Welcome to Watch Survival

Hello Bloggers and Readers and Survivalists and Gamers! I see you have found your way to Watch Survival. This web space is all about my favorite genre of video games. What you will get on Watch Survival is News and Updates on Current and Up-coming Survival Games.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Project Zomboid Developer Confirms Closed Testing has began

Hello everyone! Just wanted to post a quick update to let everyone know that Closed Testing for the awesome update for Project Zomboid has been confirmed and is underway.  The Thread can be found below.  This should mean that a public release shouldn't be to far behind.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Live Hard News Storyline

Survival indie game Live Hard has released a small plot storyline for us today to help flesh out the game Live Hard currently being worked on.   It is a simple yet satisfying begining.


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It's time to tell you a bit more about the plot.

Our hero's name is Ivan. He's a factory worker from Syberia where he worked all his life. One day, while he was watching a TV program about tempting and mysterious far away islands, something ticked in his head! The idea of living on an inhabited island seemed wonderful! Shining sun, deep blue ocean, fresh exotic fruits.. and all of that for free! It sounded like heaven on Earth! And so he realised that his life dream would be to live that way. No job, no responsibilities... only a neverending vacation!
To be continued.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Project Zomboid Monday Status Update RC3 Development Developments

The new monday post for Project Zomboid is up!  Closed testing is apparently starting very soon for the new update! This is wonderful news. We also learn that with Steam's new Early Access section that Zomboid may be heading to Steam more soon then you think!  Read the copy and paste below or click the official post.


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Hello survivor. Let’s talk RC3 plans – as, as hinted last week, we’re going to shake things up a little.
In order to finalise work on NPCs and the NPC metagame we needed to bring the overall game back to working order – integrate the new map, look at balancing, knock out gameplay bugs and essentially get the game up and running before our little survivor chaps could sprint around their apocalyptic playground. As regular Mondoiders will be aware, that’s what our coders have been up to these past few weeks in the build-up to a closed test.
The natural course of development, then, is going to leave us with a build that (with some polish work, launcher fiddling and whatnot) would be fun without NPCs, packed with new features and (in all likelihood) far more stable than the 2.5 releases. Given the ongoing PZ drought, and the fact NPCs die out so soon in RC2.5 they are hardly a factor, it struck us that we’d be pretty daft not to release it after the closed test, and finally give everyone something to play.
This won’t have any effect on the date of the final metagame/NPC delivery (we’d like to underline this – if people want to wait for the full release the overall goalposts aren’t being moved) – but brings the benefits of, in the mean-time, us being able to get the modding community rolling again with the release of EasyPickins’ mod tools and launching our spangly new website sooner than hoped. We’d also be able to get the new build delivery system going – releasing regular bug fixes with the efforts of our two coders combined.

A lot. The vast new map (covering pretty much all of Muldraugh, and more besides), the roots of the meta-game system that cover zombies and zombie migration, map streaming, farming, the new skill and trait system, carpentry, female characters, better character customisation, loads of new animations, new shaders, new lighting, sandbox options, the new front-end, the new UI, the backpack system, the modding system and all the bug fixes that 2.5 has been crying out for – for so long. Plus a bunch of stuff we’ve probably forgotten about.
(A clear omission would be the K&B tutorial – so we’d explain the situation and the current NPC status to non-Mondoiders via an on-load screen.)

We had a blood curdling zombie pathfinding issue that completely rendered zombies unable to work indoors (which we discussed last Mondoid) which was finally resolved last night after seven days of intense zombie/doorframe fury.
That delayed us, but now the things left on the Closed Test (without NPCs) ‘To Do’ list are: fix a memory problem that manifests in 32bit versions of the game, nix some small save bugs, update to the latest map version and make our release builder work with the new version of Java we’ve upgraded to. This work will, one would hope, be completed in the next day or two – after which Closed Testing will begin.
As mentioned previously, however, we’ll let everyone know the second the build is entering testing via our @theindiestone Twitter account.

Unfortunately the testing group is small and handpicked. You’re also really, genuinely, not going to be missing out on anything. We’re looking for game-breaking, system-crashing and 100% non-fun stuff. We’re very much intent on getting the game to a high quality bar before release in terms of show-stopping bugs, but once we open up the test to the wider Zomboid community the issues that everyone can help us with will be issues that crop up on your particular system, things that happen after lengthy survival times, getting people’s opinions on zombie counts etc.

Well, that’s the million dollar question. Another patchy release patently will not do for us or our players, so if the build needs to be kept in the oven till it’s ready – it’s going to be kept in the oven. There are also always unseen dangers in testing when it comes to game performance – this is where demons may lie and will be the danger when it comes to desktop game development. There are many different types of machine out there, and it’s hard to specify until the build has run on a bunch of them.
This said, we now finally have two coders able to bash through bugs, so we anticipate that any undiscovered issues with the game to be pretty fast to sort out. The best policy will probably be to get the game into testing first, see how things go down – and keep you informed via Mondoid blogs, @theindiestone and the forum. We’ll also, clearly, be able to supply a lot more screenshots, videos and whatnot once the process begins.
The same closed testing process will then later repeat once the NPC metagame overlay has been completed. (The work for which, let’s not forget, is already 80% done.)

That was the ‘announcement’ we alluded to last week, and we’ve had a preliminary chat with Valve about it all. One reason we’ve been historically cautious about going onto Steam was that there’s a certain level of quality, completeness and polish that’s needed to avoid risking a lot of bad feeling when appearing on the Steam store, as some notable releases of recent times have shown us.
While we would have been careful to make a clear point of PZ’s in-development state, one thing we’ve learnt is that no matter how clearly you label something in text, sometimes people miss this information. That’s all seems to have changed now with Steam Early Access. They are clearly advertised as ‘in-development’ within Steam itself, and therefore we would be a lot more comfortable going in there sooner than we originally planned.
All this said, it’s clearly not our priority – which is fundamentally to our current players and to our builds on Desura. Our entrance to Steam (early access or not) will only be when we’re in the groove of releasing regular updates and fixes, the game is bug-free, NPCs are running around and the meta-game is in place. Above all, we need to ensure our existing audience’s happiness moodle is showing before we go chasing around trying to widen it.
That’s all for now survivors. More as it happens. :)

Don't Starve Update Preview Doorway to Adventure!

Don't Starve has released a new trailer recently previewing their newest update titled "Doorway to Adventure"  You can see the trailer below as well as a link to the forums where everyone always tries to find the little hidden information they always release with these preview trailers.

The forum topic for discussion can be found here.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Watchsurvival Update News.

Thought I'd post a quick update to let everyone know I've been working on Watchsurvival some.  I've added a Contact page to make it easy for people to contact me should they wish to do that.  I've also added a subscriber gadget for news readers for people who like that kinda thing.  I also added a Labels section so you can sort through posts you wish to see more easy.

 Last but not least I've removed the middle advertisement under the blog posts for those who view the site without Adblock installed.  I was ok with the middle advert at first because most the time it seemed to be a gaming advert and I was ok with that, but today I was browsing my site and updating with Ads enabled to check them out and I seen a dreaded advertisement with a green "DOWNLOAD" button and I said "OH *^# NO"  I can't stand that stuff when I'm browsing the web and I don't want my fellow gamers and survivalists putting up with it either.  While this may make the website revenue go down I could care less. I do this website for the gamers not the income.   I would love for this website to become my full time job but I'm a realist and know it's simply wishful thinking.  I've kept the side advertisement for now and I want to thank all of you who help support the site, but I want you guys/girls/aliens/zombies to know it's all about the gaming and it always will be. 


PS. Almost forgot!  I'm also going to be updating the Survival Game List Page here soon with (hopefully) a much better layout and better format that is easier on everyone with a little more information.  I'm still thinking about how I want it and still working out the small details though but that will be happening soon for sure.   Stay safe gamers!

Friday, March 22, 2013

NEOScavenger News Update.

The popular indie survival game NEOscavenger has recently released new update information for everyone.  Check out all the info below.  It includes fixes for the editor and working on encounters.


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Editor Fixes, and Continuing Encounter Work

I rewrote the editor's save routine this morning to work in batches, which allows me to save a larger number of encounter nodes before the process conks out. Once that was in place, I was able to rebuild the encounter structure pictured yesterday, and copy+paste the text for each node back in. By the time lunch rolled around, I was caught up with yesterday's work, plus the remaining portions of the node tree.
After lunch, I decided to switch gears. The writing/node-mapping was starting to get pretty tedious, so I started work on the encounter illustration. I looked at reference materials, collected those that seemed relevant, and started blocking in the image. Most of this early work is a matter of getting the lighting straight, perspective lines, composition, and using flat colors to denote areas of light and shadow.
Then, I'm able to move things around, and play with the composition until it gets to a point where I'm happy enough to commit to shading. As of this evening, that's about where I am. I think I like where the image is going, and most everything is in place, but unshaded.
So tomorrow, I'll look at it with fresh eyes, and see whether it needs any tweaking or not. If all goes well, it's time to start shading and detail work. I'll probably need to add a little ruin and destruction to it, too :)
That's all for today. Have a good one, all!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Dead Linger 008 update Teaser - No place is safe.

The Dead Linger has released a new teaser trailer for us to watch for their upcoming update. It looks pretty cool. Zombies can now get through windows and infection is able to spread. A Gas station has also been added into the mix of building templates that spawn. Check it out below.


Monday, March 18, 2013

Project Zomboid Monday Status update: Window Pains!

The weekly Monday blog for project zomboid has been posted.  We get some cool info in this one. We get to see information about the release of the update.  We get to see new animations for windows and see talk about the context button which is used to interact with the environment.  Pretty cool stuff.  Check out the full info below or read the copy and paste.


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Roll up, roll up and welcome one and all to one of those conversational blog posts we sometimes do. This week we discuss test build machinations, windows and all manner of control malarky. So hold those horses, as chit-chat commences between Chris ‘Lemmy’ Simpson and Andy ‘Binky’ Hodgetts.
C: Hello Andy
A: So, what are we going to talk about?
C: Hang on, I’ll tip the Mondoid update mail-sack upside down and see what falls out.

Release Plans
A: Oh no! What’s that doing in there?
C: Yep, work continues on getting the game ready for testing. We’re tantalisingly close at this stage, but not quite there. We did, in fact, think that we’d be announcing the closed testing period on this Mondoid – but events conspired against us, mainly some zombie pathfinding building interior issues that made recording the video we’ve linked below so nightmarish. I know we’ve said this time and time again, but if this were Return of the Jedi we’d be at the point at which the Millennium Falcon is preparing to shoot the core of the revamped Death Star – with only the thrilling escape to follow.
We also have some plans on how to reduce the wait a little, which we’ll announce on the day the build goes into closed testing (so keep tabs on our @theindiestone twitter). It’s not what we’d want to do in an ideal world, but we owe it to those who already have the game and are in vital need of some stable build love. We’ll leave it at that for now, as we’ll have a lot firmer stuff to tell you once the build is ready for testing. In short though, we’re not talking super-imminent – but we are saying that we should be getting the update out to people at least a month earlier than we previously anticipated, perhaps even more than that..
A: How annoyingly mysterious. It’s also worth reminding people that the sooner we get the build out, the quicker our intended new development strategies can chime in. Development will be back in front of the curtain, as it were, and the waiting between updates will be far less painful and ice-agey.
C: There is something else brewing that’ll be of note for PZ players, but we’ve got to wait until there’s been a big announcement elsewhere before we can discuss it. So, watch this space I guess. We heard the announcement was today, so we’ll see.

A: Windows? Is that a question? Ooh, right. Well. In my opinion, one big feature of the 0.2.0 builds was windows finally factoring into the game-play, the player and zombies alike being able to climb through them. Well, we say “climb”, but we really mean “walk through them a bit slower than normal”.
C: You’ve just stolen my line, you sod! I was then going to go on to say that apart from looking a bit naff, this had some worrying effects on the gameplay. Zombies being able to get through windows is great for ramping up the difficulty. But having ten potential escape routes from a building undermined a lot of the most terrifying moments in 0.1.5d where a horde was breaking down the one exit/entry point of the building. Players would instead, generally, just slip quickly out of a window to safety. Zombies at the windows didn’t provide enough additional danger to offset this – and wouldn’t unless we started cheating and spawning additional Z’s at every window.
However, as well as making the experience much more aesthetically pleasing, our new animations also bring back this terror in new ways.
A: Curse you. I should have stolen more from this not at all pre-arranged block of text written not over the weekend. But yes, it’s one of the more exciting things about our new-fangled ‘enshrinkulated 3D models turned into spritey whatsits’ we’re using now. It’s a lot quicker and simpler to add new animations, so we can add anims which add a lot of flavour to the scene and ramp up the drama which we otherwise may not have been able to justify given the time requirements. I’d like you to picture a scene, if you will…
Zombies have broken into your safehouse blocking your exit to the door! You run to the nearest window, your character visibly struggling to lift it open. It’s sticking in the frame and your panic levels are compounding the situation. The zombies stumble closer, almost within grabbing range, you panic and quickly throw yourself at the window smashing it, slashing open your arm in the process, before hoisting yourself onto the windowsill as zombies lunge at your back. You’re in pain but safe, and the arm which will now require bandaging is a small price to pay for avoiding being chewed on by the undead.
C: Yes, Andy. That all sounds very exciting. If only there was a better way to describe that scene for those who have difficulty visualising such things in their head, like HAVING A VIDEO:

C: Yes, I have the goods, I don’t need stupid letters and words to paint a scene! I win. Though I should apologise for the short length of the video. I’ve learnt an important lesson which is ‘Don’t work with children or animals… or zombies.’ That video must have taken literally about 100 takes and I was very close to a murderous rage by the time it was ‘in the can’. The zombies were being right awkward buggers. The amount of times I got to a window and there was a bloody zombie at the other side, or I’d notice a backdoor immediately next to me rendering the daring window smashing escape rather ridiculous. The various glitches and pathfinding issues I need to clamp down on for the closed test build limited the length of the video, sadly.
We should talk a little about some of the new design philosophies that feed into this system, particularly when it comes to the controls of the game. Hang on I think I had a title header lying around somewhere.

Gamifying the Controls
A: Don’t worry Chris, I’ve added it. One thing we’re conscious of when we’re designing is that it’s all too easy to bloat the control scheme. In the initial version of the game we relied on right-click popup menus for everything and, while we’re bringing that back so that the game can be played using just a mouse, we also want keyboard equivalents for these actions. What we don’t want, however, is a bazillion keys – so it’s important to streamline these controls and have context-sensitive actions. Not only will this make gameplay more fun and accessible without sacrificing any of the depth, but it will also lead the way to Steam Big Picture mode and more easily implementable joypad support.
C: Yep, it occurred to me when recording the video showing off your pretty shaders how much of a clart-on it was to equip the flashlight. Of course our game has a ton of inventory items, and it would be ridiculous to have a key for each one. But how do you use a flashlight in EVERY SINGLE GAME EVER MADE WITH A FLASHLIGHT? You press F. Of course you press F.
A: Imagine we implement maps in future. You have a map in your inventory. How will you get the map up? Our bets are on the M key. And so on.
C: Yep. We chatted away and as well as adding more common ‘FPS’ style keybindings that would do sensible oft used things quickly, we came up with the ‘SUPER CONTEXT BUTTON’ idea, which even though I do say so myself I think is bloody brilliant.
A: It’s also worth noting that while ‘F’ will equip a flashlight, that means *anything* which serves as a flashlight, prioritising the most sensible option first. So if your only means of illumination is a candle, that’s what will be equipped on pressing ‘F’. (Not that candles lights are implemented at this time)
C: Yep, Romain is currently working on a weapon selection system which we’ve been somewhat inspired by (ripped off) Half Life, involving categorizing weapons and using say 1 for all swinging weapons, 2 for all stabbing weapons, 3 for all firearms. But yes, let’s talk about the ‘SUPER CONTEXT BUTTON’.

Super Context Button
C: So yeah, basically we have the lovely ‘interact’ button that’s used in pretty much every FPS game ever, and is usually bound to E. Of course, Zomboid has a lot of ways to interact with the environment, so this only takes us so far and the mouse and context menus will always have its place, but for things like opening doors and other common actions you want to do quickly, it’s ideal.
We also came up with a way to get maximum mileage from that one key (read: one day, a joypad button too). Pressing it quickly will do one action, and holding it will do another. In the case of a window, for example, pressing the key will open or close the window. Holding it, will also climb through that window once it’s opened. Every action can still be done using the mouse, and the context menu (no more curtain/window woes!) But it doesn’t stop there as our interact key has another interesting function…
A: Indeed! Let’s remember that video we have all just watched. You ran to the window, pressed ‘E’ to open it but what happened? It wouldn’t open – it was jammed or locked. As a player you’re starting to panic just like the character and so you start frantically hammering the ‘E’ key (which is, as all elevators know, code for, “HURRY UP!”). Zomboid recognises this and promptly activates the “open this blasted window NOW using any means necessary” action. This will trigger smashing the window with a weapon or, if you have no suitable weapon, your own body.
C: Exactly, and even though there are no anims for it yet, you can imagine the same philosophy applied to locked doors (which will be making a return with a vengeance at some point post RC3) and a myriad other things as we further develop the game.. So we’ve basically got three distinct actions possible from a single key and we’re rather excited about how that will make Zomboid play much more immersive and exciting.
A: Well, I’m excited. Is there anything else we’ve forgotten to mention?

Other things
C: Well, this page is nice isn’t it? http://www.rezzed.com/ *cough*
A: Also, we could make people look at how nice this is looking: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dO7Olguk8ys

Friday, March 15, 2013

Dead State Combat Demo

Dead State has new information! Doublebear have been pretty hush hush about their game mostly. I do try to post information when I can about their awesome turn based survival game Dead State.  I do enjoy the game from what I have seen so far. This video was a nice taste of what the Game has in store for fellow survival zombie fans.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

Minecraft 1.5 Redstone Update

Minecraft has released a new official update titled the redstone update. A lot of good redstone features are obviously included.   An update to this update is already rolled out into the form of a snapshot as well to help fix a few things.   Most official information can be found below.


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Posted Image

The moment we've all been waiting for is finally here - the 1.5 Redstone Update is now live!  Now, I know you want to jump into this massively awesome update head-first, so let's see what was added!

1.5 Features:

  • Added Redstone Comparator (used in Redstone logic)
  • Added Hopper (collects items and moves them to containers)
  • Added Dropper (similar to Dispensers, but always drops the item)
  • Added Activator Rail (activates TNT Minecarts)
  • Added Daylight Sensor
  • Added Trapped Chest
  • Added Weighed Pressure Plate
  • Added Block of Redstone
  • Added Nether Brick (item)
  • Added Nether Quartz and ore
  • Added Block of Quartz, with half blocks and chiseled variants
  • New command: /scoreboard
  • New command: /effect
  • Containers and mobs can have custom names
  • Inventory management has been changed, for example you can drag-place items over slots
  • Texture packs now have separate images for each block and item, and can have animations
  • Nether Quartz Ore now spawns in the Nether
  • Smooth lighting now has three settings (none, minimal, maximum)
  • More detailed death messages
  • Some hostile mobs now are harder in Hard difficulty
  • Many, many, bug fixes - more than you can shake a stick at
  • Removed Herobrine

Please note: There is a scheduled 1.5.1 update in the very near future, to iron out some of the few remaining issues with 1.5, and it will be coming soon.  Tomorrow's Snapshot will reveal more of what is to come, so keep an eye out!

You might be wondering where to start, or what sort of indescribably cool thing to create first.  With so many new items, commands, and blocks, it's almost impossible to know where to start first!  I don't have any good advice for that, except to show you something SethBling made with the 1.5 assets in the pre-release:

Rocket golem, or gassy golem - you decide!

The 1.5 release is a big one, and there is so much to do!  What is your favorite part of the update?  Tell us about it!

Don't Starve Update A Little Rain Must Fall

Don't Starve has recently released a new major update.  This update comes to us with a ton of content and a few various bug fixes and changes made to the game.  We get rain and weather effects,  a new adventure mode and new monsters and a bunch of new items.  All around a pretty large update that looks really fun. 


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The latest Don't Starve update is now live and it's one of our largest to date. We hit a few snag today while Steam irons out a few issues. Please make sure to read the two important notes below.
Important Note:
Steam seems to be having some technical difficulties in sending the update to some computers. If you encounter problems, you should be able to fix them by uninstalling Don't Starve and then reinstalling it. You may have to validate files after you do this in order to force the update after that.
This should just be a temporary problem. Valve is usually pretty quick to fix these things!
Second Note:
Settings.ini has moved! If you have made changes to your settings.ini to turn off steam cloud, you will need to move them over to the new location in your mydocuments\klei\donotstarve directory.

Release Note

New features
  • Rain comes during the summer to ruin your fires and dampen your spirits. Watch out for lightning strikes!
  • Sandbox custom mode sliders are all unlocked. You can make the game really, really hard now.
  • Pathfinding works over long distances
  • Day length changes throughout seasons
  • Modders can bring up an interactive lua console with the ~ key
Adventure mode
  • Put in very rough sketches of the actual adventure levels. It’s very rough at this point, and the ‘story’ bits are missing, but the basic structure is in place.
  • Added lots of little setpieces using new objects that try to impede your progress.
New monsters
  • The Knight
  • Merms
  • Guardian Pigs
There's also a ton of new items in the world and things to build. Head over to our forum post to see the full release notes.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Project Zomboid Monday Update 50 Shaders of Grey

Project Zomboid Monday Update is here! It was a pretty good read. We get to see information about the lighting system. We get to see how we can change our controls. We also get a little info about rooms and Idle Zombie animations.  Hopefully this update comes soon cause I'm definitely ready to play it. 


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Hello survivors, Lemmy here!
Once again we have a week where the coders are buckling down getting all the features of the game working in preparation for a closed test of the game (without meta-game). As such we’re getting to the point now where it’s increasingly difficult to show ‘new stuff’, and until we get to finishing the meta-game that’s unlikely to change much. Though there may be little prezzies from Binky, Mash and Romain in the meantime.
So for a while, a big part of Mondoids will be more about what’s working again, what areas we’re getting close to finished in, moreso than what is new, just to give everyone an insight into what’s left to do. We will try and be as thorough as possible to give people plenty and hopefully it’ll be interesting and/or satisfy on some level. There is some new stuff to report too, however. A few highlights from this week include:
Since streaming was implemented, as well as the new map and a necessary tileset reorganization when going to the new map, the lighting system was completely kaput and needed redeveloping to fit the new map format. Such was the intense effort to get the meta-game complete, this got put to the side for a long time, though had remained a niggling worry at how it would be implementable without costing a ton of CPU. This was not only losing the gameplay associated with lighting, but meaning despite the awesome new map, videos and screenshots have all been rather less pretty than they should and we could certainly never release with the lighting broken in the game.

Finally we have our beloved lighting system back, this time improved to get rid of any glitches (including that infernal flicker effect plaguing the 0.2.0 builds) and improving the ‘fog of war’ effect inside buildings you’ve not been in . A nice addition to this is that now the distance you (and anyone else) is stood from a window, along with the light difference between you and what lies through the window, will stop visibility through, which not only means that running past buildings will often not reveal anything of the interior, but buildings with lights on will be lit up like a Christmas tree. While zombies already take light into consideration in the chance of spotting you, this will further magnify this effect, meaning lights on at night without barricaded windows is potentially very deadly, where wandering out with them off will be more or less safe (noise aside).
Again, due to the streaming support, we had to rethink how buildings were defined since it was entirely possible for half a building to exist, sliced down the middle at the edge of the loaded area. This information is doubly important for the meta-game, since buildings way out of the spawn distance need to be in the game for the meta-game to work. Also, this is vital for making lightswitches work by calculating where the bulb should be What was once an automatic (but slow) process on game load, we’ve now had to move this to the map data to be loaded independently of the map.
EasyPickins has done wonderful work on the tools to deal with this for all future buildings made, but this has however meant any of the new map that was created before the tools were developed will need room definitions put into the map manually. This process is underway (and was done to a limited amount for meta-game development) but for looting to be completely working across the entire map this is a slow, rather mind-numbing task (sorry map modders! :( ). One thing this has made us realize is there’s a lot of flipping buildings!
Super-size me!
One of the most requested things to add was something taken out of 0.2.0 because of a limitation with the new lighting system. Double size mode is back!
It may have a few limitations though. Due to the way the lighting system works, there are potential issues with the high graphics settings on lower end machines using double sizing, as graphics cards will need to support ‘depth buffers’ on the offscreen bitmap that’s used to upscale the graphics. That’s technical jargon that means ‘might bugger up on low end cards trying to do high graphics mode and double size’, though it’s unclear how many low end cards that would have this issue would be capable of high graphics settings anyway. In fact this is a similar reason on 0.1.5d sometime cards struggle with the double size mode and bomb out when it’s clicked, and all solutions we’ve had to this are rather graphic card dependent sadly.
It should be perfectly fine to do low graphics mode with double size on any card that supported it in 0.1.5d at least, and we’ll try and make it as compatible as possible.
We now have an idle animation! Hurrah! Zombies without any stimulus will generally just stand around, though there will always be the odd wanderer or ten. This makes the zombies much more authentic feeling. It was RingoD that first noticed (within the team, at least) that in previous versions you never ever came across a group of zombies just idling around, and how odd an omission this was for zombie fiction.
Furthermore, sometimes hordes of zombies will generally be stood around facing the same direction, the direction of the last thing that distracted them. Especially with the new strafing / sneaking mechanics, means stealthing it past a bunch of zombies is now a feasible (in fact very very much recommended) tactic. All it takes is one zombie to spot you, however, as their agitated noises will alert nearby zombies and start bringing more and more toward you. This results in the more natural staggered effect of more and more zombies peeling off a horde as they are alerted.
Done but not implemented yet are anims for zombies turning to spot you, which will hopefully make for even more tension and creepiness when trying to sneak past a massive horde and one’s head starts to turn and oh no!
We’ve also done major rebalancing to the zombie’s default senses, memory etc though this is still WIP and will likely go on until release. Our hope is this will make stealth a much more important to the game.
Since an offscreen bitmap support is required for the double-size feature above, and because there is already a backlog of animations to get in, and because Binky was probably getting bleary eyed looking at Bob in his underpants day in day out, Binky has been experimenting in a bit of shaders programming for the high quality settings, meaning he can add saturation effects to let the sun radiantly shine and at nighttime bleach the colour out of the world and blue tint in a much more effective way. Even a bit of dawn and dusk tinting!
The hope is that it will make RC3 much more atmospheric on higher settings, as well as hopefully help us catch more eyes looking for pretty things when we’re sat on a certain store! The potential to expand this in future would open up a lot of opportunities for screen effects to improve the look of the game or give feedback to the player.
Again, we’d like to stress that any additional things like this are not impacting the release date at all and are worked on concurrently to getting the game ready, and are ways to try and maximise the quality and people’s enjoyment of the game for release (and make further amends for its delay ;) ) while vital tasks are completed. We would cut any such extra feature should the other work be completed, or switch back onto vital things as they crop up.
So here is a video showing a bit off one of the map cells, which also shows off the new zombie behaviour / sight, shaders and of course remind us all what a legend Zach Beever is. Please consider everything WIP, particularly that all light sources have not yet been placed so a lot of the map is still pretty damn dark.

(Please note the version of the game this is running on doesn’t have some of Romain’s latest work in, as well as some flirtation with the old inventory system at one point after accidentally shutting the new one down.)
Yep, you can now edit the keys in the options panel! Yippee! Finally you can select any key combination you want, just like in a proper game!

This is stage one of a bigger overhaul that will be happening post RC3 where we plan to add macroable ‘actions’ that can either be dragged onto hotbars or associated with a key on the keyboard. In the meantime though this will hopefully make a lot of people’s lives easier.
That’s all folks!
Also, Darkwood looks pretty sweet!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Minecraft Snapshot 13w10b / 1.5 pre-release expected soon

Minecraft released a new snapshot for us to play around on.  Snapshot 13w10b.   Containing bug fixes and more bug fixes! This post also tells us to expect the pre-release snapshot of 1.5 sometime today most likely as this snapshot and information was released yesterday, Once pre release 1.5 comes out instead of making a new post I'll just update this one.


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 The 1.5 pre-release is expected tomorrow!  In the meantime, help test out the latest round of Snapshot goodness!

Notable changes:

  • Dispensers and droppers will now only fire once when they receive a redstone signal. To fire again, the signal must be turned off and on again. (Previously a dispenser would fire whenever it had a signal and a nearby block changed.)
  • Redstone and components stay powered after unloading chunks
  • Dispenser and Dropper shooting out when updated
  • Server crashes if spaces are input on the console
  • Night Vision Potions that are edited to last longer create a potentially seizure-inducing flashing sky background.
  • Furnace interface occasionally closes when adding fuel, deleting all items in the furnace
  • Named Mobs Don't have Named Babies
  • Getting into a minecart with a mob in it crashes minecraft
  • 2 Hoppers funneling unstackable items into a 3rd Hopper at the same time cause the 3rd Hopper to not funnel items into a container
  • Dispensers continually shoot/use certain items like water buckets and flint&steel
  • Comparators still giving off power when hopper inventory is empty
  • Animals can breed over distances up to almost 8 blocks when only seperated by fences
  • Message "THIS TOO" in console
  • Full hoppers feeding into full hoppers causes the forward hopper to stall
  • Adding items to brewing stand using dropper does not change state of comparator

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Zafehouse Diaries Patch 1.1.8 is out.

Zafehouse Diaries has recently released a new patch.  This one includes a little new content and a few bug fixes.  Showering is now included into the game and has to be used to keep your characters healthy.  Rains and Storms are also included.  As well as a new situation called Overwhelmed. Check out the details below.


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Patch v1.1.8 released! 
Patch v1.1.8 for Zafehouse: Diaries is now available. This patch improves a number of areas of the game and adds a solid dose of content, including a new dilemma, Overwhelmed, and showering, an idle task.
The custom occupation editor has been expanded on, making it more flexible than ever and we’ve even implemented weather effects to keep things interesting.
The Overwhelmed dilemma has a chance to occur when your group faces staggering odds after breaching a location. You’ll be able to retreat to, hopefully, a safe location or, if you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at more heroic options.
Getting around during a zombie apocalypse is not the cleanest affair, so your survivors will accumulate grime and if left idle, will now occasionally wash themselves. Doing so will provide them with a small morale boost.
We felt the towns of Zafehouse: Diaries were drier than they should be, so now it’ll occasionally rain and storm. As you’d expect, noise doesn’t travel as far under these conditions, so be sure to take advantage of the weather when you can!
Several dilemmas, including the Lynch Mob, Moby Dick and the Girl Scout Family, now feature an assessment of your survivors’ chances if you decide to fight. As a result, it should be easier to make more informed, strategic decisions regarding these encounters.
Finally, for users with high-resolution displays, a scaling option is now included so that game takes up most the screen. It is currently experimental, so if it doesn’t work as expected, let us know so we can tweak it!
The update includes several other tweaks, fixes and improvements, all of which are mentioned in the patch notes on our forums.
Direct purchasers and GamersGate customers, the patch can be downloaded from our support page. For Desura and GOG users, please use the facilities provided by these services to update the game. Note that updates from these distributors may be delayed while the patch is approved.