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The Weekly Dead 36

Welcome survivors, to another edition of The Weekly Dead!

Before we start let me remind everyone of the livestreams the team does every so often.

Richard Keene’s twitch account
Richard’s Past Broadcasts
Geoff Keene’s twitch account
Geoff’s Past Broadcasts

Let’s get sucked into some cool new stuff!


Take a look at this picture.

You see those red lines coming from the blade? That’s the swing arc.

Each melee weapon has several points along edge (in the sword’s case, the blade of the weapon) that track it’s movement in 3d space. When one of those points/lines intersects with something it detects a melee hit on it. So if those lines go through a zombie’s head, then that’s one less zombie you have to worry about, or more considering it can arc through them.

This was Richard’s work (image by Geoff though) and now he’s working on weapon equip slots and dropping weapons.

Houses and Neighborhoods

Chaoss has been indisposed for the week but he did manage to get a few things in anyway.

Mainly more building houses from the modules he created, but as well laid out a neighborhood design using placeholder houses, and some roadwork.

I feel I should remind everyone that the ground texture in this image is the one used for distant scenery, which is why it looks so different from the roads themselves.

All the houses in this image are placeholder, but this does demonstrate the planned spacing for a residential neighborhood, allowing room for a nice yard and driveway. An upper-middle class neighborhood for sure.

Like I said before, he’s also been building some houses. Like this one.

You can see how the rooms are laid out here.

And this give you a look at that pretty molding around the doorway.

Animations and Rigging

Grant has made the third person animations for hip and ironsights aiming done and found a way to make our first person animations for pistols and such to work in our new system, which saves the time of having to do all of them again. What a hero!
We’ve also got the third person animations for bikes and melee weapons.
Each weapon can customize its animation.

And finally, Grant has parented every gun to the right hand.


Ryan has made something interesting as well. An untextured WIP high poly model of a portable, deploy-able solar panel.

For the curious unable to imagine how it looks, here’s some concept art of what you are looking at.

Well, that does it for this week’s edition of The Weekly Dead.

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Before you leave though, I just want to leave you with one last thing. (model and image courtesy of Grant, caption by Geoff)

Linger on, Survivors!

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The Weekly Dead 35

Hello survivors!

Zag is streaming RIGHT NOW!
Watch live video from SandsweptZag on www.twitch.tv

This has been a week of guns, guns, and more guns, a veritable gun feast! Plus other stuff, but seriously, these guns.

But first, a message from Zag.

Hello Survivors!
This is just a quick public service announcement to drop some helpful links in regards to watching our development via livestreams on Twitch.

While we don’t livestream everything, Richard and I in particular have taken up livestreaming development in Unreal Engine 4.

You can follow our channels here:

http://www.twitch.tv/sandsweptzag [me, Geoff]
http://www.twitch.tv/sndthunderfist [Richard, Lead Engineer]

You can stay up to date on when we stream (no specific schedule) via twitter;

http://www.twitter.com/thedeadlinger [Official twitter, always RTs our tweets about TDL streams]
http://www.twitter.com/geoffkeene [me, Geoff]
http://www.twitter.com/rkeene0517 [Richard]

I noticed those streams we’ve done haven’t been posted here. If you missed one, check out the “Past Broadcasts” section of our respective channels. Hope that helps somebody out. :)

Now, onto the meat!

GUNS! and Items

This past week Richard and Geoff have been hard at work finishing up the weapons systems(and other things, but we are talking about weapons right now), with Geoff focusing on guns and Richard working on melee. This includes reloading, scopes, firing modes (semi-auto/full-auto). Grant has been doing rigging, and Richard has been doing animation states. Chaoss brought the guns into UE4 and made world items for them. Now let’s see what that looks like!

Our guns in engine.

Up close.

Oh and…

Chaoss set up our guns so that we can color certain parts of our items if we need to. But look at that pretty pink.

Ryan bringing that AT Launcher in as well.

Finally, finishing this off, Chaoss made a pass over the mattress again. These look like they are much softer on your feet while you’re flying through the skies on it!

Miscellaneous Code Stuffs

In other news, Geoff has been working on player stats, like hunger, thirst, sustenance, temperature, stamina, defense, speed, and…

…possibly something to do with the fatigue system.

Chaoss has also been creating house modules.

He’s basically making pieces of houses, like walls, doors, frames, so that he can more quickly build lots of houses and buildings.

He also did a pass on the sky.

Day/Night cycle won’t be in the opt-in, but that’s probably what it would look like…Maybe a little bit lighter.

So that concludes this week’s Weekly Dead.

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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The Weekly Dead 34

Hello Survivors! It’s time for another Weekly Dead!

This week we’ve got some fun and interesting things to talk about.

Something Unreal

I’ll start with a bit of work that isn’t ours. A few days ago, the Unreal Engine devs posted a video from a livestream demonstrating a new feature they’ve developed for the engine. Procedural foliage generation. It works by giving individual trees a chance to spawn however many trees based on a procedural “seed” system, thus it can generate an entire properly (or improperly) spaced forest from the placement of one tree based on how many steps you give the system.

Why do I bring this up? Because TDL will be using the system as soon as Unreal releases it.

This is the video in case you would like a more technical description

Digital Wizardry

This is where most of the work has been done.

Richard has been working on the melee stuff. Specifically, picking up and equipping weapons (a katana is the example he’s been using), implementing the melee swing animation, tracing the path of the blade through the air, and applying damage to zombies that intersect the path.

You can see what it looks like by following Richard’s Twitch stream which he occasionally does while programming.

If you want to see past broadcasts by Richard, go no further than here.
And if you want to be alerted when he starts streaming than you need to do no more than follow @thedeadlinger on twitter…if you don’t want to just, subscribe to him on twitch, which you absolutely should.

Items and Animation

We’ve got a couple things to show today in this category.

Atle has been making some walking and Running animations for boars.

^This gif slowed down in post for reasons, though you can now see how it’s body moves while running.

These aren’t in engine renders, so what you’ll see in game will look much better than this.

On the Item front, Ryan has finished up the high poly of the AT Launcher and started the initial color pass.

It looks quite good if I say so myself. I wonder what one will do to a zombie.

Bug Corner

To round out this week’s dead, we’ll look at something silly. From Richard’s Twitch stream, the dreaded “Crotch Sword”.

Don’t worry of course, Richard already knocked that bug “out of the ball park” in less than 5 minutes.

That about wraps it up for this week’s weekly dead.

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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The Weekly Dead 33

Hello Survivors!

This week I’ve got some good technical information and some great terrain shots for you to view.

I should get this out of the way, a quote from our glorious leader Geoff “Zag” Keene about an estimation of the release of the opt-in.

I just simply don’t have one. We are diving into a new engine with new ways of doing things, and new tools at our disposal. Anything we give right now (such as that February estimate we gave earlier that didn’t pan out) could and most likely would be completely wrong.

We’ll let you know when we know.

So with that popular question answered for now, onto the goodies!

Weapon Systems

Here we have an example of Geoff using UE4′s Blueprint feature to make TDL’s weapon systems. This in particular is showing the system for guns and the difference between full auto, and burst fire weapons. In this example, primary fire is using the full-auto/burst fire function, and alt-fire is semi-auto. It’s a comprehensive system for swapping out weapons, checking which ones you have, and the details like ammo and firing mode.

Digital Wizardry

On the programming side of things we’ve been digging in.

Richard is currently working on the inventory, including dropping items, collecting items, and moving items around the inventory. After that comes getting equipping weapons and clothing up and working.

Grant is working on rig placement, re-targeting the animations to the new rig, as well as adding sockets which allows equipment to be placed on the character. When combined with Richard and Chaoss’s code will get the equipment and weapon system set up.

Chaoss has also been doing a lot of work on the terrain (more on that in a bit) including world tiles. Basically, it will now be much easier for Zag to paint rocks and trees on the landscape.

The World

The most visual part of this Weekly Dead, Chaoss’s other work on terrain includes making sure each area of Pepper Valley has a unique feel to it, in the name of maximum variety. You can see it detailed here.

Item Corner

We’ve got a few interesting and awesome images to show off this week, and the art team is hard at work making more.

An AT Launcher you’ll need for taking out those pesky Sirens, and pretty much anything else.

The Satchel Charge has beautiful new textures now. It’s almost a shame that it explodes.

And to top it off we have a man wielding a sword…A sword is an Item so it can be under this header!

The textures on this one are just placeholder ones Grant plugged in while he waits on the official ones from Chaoss, but I personally hope Chaoss keeps that boxer briefs/ankle socks combo.

Virtual Noses

You read that right, based on a Gamasutra article that was based on a study about VR we’ve decided that it is necessary for a virtual nose to be coded in for VR headset users.

And that wraps up this week’s Weekly Dead!

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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The Weekly Dead 32

Hello Survivors!

If you’re like me, you’ve probably been wondering where the Weekly Dead has been. Well Jenny has had a lot come up and has been really busy, too busy in fact. So now I’ve been asked to take over her Community Manager role and write the Weekly Dead posts in her stead.

Who am I you ask? I am Christopher Howell(AKA Howell2010), and this is The Weekly Dead.

Digital Wizardry

As always you can get nearly daily updates of what our team is up to by checking out our twitter @thedeadlinger but for a summary, since PAX when you last heard anything, our programmers have been working on everything from zombie-player interaction, zombie awareness, zombie spawning, multiplayer, inventory, object interaction, tile load/store (which means zombies and items dropped in a “tile” will remain when you leave and return).

Essentially, a lot of the mechanics to get it at least back up to the playable state.

Chaoss meanwhile has been working on optimizing trees so that we can have truly vast forests without melting your computers.

Item Art

The art team has still been chugging away. A few new things to show off starting with one untextured thing.

Satchel Charge

You probably won’t find any of these laying around. Might have to improvise one.

HE Grenade

For when you want to kill something on the other side of something… Or around a corner.


Cause writing notes is an important skill. Almost as important as reading them.

Tape Recorder

For people who can’t/couldn’t be bothered with writing.

Where Art And Programming Mix

Got a few things from our rigger too. Take a look at this IK foot placement.

IK Foot Placement

See how he has one foot on the step and one off, both planted firmly on their respective surfaces? That’s IK Foot Placement.


A bunch of new house designs, both lower and middle income, and 2 kinds of Swerts. That’s twice the Swerts we had before!

Well that’s what I’ve got for now, tune in next Friday (PST) for another Weekly Dead!

Be sure to follow us @TheDeadLinger for more development news!

Linger on, Survivors!

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