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madmole

Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!

Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!  

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  1. 1. Alpha 18 Dev Diary!!

    • A18 Stable is Out!
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Few things i've noticed so far from playing...

 

The sound on this update is a huge improvement!

 

The new dynamic music is really great. I love the atmosphere it provides. There are some great sounds..Some of them sound like something you'd hear from an 80's zombie flick like Day of the Dead. Love them. The zombie walking sounds are much improved for me. I can hear them whistling through the grass, I can pin point where they are and what surface types they are standing on. I like the impact sounds when you hit with melee, though I think they could be a bit more 'meaty'. The discard\throw sound is improved. The echos are better..Just all around huge sound improvements.

 

I know I've talked about outdoor performance suffering compared to before, but the performance indoors is just amazing compared to any Alpha before it. Even with all the reflections and all other effects maxed out - and throwing torches everywhere trying to stress it - the game is just buttery, silky smooth in the POIs - which makes for satisfying combat. The occlusion is doing a great job here. This will also potentially help when base building where you can build more complicated scenes without worrying about frame drops. Overall, just a huge improvement.

 

Not enough zombies outdoors. I went outside to the wasteland at night and stood under a lamp post with its light on and made all kinds of noise and barely attracted any zombies at all. It's not dangerous enough. I don't know if the detect range is too low or what..but I was making all kinds of noise and standing in bright light and you'd think I'd have all kinds of zombies after me since I was in the wasteland..but, nah..it was disappointingly easy to just stay outside all night. I had two zombies come after me and that was it.

 

The textures are a massive improvement all around aside from the cars and occasionally the sky. Something looks off on the textures with the cars and sometimes the sky. Depending on the time of day, the sky has an almost compressed, dithered look - kinda like what a game would look like if it was running 16-bit colors instead of 24-z. But, everything else i've seen looks amazingly crisp and detailed.

 

I did not find the initial start either too tedious or too superman - it was about right. But, I don't like that you can't boil water out of a tin-can and can just easily boil it out of a glass jar. It takes away from that early survival state where you're looking for a cooking pot ASAP. To me some of the best and most thrilling experiences in this game has always been in the early game. I like feeling like there's a rush to get some essentials, but it's relatively easy to get going faster now than before.

 

I am getting lots of 'junk turrets' from zombie loot. Fat zombies give a lot of them. Could just be random luck, but sure seems like I'm accumulating an excessive amount really quickly.

 

Rage mode was a great idea I think. It definitely adds another layer to everything. I like it.

 

Melee combat has more depth and options than ever before. It's massively improved compared to where we started from. Hits and swings have more weight to them now..there's more options for different melee types, and again the sound helps tremendous with the whole thing to make it all feel a lot more realistic.

 

Anyway, I've barely had enough playtime to really give a lot of feedback - but those are some of my first impressions.

Edited by Doctor3D (see edit history)

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Are there supposed to be ferals spawning in the wild from Day 1?? Twice now I've gotten owned because some random feral bazooka'd in from nowhere and obliterated me in 2 hits. It's the middle of the day, even! They're real ferals with the glowing eyes and everything, too.

 

Yes, that's a new feature. Spider zombies can also spawn during the night as well.

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Try wiping everything and reset to default settings. Try nav or a pregen map first.

 

I did go with the Pregen1 so far so good. The issues was the mods from previous Alpha. Once I removed the folder, all good :)

 

So far, so good. Enjoying A18. Not going to say it was worth the wait because I don't want to wait 12 month again, but it is an improvement.

 

Question: I'm on Day 1 and found some pistols and double barreled shotgun, is that normal? I remember before finding guns was much harder.

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Yes, that's a new feature. Spider zombies can also spawn during the night as well.

 

That's kinda brutal... I wouldn't mind it if it weren't for the damn fat guy zombies who are basically immortal and do way too much damage; I can at least eke out a win vs standard ferals. Not to mention it's a little hard to tell if they even ARE feral until it's too late.

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@madmole I may have a possible cause for massive frame drops (10-20 fps), I think there is something wrong with the occlusion. I turned it off and I haven't had any massive drops like that since, although some areas to do get rather slow. Nothing like before though.

 

It varies from system to system, if you have enough cpu to afford it, its a win, if not the calculations can cost more than the gains.

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This update is just.... incredible. Rage zombies, new weapons, overhauled perk trees and books. Oh the books! Gotta catch em all!

 

Two glaring balance issues. Way too many bullets in looting and too few feathers for arrows. I will just forego bows at this rate with so much ammo and that seems a bit off.

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Not sure what the issue is but im running most things medium, shadows off and my frame rates are terrible outside. But if i look directly down or up they go up to 140 fps, then if i look straight ahead they drop down to 24-40 fps.

 

Yes looking down you are rendering a few polygons on the ground, looking outward you are rendering the entire world, millions of triangles.

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EDITED: Okay, as a disclaimer, my character's FPV bugged out for whatever reason when I pressed the specific command to snap the image (same thing happened in 17.4), so ignore that (such as the shovel's odd position). But this is what I'm having to deal with. :p

 

olHlCyu.jpg

 

You didn't type in debug shot, so that doesn't help us. Debug shot gives us the position, seed name, etc.

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Are there supposed to be ferals spawning in the wild from Day 1?? Twice now I've gotten owned because some random feral bazooka'd in from nowhere and obliterated me in 2 hits. It's the middle of the day, even! They're real ferals with the glowing eyes and everything, too.

 

There is a very low chance they spawn at night.

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Are there supposed to be ferals spawning in the wild from Day 1?? Twice now I've gotten owned because some random feral bazooka'd in from nowhere and obliterated me in 2 hits. It's the middle of the day, even! They're real ferals with the glowing eyes and everything, too.

 

It should be night only. I wonder if you are seeing night zombies still around after the day begins?

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For those with bad FPS when they go outdoors and look at terrain, you can try this in the console:

 

gfx dt

 

That will toggle distant terrain off/on. Does your FPS jump back up with it off?

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Two glaring balance issues. Way too many bullets in looting and too few feathers for arrows. I will just forego bows at this rate with so much ammo and that seems a bit off.

 

Agreed. Just got done with the Day 7 horde playing 40min days. Had a level 4 AK, level 1 double-barrel & pistol, with just shy of 2 full stacks of 7.62, ~300 rounds of 9mm, and almost 100 shotgun shells. Seems a bit excessive.

Edited by captaine (see edit history)

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Few things i've noticed so far from playing...

 

The sound on this update is a huge improvement!

 

The new dynamic music is really great. I love the atmosphere it provides. There are some great sounds..Some of them sound like something you'd hear from an 80's zombie flick like Day of the Dead. Love them. The zombie walking sounds are much improved for me. I can hear them whistling through the grass, I can pin point where they are and what surface types they are standing on. I like the impact sounds when you hit with melee, though I think they could be a bit more 'meaty'. The discard\throw sound is improved. The echos are better..Just all around huge sound improvements.

 

I know I've talked about outdoor performance suffering compared to before, but the performance indoors is just amazing compared to any Alpha before it. Even with all the reflections and all other effects maxed out - and throwing torches everywhere trying to stress it - the game is just buttery, silky smooth in the POIs - which makes for satisfying combat. The occlusion is doing a great job here. This will also potentially help when base building where you can build more complicated scenes without worrying about frame drops. Overall, just a huge improvement.

 

Not enough zombies outdoors. I went outside to the wasteland at night and stood under a lamp post with its light on and made all kinds of noise and barely attracted any zombies at all. It's not dangerous enough. I don't know if the detect range is too low or what..but I was making all kinds of noise and standing in bright light and you'd think I'd have all kinds of zombies after me since I was in the wasteland..but, nah..it was disappointingly easy to just stay outside all night. I had two zombies come after me and that was it.

 

The textures are a massive improvement all around aside from the cars and occasionally the sky. Something looks off on the textures with the cars and sometimes the sky. Depending on the time of day, the sky has an almost compressed, dithered look - kinda like what a game would look like if it was running 16-bit colors instead of 24-z. But, everything else i've seen looks amazingly crisp and detailed.

 

I did not find the initial start either too tedious or too superman - it was about right. But, I don't like that you can't boil water out of a tin-can and can just easily boil it out of a glass jar. It takes away from that early survival state where you're looking for a cooking pot ASAP. To me some of the best and most thrilling experiences in this game has always been in the early game. I like feeling like there's a rush to get some essentials, but it's relatively easy to get going faster now than before.

 

I am getting lots of 'junk turrets' from zombie loot. Fat zombies give a lot of them. Could just be random luck, but sure seems like I'm accumulating an excessive amount really quickly.

 

Rage mode was a great idea I think. It definitely adds another layer to everything. I like it.

 

Melee combat has more depth and options than ever before. It's massively improved compared to where we started from. Hits and swings have more weight to them now..there's more options for different melee types, and again the sound helps tremendous with the whole thing to make it all feel a lot more realistic.

 

Anyway, I've barely had enough playtime to really give a lot of feedback - but those are some of my first impressions.

 

Thanks it sounds like you like it. The wasteland should be crawling with zombies at night, there are more than in many alphas. It might take a few days to reach the maximum zombies spawned but in theory there should be more in general just not as many at once. We haven't had night time zed spawning for years and its back and a small chance to spawn ferals so nights are more dangerous than before.

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It should be night only. I wonder if you are seeing night zombies still around after the day begins?

 

I've seen several at night (as in, at least 1 every night), but I've also seen one blatantly wandering around on day 1 in broad daylight. It was right outside the underground bomb shelter POI so maybe he was just a POI sleeper that heard me and got loose, but let's just say I was not prepared to deal with him right then. Are feral sleepers based on gamestage, POI level, or both?

I've also seen them in the morning, but in areas I wasn't in at night. What's the range/time cutoff for them to despawn? I ran into one on the way home from a POI at ~5:30 AM around 400m from the POI itself, and he owned me cause my entire inventory was loaded and I couldn't run :miserable:

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I did go with the Pregen1 so far so good. The issues was the mods from previous Alpha. Once I removed the folder, all good :)

 

So far, so good. Enjoying A18. Not going to say it was worth the wait because I don't want to wait 12 month again, but it is an improvement.

 

Question: I'm on Day 1 and found some pistols and double barreled shotgun, is that normal? I remember before finding guns was much harder.

 

Probably, loot rooms are pretty good now. Now that players can and should specialize every gun that isn't the one you specialize in is basically garbage and I sell them, even if its a tier 6 pistol, if I'm specialized in Automatic weapons all I care about is finding a pink m60. Using guns you aren't specialized in is ok early game but once you get your perks bought you will feel a huge difference in unperked weapons. So we need to drop quite a few because a, there are random stats (even pinks can drop a dud) and b, players are trying to specialize and it takes a lot to find a really nice one, and it takes 15 parts to craft a blue.

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That's kinda brutal... I wouldn't mind it if it weren't for the damn fat guy zombies who are basically immortal and do way too much damage; I can at least eke out a win vs standard ferals. Not to mention it's a little hard to tell if they even ARE feral until it's too late.

 

Armor makes a big difference, but if you have a full tank of stamina and no armor, you can outrun anything. Crouch and move in the dark after you get some distance and they will probably lose you.

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This update is just.... incredible. Rage zombies, new weapons, overhauled perk trees and books. Oh the books! Gotta catch em all!

 

Two glaring balance issues. Way too many bullets in looting and too few feathers for arrows. I will just forego bows at this rate with so much ammo and that seems a bit off.

 

Nope, you will run out of ammo and be mining your ass off to keep armed soon enough. Feathers are only for stone arrows now, polymers for the good arrows, so feather balance is perfect. Perks increase arrow retrieval rate too.

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It should be night only. I wonder if you are seeing night zombies still around after the day begins?

 

Yes the live for a while and can be around in the morning or early afternoon yet before they die off. You could kill the night zombies off a bit faster if becomes a problem. I like it as is. Keeps you on your toes and makes you wonder.

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Agreed. Just got done with the Day 7 horde playing 40min days. Had a level 4 AK, level 1 double-barrel & pistol, with just shy of 2 full stacks of 7.62, ~300 rounds of 9mm, and almost 100 shotgun shells. Seems a bit excessive.

 

Keep playing and see how those hold up :) You might thank me later.

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@MadMole

 

Makes sense when you talk about geeking out over the engine changes, framework for cool future features, and just all the pure potential amazeballsness you could imagine with the overhauls. You're still hyperbolic as ♥♥♥♥, but I can see where the hype and excitement was coming from with A17. To your credit, you quickly acknowledged it fell short and that the next alpha should bring the goods you were imagining with A17 - and you were right!

 

The junk turret was such a great idea, and it's implementation, ESPECIALLY considering it's its first alpha, is wonderful. Great sounds, model, perks, the loading animation is awesome (just shove some metally bits in there na!).

 

I'm playing a Brainy Brawler, beating the piss out of zeds while the junk helps with stun damage, looking forward to having two wicked turrets and a modded M60 to just rain endless fire on the masses and, as you mentioned above, chugging beers with top tier knuckles and armor and just smashing everything that moves - I CANNOT WAIT FOR THAT YOU GUYS.

 

New sounds... XP balance... THAT STUBBY FACE MELTING SHOTGUN... new predators... streamlined tutorial... THAT NOTE THO from the Duke! (butt = puckered)... new mods... I can barely take it man. You need to release smaller alphas just so my reward center doesn't have a critical meltdown with all the new content and improvements!!

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I've seen several at night (as in, at least 1 every night), but I've also seen one blatantly wandering around on day 1 in broad daylight. It was right outside the underground bomb shelter POI so maybe he was just a POI sleeper that heard me and got loose, but let's just say I was not prepared to deal with him right then. Are feral sleepers based on gamestage, POI level, or both?

I've also seen them in the morning, but in areas I wasn't in at night. What's the range/time cutoff for them to despawn? I ran into one on the way home from a POI at ~5:30 AM around 400m from the POI itself, and he owned me cause my entire inventory was loaded and I couldn't run :miserable:

 

Rule #1, never get encumbered. Drop a chest on the ground, mark it on your map and put the crap you can't use yet in it, like brass, mechanical parts, engines etc. If you stray from this advice, make sure you have at least 70 rounds of ammo and an ak or smg.

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Well, finally got in game and it looks like I have the same FPS issue outside in the wilderness (GTX 960 and 12GB RAM). After turning down settings to medium and reducing resolution alittle I am able to get the game playable around 30 to 50 FPS. Will do some more tweaks later. Despite that, just finished my first night and I AM LOVING IT!!!! I love the spear as I predicted based on what I saw in the streams and the looting is pure awesomeness.

 

My first POI had a F@*King dog that scared the $H1T out of me but was quick on my feet and killed it. Sitting on a rooftop at the end of Day 1 going over all the skills/perks planning out my build now. 1 point into Javelin Master and Lucky Looter so far. BEST GAME EVER!!! sooooo happy right now. :)

 

Nhdf2f1.png

 

GFxjl8K.png

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This update is just.... incredible. Rage zombies, new weapons, overhauled perk trees and books. Oh the books! Gotta catch em all!

 

Two glaring balance issues. Way too many bullets in looting and too few feathers for arrows. I will just forego bows at this rate with so much ammo and that seems a bit off.

 

Kills some vultures, I had 50 stone arrows and 137 feathers at the end of the first day

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For those with bad FPS when they go outdoors and look at terrain, you can try this in the console:

 

gfx dt

 

That will toggle distant terrain off/on. Does your FPS jump back up with it off?

 

I just went and tried this on the worst GPU I had that had this problem A GTX 660 TI SC 2GB. I teleported to the desert where she was having this problem and let everything settle. It was averaging 30fps - I did that command it it instantly went to 60fps vsync..It also gets 60fps in the POIs virtually non-stop as well.

 

The settings are on the default "medium" preset with the only exception being the trees are on "high". Due to the age of the card, we have that hooked up to a monitor with a native resolution of only 1360x768 - but she plays it in 1280x720 with small borders all around it so that it still looks crisp and not blurry. This allows for the game to have a much smaller frame buffer and it normally runs the game exceptionally well and looks good that way. On a 1080p or beyond monitor - it would run much worse, of course.

 

If I put textures on "full" on that card the VRAM is constantly full and is paging in causing the FPS to just hover in the teens.

 

Edit* Also when I turn it back on the console is spammed with terrain shader errors. I noticed those errors before too. The error is that it couldn't use the shader for my render path (dx11) using default shader....spammed about 2 dozen or so times before it stops.

Edited by Doctor3D (see edit history)

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