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Mardi 25 octobre 2016  
 
Status Report - 25 Oct 2016

Afternoon Survivors,

Another status report Tuesday comes around with Brian, Peter, Viktor, Mirek and Adam. They will share the latest info on where we are at in the development process.

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

Over the last two weeks we've been doing a lot of iteration, and regression testing on the critical issues preventing 0.61 Experimental/Unstable branch update. As you all may recall, those issues are server side performance and player to player sync. For the end user, that translates into A) How fluid your actions are in game (As well as how functional AI is) and B) How you see, and hear other players (Think sliding, player position, and gun shot sounds). The gameplay programming team (lead by Miroslav Manena) has made some big improvements in the issues previously mentioned regarding poor performance in high ping situations, and in the player to player sync. We're no longer seeing the jittering/hitching we previously saw in the 100+ MS range, and player to player sync issues are greatly reduced - however we are still able to reproduce them in some situations. 

The list of stable blockers includes several other issues (of which I will list below) but experimental blocking issues really currently is isolated to getting server performance to an acceptable rate with the dynamic spawning of infected and 40-60 player population, and knocking out the last issues with player to player sync listed above. This is where the bulk of gameplay programming, and QA resources are currently focused. I can say personally from the frequent multiplayer test passes we have been doing nearly every day these last two weeks, I have not encountered a single case of traditional desync. However, that said - I am personally holding my breath until we see how this performs under a larger player population such as the experimental/unstable branch.

In addition to that, we've taken a look at some of the feedback on our forums about the .61 version of the server browser and its filtering options and made changes accordingly. You can see the latest look of it on our Trello, which should be linked below.

Additionally, I wanted to take the opportunity to wish our Community Manager Smoss a fond farewell. Michael is pursuing some new and awesome opportunities that have come his way, and has spent the last few weeks bringing up to speed a new member of our Community Team - Baty!. Baty is a devout DayZ lover, and internal hire for us. She has been working with us for quite some time now on the support and test side of the fence, and brings with her a strong knowledge of DayZ as an active member of the Czech and Twitch DayZ communities. I'll give Baty an opportunity to introduce herself below:

"My name is Zuzana Cinková alias Baty Alquawen. Videogames have taken a part in my life as long as I can remember. My favorite genre is tactical FPS, RPG and survival games. I have five years long experience on gaming scene in several roles like journalist, PR, marketing and community. I worked on communities for Czech region of Ubisoft (Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, Rocksmith, Rayman series etc.), Codemasters and SEGA franchises for 4 years.

The beginning of my DayZ journey started on 28th December 2013 since then I have more than 1500 hours of private gameplay time. I play a lot of styles - role-play, survival, friendly and PVP which I play with my clan on dedicated servers. My hobbies are streaming games, cosplay and cats (yes, I am crazy cat lady).

My work at Bohemia Interactive started as tester and now, I am fulfilling my dream to be community manager. I really hope that all this is a great foundation for my DayZ community work.

So... Friendly?"

And finally - once again I'd like to remind you all to swing by the forums. We try to take an active role there as much as possible, and discuss our perspectives on the state of the build, as well as share insights into development in general. Over the last few weeks I've shared some videos and screenshots of 0.61 development, and healthy discussion has into development in general.

0.61 Must Fix Issues

    Client crashes after exiting title
    Player to Player Sync
    Using Cancel action on Item in Hands will cause item to be stuck in hands
    Dynamic Shadow issues on specific structures
    Server Performance under ideal load
    Magazine volume inconsistent between players

0.61 Milestone Goals

    Server Login Queue
    Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update.
    Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology.
    Dynamic Spawning of Infected.
    Predators (Wolves)
    Dynamic Shadows
    Network Synchronization Improvements
    New Server Browser

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Peter

Doors. There are myriad different ones across the whole of Chernarus. Small ones or large ones, single or doubled-sided, in structures or in the open, all these doors are waiting for you to interact with them. Let's focus on their core functionality now which is opening and going through. It's interesting to observe how such a simple action is causing so much trouble. Opening toward you, a door won't hesitate to displace your position in the world and in some specific cases, clip through you or, in the worst case scenario, break your leg (which was a common problem in the mod days, some survivors were more afraid of doors than infected). And it doesn't end at characters. A good example is shooting vehicles into orbit once collision geometry of doors penetrates vehicle geometry, which is easy to achieve as swinging of doors are driven by simple rotating animations ignoring physics completely during the swing. These issues are just unacceptable and they are crippling the overall experience. 

There are a few possible ways to address and resolve this problem. For example, the easiest choice will be to remove all the doors. While this sounds like a silly idea, it's still a functional one. However, don't worry, it's clearly not a suitable solution for DayZ as doors should also act not only as obstacles for navigation through the environment, but they should also offer a tactical advantage against infected or other survivors, especially with advanced barricading in the future. Another option will be locking characters into the animation of opening the door. You know the drill, hand catches handle, press it down and start pulling the door toward you. Once done, you are free to move again. Such a solution, as visually appealing as it can be to watch, can become frustrating in the long run, especially in competitive environments where every second counts, and I bet we all agree that fluid movement and responsiveness is crucial for DayZ. 

From my point of view there is one solution which is very close to ideal, and we started to experiment with it; doors which swing in both directions. At first I thought it a bit unacceptable as we are trying to stay as authentic as possible, and such doors are quite rare even in real life. However, from a gameplay perspective it solves plenty of issues and I would be happy to make concessions as a designer and a player if its helpful. The most valuable benefit is that they will never interfere with you and your movement through the doorway, as they will always swings away from you when opening. It's true that some door placements needs to be adjusted so they don't collide with each other. Also there are some structures where such a door design doesn't make much sense, from the top of my head, jail cells or outhouses, but for the greater good it could be worked through. On the other hand, garages are more of a problem with such an approach, as it will be possible to put a vehicle in, close the doors from the outside, and then never be able to get back in as collision with vehicles will stop them, but every problem has a solution. Also barricading will benefit from this door behavior, as planks could be physical objects where, so when you try to open a door against them, the door strikes the planks. Or jamming the door with a barrel will be a possibility. While it still could have some very specific issues which can be tackled on their own I think it's the right approach and I hope we will succeed with it as it will add to the experience and overall in-game possibilities.

Break on through to the other side... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Viktor

Our main focus at the moment is on the user actions and player locomotion. We are adjusting the graph and animations to make it more fluent and natural. Since some user actions start in different stances, some allow you to move and some not, we need to make sure this works as intended. This means a lot of work on the code side, animation graph and animations.

Regarding the player locomotion we are in the process of replacing single loop animations with 2-3 loops. That basically means instead of repeating one cycle of run there are now 3 cycles which makes it less repetitive. It allows the character to run more naturally and believable.

At the same time there is work in progress on next unjamming animation. This time it is for break action rifles. Since making unique weapon animation is usually very time consuming we always create unjamming for specific type of gun which then we retarget and adjust with some details for other firearms of the same type.

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Dev Update / Mirek

Today, I will try to be fast, as we're trying to resolve blocking issues as fast as possible. We're still dealing mostly with animation desync issues and server performance issues, as we want to spawn more infected than in previous versions.

Work is going well, and we are every day closer to the state in which we want to release experimental 0.61. The rest of the team is working on vehicle physics, new features for the damage system and improvements on infected AI.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Programmer -

Dev Update / Adam

Its has been a long time since you read something from the environment department in the SR, so lets change that! I will cover some of the changes that you should see during your .61 journeys in Chernarus!

While we are busy with many tasks prior to upcoming large scale changes to the map (more on that the in the future), we were still able to focus on some specific locations that were in dire need of help for the past few months.

Myshkino

Myshkino, located deep in West, has been completely redone from scratch. The new layout is inspired a bit by its real counterpart (Neznabohy). Its proximity to one of the busiest military areas of Chernarus has been kept in mind (so do not worry, the water pump is still there, its just prettier overall). As it is always with settlement revision tasks, big efforts are also put into changing the surrounding forests and fields. Myshkino's surroundings were no exception (see pictures below). Now, you may ask, "Does that mean Myshkino military camp was changed too?" No, not yet, but we will get there.



Sosnovka

The little village North of Zelenogorsk has met the same fate as Myshkino, and has been completely redone from scratch to hopefully match its hilly position better, and to make it more village-like. Many changes also happened to its surroundings, AKA "the land of heli-crash sites" (with a small surprise on Sosnovka pass).



Pulkovo

Another village in the land of helicopter crash sites and another one to bring us closer to the ultimate task of revisiting all settlement of Chernarus, Pulkovo has been redone from scratch along with its surroundings. There is an interesting open market area, new pond and medium-sized apple orchard to the West.


Guglovo

Another village, this time within Central Chernarus on the way to Stary Sobor. This one couldn't be missed as many of its neighbors (eg. Shakovka, Staroye,..) have been changed in .60 already. Guglovo was changed significantly with its central position moved away from the main road going to Staroye/ Stary Sobor. With a newly placed big oak tree in the village centre, none can miss Guglovo now from a distance. As always, surroundings were changed too, mainly to the Southeast (connecting to the Staroye area), South and Southwest, where village of Kumyrna lies, one of the very few destroyed settlements of Chernarus. It would be shame if this village would be missed and so it too received a proper visual upgrade.


Dolina

An amazing spot for a village, yet for many survivors probably an unknown place. A new and extended stream within the valley shapes the new layout of Dolina in a unique way. The village itself has grown quite lot and it should hopefully attract more survivors now (although the big red barn didn't make it, sorry about that).


Solnichniy

Settlement revision is a lengthy task, but with the changes within Solnichniy, we are yet closer to having all villages within the Eastern part of Chernarus upgraded to new DayZ standards. While you may still recognize this village, many additional details were added to the layout along with major texture data changes to the village itself and its surroundings (including "Three Valleys" as seen in the 3rd picture).



As I mentioned in the beginning, I wont be giving you a full list of what has been done in .61, there are still much to explore, and I will leave that to you, survivors of Chernarus. So, see you in-game!

-  Adam Franců /  Map Designer -

Community Spotlight

Today, I'd like to focus on musical creations from the DayZ community, which are without question amazing. I admit more than one of them blasts in my music player almost daily, and I believe I’m not alone there.

You surely already know some of the well known channels, like Canadian Team Geo, which became internet famous with their songs "Friendly", "I Want Some Beans" or "Play DayZ". Their success is no surprise. The combination of great lyrics and catchy in-game clips make for entertaining songs that'll get you humming them in the shower. If you're unfamiliar, I highly recommend listening to them, you won't regret it.

I would also like to point out blAkeMusic, whose rap "DayZ Saga" is amazing musical storytelling. blAke has incredible talent to transfer his feelings into rhymes so we can experience them with him. I am highly recommending his channel.

One of the latest on the DayZ music scene is CMAM – Collective Madness And Moles with their song"Chernarus Bay" on channel . The author’s name is Steffen, hailing from Germany. He's very talented.

Check it out for yourselves:



If you have any DayZ creations of your own that you'd like to share, tweet them to us on our official Twitter channel. You might just grace the next status report with your talent!

Header image credit: RΣLΛX

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 11 octobre 2016  
 
Status Report - 11 Oct 2016

So, an update from Brian, Peter, and Viktor in regards to user actions and animations, the new launcher, and of course the current status going towards 0.61 as well as blockers are in this week's status report.

Development Board Spotlight

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

I know a good deal of you are reading this hoping to see somewhere in big bold letters that 0.61 is hitting experimental/unstable branch *right now!*. Well, let me derail that train right away. We're not quite there yet. Fortunately in this Status Report I'll do my best to fill you guys in on what the dang hold up is, and our progress against getting it onto experimental/unstable branch since the last Status Report. In addition, Peter will be talking briefly about our designs for the DayZ Launcher, and Viktor will be talking about some of the animation teams work towards the implementation of the new animation system. As well, the Trello should have some new renders of the CR 550 and its magazines, as well as an updated image of the current look of the server browser.

Over the last two weeks the team has been doing almost daily all-hands multiplayer tests in an effort to isolate the remaining blocking issues getting us to experimental/unstable. Those issues specifically are fundamental to the base gameplay of DayZ. Namely server side performance, and player-to-player synchronization. I'm sure some of you are wondering why we're currently fighting new issues related to synchronization of players, as one of the milestone goals for .61 is just that - improving and reducing the chance for client/server desynchronization.

The work Miroslav, and the gameplay programming team have been doing in this area has made massive changes to the communication process between client and server for DayZ - and it has most definitely changed how a lot of the behaviour is manifested client side. While the improvements in client/server synchronization have been outstanding (and lets hold our breath until the larger testing pool gets ahold of them to be safe) they have (not unexpectedly mind you) caused new issues. Thanks to the frequent all hands MP sessions we've had over the last few weeks, we have isolated repro steps and proper bug data on all of the ones we have encountered.

As we get closer to .61 hitting experimental/unstable and look at the road beyond .61, towards massive engine and gameplay changes such as the new animation system, player controller, user actions, and so on we have to be very aware of the fact that huge changes like that are going to take time to get ready for Steam, and thus we have to make sure that the build that you'll all be playing while we work on that is as enjoyable and functional as we can make it. We're all very aware that the journey we've all taken together in Early Access has not been the easiest, and can be massively frustrating at times. However, speaking for myself I think we've opted for the harder road in the short term, but the road that leads to the best final product - and always keeps the focus on 1.0 being the best DayZ it can be, first and foremost.

Enough rambling from me though, lets dig into exactly what our blocking issues are for .61 (and keep in mind, these are Must-Fix for Stable branch, not all of these are must fix for Experimental/Unstable)

    Player SFX significantly quieter than others: (Fix for this is in testing now)
    Network: Players can become severely out of sync with each other: (Gameplay Programming team working on a fix for this currently)
    Client crash when exiting title
    Player position hitching when navigating collision
    Magazine ammo count quantity reporting incorrectly
    Items can be stuck in hands under certain cancel action situations
    Dynamic Infected spawning without player trigger
    Some infected not responding to triggers (Fix in test currently)

Before I sign off for this Status Report - I'd like to encourage you all to visit, and participate in our official forums. I do my best to jump into as many discussions as possible, and as we move closer to the major systems dependencies that are holding back large gameplay systems changes and updates such as soft skills, weapon customization, base building and so on I would love to see the discussion around those mechanics and systems start to open up more. If you're interested - you'll find me at forums.dayz.com

0.61 Milestone Goals

    Server Login Queue
    Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update.
    Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology.
    Dynamic Spawning of Infected.
    Predators (Wolves)
    Dynamic Shadows
    Network Synchronization Improvements
    New Server Browser

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Peter

In the upcoming 0.61 version of DayZ you will be able to try out the brand new Server Browser which doesn't bog fps down like the old one, and it's a breeze to use with all these filter options (mind that per character filter won’t be part of 0.61 release as it's not yet fully implemented). Alongside the new server browser I hinted at the external launcher a few status reports ago, so why not uncover a bit of information about it now.

The most important function of a launcher is obviously to run modded DayZ. Without mods there would be hardly any launcher at all. Actually it's possible to have mods support even without the launcher but that will lead to unpleasant yet necessary restarts of the game as different addons should be loaded at start, unless you are launching them from command line. However, both cases aren't very user friendly. In the launcher you can easily manage installed mods and overview their current state and additional information like description, author, source and others.

Apart from the game section for mod selection, there are also two other separated sections dedicated for tools and servers with central economy including their startup parameters and launch buttons for additional value which offers easy discovery of options of DayZ as a platform to users that aren't aware of them. Last but not least, the launcher will also serve as the official DayZ communication channel aggregating news, status reports, change logs of releases, Q&A videos, WIP showcase and hands on videos, maintenance and community spotlight.

The launcher is currently being implemented with all requirements mentioned above with the aim to be well arranged and simple to use and while it might not see daylight publicly in 0.61 it will be released once DayZ is ready to be open for modding community.

See you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Viktor

As I have mentioned in last status report the animation team is busy with many tasks related to player character. We are doing polishing pass for unarmed and rifle locomotions. That includes work on animations and graph as well. The animations are being adjusted so they blend nicely and feel more natural which has to be on a par with the player graph where blendtimes between animations need to feel right and fluent.

There is also ongoing work on user actions. Since these are already in the player graph now we need to connect them with the designers scripts so the animations are played when some actions happen. This is a big task as it includes drinking, eating, all the medical action, as well as any item usage and even gestures.

We have some progress regarding the combat as well. We do have few prototypes now like combat stances for unarmed, one handed item and two handed item and some simple attack animations. This week we will have a meetng and more discussions about the combat itself and the animations style.

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Community Spotlight

Keeping in trend with highlighting some of the awesome DayZ communities, we'd really like to put focus on one of the largest community sites out there (currently +4 million hits/month.) There's a good chance have already crossed paths with this one which is simply known as: DayZTV!

DayZTV has been around basically since forever, and they have a really nice site that provides a lot of options and info for users via the many sections on their site. As an example; if you're looking for other players to team up with for a session, or a more permanent group to team up with, you should be able to find plenty via the Broadcast tab in the Forum section, and if you feel like setting up an event for yourself and others, you can do so via the Community --> Community Server selection. For this, DayZTV have also been helpful for users by setting up a Discord server where you can reach other players.

What is also relly nice about DayZTV is that via the Live section you will find a selection of live Twitch streams from users playing DayZ, and outside of that, there is a boatload of helpful info for users stowed away under other sections such as Guides for example. We can only imagine how much work and effort it must take to run and develop the site, and we really appreciate the massive support that DayZTV has provided for so long in regards to promoting DayZ as well as DayZ related news while it is in development!

As always, in case you are part of a community that you would like to see highlighted, or if you are a contect creator looking to share your stories and footage, just send us some info at support@dayz.com and we'll be happy to have a look!

Header image credit: HunterKiller

- SMoss / Community Manager -

 
 

 

 


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