SutD - Surviving the Dead
This is a VERY tentative website for the project I recently revived.
The 4-years-old project actually survived all my other dead projects.
Here is a forum post in which I briefly presented the game concept
That concept changed a lot over the years, for some time I planned to make it a TDM for example, when there was no
way to control NPCs. But after all I returned to the originally presented idea, and its great that I can actually use
my own NPC plugin, as this allows me to modify it to create NPCs exactly how I need them,
instead of having to go with the stuff CNPC originally offered.
The point of this raw text website is just to give a fix address that anyone interested in SutD
can check from time to time, the URL wont change. If it gets far enough this time, the main website
will also be available at this place later.
You might also find some information and participate in the forum: http://www.mauzen.org/forum/
Till then I might post some updates here.
Fallout-like script Ive been experimenting with a chance, and will focus on that for a while (lets see how far if gets).
This means that SutD will stay paused for another while. Its not dead, Im just not actively working on it, just like it has been
ever since, so dont worry if you are anticipating it.
The good news however are, SutD and the Fallout-script will share certain of my libraries. That means even if Im not directly
working on SutD, it will progress as Im reusing and optimizing some modules (e.g. the inventory back-end).
Once I collected some stuff for it, a dev blog - just like this - for the yet unnamed Fallout-like script will be available at
http://www.mauzen.org/fo/, at least until I got a better name for it.
month I need to recharge my scripting batteries, and I felt like the release of the video was a good time for that.
Im going to continue with it when I feel to, but it wont be that long. Still looking for some testers for the upcoming first closed test.
No requirements but a sa-mp.com forum account, and no duties, so just feel free to register as tester in the forum if your interested in SutD ;)
smaller problems that need to be fixed. More importantly, Im not sure if my current server is strong enough to run SutD. It seems like
it does not like the big amount of NPCs, making the load go above my allowed maximums. Maybe this is related to the problems that still
need to be fixed (some script crashes that shouldnt occur), but it doesnt look as good as I hoped, maybe this needs me to reduce the
amount of NPCs, or switch to another server.
Update: Indeed the linux bugs have a large impact on the performance. But anyways I wont be able to have the full 150 NPCs on this server
anyways, Ill have to scale it down. The VPS simply isnt meant to run that many active processes at once, Its not even a CPU problem, the
I/O limit just is too low.
But it should be able to hold 60-70 NPCs. Maybe Ill just set the streaming distance down a bit, right now 70 NPCs would be enough to have
2 Players running around independently, so the full amount of area NPCs get streamed in twice. Normally you wouldnt move that far away from
each other, so it could be fine like this, but Id like to have some some buffer so players actually can do that.
Apart from that, with my 60ms ping I dont notice any difference to my local server in game experience, it runs just as smooth.
the samp forums. It can be reached at http://www.mauzen.org/forum/
Now Ill work on getting the server ready for the first closed test.
Check this forum thread or the bottom of this website to watch it ;)
to scout and loot it, and afterwards continuing to finish the first quest.
Thats definitely too much to give a compact and short impression, noone (including me) would want to watch a 25 minute video of someone
playing SA-MP. But I cant really make it shorter without cutting out some nice gameplay elements.
Ill have to change my plan and cut it down to a 5-10 minute long, trailer-like video. I didnt really want to do that, as the video cant
give a good impression of the games atmosphere and gameplay flow then. So in addition I will also upload the raw, unedited 25-minute-video
even though its quite probably too boring to watch it completely.
Unfortunately I had no spare minute for SA-MP yesterday, so I also couldnt record it yet. I might finish it today, but dont
want to give uncertain dates again, as Im currently on a critical RNPC bug that someone recently reported, and this might take
a while to fix, so Id rather say the video will be done within the next few days.
and wont be home tomorrow, so Ill record the rest and do the editing on Saturday. The gameplay video will probably be done
and uploaded that day ;)
with items and all that stuff. This will be useful for the continuous testserver (SutD zombie freeroam or something ;), but
Ill also need that later on to restore the status of players after connection timeouts, so its not purely wasted work just
for the testserver.
Looking forward to record the gameplay video in the next few days, and opening the testserver shortly after that.
including 19 weapons with unique stats, 24 different types of ammo, and 11 weapon upgrades with special effects.
And with that Im just scratching the surface, theres gonna be a huge amount of items to allow people playing in their very
Apart from that I almost finished the intro for the first mission, meaning that Ill finally be able to record the first
gameplay video in the next days, and Im really close to setting up the testserver.
The testserver wont feature the round mode or missions yet, it will be kind of an open world to test stability and allow
players to get used to SutD.
get into it. The result still isnt perfect yet, but okay for the moment.
Today I fixed a problem with the NPC pathfinder and reactivated it. Movements arent perfect, but I found my way to make
the best out of it. And I (re)added a screen flash effect to visualize wounds and damage. This should be both annoying
and helpful for players, making zombies even more dangerous as you can easily lose your orientation when attacked, but
also giving a good visual feedback for damage and health status without having to check the HP bar all the time, so you
can focus just on the game.
That flashes already existed in an early version some years ago, but it was buggy so I completely remade it.
Oh, and as I briefly mentioned in a forum post yesterday, Id be willed to do an early test with some interested people.
The engine could use a performance test, and some feedback couldnt harm even if its still far away from what the final
gameplay will look and feel like. If youd like to participate, send me a PM, and I might prepare a closed test.
(Europe preferred due to the ping ;)
task. I wrote a small filterscript to help me with that job, but it still took me 30 minutes of running through a jungle of
blinking arrows, following calculated optimal routes to remap the MapAndreas data. What a weird experience.
improvements. And I started with the second quest of the intro mission, at least I collected some of the positions Ill
need for it and prepared it in the script.
For tomorrow I plan to finish the mapping and NPC population for the first part of the map, so I can finally create that
gameplay video trailer of the first quest that I announced for quite a while. Probably wont do videos for the other quests
until going online, so I dont spoil everything.
I also thought about how to handle the player ranks. Players will probably be able to choose their class-dependent spawn
equipment. The rank will (besides other stuff) determine what equipment the player will be able to choose from. However,
even high-rankeds wont be able to pick the best equipment, they shouldnt have a giant advantage to new players on spawn,
but just a small one, and item scouting will always be a major aspect of the game.
My target for game balancing is that players of any rank can finish any mission, if they just play well enough. Higher
ranks with the better equipment choices and some small character bonuses will just make it a little bit easier, and so
motivate experienced players to test their skills with harder difficulties later.
I played the whole planned route of the first mission, took me about an hour and 400 zombie kills. The other quests will
add about 30 extra minutes, but with more than one player it will be much faster, so right now Id say the mission will
finally have about 45-60 minutes game time.
I also decided to add a (at least simple) crafting system, mainly to have an option when youre out of ammo and far away from
any ammo source. Sure, its a tactical mistake to leave lootable areas without enough in your backback, but I dont want it
to be too hard at first. The crafting costs will increase with higher difficulty levels.
Yep, there will be multiple difficulties some time. People will probably be able to vote for a difficulty when the round starts.
The whole gamemode is designed to be easily scalable, so it is perfect for custom difficulty levels. But this wont happen before
the server was online for a while and got balanced well enough.
Building difficulty levels based on a completely unbalanced game would be pure nonsense of course.
impression of how future missions will look like. The first one is almost done, gonna be a pretty visual one, thats why it
takes so long.
I thought about creating a "first gameplay minutes"-video when the first quest is complete. Sounds like a good idea to give
a visual impression just like I promised weeks ago.
gamemode instead of scripting it. It is getting really funny, and Im currently on mission design, so I need to find some
interesting areas that would make a good setting.
I also did some GUI improvements and added a pretty neat character menu that later should eliminate all the remaining stuff
thats still accessible through commands only. So far it displays weapon skills and stats, and allows checking and treatment
of wounds your character got.
And I spent some time thinking about handling of missions, the setting, and the storyline in general. And these are the resulting
plans so far: theres a whole series of missions that - each for its own, and all together - tell the story of SutD. Some missions
might have a clear chronological order, while others might be more or less independent from that order. There will be one mission
each round, Im just not sure how to select the order of the missions yet. Maybe straight chronological, maybe allow the players to vote.
I know I said that really often, but Im closer to launching the server
than I ever was before in the 4 years of developement.
After a discussion on the SA-MP forum Ive made the decision that running rounds wont be locked for new players. New players
will be able to join rounds as long as there are slots left, and the round isnt about to end (for example the game will be
finally locked in the last quarter of game time / quest progress) so players cant join just to win without having participated.
Higher ranked players might however have the ability to vote against the new player, so they can keep "noobs" out of a game full
of experienced players, but there will be certain requirements to avoid new players being discriminated too much.
There will be some kind of "game lobby" however, thats open for everyone, even if theres a round going on. People will be able
to wait in there for a new round, chat, and spectate the currently active players.
The first part of the random item spawning also is working now, theres a second part of random spawning left now, and a set of fix
spawn areas (special buildings and that stuff with special loot)
probabilities. A randomly spawned item will be determined by two probabilities: a chance to spawn a certain item class
(weapon, ammo, medicine, upgrades, etc), and the items of each class got their own chances to be spawned if their class is picked.
That way rare items will always be rare, no matter where they spawn, while chances to spawn e.g. weapons in a certain area can be
varied easily. So e.g. there will be a higher chance to find weapons and ammo in weapon stores or near military vehicles, than
This should make aimed and coordinated item searches more rewarding, than just running around randomly and thats a vital
element of SutD.
to spoil the surprise yet, but Ill show that when making a new video, or at the latest you can try it when the testserver is up.
It wont be long.
like GUI design so I just do it because I have to ;)
Meanwhile, Im also having some research on pathfinding. Pamdex's plugin is nice, but as I heard it has problems with larger amounts
of NPCs, and Im gonna need giant amounts of them. So right now Im looking into A* variations and already found a promising one that I might
implement soon. The NPC jumping I announced has some bug that I cant locate properly, so I disabled it for now, wont be that important anyways
if pathfinding works well.
playing SutD, and didnt add much new stuff but just fine tuned the existing ones.
I made the player classes more dynamic, and fixed some old inventory bugs that already annoyed me years ago. Then I spent some time on
RNPC. NPCs can jump now and get affected by the GTA physics gravitation. This is essential to make the NPC zombies more interesting
and realistic opponents. That update is probably being released soon, but thats not the topic of this website.
The dynamic item spawning is - right after the NPC streaming - one of the other most important things for SutD. Im not 100% sure yet
how to handle this, but this will be the next job. Then theres just the quest generation missing before the public test phase.
Also optimized the streaming even more, it now integrates so fluently, I really didnt expect it would work that well.
I tried playing with 200 spawned NPCs, 500 active virtuals, and the astonishing amount of 180,000 virtuals distributed over whole SA, before
my client crashed. I called a squad of bombers to get rid of a bunch of about 100 NPCs following me. I guess theres no way to fix that,
killing 100 characters at once simply is too much for GTA SA.
Apart from that it worked relatively well. Some occasional server lag spikes, but nothing that one couldnt tolerate, considering the amount
of NPCs was far beyond what Ill need for the small-group gamemode.
Im testing this on my pretty strong home machine though, so I guess when going online with my VPS Ill have to reduce this a bit anyways.
And again Im one day closer to an alpha test server. Next stop: build a simple example mission.
Just like I expected, it REALLY creates a seamless impression, and yet with 100 spawned NPCs, 500 active virtual ones,
and 80000(!) total virtual NPCs I had absolutely no problems with lag.
It might need some more fine-tuning when playing with more players, but thats no big deal.
I just need to add some things for the population management now, then I might create a short video to give a visual impression of this,
before putting a testserver online.
create a really lively populated world with seamless stream-ins/outs. I also finished some bigger implementation
steps (Dont want to go into technical details here). Im pretty confident that the streamer will be able to handle a great bunch
of NPCs without lagging. After planning a NPC streamer for years, Im now just days or even hours away from finishing it.
Cant wait to see it in action.
Not sure if it runs fast enough in PAWN though, but if it does, it will allow SA to be dynamically populated by a
practically unlimited amount of NPCs.
This is the biggest thing thats still missing, if it is ready SutD is really close to going online.
It now uses RNPC instead of the outdated CNPC for all kinds of NPCs.
NPC bombers work fine now, and I synced flamethrowers today.
It might be stable enough soon to run a public test- and Dev-server again.
For more information contact Mauzen on the SA-MP forums
(The very first video with actual gameplay footage, August 2014)
Here are some of the original videos from the old days (2011-2012). They might give a rough idea of what the SutD-engine looks like.
Consider that they are really old and I used CNPC in these videos, now with RNPC the NPCs arent lagging at all anymore, and behave much better.
So just look at the technical stuff and ignore the NPCs ;)
(This video shows some of the possibilities at an advanced stage in July 2011)
(A possible intro tutorial that covers the most important features and how to play)
(Spawn menu for capture-based TDMs)