The integration begins
It has been a long time since we announced the standalone project, and much has happened. In many ways, DayZ is an “accidental project”, which brings about great opportunities for it but also with some real challenges. Most of the planning has to be done as it goes, with much of the project simply reacting to things that have happened. This is not a good way to start a development project.
Much of the effort has been spent establishing the project, getting the right people setup, a new build process, art pipeline working, contracts and agreements made, legal stuff sorted - all the stuff that is necessary to enable the project to work. During this time I completed a very heavy and protracted public relations tour - I could almost make a fulltime job simply out of doing interviews.
Now for a SCRUM style update:
What has happened
We have setup all the required pipelines to best push the project forward. The standalone engine we are using is a branch of Take on Helicopters, which itself is a branch of ArmA 2 Operation Arrowhead. We chose this because of its stability, ease of development, very achievable optimization, and the fact that our programmers are the architects of the engine - the very people who built it from the ground up over ten years.
Art has been very, very busy. Chernarus has been revamped, with bug-fixing and a great deal more buildings have been made enter-able with a very high standard of work involved.
For design I have spent much time listening, reading through the posts on the forums and the suggestion thread on Reddit. Some outstanding ideas have been gleamed from there.
What is happening now
Now the fun stuff begins, all the data from Bohemia projects is up for grabs - so I am going through and collecting the best assets from the projects and mashing the data together to get it loading into DayZ standalone. With this complete, the mod itself will be ported over and integrated. This then gives us a very solid basis for further development.
Our programmers have been reviewing the way forward on the critical issues, such as bugfixing, hacking, and security. These areas are proving straightforward areas for significant development as a standalone, and as a basis in the next few weeks we will have DayZ fully integrated, with all its required data, secured, and packaged. From here we can then test and begin the more exiting things.
Art is continuing with reviewing all the buildings, making them enter-able, and tidying up the interiors to make them look nicer. Once we have this done, they will look at making the environment much more authentic to the scenario (but first we aim for the functionality!). We are now commencing work on the redevelopment of the infected people (zombie) models themselves. This will be an exciting area of work for our artist who is dedicated to this task. Initially we will be producing male and female, I would like to look at the possibility of children infected - but there are technical (required new skeleton and baked animations), possible legal (rating issues), and even moral (shooting children) issues that need to be faced.
What is blocking us
Probably the biggest stumbling block, is me (rocket). I need to stop doing interviews and focus on making the game. Really, there is very little left to say - now it is up to me and the team to deliver this. Really, in many ways, this is our project to lose. We have great support from the community, developers, and the industry as a whole - it is up to us to deliver for that promise. I think we will, but the next month is going to be really telling for our project.
Beyond that, I simply need to push forward with the integration. Once that is done, I will post some content through on the tumblr so that people can see how the development is progressing.