New Test Beta: Non-Hostile NPCs, Factions, Armor, and Clothing Sprites

I've just finished uploading new beta test build 0.983b, which includes non-hostile NPC interactions, dynamic factions, armor, and new creature sprites. There are now two violent gangs roaming the map, DMC guards patrolling the sprawl, and looters caught in the middle. What's more, all of them are "strangers" until they do something that identifies them as friend or foe.

IMAGE( Guards shaking down some looters near the DMC sprawl.

The build is available to anyone who owns the beta at, or on Desura and Steam. Desura (and therefore, Groupees) users can use Desura Connect to gain access here, or even get their Steam keys and try it on Steam.

To access the test build on the official site, simply visit the beta page, and click any of the download links below the usual Windows, Mac, and Linux buttons.

Steam users can access the test build by opting into the beta for it. To do so, open up your Steam client and:

  • Right-click on NEO Scavenger in your Steam library
  • Choose "Properties"
  • Choose the "BETAS" tab in the resulting dialog box.
  • In the drop-down, select "public_test."

IMAGE( Choose the "public_test" option on the "BETAS" tab in NEO Scavenger's properties.

Following the above steps will begin downloading version 0.983 immediately. Just click "Play" when it's done!

Updates Included in Beta Test Build

So what exactly is in this new test build? A lot, actually. It's been over a month since the last update, and I hadn't realized how much stuff has accumulated. Here's a list:

  • Added DMC Guard faction to game. Guards patrol around DMC sprawl, slightly favorable to player, and attack any hostiles and monsters. Carry special equipment.
  • Added armor to the game. New armor items added, and old clothing items now have armor values.
  • Added new clothing types and a firearm to game.
  • Added non-hostile NPCs to game. Some NPCs will ignore player, and even fight against common foes.
  • Added factions and reputations to game. Creatures will remember good and bad experiences with other creatures, and will share this info with any allies they meet.
  • Added ability to talk with wandering NPCs. Each has default greetings, and some have multiple conversations.
  • Added ability to offer ceasefire to enemy at the penalty of one extra move. Can also accept enemy ceasefire.
  • Added ability to right-click a creature in the same hex to re-engage after talks/ceasefire exits battle.
  • Added crippling effects to arms and legs for severe cut damage.
  • Added item damage when wound slots hit.
  • Added Project Zomboid button to title screen.
  • Added code to remove temporary battle conditions when exiting battle (recovering, stun, distracted, vulnerable, suppressed).
  • Added code to prevent random creature spawns above global population cap.
  • Added code to prevent too many creatures of the same faction from randomly spawning in a small area.
  • Added code to limit melonheads calling reinforcements.
  • Added new battle move for drawing attention to self when hidden (to help target that doesn't see you).
  • Added code to make AI follow leader's example with passive vs. active moves in battle.
  • Added ability to ditch vehicle in combat.
  • Changed NPC names to be "Stranger" unless they attack or talk to player.
  • Changed creature names to show "Leader" if that creature is followed by others nearby.
  • Changed creature sprites on map to show what they are wearing and holding.
  • Changed raiders and bandits to Bad Muthas and Blue Frogs gangs, to better match lore.
  • Changed the attack and injury system mechanics for better consistency.
  • Changed opening cryo encounter to remain in same hex when climbing out the window after dealing with dogman.
  • Changed "water (any)" ingredient to require the "water" property, removing some liquids as potential ingredients.
  • Changed main map button to have TAB as hotkey, rather than Q (since Q toggles Items screen).
  • Changed wearable items to prefer slotting first, then carrying in hands.
  • Changed melonheads so they are unable to equip helmets/headwear.
  • Changed workboot and jeans art to be smoother, more consistent with other clothes.
  • Changed noise traps to be worth $1.50 so they are not auto-picked as ingredients before pill bottles.
  • Changed encounter question item image to match style of other items.
  • Changed campsites to automatically slot even if cursor in drag mode (to prevent new user confusion).
  • Changed scavenging locked storage shed to have lock bypass encounter to gain entrance.
  • Changed creatures to have more variety in starting skills and traits.
  • Fixed a bug that caused item-swapping to allow item overlap in containers.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed a stack to be swapped into a slot which caused the stack to disappear. (E.g. swapping bandages in wounds)
  • Fixed a bug that caused too many creatures to spawn in random spawns.
  • Fixed a null pointer bug in AI looting code (null scentowner).
  • Fixed all "small or medium" ingredients to not allow "very large" items.
  • Fixed noise trap recipe to avoid recursive crafting.
  • Fixed a bug that caused blunt damage to not be reported on arms and legs.
  • Fixed a bug that caused cut wounds to be preferred over blunt wounds if weapon did both types of damage.
  • Fixed a bug that caused getting up and advancing in combat to trigger passive moves from allies when inappropriate.
  • Fixed a bug that caused AI to treat unconscious teammates as non-faction allies.
  • Fixed a bug that caused cut damage to ignore bleeding and infection effects.
  • Fixed a bug that caused AI to choose attack modes with no ammo.
  • Fixed a bug that caused current camp to disappear from inventory when using hide.
  • Fixed a bug that caused AI to carry items that they could equip instead.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed stacking items in slots other than holding hand slots.
  • Fixed a bug that allowed stacking object onto itself, causing infinite loop.
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused items to slot into hands when already carrying something, causing a null pointer.
  • Fixed animal AI so it doesn't wield arrows stuck in wounds.
  • Fixed a bug in getwoundlocation that returns null if damage is 0 or less.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented some reverse recipes from producing original components if they degraded.
  • Fixed sprite alignment of creatures in hexes when more than one present, so player is always in middle.
  • Fixed a bug that caused AI to double-count self as ally when calculating map movement.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented weapon from discharging on successful ranged burst.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented using NV goggles in locked storage shed scavenging.
  • Fixed bug that allowed water tester to be used if no charges inside.
  • Fixed inconsistent pricing on RF1:D software.
  • Fixed Isotope Mine cistern encounter to accept all types of iSlabs and smartphones.
  • Fixed a bug that caused camp items to get bugged/stuck when loading a game in a hex with non-default camp set.
  • Fixed a bug that caused hex-based encounters to interrupt current encounter when loading a save game inside an encounter.
  • Fixed Merga Wraith perishing of food/water/heat deficiency.
  • Fixed a bug that caused player to get stuck in Radiation Bob encounter if they bought the RTG.
  • Fixed a bug that forced player to buy RTG or get stuck if no items were able to be traded.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Hatter not to take iSlabs that player offers.
  • Fixed a bug that caused Zom Zom's not to take admission fees that player offers.
  • Fixed typos in Hatter encounter, AI navigation text.

Like I said, a lot.

Much of this is new stuff to see and play with, but hopefully, quite a lot will fix issues that people encountered in 0.982. And if this build seems stable enough, I'll make it the official build to replace 0.982. (And likely, update the demo at that time, too.)

As always, let me know if you have any feedback or issues with this build. And have fun!


Dragoonseal's picture

YES! Oh my goodness it's Christmas all over again.

What are your thoughts on using save files from 0.982b, would you recommend starting fresh with a new game?

dcfedor's picture

Hm, they might work, actually. They'll be missing any creature faction standings data, but I think the game will assign defaults where necessary. I say give it a shot!

And I'll hide in case anything goes wrong :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Soarin''s picture

When I found a pair of cargo shorts they appear huge and are bloated bigger than the player model in the inventory screen.

dcfedor's picture

Whoops! Looks like I used the same image for 1360x768 mode in 800x450 modes. I'll fix that now. If you're willing to use 1360x768 mode it should look fine, otherwise it'll be clown pants until I can upload the next build :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Recons's picture

> Added Project Zomboid button to title screen.


Xanmyral's picture

It's really nice to see this come along, you've put a lot thought and effort into this and it shows very clearly. Very happy I bought this game.


matsy's picture

One of my highlights of my lunch is to read your blog at work.

I find it slightly worrying I spend my whole day programming, and yet enjoy reading about other people doing it..

jezeniel's picture

I cannot extract the tar.gz file. Is there any problem on the uploaded files?

Kaaven's picture

Hey mate! I tried on windows, and while I cannot run the file of course, the 7-Zip program unpacked the archive correctly. So the file is fine. Maybe try re-downloading the file and trying again?

<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

dcfedor's picture

Thanks, guys! And matsy, I think that's normal. I read gamedev blogs in my spare time, too :)

@jezeniel, what happens when you try to extract the tar.gz? I just downloaded the 0.983 Linux tar.gz and was able to open it. Are you getting any specific error messages?

Also, what is the downloaded file size? My machine reports it as 47,094,018 bytes.

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

jezeniel's picture

Maybe it is just on my side. Sorry, My filesize 47,077,102 bytes. I think it is just a problem in my internet. Thanks for the response and awesome update!

Recons's picture

Tip; compare checksums (md5/crc) instead of file size :)

Caberfries's picture

Trying the new build right now! I can see what my guy is wearing! This is so awesome! :D
I haven't started any conversation yet with strangers, but I have to say; being able to see what the stranger is wearing before starting an encounter is very helpful! Awesome work :)

*Throws IPad and picks up Razer Tablet*

dcfedor's picture

@Recons, good point! I'll do that now!

@jezeniel, if you decide to check the MD5 checksum of the tar.gz, I got: 779c3fcf1d380fa00a9beb94cf887a2a

And glad to hear it, Caberfries! I was pretty psyched to see clothing, too. I even added a few extra clothes because I was getting tired of bluejeans on everyone :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

Talking to people sometimes ends combat without starting dialogue encounter - your opponent just stays in the same hex as you. I never offered ceasefire, so I'm pretty sure it's a bug.

dcfedor's picture

Do you remember if the NPC offered to talk or not? Sometimes, offering to talk when the NPC offers a ceasefire will end combat without a conversation. I.e. you both agreed not to fight, but only you wanted to talk.

It could be bugged, too. I just want to know if it's a bug or a bad design :)

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

Rovlad's picture

They didn't offer to talk, but it could probably be the ceasefire previously offered by NPC. I'd still expect to talk to them once we've agreed to not kill each other, or at least get a message like "Stranger has nothing to say to you." Otherwise, it's just counterintuitive for the talk option to have (seemingly) no effect in some cases except for stopping the battle - that's what one would expect ceasefire to be for.