Get ready to call some friends -- Project Zomboid multiplayer can now experimentally support 100 players. Additionally, Indie Stone's Chris Simpson has revealed some details about NPC generation.
Project Zomboid has had a bit of a revival as of late. The launch of a multiplayer test last year was welcomed by old and new players alike, and the recent reveal of the game's 2022 roadmap has set the stage for a banner year.
Project Zomboid Multiplayer Experimentally Supports Up to 100 Players
The Project Zomboid 2022 roadmap largely focuses on the introduction of NPCs into the game, but that's not all that's going on -- other areas of the game are also getting improvements. One of these improvements is the experimental testing of a player limit more than three times higher than what we've had before.
As PCGamesN reports, Update 41.66 has increased the experimental maximum player limit to 100. Yes, that means that you could really get 99 other people to hop onto a server with you and play out your best post-apocalyptic fantasies. Well, kind of. The higher multiplayer limit comes with a caveat: it's very much a work in progress as explained in the patch notes.
"Servers with more than 32 players will likely result in poor map streaming and desync, so proceed with caution," the patch notes read.
Indie Stone's Chris Simpson Explains Project Zomboid NPC Generation
Essentially, Project Zomboid NPCs are going to go a little further than randomly dropping people into buildings on the map. Everyone will have familial relationships. Grandparents will be generated first. Those grandparents will have children, and a portion of those children will have children of their own, making for three generations of family throughout the game world.
Things don't just stop there, though. Some of these couples will divorce, and a subset of those couples will remarry. And, naturally, some people won't get married at all. Once all of these calculations have run their course, "households" will be established containing groups of related people. Then, these households will be assigned to buildings in the game world.
Finally, a small portion of these households will be away; one such example is an adult who went off to college. (There won't be any young children in the game due to ratings reasons, although I'm sure someone will come up with a mod eventually.) Families will have a strong drive to get together, sparking one of many reasons for NPCs to move around on the map. There will, of course, be other reasons for them to move around the map (such as fleeing the oncoming horde of zombies killing everyone).
Mind, the NPC system is still early in development and these blood relationships are but one aspect of it. After the initial planning is done, Indie Stone will work on support for LGBT relationships, friendships, rivalries, and more. The ultimate goal is to make a world where NPCs realistically know one another and are properly motivated based on those relationships.
These NPC features are still a good few months away, but there's tons of fun to be had in the game today -- you can buy Project Zomboid for PC via Steam at the price of $19.99 or your regional equivalent.