Spiffo’s Round-Up #6
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Hi everyone, here’s the highlights of the last few weeks of Project Zomboid Build 41 development – compiled from the Thursday blogs that appear at http://www.projectzomboid.com/blog/ and on the PZ Steam boards.

First off, here’s the latest gameplay video taken from the internal test build – which shows off many of the developments we discuss in the blog below.



So what kinda new animation tech are we seeing in this video, alongside the survivor with the level 10 (and beyond!) aiming skills? Well stick with us, and let’s find out.




First, we’re off to Zac – for an explanation on the biggest update to the internal test version this month.


“Up until now, the character would go from standing, to walking, to sneaking, to running, to standing again. At every state change, there was no lead-in. We were using some maths to blend from one pose to another, but it really wasn’t enough.”


“The change was still looking fairly unnatural in some cases. The character had an air of defying gravity, for example, when he/she suddenly went from standing still to full sprint.”


“Now though we can have transition animations. So in the described instance it’s: StandingToRunning. This is where the character will change stance, shift their weight, and launch into a run. As a result it all seems much more lifelike.”


So, check this out:




It’s with this Zac anim-transitioning magic, then, that we can have a handcrafted tailor-made animation to make the character aim down the sights and bridge the gap between the two poses. It makes everything looks much more sleek and cool.


This has also led into the inclusion of the following…




We’ve now finally gotten sprint mechanics fully integrated into the game. The idea behind sprint is to differentiate between a ‘fast jog’ and a short term sprint at maximum speed. The two are being balanced as follows:

Fast jog: players will be able to maintain this for long periods, keep a level of control over their movement and stop quickly – but they will not be as fast as what you’re used to in terms of high-level PZ sprinting.


Short term sprint: a sudden burst at a maximum speed. With this the character will maintain a much greater pace, with the cost of more stamina lost, louder footsteps and a much wider turning circle.

In sprint you’d also have greater potential for accidents, particularly with clumsy characters if sprinting over/near obstacles or into walls. Those with high sprint/athleticism levels will be able to clear fences while sprinting – although clumsier and low skill survivors could well be advised to avoid this as a tumble/fall will be likely.


Please note that, when taken, the following vid was highly WIP – however it does explain the improvements well.



Anim masking was another of our ‘needs to be done before IWBUMS’ biggies. Essentially, when an animation is playing, it can be set to only play on certain bones of the character’s animation skeleton. The most obvious use of this being only upper body.


Before this tech, it was impossible to, say, play a reload animation while walking, or eat while walking. Martin would have had to animate ‘walking while eating’, ‘walking while reloading’ and also every transition animation possible. Now, however, we can play the reloading animation on the upper body while the legs continue playing the walking animation.

We’ve also done some reorganizing of the game code’s player states, to allow timed actions (those with a bar over the character’s head, used for everything including eating to reloading) to be able to be carried out at the same time as the character’s other major states used for walking, running etc.


Here are two vids showing some of these masked anims, with the usual “WIP!” warning lights flashing. Especially with the seated one at that point in development. Reloading looks cool though, right?





We have animations for a more complex stealth system – including cover traversal, shooting from cover, rounding corners, wall hugging etc but as we’ve said before that will be coming in a later build.


What we’ve added into 41, however, is a first taste of it all – tied to a crouch/sneak toggle that’s currently on ‘C’ on your keyboard. Here’s a quick vid that can explain it all a bit better than using words.



Please note: just after recording this video we discovered that the character’s kneeling idle wasn’t playing while crouching when stationary due to a bug. Please note that the character’s visible profile over objects will be reduced more while stationary than what’s seen in the vid. And also make the position less brutal on the character’s knees.


Please also note: unless there’s a huge campaign against it, from within or without, we’ll likely stop zeds eating below the waist of the corpses they come across. It looks a little too much like a sex act.



Build 41 will be slightly changing PZ’s zombie lore so that the initial wave of zombification occurred in a manner that people died a bit more quickly – to the extent that the zeds they left behind will be wearing relevant clothing and placed in situations relevant to what they were doing when they turned.


The new model and clothing system means that we can have randomized ‘scenes’ in houses to give a bit of flavor to what was happening in the home before/during the Knox Event, with some common and others rare. Likewise we can do the same for more horrific scenes that happened after the event itself, placed further down the PZ timeline.


To this end then we could, for example, have a small chance of having a home where there was a prayer meeting happening represented by a priest zed and 4-5 civilian zeds holding bibles.

At the other end of the spectrum we could suggest in another house that two people were being over-friendly with each other by having two zombies not wearing any clothes in a bedroom. Or simply that a bathroom zed was having a wash by having them appear in a bathrobe, or without clothes, in their bathroom.


Although it doesn’t look as visually appealing as we’d like it (one day we will hopefully be able to invest in a 3D modeler to work with us on items left on the floor) we can also scatter around bottle sprites, clothing sprites, books etc. to elaborate on the scene.





Once the anim masking is 100%, the last big pieces to slot into place for an IWBUMS beta are hooking it all into MP and rotational blending.


We’ve explained it before, but for clarity, this rotational system is required to allow:


  • Anims for characters to turn on the spot to any angle

  • An anim for characters stopping while running and thrusting into a run at a different angle

  • Anims for zombies hearing a player and turning their head toward them, before turning and stumbling in their direction

  • Any general animation that contains rotation within them that needs to conceivably work at any 360 degree angle, and be able to blend between the base compass position animations provided by Martin.


These are especially important to the game as right now the character turns with a turning circle like they are a vehicle, which makes them extremely awkward to move precisely indoors. (It’s not obvious from the videos, but you’d find it annoying to play!)


We also need to work on zed hordes pooling what states zombies are in, and sharing a smaller pool of zombie skeletons for the same anims so we get better performance when there’s a horde on-screen. (Seeing as Zac was previously the guy who got two million dancing penguin models on the Wii though, we’ve undoubtedly got the best man for the job.)


When all this baseline anims tech is in the build, and only then, we will open up the IWBUMS beta to wider testing. In the meantime the rest of the team are on polish, fix and balance duty – as well as hooking up the new stuff as and when it rolls in.




ChrisW is still working with us, and is improving his cutaway system so it’s clearer where doorways and windows are – and are no longer big scary black lumps of probable doom in the internal build.





EP has had a bit of fun, and has used the new anims and models system to create mannequins that can be moved into safehouses and dressed however a shopkeeper’s (or survivor’s) might like them to be dressed…




Xeonyx’s Kingsmouth paradise island Challenge Map now has bikini and swim short zeds!




The development of our version of Louisville continues, for a long-distant version of the future.




We also, sadly, decided to fix the bug that was making survivors look like this.



This is the sixth Steam round-up of development news for Project Zomboid, but weekly Thursdoid blogs are posted both on our website and on the Steam discussion boards. 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 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 here! Our Discord is open for chat and hijinks too. That’s all for now, keep tabs on our website for more every week!


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This is such an awesome way to summarise all of the happenings in the PZ world. I actually had no idea the other 5 existed!

The weekly updates are great, but I'd have no problems with a chunkier, substantial news post (such as this) each month. Are there any plans to do this eventually? 


Very excited for build 41 - and especially the modding possibilities that will come with it!

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Posted (edited)

Hello, i have a lot of questions.

Are you planning to add the ability to fire on the Y and Z axis? In one news, it was mentioned that blows to the head of zombies would be encouraged. I think this is great news. As you enter sitting positions, this should give you the opportunity to dodge bullets. This carries a positive development of the combat system. At the present time, the shooting takes place on the coordinates X, where the damage is calculated by the formula. This works well in single mode, but it leaves a strong imprint on PvP mode. I have never met a description of the formula for calculating damage and any schemes that could explain in detail the work of firing mechanics. If possible, please share the link or information.

I am very interested and I would like to understand how it works now and why it looks that way.

I used a translator, I hope he helped get my thoughts across correctly. Thanks you:wub:

Edited by Primal

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On 7/9/2019 at 1:43 AM, Bejasc said:

This is such an awesome way to summarise all of the happenings in the PZ world. I actually had no idea the other 5 existed!

The weekly updates are great, but I'd have no problems with a chunkier, substantial news post (such as this) each month. Are there any plans to do this eventually? 


Very excited for build 41 - and especially the modding possibilities that will come with it!

These were mainly a thing for Steam, since we've received many complaints from people about appearing in their feed every week.
The roundup 6 was just reposted here because we initially wanted to link to it from Steam but decided to just link to a repost on Steam to have it all still in the same environment ("ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO FOLLOW THAT LINK AND LEAVE STEAM?! PLEASE CONFIRM").

The roundups brought nothing new, they were just a summary of the last 4-5 Thursdoids. 
We're unlikely to make another Roundup until after IWBUMS, though, as we've received complaints about them, too and it dragged down team morale to a point that we decided to just have one post on the Steam announcements page and just update that with shorter summaries.

Hopefully we'll continue with the Round Ups after IWBUMS or stable, but we'll see about that.

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1 hour ago, nasKo said:

since we've received many complaints from people about appearing in their feed every week.


1 hour ago, nasKo said:

as we've received complaints about them, too


What the world has become... So many things wrong in the world to complaint about and people find time to complaint about something so small like "THERE'S TOO MUCH OF THIS GAME ON MY STEAM FEED". 

I mean... Really?? Go wash a dish.... How people can be so ridiculous.

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