NPCs (shameful post)
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It's not going to be a year. We know the date we're going on Steam Early Access and I can guarantee it's sooner than you'd probably guess. Once that happens, and the initial rush of fixes and whatnot, the 3D stuff will be finished off. We're talking weeks for that. Then onto NPCs, which let's not forget we're far from 'starting from scratch' and have working (to an extent) on another branch of the game already that encompasses Kate and Bob, the meta-game, groups going looting, fighting or joining other groups, and so on. 

 

With NPCs comes Kate and Bob, and we were long adamant they HAD to be in the Steam build. But we were also adamant we had to be on Steam this year. 

 

The only reason we decided against doing this before Steam is because the codebases of NPC and the active development build split what must have been a year ago now. While working on NPCs I'd periodically merge code changes romain was working on the active branch into the NPC code, to keep them in-line and get the latest features and fixes into the working NPC build. And each time was a supreme head ache despite only being a week or two of changes, and each time there was a multitude of issues carried over from two different builds being merged together. Romain changes code X to do this, I change code X to do something completely different on NPC branch. I go to merge, and there's a conflict I have to resolve so both Romain's fix or addition continues to function, and so does mine.

 

Then there are various hacks I made to the NPC stuff to get NPCs to function for testing purposes, like disabling the lua triggered spawn points, and tying it into the flowcharting system we detailed a long while back. Likewise to allow the NPCs to work some systems have been heavily changed.

 

And this is before I was drafted onto the development build to do engine changes, optimizations and fixes and whatnot alongside Romain as we geared up for a new version. 

 

So the situation we have now is we have two code bases that over the past few months have diverged and diverged. At some point, for NPCs or just Kate and Baldspot, I'd have to do a code merge in the opposite direction, from NPCs into the development branch, and in that process I come across a line of code different on the NPC end and different on the current build end. IT's up to me at that point to remember if that particular piece of code was something I changed for the NPC build, or if it's been changed by Romain since, or heaven forbid a line of code that we've both changed independently and differently. I have to then copy the code across, possibly altering to fit.

 

This over thousands of java files, all with hundreds, sometimes thousands of lines of code. Will it work? Yes. But you can imagine even a photographic memory super genius to make at least a few errors. Overwrite one of Romain's fixes with the broken code that was branched off so long ago and suddenly people are complaining about bugs reappearing that were fixed six months ago, or perhaps I don't merge something subtle across that's required for the NPCs.

 

And so on and so forth. The result? Almost certainly, the main development branch of the game would regress to being a buggy mess (and to those critics of the last build, I mean buggy to the level of closed test version 1 of 40 before anyone here ever saw the 2.9 builds. It would then require probably a month maybe even two of testing and bug fixing to get the general build back up to scratch. It's end of October now. Assuming we did this tomorrow, what's a month or so from now? December. Exactly the worst time we could pick to launch on Steam. So then we're into next year, and let me tell you delaying Steam until then isn't going to help the game reach the pinnacle of NPC brilliance in the long run.

 

So we could give you NPCs now. They would be buggy, and wouldn't do themselves justice, but we could totally do that. Then when that Steam release date crops up, we have a choice. Release what will be a near unplayable crashing buggy stuttering mess (and we're giving ourselves hernias trying to get THIS build fast, polished and stable for Steam in time), or wait until its ready again, which would be way after Christmas.

 

This is why NPCs are delayed. It's more important to us, the game, and the future of Zomboid that we get on Steam soon with as stable and polished build as possible. In terms of going on Steam the existing community getting bored of Zomboid doesn't matter, as much as it may displease you and us in the meantime. New Steam people will be looking at it with fresh eyes and won't miss NPCs that they've never seen or heard of being in the game. They have all that time to explore Muldraugh and West Point out of the box, build a base, try some farming, making videos or writing their survival stories, and that buys us some time.

 

And then, we can start merging over code into a beta build, and hopefully get Kate and Bob in rather quickly after Steam, though as said above 3D stuff has to come first. There's a ton less work involved in getting that in too, but we delayed it for similar reasons. An engine change immediately before going on Steam? We know what affect that would have. Once we're on Steam and we've planted our feet, dipping into destabilizing the build won't matter so much since I can take the time to fix it all up while Romain continues supporting the active build, and we could release special NPC beta versions as we go.

Ah cool... So what's the ETA then?.. Haha only joking wicked explanation we know when your all happy then we will be ecstatic!

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I was away for 5 and 1/2 weeks to find that no progress has been made on the NPC's, and all time has been dedicated to IMO what APPEARS to be stuff that is completely irrelevant. And the fact that we were promised a NPC video then it was brushed under the carpet kinda annoys me. Again IMO dont ban me please!!

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Again IMO dont ban me please!!

But . . . I really want to.

Then again, I always want to ban people . . . Even people who haven't posted yet. :| It's a problem I'm dealing with one day at a time..

As far as I know, that one blog post was meant to be more of an information dump, while they focus on other things. The Steam focus has been here since July (if not before), it shouldn't come as a surprise anymore. The video itself was given the "soon" designation?

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No

 

 

 

Again IMO dont ban me please!!

But . . . I really want to.

Then again, I always want to ban people . . . Even people who haven't posted yet. :-| It's a problem I'm dealing with one day at a time..

As far as I know, that one blog post was meant to be more of an information dump, while they focus on other things. The Steam focus has been here since July (if not before), it shouldn't come as a surprise anymore. The video itself was given the "soon" designation?

 

I believe the video was promised the mondoid after the mondoid it was posted cant really remember which exacty mondoid, i think it was the one before the info overload of the engine overhaul and whatnot

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Went through the blogs, quickly. I don't see any mention of a video explicately but that could be due to just doing a Find. I do, however, see mention that the NPCs won't be worked on until a new Desura build comes out, which hasn't even happened yet.

*Shrug*

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