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Zombie Pandemic Development Blog

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Mar 28

Written by: admin
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 2:42 PM 

A new version of the game is now live and includes a new GUI among several other major changes.

We have received a lot of feedback about the old user interface and have thus decided to make an updated and improved version based on this feedback. The style is of course always a subjective matter but we have tried to focus on a new much lighter style which makes the texts more readable.

We have also focused on an easier access in the new menu and use of less space in the top in order to reduce the scrolling. We have also decided to integrate the system info messages in the top GUI rather than the old floating window.

Training:

Other changes include that training is now available from anywhere at anytime. This means you no longer have to be at a physical training facility while training. In other words you can move around and explore, fight or scavenge etc. while training and thus also wont need to train. More changes will be coming soon. 

Crafting:

You are now able to craft items from anywhere. Over the next updates we will add level requirements for certain items meaning that your technical skill will be important in terms of which items you can create and a "recipe list" will be included to show the combinations available. 

Unlocks:

In the charactersheet we have added an unlock popup. The list of unlocks shows you what you have already unlocked and what you will unlock at later levels. 

Features of the game will unlock at certain levels to make the game simpler and less daunting for beginners. 

Content:

We have also added 3 new game events and 3 new cutscene videos and expect to have several new events available soon.


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26 comment(s) so far...

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

I apologize that this'll sound so harsh and rant-like but:
What the Hell did you do with the UI...?!

Seriously, ever heard the phrase "Don't fix what is not broken"? I don't know what those other people complained about so much to bring an entire interface overhaul, but I will argue that this was not what they had in mind - I definitely didn't...

The top may be a few inches smaller now however, compare to the old nicely pictured one, this one is just plain ugly. Also the fact that you integrated the system info messages in there annoys me to no avail because I never used it that much to begin with, and now I can't even get rid of it. The "Clans" and "Players" buttons which I frequently press to check up on friends and team mates have been stacked in a drop down menu, while you've added an "inventory" button which is completely needless considering the inventory was easily opened by pressing the portrait in the upper-left.

As a matter of fact, the old portrait look was also better. At least the older one was actually a nice looking photo suitable to be carried in a wallet, background and all. This new portrait makes me feel like it was taken for a prisoner line-up... The new "white paper" texture used for the window backgrounds also makes everything feel like some sort of boring document, less so a RP game, and by all odds doesn't bring the post-apocalyptic feel that that aged yellowish paper had. So far the only good thing about the new GUI is that small mini-bar that appears at the top if you scroll down - the rest is a disaster.

I haven't tried how this "new" training system works but, from the sound of it, if one can now, for example, do technical training anywhere, with no workshop tools and equipment, out in the dead street, then we've obviously given up on making the game more realistic...

By AlexVSharp on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 4:56 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

@AlexVSharp:

I don't know if you have an account on the test server (where the UI was being tweeked for a few weeks before having been introduced to the "Live" server) but speaking from my personal experience (having accounts on both servers) the UI had come a long way and is much sleeker now.

Are the "info messages" really that annoying? There is an abundance of other information that should keep you busy with your playing-time; though I do agree that a means to toggle the info-messages with something else (possibly mailbox messages, or even turning it off) would be worthwhile to consider by the devs.

I also agree with how contradictory having the "light background" is, compared to the original UI. And there are certainly additional tweeks that could be done, but what could seem "pretty" for you or me, might not be agreeable with other players; it's what the feedback button is for, right? Believe me, the devs in this game are a lot more responsive and considerate that some other games.

About the new training system, you can't really just train "anywhere" (imagine doing some cardio while scavenging, or reading a book while fighting zeds, lol); it's just you still need to physically BE in a training facility to START the training -- THEN you can walk around and do whatever until the training ends, you can't re-start or switch training if you're not actually in a location with facilities. There's no real loss in playing-time or SP while "in training", in fact you gain the benefit (unrealistic or not) of still training while being free to do actions away from the location.

Give the new update some time to settle in. I'm personally thankful for whatever updates that do come our way; it just shows that the devs really care about the game and aren't just making a one-shot product (as so many other MMO's), and then sit back waiting for players to start bringing money in for them through microtransactions.

By Angel Defender on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:24 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Beside it being uglier, I can't work it.

I was training (smarts) when this update activated and I can't find a button to cancel training. I also can't leave, so 'training everywhere' seems like BS to me.
I still have 5 more hours of training time. After 5 hours it's way past midnight here, I have to work tomorrow, so I won't be able to play for at least 24 hours...
I had agreements with my clanmembers I can't fullfill now.
For one, I am realy NOT amused with this update.

Yes, it is less realistic. Yes, it is uglier.

And e.g. there are now also achievements like: do all the missions in the hospital. I just finished all of them!
Now what? I have to do them all over again? Or is it just impossible to ever get that achievement? In that case there are a lot of achievements I will never get.
Also a lot of achievements every newbie can get in the next 10 minutes, but I can't because I can't stop training...
The game is already quite slow, because of the quick usage of SP and the slow rebuilt of SP. If it is now even made impossible to play for several hours, I am quite done with this game...

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:25 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Beside it being uglier, I can't work it.

I was training (smarts) when this update activated and I can't find a button to cancel training. I also can't leave, so 'training everywhere' seems like BS to me.
I still have 5 more hours of training time. After 5 hours it's way past midnight here, I have to work tomorrow, so I won't be able to play for at least 24 hours...
I had agreements with my clanmembers I can't fullfill now.
For one, I am realy NOT amused with this update.

Yes, it is less realistic. Yes, it is uglier.

And e.g. there are now also achievements like: do all the missions in the hospital. I just finished all of them!
Now what? I have to do them all over again? Or is it just impossible to ever get that achievement? In that case there are a lot of achievements I will never get.
Also a lot of achievements every newbie can get in the next 10 minutes, but I can't because I can't stop training...
The game is already quite slow, because of the quick usage of SP and the slow rebuilt of SP. If it is now even made impossible to play for several hours, I am quite done with this game...

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:29 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Oops, I don't know why that appeared twice.

And I want to appologize is I sounded rude. I didn't mean it. I was a little on edge.
It still is a great game and I am glad people do there best to keep it running!

Sorry

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:31 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Hmm. This new interface is awful. The old interface was in style of zombie outbreak, and its dark colours matched to the game. Now we have a lot of red lines and bright fields.
Imho this is worst. Old interface menu was much better.

By Stenier on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:34 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

I can not see where is training timer. If i click on the "Start training" button, it shows me a message "you have finished your training 00;00;10(or less)".
And it is bad that i can not view "INFO" window if i scroll the page down. Like if i healed my clan mate, i can not see what have i done. The old INFO window was awesome, now even stopped to detect it. I think this interface ruined the game.
Can you do an interrogation. So we (players) can choose which interface is better?

By Stenier on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:46 PM

Training

Why is training now possible everywhere? I'm just curious what the in-game rationale was for that. So I don't actually have to be the shooting range to practice marksmanship, I just have to drop by - and what? - check out a book?

By Rhyyss on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:55 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

No, still impossible to play for me.
Thanks guys...
And still no answer on what to do with the achievements...
If you start an update, please make sure you have people to answer questions afterwards!

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 7:58 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

No, still impossible to play for me.
Thanks guys...
And still no answer on what to do with the achievements...
If you start an update, please make sure you have people to answer questions afterwards!

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:22 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Ok, I am finally able to move.
I am still training, according to the window in top. Little odd.
But now I am in a shop, I realy needed some ammo, and while being in a shop it is impossible to see your Encumburance. You have to go to the stats of your profile to see the exact number.
When there is room for a bar for hunger, why should you put Encumburance, which is way more relevant in a lot of situations, but somewhere all the way back?
Even with looting, I like to see what weight I can carry.

The argument of less having to scroll does not fly for this one. You first have to click your profile, then scroll and look in a list of numbers how much your Enc is...
Ok, there is a yellow bar, but I prefer a number!

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 8:46 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Now I can't see the weapon I am using, nor the enemy I am fighting...

I did get the achievements I already accomplished

By chinasky on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:11 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Hello,

Will we get the achievements we have already made when the update got online?

I should get (for example) the "kill 10 enemies", or "kill 666 enemies", o some level achievements. Will players get those kind of achievements?

Thanks, and happy scavenging and zombie hunting!

By vitoro on   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:06 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

I'm with every body the new look well sorry to say sucks!
Revert to the old format just make it wider or add a choice for wide screen.
I play from a wide screen Laptop and would to spread it out.

By Swat72 on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:01 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Posted this on the forum, reposting here:
"What's with the white screen backgrounds? Nothing says world full of corpses like nice clean white. They're annoying. [Edit:same with the clean red tooltip backgrounds.]

Ditto the "Stop 'n' Go" training comments. Seriously how can you be training at a gym or firing range and at the same time be wandering around the city." It's a joke. What's next, changing guns so they don't use ammo.

Rather than just make the nice looking menu buttons smaller they get ditched entirely and the button/toggle for the music page is gone despite there being plenty of room for it on the header or a link in one of the fancy new drop-down menu boxes.

The "Inventory" menu button is redundant, you could and can just click your photo (which itself used to look better). Plus the inventory screen is a more logical place to find the "Craft" button/option, otherwise why isn't it on the right-hand side of the screen like Loot, Heal and the rest. ( And no do get rid of those)

Seriously though do something about the white backgrounds...like change them back.

By Richard Carson on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:18 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

That should've read ( And no don't get rid of those)

By Richard Carson on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 12:21 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

I agree with most of the sentiments expressed: the new interface stinks. It is less visually appealing and more awkward to navigate.

Also, why change the training system? I thought that was an appealing aspect of the game - having to decide how to manage the limited game stamina and real world time available to you for maximum benefit.

There are a few pluses - I like the barricade and crafting icon that appears in each item picture and I like that some items can now be crafted in the field.

The biggest drawback to the new changes, IMO, is that they minimize the value of safehouses. If you can craft in the field and train while you scavenge, there is less rationale to building and upgrading safehouses. I think that to balance these changes, more needs to be available at safehouses - faster training (next skill point in 8 hours instead of 10) and more complex craftable items that require a workshop (making armor, bullets, etc).

Hopefully, things will improve in the next update.

By Catuzzi on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 1:59 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

It is that you were working on? Sorry guys, it hurts my eyes, and there is a lot of space on the corners, why wont you fill them with something useluf?
The game now is less brutal and dark for the zombie apocalypse. I cant even see dead ppl on my screen anywhere, but in the "Enemies" window.
Please return your old interface and system. I like only achievements, but i killed 300 zeds, and got achievement only for 100.
This interface is the reason why i'm not playing on the Test Server

By Stenier on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 7:26 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

After this update I've to register and post my feeling about it - mainly about training.

What I like about this:
- Lvl, HP and SP bars - they are more clear and visible, it is ok
- The position of character's avatar is ok
- The small icons in items miniatures describing the type of item usage is helpfull

Cons:
- New training system! In my opinion this is misunderstanding! The game is a survival horror type and you can and one time train, walk and fight?! Please... Before that I've to plan, to save SP point to get at right time to training facility. To decide - train or scavenge. Now it is too easy - it RPG and should be realistic.
- The white paper background is to light and clean for me - it should be dirty as the zombie world

As someone mentioned before the Safe Houses are now more important - you can train almost everywhere and every time and craft items everywhere too.

Please, make this game more survival, harder - not just next too easy production.

By ThePX on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:54 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Sorry, I've made an mistake about safe houses - it should be of course "less important" :)

By ThePX on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:57 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Firstly what a great game I really enjoy playing. Although I have to admit that I'm not to sure about the new layout. They are a couple of aspects that I like, the first being the stat bars for health, Hunger etc. are as ThePX mentioned they are clear'er and also the new system for combining items is great. but I feel rest of the layout has lost a lot of the games ambiance as I feel it looks a bit to shiny and clean which you wouldn't expect in a world over run with the rotting corpse's of the undead roaming the streets.

Anyway keep up the good work guys

By Bailey81 on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 11:46 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

test

By max singer on   Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:17 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

what the hell did you guys do to this thing?!?!?! i can't see any of the vital information when i'm fighting something/someone!

By samurai viking on   Friday, March 30, 2012 3:07 PM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

I'm going to have to agree with a lot of what's been said I'm afraid.

While I commend the drap down tabs on the menu as it does make things a little sleeker, I do believe the look and style of the old layout was a lot better than this current bright and clean adaption; it conveyed hopelessness and dirt and just felt almost like urban decay!

I also cannot understand why training is possible without the necessary equipment; this cuts down the necessity to explore to find new training areas and just is too much of a leap towards a lack of realism; something I was under the impression the Dev team were not looking for as in the past many on here had expressed their wishes to increase the reality in the game.

As for crafting; maybe in the same way there are training areas aound, maybe there should be work benches around where modding new hardware can be acheived.

In all, this update has actually stalled the progression of the game and actually taken apart what didn't need fixing. It's NOT an improvement...

By McDave on   Saturday, March 31, 2012 2:50 AM

Re: Zombie Pandemic version 1.338 is live

Very nice. While I agree that some more blood spatters and a few darker colors here and there would be good, overall I have to say the game looks and feels a lot more crisp and tight.
As far as training goes, I like the change and I'm sure most people do too - who may not take the time to post in a forum to say so. Without going into it too much its basically now like you are specializing in a stat on the side while, yes (gasp!), you can still use your SP to do some other things until you log off.
Great job!
SoJ

By Son of Jeb on   Saturday, March 31, 2012 5:03 PM

Not great, but some good parts

I've made my voice perfectly clear in the forums on any more 'updates' pertaining to visuals. I particularly don't like this one. Although I am a fan of the new HP/SP/ENC/HU bars and the general feel of the update, I am not a fan of changing the background or the format of the game. Darken it up, and make the location/inventory/map/shop/others bar a little grittier. I would definitely perfer real updates, as opposed to visual ones. Give the lookout post a function, add some new missions or locations, and work on the game rather than the image.

By hellslayer on   Wednesday, April 04, 2012 2:03 AM

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