Survivors helping us out with bug-chasing in the test builds on our forum will first and foremost be aware of some of the successful FPS optimization we’ve now got running beneath the Zomboid hood. We've added multi-core rendering support y’see, which should yield significant FPS boost on multi-core machines.
(This will be automatically turned off for those running PZ on single core machines, and on some Linux systems. The lack of some Linux system’s multi-core love might be fixable, there is hope, we’re just going to have to keep prodding it for a while).
On top of smashing bugs that this new system has created for build 17, we’re also now working on improving inventory/world context interaction. Much of Romain’s work currently is about balancing and soothing interaction woes. For example a double click in the loot inventory will now grab the stack or item. Within the world it can also be tricky to drink at a sink or fill a bottle – and we've changed the way objects are picked for right click menus to make this easier. We're generally just polishing up bugs and making what's there as fun as possible, in preparation for NPCs.
In other news: teleporting crops are now fixed (huzzah!), while invisi-walls remain a massive pain in the arse (grumble!) - however we have a few leads we are following and are quietly hopeful.
As anyone who uses mods will know, the current method of handling mods leaves a little to be desired. We added lua support to add release-friendly modding, but then mods need for you to overwrite game files in order to work. This meant if anyone had mods installed and updated the game, their save could become incompatible if they didn’t have the same mods installed.
As such, we’ve taken the plunge and added some proper modding architecture, so a user can tick to enable/disable mods. Each is stored in a separate directory, and the files in the mods just‘override’ the base files - or each other depending on the mod ordering. This will make it much easier to maintain installed mods, as well as mean they stay installed between new versions.
We’ll be starting a new series of mod blogs on the main PZ site this week, so soon there’ll be no excuse for not getting down and dirty in the modding community!
As usual a lot of NPC work has gone on this week. The focus of this being character movement. Not the animation, but the way that in their previous guise AI survivors always walked in tile-by-tile units, and only ever in 8 directions.
They were always a little robotic, really, and as such we’ve had some interesting ideas that may allow for NPCs to move more realistically, and look a lot more engaging.
We’d hate to leave you bereft of video action though, so here’s a sneak peek at our experimental system that’ll allow NPCs to have realistic movement around the map, in real-time. We’re pretty confident that we’ll have a more tasty video next week on this front (nb. pretty confidence is not legally binding).