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  1. Like... you've got to be shitting me. The person you're talking about also didn't scam anyone. They offered people to revive their characters, they did not take payment, nor did they get people to send them compromising information. You've displayed a toxic attitude to a degree that nobody had any confidence that a warning would suddenly turn it into a good idea to keep you around.
  2. Mizter McGregor's Garden Last time round we checked in with some of the main pillars of Build 42 – those things being the crafting and crafting systems update, the tech upgrade, animals/migration and MP. As such, for today’s blog we’ll be dipping into some of the stuff that wider members of the team have been working on for more general improvement elsewhere in the game. FARMING First off, let’s darken Blair’s door – and watch him lean over a fence with a piece of straw in his mouth while he outlines what he’ll imminently be merging into our internal branch for our testers to play around with. Currently I’m working on smoothing out the interface and interactions for the revamped farming. One important part of the interface, and player feedback, are the new plant sprites Mash has produced to represent plant states. Previously, our far more limited number of plants had sprites for their individual growth stages, as well as some generic sprites to represent trampled plants. Now, for every single growth stage and for every plant, we have 600 additional sprites to represent what’s now grown to 15 crops and 8 herbs. These cover states of: Unhealthy – due to disease, lack of water, or general low health. In the process of dying – due to these aforementioned reasons. Completely dead. Dead-but-also-trampled/crushed. These are for plants that have been crushed by zombie hordes, vehicles etc, and also for dead plants that are degrading over time. With the farming rework we are adding growing seasons (which can also be disabled in the sandbox settings). With these most plants will have a planting season, with optimal months that produce additional yields. Plants that are planted out of season will be destined to wither away and die. This means, that aside from some winter crops, winter farming will be no more. Growing seasons are learnable knowledge. A farmer character starts knowing all of them; a character with the gardener trait will know most of them; and they can also be learned from reading seed packets and special farming handbooks. CHEEKY RABBITS Last time we properly met the Knox Event’s deer population and their migration habits, and now it’s time to introduce some smaller varmints – who are tied to the same system, but will move around according to a different ruleset. WIP vid. Kitten behaviour will probably get more realistic / change. (‘Kitten’ is the correct word for baby rabbit – we don’t know that either. Also we had a bug this week with the carrots. Also also, with animals comes poop: MAPPING Now ably assisted by our newest friend Dirk the map team carry on a-pace with the huge map expansion that (most likely) will land alongside 42, or be a part of its beta updates. After a brief spot of begging we managed to bag a little taster of one of its more epic locations… as ever big thanks to Amz for the vid. AND FINALLY Elsewhere Fenris has been chewing on a key accessibility issue that we’ve been wanting to get fixed up since forever – namely the ability to remap mouse buttons (including extra buttons on fancy mouses) to different actions, by making mouse buttons and keys work exactly the same within the bind menu. Ooh, and also look! Area-specific vehicle spawns in action… This week’s misty hunt from Felkhan. A changelist of all our pre-release and post-release patches since the 41 beta began can be found here. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Experienced games industry gameplay coder and want to join Team Awesome? Jobs page here.
  3. [late repost] Welcome, assorted survivors! In this mod blog, we’re looking at map called Clear Cove by Dr. Hollandaise! Clear Cove is a medium-sized map with five towns to discover, and features many buildings contributed by various members of the PZ community. Mountport is the seaside town where the player starts, its main attraction being a lighthouse, which is surely a fun place to turn into a base! Boscage is the industrial town filled with sawmills and timber yards. Starford is the largest city on Clear Cove, Southbrook is a cosy little farming town, and Littlehope is the rougher part of the map. Across Clear Cove, you’ll find a new branch of the Havisham hotel, a docks with a crane, a large StarEPlex cinema, a prison, a military base, a hidden bunker, and more besides. We docked in Mountport, navigated through the seaside fog, and ascended the winding lighthouse stairs where we found Dr. Hollandaise tinkering away with some blueprints. The doctor agreed to take a few moments of rest to answer our questions about the map. DR. HOLLANDAISE Who are you in real life? Tell us a little about yourself. “I’m Dr. Hollandaise, surgeon by day, breakfast cook by night! Just kidding, not that interesting. I’m from the East Coast, and I’ve been a gamer pretty much my whole life. Working on games has been my childhood dream, and somehow I managed to get there as a marketer! I get to do the fun part of talking about games without having to do any of the hard work of making them.” “Deep inside, I’ve always been a creator, and making stuff for people to enjoy is my trip. I’ve made mini games, mods and game-modes here and there, but Clear Cove is definitely the big one.” How did you first discover Project Zomboid? Why do you like it? “I first discovered PZ years ago, before it even had a Steam page! I think Lemmy was posting about it on a forum. There was a tutorial where you have to smother your dying wife with a pillow. I played it a little bit, then left it alone for many years. Then during COVID, while stuck at home, I rediscovered PZ with its multiplayer and its mods. I dove in head-first, and three years later, I’ve played a few thousand hours!” “I love the amount of detail and mechanics there are – the car system, crafting, fishing, cooking, metalworking, building… so many things to do. The feel is on point, the jump scares are actually scary, the map is vast and expansive. Once you get bored of single-player, you hop on multiplayer servers and suddenly it’s a whole new experience. I love it!” How did you get into mapping for PZ? “I got into mapping because I was hosting my own servers and wanted something original and new for my server. After a few hundred hours, you get your first few steps down to a T: find a weapon, then a backpack, a car, some tools and food, build a safehouse. As you know the base map so well, the sense of exploration is unfortunately gone. I wanted to remedy that, for myself and for others, so I created a brand-new map that is fully standalone, in which people could have an entire run in, but would have to actually explore and discover and try to find things rather than always know exactly where to go next.” “That was my goal with Clear Cove, and that’s why the in-game map doesn’t show you all locations, and why the workshop screenshot of the zoomed-out map is blurred except for the main towns.” Tell us about Clear Cove. What sort of locations can players expect to find, and which might make a good base? What sort of player will most enjoy the map? “Clear Cove is big enough that if you’re playing solo you won’t get bored any time soon, but small enough that if you’re playing multiplayer you’ll almost always bump into people (and also still big enough to be able to avoid them and hide, if you want to.)” “Besides the five main towns, there are lots of points of interests: multiple road stops, some seaside mansions, cabins in the wood, a small forest community, a creepy cult place, industrial docks, a military base… and more!” “Despite intentionally hiding places from the player, I put hints just about everywhere to them. If you’re driving around and see a random trail going into the woods… there’s probably a reason! If you see a weird marker somewhere, someone must have put that there for a reason. Some things are completely hidden (like the bunker) but I’m sure someone will find them!” “I designed and balanced the map to be as close to vanilla as possible so that anyone can enjoy it, new and old players alike. I think old players specifically will enjoy discovering a new map – you really get that sense of exploration like you did when you first played PZ. I’ve also seen the map used on roleplay servers too and it works really well because of its size.” What were the inspirations behind Clear Cove (whether it’s other PZ maps, real life locations, etc.)? How long did your map take to make, in total? What was the most difficult part? “My very first inspiration is the vanilla PZ map – nothing will ever beat that IMHO. Huge, sprawling, detailed, varied… I would look at how vanilla did things a lot when making my map, how neighborhoods looked, how fences were placed, how sidewalks were made, etc. All those small details nobody thinks about made me realise how much work went into the vanilla PZ map. As for the general layout of things, I actually zoomed in on rural Kentucky in Google Maps satellite view and pulled some inspiration from there!” “The map took me about 150 hours over a month to make, but I had never made a map before, so that included learning. If I had to make my own buildings too, it would have probably taken twice that long. (To be honest, I did make another map called “Osteo Island” but that’s a horrible map no one should play! I leave it up as a daily reminder not to release things I’m not 100% confident in.)” “The most difficult part was learning how to use the mapping tools I think, but DaddyDirkieDirk has a WONDERFUL tutorial series on Youtube that will guide you step-by-step. You’ll straight up know how to map for PZ after listening to the first few, it’s awesome. I love that guy!” Your map uses some buildings made by the community. Can you tell us about some of these creations? Do you have a favourite? “Credit where credit is due: ALL the buildings (except two or three small ones) were made by the community! I wanted to release a map within a reasonable timeframe and I knew that making my own buildings wasn’t going to cut it.” “There are some incredible buildings made by the community and I was so thankful to be allowed to use them for Clear Cove and to showcase them to the world. The classic icon of Clear Cove, the lighthouse building, was made by Pe2h. It’s an awesome building! I also love the Havisham resort, a huge, detailed build by Ktorr2, and lots of buildings by lots of people on the PZ Mapping Discord!” “If anyone in the community wants to help make buildings but never have before, the tool to make buildings for PZ is really like furnishing your home in The Sims. It’s very fun and if you’re feeling generous, you could share your buildings for other mappers to use in their maps!” Tell us about releasing the map. How did the community react? Did they have any ideas? Also tell us about the fun trailers you made! “I didn’t really make a fuss about the map while making it. I spent most of the time in the Unofficial PZ Mapping Discord’s voice chat talking to people while working on it. Sometimes I would join a voice chat on the official PZ Discord and stream my mapping, and people would jump in and be curious about what I was doing, it was cool!” “When I did release it, a lot of people started playing it. It was on the front page of the workshop for a few days, and I was getting comments every day, it was kinda crazy! Streamers were checking it out, server owners asked me if they could use it on their server (which of course you can, you don’t have to ask!), it was awesome to see people enjoying all the hard work I put into it. Lots of people had bug reports and suggestions, which I incorporated into updates.” “I’ve worked on a lot of trailers in my day job so I knew I had to do something fun for the map, so I made two! One is the more classic, action packed trailer, and the other is a funnier trailer meant to feel like a dystopian tourism advert for Clear Cove that obviously goes wrong, considering the brain munchers. I even got a professional voice actor for that one! The trailers were about 5 hours of work each, but I had a blast.” Is there anyone else in the PZ community (or beyond) you would like to give a shout-out to? Which maps (or mods) by other users do you enjoy or find interesting? “I don’t like “shout out” sections because I’m always anxious I forgot someone, so if I forget you, that’s just because I’m a scatterhead, not because I didn’t appreciate your help or presence!” “Firstly, DaddyDirkieDirk. without whose tutorials I would have never even started. Then all the fine folks on the PZ Mapping Discord for sharing their buildings and answering my GAZILLION questions while I was developing the map. Everyone there is so cool and encouraging, we WANT people to make maps so no one is shot down even if all they ask is dumb questions (me). Anyone who makes buildings and shares them, you the goat!” “I play with so many great mods I couldn’t name them all, but I’d like to give a shout out to Chuck (the guy that made the expanded helicopter events and another million mods) for always answering/helping out on the PZ. He’s a cool dude.” “And of course The Indie Stone, for giving us these tools and supporting mods and the community so actively, you folks are awesome and you deserve all the success.” What’s next in your mapping plans? What’s the dream? “I’m currently waiting for the new update which will add basements and skyscrapers and all that cool stuff. I’m still internally debating whether I’m going to update Clear Cove to support those features, or just make a sequel to the map (Clearer Cove? Clearest Cove!?!) with all the new stuff, we’ll see!” Thanks to Dr. Hollandaise for answering our questions! You can find the Clear Cove map here.
  4. [late repost] Hello there, exhausted survivors! Craft yourself a comfy chair and relax with this month’s mod blog, as we take a look at the tile pack of DaddyDirkieDirk. Much like ThrottleKitty, Dirk is a big name among mappers, with countless popular community maps utilising his tiles in interesting and creative ways. If you’ve ever downloaded a map mod, chances are you’ve downloaded Dirk’s tiles alongside it. While ThrottleKitty’s tiles lean towards industrial and apocalyptic, Dirk’s feature many new colourful items of furniture, graphics for stocked shelves and backroom items like stacked pallets, arcade machines, office and hospital equipment, and multiple new doors and windows that wouldn’t look out of place in a “lovely-doors-and-windows” catalogue! The tiles work beautifully well with our art style, and many have a “homely” look that our survivors would surely stop and admire, if they’re not busy fighting off a ravenous, undead horde. Dirk obviously puts a lot of time, effort, and love into their tiles, so we wanted to learn more about him. We found him lounging on a colourful couch in a living room filled with arcade machines, and he kindly answered a few questions for us! DaddyDirkieDirk Who are you in real life? Tell us a little about yourself. “My real name is Diederik but most PZ people call me Dirk or Daddy. I have two kids, which inspired my nickname DaddyDirkieDirk. I have a background in game art and design, and currently work as a Quality Assurance Specialist for an AAA game studio in the Netherlands.” How did you first discover Project Zomboid? Why do you like it? “I discovered the game way back, but I only started playing on the 18th of November 2019. I remember the date because that night my wife went into labour and my son was born the next day! I played it with my younger brother on that day with the pre-Build 41 multiplayer, and it was a blast. The appeal of the game is probably the option to do whatever I want inside a true open world zombie apocalypse. With all the planned content, I have a dream where one day I can be a shotgun wielding gunslinger on a horse dressed in chainmail fighting the hordes!” Tell us about your tilesets. How many individual tiles are there? Can you talk us through your process of making a single tile? What references, if any, do you use when making your tiles? “I honestly have no clue! Some tilesheets are longer, while others are not fully filled up (yet). I think I have about 80 tilesheets in my pack, but some of those tiles were also created by other people. Even if I assume only a bit over half of the tilesheets are used, that’s over 3000 tiles. (Most of my tile sheets are 1024×2048 pixels, which allows for 64 tiles per sheet.)” “The idea for a tile usually comes from working on my map. There are a lot of vanilla tiles, but sometimes I have the need for something that’s different. Usually, I start with a rough shape simply with a colour difference for the top, left and right sides. I then drag in a ton of vanilla assets that are similar in shape or material. I use the vanilla materials as colour reference so I can make my colours match the vanilla ones. From there on its just getting the big shapes in first, and working towards the little details. I strongly recommend drawing things on different layers as doing so makes it a lot easier to change things later on. A lot of things I make are drawn from scratch, but I’m also quite keen on taking parts of vanilla assets and kit-bashing them together.” How did you get into making tiles for PZ? Have you made artwork for other games before? Do you have any training in art/drawing etc.? “I’ve always been intrigued by making my own world for games, so it was a natural step for me to go into map making, and creating tiles. I have a background in 3D game art but I never had the luck to put it into practice. Pixel art was something new for me, but with Covid happening, it was a nice refuge to be able to focus on something creative.” Your tiles have that unique “PZ” look. Is that hard to achieve? “Honestly it took me quite a long time to get the technique down. Having no experience in isometric pixel art meant it had quite the learning curve. In the beginning, I could take weeks for a single tile sheet. I think I spend a literal month on the arcade machines, as they were one of the first tile sheets that I made. Now with “years of knowledge” it is quite easy for me to make decent looking stuff. I have some videos on that as well on my Youtube channel.” “A rule of thumb I use (which only applies after you’ve learned the basics) is to take a small time frame to get the idea on paper, no more than fifteen minutes. If you can’t get the basic idea of it right in that amount of time, it’s usually best to try a different angle. It’s better to try a couple of different things for a few minutes each to see what works instead of spending hours on something that won’t work at all.” Your tiles are very varied, from containers and furniture to arcade machines and hospital equipment. Is there a specific type of tile you enjoy making the most? “Personally, I am a big fan of my height illusion tiles, even though visually they are just edits of vanilla tiles. I like to push the boundaries of what we think is possible in Zomboid, and play around with that. Another thing that I am quite excited by is the new rust and metal scratch overlays that I made to be able to make rusty containers or metal sheet walls.” Is there anyone in the PZ community (or beyond) you would like to give a shout-out to? Which mods or maps (or tilesets!) by other users do you enjoy or find interesting? “This is going to be quite the list so please bear with me! Pertominus for his tile pack, in addition to being a great friend, Zlobenia for making amazing buildings and also being an amazing person, Gabester for setting up the unofficial PZ mapping Discord, Throttlekitty for the amazing tiles and help, Commander for being a great source of inspiration (and setting a high bar for mapping!), Fred Cooper for liking bunkers, Melo’s_Tiles for his creative outlook on tile making, Moeki for his amazing “Zomboid 2077” project, BigZombieMonkey for being adept at all the mapping branches, Alree for selflessly trying to make mapping easier, Azakaela for pushing the boundaries of mapping, PIN2 for working on the Fallout Zomboid map/mod, Zubludok, Spyjack, and Neuts for letting me use some of their tiles in my pack, and the devs for making the game. And finally, a quick shout out to my loving family and friends!” What’s next in your tiling plans? What’s the dream? “Currently tile making is a bit of a lower priority as most of my gaming time goes into working on my map Dirkerdam. After the map is done, I’ll probably take a break for a bit. The dream would be to make a living doing either tile making, or to become a professional level designer!” Thanks to DaddyDirkieDirk for answering our questions! We may be hearing more from Dirk soon… You can find his tileset here.
  5. GOG, Steam, and the Humble Store are the ways to get the game. If we ever do a physical release, it's a long time away.
  6. Hello all! This week we’ll be checking in with three of the main four pillars of Build 42 – work on the fourth, the server-side player inventories and general MP improvement, has been fairly ‘business as usual’ the past month or so and there’s not much to talk about that’d be juicy for enough for public consumption. Steady your loins, then, as first of all we jump into… ANIMALS AND MIGRATION RJ has been taking a holiday (American translation: vacation) from his work on domestic animals and husbandry, and has taken to the woodland and forests of the Knox Event. Wild animals will be important to B42 for both reasons of ambiance and necessity – it will make your experience feel no end more engaging to see deer skittering through the treeline, but also will make hunting a viable survival technique – and one required for some of our advanced crafting recipes when society is long-gone. What RJ has been working on, in particular, this week is the movement of animals over the map – their migration if you will. So if you could all also have a looksee at the following video too, then we can run into it in some more depth afterwards. Also clearly: USUAL WIP CAVEATS APPLY. Things can and will change through development and testing. So what are we seeing here? Well basically throughout the day our deer will follow paths that our designers (and modders) can map out in our WorldEd tool – and in the vid you can see a virtual animal following a path. Right now, one virtual animal is a group of animals that’s been defined in a lua file. Our current group, for example, consists of one buck, several doe and some fawns. Though clearly once they are fully implemented the variation will be greater, and also dependent on stuff like the time of year. Once players get close to this coded ‘virtual animal’ these deer will then spawn into the world as real animals – and once you retreat away they’ll revert to their virtual status so the game can take over their movement and activities once more. If the group has become separated meanwhile, they’ll team back up again when their paths next cross. In their virtual form the animals will move over the map, doing potential set activities at set different places. They are timetabled to have several ‘sleeping’ and ‘eating’ periods – currently sleeping for a period of half an hour at some point between 12pm and 4pm, eating at some point between 5am and 7am, and eating again for an hour at some point before 4pm and 6pm. (Clearly, all this is easily changed at the dev-end – and can also be adjusted for whatever different animals we choose to add in future) To aid players who want to be hunters, deer will leave evidence and tracks of where they’ve been and what they’re doing. So there’ll be footprints (with a direction suggested), poop, and broken twigs and undergrowth – while flattened plants will indicate a sleeping spot, and grazed areas an eating spot. The way in which we represent these visibly in-game is currently being worked out, but for now (and perhaps later on too) we will be providing for it in a dual use for eris’ super foraging mode that was introduced in B41. A goal for the player, then, might be to follow tracks and work out the deer’s possible sleep or eating spot, mark them on their map, and then wait near those spots at the correct hours and hope that animals will stop by. We’re also working out on ways for a Tracking skill to be integrated into this, though seeing as the design is still under discussion we’ll probably talk about that at a later date. Something else that we’re aware should be factored in is human smell and wind direction potentially spooking animals, as it would in real life, but we plan to add that layer in a bit further down the line. RJ would also like to give out a call of Special Thanks to Inrictus for the time he’s spent teaching him how to be a proper huntsman! Finally, here’s another quick video of a survivor setting up camp with our new tents and whatnot (no deer this time) to give a little flavour of what the surrounding gameplay will feel like too. ENGINE UPGRADE Operation Optimization is going very well, easily obtaining several hundred FPS on our dev hardware when zoomed out. However at the moment we still need to look into optimizations for how our current fog and puddles work – both of these are intensive graphical operations that need updating frame by frame. Thus, at the moment, they invalidate our cached chunks and diminish some of the gains from the optimizations. As such at a later date – either before a first public release, or very possibly in a follow up build to it – we in particular plan to revisit these systems to optimize them for our new rendering system. Particularly the fog system, in fact, since having a depth map will now provide opportunities to make our visual effects look much better since we will have a solid representation of surfaces and depth to allow us to much improve how it interacts with objects in the scene. CRAFTING UPDATE Now the crafting systems are all in place, we’re starting to fill out the tech tree of recipes and wanted to show what’s currently being implemented. As a reminder to those who perhaps aren’t as interested in the long term crafting and survival systems we are implementing, these will be completely optional as to whether you want to engage with it. If you’re more interested in evading zombie hordes in the centre of towns and cities then you’ll still be able to do that. However, to address our game’s weaker late game, provide many roleplay opportunities, and provide depth of gameplay outside interactions with zombies – we’re going all out on making the crafting possibilities as exhaustive as possible. Likewise, we are building new and more powerful crafting systems that modders will really be able to get their teeth into. Remember, our benchmark is that a group of players should be able to build a functioning village even if spawning on a wilderness map with no signs of civilization. We want to make sure every aspect of crafting is covered to give multiplayer communities the opportunity to build and thrive, and provide modders with the tools required to make cool as hell expansive tech mods as seen on Minecraft, allowing Zomboid to become a more diverse survival, crafting and automation game modding platform in future. An example of this would be working with clay. Clay can be dug up near rivers, and will be used to make bricks, tiles, roofing, pottery, and a whole host of other items and tiles to place in the world. Those living on a barren map wanting to build a secure home will be overjoyed to be able to use bricks and tiles to make a proper dwelling that’s sturdy enough to stop zombies from breaking in. Likewise even on a smaller-scale basis, this craft will prove vital when survivors don’t have access to modern cutlery or liquid storage. So here’s a quick video (very WIP still, we have a lot of balance, UI and polish to apply yet) that will show off some of the crafting systems when working with clay. In future Thursdoids we’ll try to demo different diverse parts of the tech tree and their related professions as they implemented, as well as UI and quality of life improvements as we make them SOME WELCOMES The Indie Stone would like to extend an excited hello to two new fine folks this week – Egor who will be joining the MP team as they move ahead with their upgrades, and community fan favourite DaddyDirkieDirk. Dirk has joined our art team to pump out ever more delectable tiles to give our map more life, and its deepest parts some more intriguing objects to perceive in the darkness – and if you are interested in his fantastic work as a modder then we ran a Mod Spotlight on him only last week. Thanks all! A changelist of all our pre-release and post-release patches since the 41 beta began can be found here. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Experienced games industry gameplay coder and want to join Team Awesome? Jobs page here.
  7. nasKo

    Bren After Reading

    Hey all, hope this finds you well. Lots of work on the technical side of the four main pillars of 42 these past two weeks – all of which relatively dry, so let’s run through that briefly before checking out some of the other items rolling in. Right now the foundational code to our in-depth crafting systems revamp are being brought into a position where the MP team can better get their hooks into it, while in our optimization/lighting/height channel we’ve been continuing to polish out cutaway issues, errors thrown and the way our isoregions system handles its newfound 32 potential storeys. For our MP upgrade, meanwhile, work continues on getting the machinations of player inventories (building, recipes etc) over onto the server – while also improving the implementation of our (pretty much fully cooked at this point) new fishing minigames and systems. Domestic animals, meanwhile, are in bug fix mode – with additional attention being given to their pathfinding and around animal escapes. While all this is ongoing other team members are beavering away raising the quality of the game in smaller-scale ways, so let’s look at a few of those fun nuggets now. CURRENT AFFAIRZ One way to give our towns and city more personality is to provide more written literature for you to loot and peruse – whether it’s a fully readable lore item, or simply an interestingly named (if non-readable) book found in a house you loot that might deepen your understanding of the life of the zombie you just bludgeoned downstairs. Build 42 will feature a range of newspapers, each with a final three or four issues to pick up and read in a separate ‘written content UI’. They will contain news articles about the initial build-up to the Knox Event articles, everyday life articles, and even a few breadcrumbs as to what’s really been going in. This will also include smaller scale publications: like ‘town news’ pamphlets for the smaller settlements that don’t quite warrant a full-scale newspaper. Beyond this we’ve also had a lovely man called Stuart taking all our teeny-tiny map logos and up-rezzing them into more suitable forms for both in-game and irl usage. Their first use within the game are ‘local business’ fliers that are also readable via the same ‘printed media’ UI. Clearly there’s not much zed content that can be made from these, but their gameplay role is to mark up interesting locations (and sources of potentially helpful loot) on the in-game map – a function that we feel will be especially handy for new players. We feel that finding a flier that’s a membership advertisement for, say, the West Maple Country Club and revealing it on the player’s map will give an interesting reason for new players to leave town and explore – and likewise a job advert for McCoy logging and a corresponding map reveal might flag a decent place to potentially find an axe. There’s SO MUCH stuff on the PZ map, and we wanted a way to direct people to some of the locations we’re most proud of. Especially those lost in the vastness of Louisville. PERSONAL READING We also really want you to feel interested in the deceased people whose homes you are raiding, and perhaps even saddened by their demise. From this we’ve also added a LOT more texture to the names of some of the books, comics and magazines they’ve been reading – and indeed the photographs they’ve been tenderly keeping in an upstairs drawer. The hope is that when the spawn tags on these 1500 different interestingly titled books/mags (non-readable) combine with the way we guide our RNG looted spawns work then neat little stories will form in your head about the sorts of folks that lived here up until recently – and perhaps who you just left dead on the kitchen floor. Perhaps they were reading a book called “Long Term Illness Management” by Laura Paloma, which shines a light on the medication in the bathroom. Perhaps their love of military history ties in with the guns, or maybe it’s satisfying to know the zombie in the garden used to read trashy thrillers. Likewise finding photographs that aren’t simply called “photograph” in a cupboard won’t do much to you, but instead seeing “Photograph of a Smiling Family” or “Photograph of a Wedding Car Arriving at a Church” will hopefully do you some emotional damage. We’ve got about five hundred of these, and they’re already bringing some amazing (doomed) colour to the average loot run. We’ve also got six new TV channels, a new radio station, and 75 new VHSs ready to mix into the game (all written by Pat_Bren, who’s also the architect of all the above alongside coder Blair Algol) so really feel that B42 will broaden the narrative possibilities of the game significantly – while also neatly tying into the gameplay in many instances. Some other changes that are tied into the above: The books, magazines and comic books that now have individual titles, will also be persistent. Instead of disappearing after being read, there will be a cooldown period that dictates how much time must pass before the character’s moodles can benefit from re-reading said item. In conjunction with this revision of literature items, we’ve gone over the mechanics of the Illiterate traits. Illiterate characters are unable to read literature items, but in some cases, such as Comic Books, Catalogues, Photos, and “certain magazines”, they will be able to enjoy looking at the item instead of reading it. In build 42 Illiterate characters will also be unable to read or write player generated notes using sheets of paper or notebooks, write notes on maps (although they can still put symbols on them), read the text on the annotated map items, or understand the nutritional information on packaged food. We’ve done a common sense implementation of needing light to read. If there is insufficient light in a character’s square, and they don’t have an active light source, they will be unable to read (or “look at” for illiterate characters) printed matter, unable to read nutritional information on packaged food, and unable to open maps. MEN WITH VEN Part of the above has been in ensuring that the right newspapers and pamphlets spawn in their appropriate towns, and as such we’ve mixed in a new municipal region system that tells the game’s systems exactly what area of the map each location in the game is located within. We’re also using this for some new vehicles owned by local businesses, that only ever spawn in their hometown and associated region. It’s generally not a known gameplay function, but for many builds now we’ve had ‘profession’ vehicles on the map that are owned by carpenters, metalworkers and electricians – all of whom *do* leave tools in their vehicle overnight. We’ve never flagged this up, however, which has been a missed opportunity – as for players searching for particular items these are very much mobile treasure boxes. Therefore Martin has created a variety of new vehicles for different businesses to better communicate what sort of special loot might be found inside. We have vehicles for different utilities, nationwide businesses and local businesses – many will only spawn in one town, and some are unique in that only one instance of that vehicle will spawn in the world. We know that PZ players love collecting vehicles, especially in multiplayer servers, so this should spice up the hunt for the vehicle collectors. This regional system, and unique vehicle system, is set up to be easily used by mods also. GASP. WHEEZE. PANT. Regular readers will know that we recently had our very own recording sessions in a studio with microphones, actors and everything. We had various missions to accomplish with this – a primary one being to obtain recordings of a male survivor and a female survivor huffing, puffing, getting hurt, climbing over things, sneezing, coughing and even shouting “hey!”. The first fruits of these can be heard below and (while subtle when added to the mix and heard in isolation from the way the game sounds currently) we believe that they’ll add a lot to your overall experience once they land in 42. (PLEASE NOTE: This is a work in progress. Volume and balance levels are initial ones and will change, likewise some recordings sound better than others and we haven’t cherry-picked the ones that work best yet. We think that the exertion noises during heavy combat could certainly do with a boost.) A changelist of all our pre-release and post-release patches since the 41 beta began can be found here. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Experienced games industry gameplay coder and want to join Team Awesome? Jobs page here. Project Zomboid strongly discourages the unlawful dissemination of classified military intelligence
  8. You triggered the autoban due to posting a gif that had a blacklisted word in it. https://discord.gg/theindiestone
  9. nasKo

    Crafting RamblZ

    Hey all! So we’re still not at the point of being able to show anything substantial from the crafting overhaul, however we thought we’d talk about a few topics that are relevant to our current work and give people a bit of insight into where we’re going, our ultimate goals and the design challenges we’re facing. This will be very much a stream of consciousness post, taken from a chat within the crafting team, so forgive if it lacks direction but we hope it’ll be interesting! Inspiration One of our biggest inspirations in terms of what we’d like to accomplish with Zomboid ultimately in terms of crafting freedom and possibility, is to provide similar creative and community experiences found playing the extensive tech progression modpacks for Minecraft. Several of the core crafting dev team have periodically dived into Minecraft modpacks for a good chunk of Zomboid’s development, and spend many hours grinding away decorating our bases, building wonderfully cool machines, laying down pipes, wires and conveyor belts and whatnot to double our ore output or finally get that new power system to power our base. The possibilities we could bring to zomboid have tickled at our brains for many years in this area, and we’re excited to be finally exploring them. Obviously though, Zomboid is a post apocalypse survival game and it would be rather silly to say the least if some zombie apocalypse survivor was building a nuclear reactor or casting rituals to open portals, so this shouldn’t be taken as a literal 1 to 1 inspiration. What we’ve taken away from our experiences is more the overall spirit of building, of expanding, of obtaining materials, of navigating a very tall tech tree formed from the availability of resources, that will finally allow you to explore a new tree and open up new areas of gameplay to the player, rather than the literal experiences of making ore crushing machines, nuclear reactors or ender teleporters. As much as we feel Zomboid is an extremely deep game, it’s never hit the bar we’ve wanted in terms of this area of gameplay. Mixed in with that is the heavy focus on roleplaying, especially with multiplayer or later with NPCs, our ultimate vision is somewhat parallel but different to the experiences in Minecraft, with more of a focus on realism and plausibility, as well as leveraging skills, professions and learning to make the experience more cooperative and interesting in a roleplay environment (though solo players need not worry, as NPCs will fill this gap too, and before them we’ll make sure to adequately provide sandbox options, and likely the builder main menu mode, to not lock this stuff out of the single player experience). Extensivity vs Believability As we stated a while back, our aim with the crafting overhaul is to provide a framework for us to expand the crafting possibilities within the game massively, to allow for a long post-apocalyptic settlement to create everything they need without relying on looting, to elevate the need for players to ever need to reset their worlds unless they want to, while crucially gating all these extra possibilities in a way that makes sense — so you don’t get the odd situation where your burger flipper has wacky esoteric crafting recipes involving bee’s wax or crushed limestone popping up in their crafting panel that seem odd or ridiculous within the context of a zombie survival story. The best example of this would be for example using metalworking to make a spoon. If you’re a metal worker then you should be able to make a spoon. This is a thing that makes sense in terms of what someone with metalworking skills could produce should they wish to. But a spoon is a weird thing to see pop up as a crafting possibility in an urban environment filled with spoons. We’re currently planning on how recipes and crafting possibilities will be presented to the player, how to lock them intelligently behind professions and traits, and more crucially nest them away sensibly within a better interface, while providing enough opportunities to learn them to the player so they don’t end up doing generator manual style hunts around the map for many hours. This is not yet set in stone but ideas are forming on a new interface for crafting and building that would provide this stuff to the player in a much more natural way, where we can provide a huge amount of options without drowning the player in recipes that seem completely useless or weird within their current situation. Grind vs interesting multi-stage crafting Another challenge we’re still nailing down is finding the best balance between extensive and interesting crafting of items, involving multiple stages, potentially multiple methods, multiple skills, maybe multiple characters, but not crossing that line where crafting becomes tedious or frustrating, or you get that sinking feeling looking at the steps you have to complete that disincentivises you from undergoing it. It’s a hard balance to hit, and in our first ‘more zomboid / realistic’ pass of the tech tree, we’ve probably gone a little far over the tedium line in our desire to honour zomboid’s realism. We’re currently in the process of consolidating some of these steps, still retaining multi-profession or multi-skill or multi-step processes to keep crafting interesting, while removing a few steps that may make for frustrating or repetitive gameplay. It’s for this reason we’ve been a little sheepish about providing a look at our current crafting trees at this time, as we want to make sure we strike this balance first lest we worry people that crafting is going to be an unforgiving grind. A portion of the crafting trees. Eek. Learning/Skill Grind Another area we’re looking into heavily is the process of learning new skills. While we want to retain the process of a player ‘doing’ stuff to level up in that skill, with the vastly expanded skill list that 42 will be introducing, we want to come up with other ways a player can level up that don’t involve building 1000 things after reading a skill book. For one – a skill book may not exist if you’re generations after the apocalypse, or if you’re playing on a blank wilderness map instead (something we’d really like to be a possibility, and our test case to make sure our crafting overhaul is comprehensive will be making sure the player literally cannot rely on looted items). We’re still coming up with ideas of how to approach this, but certainly the idea of learning recipes for items or buildable tiles as well as gaining skill xp from observing other players craft them is something we’re exploring heavily. Again, NPCs will fill this gap for single player, and in the meantime we’ll ensure that builder mode and sandbox provide the tools necessary for solo players to get access to this content without other characters to learn from. Another aspect of this is that with much more expanded profession and trait possibilities, we hope to provide much meatier skill bonuses from professions, allowing players to come into the game a lot more capable than before at these specific areas of the game, given that there will be many more they are not capable at. In addition, we’re exploring the possibility of linking recipes and professions that share common skills or concepts together, allowing characters a head start at performing crafting when they have picked up relevant experience in similar areas elsewhere. Modding So here’s where we can have our cake and have eaten it. Making a nuclear reactor seems a very silly thing to have in zomboid, but where the modding scene is concerned, hopefully people can go wild here. If a wilderness map becomes a viable way to play, the game no longer reliant on looted items nor a zombie threat to make it interesting (particularly in a multiplayer setting), then modders aren’t really constrained by the zombie survival theme of the game any more, and could extend our tech tree way beyond what we provide to allow for a much more abstract ‘tech em up’ survival sim providing factorio and minecraft style experiences along with multiplayer or NPC driven roleplay. We’ve kept all the power of crafting within the familiar scripts and lua that people are used to, expanded with item properties and traits based on crafting skills, multi-tile constructions for crafting stations or machines, fluid, item or power transmission for doing logistical networks, and can only imagine the possibilities will balloon dramatically as soon as our incredible modders get their hands on it. This is where we imagine zomboid could become an even more exciting modding platform, and in no way a small aspect of why we want this framework to exist in the game as we’d be extremely excited to see what modders will bring to the table (as we always are). So what will you be crafting? Lots of stuff. While it may not be relevant for a player running around in Muldraugh in the 1990s, and while a burger flipper may not have this knowledge, there’ll be professions that emerge in the years following the apocalypse to cover crafting the majority of non electrical items in the game currently (though with perhaps a more homemade aesthetic), tanning leather, making glue or soap, spinning wool, or making cloth to make clothing, dyes to dye that clothing, bowyers to make bows for the hunters, growing hemp to make ropes, glass-makers, stone masonry to finally make those zombie proof walls (again, we need to think further on the design here to not make this too OP), thatched roofs. Basically everything to make a thriving post-apocalypse town, provide much more opportunities for creative and aesthetic building mechanics, building paths, fences, walls, and the production of goods to keep that town ticking over and potentially trade with others. In case anyone is not familiar with our plans regarding post-apocalypse professions, this is the concept that in the years after society collapses, we would slowly retire pre-apocalypse professions that have ceased to be relevant in the new world, and bring in new ones that represent professions one would like to have in a more savage and technically regressed post-apocalypse. Single player and multiplayer alike will allow for a player to start much further into the Knox timeline than ‘six months later’ and provide a vastly different experience, though those who want the current zomboid experience will not be impacted beyond a larger selection of crafting opportunities. Obviously we’d be looking to give the world a much more eroded aesthetic if you were playing 100 years after the Knox event, for those hoping for a more Last of Us style degradation of the world over longer time spans, but it’s unlikely we’ll address this before 42’s release as we have a lot on our plate already. Hopefully this gives an insight into why this has taken so long to get the systems in place, and the design challenge of making all this work within the game. It’s not clear whether we’ll have literally everything we’ve designed in come first unstable release of build 42, its very possible we’ll get the base stuff in there, and then fill it out over numerous releases during a long unstable b42 release cycle, as there will be a lot of tile and item artwork required, but we want to get the core systems in place and enough crafting potential to elevate the late game dramatically before we get it out there. We need to make sure the foundations are in place first however, as we’re walking into unfamiliar territory and are as always ever mindful not to disrupt the things that make zomboid what it is. A changelist of all our pre-release and post-release patches since the 41 beta began can be found here. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Experienced games industry gameplay coder and want to join Team Awesome? Jobs page here. Title image taken from Abby on Steam
  10. https://theindiestone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/65059-i-was-banned-i-think-from-your-discord-server-with-no-warning-and-i-havent-been-banned-before-or-kicked/#comment-380675
  11. Wotcha survivors. The general pattern for 42 dev is that we’ve got four main pillars of Build 42 – all of which are the ‘big stuff’ and the fundamental large-scale tech improvements. These are: moving much of the MP system server-side to give servers more control and less hackability, introducing our deeper and more expansive crafting systems, bringing animal life to the Knox Event – and engine improvements to optimize, give far greater height/depth levels to our map, and to provide more realistic light and darkness for your survival adventures. These are the things we need for release, while other things in development by our dev partners (or staff assigned to more general improvement) are seen as ‘nice-to-haves’ – and some may even fall into patches of 42 when things start to shake out a bit. Going through the ‘pillar’ features though: The lengthy first stage of the MP work (transferring player inventories to the server) is now over, and transplanted very neatly over into the internal test build – so now our MP coders are delving deep into stage two. This will see all operations of player inventories (building, recipes, foraging etc) also move into server control, overview and deference. In terms of the deeper and more expansive crafting – as we mentioned last week the code systems this is all based on has now been merged into the internal test build and as such much of the last week or two has been centred around fixing the longstanding recipes and functions that the new stuff has broken. We’re pretty much back at a standard of ‘operational’ on this, or will be after a commit being made tomorrow, and this too has been a process that was a little smoother than expected. That all said, obviously that has been the focus post-merge, so while progress has been made since its integration, the majority of work has been bug fixing and not much to report otherwise. The team are starting to discuss the next step post merge, and looking forward to it immensely! Animal and animal husbandry meanwhile (or at least the cows, pigs and sheep – chickens are still a little haphazard) are approaching a stage where they’re fun to play around with for extended periods in SP. Following on from the merge of the music system detailed below into the internal test build, they also now moo, oink and baa which has given them a lot of extra life also! Finally, in terms of the tech upgrade we’re mainly at the bug fixing and further optimization phase with the chunked rendering and variable height systems, but it’ll likely be the sort of thing that’ll spit out bugs and countless ‘betcha didn’t think of this scenario?’ gotchas for some time to come, so its not clear when it’ll be merged into main. As said last week, it should be mostly smooth when the time comes though. OTHER STUFF Next up, some of the other items being conjured up for 42 either with our development partners, or the smaller cool stuff that our own devs have been working on in the background. On top of the below we’re almost wrapped on stuff like fishing, work on the farming revamp continues and is having new crop assets built for it, and clearly the map expansion continues apace and will likely be a part of a/the 42 release also. AWESOME ADAPTIVE MUSIC SYSTEM First up for discussion is 42’s new adaptive music system – a long term plan that’s now coming to a fairly awesome fruition. As long term players will know, our OST came from the musical brain, delicate ear and dainty fingers of Zach Beever – one of the most important people we came across in the earliest days of Project Zomboid and whose work many of you have heard over thousands of hours of play. What Formosa (formerly Noiseworks) have been up to more recently is taking the original arrangements and stems that Zach has provided to create variations of our beloved soundtrack that have variations of different intensities. The composers who have ably taken on this task are Armin Haas and Matthias Wolf – both of whom appear to have nailed it. Players have experienced the first stage of this system in build 41, with action music which is specifically when players are in combat with the undead. For 42, this music has then been worked into a new adaptive exploration soundtrack. Based on in-game events, a music intensity parameter is adjusted and the soundtrack adjusts accordingly as well. The aim is to have the exploration music reflect the more exciting times as well as calm moments in the game in a better and more organised way. The best way to explain this is in the following prototype video. As ever this is WIP! We’ve also cropped it slightly oddly to hide some of the debug magic that lays bare some of the magic, so please forgive the character not being centred on the screen! Sound up plz! (obv!) We’re only working of a very basic set of events at the moment – coming across new houses, opening doors, vaulting fences and the like. We will be adding lots of different game events that will have big and small impacts on the intensity parameter – the discover of ‘special’ buildings, finding useful loot, noticing a survivor zed etc etc. The system will undergo lots of further fine-tuning, and will be adjusted further from the version seen above that went into testing only yesterday. Also happening this week in Sound World has been the recording sessions we’ve had arranged to create ‘body noise’ puffs, pants and pains that we want to play on top of your character’s on-screen manoeuvres. We’ve also used this opportunity to record many and various experimental dialogue lines that could potentially be played (very, very muffled) over our TV and radio shows in a Simlish kinda way – and likewise automated announcements that may well still be playing in locations such as malls and key Louisville locations even after public zombification has occurred. We’ll have more on this in the next blog, most likely. UNDER THE STARS A few notes on outdoor sleeping. First off in 42, sleeping bags and tents (when packed) can be attached to appropriate backpacks. It looks quite nice and fun, especially when attached to a survivor zed. Next up, we’ve made some general improvements to outdoor sleeping. As such tents are now both containers and beds. They are not good beds, mind – and using a sleeping bag by itself certainly isn’t either. You can put a mattress or an un-packed sleeping bag into a tent to make it a better bed. You can also use a pillow to modestly increase the quality of a tent bed, including reducing the chance and severity of neck pain. This applies to all other bed as well, including car seats. You’re protected from the rain when sleeping in a tent, and the tents look a lot nicer than they used to as well. GOING UNDERGROUND Given as 42 will increase our height limit (and more particularly our depth limit) our artists and mappers are currently working on new visuals that will better suit locations beneath the ground of the Knox exclusion zone. Here’s a fun example of the sorts of decoration that we hope will give added flavour to your new life underground, and hopefully bring along some Resi vibes with it. A changelist of all our pre-release and post-release patches since the 41 beta began can be found here. The Centralized Block of Italicised Text would like to direct your attention to the PZ Wiki should you feel like editing or amending something, and the PZ Mailing List that can send you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. Experienced games industry gameplay coder and want to join Team Awesome? Jobs page here. Title image is from D4CR33P3R on Steam. That’s all for this week,
  12. nasKo

    Disruption Week

    Hello all! A brief and more hastily thrown together Thursdoid this week I’m afraid, as we’re currently at a messy but exciting turning point in b42’s development which will be setting us up for the remainder of development, and rather than try to scrape together content for this week’s blog while we’re in the guts of it, we would rather save what we have for a much more exciting Thursdoid down the line when things are also a little less hectic. However, we’ll explain the situation this week to give people a better idea of what’s happening. Firstly, months of multiplayer reworking has made its way into the main development build, which is our efforts toward moving a lot more of the codebase to being server authoritative, particularly with a completely server side inventory system, to aid in making future PZ builds a lot more hack proof. Secondly, the core systems of the massive crafting rework are also being merged into trunk, ready for the wider team to start building on it for the much anticipated deep crafting trees and new post-apocalypse professions for our overhauled crafting systems. The crafting overhaul is quite huge, changing how recipes and items work on a fundamental level, and will require some work to port over existing items, along with any that have been added elsewhere during the course of the new system’s development, and as such touches on many areas of the codebase and is a difficult one to integrate. As such, things on the main branch are in a bit of temporary disarray as these big systems get integrated into the main line, it’s going to be a busy week as the team bugfixes and gets the development build ship shape to start pushing forward with all the integrated code toward getting it to a point we can start looking to push it out for public testing. This new systems allows for: Multi tile ‘machines’ and crafting stations Support for networks of items, power, liquids or gases (ultimately a building’s power, heating and plumbing will use these systems for example) For items both crafted and looted that have varied statistics and unique properties that alter how they function beyond the simplistic ‘condition’ of existing versions of the game, and providing much more deep variety to gameplay to crafted and looted items. The recipe system has become much more in-depth and customizable allowing for much more interesting crafting processes and possibilities. Unfortunately this also means some work in getting all this cool functionality pushed from its branch into the mainline, but this has to be done and once it is the situation going forward will be a lot more exciting. Once this is done, and we have a large portion of the code team contributing to building out the vast crafting trees that have been designed, we should start to have some exceptionally cool stuff to show off in future Thursdoids as we start to feature the crafting overhaul (something quite a lot of people are most excited about) a lot more on the run up to build 42. We’re aware that on the whole this aspect of b42 has been shown off in Thursdoids the least, mainly because the work done (outside the cool fluid systems and the crafting station vid shown a while back) has been mainly code for foundational systems to allow the crafting overhaul to reach the heights we are aiming for, which in itself facilitates extremely cool stuff but is rather hard to blog about in itself. We’re excited that its reached the point where we can build on those foundations and hopefully begin to show off what we have planned. While build 42 is still a way off, we’ve reached the point we were excited to reach, where we can start actually filling out the tasty and much more bloggable content that will make up the crafting overhaul. Without re-treading over old words, you can read an in-depth description of our crafting plans here. Along with the new crafting systems, animal husbandry and hunting, the extensive map expansion, and the multiplayer rework–the only other branch left to combine into the build 42 main vein is the tech upgrades that we’ve detailed over the past few months. Including basement support, big optimizations to tile rendering, new lighting propagation, and…erm…. this… The tech upgrades will likely be the last to be integrated, however will be the easiest once the times comes since the systems it changes, for the most part, do not overlap so much with ongoing development on other branches. There has been some other cool stuff in the pipe, as hinted at in the screenshot at the top of the blog, but we’ll discuss them in more detail next time! That’s all for this time–apologies if its rather thrown together this time but we’re really trying to push towards getting this stuff integrated so we can start showing off the cool crafting stuff we have in store for build 42 in future.
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