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nasKo

May Dayoid

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eddie2-712x462.jpg

 

Greetings on a May Day Mondoid everyone, hope you’ve had a good holiday if that’s an international thing as well as in good old Blighty.

VEHICLES

We’re currently prepping a public test build for our crash/smash physics-enhanced vehicles that we can release on a Steam beta branch, so we can get performance feedback from the community.

To this end Yuri has been concentrating on the more obvious performance issues that would dominate forum feedback, as well as making stuff clearer for a wider test group – such as textual indications when engines aren’t starting while we don’t have engine noise, and keyboard control alternatives for the new UI so you don’t need to navigate menus just to turn the key.

We’re going to create a new internal build tomorrow to test out Yuri’s work on crash-quashing and his fixes for the performance dip when you zoom in and out. The plan is for him to continue addressing the strange performance cataclysm you get after 20-30 minutes of play and incidents of magical parked car pop-in this week (and hopefully other niggly stuff too) and then we’ll see where we are in terms of a tech build release on a beta branch.

In last week’s blog we showed you all an image of different styles of car textures that we were considering – and internally we were pretty split between the more metallic versions cooked up by Martin, and those painted over by Mash that used flatter colours and more baked-in shading. Feedback on the forum almost universally pointed towards the flatter and more neutral green-y olive car, and as such this is the way we’ll be going.

It’s doubtful that every vehicle will have been given the Mash once-over by the time the test build emerges, but once they’re all done they’ll look (more-or-less) like this:

mashstyle.jpg

 

MAP

As mentioned previously, Mash is currently being seconded onto vehicle textures – but her next map expansion is also nearing completion. While it doesn’t contain any urban conglomerations larger than Rosewood and March Ridge it does contains fun stuff to hold up in, explore (and drive) around – for example the Knox Heights Country Club, golf course and the clusters of posh houses that can be found around its greens.

This is another addition that can’t be found on the real world map, but we hope will add some variety and also some interesting places to appear into once our more detailed ‘character spawns’ plans are realised in post-anims builds.

knoxheights.png

 

ANIMS

Speaking of, new boy Mark has almost finished implementing Assimp in the place of our old and more troublesome animation loader – and the current animation system (which is now operating more pleasantly with vehicles, post-merge) is now waiting for it to be tied in. After this we can walk through all issues we’ve been up against during the long, long wait for the system together (starting with rotational root movement, most likely) and get you some solutions.

 

37 to 38

RJ’s week has largely been in fixing up issues that appeared once Build 37 went live this time last week – seen here in builds 37.9, 37.10 and 37.11. There will be another fix build going out over the next few days, then once we’re sure the dust has settled we’ll call time on 37 and update the version on GOG. In the meantime, for 38, RJ has been looking into greater Admin powers over player inventories [seen in WIP form here], some anti-hack bits/bobs and additional sandbox options.

 

This week’s PAWS-loving safehouse from Eddie. 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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Now I don't usually hop into IWBUMS or otherwise unstable branches these days, but you can bet your first born son I'll be testing these vehicles the second they're out. I don't care how much of a WIP they are!

 

Oh, and First! I saw this posted 1 minute after it was up with zero replies and zero views. :P

Edited by BayCon
Wanted to brag about being first

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I have a quick suggestion about the keyboard controls for starting a car. Perhaps you could have a pop-up "window" into a view of the keyhole, and the player could hold the interact key and they would stick the key in, and then they could hold the A key or the right arrow to turn the key. As long as they hold both down, the car will be revving, and they just hold that until it starts. This would be a great and interactive way of starting the car, and players might even end up nervously mashing their keyboard buttons to get the car to start when they're in a pinch (a nod toward the 90's horror trope you guys said you wanted to add).

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12 hours ago, BayCon said:

I have a quick suggestion about the keyboard controls for starting a car. Perhaps you could have a pop-up "window" into a view of the keyhole, and the player could hold the interact key and they would stick the key in, and then they could hold the A key or the right arrow to turn the key. As long as they hold both down, the car will be revving, and they just hold that until it starts. This would be a great and interactive way of starting the car, and players might even end up nervously mashing their keyboard buttons to get the car to start when they're in a pinch (a nod toward the 90's horror trope you guys said you wanted to add).

Interesting in principle, but I feel like that would make it unnecessarily gamey when it could just be a single button press and a visual indicator plus sound if the car is not starting up. 

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On 5/2/2017 at 0:20 PM, nasKo said:

Interesting in principle, but I feel like that would make it unnecessarily gamey when it could just be a single button press and a visual indicator plus sound if the car is not starting up. 

 
 

 

It possible that it could be too "gamey". I don't really know what you mean by that but I think I have an idea. However, if by a "visual indicator" you mean text, I wouldn't be such a fan of that. This game has way too much UI as it is and certain things like the moveable furniture system are not "gamey" enough in my opinion. The mouse does the majority of the work in the game.

Edited by BayCon
changed "HUD" to "UI"

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38 minutes ago, BayCon said:

 

It possible that it could be too "gamey". I don't really know what you mean by that but I think I have an idea. However, if by a "visual indicator" you mean text, I wouldn't be such a fan of that. This game has way too much UI as it is and certain things like the moveable furniture system are not "gamey" enough in my opinion. The mouse does the majority of the work in the game.

I think it really just comes down to if it's worth it or not, You can accomplish the same thing with a simple click. In my opinion I feel like it's completely unnecessary extra work for something most people wouldn't care about.

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1 hour ago, xXSly_WolfyXx said:

You can accomplish the same thing with a simple click. In my opinion I feel like it's completely unnecessary extra work for something most people wouldn't care about.

 

 

But that's my problem with the game's controls. It's stuck in this awkward middle ground between point-and-click and standard keyboard-mouse controls, and it seems to be leaning more and more toward the former, which doesn't complement the gameplay very well in my opinion. The flow of the game is already often broken by awkward mouse controls when I want to do simple things such as:

 

- Open Curtains

- Add/Remove Sheets, Sheet Ropes

- Move Furniture

- Most farming actions.

- Most carpentry actions.

 

However, for most of these, it's fine. They're not actions that involve too much risk on your life. I don't want to have to right click my car and fumble around with UI windows just to start it. Some things need to feel "gamey" in a game with so much UI, in my opinion.

 

Honestly, I'm not a developer, and I don't want to appear to be some arrogant pseudo-expert, but I think that by implementing keyboard controls for things like cars now, while they're in development, it will prevent the inevitable realization that the game has far too many mouse controls and windows (even more than it does now, which the devs realize), and the reworking that a fix for said problem would require. 

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But there are keyboard controls. You bring up a radial menu and one of the options is to start the engine. I'm all for adding a keyboard press to start the engine, as it is really tedious when a car doesn't start upon first ignition.

 

But the thing you were explaining (pop up window, holding button to turn keys in a direction) seemed to overcomplicate something that could just be done with the press of a button. I just thought of it like an unnecessary mini-game, so I might have misunderstood what you meant.

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Does this mean that the existing map borders will be expanded or will another wilderness be turned into this?

Will enhanced player/zombie physics be a part of this test build or the animations build?

Technical question - will cars count as tile entities like zombies and so disappear when the player looks away?

 

SO MANY QUESTIONS!

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12 hours ago, nasKo said:

But there are keyboard controls. You bring up a radial menu and one of the options is to start the engine. I'm all for adding a keyboard press to start the engine, as it is really tedious when a car doesn't start upon first ignition.

 

But the thing you were explaining (pop up window, holding button to turn keys in a direction) seemed to overcomplicate something that could just be done with the press of a button. I just thought of it like an unnecessary mini-game, so I might have misunderstood what you meant.

Perhaps, like reloading difficulty, it could be a setting.

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3 hours ago, Kim Jong Un said:

The map area looks great. We need some big houses in PZ.

 

My only complaint from the picture is that the backyards are entirely barren. Posh 'hoods like that would have a few of those sporting a flower garden or two, if not at least a shed or patio/BBQ.

 
 

 

I agree with all of this. About the big houses, I believe this farmhouse is the largest in the game, which is part of the reason why it's now my favorite place to settle in, and I have a current game taking place there. Two floors, two sheds, and a bunch of farmland out back. We don't have any proper mansions in the vanilla map at all that I could find. I really wanna make Atlanta in-game, and make a few of the mansion neighborhoods in it.

Screenshot (298).png

Edited by BayCon

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18 hours ago, nasKo said:

But there are keyboard controls. You bring up a radial menu and one of the options is to start the engine. I'm all for adding a keyboard press to start the engine, as it is really tedious when a car doesn't start upon first ignition.

 

But the thing you were explaining (pop up window, holding button to turn keys in a direction) seemed to overcomplicate something that could just be done with the press of a button. I just thought of it like an unnecessary mini-game, so I might have misunderstood what you meant.

 

 

I guess I wasn't good at explaining it. Well, a picture's worth a thousand words so I drew up some quick visualizations. The quality fluctuates because, well, I'm lazy.

My phone's camera is trash and blurry so the text is just in case....

Picture 1:

*No buttons pressed

Picture 2:

*Holding "W" OR "up arrow"

Picture 3:

*Holding "W + D" OR "up arrow + right arrow"

 

IMG_20170504_142021.jpg

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Hah, thanks for the images :D

 

Okay, so it basically is what I imagined.

Car ignition isn't a complex thing like picking a lock though, which is where a system like this would be more suited, I think?

 

That's what I mean; it would make it more complicated when it can just be the press of single button.

 

Press to start engine

Engine stalls

Press same button to try again

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