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Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox. It asks one simple question – how will you die? Whether surviving in Knox County free-roam or controlling Indie Stone mascot Baldspot in his quest to save his injured wife Kate – death is always a certainty. Quite how long you manage to put it off is another matter…

RSS Feed Knox gets real: Spotlight on Binky

Winter is drawing in on Knox Country. You’ve wrapped up warm, but you’re down to your last piece of rotten salmon. Your only hope of salvation is a Project Zomboid update. Here’s a few more details on its long-dreamt arrival, along with a fire-side chat with Andy ‘Binky’ Hodgetts on the changing face of Muldraugh.

Posted by Batsphinx on Oct 15th, 2012

deffouse

Coding work this week has been directed at the game’s front-end. To this end Lemmy has created lovely new UI menu that’ll let you select maps to spawn on, whether official or user-created, and also boot up your game from a range of savegames. (All save-on-quits, natch). He’s also hugely revamped the username/key input box to make booting up less of a headache. For a sneak peek at the system, Mash’s new menu artwork and some heftily reduced load times – check out this vid.


The arty-types themselves, meanwhile, have been busying themselves with new Muldraugh mappage. This is content that will be a part of the RC3 build release if both code and art are ready to go at the same time – which is currently looking likely. Without much further ado, then, let’s turn to Andy ‘Binky’ Hodgetts to discover what he and Mash have been busying themselves with for the last few months…


Hello Andy! How are you today? Have you been down to Costa Coffee yet, or are you popping down in a little while?

Hello. I'm smashing, ta. To be honest, I've not been to Costa in some time as I have abandoned the delicious gingerbread lattes in favour of a small Italian cafe which sells conventional lattes, but also cheesecake.

So, what are you and Mash up to at the moment? What's the current plan for the new PZ mapping?

Mash and I are currently beavering (raccooning?) away expanding the map cells and trying hard not to terrify ourselves by looking at the ludicrously enormous world canvas we've set up to contain the foreseeable future of map updates. Map production is a lot faster now than it was, thanks to some tremendously useful new tools at our disposal. It’s still a lot of work though, since it's important that the maps not only look interesting - but play well. So there's a lot of editing and moving things around going on. On top of that, even when we reach a point that a cell is ‘done’, it’ll still be refined as we add new tiles.

I heard a wicked whisper that the current map is being abandoned. Is this true? Will we be saying goodbye to the map we're all used to? Saying goodbye FOREVER?

Less a ‘goodbye’, and more an ‘adieu’. It won't be permanently deleted. and will be available to play as an alternative world should you bizarrely wish to play a game in a setting where there's a hodgepodge of buildings - some of which have no bedrooms or toilets because we forgot to put them in. But that old map is not Muldraugh, it was just a way for us to test out tiles and gameplay. The new map cells are Muldraugh. For the first time, we'll be playing the game in an actual game world.

Can you explain how Chris is integrating the new map start menu? How will user-created maps fit into that?

Oh, it's all tremendously simple. You just choose the world you wish to play in from the list of available worlds. Installed user-created maps simply appear in that list.

What's this WorldEd business? Where have they come from, what do they do and how have they changed your life?

WorldEd is basically an extension to TileZed, by EasyPickins. That tool in particular will have a larger impact as we continue to grow the map, and is basically a way of manipulating the maps on a world-scale as opposed to an individual cell scale. Now that we have map streaming this is particularly important, since you don't want to have obvious boundaries visible where one map cell meets another. Before streaming this was never an issue because there'd be a load point, so if a tree line or road didn't exactly line up it'd be really difficult to notice.


How about BuildingEd then, is that the same sort of deal?

BuildingEd is very much in its infancy, but it's already useful for sketching out building layouts in a way that allows you to muck about with the design before incorporating it into the map. In the past the process of moving a house wall to make a room large enough for a bed, for example, was rather tedious. When there's time to develop this tool further it's going to become an absolute life-saver for both us and modders.


What's the plan in terms of releasing WorldEd and BuildingEd to the modding community?

As with all of our tools, once they're in a state that they're fit for general use, we will release them. The sooner the better for everyone, really.

Shouldn't we think of slightly more imaginative names for these tools?

It's an Editor for Worlds, you see? When you think about it, it's an incredibly clever naming convention.

How big do you want the PZ map to become? What other locations will eventually be covered?

As big as is possible. We want to expand beyond Muldraugh - one of the reasons I personally am so keen on the game location is the stuff that's around Muldraugh. But first things first.

What sort of new areas will PZ players soon be exploring? What's been built recently?

Well I ought to really point out that these new map cells are designed to be a little more realistic in terms of buildings and placement than the mess of the demo map. So you're not going to be walking down the street in little old Muldraugh and stumble upon a helicopter landing pad or anything. But there are the sorts of things you would expect to find in a town like Muldraugh. There's a couple of motels, a trailer park, and a bunch more shops amongst other things. Hmmm... that's not the most exciting way to end an interview I've ever seen. I'll do a little dance too. There.


Okay then gang, that’s your Monday update. Seeing as there’s so much going on at the moment, however, it’s always well worth following @theindiestone on twitter for rolling updates. There’s plenty on the brew at the moment, so much we even forgot to mention the new (working title) Survival mode that Lemmy details in this forum post, and there’ll probably be more fun stuff popping up in the week. Thanks everyone!

Comments
Roh
Roh Oct 16 2012, 12:34am said:

You guys are doing a lot of great work and all.. But honestly I'm getting pretty antsy for another relatively stable release. With you know.. at least some of the great work you've all been doing.

I know it takes as long as it takes. But the wait is getting uncomfortable.

+14 votes     reply to
captinjames
captinjames Oct 16 2012, 1:46am said:

a beach chair ON roof that great idea *see blood* maybe not but still BEACH CHAIRS :D

+4 votes     reply to
Dunsmore64
Dunsmore64 Oct 20 2012, 1:18pm replied:

Think they willmake them items you can move around,THAT WOULD BE AMASING,even if you cant sleep in them

+1 vote     reply to
Spats
Spats Oct 16 2012, 1:47am said:

Someone hire this man a runner to go and bring him his lattes and cheesecake so he can stay working on PZ 24/7.

+6 votes     reply to
VladJ
VladJ Oct 16 2012, 3:10pm replied:

If i lived near him, i'd do it.

+2 votes     reply to
ZombieJ
ZombieJ Oct 16 2012, 5:32am buried:

(buried)

Blah blah blah. No one wants to know the guys coffee order! Release something damn it!

-11 votes     reply to
lemmy101
lemmy101 Oct 16 2012, 10:13am said:

Unfortunately that's not possible.

If anyone's seen Scrapheap Challenge or a 3 day time-limit DIY show or something. That's alpha funded dev. You have a pile of garbage for weeks, then it all comes together within the last few minutes. We can't just arbitrarily 'release something'.

We're doing some important sorting out of the code to provide more stable builds in future, and the primary reason we're doing this is *for* the Desura community. So you can finally have an official stable build on Desura, auto updating, instead of the long long wait you've had while we've released test build after test build on the forums.

The reason you've had to wait so long on Desura is *because* we buckled to the pressure of our community to 'Release something damn it!' and this just led over version after version into a degradation of the stability of the game to the point the majority of the people on our forum are playing a version 4 updates previous to the latest since it's the most stable.

We're just trying to make the wait as painless as possible by providing frequent updates, talk about our progress and provide activity on our blog and Desura page. Sorry if this doesn't agree with you but most seem to prefer it to dead silence.

+14 votes     reply to
christian2142
christian2142 Oct 16 2012, 7:52pm said:

One thing ive taken to notice is "Television" in the build menu... Working TV's... Thatll be the day... Emergency broadcast station? :o

+1 vote     reply to
Batsphinx
Batsphinx Oct 17 2012, 12:30pm said:

I've already written dialogue for an emergency radio broadcast Christian :).

Not sure when it'll make it into the game proper though.

+3 votes     reply to
Daerchador
Daerchador Nov 5 2012, 1:32pm replied: Online

awesomeBat strikes again!

+1 vote     reply to
RazJain
RazJain Oct 26 2012, 11:48am said:

What ever happens never take away the Random Gameplay and Fog of War. OK?

+1 vote     reply to
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