What have we been up to?
After our last game patch back in June, we've been working at full steam on v3.1, attempting to put an end to innumerable bugs and crashes we couldn't fix before in the current build. Again, we are doing so by rewriting our source code from the ground up - this time without utilizing any of Half-Life 2: DeathMatch's code as a base.
During this time we decided it best to focus on developing a trustworthy and robust build compared to v3.0 as a whole, which is why there hasn't been updates in a while. It would not be an efficient use of our time to work on fixes for an obsolete build of the game while we were working on an updated build that would (or should) eliminate the problems we encountered.
We have also used this time to create interesting in-game features and ideas! Right now, we've got a few of those ideas, and some other changes, ready to be shown off to hear your feedback! We invite you to discuss what you think about everything on our Steam Discussions Board after reading this announcement!
Much of the content being announced is heavily work in progress, which makes it subject to adjustments throughout our playtesting sessions. Therefore, what is shown is likely to be changed in some way before release of v3.1, as well as afterwards.
New Recoil System
The previous recoil system was pretty bad, and didn't allow the player any sort of control over their recoil (besides just not shooting quickly). We seek to eliminate those problems with the implementation of a new, improved, recoil system!
This new system is similar to the one being used in Day of Defeat: Source, which pushes the players' view upward and to the side as bullets are fired. This means that your screen will jump around as you fire, but you will have the ability to control your recoil so more bullets hit your target.
In theory this will be a buff for the Survivors, and make it easier for them to use weapons at a high rate of fire. In order for it to be balanced, the amount of recoil for each shot will have to be adjusted to be substantial enough so that all of your bullets aren't easily hitting target. But other things, like bullet damage and spread, will likely require adjusting in order to balance this feature.
We've created a small preview of this feature for you to see how it works! Remember that this is an early concept test, this feature has not been properly balanced yet, and it will be changed. As all things, it will be adjusted depending on the results we see during testing/playing, and the feedback we receive.
Weapon Hammer Enhancement
The barricade hammer has received a significant change to its usage in v3.1. It's still used as a tool to place boards, but now also serves as a melee weapon to smash open some zombie brainz once again! While the hammer is equipped, you can freely switch between the two modes - using it as a melee weapon or as a tool.
The boards themselves have been converted into ammo that the hammer uses in order to enter "tool mode" to barricade. The boards can be dropped and picked up, just like any other ammo. When you don't have any boards, then the hammer can only be used as a melee weapon.
At the moment you can carry a maximum of 6 boards, just like you could when they were only a weapon. The only difference being you can use all of the boards from one hammer. However, 6 boards will likely be unbalanced and end up getting changed, this is just a starting point for internal testing.
The hammer starts in melee mode by default, to switch between the two modes - simply press MOUSE2 (right-click).
The controls to barricade in tool mode remain the same. EXCEPT switching between short and long boards, where you'll have to press the SPECIAL ATTACK button.
SPECIAL ATTACK currently does not have a default keybind, we will have to decide on that later, as well as if there's any other uses for the SPECIAL ATTACK or any other binds we could merge, simplify, or change.
The Ammo HUD has received some visual improvements! It now utilizes icons, with the intention of making things easier to understand at a glance without the need to read, as well as just making it look better! These icons can also be easily understood by people of any language.
Minimal Ammo HUD
As an extention of that, the Ammo HUD can be simplified even more with the option to remove the name of the ammo, so that only the ammo icon is showing. Thus freeing up a little bit more space on your screen to see. This is, of course, not intended for new players. It's intended to be used by players once they understand what each icon is, once you're ready you can toggle the ammo names off in Zombie Panic Options if you wish.
It's no doubt that the frustrating issue with poor hit registration has been a huge complaint in our history, especially so with the update to v3.0. We decided to investigate the issue to find out what was really going on with our hitboxes. The results weren't very pleasant at first - we found there was a horrible desynchronization between the player's model to its hitbox.
We managed to get in contact with a couple of Source community developers regarding this issue - special thanks to Mehis, programmer for Zombie Master: Reborn (a mod you should check out by the way)!
After days of testing and trying to solve this problem, we finally managed to fix it, at last! Here's a small comparison below:
Linux Client support for Zombie Panic! Source will finally be coming in v3.1! This is a huge, long-awaited step, opening an important door to another OS besides Windows! (Unfortunately, Mac OS X support is still out of our reach, and not in our plans.)
A huge thanks to our programmer, Shepard, for accomplishing this challenging task! It took a long time - but with extreme dedication, and amazing coordination between both our programmers, we were able to succeed!
We'll require your help preparing the Linux Client for release! If you have Linux, we'll need you to look for bugs or any sort of issues with the Linux Client and report them (as well as any other feedback you have) before the release of v3.1. Our goal is to identify all possible issues and fix them before the actual public release. The Linux Client will be available for public beta testing along with the Windows Client at a later, currently undecided, time (read below).
Public Beta Testing
All of these features, and more, will be available for public beta testing sometime soon (after our internal testing)! Once it is ready, it will be announced and made available as a Beta for ZPS on Steam titled "unstable build" - considering how unstable this build may be for some users.
If you'd like to participate in the public beta testing and provide us with bug reports, feedback, or suggestions - then stay tuned! A new announcement will be published later explaining how to opt into the beta and provide us with your feedback.
This will be a big opportunity for everyone to share their thoughts and ideas, and help us perfect the build before release! Making Zombie Panic! Source more suitable and enjoyable for everyone in our community!
Why the wait?
We're currently in the process of internal playtesting, and setting up v3.1 to be as polished and balanced as we can make it for the release of the "unstable build". We want the "unstable build" to be as functional, and issue free, as we can make it - so that your playing experience is acceptable.
As always, we'll be watching and waiting for you feedback and suggestions!
See you in the next announcement! Follow us on social media at:
- Zombie Panic! Source Development Team