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Alpha 21 Dev Diary


Roland

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@Laz Man Good day to you kind sir! I was wondering if you could answer some vague questions about a22:

 

1. What are you working on at the moment?

 

2. Are there many new tier 5 POI in the making for a22? And what about tier 1s and the others, are there any new ones too? Tier 1 Gas stations are a bit too abundant nowadays.

 

3. Tell us about triggers in POI. Are you a fire hose guy or more like an automatic door one? 

 

4. What is your "most favourite" thing about a22 at the moment?

 

Thank you for reading! Cheers!

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On 12/1/2023 at 11:07 PM, Blake_ said:

@Laz Man Good day to you kind sir! I was wondering if you could answer some vague questions about a22:

 

1. What are you working on at the moment?

 

2. Are there many new tier 5 POI in the making for a22? And what about tier 1s and the others, are there any new ones too? Tier 1 Gas stations are a bit too abundant nowadays.

 

3. Tell us about triggers in POI. Are you a fire hose guy or more like an automatic door one? 

 

4. What is your "most favourite" thing about a22 at the moment?

 

Thank you for reading! Cheers!

 

1. Football Stadium refactor.  The original has not been updated for several alphas.  My goal is to redesign it so it works both in Navezgane and RWG worlds.

 

2. There are several high tier POIs planned for A22, some of which has already been shared on social media

 

3. Some new POI trigger improvements coming in A22.

 

4. The new character system hands down.  

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3 hours ago, Laz Man said:

 

1. Football Stadium refactor.  The original has not been updated for several alphas.  My goal is to redesign it so it works both in Navezgane and RWG worlds.

 

 

 

Could this mean the return of the Football Player and Cheerleader zombies, with new models?

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With doors being able to be tied to keys triggers to escape pois, usually at the end of the dungeon crawl, will we see uses of them being tied to other triggers to close on the player. Say a switch that opens a vault loot room, but have a roll door shut down behind and close the player in and zombies spawning? Maybe they open back up once the triggered spawn is dead, or on a short timer to have a kill room trap for players to encounter.

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7 hours ago, Laz Man said:

 

Not planned currently but could be a possibility post gold.

That makes no sense IMO. Why retool an entity (Grace) that currently exists in one POI (AFAIK) and doesn’t spawn elsewhere during regular play through (at least I haven’t encountered it), but have no plans to make two zombie types that can be used in the schools, football field, and just generally have more application vs time spent creating. 
 

I suppose Grace could be scaled down and be another animal in the wild, but I would rather have a zombie to match more of the common POI types (Fire dept, ranger station, farm, school) than another niche entity. Even just adding a male and a female version of the current entities would be enough variability. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, XCOUNTRY said:

Why retool an entity (Grace) that currently exists in one POI (AFAIK) and doesn’t spawn elsewhere during regular play throug

Exactly my first thought when I saw the news/new model.

I strongly assume Grace must be somewhat related to the yet-to-be-revealed storyline.

If it was just some kind of funny "easter-egg-entity", it would be a really prominent example of "strange priorities where to put work in".

 

...but yeah, you know...genetical experiments with plants...boars fed with the enhanced turbo-formulated super corn...unexpected side effects...the whole Carl's Corn/Bob's Boars POIs next to each other on Navezgane map, it just screams "story".

 

...well at least in my head...but there are lots of voices in there, screaming all kinds of stuff. So nevermind.

 

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5 hours ago, XCOUNTRY said:

That makes no sense IMO. Why retool an entity (Grace) that currently exists in one POI (AFAIK) and doesn’t spawn elsewhere during regular play through (at least I haven’t encountered it), but have no plans to make two zombie types that can be used in the schools, football field, and just generally have more application vs time spent creating. 
 

I suppose Grace could be scaled down and be another animal in the wild, but I would rather have a zombie to match more of the common POI types (Fire dept, ranger station, farm, school) than another niche entity. Even just adding a male and a female version of the current entities would be enough variability. 

 

 

She is in 2 POIs now.  But still you point is valid.  At the same time, (AFAIK) they reduced the number of zombies to make room in the entities for Bandits.  So updating Grace doesn't effect anything other than updating the quality of graphics.  I just hope the girl has some better AI in the end, she is quite simple to accidently cheese.

 

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5 hours ago, XCOUNTRY said:

That makes no sense IMO. Why retool an entity (Grace) that currently exists in one POI (AFAIK) and doesn’t spawn elsewhere during regular play through (at least I haven’t encountered it), but have no plans to make two zombie types that can be used in the schools, football field, and just generally have more application vs time spent creating. 
 

I suppose Grace could be scaled down and be another animal in the wild, but I would rather have a zombie to match more of the common POI types (Fire dept, ranger station, farm, school) than another niche entity. Even just adding a male and a female version of the current entities would be enough variability. 

 

 

 

Great point, I supposed they could of removed grace all together like the cowboy and stripper instead of updating it but that would completely changed the story of the Bob's Boars POI.  Personally, I am glad they decided to keep and update it instead.  As far as the football stadium is concerned, it doesn't need to have football player or cheer leader zombies to make it interesting / believable.  Hopefully all of the new zombie variants coming in A22 will help quench the thrist for more zombie variety.

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6 hours ago, XCOUNTRY said:

That makes no sense IMO. Why retool an entity (Grace) that currently exists in one POI (AFAIK) and doesn’t spawn elsewhere during regular play through (at least I haven’t encountered it), but have no plans to make two zombie types that can be used in the schools, football field, and just generally have more application vs time spent creating. 
 

I suppose Grace could be scaled down and be another animal in the wild, but I would rather have a zombie to match more of the common POI types (Fire dept, ranger station, farm, school) than another niche entity. Even just adding a male and a female version of the current entities would be enough variability. 

 

 

Well, 2 POIs now.  I assume it's because they want to update all animals.  Leaving just that one not updated wouldn't really make sense.  As far as removed zombie types, they are adding a lot more variety of "skins" for zombies that should greatly improve the diversity.  Some of those skins may even look appropriate for different types of POI.  For example, the janitor with an orange clothing skin would fit well in the prison POIs.  The Rotting Carcass or Lumberjack with a green clothing skin could look well as a ranger.  We'll just have to see what they all look like.  They've teased some of the skins and they look pretty good.  They could even make a football player skin for the biker that could look good, though they haven't said anything about that kind of skin.  They did say they are considering a few more zombie types before gold.  We'll just have to wait and see what those might end up being.

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Oh I’m glad grace is getting an upgrade, and I’m really glad the other animals are getting re-worked as well. (I just hope the associated AI and movement matches the hard work being put in the models).

 

I guess I don’t understand how entities work as a whole in the game, is it a resource thing or a time thing preventing variety?
 

btw @Laz Man are you the one incorporating the demolition zombies/screamers into the new POIs? I love it! I just wish the screamers functioned correctly when spawned in like that. 

 

I noticed when I dabbled with modding that if I added screamers they just functioned like normal zombies and only if they are spawned due to the heat map threshold do they trigger additional zombies. (I could also just not be doing it right, but the ones I came across in a POI also did not spawn a mini horde outside)

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3 hours ago, XCOUNTRY said:

btw @Laz Man are you the one incorporating the demolition zombies/screamers into the new POIs? I love it! I just wish the screamers functioned correctly when spawned in like that. 

 

 


I think (hope) the POI Screamers are only meant to give you a mild heart attack rather than summon zombies. So far in A21 I've only come across one POI screamer, in Navezgane Hospital. It kind of seemed like she was there to represent an undead patient, so they may not be meant to be able to summon additional zombies.

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@Old Crow is correct, screamers in POIs are not the same as Screamer scouts.  They are just another zombie model at that point.  Similar to if you were to mod in screamers as a variant in the blood moon hordes or a wandering horde.  The screamers that spawn in other zombie entities are when the game manager spawns in a scout to investigate some heat activity.

 

So in the case of POIs, they are functioning correctly.

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1 minute ago, Old Crow said:


I think (hope) the POI Screamers are only meant to give you a mild heart attack rather than summon zombies. So far in A21 I've only come across one POI screamer, in Navezgane Hospital. It kind of seemed like she was there to represent an undead patient, so they may not be meant to be able to summon additional zombies.

Ah yes that is where I found them (4) as it was an infested clear quest I was doing. 
 

The demos were in the loot room of another tier 5 (tier VI infestation). There were an insane amount of enemies, but luckily the whole volume didn’t spawn and wake up so I only had to face the two alone. I’ve stopped running into those large “it’s a trap” rooms and started dropping two sledge drones at the entrance and electric batoning the mob as they hit my bottleneck. 
 

First play through where I only perked into one tree, only did one skill within that tree to maximize magazine discovery, and really stepped out of my normal jack of all trades style of play. I thought stun batons were dumb. They are not and the repulsor mod is amazing. Pleasantly surprised with how I didn’t “need” those other tree’s perks to have fun. 

3 minutes ago, BFT2020 said:

@Old Crow is correct, screamers in POIs are not the same as Screamer scouts.  They are just another zombie model at that point.  Similar to if you were to mod in screamers as a variant in the blood moon hordes or a wandering horde.  The screamers that spawn in other zombie entities are when the game manager spawns in a scout to investigate some heat activity.

 

So in the case of POIs, they are functioning correctly.

Is there a way to have them spawn as scouts? I had no success back in A17 when I tried. I could get other zombie types to spawn as scouts (which is interesting and can catch you off guard), but I could not get them to work by just editing the xmls. 

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10 minutes ago, XCOUNTRY said:

Is there a way to have them spawn as scouts? I had no success back in A17 when I tried. I could get other zombie types to spawn as scouts (which is interesting and can catch you off guard), but I could not get them to work by just editing the xmls. 

 

Only if you start doing c# coding - I think  The scout function is part of the game manager so you are getting into the base code of the game.  As far as I know, the things you can change via xml are what model is referenced when it calls for ZombieScreamer (so swap Joe with the screamer for example) or what entities are in the various screamer spawn groups in the EntityGroups file.

 

I recall seeing a mod in the past that created an object that would spawn screamer hordes, but can't recall the mod name or how they did it.

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@Laz Man I have not had a question for you in a long time,
but, for curiosity sake, I have a direct one now.

 

This is not a challenge question, even if it reads as such.

 

Explanation:
It actually comes from the history of me gaming "97" Ultima Online til now, and watching
the video interviews, for multiple games and their developers, for games that I've
played and still will play for years. The last reference for my curiosity is
participating in this forum, reading, and responding to, fellow survivors, and devs.

 

Question:
The triggers that are being developed, are they I/O in nature or if/then/else closer
to fuzzy logic neural-net and or algorithmic? Thus allowing for multiple possibilities.

 

I'm curious because many of the arguments that i've read across forums showed that
whenever a dev, has initiated an I/O trigger, or mechanic implementation, or in-house thought
process. No matter how beautiful or seemingly logical it is in it's nature, the gaming
populace does not follow it. It's not Canon, but human choice, and human nature.

Edited by 4sheetzngeegles (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 4sheetzngeegles said:

@Laz Man I have not had a question for you in a long time,
but, for curiosity sake, I have a direct one now.

 

This is not a challenge question, even if it reads as such.

 

Explanation:
It actually comes from the history of me gaming "97" Ultima Online til now, and watching
the video interviews, for multiple games and their developers, for games that I've
played and still will play for years. The last reference for my curiosity is
participating in this forum, reading, and responding to, fellow survivors, and devs.

 

Question:
The triggers that are being developed, are they I/O in nature or if/then/else closer
to fuzzy logic neural-net and or algorithmic? Thus allowing for multiple possibilities.

 

I'm curious because many of the arguments that i've read across forums showed that
whenever a dev, has initiated an I/O trigger, or mechanic implementation, or in-house thought
process. No matter how beautiful or seemingly logical it is in it's nature, the gaming
populace does not follow it. It's not Canon, but human choice, and human nature.

 

Not sure I fully understand your question.  Our use cases in level design are mostly basic (e.g. keyrack triggers door to open)  Unless it changes before public release, we have a recent improvement to the system that allows POI designers to specify AND vs OR logic for things like doors. (e.g. 2 buttons that must be triggered to open a door).  We have talked about having a feature like this in level design before and I have also seen several custom POI creators ask for it as well so I worked with our designers and programmers on the request to get it in.

 

Edit: Ultima Online rocks!  Played on the Pacific and Baja servers back in the day.

Edited by Laz Man (see edit history)
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