A collection of the most interesting/newsworthy posts by Rocket and other devs this month all in once place. I'll update the post as I find them.
It's getting dark and I swear I saw something there... I love that #creepy #atmosphere #DayZDaily
Rocket Q&A and LiveStream (3h 16m)
Here is a condensed stream highlight video from BrtTrp
Am I good, or am I good?
Found this crafted shelter while #walkingdog before I went to office today #inspiring #dayzdaily
No more devaluation of sterile bandages - chance of getting infection from dirty rags is in. #dayzdaily
Just clarify a few things we've been reading:
Why is there another bug? wtf?
There is no "new bug", but we do need to verify the old bugs were actually fixed and that something hasn't been missed.
We can handle the alpha! it works!
We understand people want to play the game and we understand the majority of people can "handle" the alpha.
Also, we need to verify its not going to be a giant, unmitigated, disaster. It's unprofessional, unethical, and pretty immoral to simply push a button without at least attempting to ensure what you are selling works at least on a basic level.
Why don't you just say "it's not coming out today"?
I can't say things like "it won't be released X day" because instantly it makes people think "it will be released the next day". Essentially, it is the same as announcing a release date.
Why not announce a release date?
because things happen, and they already have. Not just bugs, but production issues, business issues, power outages, legal issues - any million number of things can come up to delay an intended release (let alone a late discovery of a showstopper bug).
What is happening with server hosting
This is something I discussed at length with the DayZ community development in the skype chat. We have no firm policy on this but are taking a cautious, tiered approach that centers on two things:
maximum effect for minimum effort
This means we are going to try meet initial demand for game slots, and also ensure that we have minimum exposure of our systems externally. This gives us a small extra protective measure against security and hacking.
It's not a firm policy, and at any time if the issue of performance became bigger than security we would simply let the floodgates down. Currently our sole aim was to work with a few people to try and ensure we got a good process setup. We simply don't have the resources to deal with anyone who wants to host something, as we are still creating the system, figuring out how to connect everything.
I hope that clears up some confusion. And a small plea, I do think that it would be good for people to realize the game is being developed by human beings. We all love the game, but we're not perfectionist. Each day we haven't released has been a crushing blow for us, working extremely long hours for months. We want it to release too!
We thought that streaming might be a fair way to keep people posted, it's honest because it's live and it's something we can do even when we are tired because it requires no production value - and it's a bit of fun too. I fear some people think of it as cruel to "stoke the hype train" but really, we just felt that providing some regular information was good for us and the community. I'm open for feedback on that one. [source]
Q: What if you would release the server files during launch, so that people could host the game on dedicated servers.
What does this even mean? Think about this. Our architecture of the central server is incredibly complex and costs a very, very large amount of money. It involves a large database, a series of load balancers (not just software, but actually physical machines), a central server application, firewalls, custom whitelist software and database, employing a great quantity of fulltime people. We can, just barely, keep this going for one central server. How is this deployed? And the entire game has been built around the concept of a persistent character, so if we don't provide this central server... the whole game design doesn't work. You are making a classic mistake - in assuming the problem is "finding the bugs or vulnerabilities". That's not the problem, the problem is solving them. They will be very obvious, but if we release the files... they will most likely be more obvious to the wrong people and we will find out about them much later. If we control access then it means we can find the vulnerabilities and work to solve them ourselves.
Q: is it more efficient keeping the files locked down while your team goes through them
I don't think you quite grasp what is involved here, I'm not saying it's "inefficient" to setup small communities during initial testing... I'm saying nobody has given a way that is physically possible.
it's the same thing I said to the DayZ community steam chat, I'd love to find a way to make this work but we went over it again and again to death and we couldn't identify a way that didn't involve basically guaranteeing we would always be behind in security issues.
Everyone busy today. Lots of fixing. I've been working with Fido to try make zombies more interesting/threatening. Tough work! #DayZDaily
Stomach cramps #DayZDaily
Q: Do gasmasks have a gameplay impact such as lowerng the chance of getting infected when running around with an infected player?
Q: Is client side FPS going to be optimized?
SA is indeed optimized for it's purpose, however:
Clientside optimization has not been a focus. Where we have found easy optimizations these have been done, but no focus has been placed on GPU optimization.
There are many, many new things in SA. These easily eat in to many of the optimizations. An example being a dramatic increase in dynamic and static objects (more interiors, more furniture).
We have big problems with how we are managing textures and models, this will be looked at post-alpha. [source]
Rocket Q&A and LiveStream (3h 20m)
Here is a condensed 13 minute overview and analysis from Dashieeeeeeee
Pre-Release Testing - Lend me your ears http://www.reddit.co...d_me_your_ears/
Q: How long would this test period be expected last (roughly)?
Good question. Days, not weeks. [source]
Update: There is no "pre release" streamer testing. It had been discussed previously and we had rejected it for the reasons that I've listed before. It was mooted that we should consider it again, but I told Brian it would only happen if there was community support for it. He posted here to get comment. Without community support for the idea then it won't happen, and it certainly doesn't seem to me like there is. I thought the idea might have merit although I had strong concerns against it, but it doesn't seem like it can be discussed and we won't do it without community support. So it looks like you're stuck with me streaming for the time being. [/size]The decision was made NOT to do it long ago. But it looked like there might have been some support so we decided to get comment. In my brief review of the thread it seemed almost entirely opposed - so there is not broad support so it won't happen.[source]
Progress Update from Rocket http://forums.dayzga...-december-2013/
Another quick update from Rocket http://forums.dayzga...-december-2013/
Okay so zombies are accidentally killing other zombies when they get in the way. Not sure if bug or feature... #DayZDaily
Q: How many testers(In total, could be an estimate and anonymous) are participating in the pre-alpha testing builds?
Brian or Matt would have the exact numbers, but the numbers dramatically increased after we succeeded in hitting 50 players. I would say, at a guess, over +150. [source]
Q: Will you have a process setup for reporting bugs/feedback during the alpha?
Yes a feedback tracker has been setup already, I think it might be similar to the ArmA3 one but Brian or Matt would be able to confirm that. [source]
Q: Will early access folks be allowed to upload to Youtube?
Yes, that will be allowed and encouraged. [source]
Q: That mean its going to be copies-limited alpha ?
We don't plan on limiting copies, but if something bad happened we might stop selling until that problem was resolved. [source]
Q: Will there be official statistics for every player like was planned before ?(rezzed 2012 session i think), kills, deaths, time survived etc?
We will be collecting this information but I am not sure if our official website will be hosting the information. My preference would be to figure out a good (secure) way to allow the community to host such sites and information, as there are some extremely talented people out there. [source]
Q: As an artist myself (music), I begin to dislike the stuff I am working on for lengthy periods, do you ever feel this way creating DayZ?
I love the concept I just get very frustrated because at every turn I find something that doesn't work properly and eventually you just want to go "Oh god, just tear it all down and do it again!".
I feel bad for making people endlessly do things (art, methods, designs) again and again. But if it's not right you just know it. I don't mean it has to be perfect, but the basis of it must be correct.
That is probably the most frustrating thing for me. Wanting the basis of things to be logical, correct, and the task of achieving that is very big, and difficult to coordinate. [source]
Q: I think you should change the player model proportions to be more similar to ArmA 2.
Changing proportions would require a new skeleton, which would require an entire new library of animations. They would have to be motion captured, cleaned, etc...
This is why ArmA3 keeps the same skeleton as ArmA/ArmA2.
Also, the ArmA skeleton has very elongated forearm bone - about 1/3 longer than a human - so that the character can hold the weapon. The dayz skeleton is actually based on real human proportions - averaged out between male and female so that they can share the same skeleton.
Each new height would require perhaps three to six months work for the animation team
Characters with different heights offer advantages to those who are shorter in being harder to hit
The ArmA skeleton body proportions (largely unchanged since OFP) had significant and major differences from a human to accomodate arm positioning to hold the weapon.
Also, all the weapons have been developed to real life specifications. Some creative license has been taken with attachments. As an example, Harry (the artist behind the Mosin) actually purchased the mosin in real life so he could recreate it in exacting detail in the game, including down to the serial number.
Q: Three to six months work... Are you kidding me? Every decent MMO had this and often MUCH more complex body customization for 10+ years...
ArmA explicitly models the characters as part of the simulation. That's why you see the full body, from the exact position of the eyes. That mean's that all the simulation needs to be scaled which is not a trivial task. You would also have to look at how to deal with proxy objects, such as weapons. If you don't scale them... how do you handle the different positioning of hands?
Q: Why are all the items/clothing/masks brightly colored and look like they were bought from a store, they don't suit a zombie apocalypse game at all.
The materials of objects depends on their condition. For example, the payday masks look very different depending on whether they are pristine or ruined. Some objects are brightly colored by design. In fact, many items are deliberately brightly colored such as backpacks, running jackets - for very practical reasons. What you have done, is picked a few brightly colored items from the game and said "they are all bright!". The vast majority of items in DayZ are fairly plain colors, dirty, and grimey. Movies, such as the road, are portraying a linear story and use their visual style to help convey that. They deliberately avoid certain colors and emphasize its use in parts. We can't do that in the same way, because we have to cover different times of day, camera angles, sun conditions, bloom, player clothing, configuration, etc... etc... Mountaineering backpacks are specifically and deliberately brightly colored. The current biggest backpack we have in game is the mountaineering backpack. I don't know what else to say really, other than I disagree completely with the premise that we only have brightly colored "cartoon like" items, and also that we shouldn't have items that are colored at all.
Q: There's been a lot of negative reaction to the Payday masks being in game, care to comment?
FTFU. If the "payday masks destroying immersion" is the biggest concern going into the alpha then it's a true triumph of a release. While I can see why some might have reservations, sometimes you read something, roll your eyes, and say really?
For the first time, we broke 50 players on a single DayZ game server. Great day for us all here #DayZDaily
Ok ok, it was me. One on the hill, three in the pond, two on the bridge... @mattbloomer among them...So much fun! #DayZDaily
Yes, the red(dit) house is still there, even with the oak nearby #DayZDaily
Q: What about the release date?
Each sprint (in fact, sometimes even daily builds) are considered for possible release. It has been this way since E3. It is an extremely complex game to ensure operates correctly in singleplayer - let alone multiplayer. The past six months have seen us solving problems born of architectural changes. The situation is the same as what I said before: imminent pending the solving of "show-stopper" architectural issues. Meanwhile, the rest of the team continues with the content/features. [source]
Q: How long will it take to release on Steam once it's ready?
I believe it would take about 10 minutes for it to go live on steam, from the moment we decide. [source]
Q: Why you can't make an educated guess as to when it WON'T be out by
I tried that earlier in the year at E3. That didn't work out so well.
Saying "it won't be out before xxxx", the takeaway becomes "the game will be out on xxxx". If xxxx rolls around, and it's not out, then I'm accused of breaking promises and all sorts else. There is no "off the record", no "rough estimates". The world will see only one thing from something I say: a promise. This is one reason why I try to be vague enough on here that no media outlet will pick up the story. I offer just enough information, spread through posts, that it's (hopefully) not enough to print. This allows me to provide information to those who need it, but not enough that it becomes a website headline adorned with hyperbole.
Q:Why are you being quiet again? Is it possible that the game will be released before 2014? Obviously you have made countless broken promises, what do you, Rocket or anyone else working on the game, "think"?
Rocket is being quiet again
Not entirely sure I agree with that. I allocate a fair amount of time to answering direct questions through social media. This is: (a) more than I give to the media ( out of my own time) What I don't do, I concede, is give dates for release. There are multiple reasons for this, the most important of which is that it is not just me who would be bound by this date: but the entire team which now involves about 20 full-time, onsite, people.
Is it possible that the game will be released before 2014?
The answer is very simple. It would be very difficult to argue anything other than "yes" as to whether such a thing is plausible. The real question would be "how likely", which is actually a question that should only be asked (and only answered) by those who can fully understand the implications and factors involved in answering it.
By this, I mean someone who understand the risks and variables involved with making something that has the architecture (but not exact operation) of an MMO.
I also think that question is the lesser when compared with "should the game be released this year?" That is the question that is asked whenever something is made that is releasable.
Obviously, he has made countless promises that were broken. In 2012 I said that DayZ had to be out by the end of the year to achieve what we wanted to. It wasn't, and we didn't. That cost us. That cost us in many ways. It cost me personally, because I had to spend another year in the Czech Republic that was unplanned. There's only one person to blame for all that and it's me, and I've been down the road of apologizing and explaining many times before. While the difference between what I said and a promise might not matter to some, it matters a great deal to me. What I thought I was doing was being honest... "we have to do this, or else". Well - the "or else" happened and this is it.
What do you, Rocket or anyone else working on the game, "think"?
What I think is simple. We are making a foundation. The foundation I believe that a multiplayer game of this nature needs. This came from a decade of modding ArmA, and involved me pushing programmers and team members to the absolute brink over the last year.
This is not a game launch that will be shoveled full of features, pretty artwork, or polish. What I want is very simple. I want a robust, well engineered, framework for the future. Something that we can test. It might be really rough around the edges visually... underneath it is built from solid steel.
When you cut all the bullshit, all the scandals with "promises", competitors, the "moment being lost", and hype wasted... it is so damn simple: make a good game.
Our first step is not the alpha you want. It is the alpha we need to build the future.
Last thing I saw before a bullet through the dome from 400m+ away. #DayZDaily
Q: Mr Rocket, Where we at old chap?
I'm still here We've been very busy. New hires each week, in fact a new designer just started today and we're borrowing a skilled audio person from A3 for a few days to help set things up for our new Audio hire(s) when they arrive. We also have another new programmer starting any day now. Our overall goal is still server performance, security, and stability. In the meantime content continues to roll in, so that's a good thing. All in all i'm feeling pretty good about our plans. But things are very busy, we've been working nights and weekends but mostly everyone took the weekend off (I spent most of it sleeping!). [source]