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Tinker, Tester, Server, Zed

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Hi everyone, here’s another report from a week of work from the 41 beta MP Strike Force and the weekly Wednesday Night Test Session.

As with last week, as it’s probably of interest to some of y’all, here’s the changelist of what was being tested that was new since the last Wednesday session.

As before, the PZ server admins and modders we assembled to have a play of the current Build 41 MP took screens and video for bug reports – so here’s a quick highlights reel of the stuff that wasn’t too broken.

 

 

Overall the test went really well again, and encouragingly had our longest distance player yet (playing from California, on a server in France) fully able to play along without too much inconvenience. Here’s some testimony from some of the players on the changes they felt since last Wednesday’s test.

 

“There have been definite improvements when fighting zombies with multiple people, though there are still issues with synchronizing player positions and zombie death positions as well.”

 

“It gets smoother with every tweak they put in. Combat and fighting still do have various issues here and there with synchronizing, but it feels like they are being ironed out quickly. This includes all various ‘general’ animations too – more and more of them are getting fixed so we can see them working properly in action. It’s quite a funny scene walking into base to see multiple players chilling out, reading books, eating, drinking & working out. It really shows how immersive multiplayer will be in my opinion.”

 

So what’s on the development menu for the coming week on the MP Strike Force?

 

  • All players in the test last night reported less ‘black boxing and cones’ – which is when an impassable border can appear when map hasn’t been loaded in for a car passenger, blocking off the road ahead for the whole car. However, this a problem that we want to get 100% addressed, especially when we are anticipating busy servers. As such, Yuri is continuing to dig into further solutions.
  • Andrei is working on corpse position syncing, quite a big task, to make sure that dead zeds are placed in the same position as where they were seen to fall. This will go a long way in ‘tidying up’ hectic scenes of battle.
  • RJ has been syncing missing anims, fixing crashes, hidden models etc. and next week plans to continue tidying up situations in which multiple players are fighting zeds.
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It should also be noted, clearly, that we are currently only testing with 10-12 people on the server at any one time. As we scale up tester numbers more and more bug and bandwidth gribblies could start coming out of the closet, but for now lower server population counts are working pretty well.

 

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NON-MP STUFF DONE THIS WEEK

  • EP has continued to work on zombie pathfinding, making them more able to get through (bash through) complicated patterns of barriers, items and parked vehicles that players put in their way.
  • We are taking the opportunity with the natural break in build releases to update certain aspects of the java systems that the game runs on, and may also mix in the more streamlined save system that Turbo has waiting in the wings.
  • Seeing as our plans for a farming overhaul are still quite distant, we also spent a little time streamlining what’s currently there. Previously to seed/water/harvest you needed to right click on every plant and select an action. Now once you have selected seeds, water or harvest, you’ll have a cursor to perform all farming actions on multiple plants easily.

 

SPIFFO’S FINAL THOUGHT (AGAIN):

Although everything is looking very positive with the MP stuff PLEASE note that we still have a notably long ‘to do’ list before we can consider a public IWBUMS beta release and Community Megatests.

We are sorry for being such massive teases with this stuff, but we hope you’ll agree it’s better than some sort of radio silence.

 

 

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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Tease away! I'm always checking in on Thursdoids to see where you guys are at, so yes much better than radio silence! lol :) I Appreciate the small quality of life fixes you guys give us while we wait for MP as well.

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Since not all plants thrive the best with max water (i.e. carrots), is this bulk watering system still able to handle that kind of control?

 

Also, you mention updating the underlying java systems. Is this akin to people using system java rather than the one bundled in your jre folders? I have been using system java (8u261 x64) for some time. Works fine by the way.

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16 hours ago, Zork said:

Since not all plants thrive the best with max water (i.e. carrots), is this bulk watering system still able to handle that kind of control?

 

Also, you mention updating the underlying java systems. Is this akin to people using system java rather than the one bundled in your jre folders? I have been using system java (8u261 x64) for some time. Works fine by the way.

You're not watering them all at once, it's just an easier way to water multiple.
We're updating the bundled Java instead of hoping people have it pre-installed.

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The hype is real. Been playing build 41, and I have to say, multiplayer is all that's holding the game back from being perfect. You've come a long way after all these years. Great job devs!

 

Also, not sure if this is a bug or a problem for me only. My fog textures are broken (on medium and high settings) no matter how much I verify or reinstall the game.

 

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Edited by Weighland

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Good work guys keep it up, I'm looking forward to the closed beta for testing!
One comment, is it possible as you progress with multiplayer, we can progressively access what you consider already polished? In other words, if we can access the cooperative tab, then multiplayer, I think the latter is the most important due to the number of players and in terms of cooperative, limiting the number of players to host so that we can test it 👉🏼👈🏼.

Edited by Matete

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10 hours ago, Matete said:

Good work guys keep it up, I'm looking forward to the closed beta for testing!
One comment, is it possible as you progress with multiplayer, we can progressively access what you consider already polished? In other words, if we can access the cooperative tab, then multiplayer, I think the latter is the most important due to the number of players and in terms of cooperative, limiting the number of players to host so that we can test it 👉🏼👈🏼.

No. There's no difference between the two in a practical sense, so we can't release a partial version.

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4 hours ago, Kappatao said:

Just curious, once things get more polished with MP, could you guys stream/record and upload your entire wednesday tests (like you did before the release of 41 IWBUMS)?

Not for the internal tests but I'm sure we'll have someone streaming a public test when it happens

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