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Development Vlog #9 Breakdown

Weapons, Seasons, Zombies, Animations and More

Contents
Introduction
Alpha Release Delayed
Underground Mining Complex
Flamethrower Attachment for the C7
Working Elevators
Vehicle Improvements
Sky System Overhaul
Improved Trees
Seasonal Changes
Vaulting/Climbing
New Animals and Animal AI Improvements
Zombie Improvements
New Zombie Animations
New and Overhauled Weapons
New Global Illumination System
Meta Game Improvements
MongoDB
Third Person Animations (Leaning and Peeking)
New Official Dead Matter Website

A breakdown of Development Vlog #9, posted on September 11th, 2019.

Author Note: This post was made during the Dead Matter development and some of the information provided may be outdated at the time of reading. Some of the images in this post are screenshots from a video, we apologize for the blurriness and low quality.

Alpha Release Delayed

Let's get this out of the way first, when will Dead Matter come out?
The closed alpha release has been delayed (again), with the new goal being March 2020. So quite a ways off. And although this will leave some people disappointed, pushing back the alpha release is better for everyone in the end. Let's remind ourselves that Dead Matter is a crowdfunded game, made by a small group of indie developers. Time and resources are limited.
Delivering a solid game from the start is vital for its success, the first impression can make or break a game, especially on the indie market, and especially in the - somewhat oversaturated - zombie survival genre.
The statement given on the delay reads as follows:
Recently we’ve reviewed the state of the closed alpha and decided that it is not up to the standards we want in order to go into testing to our backers. In an industry where first impressions can make or break an early access title, especially in the zombie survival genre, we have to deliver the best game we can for that first impression.
Keeping this in mind, we have decided that shifting the closed alpha launch to March 2020. We refuse to rush out Dead Matter to closed alpha or early access to hit a premature deadline when the game obviously needs more time in development.
In order to get the valuable feedback we need from partners and backers during the closed alpha, we need to be able to deliver an actual game. Feedback on what amounts to a glorified tech demo with little substance or gameplay loops would not be useful. Beyond testing, we want the alpha to be an enjoyable experience for our backers.
Playdeadmatter.com

Underground Mining Complex

Nomad has been working on a „gigantic” underground mining complex. It is a dark, scary place, with coal loosely scattered across. This mine and others like it, will be extremely dark places, impossible to explore without a light source, which, in turn, will give your position away to others.
The mines will have subtle ways of helping you navigate them, such as markings and signs. There will be pipes you'll be able to climb into, and crawl through, as well as working elevators.

Flamethrower Attachment for the C7

Also created by Nomad, we got this flamethrower attachment for the C7 service rifle. More fire based weapons are said to follow.

Working Elevators

New programmer Abiscuits has been working on breathing new life into some of the old elements in the game, such as implementing working elevators.
Some of these elevators might need to be powered up by the player, and in some places they might the only way up, where the stairwell is blocked...

Vehicle Improvements

Besides the working elevators, Abiscuits has been working on the vehicles in the game; sound design, physics and interaction with the vehicles have been much improved. Players can also shoot out of vehicles now.
Vehicles can be refilled and tires can be changed. Vehicles will require batteries, spark plugs, tires and oil to be operated.
Also shown in the Vlog where spike straps, which will be something to watch out for, if you don't want your tires to pop...

Sky System Overhaul

Shirk and lead developer Nik Z have completely overhauled the sky system from scratch, technically and visually it has much improved. It also opened the door for weather systems, lunar phases having an effect on the night lighting conditions, and more...

Improved Trees

Based on some feedback from the community, Shirk has also made some changes to some of the trees in the game, making them look better.

Seasonal Changes

Shirk has also been working on the environmental changes that come with seasons. Spring and summer will be green, while autumn will be dominated by browns and yellows. Seasons will slowly fade into each other, early autumn, for example, will still have some greens, slowly changing into browns and yellows in the later parts of autumn.

Vaulting/Climbing

Gunschlinger has continued his work on implementing vaulting/climbing into the game. You can climb onto surfaces as well as into narrow pathways, such as pipes. Smaller obstacles can be vaulted over.

New Animals and Animal AI Improvements

More from Gunschlinger are new animals and their AI. Shown are pigs, a fox and deer in action. Predators will now hunt other animals, who will try to flee.

Zombie Improvements

Zombies have received many improvements, small and big. Animations, AI, movement, collision, hitboxes and more...
A horde system has been created, allowing more control over the zombies and big groups of them hunting players.
In preparation for more fire based weapons to come, the zombies can now be lit of fire and will slowly burn to death.

New Zombie Animations

The Zombies have received some new idle animations to make them more interesting. Besides that, the Zombies can now climb onto surfaces and over small obstacles, making escaping from them a much bigger challenge...

New and Overhauled Weapons

A lot of work has been done on the weaponry. Some weapons are brand new, some were recreated and some have received major improvements:
Mossberg 500 (And several variants)
Ruger 10/22 (And several variants)
Maxim 9
R8 Revolver
AS Val (Animations added)
SVT-40 (Animations added)
AK74-M (Replaces AK 74)
MP-5 (And several variants)
C7 & C8 Service Rifle (Updated Materials)

New Global Illumination System

A new global, dynamic illumination system has been added to the game, making it look more realistic by mimicking light bouncing off surfaces and onto objects.

Meta Game Improvements

Under the hood, Dead Matter received some changes to the meta game, it is now possible to track the flow of any given resource, such as electricity. Optimizations to the networking have been made, resulting in 80% less traffic for interactable objects.

MongoDB

Looking further under hood, we get to meet Dead Matter's saving system: MongoDB, a capable database which will be used to store all the required data for the persistent Gameworld. Characters can now be shared across servers, allowing for private hive kind environments.

Third Person Animations (Leaning and Peeking)

At the end of the Vlog we get to see some of the third person player character animations: Leaning and peeking over cover.

New Official Dead Matter Website

The official Dead Matter website, playdeadmatter.com, has received a facelift, it is now darker than before, tinted in black and red. It is also less cluttered now and more to the point. The official blog will now be more active, providing more frequent updates on the game's progress between the development Vlogs.

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