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Weekly News Roundup #5

Multiplayer Test, New Weapons, Lore and More

Contents
Introduction
A Note on the Alpha Release Date
Internal Multiplayer Testing
Zombie Work
New Weapons: M14, R8 Revolver & SVD Dragunov
MP5 Animations
Character Menu, Hair & Clothing
(Not) Quests & Lore
Landscaping & Fog
Buildings Collision & LODs
Police 911 Transcript

Welcome to our fifth Weekly News Roundup, in which we report the news surrounding Dead Matter from the past week(s).

A Note on the Alpha Release Date

As mentioned in the Development Vlog #9 Breakdown, the closed alpha release has been pushed back to March 2020. However this is only a rough goal, which will be reevaluated in January of 2020. It might get delayed again, or it might not. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.

Internal Multiplayer Testing

In September, some internal multiplayer tests have taken place with most of the development team and some of the moderators. For this purpose a small tile from the main map was cut out and used (Shown in the image to the left). Network performance and the newly added vehicle features were the focus of these tests. They highlighted some issues that need fixing. In the future, once some of these issues are fixed, we can expect to see some of the multiplayer footage.
Steam tools have been set-up for running dedicated servers. You can either host locally, for yourself and people on your network (LAN), or online.
The VOIP worked great and audio quality was clear.

Zombie Work

Gunschlinger has been working on implementing Sully’s new animations for Zombies. These are idle animations, that Zombies will perform when there is nothing else to do. They will smash their heads into walls or lie down. When a player will approach them they will snap out of it and become active. The Zombies can only see things that are actually in their line of sight, so if you do it right, you should be able to sneak around them.

New Weapons: M14, R8 Revolver & SVD Dragunov

Two new weapons have been finished, the M14 (And several variants), and the Sam & Winston R8 Revolver. The M14 models were made by Adam Ridsdale (aka Rizzler) and textures by Stefan Engdahl. The R8 Revolver was made by Stefan Engdahl. Another new weapon in the works by Stefan is the SVD Dragunov, which we get an untextured sneak peek of.

MP5 Animations

Animation wizard Haxorus has finished the reload animations for the MP5 and its variants.

Character Menu, Hair & Clothing

DogtoothCG added some clothes to both character and zombie models to add more variety. He also finished hair and facial hair and implemented them on the character models.
Programmer Abiscuits has been working on updating the character creation menu to allow for easy testing of Dogtooth's hair and clothing. He has also been working on the steam backend for multiplayer and will implement more vehicle types and work on improving the VOIP in the coming weeks.

(Not) Quests & Lore

Regicidalnut (RegiBless), who also wrote the blog post, has been working on the lore behind Dead Matter and the timeline of events. He has also been working on quest design (Noting that Quests will not be called Quests, but Tasks, Investigations, Assignments). It's mentioned that you can do tasks for the factions and that exploring will be key if you want to learn more about the events that lead to the apocalypse.

Landscaping & Fog

Shirk has been working on implementing fog to the game, complimenting the new sky system. He also had to fix the game's grass, foliage, materials such as asphalt and miscellaneous objects to make them work with the new sky and lighting. As mentioned in Development Vlog #09, the trees and foliage in the game are now changing their color dynamically based on the season.

Buildings Collision & LODs

Shirk also worked on the buildings in the game. Their collision models that were used for testing so far were negatively impacting performance and had to be redone.
Besides that, he started working on LODs (Level Of Detail) for the buildings, a technique that every game is using to render just what is necessary, based on the player's POV and distance to an object, another big step to give the game a performance boost. Taking a close look at the images, you can see that the vertex count is drastically reduced without losing visual fidelity.

Police 911 Transcript

A sneak peek at some of the game's lore has been shared on Twitter in form of a 911 call transcript.
It describes someone calling 911 from a gas station, after refilling his/her car, reporting that he/she was chased by someone, but escaped and locked himself/herself inside his/her car. The someone went on inside the gas station to assault the clerk... [Page 2/2 is missing]

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