Snow DaZe
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Happy Thursday all. Work continues on two fronts: the stuff that was developed concurrently with the vehicles build that we intend to get out into an IWBUMS beta as soon as we can, and the stuff that the five guys over at T.E.A. continue to improve our new animations system with in terms of more flexible/data-driven code and an improved AnimZed animation tool to match. Let’s go round the houses then and see what’s new.

WEATHER TEST BUILD

As flagged on the PZ website last week, we currently have a public test version of Turbo’s new weather, climate, storms and fog system available for players to try out. You can find full details on how to access this in the forum thread.

Initial player reports have been really positive – with people reporting that they’re feeling a greater sense of seasonal change and are feeling nicely hemmed in (and are having more difficulty driving) in heavy fog.

The primary piece of feedback we probably need at this point is whether players feel some of the new time of day and season shaders are too intense or washed out – you can find details of the debug tools that’d be useful if you wanted to quickly check a variety out in the link above.

Turbo has also just released an updated version of the test weather beta, which features a multiplayer component of his IsoRegions system – this should allow the information about enclosed player-built spaces across an MP network so fog/precipitation can only be shown in outdoor areas. Please note that this will break current saves on this test build.

Turbo will now start to address some of the great feedback he’s received this past week in terms of bugs and suggestions, such as the occasional foggy starting houses and black lines that are visible on some zoom levels.

NEXT IWBUMS

In amongst the bigger headline features like weather and MP chat improvements currently in the mix, there a variety of smaller features and fixes also on the boil to benefit players, modders and admins. In-game fonts have been made bolder to help with legibility, car wrecks can now be dismantled with a propane torch and welding mask and we’re also tightening the difficulty levels of our more noob-friendly scenarios – as we can’t help but feel that some of our players are getting too easy a ride at first.

Also fresh from the coding furnace, meanwhile, is EasyPickins’ in-game Sandbox Options Editor for server admins. This will allow admins to change in-game settings that don’t require a full restart, and should make managing a server for you and your friends a little more forgiving experience.

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T.E.A. WORK

This week Zac has built a ‘Paper doll’ interface into the AnimZed dev/modding tool, as seen below this replaces a big list of numbers and toggles – letting you/us design zombie and survivor outfits for in-game use and testing in a far more user-friendly and efficient way. He’s also got 2D blends working in the tool, but still needs to work out the best way to visualize them in AnimZed.

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A lot of what T.E.A. are currently doing is improving the system, and adding flexibility, by making large chunks of it data-driven and greatly simplifying (and modularising) the player code. It’s complicated stuff that’ll make devving and modding easier, and should put the game and community in a good shape for many years to come. This has been Grant’s primary work with the ‘state machine’ recently, while Bitbaboon Mark (although we should probably call him T.E.A. Mark at this point) working out the best ways to transition the T.E.A. workflow over into the core PZ team.

Our thanks to Mad Dan for his snow pic, and indeed just for being Mad Dan. 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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