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.