Project Zomboid: Upcoming Update

Here’s something we haven’t heard of in a while! Project Zomboid! Still in Alpha stages and still not really close to completion but still slowly shaping up to be an absolute monster of a game full of difficulty, challenges and zombies all after your delicious, delicious brains. The sheer scope of the developer’s intentions for the game is rather mind boggling and still (despite checking out it regularly) still makes me raise my eyebrows at the momentous task still ahead of them.

However a new update is now soon to be released upon Project Zomboid. A release date hasn’t been announced yet but the features HAVE been. You can check them out at the official site or you can look at our lovingly copy-pasta’d version here.

It has actually been a while since I last played Project Zomboid… Hell it was actually before the LAST update which was quite a while ago. I’m not sure whether I will jump back in again yet simply because there is still so much to be added to the game. I mean part of me wants to just wait for the finished product to come out and then actually review it and tell everyone how awesome it is, but another part of me wants to enjoy the slow Minecraft-esque build-up… We shall see… Anyway! Check out the new stuff:

a) NPCs

Instead of mental-case morons who club zombies, players and thin-air alike we now have a crowd of NPCs who behave a little more sensibly. They will try to survive, just like you, and can team up with you and help out. In this update you’ll only be able to recruit NPCs into your gang, and not join another one that’s already NPC-led – though you’ll be able to watch other NPC groups looting, rampaging and generally surviving throughout Muldraugh. This is only ‘Stage One’ in terms of where we’re going with NPCs – there’ll be many improvements, new behaviours, new orders and reams of fresh dialogue coming in future updates.

b) Skill Progression

Whenever you perform actions in the game now you’ll earn XP. Once you’ve hit the roof of the XP totaliser you’ll then be able to level up one of these skills the next time you sleep. Your character will now start out a bit weaker than in the current build (he’ll be able to carry less and generally be less adept at everything in the game) but with levelling skills up toward level 5 he’ll become way more proficient than you’re used to. Whether he’s sprinting, cooking, carrying or…

c) Carpentry

The introduction of woodwork makes for a major extension to the existing PZ barricade system. As you level up your carpentry skills you’ll be able to craft various tile pieces that you’ll be useful as you modify an existing building or create your own little fortress – or ‘Fort Knox County’, if you will…

This video was made using test code – we assure you that building projects will take a little longer in the gamer proper. In the update tile pieces will weigh a considerable amount, and each one will take time to build. So with wood being so heavy, how are you to transport it? Well, again rather neatly, that brings us to next new feature.

d) Pushable objects

The majority of items in the game will now be pushable and draggable by your character. This means we can add things like Wheelie Bins (or ‘Mobile Garbage Bin’ as Wikipedia tells us our US friends call them) to the game – with other items like shopping trolleys to follow in future updates.

e) WINDOWS OF DEATH

Zombies and survivors alike can now climb in and out of windows! Formerly our glass friends have been used in the game purely to toy with your line of sight, but now they can be smashed – and then become one of many new entry and exit points. You’ll soon discover that deadheads are a lot better at breaking a window than thumping down a door! Thankfully, however, this also means you have a few more avenues of escape – even from upstairs windows if you want to risk an injury or…

f) Bigger map section

We’re saving the details of this until release (or until we can’t keep it quiet any more) but due to the lower memory requirements of our rebuilt game code we can now stretch to a 300×300 sized map – four times the size and quite a jump from the previous 150×150. As you can imagine, the map now feels freakishly huge! We figure this is a good way to taste a bigger world and have more to explore, until we get map cell transversal in. Binky and Mash have created a whole bunch of new tiles for these areas, and can’t wait to see your blood splashed over them.

g) Graphics overhaul

As well as a new, smooth and sparkly lighting engine (which has gameplay ramifications you can read about here.), Binky’s been working tirelessly to add a ton of new detail to both the existing map and the new areas that now surround it. Added grime, cracks in the road, road markings and other decal overlays should all help to make the world feel more real.

h) New weapons

Re-enact the famous Shawn of the Dead scene with a pool cue, smash walls and zombies alike with the sledgehammer, go all Mr. Stabby with the kitchen knife, and take the saw to your trusty shotgun.

i) Additional Mod Tools

Mod tools will be released soon after the update, but will allow our glorious bunch of modding heroes to create costumes for characters by using a funky drawing package that’ll let them: draw over the character frames, draw over existing costumes, edit the palette, and then conjure up frames that can be used directly in-game. We’ll also be providing an isometric floor editor and a wall editor which will make the creation of new tile-sets for the game far, far easier.

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