“We're finally biting the bullet and throwing the PZ multiplayer onto a separate branch on Steam,” write The Indie Stone. It has bugs but they thought “better would be to cast the net wide, and put in some debug dumping code that pops the misbehaving chunk in a folder, and get more people playing to see if we can get more information to help us nail it.”
So you can now try and survive a zombie apocalypse with friends.
“There was one remaining major issue we wanted to get solved before we did this, small chunks of the map's occasional habit of screwing up and either show up as black squares, getting scrambled, or revert back to their original unsaved state. It's relatively rare, but when it happens can be frustrating, especially if it happens right on top of your carpentry handiwork. However it's proven very tricky to figure out with one server, and it would churn our gut to have to write another 'maybe next week eh, folks?' Mondoid post. Better would be to cast the net wide, and put in some debug dumping code that pops the misbehaving chunk in a folder, and get more people playing to see if we can get more information to help us nail it.
“We're not making a big deal of it until Monday, and we've hopefully done a bit more wider scale testing, fixed up a few issues, and made server management a bit easier.
“It's not all bad though, generally, this aside, MP is starting to feel really solid and there's plenty of fun to be had. We are sure there are various issues, both discovered and undiscovered, that need resolving in the near future, but are feeling its in a stable enough state where people could have a play.”
The team want to make clear that “This is not an official public release, or even a Steam beta release. There will be bugs. If you would like a stable multiplayer server with no chance of world corruption destroying your stuff, or potential bugs that could affect your enjoyment of the game, then please wait until the official release which should hopefully not be too long.”
There’s a huge amount more about Zomboid’s multiplayer on the game’s forums, such as how to set up a whitelist, how to install the multiplayer branch through Steam, and why you should be on the lookout for cheaters.