After a great many years in Early Access, Project Zomboid has finally hit the big time with it regularly seeing multiple tens of thousands of players and they have some big plans. The latest release (Build 41) took a long time, as it reworked so much of the game but it's done and they're moving onto the next big chunk of features and it all sounds rather exciting.
One big addition that has been talked about for years is the addition of NPCs, and they're finally coming - for reals this time. They've split into different teams to work on different things, one team being focused on getting NPCs all hooked up and working.
NPCs being the most requested feature of the game, they decided to do them before pets and hunting because "a big reason for not being comfortable with hunting and pets being first, is they are still NPCs and would necessarily leverage all the technology we’ve being working on for years at this point". To get there, another team will be working alongside them on normal content patches for Build 42 but they're trying to get NPCs actually release as soon as they can.
Until NPCs arrive, Build 42 sounds like it's going to be pretty impressive too, greatly expanding the "tech tree" for crafting as they say: "our ultimate goal is to provide significantly extra crafting potential to allow players to effectively create a post-apocalypse nu medieval community, to provide plausable alternatives to any of the lootable items in the game that would logically be plausable with the correct skills and resources so players don’t feel pressured to restart the early game repeatedly to get long term fun out of the game".
Sounds fancy. We're going to need to take a properly look at the modern Project Zomboid soon.