Hello survivors and welcome to another edition of The Weekly Dead! A spindly update this week but it’s important that everyone knows we are still at work every week. These kinds of weeks happen because game dev.
Once again, code and under-the-hood tech is where the meat of the week has been sizzling.
A lot of the work that went on this week was once again on multiplayer and how we store data in the world, and there really isn’t much to say about it. At least not from me. Here’s what Geoff has to say about it.
Hello Survivors! Geoff here.
Right now Richard and myself are are deep in the muddy multiplayer trenches. There isn’t a whole lot to show visually, but I can talk about it a bit. One of the major improvements we’re working on right now is focusing on load times and getting you into the world and playing as rapidly as possible. As we continued to build and improve the Pepper Valley region, we found the loading times were getting increasingly longer, when they really didn’t have to be. So, what we’ve gone and done is move a lot of content (interior stuff, mostly) onto little sub-levels for really fast loading, and better general management of how your PC loads, stores, and processes all the content in the world. Better framerates, much faster load times. We’ve seen a couple examples of 2 to 5 minute load times shortening down to about 15 to 30 seconds. So that’s nice. Hopefully everyone will experience that sort of load time so you can jump right in and go.
Some other stuff we’re doing involves tying up everything that needs to be tied up in multiplayer. Vague? Sort of. There’s a lot of small stuff, from inventory to the way zombies are handled around the world as you move about. If players split up, it requires even more computation on the server side to run all the AI they might encounter in the world. We have been doing some really good crowd optimization, and have up to about 100 zombies actively doing something without having too much effect on your framerate. Framerate and consistency are the name of the game. We want every player in the game to be seeing (mostly) the same thing as the other players. This is how adventurous coop play and tight, fun PvP play can take place.
Richard’s been heads-down on the level loading and storing code, both so the game keeps track of details like door states, furniture, and loot being moved, saved, and spawned. That’s easily one of the most important systems in the game, and also takes into account the next update after this one, which will contain the most-wanted free-form barricading.
In my “free time,” I’ve also been getting the vlog ready, which requires a lot of audio and footage to get, all while still coding and testing in order to wrap up this build. We’ll launch it the very moment it’s ready.
Back to you, Howell.
Something Out There
Out there, somewhere, or multiple somewheres, some places have been set up in Pepper Valley. Not finished, some new areas to explore have been created. As of this Weekly Dead, we aren’t going to show it for now (Geoff wouldn’t let me), and we will let you check it out when you get your hands on the update. We hope you enjoy it.
Things Grant Did Done
-Survivor animation changes
-New fist idle animation
-Sandstone Rifle pose and socket in survivor skeleton
-New right arm basic punch
Grant’s been creating some new first person animations and idles for the survivor, to better work with our new UE4 rig, and in general, to make things look right. Here’s a quick glance at those improvements.
Ignore the fingers, we’re still tidying up weights from the Unity-to-UE4 rig transfer.
That’s all we’ve got to talk about this week.
As always, be sure to follow us on twitter @TheDeadLinger for more development news!
Linger on, Survivors!