Alpha 1.9 - Quality of Life Update #1 (Locks | UI | Weapon Melee++)

Monday July 26th,


Hello everyone, we’re releasing our 1.9 update to our default Steam branch today. This update focuses entirely on player reported bugs and quality of life issues. It’s not our last quality of life update, in fact you’ll see quite a few more in the coming months. We’ve tried to get a nice chunk of issues sorted here and done so quicker than our typical update cycle.


We will be following this quality of life with another as soon as possible and we’ll discuss more of exactly what we’re doing in the coming devblogs. James has put together a vlog for this update but it’s not ready yet and we didn’t want to hold up builds so expect that in the next couple of days. Below we’ll review some of what’s gone into 1.9. As always follow along via the changelog for up to date information.



Inventory Improvements

While we really do love our clean HUD and lack of anything on the screen most times, it can be really frustrating and rather confusing when your stats get critically low. This week James has set out to improve this issue. In the coming 1.9 build you’ll notice these changes, any critical stat will show on the screen. This should help when it comes to knowing exactly what’s going on, you’ll be far less likely to get caught out when you see a critical stat pop.


Along with this improvement James has implemented the ability to adjust stats directly from the stat read out in the inventory booklet. You’ll notice a search function now when hovering over any of the available stats. This really speeds up the process and makes sorting through the inventory for a required item far less time consuming and tedious.



Lock Improvements

If you play the game you know it can be a real pain to open a fully locked structure door. It’s also no walk in the park to open a container with more than a single lock. Our lock mechanics have been improved. James has introduced a system that allows the player to open all the locks on a structure door or container at once.


In 1.9 all locks that a player has access to are now automatically unlocked where possible. They will also relock in the event that they were unlocked using this new system.


The main consideration when adding this was regarding chunkiness without adding complexity. Initial concepts introduced a ‘Hold' function on doors/containers but this required extra hover information and added a step to opening the door which arguably made things once again clunky.


Ultimately James implemented the lightest weight system possible and given the easiest use possible. For all intents and purposes the player shouldn’t have to learn anything for this system to work. It should make the locks feel like a supplement overall instead of a required hindrance.



Crafting Improvements

We’ve taken some feedback from the community via discussions and tickets and James has made quality of life improvements with our crafting systems. Just adding a bit of polish to the system making it more user friendly and intuitive.


Some of the improvements made; buttons for cycling through the ‘all’ ‘favorites’ and ‘help’ tabs are now toggles. The search field no longer clears all the craftables, now when searching you’ll start with a full list and the search will narrow down the field. You’ll notice tools and recipe item icons can now be selected to navigate to the item's recipe, this adds a good deal of fluidity to the system. The greyed out items are now highlighted to make it clear you can still view the items recipe. There’s a lot going on with the system and we can and will improve more as we move forward. The first video below showcases some of these improvements.



Along with general improvements, James has added nested craftables. You’ll no longer need to back out and search for a recipe’s missing ingredient. The player can now simply click the icon or ingredient to be directed to it’s crafting recipe. This should save a great deal of of time and makes things feel just that much more user friendly.



Weapon Sight Improvements

The community has been mentioning the zoom and blurry scope issues. Andre has spent some time this week improving all of the scopes in the game.


He has reduced the amount of zoom in the apug/compact scopes and increased the amount the FOV is zoomed in instead. This allows for more screen area to be taken up by the scope, and for less pixilation caused by the magnification shader. Doing so also required some of our FPS models to be tweaked to accommodate new zoom methods.



New Stat UI

We’ve reworked the entire ‘inspect’ notification system. Making quite a few improvements along the way. We’ve redesigned the status notifications and reorganized them. This has made them both more compact and sleek along with being more consistent with the inventory booklet. The change makes the stats look less like a hotbar.


Along with these visual changes we’ve also improved the functionality of the inspect menu. The player will be made aware of the most critical stat and now have a hotkey option “G” to open the inventory to a stat specific item list. If you’re low on calories and you’ve got a blinking calorie stat, pressing “G” will open the inventory and show anything you can eat.


In conclusion, we feel these changes make the entire feature more useful and sleeker. The updates are in real time and the player can more easily understand at a glance just what’s going on. Next week we'll showcase the weapon UI improvements. There are more UI changes you’ll notice in 1.9 and if you have any suggestions please feel free to share them.


Player Death Improvements

We’ve had some long standing, highly reported and very annoying backpack issues. They mostly revolve around the player's death and how and what happens to their backpack and weapons. We’ve had issues with floating backpacks and big troubles when players are killed inside vehicles, more so if they’re moving.


The fix for this vehicle issue was considered from the implementation time vs the end result. The solution we landed on works and was quick to implement. The player is now moved to the step out position as they die and the ragdoll and backpack spawn at that location. The alternative would have been to parent or join the ragdoll to the vehicle or animate him in a dead state and somehow attach the back to the player inside the vehicle. This could have been a massive can of worms. Something to consider for the future perhaps. As it stands the system works much better and you should see far less issue around the backpacks in general.


Player Backpack On Death

Vehicle Death

Moving Vehicle Death

Continued Placement

The community has asked for this for some time now. Currently, the player opens the inventory and places a free placed fortification. The player then needs to open the inventory again to place another fortification. James has come up with a way to easily implement continued placement while you have multiple of the same item. This solution does still rely on adding the items to the world but because of that the implementation is tiny. The player can continually place the fortification they’ve selected until they press escape.


This change should make placing fortifications more fluid and less of a chore. If you have any suggestions for further improvements to the placement and fortification system, please feel free to share your ideas below.



Weapon Melee Attacks

When zombies are all over you and too close to fire at you can now use weapons for a melee attack. Many of our supporters have requested this feature and Andre and John have sorted it out for 1.9. Melee attacks are automatically assumed when AI or players are too close to each other. You’ll automatically smack zeds unless you aim down sights. We feel this is the best solution as it still allows the player to play as they see fit. It’s incredibly useful when you’ve run out of ammo and don’t have a melee weapon.


Weapon melee attack on zombie

Weapon melee against player


Harvest Improvements

As some of you know, our world is very interactable. From trees to fences, a lot of what you see can be interacted with in one way or another. The issue for some is they're not aware of this, perhaps due to the fact that it's not that common in games. We set out from the start to make nearly everything you see usable in some sense and we'll continue to improve and develop that feature. In 1.9, you'll notice that harvestable props are now highlighted. Andre has created this system and I've spent the last week or two getting back into the project and adjusting and adding new 'harvest machines' to existing props that previously didn't serve a purpose.

Harvest Highlighting

One of many new scrap metal harvest points (much requested)


Changelog


General QoL

  • Disabled water bottles drops to simplify the water systems overall.

  • Added AA batteries to barber and bar locations.

  • Set the empty water bottle to non spawnable.

  • Added more server regions for server list.

  • Fixed damage and death image effects not working

  • Damage effect now gets more intense when health is low

  • Placement mode now stays active to allow continued placement without having re-open the inventory.

  • Searching the server list now turns off 'show popular servers' so that results are more accurate.

  • Server config now accepts string quotes around starting items. It also still works without.

  • Removed double slash when cycling through previous chat inputs.

  • Overall health now has a low of -5 instead of 10.

  • Scrolling through weapons is now much faster.

  • Scrolling through weapons/tools now skips empty slots and scrolls directly through weapons in the same order they are sorted in.

  • Removed the use of expert spawners that are out in the wild.

  • Increased the threshold for the guide completion spawn point to get relevant players back to the spawn camps when they don't know how to play the game.

  • Shift pickup items now pickup on interact key down so that shift doesn’t need to be pressed when releasing the key

  • Added new dynamic stamina tweaks that mean the player never becomes fully exhausted from sprinting and performing average tasks.

  • Shadows from fires are now properly affected by the quality settings.

  • Campfire now places on inclines more easily.

  • Name tags now disable when a player dies.

  • Name tags now move down when the player is in a vehicle.

  • Players are now placed at the step out position when they die to prevent rag doll conflict with the vehicle.

  • Players backpacks now fall to the floor when the player is killed.

  • Can now use sharpening stones on the equipped item. The same as using a cleaning kit.

  • Shift pickup items now pickup on interact key down so that shift doesn’t need to be pressed when releasing the key

  • Increased the threshold for the guide completion spawn point to get relevant players back to the spawn camps when they don't know how to play the game.

Inventory management

  • Changed machine parts filter to -parts.

  • Machines now auto filter compatible parts when opening the inventory.

  • Changed the little search icon to a button when in the crafting tab.

  • Fixed issue where closing the inventory while items were filtered would freeze the player in position.

  • Clicking on the top category tabs now clears the search field.

  • Clicking the search field now pushes you to the all items tabs for clarity.

  • Weapons are now placed inside of backpacks when players are killed.

  • Can now use sharpening stones on the equipped item. The same as using a cleaning kit.

  • Increased the max stack size from 10 objects to 50.

  • Nail boxes now hold 500 instead of 75.

  • Screw boxes now hold 500 instead of 75.

  • Screws and nails are now taken from part boxes before using new boxes.

  • Ammo is now taken from part boxes first.

  • Resource based items like nails and screws are now combined on pickup to stop multiple part boxes.

  • Filtering items in the inventory now shows clearly when the filter returns nothing.

  • Button for cycling between ‘all' ‘favs’ and 'help’ have now been converted to toggles.

  • Using the search field no longer clears all the craftables but instead starts with a full list and narrows down.

  • Tools and recipe items can now be selected to navigate to that items recipe.

  • Improved layout of tools and recipe.

  • Greyed craftables now highlight to make it clear to the player that they can still be clicked to see the recipe.

  • Items on the right page now only have the 'search' icon when there are recipes that include the item.

  • Pinned craftables icons are now correct way around.

  • ‘All' ‘Fav’ and 'Help’ tab are now saved between sessions.

Fortified Structures

  • Locks no longer need to be snapped closed for a structure to qualify as fortified.

  • Fully fortified flag to stop zombies spawning in structures is now more lenient.

  • Fully fortified structures no longer spawn loot.

Harvesting

  • Reworked majority of harvest machines

  • Added standardized loot to all junk piles and harvest machines (Wood, Scrap Metal and Cloth)

  • Removed harvest settings with multiple pointless props like empty water bottles and tinder

  • Added small, medium and large variants to appropriate small, medium and large junk piles and props

  • Added harvesting to various new items

  • Added item hovers to various objects like sofas/bushes to make harvesting more clear

  • General Item hover positions improved on harvest machines

  • Optimized various trash pile models

  • Optimized cargo containers with trash piles

  • Beds no longer serve as log out machines but instead are used for harvesting rags

UI

  • Updated the stat descriptions in the inventory.

  • Overall health is now displayed as a progress bar instead of just values.

  • Horde map icon is now clearer and shows direction of horde.

  • Death Icon on the map is now clearer so that it is not confused with horde icon.

  • Updated look of UI used for displaying weapon information and moved UI to bottom right corner.

  • Information in weapon UI now goes slightly red when ammo or condition is low and fully red when at zero.

  • Weapon UI now displays name of the equipped weapon.

  • Same UI is now used for both guns and melee weapons.

  • Added filter shortcut to allow players to quickly improve their most critical stat.

  • Player stats UI now shows when joining game

  • Time UI now displays current hour and is more compact

  • Horde progress UI reworked and moved in with the other stats UI

  • Updated hints to reflect change from ‘firewood' to just 'wood’

  • Removed old safe logoff tips from the loading screen.

  • Added new highlighting system for showing harvest machines.

  • Stamina now syncs more accurately.

  • Small notifications now more compact and updated to match new UI style.

  • Hint notification updated to match new UI style.

  • New UI added for player stats that’s more compact and lines up better with the inventory.

  • Player stats UI now updates in real time for more accurate information.

  • Most critical stat now stays up in the new stats UI to show what needs fixes

  • Reordered stats so they show in a more understandable order.

  • Added highlighting to the current most critical stats.

  • Added filtering of item of items based on the current most critical stat.

  • Overall health is now displayed as a sliding scale which makes it easier to read and understand.

  • Sickness and mental state are now displayed as a string like ‘Anxious' or 'Sick' instead of as a value

  • Updated the hydration icon.

Weapons

  • Guns now perform a melee attack when close to an enemy.

  • Fixed ARG15 scope glass flashing when shooting

  • Added new craftable metal pipe weapon

  • Tweaked settings of APUG sight

  • Tweaked settings of Compact sight

  • Reduced zoom in magnification materials to reduce pixelation in scopes

  • Reduces glass opacity in apug slightly

  • FPS models tweaked for APUG and Compact sight to reduce the black border introduced by the lack of zoom, interior faces are deleted and tweaked model to reduce black border as much as possible.

Locks

  • All locks on doors now unlock when interacting with a door handle (Subject to players access rights on locks)

  • All locks now unlock when opening a a storage container (Subject to access rights)

  • Added smart re-lock system which closes all locks on containers/doors when finishing interaction. (Only lock automatically when unlocked using new auto unlock functionality.)

  • Doors can now be slammed from the handle

Crafting

  • Simplified crafting by removing multiple methods of crafting the same items. Items are instead now crafted using more logical progression.

  • Simplified the naming on several craftable objects.

  • Removed recipes for putting dirty rags into canteens of water.

  • Rags can now be cleaned using just clean water via the crafting.

  • Disabled the sharpening stone recipe for now. You can't get stones so this is just a frustration. (Will be properly reintroduced)

  • Removed Timber drop in favor of common 'Wood' item for simplicity.

  • Renamed tinder to sticks to make it more general and provide more diverse uses.

  • Renamed Firewood to Wood to simplify recipes and make the raw materials in the game more useful.

  • Fully disabled the hatchet to remove the complexity around having multiple tools do the same job.

  • Disabled rag canteens for simplicity.

  • Disabled washing liquid.

  • Rebalance of crafting progression to simplify and improve usage flow.

Environment

  • Fixed clipping metal sheets on dumpster trash pile.

  • Fixed floating bottle under bedside cabinet.

  • Snow and rain no longer enter the police station.

  • Fixed shiny wood material in the comedy club.

  • Fixed various floating design around the world.

  • Fixed various terrains and grass clipping issues around the world.

  • Fixed various structure mesh and texture stretching issues.

Particles

  • Snow particles optimized

  • Fixed particles popping in instantly and improved bright snow particles.

Sounds

  • Added sound effect when health is low to inform of low health

  • Fixed very loud zombie screams in police stations

  • Lowered loud horde zombie ambient sounds

  • Cooking volume lowered to fix loud cooking noises when cooking many items.

  • Chicken volume rebalanced.

  • Armory and cell doors are now affected by the volume sliders.


Thanks for the continued support and continued issue and suggestion reporting :)