Well 8.7 is under testing. We upgraded to NGUI 3 and that turned out to be a beast instead of an easy job. It supposedly will give us better performance, nice sharp small fonts and some other stuff. There is more than that coming but I won’t steal anyone’s thunder and spoil the release notes. I’d expect it by the weekend but as with all releases, it’s done when it’s ready.
What I do want to talk about are some stuff coming for A9. We are working hard on integrating the new mocap animations which isn’t just a replacement of the old animations, but also new code is going in to support everything we want to do. For example we now have full limb collision so arms, legs, torso and head are all unique hit zones where before we just had head and torso collision, and the exciting thing about this is we have specific impact animations based on exactly where the zombie was hit. So if you shoot a zombie in the leg he might stumble as he runs at you. We have different pain animations for if the zombie is standing, walking and running too so it’s pretty complex but the results are amazing. There is a lot more to it than this, that is just the pain stuff. We have the same depth in the death animations, and they will also ragdoll in conjunction with their death animations.
Another feature we’re doing for A9 is zombie gore blocks. Basically when a zombie dies his corpse will degrade into a pile of meat. Meat biodegrades to bones and bones into dirt. The interesting part here is if a zombie dies near or on top of another zombie, it becomes a gore mesh, which can become pretty big if you don’t clean it up. What happens is zombies can step on each others corpses to get over walls and on your roof, etc. It is a total game changer and players will need to reinvent their defenses all over to stop the zombies. I’m really excited about this feature because I love making the game feel new again and this is a feature people will either love or hate I’d guess. The good news is as long as the zeds don’t biodgrade to dirt they clean up easily. A hit or two with a shovel or axe will gib them out of your way.
This gore block tech also paves the way for a feature I’ve been talking about on the forums for ages. Sometime after A9 we want to take the same tech and when you slaugher an animal for the meat it will leave a rib cage or carcass behind. That carcass will smell of blood for miles and be the main cause for a horde to come your way. So players who are slaughtering a deer had better clean up the corpse or they will be visited soon :) It’s emergent game play like this that I love to see. Cause and effect is a cool thing.