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nasKo

Court Short

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Hey survivor people. A quick note before we start things off:

We’re aware the wait for the new animation system is frustrating, and it’s also frustrating for us to feel like we’re inches away from kicking them out of the door – only for unforeseen tasks to stretch out beneath our feet and further elongate your already elongated wait.

We don’t want it to sound like an excuse (as we clearly feel that you should have been slapping police zombies with spiked rifles long before now – and as a side-product seen where the new system will take us with our other 1.0 features) but we when we think about it every ‘big’ change in PZ has felt a bit like this. The initial release of the 0.1.5d demo, the long ‘Winter of No-Content’ before the 0.2.0 build and indeed the advent of MP. They have always been necessary and impactful, but they’ve also always strained patience and resulted in ‘trust us, we’re on it’ style blogs like this one.

These days matters are cushioned (to an extent) by us having a wider team: ace and plentiful community request work from RJ can go into Build 35, General Arcade can deliver a steady stream of VOIP builds as we approach its integration, Mash can industriously fill in new areas of the map. The final descent of the anims may feel frustrating, but at least it’s evident that other cogs in the machine continue to whirr.

The peril of devs working in an open window though, and reporting on hopes, problems and progress on the game features we feel will be in our upcoming builds is more than apparent here – likewise the pressure of reporting dev stuff to you on a weekly basis when there are hype trains, roadblocks and necessary diversions to contend with on the journey. We’re far from perfect in this respect, but we hope you appreciate this mentality rather than some of the alternatives. You don’t have to look far online to see what other approaches (or a blanket silence) can bring.

As such, we do apologise for the anims/combat/clothing/backpacks wait and dearly wish it were not so – but we know that ultimately it’s good for Zomboid, good for all the big-name features that people want to play with and ultimately good for players. It’s just a pain in the bum for everyone and their dog in the mean-time.

So, with all this in mind… on to Mondoid!

ANIMS

We’re in the guts of combat at the moment – tying in a bunch of mechanics that had to be disconnected from the previous set-up and transferring them across to the new animation system.

The new animation approach essentially replaces the state machine that the game has used since the very first version of PZ for a whole bunch of character actions. There are two separate systems, one of which has fresh animation states that blend into each other in the upcoming, newfangled, modern and more powerful way.

However, there’s also a whole bunch of code still relying on code that says stuff like: ‘Check if the player is in the last frame of this 2D animation! Switch to this new state! Add some XP defined by what this crazy survivor is up to!’. Sure, as you’ve seen in our videos, the combat’s working – but beneath that there’s XP, damage from stats, world collision, MP, etc etc.

All this needs transplanting into our new events within our new state system. There’s a lot to get through, and it’s of a volume that’s greater than anticipated. But, with that said, we’re chugging our way through the pile.

MAP

Ooh, look at this intriguing new location…

courtroom.jpg

(Note: this is part of an area that’s not based directly on the real world map that we’re adding.)

BUILD 35 BETA

RJ is going to return to more universal gameplay areas for both SP and MP areas of the game next, but for now it seemed relevant and sensible to expand the new multiplayer server admin powers in Build 35 to people hosting smaller co-op servers too. To this end he’s just released Build 35.19, which IWBUMS public beta testers can gain access to here. If you’re a regular co-op host then we really, really could do with your feedback and bug reports.

RJ-changes.jpg

In terms of VOIP: internal balance and tests continue. We’re currently widening the testing pool to include hosts and moderators from our various online communities to get extra feedback, after which IWBUMS will come a-calling.

This week’s amaze-o hideout from Mescalin. 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 here! Our Discord is now open for chat and hijinks too. If you want to see a general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming then we also have an updated PZ status page these days.

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21 minutes ago, nasKo said:

there’s also a whole bunch of code still relying on code that says stuff like: ‘Check if the player is in the last frame of this 2D animation! Switch to this new state! Add some XP defined by what this crazy survivor is up to!’. Sure, as you’ve seen in our videos, the combat’s working – but beneath that there’s XP, damage from stats, world collision, MP, etc etc.

All this needs transplanting into our new events within our new state system. There’s a lot to get through, and it’s of a volume that’s greater than anticipated. But, with that said, we’re chugging our way through the pile.


Thank you all so much for the update :D Hearing about what's actually holding back animations is way better than just hearing they're being held back by "something" :)

Edit: Really looking forward to once they drop into the game and the devs open up more again. Love hearing about all the little things like this that are done behind the scenes to make everything come together :)
 

Edited by Kuren

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I appreciate the honesty but i feel slightly confused and mislead.  To return the honesty i must admit that i find it hard to maintain my excitement and enthusiasm for features for extended periods (6 months +) and it is beginning to give me the 'meh' effect to playing Zomboid.  Now dont get me wrong i love Project Zomboid, iv tottaly had my moneys worth and TIS are a really inspirational game dev company but im feeling like id get more enjoyment now if i stop playing completely for 2/3 years so that i wont feel so pr!ck teased every monday.  Hate me if you will but im just sharing my truth.  Keep up the good works, Zomboid already is a truly awesome gaming experience and i completely appreciate the honesty in these mondoids, i just feel i must share my feelings for constructive criticisms sake. X

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1 hour ago, Kuren said:


Thank you all so much for the update :D Hearing about what's actually holding back animations is way better than just hearing they're being held back by "something" :)

 

Agree 100%, its way better to hear "we need to translate this old code to the new one "[Example of action here]"" than hearing "We are just tying up the animations to the system", good to see progress and cant wait to see what RJ is going to implement for the SP again.

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Really interesting to see how the animations are integrated into the rest of the game like that. Plus, it makes me more excited for the final animations. More and more detailed animations mean more potential pathways to connect all of these elements, and a much more in-depth game. I wonder if something like sneaking along a fence (assuming its a crouching animation) will give different modifiers to sneaking along a wall, or something.

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I'm letting my personal excitement for animations slide, I know how it goes with things taking forever to develop and stuff going wrong in ways that are frustrating to fix. And with half of your community breathing down your neck over it, the motivation is dying.

 

Just like Creative Mode and NPCs, anims is just one of those things that get done when they get done. No point in complaining about it - I bought this game for 20 bucks (I think) and I have already received well over 20$ worth of hours and playtime out of it. 

 

The new map, on the other hand, is something I think is super cool. Player-made maps always felt "cheap" to me, what we are being shown looks pretty believable and I'm excited for that because unlike whole new game systems map progress is something you can actually see results for in the way that we have. Can't wait to see the new section.

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