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EnigmaGrey

Lag Fightin'

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Lag Fightin'

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How do all, let’s start with the team coding MP for Build 41 first this week.

MP STRIKE FORCE

This week Yuri and Andrei have been working on improving character movement in high ping scenarios, using a tool to simulate different levels of lag. This tool can simulate ping, lost packets, packets that appear in the wrong order, duplicated packets and throttled packets. Every different sort of errant packet, basically, and mixes of each one besides. 
 

Anyone who has played B40 multiplayer will know quite how laggy, teleport-y and nasty high ping situations could previously get with PZ. As such, tackling this issue has been a very high priority for us – and we’re really glad to have seen some good improvement over the past week of dev.
 

First, just for reference, in this first video you can see what the situation was in last week’s build. 

(In case anyone in our audience has trouble envisioning what a ping represents in real-world geographic terms, 300 ping is about what you’d expect from Australia to Europe.) 

 


Now, here’s a video from this week after many improvements – though please bear in mind that there are still issues to resolve here.

 

 

 

So, known issues: at 3:50 if the ‘climb in window’ packet happens to be lost it can cause the character to get really far behind. There clearly still needs to be some improvements to allow characters to catch up better if they fall behind.
 

Otherwise though (even with 300 ping with an extremely unreliable connection that’s throttled and losing packets left and right) in our testbed situation the experience is much smoother and much more immersive than we could ever have dreamed of with the current public Build 40. We’re sure it will continue to improve up until release too.

TRAILERS AND TOWING

We’ve been playing around with our physics library, off and on, for a while now – primarily multi-wheel support and other differently shaped custom vehicles for future addition: tractors, military stuff, trucks etc. 
 

Now, a little while ago an amazing modder called Aiteron appeared on our forums experimenting with car towing.

This prompted us to realise that (before we got to the military etc) moving some of this background experimentation into expansion of the current car physics system would also be a relatively low risk (yet cool!) thing for our non-MP devs to add into Build 41 while we wait for the completion of the multiplayer rebuild.
 

In IWBUMS beta patch 41.46, you will be able to attach other cars and trailers (initially one trailer model, with a ‘covered’ and ‘uncovered’ variant) to your own vehicle and tow them around. How well you tow them, however, will be dependent on weight and the power of your vehicle. Likewise you’ll be able to tow other vehicles as well.
 

(PLEASE NOTE: vids are WIP)

 

 

 

 

As mentioned previously, this also includes added support for multiple collision shapes on vehicles – primarily to support the trailer hitch extending forwards of the trailer’s body. This should also benefit modding greatly, we hope.

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We’re also currently also experimenting with a three segment physics rope, that seems to be working well at the moment – and likewise some other future trailer variants.
 

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Again, absolute mad props to Aiteron for showing us just how cool this function could be in-game. We’ve been talking to him this week, and he seems a really cool guy with some great future mod ideas to boot.
 

Likewise, in towables, we have great new potential here for both devs and modders alike – as already shown by this amazing companion mod to Aiteron’s own towing mod that appeared a few days ago. This has been created by IBrRus, and features oil trailers and caravans you can live out of nomadically. (Features like these won’t be the sort of thing we’ll be including ourselves, for a long time anyway, so we’ll be sure to help Aiteron and IBrRus get their mod contents adapted over to our own updated game physics systems before we release 41.46 into the IWBUMS beta.)
 

We didn’t get enough testing done on the current internal build of 41.46 to consider a release this week (and likewise some of this still needs polish/work) but intend to put it out at some point in the next.

MODDING MODELS

As many PZ modders will no doubt be aware, there is currently no clear path available to mod skinned meshes for Build 41 – ie. meshes with animations, limbs, walking etc.
 

Internally, we use expensive software that’s not really accessible to modders so until now we’ve held off releasing our source models – so people haven’t been able to model their own completely unique characters, clothing (outside texture changes), or create extra animations. (It may be some clever people out there have found a way regardless though.)
 

Over the past few weeks, then, we’ve been massaging the pipeline of getting a PZ character into Blender and then out into the game with relative ease and lack of fuss. The challenge then: to have characters exported using blender’s export tools, then renderable and animatable within the game itself.
 

This has been, to put it mildly, a pain in the ass. Blender’s exporters don’t play too friendly with our engine.
 

As such, Zac has been spending time trying to bash our engine into a state where it can alternately load these blender exported files and play them. There’s been good progress, with each iteration looking vaguely more human and less disturbing, though there is still work to be done until the characters match perfectly or even look like they obey the laws of physics, but its clear we’re getting closer.

Close enough to be able to show you these videos of Zac’s progress anyways. We’re hoping that this will be licked at the start of next week.


 



 

This week’s work out and mannequin Spiffo image from Mr Sunshine. A changelist of all IWBUMS patches since the 41 beta was released can be found here. 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 you update notifications once builds get released. We also live on Twitter right hereOur Discord is open for chat and hijinks too!

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I'll say, I'm really looking forward to the towing. Does this mean we'll ever have the much-requested Trailer/RV? I actually have a few ideas on how one of those could work without the player actually having to "walk inside".

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8 hours ago, Blake81 said:

I'll say, I'm really looking forward to the towing. Does this mean we'll ever have the much-requested Trailer/RV? I actually have a few ideas on how one of those could work without the player actually having to "walk inside".


Not for a long time. There’s already mods for this as well.

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trailer towing looks interesting cant wait to load up my trailer and have more looting runs.

 

I wonder if we could get some 5th wheel trailers  since there is a pickup truck in game. :)

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13 hours ago, EnigmaGrey said:


Not for a long time. There’s already mods for this as well.

Well, you didn't say "No", so I'll take that as a "Prolly at some point down the line, although not any time soon." :P

 

That said tho, my idea for the implementation of it (I think) wouldn't require any systems that don't already exist. It would basically work just like a car-

 

You wouldn't actually "walk" inside, you'd just "enter" it (just like the cars). First, once inside, you'd have access to a few containers (Basically, the Gloves Box, but many and of varied capacities), some of these containers (fridge, cupboards, kitchen counter and the like) could be removable and replaceable with something else of specific conditions (just like we already replace car parts like the Radio). Sure, you wouldn't be able to decorate it or create a garden inside, but you'd have some allowance of customization, especially in regards useful devices (Radios, Microwaves, Washing Machines, Computers once they're in) .Then you'd either move to various places around (maybe to the kitchen area, or the bed area, and such) it using the number keys (just like moving from seat to seat in cars) or it would simply enable a radial menu with a myriad of available options (again, just like the cars) and use the ones you want (like Sleeping, using the radio, or putting something in the oven for cooking).

 

Just like car, it wouldn't be Zed-free; it would have windows that can be broken, a door that can be busted, and tires that will pop if not taken care off. The whole place would be powered either by the car (having it serve as a generator; both in the sense of fuel consumption and noise) or with a series of batteries (which could also be recharged by your car) or by hooking it to a building (like a generator, but the other way around).

 

Just my two cents...

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10 hours ago, Blake81 said:

Just my two cents...

I think about start my mod for RV interface after end with towing car mod. Not so deep, but the thoughts are generally similar about the mod.

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Towing is something I've been hoping for since the moment that vehicles dropped so, wow, holy shit this is not something I expected to come in the build 41 package! Hell yeah I'm glad it's getting official implementation, hat's off to you @Aiteron and the dev team!

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