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Once again we have a week where the coders are buckling down getting all the features of the game working in preparation for a closed test of the game (without meta-game). As such we’re getting to the point now where it’s increasingly difficult to show ‘new stuff’, and until we get to finishing the meta-game that’s unlikely to change much. Though there may be little prezzies from Binky, Mash and Romain in the meantime.

Posted by lemmy101 on Mar 11th, 2013


Hello survivors, Lemmy here!
Once again we have a week where the coders are buckling down getting all the features of the game working in preparation for a closed test of the game (without meta-game). As such we’re getting to the point now where it’s increasingly difficult to show ‘new stuff’, and until we get to finishing the meta-game that’s unlikely to change much. Though there may be little prezzies from Binky, Mash and Romain in the meantime.
So for a while, a big part of Mondoids will be more about what’s working again, what areas we’re getting close to finished in, moreso than what is new, just to give everyone an insight into what’s left to do. We will try and be as thorough as possible to give people plenty and hopefully it’ll be interesting and/or satisfy on some level. There is some new stuff to report too, however. A few highlights from this week include:

Lighting

Since streaming was implemented, as well as the new map and a necessary tileset reorganization when going to the new map, the lighting system was completely kaput and needed redeveloping to fit the new map format. Such was the intense effort to get the meta-game complete, this got put to the side for a long time, though had remained a niggling worry at how it would be implementable without costing a ton of CPU. This was not only losing the gameplay associated with lighting, but meaning despite the awesome new map, videos and screenshots have all been rather less pretty than they should and we could certainly never release with the lighting broken in the game.

Behold!

Finally we have our beloved lighting system back, this time improved to get rid of any glitches (including that infernal flicker effect plaguing the 0.2.0 builds) and improving the ‘fog of war’ effect inside buildings you’ve not been in . A nice addition to this is that now the distance you (and anyone else) is stood from a window, along with the light difference between you and what lies through the window, will stop visibility through, which not only means that running past buildings will often not reveal anything of the interior, but buildings with lights on will be lit up like a Christmas tree. While zombies already take light into consideration in the chance of spotting you, this will further magnify this effect, meaning lights on at night without barricaded windows is potentially very deadly, where wandering out with them off will be more or less safe (noise aside).

Rooms

Again, due to the streaming support, we had to rethink how buildings were defined since it was entirely possible for half a building to exist, sliced down the middle at the edge of the loaded area. This information is doubly important for the meta-game, since buildings way out of the spawn distance need to be in the game for the meta-game to work. Also, this is vital for making lightswitches work by calculating where the bulb should be What was once an automatic (but slow) process on game load, we’ve now had to move this to the map data to be loaded independently of the map. EasyPickins has done wonderful work on the tools to deal with this for all future buildings made, but this has however meant any of the new map that was created before the tools were developed will need room definitions put into the map manually. This process is underway (and was done to a limited amount for meta-game development) but for looting, meta-game, indoor lighting etc to be completely working across the entire map this is a slow, rather mind-numbing task (sorry map modders! :( ). One thing this has made us realize is there’s a lot of flipping buildings!

Super-size me!

One of the most requested things to add was something taken out of 0.2.0 because of a limitation with the new lighting system. Double size mode is back!
It may have a few limitations though. Due to the way the lighting system works, there are potential issues with the high graphics settings on lower end machines using double sizing, as graphics cards will need to support ‘depth buffers’ on the offscreen bitmap that’s used to upscale the graphics. That’s technical jargon that means ‘might bugger up on low end cards trying to do high graphics mode and double size’, though it’s unclear how many low end cards that would have this issue would be capable of high graphics settings anyway. In fact this is a similar reason on 0.1.5d sometime cards struggle with the double size mode and bomb out when it’s clicked, and all solutions we’ve had to this are rather graphic card dependent sadly.
It should be perfectly fine to do low graphics mode with double size on any card that supported it in 0.1.5d at least, and we’ll try and make it as compatible as possible.

Zombies

We now have an idle animation! Hurrah! Zombies without any stimulus will generally just stand around, though there will always be the odd wanderer or ten. This makes the zombies much more authentic feeling. It was RingoD that first noticed (within the team, at least) that in previous versions you never ever came across a group of zombies just idling around, and how odd an omission this was for zombie fiction.
Furthermore, sometimes hordes of zombies will generally be stood around facing the same direction, the direction of the last thing that distracted them. Especially with the new strafing / sneaking mechanics, means stealthing it past a bunch of zombies is now a feasible (in fact very very much recommended) tactic. All it takes is one zombie to spot you, however, as their agitated noises will alert nearby zombies and start bringing more and more toward you. This results in the more natural staggered effect of more and more zombies peeling off a horde as they are alerted.
Done but not implemented yet are anims for zombies turning to spot you, which will hopefully make for even more tension and creepiness when trying to sneak past a massive horde and one’s head starts to turn and oh no!
We’ve also done major rebalancing to the zombie’s default senses, memory etc though this is still WIP and will likely go on until release. Our hope is this will make stealth much more important to the game.

Shaders
Since an offscreen bitmap support is required for the double-size feature above, and because there is already a backlog of animations to get in, and because Binky was probably getting bleary eyed looking at Bob in his underpants day in day out, Binky has been doing some shader programming for the high quality settings, meaning he can add saturation effects to let the sun radiantly shine and at nighttime bleach the colour out of the world and blue tint in a much more effective way. Even a bit of dawn and dusk tinting!
The hope is that it will make RC3 much more atmospheric on higher settings, as well as hopefully help us catch more eyes looking for pretty things when we’re sat on a certain store! The potential to expand this in future would open up a lot of opportunities for screen effects to improve the look of the game or give feedback to the player.
Again, we’d like to stress that any additional things like this are not impacting the release date at all and are worked on concurrently to getting the game ready, and are ways to try and maximize the quality and people’s enjoyment of the game for release (and make further amends for its delay ;)) while vital tasks are completed. We would cut any such extra feature should the other work be completed, or switch back onto vital things as they crop up.
So here is a video showing a bit off one of the map cells, which also shows off the new zombie behaviour / sight, shaders and of course remind us all what a legend Zach Beever is. Please consider everything WIP, particularly that all light sources have not yet been placed so a lot of the map is still pretty damn dark.

(Please note the version of the game this is running on doesn’t have some of Romain’s latest work in, as well as some flirtation with the old inventory system at one point after accidentally shutting the new one down.)

Key-bindings
Yep, you can now edit the keys in the options panel! Yippee! Finally you can select any key combination you want, just like in a proper game!

This is stage one of a bigger overhaul that will be happening post RC3 where we plan to add macroable ‘actions’ that can either be dragged onto hotbars or associated with a key on the keyboard. In the meantime though this will hopefully make a lot of people's lives easier.That's all folks!Also, Darkwood looks pretty sweet!

Post comment Comments
frenchiveruti
frenchiveruti Mar 11 2013, 11:26pm says:

Great! But you are making a RC take too much time, there are two future options:
1. Your game gets so slow in development that people looses interest.
2. The people starts to get crazy because of project zomboid, and then everybody attacks each other, creating a real zombie apocalypse.

Think about it... we don't want a zombie apocalypse.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Zombiestubble
Zombiestubble Mar 11 2013, 11:33pm buried:

(buried)

Posts like these have been everywhere. For ***** sake, the DayZ standalone is coming out in a couple months. People may as well just buy that instead. At least that has a release schedule.

-25 votes     reply to comment
lemmy101 Author
lemmy101 Mar 12 2013, 8:15am replied:

We understand people's frustrations and the wait has been ridiculously long, and we're looking into ways we could speed up a release for you lovely peeps. Though I'd like to point out for fairness DayZ standalone's 'release schedule' had it coming out before the new year. Even the great almighty Rocket has delays! :P

+11 votes   reply to comment
marksman52 Online
marksman52 Mar 13 2013, 12:27am replied:

Lemmy, don't even bother with people like this. Unfortunately for the human race you can not argue with ignorance.

-2 votes     reply to comment
kash8891
kash8891 Mar 13 2013, 8:14pm replied:

but dayz mod using arma2 is very nice, you say its hard to make this for low end graphics cards but the graphics for this game are like playstation1, However it will be unique when you finish it and for that im still here after 2 years,

-1 votes     reply to comment
dave_5430
dave_5430 Mar 12 2013, 8:28am buried:

(buried)

Yes, only that DAYZ is a stolen piece of garbage slapped together with random content not even taken the time to properly insert into the game whilst bluffing it was under production for years.

Truth be told, you should **** off while you still have the time.

-21 votes     reply to comment
Batsphinx
Batsphinx Mar 12 2013, 11:04am replied:

Have you got DAY Z and WAR Z confused Dave? (I know that's half the problem)

+11 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Mar 12 2013, 3:59pm replied:

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Discorded
Discorded Mar 15 2013, 8:09pm replied:

DayZ is more like a pvp game, zed are rarely the problem in that. I mean you would likely die from a bullet to the knee. But, i do sit here gnawing at my arm waiting for Rc3. SO MANY NEW THINGS!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
kash8891
kash8891 Mar 13 2013, 8:08pm replied:

option 1 as already happend and option 2 is a wet dream

0 votes     reply to comment
Henley Staff
Henley Mar 12 2013, 1:27am says:

Play the current release, enjoy it and wait while they perfect their craft or do other things and wait. Either way stop posting entitled whiny posts about the game taking too long. Its not like the indiestone crew reads your post and calls a staff meeting just to drop this bombshell on everyone "hey you know what this one guy is right, screw it lets release the ground breaking/game changing emergent gameplay mode incomplete and rushed so that little Timmy over here wont have his jimmies rustled".

Then you would possibly play it, complain that it is too buggy, demand a patch then complain the patch is taking too long to create. Seriously people understand what they are creating here, sit down on your rubber doughnut (for all the hurting butts), take a deep breath, engage your imagination and enjoy the ******* anticipation.

+8 votes   reply to comment
frenchiveruti
frenchiveruti Mar 12 2013, 1:57am replied:

I was totally joking, but do i have to remember you that even the versions that are stable have bugs? Just to name one: "The killer ladder" or even "The crashing door".
It doesn't take a lot of work to fix the simple bugs to have people happy and avoid that what you call "little whinny" because we have project zomboid on desktop and we can't use it at all because of long loading times or all the bugs that came with it.
I'm not asking for the release of the new meta-game system and all that we have been seen the last few -weeks- months, i'm asking a simple bug fixer release so people can enjoy and play until a major update comes out.
Have a nice day.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Maxen1416
Maxen1416 Mar 12 2013, 6:13am replied:
frenchiveruti wrote:It doesn't take a lot of work to fix the simple bugs

depending on the engine, you can't simply fix bugs without making an another bug that makes an another bug, that causes a chain reaction of more bugs, easy?

just be patient, unless you're not old enough for that

+2 votes     reply to comment
frenchiveruti
frenchiveruti Mar 12 2013, 1:11pm replied:

If you search a little, instead of simple saying that i'm some kind of *** saying: "Y U NO RELEASE", you will find that there are mods in theindiestone that actually fixes those bugs, the problem is that, is a mod and not an official release.
So, what did only one guy that a dev team couldn't? Think about it.

0 votes     reply to comment
ceriux
ceriux Mar 12 2013, 11:12am replied:

people are entitled 1 to their opinions and 2 to ask for a speedier release since , ya know... we gave them our money...

+4 votes     reply to comment
kash8891
kash8891 Mar 13 2013, 8:16pm replied:

agreed

+1 vote     reply to comment
K_jingles
K_jingles Mar 14 2013, 3:29pm replied:

Yeah , we did give them our money, in hopes that they would deliver a solid product.

0 votes     reply to comment
kash8891
kash8891 Mar 13 2013, 8:10pm replied:

yeh its not like indie stone ever read any comments what so ever else they would know what we want and thats a release, If ea games or some other company were making it it would of been released by now instead of taking nearly 2 years

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kuznetsovsky
Kuznetsovsky Mar 12 2013, 3:48am says:

Again, I'm really happy to see news regarding Project Zomboid.

However, I don't quite get why frenchiveruti's first comment has so many negative votes. When development takes a lot of time - people lose interest. This is a fact and I totally agree with it. I also understand that developers want to take their time to polish everything and deliver a decent product, which could cause some frustration when this process takes so long. Still, I understand that from developer's perspective PZ is their baby and they probably want it to be as perfect as possible.

I bought the game around 1 year ago and I'm totally happy I did so.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Darthlex
Darthlex Mar 12 2013, 2:23pm replied:
Kuznetsovsky wrote:This is a fact and I totally agree with it

As opposed to not agreeing with a fact?

Folks, try to remember that all we see in these videos may be 'staged' so to speak, meaning that while it looks nice and polished, it may still act too wonky for them to feel that it's a good idea to replace the currently 'stable' build with it. They want you to think "this is brilliant" next time it's in your hands, not "man, sure can't wait 'til the rest of the stuff arrives" --- *I presume*

+1 vote     reply to comment
DaggerClassStudio
DaggerClassStudio Mar 12 2013, 5:08am says:

I personally am comfortable waiting for the release as my anticipation is that this game will be the best zombie apocolypse indie game out there that it will even be better than any retail "professional" game. This game basically is the "dream" game I would always want to play that in my 10 years of gaming I have always wanted to see. So I am not here to complain like others and just give my thumbs up to the Indie Stones!. Seriously guys this team is working for perfection. I have worked on games and it does take a very long time to develop and create and this crew is amazing with regular updates compared to other organisations that leave it to 6 months to 9 just to give a brief update. So learn to be patient people. You only complain cause you are able too in replies to their posts. So just be patient, buckle up and enjoy the wait for I truly believe that it will be totally worth it in the end! Rep and thumbs up for the developers!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kuznetsovsky
Kuznetsovsky Mar 12 2013, 5:39am replied:

Well, I don't see why my comment is treated as a complaint. I've bought the game some time ago and I'm still happy I did.

Every Tuesday when I get to work I enjoy reading PZ weekly update. What I was trying to say is that I understand that some people might get frustrated when developing takes long because c'mon, people see how does the product look and people can't just wait to play a full version with all planned features! :p

+2 votes     reply to comment
frenchiveruti
frenchiveruti Mar 12 2013, 1:15pm says:

I just don't want that the game ends like Diablo III, 10 years for see the third game, and the people still plays Diablo II.
I love project zomboid, and the developers are great, but this method of delaying (with their justified reasons) is going to hit it very negative if the game isn't good.

-1 votes     reply to comment
Maxen1416
Maxen1416 Mar 12 2013, 4:49pm replied:

They are not a triple-A dev team.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Jonnycash157
Jonnycash157 Mar 12 2013, 7:10pm says:

Here's something I don't quite understand, "You got your work stolen, people were easily pirating the game, pay pal shut you down for trying to sell an unfinished product, you've been greenlit by steam but have yet to be releeased on steam, and bloodthirsty fans are losing pacience for the comming of the next update. You send us news both good and bad, but is there something you're not telling us? Something the public needs to know? If yes then maybe the public can make a contribution to fix that porblem. It might be something as like you still need money to continue funding the game, or maybe you need more programmers to accelereate the process. Indie stone, If you are reading this, the comunity is here to lend a hand.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Falloutguy55
Falloutguy55 Mar 14 2013, 12:17am says:

I came buckets after seeing this.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Discorded
Discorded Mar 15 2013, 8:11pm replied:

So did i..

+1 vote     reply to comment
K_jingles
K_jingles Mar 14 2013, 3:30pm says:

Now it may be only my opinion but I would rather a company take the needed time to properly finish their product, as apposed to a buggy half-assed mess that was rushed to production; which then stains the good name to the budding developer and causes them to close premeturly. we don't want another "aliens colonial marines" on our hands do we( they even had a bigger staff than "the indie stone" and could not deliver a solid product), I would like to think not. people of today may be used to constant instant gratification , but if that is all they expect then be prepared for alot of crap. Some times things take time to be done right, If we want our monies worth we might want to be a bit more patient. After they were robbed and lost half of their new code, and then felt the need for a new engine that would manage all of the little details of the games world so it would properly feel alive and frothing at the mouth, with out crashing your pc; people seem to forget most of what the pc also processes is all the behind the curtan stuff and if that stuff is done improperly no lack of graphics will keep your pc from melting. Dwarf fortress uses ascii graphics , but its behind the curtan is so complex that it too can cause a pc to bubble and sizzle

-1 votes     reply to comment
kash8891
kash8891 Mar 15 2013, 7:34am replied:

well this aint been rushed, its taken years for them to make a buggy game. If i was a company making games i would make sure i finished 1 game like project zomboid before i released other games, years ago there was so much support for this game and now most comments are been bureid, people are entitled a opinion and the majority now feel that this game is a epic fail, I would reccomend buyers to stay well away from purchasing this game as it has already lead many of us into beleiving a release of the full versoin game would happen, The robbery its a lie

+3 votes     reply to comment
kash8891
kash8891 Mar 15 2013, 7:34am replied:

well this aint been rushed, its taken years for them to make a buggy game. If i was a company making games i would make sure i finished 1 game like project zomboid before i released other games, years ago there was so much support for this game and now most comments are been bureid, people are entitled a opinion and the majority now feel that this game is a epic fail, I would reccomend buyers to stay well away from purchasing this game as it has already lead many of us into beleiving a release of the full versoin game would happen, The robbery its a lie

0 votes     reply to comment
rune_74
rune_74 Mar 16 2013, 4:44pm says:

I understand it is a work in progress, but we need to see more progress then just it is comming soon. Lets get this thing going, you have taken money for what there is now. I'm understanding that things take time but when month after month we get "soon" I am begining to think the zombie apacalypse has a better chance of happening.

+3 votes     reply to comment
XanderK111
XanderK111 Mar 16 2013, 9:13pm says:

Like it or not, complainers do have a point. Zombie Sandbox games like this are all over Steam Greenlight and some of them do look really good, full 3D Rendered takes on this idea, so Its not like this is the only game in town now, it'll be extra hard to sell this game well if it gets caught up in the mass of them especially with the superior Graphics the likes of which Day-Z and others have.

People will move on if this project *looks* dead. Maybe the fanboys here are in denial, but its just fact, and how the gaming industry works.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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