This week we're switching over to a new Status Report format, and merging in some of the community focused features from the dev hub into a single weekly report. We'll need to work a few kinks out over the coming weeks, so bear with us as we get this new format to the structure we want. 0.56/0.57 Development continues over on the experimental branch - the team is rapidly approaching a candidate ready for a stable branch update.
This weeks Status Report features info on E3, goals for the 0.56/0.57 stable update, and some outstanding charity efforts by DayZ community members.
And remember - the latest news and info on DayZ development is always available via the Dev Hub.
Development Board Spotlight
Those watching the experimental branch over the last few weeks have seen a high frequency of updates, configuration changes, and restarts as the development team ramped up volume and stress testing in preperation for the stable branch update. Strong gains in server side performance were made, and thanks to player stress testing on experimental branch - critical issues were identified in the performance of infected AI. With the gains in over all performance (server side) with player and simulation handling, we were able to isolate and identify the AI related issues - and the gameplay programming team is hard at work on resolving those issues.
In the mean time, as development continues - a firm red line on server side performance for stable branch has been established. This is to ensure an enjoyable experience, as well as reduce the amount of noise to signal ratio on the feedback tracker, and greatly improve the quality of repro steps, and critical identified issues coming in from that branch.
Over all, we expect that the experience will be significantly more enjoyable than 0.55 (but not where we want it to be for the release from Early Access)
In the interest of getting an update to stable branch as soon as possible, work on the programming side will continue internally on several key issues identified by players on that branch in 0.55 / 0.56 experimental.
Intelligent spawning per building / Item per building capacity limits
AI Performance costs (Infected - Animal)
As these systems are actively being worked on by the gameplay programming team - the stable branch update will have the spawning of infected, and the persistence disabled on stable branch servers. This is only a temporary measure while these two issues continue to be worked on, and we'll see both base building, and infected return with a vengeance as soon as possible.
- Brian Hicks / Lead Producer -
DayZ @ E3
DayZ Lead Producer Brian Hicks will be speaking about modding, and DayZ server hosting at the AMD PC Gaming Conference Tuesday June 16th.
Hosted by Sean 'Day' Plott, the PC Gaming Show will take place at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. In partnership with Twitch, the PC Gaming Show will be streamed live, and feature new game reveals, updates on beloved series, and perspectives from key PC developers.
This status report came a bit later than usual as we wanted to include some of the results and findings from this weeks experimental releases, as well as shed a bit of light on the intent of said releases. As we tread on into May, we'll be rolling 0.56 into 0.57 development with the intent of a regularly scheduled end of month release. Ramping up to this, you'll see frequent experimental branch updates and experiments ongoing on that branches servers.
As internally we spent time investigating server side performance, as well as the effect of various systems on production server performance we discovered abnormally high performance cost related to infected AI. As said performance should be lateral at a certain point, we've been fluctuating configurations and builds on the experimental branch to properly replicate the production environment and profile the exact location and behaviour of the source of the performance drop.
On the player side, we've made strong gains performance wise. We're seeing a gain of 4x higher performance per average player count, and this is instantly visible in gameplay. As the programming team moves ahead on investigating infected costs on server side performance, we'll be disabling infected spawning on stable branch servers (post-stable update)to ensure the highest quality of gameplay on that branch. Experimental will proceed with infected performance tests so we can as soon as possible return the infected to Chernarus en masse.
If you're curious how this work is going, once the end of the month stable update (0.57) releases - keep an eye on experimental branch.
I'm personally excited to see the gains on the player and gameplay side - we've still got a long way to go until feature complete, but I'm excited to chase you all across Chernarus.
Really not a bandit, - Brian Hicks / Lead Producer
Standup Notes for the week of 14 May 15
(Note: Standup notes are not a change log - they are a quick high level look at tasks the teams worked on throughout this week)
New Zombie Models
Civilian Hiking Jacket
Transfer of skinning to EnScript
Transfer of traps to EnScript
Design of damaged barrel usage
Profiling server performance for existing scripts
Inventory refactorization bugfixing
Dynamic Events spawning bugfixing
Loot Distro bugfixing
AI Performance Analysis & Bugfixing
Login Que Design
New Damage Sys.
Server & Client Crash Fixes
When going through new posts on the DayZ forums, I also stop by the Gallery section of the forums. It's a nice place to go to for a random mix of content that shows gameplay, rp, pvp, bugs, and other videos that encourage discussion on features/mechanics of DayZ for example.
One of the topics that stood out in the Gallery section was dedicated to “Quinn Bauer's Story”. The forum topic and the story of Quinn Bauer is made by:
As described in the forum topic, the story of Quinn Bauer is as follows:
“This is the story of a country singer that was on tour with his band in Chernarus. The outbreak has forced Quinn to stay here and survive the possible end of the world. Originally with Val Bradley, the only other survivor of Quinn's band along with Lt. H.H. Burke, they travel the land in order to find answers to the events that lead to the dead rising. Quinn also vigorously looks for radio towers in order to try and contact his family back in the US. More people join Quinn and his friends as time goes by and survival eventually becomes the only important thing. ”
The entire series is 11 episodes worth. Don't expect massive amounts of pvp action in each episode or anything like that. What you can expect though, and what I enjoyed about the series, is that Quinn shows almost as much of other players and their stories as he does of his own while interacting with these players.
As mentioned, I really enjoyed watching the interaction between Quinn Bauer and other players that take on very creative roles; especially the way his story and narrative was edited/adapted according to the actions of these players that he meets on the server is well executed. I had a great time following the series, and it was quite enjoyable to watch the way the story builds up towards the last episode (nicely made ending btw) as well as seeing how small bits of visual trickery goes a long way in terms of conveying Quinn Bauer's story and experiences as he tries to reach his family.
As a taster, the first three episodes of the series are embedded below, but I'd definitely recommend giving the entire series a chance (full series found Here).
As always, if interested in more, please feel free to follow Gaming Roach Entertainment via his Youtube account.
We're rapidly approaching the experimental push of 0.56, and we've discussed over the last few weeks some of the things you can expect from this update to the Steam branch. I'd like to recap a few key points though, as we're close to this push:
Rebalancing of Infected damage threshold
Redistribution of existing infected spawns to high population areas
Bugfixing on Per-Item-Quantity control (Central Economy)
Bugfixing on Infected Alert SFX
Bugfixing on Infected movement
Redesigned Inventory tech (engine side)
New firearms / long range optics attachment
Stary Sobor evacuation camp
Bugfixes on various known duplication vulnerabilities
Tied with the 0.56 update to Stable branch, we'll see a hive wide reset (public/private) - including local storage data (player camps, vehicles)
Development is ongoing with the hive side economy control, in addition to future bug fixing development continues on the functional side, with the next major goal being region control over item spawn types. (removing the restriction of structure types only in certain areas of the map). Internally, the programming and design teams are working hard on analyzing server side performance, player position desync, and other critical issues affecting Early Access gameplay.
In some cases, resolutions to these issues are tied to the implementation of new technology to replace the legacy systems inherited from the start of the project - all of them however will be ongoing goals for the team over the coming months.
The bulk of the workload over the last month was centered around the refactorization of the inventory system. It became clear that the existing tech behind the inventory wasn't going to be able to meet the needs of the project, and carried with it its own vulnerabilities. The redesign stripped large amounts of the system, and redesigned specifically to meet the needs of DayZ and upcoming changes to DayZ's core technology.
Support for AI and Vehicle Inventory
Removing limitation on "in hands" as a virtual slot (still occupying space in container)
Dynamic changing of cargo capacity - eg: lowering when damaged, raising when repaired
Manual item rotation
Support for redesign of Inventory UI
Support for EnScript (Enfusion Scripting Language)
And much, much more..
Looking at the Central Economy side of the fence, tracking the metrics on loot spawning provides some interesting details:
Chernarus + features 8,725 buildings (and wrecks combined)
1,742,796 potential item spawn points are spread across the entirety of Chernarus + (Not counting dynamic events)
Of the 8,725 buildings/wrecks across Chernarus + 410 of them are greenhouses
With the 0.56 iteration of the central economy we gain finer control over item spawn locations, but we still have a ways to go. As each update gets pushed to steam, we'll see finer and finer control over item spawn locations and types, as well as supporting dynamic random spawns - that will ensure unique spawns of valued items across the map. Who knows, maybe someday you'll get really lucky and find an M4A1 in that barn over the hill?
As you all dive into the experimental push of 0.56 (not yet live) please keep in mind that like many things in the development of DayZ, the new systems and tech are works in progress (much like DayZ itself) and are incomplete, and more than likely contain their fair share of issues. Please make sure to report any issues found on the official feedback tracker at feedback.dayzgame.com