We hope everyone is having a great Summer full of lots of fun! We're also having so much fun working on the final stages of the build. Unfortunately, we likely won't be able to reach a Summer release due to features that need to be adjusted and tweaked, as well as bugs and issues that need to be ironed out before release. So that means we'll have to release sometime in the Fall, but it should be well worth the wait.
Like our last announcement, we have so much to discuss about our development progress and what we've done the past few months. While our main priority is security and game stability - we're always working toward improving our ability to develop with the addition of new content such as entities, animations, props and textures. As development has gone on, we’ve listened to the ideas and feedback of the community, and taken the time to implement ideas that we’ve agreed with and/or have seen as possible to address without delaying the release. Let's get straight to introducing some of these things to you, shall we?
Zombie Panic! Source will now have Angelscript support in v3.0, it works similar to how NUTscript works for Left 4 Dead 2 or Contagion. Angelscript was added to cut down the entdata for maps that use a lot of entities to make certain math related sequences.
At this moment, Angelscript is only supported for maps, but will have added support for plugins in the near future sometime after v3.0. For those who know C or C++, they will understand the basics of Angelscript. For those who don't, there is an Angelscript documentation to get you started once v3.0 goes live!
There will also be a ZPS API documentation for Angelscript, which will be easy to navigate. This documentation API will be available once v3.0 goes live!
We've been working really hard preparing Linux binaries for v3.0, we need to fix all current crashes and incompatibility issues within our build. We're doing everything we can to make Linux support happen for our Linux users out there, both server and client! We would like to give a special thanks to one of our testers, Shepard62FR, who is assisting our programmer with this huge task!
If you've watched our Twitch development streams in the past, you may already be aware that Ratboy was modeling destructible doors. You can set the HP of the door and they'll have a certain amount of stages to break through. The door will become more broken the more damage you do to it, until it breaks to pieces and falls off the hinge.
- If the player touches trigger_infect, depending on how much % the trigger is set to (example; some can be set to 10%, or others will be 25% etc), they will get infected. Also if your health is 25 or lower, you have a higher risk of getting infected.
- If the player touches trigger_uninfect, their infection will be removed immediately.
- This trigger will either slowly, or quickly, heal the player, or set their health to a specific amount, but it cannot go above or beyond their actual max health.
- When this trigger is enabled it will destroy any barricades it comes in contact with.
- The trigger_escape works similar to how escaping worked in Contagion. Instead of instantly triggering a Survivor win like how it normally works on objective maps, this trigger will cause the individual player who touched it to escape. Escaping results in the player being switched to the spectator team and receiving additional points for achieving their own victory, their weapons and ammo do not drop to the ground. After 30 seconds, those players can join the zombie team to help finish off the round.
This trigger will work great on certain maps by keeping them from ending abruptly when there's still lots of fun action that could unfold. It will also make it more urgent that the player successfully escape instead of trying to camp and rack up as many kills as they want, since they'll eventually get overrun and killed by the other players who already escaped. (Although that strategy of camping for kills in objective maps can never completely be prevented by us, and it will require moderation of the server if players feel that it's an issue.)
The game instructor is the same one used by Alien Swarm and Left 4 Dead. It can be used to teach new players how to perform actions and abilities, and be used to relay other important information to players.
It will tell players things like how to manage their inventory as survivor, not to damage your teammates, how to Roar and Spot as the Carrier, things like that which will be important for new players to learn, or things that are important to inform the player of.
The game instructor can also display a temporary beacon with text. One of the ways we've implemented this is for when someone requests weapons or ammo, you'll see a beacon display on the player who requested the item with text explaining what they requested.
The backpack was originally intended to serve as a visual indication that a player is carrying an item_deliver (the objective items that you carry in your inventory), for those that don't have their own world model to display. But we're still debating what other uses to implement the backpack for. For v3.0 this will likely remain its only use, but in the future this might change.
This model was developed by our modeler, Darb Dude! As some of you might be able to tell - the selection of this particular looking backpack was inspired from the backpack which was used in the original Zombie Panic! mod for Half-life.
Creating new sexier models, props, textures, and sounds - reworking animations is in one of our future plans both before and after the v3.0 update. Jonnyboy has been working hard to improve as best as he can our survivor animations, especially the reload and idle animations, which you can see in those images below.
Carry Mode for Item_deliver
The item_deliver now has the option to be set to require two hands to carry it, making the player vulnerable and unable to attack until they drop it. This will make it important for players to be very cautious or have a teammate around when transporting these items. The idea for this was inspired from the two-handed items used in L4D, such as the gas cans and propane tanks.
We're removing the limitations from infection, such as not being able to chat, and not being able to manage your inventory or interact with items. We've decided to remove these limitations because they don't actually prevent griefing/trolling like they were probably intended to do. The player will ultimately find some way to troll or grief if they really want, limiting the players' ability was not the proper way to try to prevent that. It just made it more frustrating to play when you were infected if you actually tried to survive as long as you could. We also feel the limitations didn't offer much in terms of immersion, it was more frustrating than immersive.
When it comes down to trolling or griefing, we'll do what we can from a development perspective to prevent it - but with this issue in particular there was no good solution that worked well. It will be up to the server owners to decide if doing things like hiding or wasting ammo before they turn into a zombie is against their rules or not. It will also be up to their own community to help enforce that rule.
To help limit a players' ability to perform actions which will give them an advantage when they turn into a zombie from infection - we've reduced the known infection time to 10-15 seconds. That means you will only get an indication of your infection 10-15 seconds before you turn. This is to reduce the time the player will have to react to their infection, giving them less time to do something which will sabotage the survivor team and give them an advantage when they transfer to the zombie team.
Starting Zombie Selection Restrictions
We've implemented some restrictions to the zombie selection code that selects which players are going to be zombie at the start of the round. We've made it so that a player will no longer be zombie twice in a row, unless they volunteer for it. The less times you've been zombie, the more chance you'll have of being chosen as a starting zombie if there's no volunteers. But also the more you volunteer for zombie, the less chance you'll have of becoming zombie against others volunteers who haven't been zombie as many times.
This is to help prevent people unfairly being chosen as a starting zombie multiple times in a row, when other players haven't been chosen at all. It will also make it more fair for people to have a chance to be a starting zombie if there's a lot of other players volunteering, so that the same few people aren't always getting starting zombie.
Bullet Penetration Through Teammates
While bullets penetrating through teammates is a bit unrealistic, we felt this was a necessary addition for multiple reasons. One issue is that you can have a room full of people like the living room on harvest, where there's not a whole lot of room to shoot past your teammates - and a lot of people end up blocking each others' bullets unintentionally. Then there's griefers who will intentionally stand in your way in an attempt to waste your ammo or get you killed.
So we've implemented bullet penetration through teammates in order to solve these issues. But we understand that some people might not enjoy this feature, and we've decided to make this an optional cvar that server owners can control.
Bullets will now have drop-off damage, meaning that the further a bullet travels the less damage it will do until its damage is completely negated and reduced to 0. This is intended to keep players from being able to snipe across the map with every firearm. We can properly limit their range, thus helping to balance out the effectiveness of wide open areas.
Support for Community Content
It is no secret that our team’s priority is to develop the original design of the game. It is undoubtedly the design we cherish and wish to expand upon. However, this doesn't mean that we look at custom content with ill intentions.
We understand that the reality of the new update breaking a lot of custom content is scary but it is by no means intentional. It’s a matter of the two engines being different. Triggers, events, and entities are named differently, updated or just don’t exist anymore so naturally most SourceMod plugins won’t know what’s up or down.
Our team is not going to spend time updating all custom content. We simply don’t have the time. It has always been the community’s responsibility to update their own content. We'll be releasing our Mod Tools completely updated once the v3.0 update rolls out. From there, you'll be able to create your own maps and upload them to the Workshop!
SourceMod for 3.0
For the past 4 or so months, Janaz Leonheart, owner of Vertigo Gaming, has been working on updating SourceMod so that it is ready when the update launches. He is currently awaiting some finalization of our Linux build to continue his work. He has also been helping us with his extensive knowledge of exploits used to attack other servers, making sure that the build is as secure as possible. Once his work is complete, he has agreed to release it, along with a guide and whatever plugins he may have updated in the testing phase, publicly for the entire community to use.
His work is not part of our development, they are two separate processes. We are merely overseeing his work while we focus on our own.
Twitch Development Streams
When we first started our development streams, we planned to be streaming weekly on Fridays. But due to our schedules, the lack of work suitable for streaming and people willing to stream - we're unable to deliver on that promise. From now on the streams will be as we're able to do them, which we'll inform you of through Tweets and the Channel Feed on our Twitch Page, as well as posting a Steam Event once we're live.
You can always check out the past broadcasts directly on our Twitch page (these VODs only stay up for 2 weeks), or we've started archiving these streams on our YouTube channel.
While we don't have much of anything uploaded to our YouTube channel yet. We plan to be uploading our teasers, trailers, and other videos to this channel. We would appreciate it if you'd all help support the channel by going and subscribing to it for future content.
We're very thankful of your huge support you guys have been giving us. It means a lot for us!
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-Zombie Panic! Development Team