We're going to mostly cover Status Updates on the critical engine work this Status Report - as well, we'll talk a bit about infected spawning changes, and our current goals for .59 experimental builds.
We've been hard at work on resolving issues with both server performance, player position desync, and problems plaguing dual core CPU users. We've been testing out several different builds, both with profiling running and without to try and nail down the root cause of the issue. Those participating in testing and reporting from experimental branch are *greatly* appreciated.
.59 Exp Critical Must-Fixes
Player Position Desync (Potential fixes being pushed to exp tonight)
Poor Server Performance (Potential fixes being pushed to exp tonight)
Local (Visual) Item Duplication (Potential fixes being pushed to exp tonight)
Dual Core bugfixing
That said - we mentioned in previous Status Reports potential changes to how infected are spawned in DayZ. Historically, throughout the entirety of the project we have spawned our infected globally - distributed evenly across the whole of Chernarus. Now while this resolved the previous metagaming vulnerability that DayZ Mod suffered from - it led to the infected being -way- too spread out. Internally we've recently settled on a hybrid system - entirely not dependant on the original trigger system used by DayZ Mod. Instead relying on the same tech that runs the dynamic events and spawns - allowing us to (in addition to globally spawning a specific number of infected) dynamically spawn large amounts of infected around cities/villages/bases/etc that players congrate to.
Pairing this dynamic spawning method with the existing global spawning of infected means players shouldn't be able to sight into a location and identify it as "free of players" because it does not have any infected - HOWEVER, it will also allow for an overwhelming feeling of constantly having to fight off the attention of large numbers of infected in high-traffic areas such as Chernogorsk, Berezino, Zelenogorsk, or so on.
We're expecting this to hopefully be one of the first changes within the begining of the new year.
In addition to this - regional loot control is being prepared for internal testing. CLE functionality is present, and the designers are now working with a fairly versatile new tool allowing them to set location types, regional areas, and even more - with rapid flexability. In addition to allowing us even more precise control over the in-game economy, this should also be a huge tool for mod authors.
Now lets take a look at the current status of some of the major engine changes under way:
New UI changes to support DX 11
Completed in November
Small Object Interaction
New Character Controller support
Physical Doors support
Manipulating bodies (Dead/Unconscious)
Animation System/Player Controller
Improved Handling of Animation Events
Improved Animation Graph Nodes
Adding Subgraphs/Conditional Nodes
Polishing Animation Graph for Player
Implementing User Actions (Drinking, Eating, Medical)
Adding Gestures to new Sys
Inverse IK for Feet/Hands
Sync of Animation Loops
Rewrite of functionality for additive and override animations
Improving Vehicles w/ Additional Animations (Turning, Reacting to Speed, etc)
Lastly, I'd like to leave you all with two little gems from Lead Designer Peter Nespesny, and Lead Animator Viktor Kostik.
Questions? Suggestions? Make sure to head over to the official DayZ Forums and join the Status Report discussion thread for this week.
- Brian Hicks / Lead Producer -
Jeudi 12 novembre 2015
Status Report - 12 Nov 2015
In this week's Status Report, we'll have info on subjects such as the renderer, the UI, damage, and animation systems, all served by our Lead Producer Brian Hicks, Lead Designer Peter Nespesny, and Lead Animator Viktor Kostik.
Development Board Spotlight
Dev Update / Hicks
If you don't happen to follow twitter or the forums you may not be aware of the current focus on iterating upon 0.59 experimental. Obviously the team is working hard to resolve the issues with server side performance, as well as pushing several new potential changes to vehicle position sync to QA.
So the big question everyone wants to know - when will 0.59 move to stable?
Once we are satisfied with server side performance at maximum player count vs 12 hour uptime- Vehicle Position Sync is at a marked improvement over 0.58
High repro (reproducible) server and client crashes are resolved
Past 0.59 - internally we are -hoping- to be able to get another update out prior to Christmas (to experimental at the very least). However, that will depend on the stability of the build post 0.59 stable and the merges done right after that. As mentioned during the PAX Australia "The Road to Beta" presentation - we'll keep everyone updated on this progress via the official Twitter account, and the Status Reports between then and now.
- KEEP IN MIND: THE UPDATE OF 0.59 TO STABLE WILL INCLUDE A FULL HIVE AND SERVER STORAGE RESET. THIS INCLUDES PRIVATE SHARDS OF THE HIVE -
Moving past discussion around 0.59 experimental, lets move on to discussing what the current status of some of the major engine side updates are.
Small bodies of water, and Ocean rendering
True Sky rendering
We have some screenshots from debug that we can discuss in a little more detail as well. (Please take care to understand these are from debug machines - and are thus running lower resolutions/over all configurations and are meant to display technical tests)
In the above screenshot we can see improved cooperation between the HDR and Glow Effects.
Within the above screenshots we can see fog improved with proper height base.
In this screenshot in the distance we can see Aerial Perspective Fog, with the additional effect of light scattering
Here we see an early iteration of improved dynamic range hopefully allowing us differing light levels between interiors and exteriors.
The above screenshots show the current iteration of updates done to rain - which should allow a more rich, and believable downpour situation. Paired potentially with fog, this will greatly impact visibility during adverse weather conditions.
Animation System / Player Controller
The animation system and new player controller both are major elements of DayZ's engine that are in progress. The new actions done in Enforce Script can not enter experimental testing until the animation system fully supports all the necessary functions from the legacy animation system. I know I've gone on, and on about the total rewrite of actions in game being a massive change to how DayZ plays - and I hate to sound like a broken record. HOWEVER - I personally cannot state this enough. The change from the clunky old fashioned method used by DayZ, DayZ Mod, Arma 3, Arma 2, and so on to a new and more dynamic system will change a hell of a lot more than how you eat a bag of rice, or pick apples. I genuinely believe this will be one of the most massive changes to DayZ gameplay and completely redefine how the title is experienced.
That said - while we're all desperate to see this in the hands of consumers before the holiday break - A more reliable estimate (playing it safe and assuming we'll encounter critical bugs and blockers once this is merged into the main testing branch) would be to expect it early in the beginning of the new year.
Currently in the hands of the gameplay programmers - once this is completed on their end, it will need to be fully configured on the side of the design team. That said - with this we're looking at a hopeful target of mid to late January before we see it move over to player testable branches.
Between the new damage system, and new player controller (and of course - complete rewrite of player actions within Enforce Script) we're hoping to squash some of our major gameplay / exploit level issues. (Duping, Spamming action abuse, glitching into structures, changing ammo type to explosions, and so on)
Keep in mind that these will more than likely cause their own issues - which will be addressed as they come up, and into the beta phase of DayZ development.
Lastly for this Status Report - a little sneak peek at some design and art level pieces - We have (some) of the required parts for helicopters.
Questions? Suggestions? Make sure to head over to the official DayZ Forums and join the Status Report discussion thread for this week.
- Brian Hicks / Lead Producer-
Dev Update / Peter
Our new user interface should be part of our beta release with the aim to improve the current user experience. We have added several more features to the UI system recently, which allow us to streamline the process leading to the new user interface and help future modders as well. As well there are some changes for the players which will make life easier - like automatic aspect ratio taken from the current resolution or dynamically repositioning and scaling of interface elements. Also a significant raise of client FPS with new UI system is a thing which shouldn't be omitted.
Inventory is one of the most important screens, not only because players spent most of their interface time right here, but mainly for managing everyone's little treasures. This screen should be slick, easy to read and navigate as well as its functional design that shouldn't interfere with the intentions of game design. You have seen the concept art/mockup of the new inventory screen already and we are currently refining it's proportions, layout and functionalities to make it best as possible.
From the game mechanics point of view the new inventory is still missing a few things. While a solid foundation of the rewritten inventory system is already in game, now is the time to build upon it and add features which enrich possibilities and gameplay. First, I want to mention a small but unimportant one, which opens doors for others and make them more useful and interesting. A higher granularity of slots, leading to much better scalability of item sizes and cargo sizes. No more precious space used by matchbox, battery, pen and other small items. Combination of smaller and thinner items with bigger ones can lead to a unused gaps in inventory space and that's the moment when ability of rotating items kicks in and save the day. Hand in hand with rotation and more smaller slots per row cargo sizes can be changed to horizontal orientation to show more rows of inventory which leads to less vertical scrolling while managing it. Now you are probably excited as you started to imagine how many stuff you'll be able to cram in your backpack (especially guns). For that reason I would like to see dynamic change of item size where factors like numbers of attachments and their sizes define current item size in inventory. In other words you can carry stripped down AK and all it's attachments in backpack with tradeoff of it's readiness for combat. As I can tell your excitement is at the maximum level possible I feel it's a good time to water it down a bit. Damage state of cargo will be projected into ripped unusable slots, which adds the meaning for maintenance and taking care of your backpack and clothes apart from damaged visuals. Also linking slots into groups within one cargo space to create virtual pockets adds a cheery on top of inventory management and underline the hardcore nature of DayZ.
It must be said that our design requirements for new inventory system brought also other features to the game that affect gameplay directly. One of the most annoying limitations of the former inventory system was definitely the hand slot, which acted like mirror of cargo space equipped on character. While you had some inventory it somehow worked, apart from very annoying behavior and tendencies to break and messing with user actions in general. However while you hadn't any inventory slots which could be mirrored as hand slot to fool player things went down hill. Thus there become to live virtual cargo space with different rules as 'normal' cargo spaces as a resolution of this problem. You know the outcome of it, inconsistencies, prone to duping, strange and sometimes unexpected behavior. I'm glad that hands slot is equal to others. I find some of you being a bit restless with such change, but I clearly see from where it comes from. While I admit it was very convenient with old mirrored hands to not care about hand slot in regards of inventory capacity at all it leads to side effects like lowering inventory space by the size of item in hands. Requirement for awareness of how much inventory space you have left and what you are carrying openly in hands provides space for fast decisions making which ensures interesting situations. Of course dropping something from hands needs to be clearly visualized as animation so you don't realize too late that you left needed item somewhere beyond. (This is a big one one)
Another game changer is ability to simulate items placed in the inventory which wasn't possible before as items were asleep in such state. Now a flashlight is draining battery if you don't turn it off, smoke grenade is releasing it's smoke after activation and frag grenade happily counting down when it was unpinned before. We were also able to modify quickbar behavior as well. Now having better clothes with more inventory space equipped gives you more quickslots to use. This feature in combination with chambering and reloading from quickslots will raise demand for high tier clothes as they will have other practical utilization apart from more inventory space.
Second very important screen is HUD overlay, which as you noticed with latest 0.59 experimental we started to implement. However this is completely different story to tell but I can assure you it will be possible to toggle on demand so it will not occlude your view if you looking for maximum immersion as possible. (We’ll talk about this in upcoming Status Reports)
Stay organized... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
Dev Update / Viktor
The animation team continues working on the player character on the new animations system and has just recently started to work on the injured animations.
The wounded character will have more types of animations. We would like to have visualized an injury like for instance a broken arm or leg. With this type of injury a limited movement set and user actions set will be provided.
In the past we have already started on the implementation that we had to stop because of the limitations of the engine as we were not able to deliver the experience we were aiming for. As the new animations system is closer and is already offering us with some fancy options it is the right time continue on this type of feature. Except the limited usage of different items a limited movement set will be available depending on the injury. We would like to achieve this by using additive animations, blending of multiple animations, using animation sets to easily switch the complete sets of animations inside the animation graph and other sophisticated and cool features of the new animations system.
This is a very important part of the gameplay so we will need a lot of iterating and testing to find out a proper setup so it is challenging and not frustrating at the same time.
- Viktor Kostik/ Lead Animator -
Community Video: Max Coil and the Gents of Novo
So, for this week I chose to go with something a little bit different. Uploaded by Pitstop Head, this week's video shows what some players are up to when finding different ways of entertaining themselves outside of regular pvp or pve.
I tried muting the audio at the beginning of the video, but then it turned out that for a while, I had a bit of a hard time understanding what the hell was going on. Turning up the volume again helped. Slightly. In any which way, pretty ingenious with the box car everyone!
If you have the time, please do have a look at Pitstop Head's Twitch and Youtube accounts since there are good amounts of DayZ action/footage available through there.
As always, if you have a nice video containing DayZ footage you'd like to share, or if you have come across some DayZ footage from other content creators, just post it in the Gallery section of the DayZ forums and we'll happily have a look.