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Vlad the Imbiber

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Thursday: it’s back. Back from the dead. Back with the zeds.

VEHICLES

RJ and Yuri have been hard at work on Vehicles Build 25 – much of which has involved scrubbing up and polishing features added over the past few iterations. So you can expect optimization, UI improvements and general groundwork for the final ‘top down diagram’ vehicle UI screen – while Yuri is currently cracking down on a rogue memory leak and various aspects of non-syncing on MP servers.

Also in Vehicles Build 39.25 will come the end of drive-through streetlights and road furniture…

We’ve also added in the ‘random spawn’ car/wreck collisions on the Exclusion Zone’s roads to accompany the ‘lore’ wreck congestion , some new wreck models and map fixes – and have balanced a lot of aspects of the new Mechanic skills/profession and related car parts. We anticipate starting work on a better ‘dashboard’ UI once vehicles build 25 is out.

OPTIMIZATION

One of the biggest issues with the current Vehicles build is that driving through built-up areas results in performance hiccups – the game is being forced to draw too many tiles, too quickly. Currently, however, PZ draws *everything* – even when the player character can’t see it.

Stuff on higher floors, stuff in buildings you have no line of sight into and everywhere with doors and windows shut – it’s all being conjured up needlessly and chewing up unnecessary processor power. Enter stage left, then, our good friend Chris Wood.

“I’m culling squares inside the levels of buildings that are covered by the floors and walls so we don’t draw them”, he explains. “This is being done very simply, using building bounding rectangles that can hide about 20% of the scene in busy areas with lots of buildings, and thereby reducing what’s rendered by 20%. This does, however, leave window interiors looking a bit strange – as in these screenshots ”

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“My current task is to make this work more intelligently: by hiding all squares behind solid walls and floors by projecting back onto them. This will hopefully draw even less, as it won’t draw anything when a square is totally hidden – including the ground behind buildings. It won’t have the same visual artefacts and it’ll hide more squares.”

“The idea is that by the time I’ll have finished it will all look identical to the current public build – but behind the scenes it’ll be drawing a lot fewer tiles which will make a huge difference to performance since tile drawing is the biggest bottleneck in the game.”

On top of this we’re talking to General Arcade about picking up the reins on our LWJGL upgrade, which will also have optimization benefits, and have best friend genius BitBaboon Steve prodding a vehicles memory issue that will hopefully help out people with slower systems. So, all in all, performance improvement should be on the way.

COMMUNITY MEGATEST

Everything seems in place for a public release of the Build 38 megapatch that we’ve been building up over the last few weeks, but we want to be sure it’s run through enough of your machines – and specifically on online servers – before release.

As such we’ll be running a Community Megatest in the coming days on a fresh server, and as ever there’ll be free PZ codes for a bunch of the people who turn up to help out.

We’ve just released IWBUMS 38.26 (link) which is the build the server will be running on. Details on how to access the IWBUMS public beta can be found here, and info on the event itself will appear on the TIS forum over the next few days.

This week’s well-kept safehouse from RyuVladimir over on Steam. A general list of stuff added to PZ, and vids of features being worked on, is kept here – so you don’t have to plough through endless dev blogs for info. 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 open for chat and hijinks too.

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The Collision Update Video is REALLY great - very nice!! 

 

Will you chance the mailbox so that it will be destroyed (and the car REALLY damaged)  if you drive "through" it instead of blocking the car?

 

can't wait to get the vehicle in IWBUMS and 38.26 out in the open (shouldn't that have happened last monday already?)

 

really nice stuff :D:D

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How are you going to deal with small road obstacles such as road cones and fire hydrants? Realistically a car and push right past a road cone, but they are getting blocked completely in game.

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38 minutes ago, DramaSetter said:

Would be better, if they make unique "destroyed" sprite for that thing.

That was my first thought too. Change the sprite oat the same location to minimize demand. Can't have those things bouncing around. Although once upon a time there was that topic of throwing objects... maybe this could be a logical place to go back into that...

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Quote

Also in Vehicles Build 39.25 will come the end of drive-through streetlights and road furniture…

Quote

have best friend genius BitBaboon Steve prodding a vehicles memory issue that will hopefully help out people with slower systems. So, all in all, performance improvement should be on the way.

 

I have to thank you guys for implementing the collision on the road decorations! I've asked this quite a few times and it seems like it was worth the wait! No more X-Men streetlight-walking XD On the second quote, I do have a slower system so it's nice that there will be some improvements on that area also which will help with better performance and rendering/graphics issues since mine are set on low right now with the car build on. Also, hoping to see the center of towns like West-Point and Muldraugh become accessible to me since they indeed lagged a lot with the system trying to bring everything into view. This will also help with people checking building interiors from above and such, so thanks a lot Dev's! Really looking forward to build 25! Cheers :D 

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7 minutes ago, Batsphinx said:

 

Optimization-y stuff will likely be in a later build, I think anyway.

Still glad with what I'll get up until then ;) as small as it would be I'd be glad for anything that makes the game more life-like.

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