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nasKo

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Howdy almost-yuletide survivor.

PATCH 40.40 RELEASED

Today we released our final (sort of, read below for more on that) patch for Build 40. Full patchnotes can be found here, but this covers stuff like:

  • Improved darker nights, and less washed out night-time interiors. Car headlights and flashlights will be more of a necessity now. Sandbox settings also updated, so you can adapt it to a brightness you desire.
  • Improved appearance of weather effects when in a building.
  • Moon calculations re-added to game to govern night brightness.
  • Extended disassemble ability to many more items,including: fridges, ovens, more chairs, washing machines, lockers, fitness equipment, metal barrels and some missing shelves.
  • Some balanced player actions related to injuries, sleeping, window-breaking and bandages in a saucepan.
  • Fixed whisper problems in the new chatbox, stair teleports, rain rather than snow in Winter is Coming, community translation font issues, plumbed sinks not working in MP and various other issues.

40 MP NETWORK STUFF

While the rest of the team move into the animations build and version 41, we’re leaving optimization specialist Bitbaboon Steve investigating what easy-win MP networking improvements we could potentially still patch into 40.

The first of his discoveries, the removal large number of empty and unnecessary data packets being sent over the server, has been released in 40.40 and should be a mild salve for current lag issues but his investigations also came up with an idea we thought it’d be wise to test out with a forthcoming IWBUMS beta and Community Megatest.

Essentially, Steve has been working on some server configurable optimizations for zombies in multiplayer. Since vehicles, performance in multiplayer servers has seen added strain (particularly in handling zombie hordes) and we’re hoping this might improve matters.

In essence, we’re about to release a test version in which there are several configurable options to allow server owners to fine-tune how much zombie data is sent to their players.

There will now be two ‘player client zombie awareness’ circles: the first a smaller radius that defines at what tile-range zombie positions are sent to clients with a high precision in every frame, and then a second larger radius in which the zombie location information can be sent to clients less frequently. Server owners will also be able to play with how much time there is between the low frequency updates.

On low population co-op servers these values can be set pretty liberally, so the players are getting all zombies in the visible area smoothly. But on high population servers that experience lag issues, server operators can sacrifice the smoothness of zombie movement in the distance (or even cap zombie visibility completely over a certain distance) in order to VASTLY reduce the amount of internet traffic they produce when lots of players are involved.

We think this will sharply decrease the amount of work the server needs to do and should lead to a much better player experience with a little bit of visual compromise toward the edge of the screen. Distant zombies might pause a bit or appear to teleport slightly between updates, but these movements are also something we’d hope to blend better (and make far less noticeable) with the added functionalities of the animations build. Server operators can decide on their own level of compromise too.

This work is pretty much done, and as such we will add it into the IWBUMS beta as soon as it’s clear there’s nothing from 40.40 that needs hot-fixing. Please keep your eyes on the forum if you want to participate in a special Yuletide Megatest.

41 ANIMS

This week in TEA-land Grant has improved things dev/modder-side with live texture reload, through upgrading the Filewatcher mechanism. It now watches the media folder instead of polling individual files, and is much more efficient. Upon a texture filechange, the game now reloads it live and in-place. This should make iteration times on textures much easier and faster.

Zac, meanwhile, has fixed up AnimZed for Animator Martin to the extent that he can now get a lot more variation on different individual outfits. Take these cops for example:

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Martin has also been creating a better range of skin tones for player characters, to allow for better customisation should people desire it.

OTHER STUFF

  • Stas has just updated the Gamepad Test beta with a lot of fixes, for our lovely select bunch of gamepad testers. If you fancy helping out with this part of PZ work, and earn yourself a free code, then enquire within.
  • RJ has been tinkering with in-game loot, and has occasionally been popping into the PZ Discord to look for willing testers. The overall plan is to have more information in the game code in terms of what’s a desirable item, and what’s junk – so we can then fill containers with a lot more realistic junk items even on higher difficulty levels. He’s also experimenting with having more specific containers in homes for more specific items (all the cutlery in one drawer, male clothes in one wardrobe, female in another etc) but the jury is currently out on whether it actually detracts from the looting gameplay.
  • ChrisW’s work on in-building Sims-style cutaways and the abolition of the dithered circle view stencil continues. As seen here both with, and without.
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Today’s warehouse horde from Frank. 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 PZWiki 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 hereOurDiscord is open for chat and hijinks too.

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3 hours ago, nasKo said:

RJ has been tinkering with in-game loot, and has occasionally been popping into the PZ Discord to look for willing testers. The overall plan is to have more information in the game code in terms of what’s a desirable item, and what’s junk – so we can then fill containers with a lot more realistic junk items even on higher difficulty levels. He’s also experimenting with having more specific containers in homes for more specific items (all the cutlery in one drawer, male clothes in one wardrobe, female in another etc) but the jury is currently out on whether it actually detracts from the looting gameplay.

 

I'd love to help with testing for this. I also like the idea of containers having more of an overall theme instead of things being a jumbled mess (though some containers could still be like this to reflect the unorganized nature of the houses original occupant(s). I've heard several others here and on the Discord complain that they don't like how disorganized a lot of the containers are, like how the cutlery is thrown in among the canned food, the dish towels, cleaning liquid and other kitchen items. It's nice to know that this is being looked into. If some people don't like it and other do you could always add a sandbox option to have organized containers and more random and unorganized containers and then go with whatever is more popular for the default game settings (unless of course this would require too much work to impliment).

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2 hours ago, Kaleidozombie said:

I'd love to help with testing for this.

I also would love to help, where I can. 
I've poked around myself in some of the spawn code, for when I created some of my mods (Simple Food, in particular). It will be interesting to see what is possible, and what might change (and how to adapt and best use that change) with regards to container loot. 

 

Looks like some exciting progress! Particularly love the sims-cutaway and the variations in the uniforms!

 

I have a couple of questions re the new animation / layering system. 

- When encountering a zombie that is in police uniform - I assume the uniform can be taken off and worn yourself? 

- We've seen in earlier 'doids a blood/gore layering effect/ability on character models. Assuming the above is true, if there is a blood splat on clothes you take off a corpse, will that same splat appear on you (or until it is washed)? - For this I would assume no, based on performance/memory reasons. 

 

It would be nice to see some mechanic introduced that could potentially (based on chance and other moodles) make the player sick, when wearing dirty or bloody clothes. This might be worth a post in suggestions, but there's currently no incentive (that I'm aware of) for washing your clothes once they become dirty. Dirty clothes making you unhappy, bloody clothes making you sick, dirty shoes giving you a new injury for 'blisters' or similar. All over extended wear-time, and chance based of course.   

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1 hour ago, Bejasc said:

It would be nice to see some mechanic introduced that could potentially (based on chance and other moodles) make the player sick, when wearing dirty or bloody clothes. This might be worth a post in suggestions, but there's currently no incentive (that I'm aware of) for washing your clothes once they become dirty. Dirty clothes making you unhappy, bloody clothes making you sick, dirty shoes giving you a new injury for 'blisters' or similar. All over extended wear-time, and chance based of course.   

Dirty and bloody clothes do currently increase the chance of a wound getting infected - this was added in build 39. Though it would be nice to see this go further with making the player sick, similar to how corpses do. 

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Working washer and dryers would be great for handling a lot of the cleanup. Generators could handle the power after the power goes out, but I'm not sure how they would handle the water. Perhaps building barrels overhead like you can with the sinks? The downside is the noise. Washers and dryers would be as noisy as a generator, or close to it. If there was any food in the washer or dryer when used the clothes would come out dirty instead of clean and would need to be rewashed and the food would have course be ruined. It may be better to just wash everything by hand.

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2 hours ago, Kaleidozombie said:

I'm not sure how they would handle the water. Perhaps building barrels overhead like you can with the sinks? The downside is the noise. 

 

A suggestion would be to give maybe metalworking the ability to craft a water tank/rain collector or something, which could then be connected to buildings the same way generators are. Giving the whole structure water

 

I would like to see washing machines usable, I never bother to clean my clothes as the downside of wearing dirty clothes is too minor and washing them currently is tedious when they get dirty so fast

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Like as one guy said before: how will you realise Special clothes on zombies? Like if they will spawn randomly, that would be unrealistic because you know, there can't be endless amount of police officers. Should there be limited amount of "Special" zombies for each city?

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12 minutes ago, Burger_Time said:

Like as one guy said before: how will you realise Special clothes on zombies? Like if they will spawn randomly, that would be unrealistic because you know, there can't be endless amount of police officers. Should there be limited amount of "Special" zombies for each city?

There's a few million people within a few hundred miles. It really doesn't need to be limited.

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1 hour ago, Burger_Time said:

Like as one guy said before: how will you realise Special clothes on zombies? Like if they will spawn randomly, that would be unrealistic because you know, there can't be endless amount of police officers. Should there be limited amount of "Special" zombies for each city?

I'm sure I've seen TIS mention that special zombies spawn in special zones. Ie, you wouldn't find a fireman spawning on a farm, and you'd be more likely to have police officers inside a police station, etc. They already control that kind of thing with the vehicle spawn zones. I imagine there will be a similar level of control for zed spawns. 

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2 hours ago, EnigmaGrey said:

There's a few million people within a few hundred miles. It really doesn't need to be limited.

But like, I would be surpised if I will notice that someone's wearing police uniform in zombie apocalypse.

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On 12/14/2018 at 12:15 AM, EnigmaGrey said:

There's a few million people within a few hundred miles. It really doesn't need to be limited.

Exactly, not to mention The Whole world eventually becomes zombie infested to so not only would you have the half million you described  enigma but we would have zombies from the whole country migrating in as well. If you wanted use your imagination that far lol

Edited by Dragoncody98

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RJ has been tinkering with in-game loot, and has occasionally been popping into the PZ Discord to look for willing testers. The overall plan is to have more information in the game code in terms of what’s a desirable item, and what’s junk – so we can then fill containers with a lot more realistic junk items even on higher difficulty levels. He’s also experimenting with having more specific containers in homes for more specific items (all the cutlery in one drawer, male clothes in one wardrobe, female in another etc) but the jury is currently out on whether it actually detracts from the looting gameplay.

I'm curious as to how it could and who's saying that.

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