidental friendly fire (though PvP has a enable / disable option in the server config txt) so be careful with those axes!
Server defaults to open, but a whitelist can be set up to restrict access. Shouldn't be required any time soon if your IP is guarded sufficiently. The server whitelist is currently maintained using an SQL database, using a free to download app to manage it. It's pretty easy to use, but slightly more fiddly than editing a text file with usernames would be. You can find information on how to add people to your whitelist in the instructions thread at the end of this post. In future we will provide a nicer method for doing this.
Currently everyone spawns at Kate and Bob's house in Muldraugh, there's no character creation, zombie migration/repopulation is not in yet, but it is coming.
You may end up having to restart the server once in a while to clean out the cobwebs, and its completely possible you may feel the need to do a world reset from time to time. We're working toward a sustainable system where server worlds could run indefinitely, but that time is not now.
If you choose to be involved in the multiplayer testing, then please be understanding of any issues that crop up, and help us solve them with clear detailed information on the forums.
If you're posting this anyway, please direct people here. Do not just post the steam beta info elsewhere and let people start playing unaware of the issues and the status of this version.
And most importantly of all: Stay safe, stay out of the cities!
There are no public servers. if you want to play you'll need to join someone else's server (getting added to the whitelist) or create your own. This process isn't as simple as we ultimately plan it to be but not too much of a chore.
There will be cheating
Particularly this first version, given the mod capabilities of the game there will be cheaters out there. Publicly open servers beware. If you give your IP out to people you do so at your own risk, and should look into a whitelist as soon as you have a solid set of people for your server.
Getting the online branch.
Go into Steam, right click Project Zomboid, then go into Properties. In there, click the BETA tab, and in the dropdown select the 'onlinetest' branch. After closing the properties dialog PZ should download to the multiplayer branch.
After launching a server for the first time, you'll have a bunch of options in your C:\Users\<Username>\Zomboid\Server\serverOptions.ini for enabling / disabling PVP, or closing your server to people with valid user/passwords. It defaults to open so people should be able to join your server with any user/pass by default (as of hotfix since this edit was made - so validate your steam version if reading this afterward). Changes will only take effect after relaunching server. If you're careful who gets the IP address then you could get away with never having a whitelist if you so choose.
Creating a whitelist
If you would like a private server where people need a valid user/pass to join.
As stated, this is a bit more of a mess on than it will be down the line, but once you're set up its pretty easy to manage.
The server will look in your zomboid data folder (where saves are stored) for a database file with username / passwords to authorize people trying to connect to your server.
Here is an empty database you can use: https://dl.dropboxus...553835/world.db
Put that in the following folder (or your platform's equivalent):
You need to create the db directory yourself.
Next, download this. It's for editing file based sql databases.
Open SQLite Admin, and open your world.db in it.
Go into Tables, click whitelist, expand it out and click a random field (say id)
Then click the Edit Data tab, and you can put data in. All you need to do to add a user is click the + icon, and then (in order) put servertest into the 'world' column, then add a username and password into their respective columns. Close the database once you've made your changes and it'll auto save. Note you can only edit the database when the server is down. Again we'll make it so you can maintain a whitelist while the server is running in the near future.
Running a server:
In the game directory there should be a batch called ProjectZomboidServer.bat (windows) or a shell called projectzomboid-dedi-server.sh (linux). Run that. You may want / need to tweak them to allow less or more memory to be allocated to the server depending on player counts, but the default should work fine for most. We'll provide mac instructions once we've nailed it down, however mac users can connect to windows/linux servers no problem. If you envision lots of players it would be a good idea to tweak the memory usage to 4gig or as much as you can spare, as that's likely the major deciding factor of player counts.
The server uses the port 16261 for communications, and each player has a download port for getting the map data from the server, starting at 16261. You will need to open a port per player, so for a 32 player server open/forward 16261 - 16293. Instructions for forwarding ports etc can be found all over the place, and will usually involve going onto your router. So google your router along with 'port forwarding' if you're unsure, or ask a friend. Setting your internal IP (192.168..... obtainable by 'ipconfig' in a command prompt) to the DMZ on your router is a shortcut to doing all this, and will probably be the easiest option, but you'll then be lacking your router's firewall so that's up to you.
Now it's just a case of providing the IP to those with access, who can add the server in the JOIN SERVER dialog in-game. Find your IP here: http://whatismyipaddress.com/
For detailed linux instructions, read Connall's guide here: http://theindiestone...zomboid-server/
And for more details on renting/buying servers, check here: http://theindiestone...zomboid-server/
Reporting a server error
If you get broken chunks, or other calamities occur with the server, zip up the directory: C:\Users\<Username>\Zomboid\servertest\ and get it to us along with a description of the problem, and hopefully we'll get it resolved asap.
Videos / Streams permitted but please make sure there aren't problems running it before doing so?
If you have errors loading the game like this:
Install this on 64bit systems: http://www.microsoft...s.aspx?id=14632
Or this on 32bit systems: http://www.microsoft...ls.aspx?id=5555
If you're getting connection issues, then it's almost certainly either incorrect IP info or an unknown firewall or something installed on your machine. Avast and other virus software may also act as a firewall without your knowledge. So either add a rule to allow zomboid, or disable them, but obviously the latter is not recommended unless you also have windows firewall or similar and the avast firewall is undesired.
For those getting stuck on loading screen with "Delay processing packet of type 12(or 56 or 78) while loading game" message - just keep waiting until you either join or the game crashes. If the game crashes - grab the log and post it here for devs to debug the issue.