Major Update - March (Chainsaw | Controller Support++)

Hello everyone,


We’re moving our 1.15 builds over to default today. This is a big update it includes a number of nice quality of life fixes along with some major features. Controller support has been introduced in preparation for our Steam Deck release (waiting on ability to submit for review). Along with controller support and quality of life improvements, we’re introducing the chainsaw! Below we’ll review some of the features in 1.15. If you could all please test against the changelog below and report any issues via the in game report feature it would help greatly to improve mechanics.


This update will require a server wipe and all private servers should also wipe databases. New features and controller mechanics call for it and, with an update this large, it’s always good to have a fresh start. Sorry for any inconvenience. We do our best to keep these to a minimum.


Steam Deck and Controller Support

The March update introduces full controller support. This is something that has been requested from the community pretty much since we started development. Controller support is being introduced in preparation for our Steam Deck release.


We’ve spent a lot resources developing controller support and implementing Steam Deck support but sadly we’re unable to progress with the Steam Deck Verification itself. The game is completely playable on the deck and running great on it to boot. But you won’t see the the green ‘verified’ tick.


Steam has gone through the trouble of supplying the team with a Steam Deck dev kit which we are grateful for. The Deck is amazing bit of tech and a revolution for handheld gaming for those who enjoy it. That being said, they’ve not allowed us the ability to submit our game for review. It’s not just us, Steam is very ‘backed up’ when it comes to verifying titles for the Steam Deck. They seem to have decided that more popular titles would be the first to get verification and release on the decks store section. It’s a pretty massive blow for a small team like ours. We’ve spent the last month dedicating the majority of our resources to get things properly running on the Deck. To be told that a massive team like Steam is months away from verifying games, seems a bit silly to us to say the least.


Changes we've made in prep for Steam Deck release and controller support:

  • Added controller support using Steam Inputs API

  • Added Controller button glyphs to locations that show key inputs.

  • Acceleration/Braking in vehicles is now has an analog input. Allows for varied force.

  • Added on screen keyboard support.

  • Added custom quality settings for the steam deck.

  • Gyro support when aiming.

  • Steering is now an axis meaning it can take analog input.

  • Controller navigation added to main menus + bumper support for navigating inventory tabs.

  • Inventory, container and machine UI is placed nicely for Deck support.

  • Player movement is now an axis for analog joystick support.

  • Controller binding override so that Steams built in system is used.





Streaming STN to Phone with Controller Support


Car Alarms

Zombies will trigger a car alarm when attacking vehicles + shooting vehicle will trigger the alarm (only when the engine is off). When the car alarm initially triggers it will also work to attract nearby zeds useful as a diversion for a last ditch escape effort perhaps.




Container Forts

We’ll continue to ‘fill in’ our map as we move through development cycles. The 1.15 build will feature small ‘fortress’ like structures spread around the world made of shipping containers. These container forts, as we’re calling them, will be the main POI/area for players to find the newly introduced and very fun chainsaw. The forts will likely be upgraded as we move onto future builds and a few more added.



Container Fort Northwest



Container Fort Northeast



Container Fort Central


Resource and Item Combining

We’ve had an issue lurking with item combining for some time now. To break it down in simple terms, the issue was items would combine on pickup. This behavior was intended and is desirable for things like boxes of nails, screws, ammo, etc. As an example, this system is intended to work as follows: the player has a box of ammo in their inventory with 9/20 rounds; they pick up another box of ammo with 11/20 rounds; the player now has a single full box of ammo 20/20 rounds in their inventory. Perfect! That’s exactly what you would expect to happen.


The problem starts with items like fuel cans and actual guns! As an example, you have a revolver in your inventory with 3/6 rounds. You find another identical revolver with 3/6 rounds and pick it up. You would expect to have two separate revolvers. However, the system doesn’t currently function like that. What would happen is, the system would take the ammo from the weapon that was picked up in the world and fill the inventory weapon then discard the second revolver. This is not ideal at all. James has sunk time into fixing this issue and you shouldn’t face anything like it after 1.15.


Chainsaw

Oh boy, this thing is a game changer when it comes to gathering wood for fortifications and well shredding zombies. The chainsaw makes quick work of both trees, fortifications and zombies! It’s a good deal of fun and we’ll improve on the feature as we move along in development.




https://i.imgur.com/S1rgc5j.gif


Inventory Improvements

We’re getting around to cleaning up some inventory issues and one the biggest reported issues is a fix for the ‘Move All’ and ‘Take All’ problems. Mainly the fact that under some circumstances the feature simply didn’t work. Moving items from inventory to machines as an example is now fixed. Along with these fixes optimizations allow for the move to be instant.


  • Optimization to item hovers.

  • Move all and take all form containers/machines now working fully.

  • Move all and take all from both machines and containers is now instant.

  • Sorting the inventory is now instant.



Instant Take All



Move All | Take All working on machines


Crafting Improvements

With the upcoming focus on fortifications we’ve made some small largely requested changes to crafting recipes in the game. The player is now able to craft a hammer and an axe with simple materials like scrap metal and wood. We’ve removed the handle crafting and head crafting along with those drops. This should make felling trees, crafting planks and fortifying structures more accessible to the player early in the game.


We have also adjusted the initial crafting window to include anything that can be crafted with your current inventory right at the top of the list. After that you'll see all craftables again in alphabetical order. This was a much requested feature from the community and you’ll see it in 1.15.



Improved Crafting Layout


Fortification Improvements

Currently fortification strength isn’t something that stands out when looking at say a plank on a window. So little does it stand out that we’ve watched many of you seemingly not even know you could further fortification strengths. Placing a fortification for the first time simply applies it to the window, it doesn’t apply it at full strength. The new system adds a little color to the mix, allowing the player to easily see just how strong the placed fortification is. We’ve also spent some time fixing issues with damaging fortifications. You can see examples of the color change on strength readout and the working fortification damage below.


We will be expanding on fortification ideas in the coming builds so if you have any feel free to share. We plan on expanding on traps also with coming improvements to structure electrical systems it should make things very interesting.



Fortification Strength


Patch Notes - Alpha 1.15


HOTFIX 1.15.3


  • Fixed issue which allowed tree stems to be chopped from the furthest point first.

  • Placement mode now shows controller glyphs

  • Pickup up logs now give wood. This saves one crafting step and confusion.

  • Fixed issue where the inventory would disappear for a moment when crafting.

  • Non spawnable items no longer incorrect spawn.

  • Guide alterations to bring fortifying earlier in the game loop.

  • Controller input UI now shows on the menu screen.

  • It's now possible to rotate items in placement mode when using a controller.

  • Controller glyphs are now shown in the quick guide.

  • Chainsaws now spawn at container forts.

  • Container fort locations now show on the map.

Chainsaw

  • Chainsaw weapon added!!!


Steam Deck / Controller Support

  • Added controller support using Steam Inputs API

  • Added Controller button glyphs to locations that show key inputs.

  • Acceleration/Braking in vehicles is now has an analog input. Allows for varied force.

  • Added on screen keyboard support.

  • Added custom quality settings for the steam deck.

  • Gyro support when aiming.

  • Steering is now an axis meaning it can take analog input.

  • Controller navigation added to main menus + bumper support for navigating inventory tabs.

  • Inventory, container and machine UI is placed nicely for Deck support.

  • Player movement is now an axis for analog joystick support.

  • Controller binding override so that Steams built in system is used.


Vehicles

  • 'S' now properly functions as a brake input.

  • Vehicles can now be started with continuous input through the accelerator. Instead of lifting and pressing for each attempt.

Steam

  • Controller glyph support so that correct inputs are shown in game.

  • Initial implementation for Steam Controller Input support.

  • SteamSDK updated


Car Alarms

  • Zombies will trigger a car alarm when attacking vehicle while the engine is off.

  • Shooting a vehicle will trigger a car alarm while the engine is off.

  • NOTE: Car alarms not settable by players at this time (Something we'll add in the future)

Optimisations

  • Fix for small lag spike when shooting, hitting zombies or starting a fire.

  • Optimisations to loaded object amounts to improve load times and general performance.

  • Optimisations to item hovers.

  • Optimisations to cabin doors.

  • Small optimization for rendering of reflections

  • Terrain rendering optimized slightly

  • General reduction of shadow casters to improve performance

Quality of Life (QoL)

  • Items are no longer incorrectly combined when picking up.

  • Interact hold time slightly reduced.

  • It’s not possible to exit a vehicle by holding interact key while not looking at the exit point.

  • It’s now possible to initiate hold functionality with the interact key pressed before looking at the interactable.

  • Interact press action is now triggered when pressing Interact during the whole hold press sequence. This should limit the amount of frustrating press/hold actions.

  • Fixed players not being able to damage fortifications with a hammer by right clicking

  • Sorting the inventory is now instant

  • Move all and take all form containers/machines now working fully.

  • Move all and take all from both machines and containers is now instant.

  • Shooting holes added to cabin doors

  • Cabin doors optimized

  • Camera height tweaked for pickup trucks to make it easier to see out.

  • Fix for harvesting AI not working when killed with a vehicle.

  • Fix for rag dolls sometimes disappearing towards the edge of the screen

  • Quick connect function now only tries to connect to servers of the same version.


Tree Chopping


  • Fixed issue where last logs would take a while to show up when chopping up a tree stem.

  • Fix for not being able to chop down a tree sometimes even though you have the right tool selected.

  • Fix for extra logs being incorrectly chopped while cutting tree stem.


VFX

  • Wood chopping particles improved


Crafting

  • Hammer now craftable.

  • Axe now craftable.

Animation

  • Fix for camera animations being too intense in a lot of scenarios causing difficulties with fortifying, melee and tree chopping

  • Fix for camera shake not always working properly

  • Avoidance now cancels idle and inspect animations



UI


  • Text in item hovers now matches size of text to prevent clipping in different languages

  • Item hover fonts improved

  • Quick play button is now slightly wider, 'New' label now fits and title now reads 'Quick Play' instead of 'Quick play'

  • Craftables that you can currently craft are now displayed at the top of the list.

  • Ammo is now shown in the weapons category.

  • Q and E to switch between fortifications now disabled while chat is open

  • Added red and amber colors to UI on fortifications indicating current strength

  • Added ping animation to house symbol when opening map

  • Added animation when placing map pin

  • Increased brightness of harvest machine hover outline during the night

Environment

  • Added container fort to northeast

  • Added container fort to southeast

  • Added container fort to northwest

  • Added container fort to southeast

  • Added central container fort

  • Fixed grass detail on terrain 32

  • Added chainsaw spawners to container forts

  • Added more scrap harvest machines to the entire world

  • Added scrap harvest machines to farm equipment

  • Added scrap harvest machines to magazine rack

  • Removed logout machines from camp beds.

Drops

  • Disabled matches since they are not used.

Localization

  • Item hovers are now localized

  • Updated Crowd in community translations 2nd March 2022

  • Default language now set to English. Fixes issues with the inventory breaking when launching with an unsupported language.