Saturday, May 30, 2020

Abandoned Evacuation Passage - TWZ v0.80

It's been a long time since I showcased any new content, but here I am at it again showing you a little bit of an underground section that has been temporary used as an evacuation passage due to the zombie outbreak. The air is toxic there, but it won't kill you immediately... it would be wise to use a gasmask there.

So since I don't want to spoil everything about the map. I think I might showcase some custom interaction and gameplay from TWZ... we will see :)
Stay healthy and goodbye!

Sunday, May 3, 2020

The return of the Original maps AKA Origin maps

The two maps that got split into two parts are Barlowesquare and Montclair. To tell you the truth I don't like the new changes at all...

Instead of the dynamic spawns, different escape routes and objectives in Barlowesquare it got butchered into a linear one with only one escape route. The endless zombie spawn at the bank is just annoying and one of the most thing I hate in any game.

Same goes to Montclair where the dev just put a bunch of ammo at the end of the first part which breaks the immersion since Contagion is all about being realistic and scavenging stuff to survive.

Luckily I got permission to use the original maps so I modified them to a separate entity and replaced the bodybags model with an improved version! It has been already released for quite a while ago... I just didn't have the time to announce it here so sry about that :S

If you get crashes by loading one of the origin maps I would urge you to change your shader settings to middle or lower and try it again. I hope you enjoy the changes :)

Saturday, May 2, 2020

TWZ & Contagion Updates II - Maps

Hi, I don't really have done much for the last few weeks because of the current situation with Covid-19. I hope you guys are ok out there.

What I want to talk about today are the map changes on certain maps in this post.
Escape maps like Barlowesquare or Montclair has been split into two maps to fix a memory issue (crash issues while loading a big map) since a few updates ago.
This feature which also saves the weapons that you carry to the next part of the map is kinda neat for TWZ since my maps are already split in two, but they have they own issues:

- When you reach at the end of the map you will have to wait for the other survivors in order to move to the next map which
doesn't work well with public servers... you might have to wait for quite a while in this case.

- It doesn't work well on custom servers with plugins from SourceMod cause the server might prioritize
the map circle instead if you finish the first part of the map. So, it might load a completely different map... 

That's why I might not even include it into TWZ or if possible I make it optional so that you can switch it via a button between a normal escape trigger or this new feature.

If those issues are fixed I will definitely add them ingame though.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Status Report 2020 - TWZ & Contagion Updates

Well, hello survivors or whoever is reading this! As you may know the Contagion updates has a significant impact on TWZ. I'm still working on the old hammer editor and switching between builds. A lot of new entities for hammer and Vscript commands has been added to Contagion which I still have to try it out myself, but my priority atm is to finish the first part with only the main quest ASAP.

There has been a lot going IRL which requires my attention first so my spare time is much more limited. I have been spending like 8 hours a week for TWZ if possible which is an incredible small amount if I compare it with the spare time I had before while working on HotZ. This is the reality atm so don't expect too much from TWZ :P

I decided to join the Contagion Playtester group so I can get the newest information about the next update ASAP while also giving out feedback if necessary. It doesn't always goes the way how I want it which I want to tackle on in this blog post and they are the following changes:

- Weapons that are doing slash dmg are much more reliable than blunt weapons now for whatever reason. You don't have to aim exactly for the head with any sharp weapons so the size of the weapon doesn't really matter anymore which means that the knife is the way to go since it does fast and reliable attacks. Because of this changes I will add less sharp weapons into TWZ on harder difficulties to keep the balance in check.

- 2 new melee weapons has been added which is guitar and banjor which doesn't work well in Contagion IMO since they are musical instruments which takes away the seriousness of the game and the second problem is that those weapons were assets for the official maps and they are still being used as static models which you can't pick up... they are just lazy leftovers and breaks the immersion of the game. Those 2 weapons is just a big turn off to me so I won't add them into my maps.


- A new nightmare difficulty has been added. It is already hard enough to find enough players and veteran players are even more rare so the nightmare difficulty will just turn off casual online players. We have already enough difficulties for Contagion and this one is just unnecessary... so I won't do any special treatment for this difficulty, it will just get the same treatment (obj/ammo/weapon wise) as extreme difficulty.

Ok, that's it for now. Cheers!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Highschool of the Zed [Escape Map] v2.68 Hotfix!

- Fixed missing textures
- Fixed missing ambient sound files errors
- Custom sound has been re-added
- Fixed messed up NPC Speeches
- Modfied sound to 3D including different settings

Only the hotz.vpk and ccl_custom_content_pack_ii are required to be updated

Highschool of the Zed

Friday, January 3, 2020

Contagion updates breaks HotZ and my time to work on TWZ

Oh yes, this will be a rant post! What a great new year :) My plan to work on TWZ on my holidays are completely destroyed by the heavy update changes from Contagion. They manage to get JonnyBoy0719 who fixed their abandoned mod Zombie Panic:Source on their Team to fix Contagion. The good thing is that I worked with him on Braindbread II and that updates are coming, but the updates are as always... doesn't consider the modding section...

Also those updates are focused heavely on coding. It seems that JonnyBoy0719 wants a heavy overhaul on all sections which in return affects the mods in the workshop. So, what are those problems you ask? Let me list them up:

Wwise Sound System Update
He updated the Wwise Sound System to a newer version to fix a memory leakage, resulting in missing ambient sound files for all the custom maps out there because the directory structure has been changed! This update rendered custom sounds outdated. You can't hear any custom sounds on HotZ anymore. I don't have the original soundfiles anymore nor the project for Wwise. I had to rip out the sound files (thx to Reborn's help) from the encrypted bnk file and reconstruct the whole soundlist events plus setting each individual sounds with the correct 3D settings. This hotfix has cost me to 2 fulltime days which I could use it on TWZ.

Missing textures
I got a report from someone on my friendlist that there are some missing textures appearing in HotZ... Those where old textures from the old models they didn't get rid of, but it seems they have already got rid of them, but didn't shipped the update out since JonnyBoy0719 didn't know about it. This also required a hotfix that wasted me the whole day.

Broken Hammer Editor
So this is the worst part. Those updates messed up hammer editor pretty bad... it didn't even worked on the first update. I'm forced to give feedback to JonnyBoy0719 since I have to use the hammer editor to work on my project. This also cost time and it's annoying to encounter all those bugs that stops me from working on TWZ! The main problem atm moment is that I have problems at clicking stuff. The cursor doesn't pick the things I want. Also another problem is that I can't open Hammer Editor and Contagion at the same time which slows down my workflow! So for now I decided to do a workaround... I have to install the old build somehow and try to seperate it from this current broken build until things are on better places.

Lack of Playtesters
I only listed the bugs I currently facing while working on the project, but there are many more bugs in general when you play the game. This can be avoided if they had internally tested it out, but it isn't the case here so I assume that there is a lack of playtesters or the priority is so low that JonnyBoy0719 has to rely on feedbacks from the community... yeah, there might be some people on the their discord which I never visited but I bet there ain't many there and the forum is still not very active so he doesn't get enough feedback to detect all the bugs and each update might create more bugs...

So overall my holiday is almost over and I haven't done much for TWZ thanks to those... let's say "new features"! Yes, I'm pretty pissed atm. It was a mistake to work on TWZ. I should have gone as fast as I could when I was done with HotZ and invest my time on something more meaningful, but this is the reality now... :(

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Welcome to Mytrak - TWZ v0.75

Hi folks! Finally got this one done. It's the section that connects to the second map. I wanted to create a factory-like building and there it is! The final details has been added... Welcome to Mytrak or what is left of it :) I created another batch of custom corpses, but this time focusing on the riot zombie model. They look like soldiers when I removed that glass protection thingy on the helmet which looks pretty nice! I hope you enjoyed this one. I like it!

I have been worked on this section for quite a while ago and now I added the final details. What I'm actually working on is an additional smaller section. It looks like a secret underground passage... with very narrow dark corridors. People with claustrophobia or other anxiety conditions shouldn't go in there :P

Sunday, May 13, 2018

TWZ is too big!? Solution & Decisions

Hello world! I overdid it again... I have been working on two seperated map files which I wanted to connect them together after completion because my old pc was incredible slow! The problem I'm facing now after this fusion is that the map is incredible big and very unstable. I manage to compile it, but couldn't generate cubemaps which adds reflections to the world! I have been trying various optimizations, but it seems that source engine can't handle it at all!

The walk from start of the map to the end takes very long which is pretty awesome and the FPS count is good, but if you noclip out of the map it will crash immediatly. It is already a miracle that I can walk in such a big detailed map! I haven't even added any gameplay elements yet and it behaves already like a bomb that is gonna explode in any minute...that's not good, lol. The map is double as wide as HotZ! I show you some comparison from the top viewpoint of the level editor:

My solution is to make two maps instead of one. YES! Freaking two maps! Even more work for me yay!...but it's the most reasonable solution imo because:
- Reducing the game length to a reasonable size for a smooth experience. // It would take 2 hours or more for ONE SESSION which is crazy and tiresome for one map!
- More room for improvements and new contents. // Who don't love more contents!
- Each map has 2 escape routes! // 1 escape route would be too boring :P
- More events.

The BIG downsides are:
- Redesigning my game design for two maps // The current stories/objectives for the two escape routes was designed for one map!
- Requires more WORK! :(

So, for now I'm focusing on completing one map first and after it is released and fully polished I will continue to work on my second map! Wish me luck!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Custom Dead Bodies from unused Contagion content

Hi all! I have already rigged some stuff before, but it was a quick and dirty solution without any knowledge of why and how. Now that I have learned it from ground up I started to rig those unused models and did some dead poses! Some poses suggestions from Patriot and Reborn are in there too. The hardest one was the zombie with the busted head, but it is also my favourite one :) Here is my batch of dead bodies, enjoy:

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Lens Dirt effect improvements

Hello everybody! I hope ya all enjoy the long weekend! Thanks to Prear's Lens Dirt addon I now know how to modify this Lens Dirt effect. The problem with this effect is that it will be partial visible when you look on bright objects or shine your flashlight on bright colors and if you shine it on a white wall you will get pretty much blinded by this effect. So instead of removing it completely I prefer to modify it to a reasonable amount because it does looks nice at some scenery and here is the result:

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Abandoned House - Inside - TWZ v0.72 & Adding more details

Good day lads! My last sneak peek was about an abandoned house, but how does it looks inside? Is it dark there? Yes it's dark, but not totally dark! Imo letting an area completely dark is just a lazy level design. I love to play a lot with the lighting effects to make the scene more interesting and realistic. I totally forgot to add details inside the house when I started to optimize, but now it's finally complete: