Project Zomboid official artwork without the logo

[Update #2]: Project Zomboid devs have now outlined everything they're hoping to add with Update 42.

[Update]: Project Zomboid devs are working on adding highly realistic fire and fire spreading mechanics.

While it's still under heavy development, Project Zomboid's Update 42 is already looking mighty impressive. Not only will it bring with it the first iteration of the long-requested NPC system, but it'll also greatly extend the world map by adding a bunch of new cities and locations to explore, and even bring in a new light propagation system to make wandering through the apocalyptic wasteland a much moodier affair.

The good news doesn't end there, however, as the Project Zomboid team has just revealed that Update 42 will also expand the world vertically! Buildings will no longer be limited to 8 floors as each chunk will extend up to 32 levels, which also allows for underground areas like basements, bunkers and military labs to lie hidden beneath the surface.

Unlike regular locations that are hard-coded and always present in the world, basements will be semi-randomly generated. Each building will pull from an assortment of appropriate basement types, so while you won't see something crazy every two seconds, the new system should keep things fresh and interesting across many playthroughs.

The most exciting part of this whole announcement is the simple fact that modders will be able to make full use of this new system! As such, expect to see some absurdly elaborate underground complexes, as well as mighty skyscrapers to really sell the idea that you're running around a full-blown city.

That said, I would recommend against getting too excited just yet as all of these fancy features are still a ways away. In fact, Project Zomboid's Update 42 doesn't even have an estimated release date just yet, so it's most likely going to be a fair few months before it even enters beta testing.

Once that finally happens, or the Project Zomboid team announces another major addition, I'll make sure to let you know. Until then, you can read a little bit more about Project Zomboid's future over at the official website.