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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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Its probably fine for casual game development but when you start trying to push the boundaries your performance can fall through the floor. Shawn could explain it more in detail, the bottom line is we have a new one that is much faster and when you add it up through all zombies and animals the savings is pretty substantial.

 

PC

New minimum specs: vintage rotary phone

 

Recommended: VCR with rapid rewind

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Are there any plans to make changes to the XP display system for zombie kills come A18 or even A17.3?

 

As it is now the XP gained icon and value and also the shared XP popup for zombie kills has started to take away a little from the fear for the zombies as it gives away instantly if a zombie has died and has also become a "tool" when clearing a POI. In the modding community this has also been requested removed and I've seen people play with the entire HUDRightStatBars modded out to counter it.

 

Could there maybe be added a toggle for the feature in the game options if you want XP gains displayed or not or maybe do a system where it gets a delayed delivery? For instance if you have not received or caused damage in the last 5s it displays?

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Its probably fine for casual game development but when you start trying to push the boundaries your performance can fall through the floor. Shawn could explain it more in detail, the bottom line is we have a new one that is much faster and when you add it up through all zombies and animals the savings is pretty substantial.

Do you have plans to add more zombies to the world when you hit a certain benchmark for performance?

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Are there any plans to make changes to the XP display system for zombie kills come A18 or even A17.3?

 

As it is now the XP gained icon and value and also the shared XP popup for zombie kills has started to take away a little from the fear for the zombies as it gives away instantly if a zombie has died and has also become a "tool" when clearing a POI. In the modding community this has also been requested removed and I've seen people play with the entire HUDRightStatBars modded out to counter it.

 

Could there maybe be added a toggle for the feature in the game options if you want XP gains displayed or not or maybe do a system where it gets a delayed delivery? For instance if you have not received or caused damage in the last 5s it displays?

 

I say in for an inch in for a mile. Lets lose all the displays and play 100% cinematic!

Edited by Roland (see edit history)

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Are there any plans to make changes to the XP display system for zombie kills come A18 or even A17.3?

 

As it is now the XP gained icon and value and also the shared XP popup for zombie kills has started to take away a little from the fear for the zombies as it gives away instantly if a zombie has died and has also become a "tool" when clearing a POI. In the modding community this has also been requested removed and I've seen people play with the entire HUDRightStatBars modded out to counter it.

 

Could there maybe be added a toggle for the feature in the game options if you want XP gains displayed or not or maybe do a system where it gets a delayed delivery? For instance if you have not received or caused damage in the last 5s it displays?

 

If the death animations and death sounds and the fact that they aren't moving any more isn't enough, then I'd say we failed at creating a satisfying death sequence of the zombie for players to experience. So removing the XP wouldn't do anything, as I think its clearly obvious when a zombie dies. I mean if you stop looking at the XP popout, its actually 100% clear if a zombie is dead or not dead IMO. So your asking us to do work that would benefit noone.

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Do you have plans to add more zombies to the world when you hit a certain benchmark for performance?

 

No I have plans to see less complaints about poor performance.

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I say in for an inch in for a mile. Lets lose all the displays and play 100% cinematic!

 

Again, its a mod request. No sane new user would play hudless. The game is hard enough to learn as it is.

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Again, its a mod request. No sane new user would play hudless. The game is hard enough to learn as it is.

 

And one of the best mods there is I should tell you. :)

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And one of the best mods there is I should tell you. :)

 

I'm sure it would be intense.

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Have mercy on the old insane user ^^.

 

My played hours are too high....trololololol ;)

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What? Analytics and logging or something? Some crazy reflection stuff? Was looking at Unity to dabble in some simple 2D game development. :-/

 

The thing is that Unity made their Character Controller work for a lot of scenarios and it has its strengths and weaknesses.

They have a lot of built-in functionality, the stuff that madmole calls bloat :) But exactly what is in there is unknown, since the source code is not available to game developers.

 

That being said, it's quite easy to make your own Character Controller in Unity that is way more performant. It might not have all the bells and whistles, but no one game needs all of them.

Now.. I might be saying that it's easy, but I don't mean that following a 20 minute "create your own character controller" video on youtube would give you the perfect Character Controller for a game like 7DTD, but with a few days/weeks work with testing, tweaking and such, it is definitely possible to have a performant and flexible enough Character Controller for zombies and animals that could be used for pathfinding and whatever 7DTD requires.

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Are there any plans to make changes to the XP display system for zombie kills come A18 or even A17.3?

 

As it is now the XP gained icon and value and also the shared XP popup for zombie kills has started to take away a little from the fear for the zombies as it gives away instantly if a zombie has died and has also become a "tool" when clearing a POI. In the modding community this has also been requested removed and I've seen people play with the entire HUDRightStatBars modded out to counter it.

 

Could there maybe be added a toggle for the feature in the game options if you want XP gains displayed or not or maybe do a system where it gets a delayed delivery? For instance if you have not received or caused damage in the last 5s it displays?

 

I never look at those pop ups lol. always focus on what i am aiming at or going for lol. dont even notice it to be honest. If your so concentrating on the xp notification maybe your playing the wrong game lol. And by the looks of it. Modders have already done what you have asked why would tfp waste time on stuff modders have done when they can be doing other things like you know finishing the game etc.

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If the death animations and death sounds and the fact that they aren't moving any more isn't enough, then I'd say we failed at creating a satisfying death sequence of the zombie for players to experience. So removing the XP wouldn't do anything, as I think its clearly obvious when a zombie dies. I mean if you stop looking at the XP popout, its actually 100% clear if a zombie is dead or not dead IMO. So your asking us to do work that would benefit noone.

 

Well this is where the mixed signals on modding come from. We have down time randomizers that now trick the player into thinking they are dead. I have changed zombie death sounds to randomly play new sounds so in effect thanks to Guppy and my changes no one knows a zombie is actually dead... except for the pop up on xp.

 

If we are truly going for an immersive modding experience, that XP pop up needs to modifiable at least in the xml.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

I never look at those pop ups lol. always focus on what i am aiming at or going for lol. dont even notice it to be honest. If your so concentrating on the xp notification maybe your playing the wrong game lol. And by the looks of it. Modders have already done what you have asked why would tfp waste time on stuff modders have done when they can be doing other things like you know finishing the game etc.

 

Except no. Modders have NOT done it. They have to remove the ENTIRE notification system. Including gathered items etc. Every other aspect of the UI is moddable, why not this?

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Originally Posted by Gareee

@MadMole: When you add the ambient music, can you also add xml cals to it, so modders can replace or add new music?

 

 

I have no idea how its implemented.

 

Can you add this request to whoever is working on adding the ambient music?, or ask them to chime in here on it?

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Those closets are considered traps if they're what I think you're talking about. Try shooting the closet doors with arrows. I think those closet doors are crazy weak. So they should pop on an arrow or two. And you can kill the buggers standing in it.

 

I... Think... Hmm.

 

I know its, possible. Every time I make a post its always out of frustration. Though, I feel that the tier levels should affect the spawning of zombies if on a quest. So, if I take a tier 1 quest as a level 93, it should spawn regular zombies and no ferals or radiated, gives an illusion of choice. Then if I decided to do a tier 3 quest then it should spawn a mix of regular, feral or radiated or maybe have it only for tier 4 and 5 quests only. For some reason, this time around I'm just out of element.

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Well this is where the mixed signals on modding come from. We have down time randomizers that now trick the player into thinking they are dead. I have changed zombie death sounds to randomly play new sounds so in effect thanks to Guppy and my changes no one knows a zombie is actually dead... except for the pop up on xp.

 

There is definitely a philosophical divide on the topic of whether it is better or worse to know when a zombie is dead dead. Some people feel that it is poor design to make the death of an enemy ambiguous while others feel it is good design.

 

During the development of A17 this came up when the HP bars were finally removed. I mentioned to Joel that with the bar now gone and ragdolling happening during knockdowns in addition to deaths that it would only take a couple more changes to make the actual death moments completely ambiguous. But he said they were planning final death animations for the express purpose of communicating the death moment clearly to the player.

 

So I don’t think his response was “we won’t let you ever mod it away” so much as it was his own design philosophy kicking in to express his own view that knowing the moment of death is important.

 

My own view is more like you in this case. I think it’s better not being quite sure if they are dead or not but there are those who don’t like it that way.

 

If we are truly going for an immersive modding experience, that XP pop up needs to modifiable at least in the xml.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

 

 

Except no. Modders have NOT done it. They have to remove the ENTIRE notification system. Including gathered items etc. Every other aspect of the UI is moddable, why not this?

 

And this is where WE divide :). Removing that entire lower right corner abomination of distracting images sounds like the best solution. Who really needs it? Throw it all out and enjoy the benefits of ambiguous zombie deaths AND less screen clutter. Somehow we all survived without it for 12 Alphas worth of gathering and harvesting.

Edited by Roland (see edit history)

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I can't promise, but I have a feeling you guys will see it in some regard for an A17 patch. It can occlude a lot of different things, some things occlude easily without any noticeable bugs, others take more effort to get it shippable. We're pretty optimistic though. Its death from a thousand paper cuts so it takes time going through everything and optimizing but we're picking up gains left and right as we go. Shawn has a new character controller that is significantly faster than unity's so zombies won't eat near as much CPU pretty soon.

 

I'm glad to hear that TFP are serious about optimization and bug fixing because the sad reality is too many game studios could care less these days and my expectations are very low when it comes to that sort of thing but hey at least you have a low bar to clear haha

 

It will be nice not to get rekt by lag when only 50 zombies are attacking my base simultaneously.

 

It will also be nice to not drop 30 fps simply for walking into a town.

 

p.s. Any love for us guys with 10+ cores? My CPU is massively under utilized, put me in the game coach!

Edited by Xeen (see edit history)

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Can you add this request to whoever is working on adding the ambient music?, or ask them to chime in here on it?

 

I'd love to know this, too. I really hope it will be possible to hook into this with XML.

 

Even if not totally moddable, I imagine there are a whole lot of folks on these forums who would be willing to make "sound packs" that you could use if you wanted. (On an unrelated note, I just bought another modular synth).

 

In any case - meant to mention it before, but the news of a dynamic music system really made me happy. It was one of the things that made Portal 2 such a good game, and anything even close to that in 7D2D will definitely add a lot.

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I'm definitely with Jax and Sir about the xp pop up; it's annoying and takes away ANY element of surprise, and from the few thousand posts madmole has made, quite a few of them talked about the importance of that that surprise.

 

There is no value add to having the xp notification non-moddable. At least expose the damn thing to the UI xmls so that we don't need sdx to remove its blatant ugliness; give us SOME horror element.

 

There's no universe where madmole agrees we should definitively know when a danger has ended, and intended or unintended, that's what the xp bar does.

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Just like in almost all Resident Evil games...you could always tell the zombie was still alive...because the music kept playing...once the music stopped...

 

Kind of ruined the whole is it dead or not thing...

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And this is where WE divide :). Removing that entire lower right corner abomination of distracting images sounds like the best solution. Who really needs it? Throw it all out and enjoy the benefits of ambiguous zombie deaths AND less screen clutter. Somehow we all survived without it for 12 Alphas worth of gathering and harvesting.

 

I can not lie good sir i still use the ui as a crutch. For all the bragging i do about hardcore i still have not tried a completely clear ui.

 

I plan to do some random streaming soon. Perhaps I will accept this clear ui challenge finally for my inaugural stream, just so you may watch me suffer an agonizing painful defeat.

 

- - - Updated - - -

 

I'd love to know this, too. I really hope it will be possible to hook into this with XML.

 

Even if not totally moddable, I imagine there are a whole lot of folks on these forums who would be willing to make "sound packs" that you could use if you wanted. (On an unrelated note, I just bought another modular synth).

 

In any case - meant to mention it before, but the news of a dynamic music system really made me happy. It was one of the things that made Portal 2 such a good game, and anything even close to that in 7D2D will definitely add a lot.

 

I replaced all the sounds in Scavengers in A16. Made more ambient type night sounds with screams and bell tolls and changed the horde night music. I would absolutely LOVE if we got THAT kind of moddability but i suspect we may not. It would be too good to be true.

 

Imagine if we could create our OWN ambient noises in cities, screams for help, distant gunshots. A feeling of a city where all hell is breaking loose and the houses you enter are the unfortunate aftermath. Would also explain the sleepers. They are newly turned dead.

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Some suggestions for new features and items for Alpha 18:

 

Weapons:

Battle Assault Rifle (Burst Fire) - Weapon Model like the ABR gun from Black Ops 4 - Effective medium to long range

Flashbang - Causes stun to zombies and flashbang effect to players, effective in tough situations when over ganged by zombies

Hand Grenade - Bigger radius than Pipe Bomb with devastating damage but also dangerous to be close to the proximity

Pocket Knife - Small Knife that is easier to be found, does less damage than machete and other bladed weapons but has a faster DPS

Combat Knife - Better bladed weapon for combat, has superior durability.

 

Stealth Attacks and Kills:

Most weapons will allow for stealth kills, like going behind zombie or player can be initated. If stealth kill is ifully successful it will kill the enemy instantly but drains a bit of stamina in the process. This can only be done by reaching thresh-hold level in stealth perk.

 

Guns: Animation grabs zombie or player behind and shoots the head

 

Bladed Weapons: Grabs zombie or player behind and impales the head with bladed weapon

 

Lockpicking:

Ability to lockpick doors and locked objects (safes for example) - lockpicking requires 'lockpicks' - ability can be improved through perks. This will be much more stealthier and less noise than breaking.

 

More Electronic and Automated Objects:

 

CCTV Monitor - If hooked up to the cameras, players will be able to monitor activity.

Electronic Doors and Windows - Allows doors and windows to be open with settings from manual, auto and trigger.

Elevators and Lifts - Allows transport in vertical route, new objects include elevator shaft, elevator base, elevator rails, two types commercial and industrial.

Mine Cart and Rails - Similar to Elevators but allows horizontal transportation, can also be used for transporting resources from long distances. Includes new objects, Minecrart, Rails and Rail Stops. Minecarts can be improved with upgrades to increase speed and capacity.

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