Under the Hood
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The vehicles branch has a lot of momentum at present, so right now there’s currently a lot being done behind the scenes to pave the way for cars, emergency vehicles and the like.

 

First off, however, now RJ is back in the dev saddle after his paternity leave we need to finalise and release Build 37 – primary highlights of which are in-game maps players can annotate, pre-annotated survivor maps for SP, new cooking features and many/varied other tweaks and fixes. To this end we’ll be releasing version 37.4 into the IWBUMS public beta tomorrow.

 

In the run-up to vehicles and anims we are taking the opportunity to fix as many of the longstanding bugs that’ve built up as we possibly can – including some long-term UI/moodle ones that’ve been a pain to those who play in split-screen for a fair old while. This bug tracker purge is ongoing, and if you want to help out with a report then the tracker lives here.

 

This week we finalized the in-house document that we’ll be putting in place to ensure that vehicles are a health hazard as much as a survival asset, that we’ll detail as stuff is built into the game. In the interim, though, what’s been done this past week to ease in and facilitate EasyPickins’ and General Arcade’s long-promised physics-enhanced vehicles into a new test build, and beyond?

 

Engine smoothening. One of General Arcade’s primary vehicles branch entanglements has been in improving PZ’s capabilities in terms of map streaming and pop-up – but another issue we’ve butted up against frequently in the past is stuttering caused by Java’s resident gremlin ‘the garbage collector’. As such this week TIS have successfully spelunked into the deepest depths of PZ’s code to optimize affairs, which will have an impact game-wide and also make prolonged vehicle travel through busy/forested areas a far smoother ride.

 

Road decorating. When the a vehicles test build is released there won’t be a car on every drive (although vehicle proliferation will be a sandbox option) and as such we’ll be adding reasoning to the radio/TV lore and we also intend to have build-ups of destroyed vehicles on roads – especially towards the edge of the current map. It’s possible we’ll face engine limitations, but what we’re aiming for is a feeling of failed escapes from the Exclusion Zone when the sickness first descended on the area.

 

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Anims Compatibility Ensuring. Given the recent surge in activity that vehicles work finally coming to the boil has wrought, and the possibility that this will see them going into the full game prior to anims, a focus this week has been in ensuring that vehicles and anims systems will play nicely together. The main difference between the two branches is that the animation build effectively removes a system that’s been in the game since 3D models were first introduced: the fact that every frame renders the 3D characters into 2D sprites that draw in place.

 

Now, in the anims branch, isometric projection draws the characters in-place at the right place in the screen. This is a major optimization that removes the requirement of off-screen FBOs that are unavailable on some older cards, as well as optimizing the draw speed and makes the root motion (as well as interactions between multiple characters) work properly since the models and game world share the same coordinate space. As such, right now we’re sucking the vehicle juice out of their branch and redistributing it into our anims work – to make sure it all gels together when the time comes. There will be other things that need fixing up, but this is the main issue to resolve between the vehicles and anims branches and greatly benefit both in the end product.

 

Map Expansion. We generally don’t talk about map expansion until it’s ready to hit, but the next area will make full advantage of players being able to naturally spread out from their traditional urban starting points. There’ll also be vehicle-based locations we haven’t been able to feature before.

 

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Other stuff! Two more items of note this week. First off, one of our bigger international player-bases can be found in Brazil – yet the PZ community translation for Brazilian-Portuguese has generally been ‘not brilliant’ and incomplete. As such we’re very pleased that a new version is imminent.

 

We’re also really excited to see the first mod appear on the workshop created through ItemZed (MilkMod!) and hope it’s the first of many. Our thanks to Thiosk for his feedback too.

 

Finally, we always knew that Spiffo was a badass but…

 

 

This week’s featured image from the one and only ʅ´)ʃ. 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 now open for chat and hijinks too. A general overview of the content of PZ builds past, in testing and upcoming can be found here

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Just like the last time, this update makes it sound as if cars are right around the corner. Still wondering if it's just me or intentional.

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32 minutes ago, xXSly_WolfyXx said:

So vehicle base locations? Could this mean highways? Or are they just talking about car pileups and roadblocks ect?

sounds like pileups/snarls to me. but theres no reason that properhighways wouldnt grow in with more mapping

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First off, love the Mondoid format and info :D Reminds me of the good old dev blog like Mondoids we used to get :) (The reason I fell in love with them lol)
 

4 hours ago, Batsphinx said:

The one I'm specifically referencing in the Mondoid is a Used Car Dealership (Nolan's Used Cars) :D

 

Also, totally caught that from the picture and love that you all continue to add community names into the game :D Too fitting that Nolan will be immortalized into a car dealership as the creator of the car mod :)
 

Edited by Kuren
Feel to fell

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7 hours ago, Lexx2k said:

Just like the last time, this update makes it sound as if cars are right around the corner. Still wondering if it's just me or intentional.

It doesn't make it sound like vehicles are around the corner and neither did the last one, from what I understand is that vehicles are mostly done its just that not a lot of vehicles have models, we haven't seen too many vehicles from what I understand and theres also other things like bugs, collision, ect.

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14 hours ago, nasKo said:

This bug tracker purge is ongoing, and if you want to help out with a report then the tracker lives here.

 

Nice! :D I actually thought about suggesting to look through all the past issues that are not marked as "solved", seeing how I dug up my year old issue that turned out to be not a bug, which was recently closed (thanks @RobertJohnson!) and noticing there are potentially more old issues that may need to either look up or closing, especially as I reported a few new minor issues recently from my personal note I made playing the game again now.

 

I actually have a few items that are not really bug, being more like enhancement, yet may not be big enough to warrant a new "suggestion" thread for each one of them. Should these enhancements be rather suggested as an issues, or should I rather use the pinned, Build 35 Small but Important Suggestion (even though the title is outdated). I personally would feel better for tracker to manage these, as you can clearly see if the suggestion will be implemented or not, based on the "solved" state (even if it's marked as not a bug or similar tag), kinda similar how most open source projects do with their issue trackers, but I'm not sure other thing on that matter.

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Vehicles are so close i can taste the front bumper, mmm yum yum, i remember how my friend told me about this new game called project zomboid, my reaction was: "oh another zombie game", then i saw what was the older version of the game and -and sorry indie stone- i thought it were more anwful looking than minecraft (and minecraft aint exactly winning beauty contests anytime soon), and i didnt find a reason to touch zomboid with meter long pole...

 

Time past abit and again my friend was all like: "you must test it", so i had a go in the friends house and so i fell in love, PZ wasnt exactly eye candy but damn it had more depth than any other zombie game, 

 

Game has come long way from that day, its good looking and it has lots of content and places to explore, its more than your average zombie game, somebody said that patches come too slow on PZ but i believe that if you hurry things too much you end up hotfixing the hotfix so you can hotfix the hotfix that fixes the patch

 

So keep up the good work

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30 minutes ago, Zorak said:

Im Happy about the progress they made but lets keep some distance till they hit IWBUMS.

 

This. We're making good progress - but it's progress on the 'technical' side currently and it's the technicals that we'll be testing internally when GA deliver the next build. There's still a lot to be done in terms of bedding them down into the actual game.

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1 hour ago, Zorak said:

I Dont want to be THAT guy but hold your HYPE. Animation video is over a year old.

NPC vids are over 2y old.

 

Im Happy about the progress they made but lets keep some distance till they hit IWBUMS.

 

I admit, i was bit too hyped (must been the morning tea), so let me scratch my former post and make a new and shorter version of it and hopefully it will please everyone

*khrm*

 

*writes* "Vehicles, yay"

 

There... ;)

 

 

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