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Alpha 19 Developer Stream Series #6


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Hey Survivalists,


On Wednesday June 24th at 9pm CST we will continue our developer series with Lathan Meadows hosting an interview of our programmers Shawn Liptak (faatal), Robert Dishong (Kinyajuu), Zack Roberts, Steve Dudek, and Effects Artist, Ryan Raner. These guys KNOW whats up from topics regarding AI, Pathing, Random World Generation, Dynamic Music, the Buff System, Physics, Spawning, pretty much everything that is under the hood. These guys will talk about what they have been working on and then will take questions. This IS the stream to watch to know the answers to all your "WHY?!?!?!" questions regarding how the game works and what is possible.


And maybe they can also dispense some wisdom to anyone who is trying to break into the business.


Ask your questions below.





If you missed any of the past developer streams here they are:


Alpha 19 Developer Stream #1


Alpha 19 Developer Stream #2

Alpha 19 Developer Stream #3


Alpha 19 Developer Stream #4


Alpha 19 Developer Stream #5


Alpha 19 Developer Stream Playthrough 1

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1) In a now-locked, 18 page thread on the steam forums here: https://steamcommunity.com/app/251570/discussions/0/2444839901098741365/ a vigorous discussion has been had about the anticipated game analytics being deployed in A19. The primary questions the community seems to want answered include:

  1a - May we please, please, please have an opt-out checkbox thing to disable all the new analytics stuff? There are some users (not me, but a not-insignificant fraction of those in the above discussion) who won't even feel comfortable running the game unless they can turn it off.

  1b - If so, how soon / what release could we expect that to be added? Would it potentially be doable in time for the first experimental release? Or at least by the time A19 becomes stable?

  1c - If not, may we please have an explanation for why not?

  1d - Would it be possible to post a specification of exactly what data is sent to gamesparks? That would help a lot of people feel more comfortable allowing it.

  1e - And could that specification be linked or included in whatever user interface is presented to allow opt-in/opt-out?

  1f - Any chance you could rig up some exception handling so that users could delete the gamesparks-related .dll files, and let 7dtd.exe run anyway? Some people trust the fun pimps, but not gamesparks.


2) In a recent livestream we finally got confirmation of writable notes in game! https://clips.twitch.tv/SuaveEnticingAnacondaDxAbomb Haha, only kidding. But, it would be an amazing feature especially for co-op play, because players could write notes and leave them in chests or whatever for each other. Is there *any* realistic chance that user-writable notes will make the cut for vanilla before the game is finished?


3) I haven't been able to listen to the dynamic music really, in 18.4, because my linux client crashes when I visit traders if I have it enabled. Is that bug fixed in A19?


4) Thank you all the people for all the cool things you made! ❤️

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Lots of opportunities to answer questions from fellow coding wonks... Here are mine:


Can you tell us if there are any fundamental changes to AI for enemies that are not just zombies?


Examples (these are off the top of my head, not demanding them or anything):

  • Flock behavior with zombie hordes
  • NPC squad behavior (squad wake, leaders, etc.)
  • NPC cover system, where enemy NPCs take cover behind obstacles (admittedly very difficult in a destructible world)
  • Different AI goals for melee vs. ranged attackers

And of course, mod support questions, since I'm pretty sure you'll be asked eventually by over-enthusiastic folks like me...

  • What is the future with UMA in the game? (UMA bandits/NPCs are broken and probably won't be fixed, is UMA in the future only going to be used for players? Not even that?)
  • How much of the fundamental game mechanics do you plan to move to XML (to avoid C#)?
  • Plans to add native Harmony support?
  • Plans to add support for pre-compiled DLLs (so that modders could create e.g. new classes that extend vanilla TFP classes and have the game load them without breaking EAC)?
  • Any other C# SDK support (e.g. for Steam Workshop)?

And a generic question:

What advances in the Unity game engine are you paying attention to, with the idea of exploiting to their fullest in future alpha versions? (Vulkan support? Incremental garbage collection?)

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Non-coding questions...


With the new RWG, is there any ability to place POIs according to generated world biome transitions? Examples: ability to place "water" POIs on the banks between ground and water; or the ability to place a POI on the edge of a cliff (like the Canyon Mine POI).


(Related: Please show of RWG. Especially if roads are fixed, because that would be a huge improvement.)


How long until those of us with minimal musical talent will be able to mod in our own, inferior, dynamic music? (And will it be necessary to package our musical abominations into a Unity asset package, or will there be any ability to load them from e.g. .OGG files in a ./Mods directory?)

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In every FPS game I play or watch I see players over reloading. To explain they will shoot one bullet, reload, fire three bullets, reload, fire five bullets, reload, in 15 seconds instead of emptying there magazine and then reloading with a full magazine. IRL unloading the magazine thumbing those bullets into the magazine and then reloading the magazine back in the gun would take a lot of time in compared to loading a full magazine into the gun. The box magazine on the assault rifle would be the worst.


Edit: Also consider people normally have other weapons and secondary firearms in reserve they can use with the eight slot tool belt.


What I would like to see is a time penalty reload for those who reload before they fully expend there magazine. Is that possible?

If you reload half a magazine then you'll do it when your not under attack or when it makes sense to.

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1) What do you guys plan to do with water regarding its behaviour ?


2) We heard rumours about a helicopter. Are those rumours true ?


3) "Kinijuajijoy", can you  talk a bit about the future of RWG, like, implementing Waterfalls, road paint or well performing caves and the feasibility of those in general?


4) What is the state of the bandit AI and which behaviours are you guys planning for it ?



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Can we have the vehicle physics less "tethered", so its possible to have more "stunt jumps", or are there restrictions apart from total speed you need to consider?

Currently it looks like the vehicles velocity and rotation snaps back to some max value when getting to fast.

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More about music...


How does the music system "know" to play the combat music? Is it when zombies see you, when they get within a specific range, when you're hit? Or is it only played for specific events (like zombies spawning in after you gather buried treasure)?


I ask because it could be immersion-breaking if the music starts playing before the player is even aware of any threat (e.g. going through a POI and a zombie sneaks up on you, the music would signal to the player that something's attacking before the zombie could get a hit in).

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Could wilderness RWG roads serve as the basis for re-implementing procedural caves?  It seems like many of the hard parts (construct a winding, variable-width path from A to B, add POIs along that path, avoid paths in certain places like under a surface POI) are already solved via the road generation system.

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For Robert:


1) Will large prefabs be supported in the future? (E.g. 200x200x200)  If not, what is the maximum sized supported by RWG worlds? TY!


2) Any new tools/templates/tips for users to configure their RWG worlds/rwgmixer.xml file? (e.g. spawn a specific prefab only once per map, etc.)


For Lathan or anyone knowledgable:


1) Will the GoTo objective in the quests.xml be fixed so modders can create quests to go to specific named POIs (e.g. not a trader)?  This was working in A16 but broke somewhere along the way.




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