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Mardi 12 septembre 2017  
 
Status Report - September 12, 2017

An outbreak of Gamescom plague caused chaos in our schedules and organisation, but most of the team is back in business now. Brian sets a perspective on how to balance excitement and expectations now when we're approaching an important milestone in DayZ development. Eugen sums up our immediate internal development goals that will eventually lead us to that BETA milestone, and how they add up to the big picture of DayZ 1.0. We're welcoming back Viktor, who's found some time to reflect upon the new animation changes presented at Gamescom, and there's also Martin's update on the status of a promised 0.63 Dev Log video. As usual, Baty is closing of with awesome community content, and invites everyone to Birmingham's EGX next week! Let's get ready for some reading! 

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

Y'know, I've seen a lot of folks talking about 0.63 like it will solve world hunger - which is something I've seen associated with other pending builds before. Be it the new renderer, changes to sound, adjustments to economy, or even the introduction of the V3S. Typically people get pissy with me when I have to try and bring things down to earth, but I'm alright with being the bad guy in this case.

Anytime you change the technology powering a piece of software, hell anytime you change the software itself in any way, you come up against risk. The degree of risk is the factor that fluctuates, and its up to the developers creating said software to weigh the risk of a change, versus the pay off. For us as a team, and for DayZ as a product the pay off is well worth the risk. For years now we've been internally prototyping, be it in documentation, in script, or in intermediate technologies built to serve the gap between what is functioning on the consumer Steam branch, and what is functioning internally on the main trunk.

I've had the pleasure of previewing, discussing, and in some cases "teasing" these prototypes, and documentation for years. Eager to share our intent with you, but often blocked from actually sharing the experience with you due to technical limitations. The .63/Beta update is the first major step towards the technology finally being able to bring this vision forward. It is not the end of the road, but it is most certainly the most important lap we have made

I did not overstate it when I said that the change to animation system, player controller, and scripting language would begin to alter how you interact with the world itself. This is fundamentally a huge change, both internally and externally for you, the consumer. I'm neither trying to charge up the hype train, nor am I trying to crush anyone's hopes and dreams. It's rare that a title gets the support from a company to spend the time working on improving the core technology to better meet the needs of design. Typically, technology limitations inform design within a few small exceptions from time to time. Its been a long road, and bumpy as hell ,but we're finally within sight of being able to finally share with all of you the things we've all worked on for so long.

And we couldn't have done it without all of you.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Eugen

Hello survivors! Post-gamescom rush has ended quickly with a lot people getting sick, feverish from Gamescom plague. With people missing we were trying to get through the feedback in our internal post-mortem and follow up it up in the plan for following months and weeks before BETA becomes available. I have to say that the road does not end there, and we still are dedicated to polish the experience further before we leave Early Access. What BETA means is that most if not all features promised will be implemented in the new technology, and iterated upon further as we move to leave out of Early Access with 1.0 version. I believe that feedback will be critical in this phase where all the issues need to get ironed out.

In the meantime, we focused on issues either seen during Gamescom or general plans that have been set out. Special attention has been put on critical issues of camera that was still up for refactor. As it is nowhere near the level that we want from the game, nor has the feature set needed. From the clipping issues to twitchy movement and abuse, there is lot of ground to cover.

And there is a lot more as the whole Gamescom experience worked as an amazing focus test on large scale. We had the chance to see how people work around the new stuff available and observe to see the flaws in the whole system. Which was an amazing opportunity, and I can`t wait to have the same experience with other people online, so that we can make this game the best it can be together.

The next step for us, is to finish up more advanced features for melee and ranged combat, additional camera technology to support all the new gameplay, and finalizing the character movement and variation, before we move heavily into area of infected, where some heavy work needs to be done.

Once the base loop feels really good, we will move onto rest of the game to polish all these things in the new technology. We will survive!  (smile)

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update / Viktor

Hi everyone. It has been a while since the last time I contributed to the Status Report. The past weeks were a bit hectic with the animation things related to the Gamescom build. I think animators did a great job adding all the content which everyone was able to play for couple of days. We were very pleased by the positive feedback to the new player controller, injured animations, heavy items animations, combat and everything else that was presented.

The version available to play was not final by any means. We are still aiming for significant improvements in many areas of player character and infected as well. The presented wounded character was a first draft in fact. In the upcoming days, weeks and months we will continue on animation improvements and reworks.

Currently, we are also working on some new death animations. We are adding directional deaths for all item types and all stances. Initially, the character will play the pre-recorded animation only but later, we will start with directional death animation and in the middle of the animation, we will switch to ragdoll so that the characters would fall and align with environment nicely.

Another big part of the game that is being worked on are poses for different items. There are hundreds of various food items, weapons or tools that need a proper pose. From the very beginning of the DayZ, we have decided to have a nice holding for each of these items. At the moment, all these poses are being made and added to the game.

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Dev Update / Martin

Survivors, I just want to briefly update you on the status of the 0.63 Dev Log that we teased and promised to deliver after Gamescom. Unfortunately, a sizeable portion of the team (including Baty, Eugen and me) got hit by an outbreak of some sneaky virus that we most likely brought with us back from Gamescom.

Since we have a very small marketing/community team here, this further delayed the production of the Dev Log video, but we're back in business now, and we've also managed to get some additional help from our QA Engineer Dan Fialka (who's been with us at Gamescom as well). He's recording some of the gameplay clips as we speak, so hopefully we'll be able to speed things up a notch now. 

Recording a couple of gameplay clips from an internal build may sound like an an easy task, but if they are supposed to be done according to a script, and connected with a developer voice over, it suddenly becomes a complicated undertaking - especially when the internal build of DayZ just decides to behave weirdly, and randomly throws crashes and glitches your way. Of course, we want to avoid showing these things in official content as much as possible, as the intent is to present the best of what the current build can offer.

If anything, it also shows that the build is simply not ready to be played beyond a very controlled and structured environment that was the Gamescom booth, and that our decision to not release it on a Steam branch was very well reasoned. We'll let you know on our forums and social media channels the moment the video is ready - for now, please hold tight end enjoy some of the community content from Gamescom that we shared in the last Status Report! 

- Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager

Community Spotlight

Survivors!

The Gamescom epidemic hit a lot of us and I wasn't an exception. But I am ready for a new event! You might know there is a show called EGX in Birmingham, England. I and my colleague, brand manager Martin Čulák, will be there on Friday and we want to meet everyone from DayZ community, who is also planning to attend this gaming event. Watch our Twitter for more information.

Barely Infected came with an amazing idea. He organized a group of survivors and built a camp named "DayZ Village" where all the good people can live together and help each other in this cruel time of apocalypse. This project had great success and The Village is nowadays still pretty crowded. You can find it on Spaggie's server at 185.16.86.48:2402 and The Village is located on the Zub castle. I spent some time there and it was awesome. People are nice, they care about each other and try to protect The Village together. The Village was planned for just one week, but with this success, Barely Infected decided to prolong it.

Barely Infected has documentation of every day on the server.



You can find a lot of content from creators on Youtube and make your own impression of what is going on on the server. For example from these guys: Gaming Junkie, CitizenZ, CamCANTRUN, Raig Prime, Kerbo, FriendlyNikolai, 2dogsgaming, RageBruh or HandZ.

Here is a funny prank from M1NDER, he pranked the whole village.



And one last thing about this event - artwork of DayZ Village by Dominik Figlhuber.

Everyone is looking forward to the 0.63 update. But not as much as this guy. KaskadianRepublik's body is ready. But since 0.63 is still not ready for public, you will need to wait until it's done. 

I want to show you one video. It is about love between a dog and a human. Fluffy cute wolf who wants to eat everyone around him. But Whoopsie DayZ falls in love with him and wants to have him as a pet. How this can end? I laughed a lot, you need to see it. 



Have a nice time guys and see you in two weeks!

Header image by Vernon Price.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 29 août 2017  
 
Status Report - 29 August 2017

This week, the Status Report fully focuses on recapping our Gamescom experience. We've been presenting the 0.63 playable DEMO in Cologne, Germany the entire past week, and met literally hundreds of players who tried the DEMO live at our booth as we watched them play. We've gathered a lot of important feedback, which both Eugen and Peter cover in their texts. There are also VoDs of Gamescom live streams, some exciting Gamescom gameplay from our community, and more! Let's get to it.

Dev Update / Eugen

Gamescom DEMO has been an amazing experience for all of us. Being able to finally get direct feedback on 0.63 and talk to our old school players, or see the new ones playing it for the first time has made me more than a little happy. After getting this DayZ potential ready tech wise, we had a game to share, and talk about. It was exciting and exhausting. We are looking forward to sharing more.

At the same time, I have some less exciting news for you. As the build we brought to Gamescom would still take weeks to get ready for public testing, we will not be releasing the DEMO for Steam. We really wanted to, but it just no longer makes sense to spend time polishing a very small part of the whole BETA experience. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on the floor, and I do believe we are hitting the right notes on what BETA should feel like. Rather than releasing a DEMO, our goal is to get the BETA/0.63 update out as soon as possible in its entirety on Experimental branch when ready. That does not mean it's going to be rushed. We do believe that the only way out of this hellhole is a really good game that all of us want to play.

We are going to focus on the combat a little while longer to incorporate some of the good feedback that we got, as well as features missing from the DEMO that were cut before it was used on the show floor. There is still a lot of details to implement, or content to convert in that regard. Since we have only returned from Gamescom floor on Sunday late night, we plan to have an internal post-mortem first and get the team together to plan out the next month in detail.

However, as you may know, the scope of BETA is huge, and even though we have developed a lot of these features during the same time as technology, now it is time to put it all together. It’s a painful process, but the game is finally there. We are going to need a lot of balancing runs, polishing and bug fixing before we are happy to put it out. We will be reading the feedback on the details available and try and share with you more as we recover from the trip.

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update / Peter

Gamescom 2017 has ended, so let my write down my impressions. At first, knowing all that stuff which was completely missing from the DEMO, or just in early prototype state, and all the remaining limitations we still needs to figure out, I was feeling a bit insecure about the quality of the DEMO build that we brought for showcase at the Gamescom booth. I'm a person who likes to have things in order, and as polished as possible, which leads to situations where I’m just not pleased enough with the current state of the game. So naturally, I was very curious how it's all going to turn out in the end.

To quickly recap what was presented in demo:

    New rocks, roads and their decals with parallax mapping.
    New characters with better body proportions and heads with lifespan, containing growing shaveable beards, washable bloody hands from skinning bodies
    New character controller and animation system with very responsive and fluent character movement, coupled with new physics for better collisions, allowing for smooth traversing through environment (yes even running down/up the hill!)
    New movement sets for turning, injured, falling character as well as carrying heavy items around in hands
    New gestures with the ability to move while using them
    New stamina system, differentiating character movement speed depending on their load
    New melee combat system with attack and hit impacts animations
    New ranged combat with extended weapon handling and aiming with new sway and recoil
    New intuitive way to perform actions with items in hands even while moving, crafting new ones even directly from world and interactions with environment without pixel hunting
    New HUD and inventory with clear layout and resized cargo and item sizes
    New voice communication including personal radio, megaphone and public address system
    New advanced placing which will be used for precise placement of specific items
    New electricity system with cable reels to reach far places
    And much more...

There were thousands of gamers and content creators looking forward to get their hands on the first iteration of what DayZ will become in BETA. It was an interesting mixture of people that never played DayZ before, ones who put it down waiting patiently for BETA, and those who still play DayZ regularly and spent from hundreds to thousands of hours in-game. I've spent a great amount of time observing how people play the game, and discussed with them about what they like on the new DayZ, what would they still like to see improved, and why.

With this approach, I gained a ton of feedback. It was very positive to see and hear that we are actually on the right track, and people do like what they see, and especially how it plays. Bear in mind nothing is set in stone yet, and everything could be changed, especially after valuable feedback we received. It will allow us to refine the design a bit more, so in it’s final form, DayZ could unleash its full potential, and allow people to enjoy what DayZ is so well known for - an emergent gameplay full of interactions, which creates stories filled with unique experience and leaving strong memories in atmospheric world.

After meeting you at Gamescom 2017... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Martin

As both Eugen and Peter mentioned, Gamescom was a really positive experience for us. The very stressful couple of weeks before we left the office and travelled to Cologne were definitely worth it in the end, as we've been met with a very warm welcome at Gamescom, and also fulfilled our mission: to gather preliminary feedback on an early 0.63 build.

As Baty will share in her part of the Status Report, we did our best to provide some meaningful coverage for those of you not visiting Gamescom. The couple of live streams we organized with Twitch and GameStar.de were quite full of interesting news, so do check them out below, along with content from M1ndr, Barely Infected or Merlin from DayZ Underground.

It's a bit unfortunate that we were not able to capture a better gameplay clip for both live streams in time (due to both time constraints and last minute fixes to the playable DEMO build), so the presented footage was a bit bare bones and glitchy at times, but as promised, we will deliver a good amount of quality 1080p/60FPS footage in the following days. The footage will take the form of a Dev Log video similar to those made for 0.62, and you can expect around 10 minutes of new content with Eugen's developer narration. 

Also, since we decided not to make the DEMO available on Steam, we'll see if we can at least organise a live stream where you can see live gameplay, and ask us questions. Our pre-gamescom live stream was a bit of a technical failure, so we need to spend some more time planning the live stream, but we have a decent combat plan to make it all happen. 

That's it from me this week. Thanks everyone who visited us at Gamescom, you were awesome! Now, let's see some of the community content from our booth. 

- Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager -

Community Spotlight

Gamescom is over, we are back in Prague, and work on BETA continues. 

It was something new to us and some people in the team have never been to a big event like Gamescom before. It was exhausting, but it was worth it, because your feedback is what we really needed. And we are really happy we got a lot of very positive feedback from you!  

It was a total of 6 of us from the DayZ team, and for five days, you were able to meet us in the booth and play DayZ on 18 PCs.  You could play a short PvP demo, try some features from the upcoming 0.63 build and grab some nice little presents along the way. You've surely seen videos that appeared mostly on Twitter and Reddit from people who have already tried the demo. Unfortunately, as Martin explained, we do not have an official video ready yet, but we will catch up this week and if everything goes according to our plan, the video commented by our Lead Producer Eugen Harton will be released by the end of the week. Before it's out, you can look at the impressions of M1ndr and Rene (Barely Infected) who also visited us to try the DEMO: 




There were two live streams during Gamescom where our Lead Producer Eugen was talking about the Gamescom DEMO and BETA. First one on the line was the GameStar.de live stream, and the second one was a Twitch official Gamescom live stream (watch the VOD here, you need to move to time 8:10:55). 



We also hosted a community meetup at Gamescom, where we met ten of you and barely fit into our small meeting room. For almost two hours, we talked about DayZ and what you can expect from the BETA. And you got some special gifts we prepared for this event. I would like to thank you very much for coming to see us and I hope you enjoyed the meeting as much as we did! 

Before Gamescom, we organized an event on Skalisty Island where players became knights and fought in teams to capture the Skalisty castle. Except for a bit of a waiting waiting, everything went well and all players were quite happy.

There were some content creators who were streaming or recording their gameplay which they then placed on YouTube, so those of you who were not there can see it too. Blue team won the battle of the castle, but the greys fought bravely too. I want to thank everyone for their patience and the fact that they have arrived. You can look forward to another event soon! 

Just for clarification, the recording of the developer stream that accompanied the event was removed due to technical issues during the stream. Unfortunately, we did not correctly estimate the demands of the stream on the hardware and therefore the stream was flawed by unpleasant lags. We learned our lesson and it will be better next time. 

I've created a list of YouTube recordings for you, so you can see what was happening through the eyes of several players. If I forgot to include someone just tweet me at @batyalquawen and I'm going to add you to the playlist. 



And in the end, I want to show you a funny bug we found yesterday. Adam Franců sent it to me with this description: 

While working on the tourist trails north of Svetloyarsk, we have discovered this massive structure that reesembles the shape of a lunch table. The exact origin and purpose of it is yet to be known. We have sent scout to investigate, reports suggest that this structure pose serious threat to the survivors and we have managed to take it down in a quick map editing action.



Thanks again to everyone who came to play the Gamescom demo and to everyone who gave us any feedback. We really appreciate it. See you in two weeks guys and have a nice start of a new school year! 

Header image by MAMAD_NZR.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 8 août 2017  
 
Status Report - 8 August 2017

Hello survivors! Where the last couple of Status Reports felt a bit dry and lacking on exciting content, we're doing our best to improve our track record this week! Starting off with Brian, and his excitement which clearly shows that we've had a good couple of rough, but good weeks, through Eugen, who's offering a closer look at the contents of the upcoming Gamescom DEMO, and then over to Peter, who details the changes made to melee and firearms behaviour in 0.63, it's a joyride of teasing new and exciting content. Adam continues by sharing his bits on new decals updates, our Brand Manager Martin assures everyone that the Gamescom news will make its way to everybody, and Baty invites you to Gamescom AND to our upcoming community event next week that goes together with a pre-gamescom developer live stream. Oh hey, and there's also GIFs showing some new stuff (because yes - it is a long read again). Ready? Go! 

Dev Update/Brian

Greetings Survivors,

As we approach Gamescom I can't help but reflect back on all the work, stress, and dedication that has preceded where we are now. Back in the end of 2013 when we were trying to prepare a build for Steam, we couldn't have imagined the opportunities all the time that has been spent on technology, and the foundation of the project would afford us. Looking at the Early Access release of one of my personal favourite pure survival titles, The Long Dark I can't help but remember what that experience was like when it first hit Steam, compared to how amazing it is now.

The team has been working tirelessly for quite some time, and the focus over the last month or so on preparing a functional vertical slice build for Gamescom, which should raise spirits a great deal internally. One of the most frustrating professional experiences for me has been working on adapting the design and experience of DayZ over the years, but knowing that you the consumers couldn't see these changes and get hands on with them until the underlying tech was ready to support it. Gamescom is just over the horizon, and I know everyone here on the team is really focused on trying to get an outstanding snapshot of the new DayZ experience for you all.

Not losing focus on the fact that the development teams' core goals have been aimed specifically at setting the foundation of DayZ for the years to come is a difficult order. The technology that we hit Steam with fundamentally just can't do justice to the experience we want to bring, and fortunately leadership inside the company has understood that and supported our drive forward. BETA by no means is the end all be all milestone for DayZ - we have plenty of amazing things beyond it and before leaving Early Access - but this is fundamentally the biggest impact on how you the users interact with the world, and establishes the technology baseline that enables us to do all the things we've talked with you about over the years.

It's been a hell of a journey, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Eugen

Hey guys! I'm going to get into detail in regards to what the Gamescom DEMO is and what is the plan going forward with it. As the Gamescom is getting closer, things are being set in stone.

When we decided to go forward with the idea (which was about three months ago), we were nowhere near the expected result. However, deadlines and these goals make sure you are able to focus on what is actually important and as such help you eliminate the noise that gets in the way of development. Sometimes it's feature creep, other times you just follow an overly complicated solution to a problem that’s much simpler to solve. The renewed target helped us follow through.

Everything starts with how you control a game, it needs to feel just right. When the game is making it hard to do what you actually want to accomplish through arbitrary complexity or inconsistency, it quickly becomes tedious. As this DEMO features the new player controller, animation system, physics and much more, it will feel different at first glance. Interacting with players, AI or environment should feel much smoother. We will have the new controls printed out for players coming in for an easy reference point.

As this is quite a complex rework of the game, and we want people to test specific things, it will have its own "map" built around Staroye. The map includes new roads, rocks, and more reworked old assets as we are gradually improving visual fidelity, and leaving the old stuff behind. Only subset of player usable items will be spawning for the purpose of quick access, as we expect the turnover to be quite large. The density is also much higher to make sure you can try more things in a short span of time. Besides the map, you can also expect new particle effects implemented with Enfusion technology, new character faces and much more.

It will feature the new inventory implementation, which again should feel much smoother and faster as we have invested quite a lot of time to do this properly. And one large change that we expect to have significant impact on how people play: you won't be able to move with inventory open. A lot of the things that people have used inventory to solve, like finding small items or interacting with their weapon to avoid delayed quick bar, will be long gone. Items will show their icons in the world, as well as all action being moved to contextual methods. And quick bar will become a core part of your setup as you explore the world of DayZ. You will get more slots as you get higher tier items, which in translation will increase the amount of stuff you can get done quickly in the world.

There are tons of new animations coming in to show different states of character, exhaustion for example. And many detailed systems trying to avoid using text and use of heavy UI, so that living your life in Chernarus is all about your character. New gestures that will spice up the interaction between player, hopefully causing a laugh or two. Or making sure you can understand each other over a long distance.

Lot of new UI changes that will focus on giving you enough detail if you want, or just immerse into the character in front of you. Tons of new sounds both ambient, character or weapon related.

There is new synchronisation model that is quite different from what we had before, hoping to support the full scale of 100 players and tons of AI. All these things will be stress tested heavily to make sure there are no issues when we go live. Lot of the things are however heavily work in progress, but also for the first time, all of the new tech is in and working with new data. It's exciting as hell.

And last but not least, new melee combat and ranged combat. But I'll let Peter talk about those  

There will be issues I'm sure, as something always slips past, or gets broken in the last second. This is a complex game in making, and we can't wait to share our progress with you. We are discussing the possibility of making the DEMO available for a limited time on a separate Steam branch, but we'll yet have to see about that.

Programmers

    Weapons actions
    Vehicle controller refactor
    Melee combat (programming wise)
    Particles (programming wise)
    Physics and optimisation tweaks
    New zombie controller
    CLE (Central Loot Economy) tweaks
    Bug fixing

Animators

    Animals animations
    IK (Inverse Kinematics) poses
    Injured animations
    Weapons animations (loading/unloading)
    Bug fixing

Designers

    Melee combat (script wise)
    Communication
    Horticulture
    Particles (script wise)
    Inventory UI refactor
    Advance placing system
    Gamescom demo preparation (spawning, menu, ...)
    Bug fixing

Audio

    Sounds for weapons interactions
    Footsteps sounds (surface vs footwear)
    Ambient sounds
    Bug fixing

QA

    Internal client stabilisation
    Gamescom demo features testing
    Bug reporting

Art

    Old assets rework
    New assets preparation (NW Airfield )
    Object layout for western region
    Bug fixing

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Peter

As you may know from previous Status Reports, we scratched old firearms and melee implementations and started from the ground up to allow us fulfil our vision of having more control over firearms and melee fights, resulting in much better, authentic user experience. Both ranged and close combat have crucial role in DayZ, may it be in PvE or PvP encounters. Over the last few weeks, there was quite a lot of progress made in both combats, and now as things starts to look well enough, it's a good time to talk about them and showcase them.

Ranged combat with firearms is defined by their handling and aiming models. So far on handling side, we have loading of firearms with either magazine or chambering directly with ammo from inventory, quick slots and even from the ground. Next is the mechanism manipulation itself, were you can feed ammo from a magazine to chamber in case of manual firearms, or eject ammo in automatic ones. It's also used to un-jam the mechanism once it gets jammed by a casing not being ejected properly. We reintroduced zeroing and fire modes, as well as iron sights, though optics are not working now due to some issues we're battling down the line (specifically switching to camera point on optic attachment, to be honest we have ran into some problems with attachments in general lately, as they are not in hierarchical order, so it will require some rewrite).

Aiming model of firearms is where the real fun begins. Currently, we have a new sway mechanic (yay, finally!) - it mimics breathing with constant vertical movement as well as corrections of hands direction with subtle random horizontal movement. It's very effective and robust design solution which allows us to modify output by plenty of factors, like firearm attachments configuration, especially hand-guard and butt-stock, and its weight, character stance and movement, amount of stamina, overall character state with all that unpleasant things like low body temperature or diseases, and of course also the hold breath feature (yes, I'm not kidding).

Recoil is another functional part of the aiming model now. While projectile is fired, we've introduced movement to firearms in all three dimensions. We are experimenting with pre-animated recoils, which are procedurally modified to produce nice looking visuals with ability to differentiate between firearms. Similarly to sway, it can be modified, this time it could depend on calibre, barrel length, overall firearm weight and its attachments, especially muzzle devices like brakes or compensators, and we are also considering impact from stamina. What's still missing is some sights misalignment in the aiming model, same goes to lifting firearms next to obstacles, however we will get there as both are a must have for proper aiming model.

Quick update regarding new melee combat - in current state, it's already way ahead when compared to the old system. Apart from full body attack animations, which can now be chained into combos and opponents reacts to hits with proper strength and directions of impacts, there is also a dashed attack from sprint implemented now. I would like to highlight the current melee targeting implementation which is taking length of a melee weapon into account, as well as distance direction and vertical angle to opponent.

Combined with rotating and dragging character towards selected targets during attack animations, it produces great looking, fluid and addictive melee combat. It's quite hard to miss your opponent now, gone are the days of grotesque melee fights where everybody ran in circles trying to play game of chance to deal some hit.

Last but not least, we also introduced some changes to controls of the new character. What really stands out is changing of stances which is using one key now instead of three previously. With programmers and animators, we are discussing missing moves of new character, like leaning, jumping or climbing, as we would like to push on these and make them more interesting for gameplay.

Apart from Gamescom 2017... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Adam

Much like in the last Status Report, let's begin with a showcase of some additional improvements to the visual fidelity of Chernarus. This time, let's talk about decals.

On Chernarus, decals are primarily used to make specific areas (such as concrete surfaces and roads) look more damaged / abandoned. We cant simply add local damage to the concrete / roads texture itself as it would look too repetitive in the end. And so these decals are a great way to add a local damage exactly where we want.

While decal textures were trying really hard to show that there are holes in the road, they ultimately failed alone because they were missing visual depth in-game. Luckily, this was changed with the recent implementation of parallax mapping for decals. And since we have got new textures for roads for quite some time, we have also decided to re-do textures for all road damage decals so the visuals of decals match together with the new road textures (visual inconsistency between old decals and new roads is one of the reasons we decided to postpone the release of new road textures, originally planned for update 0.62). Here are some examples of how medium and small-sized decals look after these changes:



These changes (along with the new road textures that you can also notice on pictures) will be available with the update 0.63.

And as usual - a short report on what has happened on western border of Chernarus since the last Status Report. Details were added around the Myshkino dam (including the HV power-line connection to Zelenogorsk), new recreational facility of TES company near the shore of Myshkino dam and probably the biggest lumber mill we currently have on Chernarus has been added north of Myshkino military site. These locations will hopefully make encounters in the Myshkino tents valley a bit more interesting and offer additional looting options for the players who prefer to roam the western region of Chernarus.



As always, please remember that all pictures show work-in-progress content.

- Adam Franců / Senior Map Designer -

Dev Update/Martin

As we started outlining our Gamescom DEMO over the last two Status Reports, I've noticed a raising concern in the community about us presenting a build of the game on a gaming convention rather than delivering it directly to the core players on our Experimental and Stable Steam branches. As our community of existing players is what we truly care about the most, I'd like to address these concerns and add further context to Eugen's text above.

First of all, thanks to Brian and his great relationships with guys over at Astro Gaming or Twitch, DayZ's been present at many public events in the past, and I'm sure it's always been fun for everyone to meet and greet while occasionally streaming or presenting some of the upcoming features. Usually, most of the news from these events also made it out to the general public - either by being directly shared by the DayZ team over social media, or organically by someone from the community posting on the forums or Reddit. 

This worked quite well, and considering that those activities were not a part of any sophisticated marketing/promotional plan (there hasn't been anything like that for DayZ, and this won't change until BETA drops on Stable), it's also been quite effective.

Gamescom is a little bit of a step up from these events, as we'll be part of a bigger Bohemia Interactive booth. That means that our presence needs to be a bit more official, that we need to present something meaningful, and ideally also playable. That's where the Gamescom DEMO comes in - as a publicly playable content, it also conveniently solves three problems for us:

a) it helps the development team to deliver a package even before the first BETA build is done internally, or ready for public branches - hopefully helping everybody have a feeling of accomplishment (which Brian nicely described in his part)

b) it allows us to do very early focus tests in a controlled environment where we're standing right next to the person playing

c) it helps us make a point to the general public that we are being serious about our intentions to bring DayZ to a stable 1.0 release, and support it for years to come (which some people still refuse to believe in)

As Eugen already pointed out, we may (or may not), at some point, and in one way or another, make this DEMO available to all of you who won't be able to try it at Gamescom. While it's not fully representative of DayZ as the hardcore survival game it should be (and technically only works in a "LAN" mode as well), we understand that everybody just wants to get their hands on the new player controller!

More importantly though, we have plans for extensive online coverage of all the things we're about to show at Gamescom. Just to pick a few that will happen right during the Gamescom week: we'll be live on the Twitch Gamescom stage for about 15 minutes, talking about the DEMO and DayZ BETA in detail, including some gameplay. We'll have a couple of media appointments that will hopefully produce some cool articles, and we'll also be producing our own photos or possibly even some basic video content directly from the show floor.

Now, creating (audio)visual content of any upcoming game changes is always a struggle. With the way our community-driven development works (the moment we have a "legit" build in our hands that we need your feedback on, we drop it to Experimental), it is sometimes literally impossible to even play the internal branch of DayZ for several minutes straight, and prepare content in advance.

This has been the case with the supporting content we're making for Gamescom, and over the last two weeks, it produced some rather hilarious clips:

While those GIFs may look like a lot of fun, the reality is that any bug like that always breaks the gameplay, not to mention the recorded clip or screenshot. Count in some nasty crashes, network issues or general server degradation we still need to resolve, and you have a good reason for our Status Reports rarely including any relevant visual content at all. 

It's also why we're still relatively far from dropping any BETA package to the public Steam branches - while our new player character (and other systems) already work well within the limited scope of the Gamescom DEMO, they are not ready for the full-scale DayZ experience just yet.

Well, that'll do it for today - I hope this helped some of you to get an insight on what's happening around the DayZ office. Baty should have some more details about our upcoming Gamescom coverage! 

P.S. - please do let us know if you're coming to Cologne, and come hang out with us!

- Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager -

Community Spotlight

Hello guys,

We have two weeks till Gamescom and in our office, as in many other gamedev offices around the world, we're preparing for the game show, and we are starting to panic a bit. There is still so much to be done! I spent the last two weeks working on videos, which should be done before Gamescom, but as Martin wrote above, the game is still not in an ideal shape. Therefore, we tried to make the best of the actual unstable version to be able to show you some of the new features which you will be able to experience at Gamescom. I will not try to hide that it is very challenging to capture scenes without any errors and bugs, be we are close to finish and the video should be ready for Gamescom.

In any case, Gamescom is near and the mood in the Dev Team can be best described as:

But enough of silly things. Let’s take a look at what is waiting for us in the next couple of weeks.

Next Thursday 17th August at 17:30 CEST (GMT/UTC+2) you can look forward to a stream from our Bohemia Interactive office. We would like to share more information about what you can expect in our booth at Gamescom, we will tell you more about a demo we are preparing and also about a community meet-up which will be organized at Gamescom.  We will talk in more detail about BETA and answer some questions.  And this time, we will have moderators and better sound, so it will surely be better than last time! But the stream will not be only about DayZ. We will talk more about other BI projects, like Mini DAYZ, Ylands and Arma 3. Do not miss this stream; you can learn a lot of new information there!

Simultaneously with the stream, we will host a small event. It will be a battle of the castle again, where we will return to the Middle Ages and play as knights. The event will take place on 17th August at 17:00 CEST (GMT/UTC+2) and you can be part of it if you are interested. You can sing up here.

And now back to the Gamescom.
It will be held between 23rd and 26th August at Cologne in Germany. As I said in previous Status Report, we will be there, specifically in hall 10.1., booth A010. Beside DayZ team, we will also have Ylands and Arma teams there. You will be able to play the Gamescom DEMO about which the devs were already talking above.

More information about the demo will be revealed at the stream next week. I want to point out that the DayZ and Arma parts will be separated from public area and will only be accessible for adults 18+. But don’t worry if you are not 18 yet. You can come visit us at the community meet-up in front of our booth, talk with the devs and get some gifts. Community meet-up will take place on 25th August at 13:00 CEST, so don’t hesitate to come, we will be happy to see you. And if you come in DayZ cosplay, you will make us even happier!

For those of you that cannot make it to this year’s Gamescom, let me assure you again: we are preparing reports, videos and photos. Don’t forget to follow our social media channels!

Finally, we will have a look at some of your creations.

First, I would like to present you a member of Spanish community who is playing on role-play server DayZRP and is sharing his adventures on his YouTube channel. His last video is "La masacre" and as the title suggests, it is about a massacre in Lopatino’s church. There are English subtitles for those who do not understand Spanish. I really like the story and what I like even more is the amazing comic that accompanies the video.


Other parts of the comic can be found on his Twitter channel

And now for the mentioned video:



Further on, I was pleasantly surprised by a community member paulmosin, who is sending his ideas of a real world survivor to our Twitter. 

We love him!




On Reddit, I discovered a post by user SpectreRobin. It is a DayZ picture, painted on 3 canvases, which is inspired by a well-known screenshot. It was drawn by his friend, who is a very talented artist. It reminds me of paintings in our office (which I would very much like to take home) and we can be only jealous that he has such a nice decoration on his walls.

Thank you very much for all your content that you share with us on our official social networks, we really appreciate it. We will have to move the next status report to 29th August, because it would be right in the Gamescom week and we will not be able to prepare it while at the convention. But as I wrote above, we will be definitely sharing the photos, experiences and impressions with you the whole week. So make sure to follow us and we are looking forward to seeing you on the stream, and at Gamescom!

Header image by RageBruh.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 25 juillet 2017  
 
Status Report - 25 July 2017

This week, we're keeping it short and sweet with Eugen, Adam and Baty, as the rest of the team got their hands full with work on major 0.63 tasks. Eugen actually shares more on why we've been quieter than usual the last few Status Reports, and sets some expectations regarding BETA release schedule. Adam is reporting on the ongoing tireless work of the environment team, showcasing some of their recent achievements, and Baty closes off with a little teaser of an upcoming live stream - along with sharing awesome community content, of course! Let's get to it folks. 

Dev Update/Eugen

In BETA we trust, deliver we must. A catchphrase that I've seen on one of our whiteboards a couple weeks ago perfectly summarizes how we as a team feel right now.

We know things haven't been perfect and that the experience that we wanted to provide has not always been consistent with our vision. Technology debt that we have been fighting held us in fairly firm grip where we quickly realized that providing short term solutions over and over isn't going to cut it.

We had to rethink and go back to the drawing board multiple times to start making a fun game. We knew the solutions needed but the time investment was huge with lot of risks ahead. Which is where a lot of the development kept getting slowed down by the complexity of the engine changes that were needed, as well as unexpected issues that kept changing the landscape before us.

It was a risky move that we hope will keep the game alive going forward and bring back those that might have been turned away by the state of the game. As we truly believe that what you players want and we meant to deliver wasn’t doable with the technology we had.

There are players out there who are patiently waiting, while playing the game in a state that it is in now, others who wait for the full release or some who come back every once in a while to see what changed. Some are more invested than others, they read our channels, think about consequences of what we talk about, and some just want to see it in action. As the BETA is becoming a fleshed out reboot of the game all of us wanted, we plan to have a limited playable build at Gamescom this year. We're doing everything we can to make it available at the Bohemia Interactive booth for the visitors to try it out.

The sole focus of this build is gunplay and player movement on an edited version of Chernarus prepared especially for the purpose of this demo. That is why a lot of our efforts have been looking at the flow of player actions, controls and consistency of their outcome. The team will be there in person to discuss the details with those interested. Feedback is the most important thing and we can't wait to see people play it and smoothen the rough edges. 

Now that also means that the next couple of weeks are fully focused on the content of the Gamescom demo, so that there are no major hurdles when fans in Cologne get their hands on it. All departments are trying to iron out the details as much as they can, so that we can have fun with in Germany.

For the first BETA update itself, there is no release date yet. We don't want to let you down unless we're absolutely sure it's coming. The Gamescom demo work itself still counts towards the overall development of course, but we're not ready to put that version of the game on any of the public Steam branches - simply because the feature set of our demo will be limited and does not represent the complete DayZ experience. 

To finish things off, let's take a look at a list of things the team is tackling now:

Programmers

    Weapon actions
    Vehicle controller refactor
    Basic state machines and script classes tweaks
    Melee combat preparation (programming wise)
    Central Loot Economy tweaks
    Physics and optimization tweaks
    New animation system for zombies
    Bug fixing

Animators

    MoCap session preparation
    Animal animations
    Weapon animations

Designers

    Melee combat (script wise)
    Aiming model
    Weapons handling
    Inventory UI refactor (crafting, character)
    Advanced placing system
    New player and item spawn definition

Audio

    Sounds for weapon interactions

QA

    Playtesting the 0.62 update
    Internal client stabilization
    New animations/weapons functionality testing

Art

    Gamescom map preparation
    Old assets rework
    Fire mode selector for weapons
    Object layout for western region

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Adam

As we mentioned in earlier status reports, our efforts on improving graphical fidelity does not end with the update 00.62. With such massive change for the environment that update 0.62 has brought, one of the most important things for us is to get the environment right color-wise. That means getting lighting config right and having all assets in our environment properly configured (material and texture wise).

We have already released an update for grass color for 0.62 on June 21 and since then our environment designer Mark has been working tirelessly on another iteration, this time focused mainly on changing another important piece of this whole color puzzle - satellite texture. You know this texture very well, because it is the one that you see whenever you look into the distance (and also texture, that is commonly used on community-made maps, that helps you in travels through Chernarus).

Since Chernarus was originally made for Arma 2 and DayZ version has been built on top of it, it also uses satellite texture from this version. The texture was unfortunately nowhere near to being consistent in the beginning (in terms of the way details were made or in used color pallete) and with the additional things added on top of it in DayZ (northern, western expansion, settlement rework,..), this problem was only deepened.

With the update 0.62, we felt that it is the time we finally look at this problem and make sure satellite texture for the new Chernarus uses somewhat consistent color pallete and looks good both in old and new areas. This change was also particularly important for us with update 0.62 since satellite texture affects colors of grass and ground textures. Now, do not expect that suddenly, a texture that has 15360x15360 pixels will be great in every detail, but the work that has been done so far is a huge step forward and will be good starting point for any additions and improvements.

With satellite texture changes of such scale, another pass on colors of grass and bushes/trees was inevitable (to basically bring close and far LOD visuals in-line with colors on new satellite texture plus several issues with material configuration were also fixed). And since all that was purely a data change, we felt that it would be shame not to include it for update 0.62, too. And so all of the changes are now available on Experimental Branch for you to check out.

And I do have also some bonus pictures for you this time - work has progressed on western border of Chernarus. Currently, detailed object layout is being worked on in areas west of Zelonogorsk. First two pictures show new settlement, called Zvir. Third shows Orlye ozero with mountain Velikyj Kotel rising behind. Now please keep in mind that content on these pictures is work-in-progress. If you want to read more about the planned changes on western border, check out the last status report.



- Adam Franců / Senior map designer -

Dev Update/Community Spotlight

Two weeks have passed and it is time again to take a look at what is happening in the community. At first, I would like to talk about an important event which is ahead of us this summer and that is Gamescom. We've been preparing for it for several months and it is very important to us, because we will meet you – the community, and at the same time, we want to show you something new. If you are planning to be at Gamescom, we will be glad to see you. You will find our booth in hall 10.1, where we will be among other Bohemia Interactive games. Also, for the Friday 25th, we are preparing a small meet & greet with developers, including small gifts for you. Cosplayers are welcome! We will tell you more on a live stream before Gamescom, which we are also preparing at the moment and which you definitely should not miss.

Recently, I was playing DayZ when I got a message from streamer Issy telling me she can’t wait to show me what she made. And she sent a picture of shoes she painted in DayZ style! Simply awesome! I had to share that with you.

When browsing through DayZ videos, this DayZ-inspired rap caught my eye, made by DayZ Standalone - Jiveturkey600. He created it on a request from one of the fans, who wanted a song from zombie point of view.



Today I would like to focus on an international fan group on Facebook - DayZ Standalone Community, which has over 13000 members. People show off their accomplishments there, look for others to play with or share their own creations. It was this group where I found Mark Duncan Copland’s post showing postcards he receives from his friend Michael. It is amazing to see how DayZ became an important part of your friendship!



Another thing that got my attention in this group was a bar in Birmingham, UK, run by Jessica Mitchel  who, as a true fan, decorated the bar windows with DayZ style stickers. 


I would like to invite you to a RP event on the Aftermath server which will take place next Wednesday. What is it about?

Scientists have been carrying out experiments on the residents of Svetlojarsk. Slowly the residents started to notice people becoming sick and ‘turning.’ Information was leaked to the residents that scientists were going to visit the city to see the final result. The remaining residents held a secret meeting, they bought weapons off the black market and planned to capture the scientists to demand a vaccine for their friends and family. Worried that there may not be enough to go around, the civilians not only intended to capture the scientists but also kill anyone else who knew about the virus!

If the story got you interested, don’t not forget to sing up, because the server is whitelisted. You can find more information on their web pages.

As a last thing, I wanted to show you a beautiful screenshot of the town of Novodmitrovsk in an unusual resolution made by Reddit user NeuroticEUROtic. It is definitely worth sharing!

That is all from me for today. Make sure not to miss the next Status Report, where we will give you more information about the upcoming stream and Gamescom.  Enjoy the summer!

Header image by disastrouscluck.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 11 juillet 2017  
 
Status Report - 11 July 2017

Good afternoon Survivors,

This week, the summer holiday is in full swing in Prague and Bratislava, which means that some of our developers are enjoying a well deserved vacation, while the others are super busy keeping the development process going. This unfortunately means that our Status Report will be rather brief and dry this time, but as always, we managed to come up with some interesting bits and pieces on what's happening behind the scenes. The main topic this week is the much discussed introduction of server browser tabs. Adam and the environment team is looking at all the settlements across Chernarus, and meanwhile, our friends over at the Bohemia mobile team released Mini DAYZ on mobile devices. It was quite the success to say the least! Let's get to it now, shall we?

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors!

This Status Report, I had something short and sweet for you. I wanted to take the opportunity to address adaptation to changes, and changes coming forward in general.

I know some of you were confused about the changes to the server browser we mentioned in previous Status Reports, and it raised a small concern for me when it comes to larger changes in the future. The changes to the server browser organization are absolutely vital for the final product of DayZ. I know it might seem confusing now but we, as developers need to look at the bigger picture.

Presenting the new user with the intended, vanilla experience of DayZ is absolutely critical. If a new user hits the play button, they should be paired with the best candidate official server. If a user looks at the server browser, they absolutely should be presented with Official Bohemia Interactive servers. Servers that present the experience we have laid out, and that we know won't be resetting storage, and will all be on the same central infrastructure.

I fully realize that now it might seem confusing to some, and now it might not seem to make sense based off of the current state of the build - but I promise you, it makes sense in the long run. I'm also aware of concerns with regards to some official servers going offline and people losing their camps, and I promise you - this is something that will be looked at, to ensure user progress and protection from unintended player progression loss.

As far as other changes moving forward, the sheer nature of how you interact with the world and the gameplay systems involved in it will inherently change. Simply put, things just flat out operate differently. Not only do all of these extensive changes coming in 0.63 and beyond allow us to bring DayZ to be the experience we want it to be, it also allows us to get rid of nasty pesky issues related to the previous system limitations. Be it addressing the nasty "apple spam" or the frustrating deaths at short heights, or even duplication through abuse of animation system glitches. I'm not saying this will resolve every issue present, but it puts us in a position to be able to more easily, and more stabily resolve these issues.

That's really all I had for you guys for this Status Report, but keep in mind - no one is looking forward to playing 0.63 on Steam more then us, the developers.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Eugen

DayZ has always been a bit of a hybrid MMO - a combination of character and world persistence where instances act like shards themselves, and the official set of servers focusing on the "vanilla experience" - with the future expectation of additional variety with customizable modded servers.

By being that open, we closed some doors for us to go full on on that notion of a never-ending progression in an online world - one that games like Destiny or The Division utilize. On the other hand, we still want to keep the idea that allows one player to spend a life of multiple characters across these shards, and have the variety of these different experiences that are consistent with our vision.

As Brian has explained today, and in previous Status Reports, I just want to say that the main idea behind the recent tab separation is to maintain two separate worlds for our players. The "vanilla" one where you can expect a consistent experience, and the community one, where (when the BETA hits) you'll see a large variety of different gameplay and tweaks, with as much information as we can provide on the types of changes you'll experience there.

Our goal is not to hide these community experiences, but only to show and highlight the difference. I understand that majority of people play on private servers nowadays, as there is more of that curation as to what happens there, and the dangers of vanilla where anything can happen might not be suitable for everybody. But we do believe that giving a choice and information about these differences will be crucial going forward when server files are released.

You'll get a large variety of gameplay and setups, and less of a curated community vanilla experience that we at Bohemia will focus on. We expect that community will supply different maps, PvP modes, roleplay, and more. DayZ mod is a good experience to look back on as it has spawned multiple mods and changes, while vanilla experience attracted less and less of the player focus over time - which is understandable. As you spend hundreds of hours there, and want to try new things in this never ending world. We want to see the same thing with less hassle around doing so. You want to play a mod, we want you to see what that mod is, make the flow of playing without any obstruction, and we want to highlight these different experiences for players seeking them.

I also want to touch upon the subject of 0.62 development, as it's slowly closing up with a last couple of critical fixes getting merged in, such as crash fixes. When we move on, we want to be sure that your experience is as stable as it can be, within the limits of knowing that everything is going to change when BETA hits. All these small things will help us with this huge transition.

As I have said multiple times, we believe that we have something great ahead of us that will realize the vision all of us had for what sometimes feels as forever. So yes, we are now focusing on combat first and foremost in our internal version - and we want to share that with you as soon as possible. There are multiple build reviews every week, as we march towards this long awaited goal.

To give a glance at the currently open development items in our teams:

Programmers

    Vehicle controller refactor
    New animation system for infected
    Animation events for player
    Communication systems optimization
    Mosin 1930 basic state machine and script class
    MP 133 basic state machine and script class
    MP5 basic state machine and script class
    CLE (Central Loot Economy) tweaks
    Physics and optimization tweaks
    Bug fixing

Animators

    M4A1 animations
    Player turns for pistols
    Unarmed & one hit reactions
    Player graph fixes
    IK (Inverse Kinematics) poses

Designers

    New player and item spawn definition
    Player action targeting and floating cursor
    User actions in multiplayer
    Advanced placing system
    Inventory UI refactor (crafting, character)
    Aiming model
    Melee combat targeting
    Traps with grenades
    Weapons handling

Audio

    Bug fixing
    Sounds for animals

QA

    Playtesting the 0.62 update
    0.62 feature testing
    Internal client stabilization
    CLE testing

Art

    Old assets rework
    Detailed object layout for western border (locations west of Lopatino)
    NWAF overhaul
    Location names revision

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Adam

With .62 update being on stable branch for over a month now, we have pretty much transitioned strictly to goals for the update 0.63 and onward. Primary focus being the overhaul of the North West Airfield, finalisation of tourist trails and additional locations on the western border of Chernarus (along with overall tweaks to the area).

In this status report, I would like touch a bit on the topic of the plans on western border - where we are going with the changes and additions that we work on now. Our aim is to preserve its wilderness look. We wont be populating this part of the map with lots of settlements like we did on north. Instead of that, we are focusing on adding more lonely locations such as lodges, tourist destinations (tourist trails will be extended to western border) and industrial/farm locations.

That being said, western border is quite a huge area by itself, and so it would be a shame to not to include anything that would resemble a settlement. There are currently three tiny settlements in the works, most of them composed of few houses scattered around without some structures like you are used to in the mainland of South Zagoria. Following pictures show one particular settlement located just south of the new castle that has been added in update 0.62 (and already received more details and polish now!).

Please keep in mind that these pictures show work-in-progress content:


And just to give you an idea, how we imagine some lonely locations, here is a screenshot of lonely lodge somewhere on the western border:

Now I would like to give you some names instead of using "new castle" or "new settlement", but the truth is that we have to yet figure out some proper names. This is particularly important for the finalization of tourist trails task, and so in addition to mentioned map tasks, we are also in the process of revisiting all location names that are currently used on Chernarus, along with figuring out names for new locations or locations that are worth naming and were not yet named.

Goal of this revision is to also make sure names are somewhat consistent between each other and fit the overall theme of Chernarus. There are over 230 entries (names for settlements, terrain features,..) that we currently work with, but luckily, we've got help from Ivan Buchta - one of the key members of the team behind the Chernarus for Arma 2, to make sure we do not deviate from the original naming rules and that you all will be able to call parts of the map with proper local names :).

- Adam Franců / Senior map designer -

Dev Update/Martin

While we're still very much on hold with pushing any release buttons for DayZ on PC and consoles (as the development is breezing towards BETA), I'm more than happy to share some of the excitment that's currently flowing through the veins of everyone at the Bohemia mobile team. On July 3rd, after some time of soft launch testing, they finally launched the iOS and Android versions of Mini DAYZ worldwide! 



Being 100% free to play (there's no catch, no in-app purchases or hidden transactions - it's just free, plain and simple!), Mini DAYZ stays true to the survival heritage of DayZ standalone (and the mod) by being incredibly unforgiving. It's something that I personally find very refreshing, especially on the mobile games market, which somehow always leans towards very casual and clichéd genres. 

The good thing is, I am probably not alone, as Mini DAYZ has been occupying top positions in appstore charts across the worold ever since it launched on July 3 - which is well, well deserved, even more so when you realize that Mini DAYZ was originally just a fan made project! Hats off to our mobile team, and especially to Mike Azovskikh, the original creator of Mini DAYZ for web browsers who spearheded the development of mobile versions here at Bohemia!

I encourage you to download Mini DAYZ on AppStore or Google Play - for now, it's single player only, but still offers a very entertaining balance of healthy frustration and fun :).

Well, that's it from me today - the next time I'm doing a Status Report, it will actually be related to that one DayZ that you all really care about. Gamescom is getting very close... but for now, let's see what Baty has for you this week!

- Martin Čulák / Brand Manager -

Community Spotlight

Hello Survivors!

First thing I would like to address today is the new server browser. It seemed to confuse you a bit, because a lot of you were struggling to find your favorite community servers.

When you launch DayZ and open the server browser, you will find yourselves on the Official servers tab. If you select the „favorited“ checkbox, only the official servers which you have added to your favourites will be displayed. If you change to Community tab and select „favorited“, you will see your favorite Community servers only.

It's so simple!

And now, we will look at two of your videos. Wobo did a couple of tests and prepared 30 tips for update 0.62, which you may have not heard about previously. Make sure to check it out, you could be surprised.



Some of you will surely be familiar with the name TheLonelyBandit. Last year, he decided to create a challenge video, where he was getting food and water only from people he mugged. He returned to it now and his video where he attacked a really nice guy entertained me a lot. Watch him survive without the usual supply of food a water!



A lot of interesting stories develop on the DayZUnderground servers thanks to organic role-play without rules. Stories of ordinary people trying to survive, as well as faction members who are not afraid to take your possessions and your life. Short articles "Humans of Chernarus" will allow you to look inside the mind of such people.

And again, we have another peak into our office:

That is all from me and as always, if you have any interesting content, which you would like to share with us, tweet it on our official Twitter profile.

Header image by ThatOneKidBowen.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 27 juin 2017  
 
Status Report - 27 June 2017

This week, everyone's super busy with actual development work on 0.63, but Brian, Eugen, Viktor and Martin still managed to share some exciting bits and pieces - we're addressing our old development roadmaps, share some of our intended design on game economy, tease a couple of new gesture animations, and also discuss some of our communication related news (including an Instagram account!). Let's get to it.

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors.

This week, I don't have too much for you, as a great deal of everything I've been so excited to work with Peter on over the last few years is entirely dependant upon the successful implementation of DayZ's new spine („DayZ 2.0“ as Peter lovingly referred to it in our 0.62 Developer Live Stream). This Status Report, I wanted to talk the opportunity during the wait for BETA to clarify a few points about our in game economy, and the continuing work that Peter, our programmer Frantisek, myself, and others are putting into it.

Everyone on the dev team sees the same issues as everyone else. Buildings with repeated spawns of the same item in some situations, some items ending up clustering in one region of the map, helicopter crashes not spawning firearms (psuedo-intentional currently), and of course the availability of early game supplies.

BETA isn't just about the new animation system, and related components. The programmers responsible for the central economy have reached the end of what they can do on 0.62, and a lot of work to address some of these issues has actually been done, but is on the 0.63 branch.

Obviously this will need some testing and iteration to get it to where we want it - but I wanted everyone that follows developement of DayZ to be aware of the fact that we do know, and that we want it to improve as much as you all do. Heli crashes should spawn firearms, hell some of the stuff we have coming in the pipe has been discussed as clearly being dynamic event spawns only - so that people have to hunt these items down and can't just go to a static location to find them.

There are many small details to DayZ that have a ripple impact on all connected points of gameplay, and the economy is a perfect example of this. Without it functioning properly, all the fancy improvements, fluid character movement, enhanced visuals and so on won't matter because the new player to DayZ won't be able to feel like they can learn, and master the world. They won't feel empowered early on to take on the challenges of surviving in Chernarus, if they can't understand how to find basic supplies.

I could ramble on about this for hours, but I'll save you all that wall of text - Eugen, Peter, and Viktor will take it from here. I look forward to seeing you all in Chernarus, be it on 0.62 or beyond!

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Eugen

Hi everyone! Since this week, everybody is really swamped with actual development work, I'll try to fill in for the lack of cool visuals or exciting new feature documentation and reflect upon some of our past decisions on the technology side of things.

With the mindset of developing technology first to enable our vision for DayZ platform, we have gone through number of changes internally. Things were cut, changed, deprecated and sometimes reintroduced to get a good and fun anti-game first and foremost. However, all the work that was necessary to achieve this vision has shown us how large our technological debt was at the time. All that lead to plans that were clashing heavily with how fast we were able to remove the debt, and we ended up prototyping a lot of our vision in old technology to see what works, and what does not.

We have shown a number of roadmaps that have proved to be a failure on our part. Anticipating, or predicting the effect that the technology debt can have on development speed is a very hard endeavor - and we have learned the hard way. It has always been a good plan longterm for both the game and the company. But we all do believe that what DayZ is supposed to be has not been achieved yet, and we plan to deliver on that notion.

For years, we have worked with the best intentions on a good technology base for all features that this sandbox would largely benefit from. Going forward, we want to start sharing some of the internal documents to show what that means to us, how it fits within BETA and full release. We anticipate a lot of features will make it to the first BETA release of DayZ on this new technology base, meaning that the things that we haven't been possible to fix, change, improve, or make at all will get the much needed spark and detail.

It's perhaps not going to be one big swoop for every single part of the game, but it certainly feels like playing a new DayZ. We hope that this will show the possibilities of our new technology and inspire modders alike to be far more ambitious with their goals.

If you look at the gameplay of DayZ, one of the main and core pillars of it is the player itself. We have created mindmaps on design side that help us with the longterm vision of how (and where) the player interacts with the enviroment, or with the game. The graph you see below shows the base of what new player should be able to do by 1.0, with most features being available during BETA.

And that’s only the overview of the player character interactions, not mentioning other features (say, base building) or the infected. DayZ is truly vast in scope, and there is a lot to go through, but starting here is important.

I think you (the players) and we (the developers) want the same thing. There will be differences here and there, don't get me wrong. But we share the idea of having a multiplayer sandbox with apocalyptic background that’s unforgiving, immersive and gets your heart beating when these scenarios you have been imagining in your head become possible. We want this technology to allow just that. To serve as platform for a game where you get into these intense situations, or maybe just sit down at a fire with a friend. Where it feels almost real.

We know what the game should be, we didn’t want to be held down by constraints of past, and have chosen to do our best and get the limits out of the way. I don't want to sound like a broken record, I just really want to play this thing with you guys and get lost in Chernarus again.

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Viktor

Hi everyone!

I'll be very short this time as we're still working hard on player character and firearms animations. What I can tease today is a couple of GIFs with some upcoming new gestures that I was talking about in my recent Status Reports. These new animations include military gestures, as well as new taunts. Here is the preview of some of them:

Move
Kiss
Think
Come
Elbow

- Viktor Kostik/ Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Martin

Survivors, I have a brief update for you from our small marketing/community department within the DayZ Dev Team and Bohemia Interactive. As some of you may know, we set ourselves a goal to improve the DayZ website and make it (much like DayZ itself) more modern, functional, and fun to use in general. It's the single most important communication channel that we have to engage with our community, and it deserves our attention for sure.

On the related forums thread, we've been collecting your feedback on our website, and the Bohemia Interactive online services team has succesfuly implemented some of your ideas (like having a proper search function, or tags to quickly sort through content). While there is still a lot of work to do on the actual content of the website, you can already check out a preview of the general design direction the DayZ.com website will be taking: our friends over at the Bohemia Interactive Mobile Team have announced the release of Mini DAYZ on mobile devices (3rd of July, save the date!) and their new website at www.minidayz.com shares some of the basic design elements that we will be using at DayZ.com as well. 

Other than that, we are getting ready to keep everyone well informed while our developers are doing all the hard work on the first BETA build. What lies ahead of us is probably one of the greatest challanges that we have faced in terms of communication - we need to do our best to keep your interest in DayZ high with no other major updates scheduled for release before BETA, and at the same time, we need to make sure that the world knows that DayZ is still alive, and very much kicking when BETA happens. As Eugen mentioned, some of our past estimates were not quite right, and it's always the bad news that stays in everyone's minds.

In general, do expect more of what we did for the 0.62 release (video content like the 0.62 Update Overview, and the 0.62 Developer Live Stream), and be ready to play a huge role in all that - our community is one of the three pillars that support everything we do at Bohemia after all.




That's all from me, let's see what Baty has for you this week! I think she mentioned something about us having an Instagram account... :)

- Martin Čulák / Brand Manager -

Community Spotlight

Hello guys! I want to thank you for all the feedback on the newest Stable update. It took us long time but we are really happy we found a fix for the annoying memory crash.

Let's take a look at the official forums. We have instructions how to fix an issue with Steam overlay when using MSI Afterburner. If you are using this software take a look here:

Another thread I want to show you is really nice. Survivor BeanZMakeMeSurviveAlone is sharing his inspiring story with us on how DayZ helped him in real life:

I must say I saw one of the best DayZ screenshots ever this week. DrDeSync is a very talented man and has a way with interesting situations. Check out his latest screenshot named "Keep Your Eyes Peeled":

What Community Spotlight would it be without some nice community video! Mr_Beardman made a story of escaping from a horde of infected on the Aftermath role-play server. Check it out!



Are you on Instagram, Survivors? I personally love it and so I created our official DayZ Instagram account. There, you can occasionaly find some photos from our office and more, just follow us!

This is everything for my part, I hope you like it! If you have any content that you would like to see on the next Status Report, just share it on our Twitter and you can be here next time!

Header image by Yachiabunai.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 13 juin 2017  
 
Status Report - 13 June 2017

Good Tuesday Survivors,

While all the players' attention is now turned to E3 in Los Angeles, we are at the office working hard on further updates. Brian will outline our decisions about the distribution of servers for the future, Mirek will show you how close-range combat and camera collision look in 0.63, and Victor is talking about gun animations. Let's have a look!

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

I thought this Status Report would be a perfect time to clarify some things with the hive, and the server browser for those that may have missed me speaking about it in 2016. I'm sure some of you may have noticed that the production team recently made the move to separate the Official DayZ servers into their own section of the hive, independent from the community hosted public servers. (Albeit with some difficulty on the game server provider side of properly configuring those community rented publics). One of the things Peter and I sat down and talked about when we looked at how we wanted the server browser to look moving into Beta and beyond, was making it crystal clear for new and existing users what servers were official, and what were user run (as well as modded, of course). Tied into this was a need to divide progression made on user hosted servers from progression on the official DayZ experience. Allowing folks to rent servers introduced a good deal of potential methods to exploit how localized server storage operates, which in turn can flood the public hive with ill-gotten gear. Trying to tackle this by limiting what can be done on the hosting side in the end just limits more and more what those server operators can do, and puts an unneeded responsibility on the limited support resources that are available.

For me (and I think I can safely say for Peter as well) we needed to be certain what the initial experience a new user to DayZ would be experiencing. From a design perspective, it is very hard to be certain exactly what new users are encountering if we aren't clearly presenting them with a straight path to an official experience the first time they play the game. Sure, naming conventions for official servers worked okay for a bit - but at a certain point it just turns into tribal knowledge. The users who have been around for a while, or those who came from the mod understand, but new users can find it daunting. This is why when putting together the first mockups of the new server browser we made sure to earmark a few things:

    Separating Official, Community, and Modded servers into their own tabs
    Splitting the Official Servers off from the rest of the public hive to be certain the experience in them comes from them alone
    Maintaining the public hive on rented servers to continue that tradition of a shared character across many DayZ servers

When the new server browser finally gets to the point in which these tabs are in and functional, the whole layout will make much more sense to existing and new users. The first thing they (new users) should experience is DayZ exactly as the developers had intended it. Obviously, if said new user has friends on a community or modded server he/she can navigate there easily. I know it seems like a small thing in the grand scheme of the whole project, and probably fairly trivial given the massive undertaking that beta is with the animation system, new user actions, and so on - but the devil is in the details and as far as I'm concerned, we as a development team needed to take steps to make it easier to understand, and get into the official Bohemia Interactive run experience. Allow folks to easily know what servers they can be certain persistence isn't reset on, and so forth.

The rest of the team will have more interesting and exciting things to talk about this week I'm sure - but I wanted to make sure I took time to address these in progress changes to the organization of the hive, and its intent.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Eugen

Hey Guys,

0.62 has hit stable and we tried to livestream after a longer period of time to start practicing for what lies ahead. Hope you liked it!  The strike team for this patch will join rest of our efforts here and march on with BETA tasks forward. That said, for 0.62 you can expect a bit more fixes to the most crucial issues that we can reasonably look into, rolling them to experimental and stable over time. Some of the changes I`ve seen today to coloring of the map and vegetation are amazing. I`m very happy with the visuals that guys have been able to produce. Were also looking into server crashes from storage (persistance) corruption, vehicle tweaks and server browser separation as mentioned by Brian. But there are limits to what we can offer in reasonable time for the old client. 

The track for BETA has moved forward and keeps its focus on weapons and gunplay. So discussions on handling particles, state machines and weapon manipulation are always happening around the office with all people handling their parts of the game in all the features that are on their way for BETA. 

Since there is not that much to report in terms of scope or change of focus. I'll share some interesting stories or problems we have been dealing with in the past two weeks. One of the bigger issues that is bothering us right now is tied to animation of weapons. As the technology changes you have details that can only be built when rest of the modules are in place and testable. Looking at the internal build of the game there are some funny bugs all around the new stuff that one might get a good laugh from but there is no way they can make it live.

While player is animating properly and even uses inverse kinematics in the new modules, configs are getting set up, player turns are tweaked. There are elements on weapons that need to be animated as well. It's one of the older parts of the engine originally and if any of the modders remember. Animating proxies on weapons have been done through configuration files and in text. We're moving away from that, but because how tied it is to some of the not refactored parts we are encountering some interesting things from parts of weapons flying around to being invisible at times. There apparently is still something left that has not been identified properly and we need to solve it as soon as possible. Refactoring something as large as RV engine certainly has its challenges and these things are hard to predict with codebase that old. 

Even from a knowhow standpoint it's not about the skills of the programmer himself, but rather the lack of documentation or knowledge how the previous system has been setup, and why. And as such the debugging of these issues takes time and going forward we want to eliminate as much of the smaller details that are still set up the old way.  Its hours of research and digging from unknown code. And some of you might have a experience doing that. 

On the other hand were also battling the stability of the application itself. As all of you have been plagued by memory crashes, which are very hard to diagnose properly and fix. I have stories of similar issues even taking a year to debug from different projects I had pleasure working with. However were very much focusing on it with internal build as even the development environment gets very frustrating when you can`t iterate without crash sneaking up on you at random times. 

Funny thing is when you look at callstacks from these crashes, they usually just end up in memory sensitive parts of the engine, but the actual issue might have happened minutes before. And tracking it down is an enormous undertaking. We're not taking these issues lightly as for BETA none of these hard stoppers should be present. 

To give a glance at the currently open development items in our teams:

Programmers

    UI Inputs bugfixes
    Communication systems optimization
    Weapon handling and aiming
    Vehicle physics refactor
    Vehicle controller refactor
    3rd person camera collision changes
    FNX basic state machine and script class tweaking
    IZH18 basic state machine and script class tweaking
    Animation events for player
    Physics collision system refactor and optimization
    Melee damage types
    Different damage levels in selections
    Attachments refactor
    Animals spawning
    AI hierarchy refactor
    Tons of crash fixing
    Tons of bug fixes

Animators

    Throwing animations
    Two handed hit reactions
    Player turns for pistols
    Rifle hit reactions
    IZH18 animation tweaks
    Combat player graph

Designers

    Fireplace new particle system implementation
    Traps with grenades
    Drag and drop for final inventory design
    Player action targeting and floating cursor
    Communication systems
    Quantity refactor
    Advanced placing system tweaks
    Construction watchtower
    Animation events for player
    New zombie models
    New player models
    Animation events for player
    Server browser separation
    Area damage
    Crafting framework
    Vehicle tweaks

Audio

    Positional environment audio tweaks
    Infected audio recording preparation
    Player and weapon animation events setup

QA

    Playtesting the 0.62 update
    0.62 feature testing
    Internal client stabilization

Art

    Old assets rework
    Buildings optimization
    Doors unification
    Weapon tweaks for new gunplay
    Car wrecks 
    New rock formations
    Color tweaks for Chernarus

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Peter

As we want to accent official DayZ experience vs community one in long run, we separated shards for official and community servers with release of the 0.62 version. Now with upcoming update for 0.62 you will see this change reflected in server browser too. Instead of one 'Internet' tab there are now two tabs to make it clear. First 'Official' tab with all servers operated directly by Bohemia Interactive, while second 'Community' tab pools all servers rented by users.

Further work is being made on crafting system. Now, with item in hands, it's possible to initiate crafting and choose between recipes directly looking at another item in the world, or from the quick bar by holding a slot where said item is assigned. Such possibilities for crafting will help to minimize inventory use. On the other side of core features spectrum, we are working hard in close cooperation with animators and programmers on ranged and melee combat. Focus is currently mostly on the aiming model for firearms (weapon handling part is being worked on in parallel of course), which is combination of hands IK, character turns, it ensures that weapon is always pointing what you are looking at, that model also handles sights misalignment, sway which could be modified by character state from modifiers to stamina and hold breath, and recoil modified by weapon's attachments. Light and heavy hit impacts are now connected to hit events and are played character being hit from both types of combat. We would like to add one more hit impact to the mix which is a knockdown to the ground at the end of combo. You can read more about upcoming new melee combat in one of past Status Reports. I will get back to firearms in more detail in some upcoming Status Reports.

Do you remember that injured animation shown in our official DayZ Early Access launch trailer from the end of 2013? We finally plugged in the injured set of animations to the new character and it directly reflects your health state. Additionally, we also added exhausted idle animation which is connected to the stamina system. With these changes, we are getting closer to our ideal state where it should be easy to observe other character to see what they are actually doing and to judge their overall condition.

Believe what you see... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Mirek

First of all, I would like to write about the 0.62 branch state. We have received some important data about client and server crashes, which should help us to stabilize the build present on the stable branch, so hopefully there will be stability improvements soon. We have also merged the fix candidate for floating vehicles and very important physics optimization. Currently, physics is consuming most of the CPU resources (at least on servers), so we hope this optimization will significantly improve server performance. These merges will be available on experimental branch today or tomorrow and we will be very happy if there will be enough players, so we will be able to confirm that this optimization is working well.

On 0.63 - we're cooperating closely with designers and animators. The most of work goes into weapon manipulation now. This basically means we're creating new finite states machines for handling the weapon logic and connecting all weapon manipulation animations into these state machines. If everything goes right, we will show you how firing, reloading, chambering, unjamming and other mechanics look in the next status report.

Another big part of the game - close range fight - is in progress. You saw some animations before, today I would like to show you how first hit animations are looking.



3rd person camera collisions have received some tweaks last two weeks. We are trying to add some dynamics, when camera is obstructed - so here you can see some work in progress stuff.



Please keep in mind we're showing work in progress state, things can change during development and it's very likely that all these features will be tweaked also in the beta stage of development.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -

Dev Update/Viktor

Today I would like to share with you an update from the animations department. In past weeks, we have been focused mainly on player character and weapons. The latest additions to the player are improved turns when standing still. For animations, this means improving and redoing turn animations for all items. We are iterating this now in cooperation with our animation programmer to find the best result that looks and feels good.

Weapons have received some love as well. We have finished all unjamming animations, and we are focusing on implementation. First guns are now animated in the game. We are adding the missing animations like recoil and dry fire for each weapon. At the same time the logic for these firearms is being made so each weapon knows what the character can do with it. Basically, we need to cover all the states the weapon can have and provide animations for it.

We have started implementing hit reactions for the player character. There will be light and heavy animation for each direction, each item and each stance. That is some decent amount of animation data, but we already have a working prototype in the game.

Last but not least, there was small mocap session last week. We have captured some new gestures. Some of them are already implemented and some will be in the upcoming weeks. The gestures menu will now include new signals like Come, Watch, Down, Move, some new taunts and others that were requested by the community.

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Dev Update/Adam

As I have mentioned on the live-stream last week, we plan to include additional tweaks to the color of clutter (grass and other miscellaneous objects in forests) for the version 0.62 in the nearest stable update window. I'm glad to announce our environment designer Mark has prepared the first iteration of these changes and it is available on the experimental branch for you to check out. For the full list of changes made please visit the appropriate experimental thread on the official forums here






-  Adam Franců / Senior map designer -

Community Spotlight

Hello Survivors,

So many things happened last week and we are glad everything turned out as planned, because we really made a lot of work on it.
First, we organized an event for content creators and their friends on the new castle the West. It was a PVP event in which one side defended the castle and the other attacked it with the equipment they brought with them. 51 people joined the server, unfortunately not everyone managed to get to the castle, because some of them were killed by wolves or by infected, which are simply the risks of the game. We had 14 members of the dev team there, including the lead designer Peter Nespesny and Sumrak, who is taking care of the Chernarus map and created the castle in which the event took place. The battle was really bloody and the defenders used all their strength to keep the attackers in front of the gates, but eventually succumbed and the attackers took the castle for themselves. I would like to congratulate the winners who earned their victory. How the event looked through the eyes of the attackers can be seen in a video by Jakon72: 



Some of the participants in a group photo before start of the battle.

Photo of the winners who conquered the castle by Redseven.

Thanks so much to all who attended and we are looking forward to seeing you again on another event.

We were running live stream in our office at the same time as the event. We announced the switch of 0.62 update from the Experimental branch to the Stable branch. Lead producer Eugen Harton, lead designer Peter Nespesny, senior map designer Adam Francu and brand manager Martin Čulák jointly discussed what you can expect from the update 0.62 and other interesting topics. In case you missed it, you can find the video on our YouTube channel.



We also released a video that shows the main features of the new update. If you have not seen it, you should definitely watch it because it is very good and it does not take you more than two minutes.



I would also like to address my colleagues' request from the Feedback Tracker. We need to get as much information as possible about the crashes that happen to you on the Stable and Experimental branches. Therefore, I am asking you to contact our Feedback Tracker in case of crash and upload files from the C:\Users\YourPCName\AppData\Local\DayZ  folder to help to solve the crash problems.

We would like to thank for the reports about leather not getting tanned in barrels. Over the weekend you came up with an incredible number of tickets for this issue and we are just looking into it now. And of course, if you encounter any other bugs, we will be happy if you report it to our Feedback Tracker.

Channel Pitstop Head made a two-part talk about DayZ with our creative director Brian Hicks, which is really interesting and can give you answers to some of the questions bothering you.




And the last piece of community content I'd like to share with you is an amazing artwork by Dominik Figlhuber, who has been able to turn an ordinary DayZ screenshot into amazing art. Simply beautiful, thank you for sharing it with us!


Original screenshot.


Waiting at daytime. Alternative edit.


Final edit.

And one last thing, I would like to show you a photo I secretly photographed in the office when the designers were discussing weapons for the update 0.63. It's not of a good quality, but I thought you might be interested. And shhh, don't tell them, they do not like taking pictures.

Thank you for your content survivors and see you in two weeks!

Header image by Harold Palmer.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 30 mai 2017  
 
Status Report - 30 May 2017

This week, we're looking back at the release of 0.62 on Exerimental, outlining some of the issues that we'd like to see resolved before going to Stable (both visual and audio oriented). Peter and Eugen are sharing some of the work being currently done for BETA, and Baty is sharing her top picks of all the amazing content you created since 0.62 released last week.

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

This Status Report, I don't have a whole ton for you. Obviously, 95% of the team is focused on 0.63 and getting it to a point in which we can begin testing on Experimental branch for that build. As some of you may not be aware, 0.62 recently hit Experimental, and the team has pulled a lot of good and actionable bug data from that build, as well as some strong feedback in regards to the first iteration of the new ambient audio.

You'll all be pleased to know that every bit of feedback regarding said new ambient audio is being investigated, and the audio team will be able to iterate upon some of that feedback. Any up to date progress we make will always be posted by Baty in the Experimental Patch Discussion section of the forums.

The team is currently tracking feedback in regards to the following on 0.62 Experimental:

    Misc feedback in regards to audio volume, general audio system behavior
    Behavior of some trees in the wind

There are also some attempted fixes included in today's Experimental update regardin:

    Collisions with some tree models
    Ironsights sometimes backing off after a few seconds
    Issues binding some mouse keys 

I'm sure Eugen will have some more meat on the bone when it comes to the progress on 0.63 itself. I for one am really, really anticipating being able to share the functionality of 0.63.

Stay safe out there!

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Eugen

Hey guys!

So 0.62 Experimental happened and I can't thank you enough for the amazing content that you created with the new visuals for forests. There are many improvements that will still be coming to visuals over time - like reworking old low-quality assets and adding new features to the map as mentioned in Adam's Q&A video. It is a good showcase of the quality we aim for in both the visuals and gameplay for the 0.63/BETA release.

I mentioned a couple of things here previously that have now come in motion, full force. We have progressed and started working on smaller feature sets that will define gameplay of the BETA. One of the largest topics of discussion in the offices have been weapons and their handling for the new player. To understand what that means I have to sadly hit you with a large wall of text.

When you look at the live game, and what is happening on stable/experimental, you still see (for the most part) a content that is running on old technology. Since for BETA release, we have expanded the gunplay beyond what was possible previously, it means many things will be changing, and many have been mentioned here. However, to give you a sense of scale.

The work on the new animation system and all of its features took almost a year and a half of work. Animations for all of your weapons, with variations from continuous reloading, chambering, magazine manipulation, jamming, and more, took probably over a year in itself. All that culminating with implementation of aiming model that will support better implementation of recoil, sway, player turns, and even heavily improved manipulation of weapons in different stances.

A whole lot of our content is starting to get implemented - as I said before, we're finally making a game, instead of fully focusing on the technology. In the list below, I mention FNX and IZH18 - two weapons that are the first to be handled using these new systems. And I can't wait to have a shootout here with the guys once these are fully working internally.

For all these things:

    User actions that enable player to interact with items and objects, weapons included
    Synchronization setup that is largely inspired by what Overwatch did for their networking 
    Animation system that will make your avatar a living breathing human 
    Damage system that is easily tweakable and supports all sorts of hitzones, impact animations 
    New particle effects and sounds
    New character representation with all the things actually creating a survival experience

It's not that we don't expect bugs from their first iterations, but the reality for us is, that we have been working for 4 years now on things that you couldn't get your hands on in-game as of yet. And as the list of features above shows, all these systems can't really work without each other.

Even the new network synchronization is optimized for the new player and new physics. It makes me sad that it couldn't happen sooner, but I believe we will have a great game for you with 0.63/BETA.

To give a glance at the currently open development items in our teams:

Programmers

    UI Inputs
    Communication systems (megaphone, static radio, public address system)
    Weapon handling and aiming
    Vehicle physics refactor
    Vehicle controller refactor
    3rd person camera collision changes
    FNX basic state machine and script class
    IZH18 basic state machine and script class
    Animation events for player
    Performance optimizations for item spawning
    Physics collision system refactor and optimization
    Tons of crash fixing
    Tons of bug fixes

Animators

    Weapon mechanics animations polishing (unjamming, reloads)
    Inverse Kinematics poses
    Hit reactions on player
    Ranged combat prototype
    Player turns tweaking

Designers

    User actions in multiplayer
    Player representation
    New player and item spawn definition
    Player action targeting and floating cursor
    Communication systems
    Tree collisions fixes
    Advanced placing system
    Construction watchtower
    Diseases refactor for new player representation
    Animation events for player
    New zombie models
    New player models
    Animation events for player

Audio

    Positional environment audio tweaks
    Infected audio recording preparation
    Player and weapon animation events setup

QA

    Playtesting the 0.62 update
    0.62 feature testing
    Internal client stabilization
    User actions for 0.63 testing

Art

    Old assets rework
    Buildings optimization
    Doors unification

These are thousands of hours spent on our side to bring a dream that is yet to be fully realized. Curiosity, Creativity, Community. Three pillars of Bohemia Interactive that we want to uphold.

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Peter

Among plenty of other issues we face, picking items from the world is another one which is far from ideal in its current state. Aiming precisely with cursor on items could be fine, unless you run into some annoyances. Some items are rendered too small on the screen because of their close-to-real-life dimensions, and they are often being obstructed with other objects in world like dense grass, and tend to mimic underlying surface textures.

You know the drill, many times it's difficult to find a pistol, or even a rifle in some cases, and pick it up (I don't even want to mention special cases like ammo piles). At the end, such frustration leads to the use of the vicinity part of inventory screen as the path of the least resistance. Each open of the inventory screen disrupts the immersion of being right there for you as a player, and if I count in movement during opening the inventory (leading to jogging in chaotic patterns to find that damn ammo pile), it's breaking immersion also for all observers who had to look at your misery.

Along with restriction of character movement while in inventory, we added dynamic selection of target, which evaluates conditions such as distance from player, screen center and angle. Selected target is then visually marked by snapping interaction icon to it in screen space. We went beyond items and similarly, we applied this system also to interaction with vehicles and static objects in world like doors or ladders. I like fluid interconnection of a gven item and the action which it brings to the table. It feels natural and adds to the physicality of the world - it even feels closer to hand to use your eyes for coordination, instead of rigorous movement with whole head around. You can see it in action on examples below.

Maybe you are wondering now, why we just simply didn't apply highlighting to items and objects? Apart from highlights being quite artificial and also immersion breaking, they are not solving one of the problems mentioned above - frequent necessity to pixel hunt with your center of the screen. But never say never, maybe there will be some very decent version of highlighting in future to make it more seamless and to pop up items a bit, even when I'm not kinda fan of it.

Dynamic target selection is still in progress and there are some small issues we need to solve, for example icon positioning, or the shaking caused currently by insufficient frequency of UI updates on client side. However, from first tests of its current iteration, it feels really good, and what matters the most - it's very helpful!

They will not hide anymore... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer

Dev Update/Adam

Almost a week since 0.62 update release on Experimental branch - I hope that you are having a good time exploring the new Chernarus! First, I would like to give you a small insight into what is happening in our department, mainly what are our plans towards the Stable release of update 0.62.

    Additional improvements and fixes to the surface mask - to resolve issues such as forest clutter appearance in the middle of industrial area in Solnichniy
    Satellite texture and ground clutter changes - decreasing overall brightness along with other tweaks (aimed at improving visuals of short and tall grass)
    Lighting config tweaks
    Map improvements and fixes

Now I would like to talk a bit about client performance on the new Chernarus. So far, we have observed quite positive reception from the experimental branch testing - everyone is welcomed there, please report if you encounter any issues on feedback tracker.

As I already mentioned in previous Status Reports, the introduction of Enfusion renderer back in update 0.60 gave us quite a big room for possible landscape improvements in many parts of Chernarus. Goal of update .62 was to use this room (where possible) to improve visual fidelity of Chernarus.

Many of the existing locations on Chernarus increased in detail drastically and while the new vegetation assets are much better optimized than the old ones, it will still most likely end up with the same or slightly decreased performance. Now I would like to say that nothing is settled at this point.

From the data point of view, we are still using some legacy vegetation assets (such as bushes and few selected solitary trees). This is however just a temporary arrangement, as replacements will be coming in future updates and will of course result in performance increase in almost all areas (old bushes are used around the whole map even in update 0.62).

There are more optimizations on data side planned (mainly related to buildings and the use of textures). For update 0.63, we have changed completely the whole structure for environment assets, which mainly makes loading faster, but it also makes data more readable, and this will ultimately make the lives of future community modders simpler.

On the programming side, there are optimizations on their way (starting with update 0.63), from which both PC and console versions will benefit greatly. Unfortunately, given the current differences between internal and public branches, it is not feasible to merge any complicated code in short time, and while we are already observing a better performance on internal branch, none of those improvements can be merged back into 0.62 branch.

- Adam Franců / Senior Map Designer -

Dev Update/Andrej

We're happy to say our new ambient audio is finally out on experimental. We have rebuilt all ambient sounds and added positional sound effects on the vegetation. We are now testing the mix, repetition cycles and we're listening to feedback from you and the QA department, so expect a lot of tweaks before the stable release. We are also preparing positional SFX for the buildings but that will have to wait till 0.63 because of some subtle changes to building models.

Apart form ambient sounds, we're actively working on BETA preparation where we have thousands of new sounds for the new player and user actions. There is an audio recording session planned for next month where we're gonna record new sounds for players, as well as infected.

We're also working closely with animation department, so you can expect many new SFX for every new animation that will come with the 0.63 update.

- Andrej Sinkević / Sound Designer -

Community Spotlight

Hello guys!

We released the update 0.62 to Experimental branch in the night hours last week and we were holding our breath waiting for your first reactions.

When we checked first streams to see your impressions, we were very happy and relieved. You were excited by this new update! New trees, ambient sound, wind - you loved it and you were sharing your experience with us on social networks, which we really appreciate. When you work on something like this for a long time, you are happy when people like your hard work.

We really appreciated your feedback. It is helping us to move closer to the release of the 0.62 to Stable branch. We are still looking for issues, if you find any bugs or if your game crashes, please report it to our Feedback Tracker, our QA guys will take care of you.

If you never tried an Experimental branch and you want to play on unstable servers, we have instructions for you on our official forums:

If you never heard about new 0.62 update and If you want to know what is new, here is the list of the most important things:

    New tree models
    Denser forests
    New clutter (grass, small plants)
    New surface textures - plains and such
    Improved wind behavior
    New shader for the wind, affecting trees and grass
    Tweaked and changed lighting for the world
    Small improvements to satellite textures
    Rain affected by wind and refinement of its behavior in general
    Many reworked locations on Chernarus
    Reworked ghillie (to be consistent with new tech)
    Small bugfixes to some issues from 0.61
    New ambient sounds

We are talking about the new update in depth on our forums, join us and tell us your feedback, positive or negative, it's up to you:

With the arrival of 0.62, a lot of videos started appearing on YouTube, introducing the new update. I admit that so many of them were so good, I was having a hard time choosing the ones to show you today. Finally, I picked a great story by Rene a.k.a. Barely Infected, which contains exploration of new locations in the west, telling of scary stories at dark night as well as creating new friendships. It is a bit longer, but believe me that it is worth it.



Another video I wanted to show you is a snapshot movie from a smaller, but very skilled YouTuber called uncuepagamer, that shows the beauty of the small village Nizhnoye and its surroundings. Those few shots are enough to capture the great looks of the new update.



If you like events, do note that there will be one taking place on the 7th June 2017 on French server Team ONU. You can find more info about it here.

At the end, I would like to remind you about the video from last week which some of you may have missed due to the hustle around the new update release. It is the first part of Q&A video with our senior map designer Adam Franců. Make sure to check it out, you will learn a lot of interesting information and you will find the promised scenes from "real Chernarus" I mentioned in the last Status Report.



That is all from me for today, if you are preparing an event on your server, or if you have any interesting content for the next Status Report, send me a Tweet on our official Twitter and you may find it here the next time.

Header image provided by Gordon Freeman.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 16 mai 2017  
 
Status Report - 16 May 2017

This week, Brian is addressing how walkie talkies in DayZ are the new server-wide chat. Eugen is touching upon the complexity of DayZ, as well as some of the recent tasks of the entire team. We also feature Peter who shares exciting news about changing the inner workings of loot spawns (this will be an extra crunchy topic for any future DayZ modders out there!) Next up are our map designers Mark and Adam, and yes, they have some screenshots for you this time! 

To finish it all in style, Baty is sharing a couple of photos from our trip to the real Chernarus, where we were filming the upcoming Q&A video last week. Let's get to it, it's a long one folks, but full of great development news! 

Dev Update / Hicks

The last time we spoke I mentioned discussing the impact of sway, and the implications on gameplay. I think one of the overlooked aspects of replacing the animation system, and legacy player is the fact that this isn't just a "change" in how sway / hold breath, and the likes behave. With the legacy setup, early on Peter and I both supported adjustments to try and refine where it was sitting as an experience in game. Pretty rapidly we realized that where we wanted it to be, and what the technology would allow us to do were two things very much apart. Rather than wasting development time trying to iterate and iterate upon a system that was slated to be replaced, the focus was placed on functionally where we wanted to be with the final product.

Its important to understand that as I said earlier - this isn't just a change. This is a replacement of the technology and player - so the old methods for sway, stamina, and such are gone. As we move towards beta, and start getting those builds into the hands of players - then we can refine the new methods of sway, and get it to a point in which you still need to be aware of your stance, weight (hopefully!), and the amount of sprinting you are doing - but that it is entirely manageable and does not feel like this daunting and overwhelming rigid inflexibility it can become in some situations with the current legacy Steam builds.

In addition to this, Peter and I have also been spending some time discussing the implication of server wide chat (specifically VOIP). I've noticed aside from strong private shard communities like DayZ Underground - folks don't seem to be utilizing radios in game. While on servers such as that, I find the communication across the map with random players occurs far more often. Personally, I'm a firm supporter of radios being starting gear so that every player can opt-in to server wide communication should they choose it - but I'm still working on converting Peter to this mindset. One of the limiting factors I've noticed the community discussing is the rate at which radios consume batteries, and the hunt for batteries themselves being both unrewarding and difficult.

I know a lot of folks have expressed a desire for the old global chat (which personally I do not miss at all) - and some have also expressed an interest in the old kill feed. A default on global chat is just not something we ever felt had a place in DayZ. That said, it can easily be turned on for mod authors, a kill feed as well shouldn't be difficult to put together.

For Peter and I - the immersion of the radios themselves, paired with the fact that they effectively serve as an opt-in global VOIP, is incredibly attractive. As I'm sure you all recall - we increased their range greatly several builds back. Aside from availability of the radios themselves, and consumption of batteries, I think they represent where we'd like global VOIP to be. So I encourage you all to utilize them more, so I can convince Peter that they should totally be player starting gear.

C'mon - do it. You never know who will be on the other end.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Eugen

Hey guys! First things first, I want to share the conclusion to the story I mentioned here the last time! We managed to fix the crash - yay! This means that everything seems to be in place for 0.62 on Experimental and I can't wait for you guys to play with the new environment visuals and sounds. There is still space to improve and make things more distinct, but the work does not stop there after we send 0.62 to Experimental/Stable. It's the first step to get visuals and audio where one would expect them in 2017.

To continue with stories from the development front, large part of our daily routine here is planning for BETA, and doing recaps with the aim to refocus the development, structuring our team into smaller feature teams. In the last two weeks, we revisited mind maps of these feature blocks to set up a core functionality of DayZ - starting with larger ones, and working our way down to smaller, more actionable items that we can "close" as development items.

DayZ is a complex game. It's a system sandbox where its gameplay loop starts working only when all the small details are in, and start interacting with each other. It's one of the hardest genres to iterate upon, as you can't structure the features easily, and every single thing can break the gameplay ecosystem. I highly recommend the original Deus Ex postmortem that was featured at GDC 2017 by Warren Spector himself.

If you separate the work we have done over the years, you can simplify it into three layers: engine, data and gameplay. Engine is the core base and modules upon which we want to build this game, data are visual assets (e.g. models) or audio that support the features, and gameplay is represented in both code and script. That’s why we have technical designers writing script, and gameplay programmers doing the same for the DayZ codebase.

Over the course of the last two years, these two groups (programmers and scripters) have been focused on closing core support systems for the architecture of gameplay in the new engine, and haven't had the chance to see their individual parts of the game work together. It's exciting now that what you could previously see only in a debug mode, or under parameters for internal client, is now finally able to support actual gameplay, and can be seen inside the game in a broader context. It’s a start of something much bigger for everybody in here.

Instead of focusing on systems and technology, we are finally making a game. The core gameplay loop is our focus now, split into melee combat, ranged combat, player character and its interaction with the world, and the infected (and their interactions with the world). All these pieces we have been building are slowly getting playable. There are still hurdles along the way and ahead of us - but that’s how development works.

What we're doing now is obviously one of the most critical parts of DayZ development, but all these previous decisions to create tech first, and focus on enjoyable experience later, are going to benefit the game (and gameplay) in the long run.

To give a glance at the currently open development items in our teams :

Programmers

    AI script implementation
    Zombie behavior script representation
    Inventory and item conditions
    Item spawn definition
    User actions in multiplayer
    Network traffic optimization
    Sound event manager
    Performance optimizations and multithreading changes
    Input changes
    Navigation changes
    Hit reactions on player 
    Tons of crash fixing
    Tons of bug fixes

Animators

    Weapon mechanics animations polishing (unjamming, reloads)
    Inverse Kinematics poses
    Hit reactions on player
    Melee combat prototype
    Ranged combat prototype

Designers

    User actions in multiplayer
    Player representation
    New player and item spawn definition
    Inventory UI refactor
    Radial menu for gestures
    Soft Skills
    Player action targeting

Audio

    Positional environment audio
    Infected audio recording preparation
    Player and weapon animation events setup

QA

    Playtesting the 0.62 update
    0.62 feature testing
    Internal client stabilization

Art

    Tree fire geometry
    Buildings optimization
    Doors unification

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update/Peter

In regards to Central Economy, there were some changes made in terms of loot spawning and its definition for BETA version that we are working on. Till now, loot placement was defined directly as specific point per one item in .p3d files, grouped in named selections (which are paired with categories and tags in configs and areas in area map later). There has been a need to pay close attention to dimensions of given items against each other, and available space around them to avoid unnecessary clipping between items, or between item and building itself.

This process was tedious as it lacked sufficient spatial orientation in object editor, leading to prolonged time needed to populate a building (for example, the school building has tens of thousands of spawn points defined in the old system). Not to mention that packing and exporting proxies was mandatory in order to be able to see new/adjusted spawn points working in game, stretching the time even further. You can see how it was set for the police station on the screenshot below. 

Instead of exact points, the new loot placement uses ranges. Range simply defines a circular area within which item can be spawned. During placement of these ranges, they are checked against each other and building itself in real time. This approach avoids any clipping and collisions of items during spawning. Placement output is stored as XML directly in the mission folder, so it's very convenient for modding, it also can be loaded and edited.

The best part of this new system is that it's completely defined and visualized directly in game, from free-fly camera. Additionally, everything is real time, which (coupled with independence from addons) cuts down the time required for setup dramatically.

After introduction of this new system, we managed to get from more than 1.000.000 spawn points (mind that was after massive reduction for 0.61 version from 4.000.000+ spawn points) to current ~130.000 used, and at the end, what matters the most is the increased server performance.

Don't waste time doing unnecessary things... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Mark

Hi everyone, Mark Gill here! I'm one of the map designers who has done many tasks for Chernarus, but more recently I've been focused on developing the new Chernarus forests for this 0.62 visual upgrade. This has been a lengthy, challenging, but also rewarding process. I will try to share some of the thought process behind the changes that were made.

With the new forest overhaul, we hope the survivor experience in DayZ will be greatly enhanced. We tried to make traveling through forests a more immersive experience. Repetition can quickly become boring on a map of our scale, so as you traverse through forests across the map, the visuals will change at a fairly rapid pace. This was a large undertaking, but it was important to keep the visual stimuli changing in unpredictable ways.

We were able to increase the number of tree variations thanks to our talented artists to create types of forest that display different characteristics. The overall shape, size, and canopy development gives sections of forest a sense of age. These sections can vary from close spacing of younger variants. to farther spacing of older variants. There are limits to density due to the performance impact, but hopefully the amount of variables at play will keep you on your toes as you travel across the map.

Broadleaf hedgerows and forest edges now have a lower profile than in the past. This looks more natural and adds more coverage at a lower height. With this change, sections of forest are more self-contained with this "bushier" egde-line. This helps block some sight in and out of deep forest. While much thinner then reality, this balanced result is an important improvement to the visuals as well as gameplay. Moving as an individual or group in and out forest should be a more significant shift as well as hiding. While you may feel safe and hidden within deep forest sections, there is also the opposite of not knowing who may be nearby.


We hope you will enjoy your freshly upgraded playground!

- Mark Gill/ Map Designer -

Dev Update/Adam

Hello everyone, I hope that you enjoyed this SR's contribution from Mark, our map designer, who has showed a great passion for such whopping task as transforming the nature of Chernarus is. He spend countless amount of time designing and configuring how the new forests and individual vegetation looks and we are all excited for the day when you finally be able to experience new Chernarus too.

We are currently really busy with map tweaking to make sure we can deliver the new Chernarus in best possible shape we can in given time. Please keep in mind that update .62 has touched almost every corner of Chernarus and while we do our best to make sure everything will look just like we wanted, there will be some minor map-related issues. Also, keep in mind that update .62 contains initial changes to the whole western border, completely getting rid of old terrain and object layout and replacing it with much more detailed landscape and layout. This work, labelled as western expansion, is however split into several phases and more additions and fixes are planned for later updates.

In addition to many great improvements to the way grass, trees look and behave in wind, our programmers also went and fixed many issues related to lighting and sky. One of the major things was that before 062, shadows were turned off too early / too late and that impacted the quality of scene (mainly interiors) in a very bad way. This issue was fixed along with many more (like smoother sky-fog transition, reduced size of the moon and sun, moon visibility, horizon look, and more...). These changes have enabled us to focus on lighting config for Chernarus, which saw some great changes. While we do not consider it to be final, we hope that it will prove to be a very fitting addition to the visual update coming with 0.62.

Additionally, in January 24th SR I promised you that I will show you the new railway stone bridge, so here it is! Coming in 0.62 along with many additional changes to the railway network of Chernarus!

See you in Chernarus!

- Adam Franců / Senior Map Designer -

Community Spotlight

Last week, together with our Brand Manager Martin and our external camera crew, we embarked to the real world model for Chernarus to shoot a new Q&A video with our Map Designer Adam Franců a.k.a Sumrak (a well known Arma 3 modder). The real Chernarus is found in the vicinity of the town of Ústi nad Labem in the Czech Republic and we already talked about it in the March Status Report

As a first thing we aimed for the "Pik Kozlova" (or Kozí vrch in the real world), which offers beautiful view of the outskirts of Ústi nad Labem that you most likely know from the game as Chernogorsk. Even from such distance, you can recognize typical blocks of flats in Chapaevsk, Novoselky and Dubky, where you surely more than once encountered camping snipers. The real Chernarus does not have a sea, because we don’t have any in the Czech Republic, but you can recognize the shore as the curve of the river Labe. I have snapped a couple of photos for you to compare the “real Chernarus” and it's game counterpart as shown in update 0.62.

Comparison of Ústi nad Labem and Chernogorsk:


Later on, we moved to Lipová, which was the original village you know as Starý Sobor. It has the characteristic red barn and two large abandoned cowsheds. I looked behind the buildings, where the military tents are supposed to be, but of course they were not there. There is an area with concrete floor instead, where silage used to be fermented.


Abadoned cowsheds


After Lipová, we travelled to village Javory, which can remind you of ingame Gorka. That is where the church is located, that you can see in many locations in the game. We wanted to have a look inside, but there was a sign saying “gassed, do not enter”, so we decided to not take the risk and after a bit of filming we left the town and headed for the Zub castle.


If you used to run through Moglievka to Vyshnoye in game, you might have noticed ruins of the castle Zub on your left hand side. The castle is really there, at least its remnants, and it is called Blansko. It is slightly smaller than in game, but it provides an amazing view of the surrounding countryside. You can see the small village of Vyshnoye and its vicinity. The name of the real village is the same as of the castle – Blansko. And one point of interest - a community member Ivan tweeted to us that he hid a non-public geocache with DayZ motive nearby the castle. So if you will be around and manage to find it, let us know its content, because we are curious what is inside and we didn’t find it.


It was an absolutely amazing experience for me, because I felt like I was really in the game. We did not need a map, we know Chernarus like the back of our hands, therefore we know exactly which way to choose and where everything is. If you will ever have the opportunity to visit Czech Republic, make sure not to miss this experience. I am definitely planning to go back to real Chernarus, this time on foot, with tent and some beans for couple of days, because it is worth it, will you join me?

I hope you enjoyed my short report and I can not wait to show you the video we filmed there. If you were also on a trip through the real Chernarus, do not hesitate to show off and tweet to us what you liked the most and some of your pictures! Have a great time and see you in Chernarus, this time in game!

Header image: Mark_Knophler

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 2 mai 2017  
 
Status Report - 02 May 2017

Hello Survivors! We've got another beefy Status Report for you this week! Brian talks about basic vehicle goals for BETA, Eugen shares a story about one of our development decisions, and Peter and Mirek go more in depth about some of their recent work! Got 10 minutes to read? Sure you do, that's why you're here - let's get to it!

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors! 

As Eugen is covering what the current tasks are, that frees me up to talk about some of the mechanics and systems that we (Peter, myself, the development team as a whole) are looking forward to improving upon in beta and the milestones past that. Given that after checking the various communities centered around DayZ, I noticed a group of posts doing their best impression of the World War 3 style courtroom audience summoned by the Q entity in Star Trek's Encounter at Farpoint when discussing the current state of vehicles, I figured now is as good a time as any to clear up some things when it comes to them, in DayZ. (The vehicles, not Q's apparitions)  

While I personally love the work Peter and the design team did on manual transmissions in DayZ, vehicle handling and mechanics as a whole are far from where we want them to be. The biggest culprit of this, obviously, is physics, and their handling on terrain. We did show some of the changes being worked on for that area of the vehicles, but many may have missed it.

It's fair to say that vehicles in DayZ's Alpha phase of Early Access have received the least amount of user visible love. Part of that is due to the complex physics situation in DayZ, as we still currently operate two completely separate physics systems. Another part of that is due to so much of the focus being on technology, and getting it in place to support DayZ as we want it to be. I'm looking forward to that, as from my perspective, vehicles are a critical component of mid-to-late game DayZ gameplay - and quite honestly, without them in a satisfying state, you tend to just end up with a walking simulator ;). 

Let me give you guys a look at some of the areas we will be looking at improving into and throughout BETA. 

    Terrain handling / acceleration
    SFX (Engines / Transmission)
    UI (Specifically in the toggle-able HUD that we have shown before - so that 3PP players can see the same critical info 1PP can)
    Feedback on vehicle damage state (Aside from damage materials, and doors falling off - think smoke from a damaged engine, engine stumble/diesel when running out of fuel)
    Proper destruction of vehicle when it has been destroyed (rather than the current state of the vehicle just not turning on)

Don't think for a moment anyone on the dev team looks at vehicles the way they are now and says "Y'know what - that's perfect, ship it" - far from it. All of us are just as antsy and eager to see DayZ's systems start to flesh out and polish as we all want them to be - we just have to knuckle down and understand that the technology to support our vision needs to be ready for us to start implementing this.  

This exact reason, and so much more is why all of us are so focused on, and excited to enter the BETA phase of DayZ's Early Access. I'll leave you all with that, as I'd like to put together Peter and I's thoughts on stamina, and weapon sway for the next Status Report. For now, just promise not to kill me on sight when you see me in Severograd.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Eugen

Hey guys, as some of you have noticed, I have omitted listing audio changes as part of 0.62 update in the last Status Report. That was an honest mistake, but it also highlights what a dynamic place game development is. I'll try and have my contribution structured as a goal for the future Status Updates. Usually, I'll begin with a "story from development", just so you can see what kind of decision making is happening everyday, as well as going through the things we have been working on in the respective departments for each patch separately.

0.62 Strike Team Update & Development Story

This time, it’s a story AND a progress update - yay!

0.62 patch was originally planned for delivery (on Experimental branch) during the second week of April, but due to complications and cooperation on engine milestones, it became apparent that we needed to close them sequentially, rather than working on both at once. Remember that only small team is working on 0.62 at the moment, as almost all of us are focusing on BETA/0.63 delivery.

However, back to the topic at hand. Originally, that shouldn't have been that much of a problem. As we started testing the 0.62 update, we quickly found out that when we enable the new positional environmental sounds (basically the reworked Arma 3 tech introduced with the Eden Update that is becoming a part of Enfusion Engine platform), we encountered a crash.

The crash itself manifests when you switch window focus fast enough during startup, but it can manifest at any point, this is just the easiest way to get it. The crash is based around file system and resource management of our engine - one of the last remaining parts that are not rewritten for DayZ yet.

We have a couple of options now: We can either rework the content to work with the old system to make the new sounds function, but lose the ability for positional audio in environments, or fix the bug in the resource management and make the old system work with the new content and data.

We can also rewrite the system completely to get the pattern of these crashes fixed on the platform as a whole.

It might look like a small thing, but the positional environment audio makes the game much more immersive. And the issues go much deeper than that, as the same system might be causing some console performance issues (and more). To get an overview and make a right decision requires fast, but actionable intel. These things happen often when working with older technology, especially when you are in a process of refactoring it as well.

This resource management has been the culprit of many issues in the past, but so far it held the test of time. That might not be the case going forward, and might need some serious looking into.


Our team of designers in the middle of some deep thinking :)

0.63 BETA Strike Team Update

As for the work with BETA Strike Team, I list them below. One line of text / bullet point usually means it's in the hands of a single person working on the feature and handling the ownership. However, be aware that I need to simplify it to make things at least a little bit digestible, so it's hard to strike the right amount of detail without basically reworking JIRA tasks to show them here:

Programmers

    AI script implementation
    Zombie behavior script representation
    Wind rework and debugs
    Inventory and item conditions
    Item spawn definition
    User actions in multiplayer
    Exhausted and hurt player animation support
    Network traffic optimization
    New version check (to prevent edge cases of connecting to a different build of a game)
    Lightning fixes (new lightning setup)
    Sound event manager
    Tons of crash fixing
    Tons of bug fixes

Animators

    Weapon mechanics animations polishing (unjamming, reloads)
    Inverse Kinematics poses
    Mocap (Player turns and more)
    Hit reactions on player
    Animation plugins
    Cow and Bull refactor for the new animation system

Designers

    User actions in multiplayer
    Player representation
    New item hierarchy definition
    New player and item spawn definition
    Inventory UI refactor
    Lifespan
    Tree fire geometry
    Tons of bug fixes

Audio

    Positional environment audio

QA

    Playtest 0.62
    Door rework priority assignment (standardized door sizes)
    Performance profiling in 0.62
    Client performance benchmarks in 0.62


0.62 Strike Team meeting

I know that a list is not the best way to present the progress, but might be interesting for the development folks out there. However, I would also like to make it much more representative. There are tons of things happening at the same time, and we are in process of visualizing the sprint in very near future and I`ll try and share our overview of BETA progress when things settle down.

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update / Peter

Along with upcoming changes to doors behavior I wrote about in the past, another issue which we definitely need to address and solve is the wide variety of different widths and heights of door openings. It may sound like a marginal issue, but I encourage you to continue reading, and discover how it affects gameplay.

Nearly every opening in DayZ is unique, which is caused by historical reasons and non-existing metrics back then (we are using a mixture of different structures collected from Operation Flashpoint, Arma 1, Arma 2, and some new ones made exclusively for DayZ). Apart from the fact that doors with dimensions below ideal standard just look bad and out of place (not to mention handles placed in above knees height) and feel odd (especially from the first person camera), they are also hindering the "fluency" of player movement.

Character collisions coupled with old clunky locomotion are introducing unwanted challenge in such simple action as going through the door, turning doors into an obstacle. Internal tests made with both old and new characters show us that a minimum clear opening of doors in DayZ should have clear width of 120cm and clear height of 220cm, and these dimensions were established as required metrics.

Everything below causes issues with character navigation, and feels odd especially in first person camera, where opening seems very narrow and low due to camera FOV and perspective. Also the third person camera then shows unnecessary jumping down while going through the door (if their opening height is under 220cm). New doors metrics with their new behavior will add a lot to responsiveness and smooth movement through the environment and its obstacles.

As we are continuing to work on 0.63 version AKA BETA, programmers are getting rid of old systems down the road. Lastly, old player has been completely removed internally, and with it also firearms handling (that includes firearms action like chambering, reloading, shooting… etc.) and aiming model (which means sway, recoil, dexterity, aiming, holding breath…), together with melee fighting (traced swings…) are gone forever as these were integral parts of the old player.

This untied our hands as now is the time when prototypes based on design I mentioned in past Status Reports (8 March 2017 and 28 September 2016) start being implemented in close cooperation between programmers, animators and us managing the design and script side of things.

Rewrite of firearms also allows us to introduce mechanics like changeable gun barrels (we have 2 more barrels for AUG ready to experiment with), different muzzle speeds for the same ammunition type depending on barrel length (which helps balancing firearms between each other, or vice versa), different muzzle speeds for different ammunition type used in same firearm (pellets vs slugs anyone?), switching between scope and sights if possible (like AK family, AUG…) and refinement of, and more importantly, connecting already introduced firearms mechanics like unjamming, mechanism manipulation, chambering and others to the new animation system.

I just can't wait for the moment these systems will be fully re-implemented, as it will change the combat experience a lot in general.

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Mirek

We have finished network part of user action system as I described in my last Status Report contribution. It's worth to mention that this change has decreased network traffic from clients significantly and now our client on 0.63 sends (with some small exceptions) only input packets. This change will help a lot to resolve issues like late hits registration and it also should help to overall game responsibility.

Weapon system has received some new features, like changeable barrels and muzzles and support for attached grenade launchers. Basic implementation for weapon jamming is ready since last week.

And another small new feature - we're working on a system that will select communication channel for chat and voice automatically, so players won't have to change channel using keyboard cursor keys.

Apart from that, most of our time is still being spend on the new player implementation - tweaking movement and collisions, creating new weapon aiming system and connecting it all to other gameplay systems - we'll talk about these later on, when they are ready.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -

Community Spotlight

Greetings Survivors, It is getting warmer outside in Europe, but not even the nice weather can stop you from playing your favorite game. With every day, we are getting closer to release of the 0.62 Update and the community is trembling with impatience and nervousness. But don’t worry, I am also looking forward to the release of the new update, same as you.

As you surely know from previous Status Reports, update 0.62 will also contain map updates, which are being taken care of by our map designer Adam Franců a.k.a. Sumrak. We will be shooting new Q&A video with him in the next couple of days. If you have any questions regarding his work and the DayZ map, feel free to ask him. 

And now for the things that landed on our Twitter, official forum or Reddit over the last two weeks. 
 
When I opened Twitter today, the first thing that caught my eye was an elaborate figurine made by Bragawn. It’s almost unbelievable that it is made entirely of paper! Great job! 

 

Next, I would like to share with you two videos that I found interesting. First one is for fans of role-play gameplay style. It is a ritual of Cult of Papa filmed by three different people and edited into one video by Ron Fox. Can you guess the place where it was filmed? Hail Papa!



The other video is for PvP lovers. Absolutely brilliant singing opening and ending by IsSy is followed by exciting action with a lot of victims. Good aim Inherwake!  



For the end, I would like to introduce a smaller streamer from Australia who I like for his enthusiasm, optimism and being always cheerful. Make sure to check out his Twitch channel, you will surely be infected with his positivity! 

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 honor the next status report with your talent! 

Awesome header image submitted by: [O.N.U] Damigo 

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 18 avril 2017  
 
Status Report - 18 April 2017

Evening Survivors!

This week, you'll hear from our Creative Director Brian Hicks and our Lead Producer Eugen Harton - as the department leads are fully focused on catching up on their tasks after a short Easter holiday, both Brian and Eugen are doing their best to report for them. Both also explain why some of the long-announced content isn't in the game yet, and what needs to be done to have it available during BETA.

Mind you, while our today's Status Report is a bit of a long read, it's also full of vital development information on the upcoming 0.62 and BETA updates, so get comfy, pour yourself a drink of your preference and reserve some time for reading - it's worth it! Also, Baty has some nice eye-candy bonus at the very end, so those who make it all the way through will surely be rewarded :)

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors.

I watch a good deal of DayZ Twitch streams and YouTube videos in my free time - and over the last week or so, I saw something that concerned me: hearing conversation in regards to gameplay mechanics or systems currently implemented in the most basic form, and if they are intended (by developers) to ever change.

Between the new user actions and rewrite to Enforce script, and the decision for designers to stop writing new systems in SQF and focus entirely on creating new gameplay systems in the new tech - it can easily seem (to those who don't closely follow development) that we just don't care about the issues currently on the Steam build, or don't ever intend to address them. That couldn't be farther from the case.

For example, Peter and I have been going over functional issues with the central economy we want to see addressed for BETA and beyond - these aren't things that are being ignored. Far from it, but as always, the goal for the team is getting to the final product as quickly and efficiently as possible.

While the economy functions at a playable level and much of the technology required for the final product is there, the priority for the programmers responsible for the Central Economy of DayZ moves on to the next piece of the puzzle - in this particular case, support for public access to server files and required software, modding, and off-line mode.

When those critical technology tasks (that are being worked on by those specific programmers) are implemented into the internal version of the game, that's where we can shift our focus on iterating upon some of the functional issues of the Central Economy.

What kind of functional issues with the economy? Well - just to list a few:

    Dynamic Event spawning behavior
    Dynamic Event item spawn quantity control
    Zone/Area restricted items bunching up in specific towns after extended persistence uptime
    Repeated spawns of the same item types in a structure
    Consistent availability of early game basic supplies

Also take a look at Peter's contribution to the last SR - it's a good example of how the current state of things is not final, how our features and systems will be iterated upon and improved.

To be honest, there isn't much of anything in the Alpha phase of DayZ that is functionally (from a design perspective) "complete". Nearly every gameplay system or mechanic the player touches is at a basic functional level, meaning the tech/script/animations are present and it operates in one way or another. Fleshing it out, addressing functional and gameplay issues - that isn't something we should be wasting time and resources on, especially when so much of it is being replaced.

"What about all that cool stuff you guys have shown for years but never ended up in the game?" You might ask - "What happened to that?!" - While I know both Eugen and myself have discussed this before, I can't fault anyone for missing it - it certainly is not easy trying to search or go back through Status Reports on DayZ.com at the very least.

Nearly everything that has been discussed since we stopped prototyping gameplay mechanics in SQF, stopped creating animations for new items on the old animation system, and so on is, and has been worked on. I know it can seem like cool things like base building, soft skills, or player facial hair growth has disappeared because we haven't publicly associated it with a specific release.

The reality of the situation is, with pretty much everything on that proverbial list being dependent upon the new player, and the focus for BETA being on getting the game stable and playable on the new engine modules - we're playing our cards close to the chest.

While we may end up with a BETA candidate build that has a huge chunk of the content and gameplay systems backlog functional in it - it's just as possible that we'll end up with a smaller chunk of the backlog content and systems in that first BETA build, and the rest of the list will follow up as quick as possible (which should be at a much quicker pace, having shed a good chunk of our nasty tech debt and overhead from supporting legacy and new tech). 

We're in that situation because it is the technology - the foundation of everything inside DayZ that you guys experience - that is setting the pace and progress towards our goals right now.

As we get closer to these core components of DayZ's underlying technology being functional and usable in a multiplayer state, we can better gauge what the gameplay and content ingredients of the BETA milestone are.

I know for some of you, a good deal of this is information is something you all already know, as Eugen and I both have spoken on it several times before (and I couldn't have put it better than Eugen's contribution to the last SR), but for as many of you that may follow development closely and know all this already - there are just as many that might have missed some of this down the pipe.

You know what they say: now they know... and knowing is half the battle.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Eugen

Hi there survivors, since some of you appreciated my last Status Report contribution, I'm going to try and keep them as regular as possible. While knowing that my wall of text is not going to be an easy read for everyone, I do believe it's necessary to try and write stuff in technical detail in order to have and provide an honest coverage of what's happening in the DayZ Dev Team offices.

There will be a lot of stuff happening over the coming months, and I want to guide you through it with as much information as possible. At this point, there are two large releases scheduled for this year. and we're fully focused on those. The development is divided into strike teams - a smaller strike team is working on the 0.62 update, which we internally like to call a "Visual Upgrade". It contains tweaks to lighting and new forests, as well as general world fidelity improvements (we have more to come in that department for follow-up/future updates as well).

As far as what that means in a bit more detail, the Visual Upgrade coming with the 0.62 update will feature:

    New tree models
    Denser forests
    New clutter (grass, small plants)
    New surface textures (roads, plains and such)
    Improved wind behavior
    New shader for the wind, affecting trees and grass
    Tweaked and changed lighting for the world (for a more apocalyptic feel, yay!)
    Small improvements to satellite textures
    Rain affected by wind and refinement of its behavior in general
    Many reworked locations on Chernarus
    Reworked ghillie (to be consistent with new tech)
    Small bugfixes to some issues from 0.61

The 0.62 update will NOT introduce:

    Any changes to gameplay
    Any changes to buildings and structures (in terms of model graphical fidelity)
    Any changes to player model fidelity
    Any changes to animation fidelity
    Any of the gameplay changes, or new content that we've been occasionally mentioning in Status Reports 
    (those are all scheduled for BETA/0.63)

After this milestone, the strike team for 0.62 will merge with the current 0.63 strike team, and join their efforts to reach BETA on our Steam branches as soon as possible. BETA/0.63 will be a major change for the game as a whole. That is the update that you guys have all been waiting for, and we have been working hard to reach that goal for the past few years. What does that mean in more concrete terms though?

All the new engine technology we have developed for DayZ, along with the content of the current game - all merged in and improved, as it has been refactored from functionality point, design-wise, and in terms of fidelity as well. Moreover, additional content and features that we couldn't properly implement on the legacy tech.

Besides all the refined features, content and overall improvements to the DayZ experience, we also aim to release a handy toolset very near to (or along with) the initial BETA/0.63 update. This toolset will contain the much-requested server files. 

I know you are all asking: But when?!?! As much as I would love to tell you now, we want to be able to deliver a seamless core gameplay loop without bugs breaking it at first. Our main goal now is to get the melee combat and ranged combat work on the new technology, and in a real game environment, not only in a debug mode.

A lot of work has been done already (like new synchronization, damage system, player representation, and more), so this means mostly adding support in synchronization, and adding content for new features in the animation system are ahead of us, but it's still a lot to handle.

So just so you get the idea of what work is being done at the moment (from the perspective of disciplines):

Gameplay team

    Refactor of hard coded world interactions to script. There were still a couple left (opening doors for example). Creation of core synchronization model for these
    Moving VOIP to server authoritative completely
    New weapons API for weapon script implementation
    Inventory conditions implementation for item states and more
    Optimizations of item spawning for server performance
    AI script API for behavior modification
    New player spawn definition
    New item spawn definition
    Vehicle behavior in new technology
    Backend toolset (srvlet) for central manipulation of economy, and server management (community version)

Design team

    User actions manager for the new synchronization model
    Player representation refactor and debug functionality for new player (visualization and toggles for testing and manipulation)
    New hierarchy of item configurations (includes new technology like damage system, procedural coloring and such)
    Data re-structuralization to suit the new setup (file structures at the moment)
    Inventory refactor and optimization according to internal version
    Integration of soft skills to actions in game
    Electricity and its implementation
    Placing of items in world and its implementation

Animation team

    Implementation of animation player turns
    Polishing new weapon animations (unjamming)
    Implementation of hit reactions to melee combat in the new system
    Work on inverse kinematics and item poses
    Tweaking player graph
    Implementation of detailed user actions animations

Engine team

    Toolset refinement
    New inverse kinematics implementation
    New physics representation for non-player entities
    New shaders for trees and grass
    Hit reactions in animation system
    Synchronization of new animation system
    Player turns
    Aiming model

Art team

    New models (sorry, don't want to spoil stuff!)
    As you can see, there is a lot of work ongoing, in order to implement all the new technology and content. Most of the tasks are now aiming to get things working together as seamlessly as possible, and a lot of them are playable in different debug environments.

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Community Spotlight

Hello Survivors, before we look at the community content for the last two weeks, I would like to tell you about a 0.61 crash we are looking for that we are not able to reproduce internally. Your game can crash when connecting to the server after waiting in a queue, and when that happens, that is what we are looking for.

Should this happen to you, we would appreciate if you could send the crash dump files from folder Users\YourPCName\AppData\Local\DayZ to our Feedback Tracker.

We are discussing this issue further on our official forums - come join us:

Overall, we welcome reports of any crashes that you will be able to reproduce - please send them together with the dump files using the Feedback Tracker. Every report will massively contribute to speeding up the fixing process of those issues.

If the wallpaper from the last Status Report was not enough for you, we have another one here, that landed on our Twitter account and that could suit your desktop well. Gaming Roach edited his screenshot into an amazing wallpaper with infected as the main theme. You can find his original screenshot here. You have some talent, man!

Today, I would like to dedicate some space to one of the role-play communities. I am a big fan of role-playing myself, and I really enjoy watching entertaining videos from post-apocalyptic Chernarus. One of them is this video from an RPevent on the whitelisted AftermathRP server that is being organized every 2-3 months. It is about the evacuation of civilians by NATO group from Staroye to Chernogorsk's docklands, while a group of Russian rebels tries to stop them. Here is a part of the official event description from their pages:

When news first broke out about the virus, many assumed it was just the flu - horrible to have, but with treatment, something you can overcome. This was not because the survivors did not understand what the infected were, it was because of what they were told.  Information was withheld to prevent widespread panic, to make evacuations easier and more importantly, to ensure that no one knew what was happening inside of the country, should they ever get out or be able to call home.

NATO started with their evacuation of civilians.  They went into towns and camps, large in numbers and ‘rounded up’ those were staying there.  If any questions were asked, NATO would simply point to one of the many flu warning posters they had put up around the country and inform people that it is a perfectly normal procedure, and they were just going to check people for symptoms, treat the ill and take the healthy to a safe location.

If you are interested in role-play or if you want to be a participant in the next event here is more information



A friendly reminder like every week: If you want to be a part of the Community Spotlight, tweet us your content to our official Twitter account or send me a private message on our official forums.

Header image provided by TheDethscythe.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 4 avril 2017  
 
Status Report - 4 April 2017

Good evening survivors! This week, Viktor shares the second part of his animation Q&A video, Eugen is expanding upon his recent talk on a game dev conference here in Prague, Peter provides an example of the new car damage visualization for BETA and we've talked Adam into making some new comparison images of the new forests!

Additionally, we have Mirek talking about another important milestone we've currently reached with our technology and Baty (among other things!) looks back at a pretty cool April Fools' joke from one of our community members.

Dev Update / Eugen

I don't usually contribute to Status Reports, but since Brian is out of office this week, I'd like to change that and touch upon a topic of DayZ development and Early Access development in general. Brace yourselves, as this will be a bit of a long read (but there's also a video embedded below).

For the start, I understand that a lot of you have concerns about DayZ development. I also do believe there have been some inherent issues with what is, and what is not viable for Early Access development phase, as this is something that was not tried a lot before, and most of it is pioneered (process-wise) as things evolve. 

Early Access is a dynamic environment that is quite different from the traditional closed door development. I’m gonna get quite technical, so for those who do not feel like reading a wall of text, I had a presentation at White Nights Prague conference that takes on the subject of this Status Report contribution with less detail:



That said, I do stand by the development decisions we made as a team, but also see major flaws in how one can present changes in games’ underlying technology, where most of these changes are actually the base building blocks which, in time, will be able to provide a significant change of the overall player experience. 

All these engine changes are, in the case of DayZ, developed with the aim to keep the game moddable at all levels, with expanded scope. The engine changes for DayZ include

    Renderer
    Networking system
    Controls
    Script
    Sounds
    Physics
    Tools
    Server-Client architecture (in most systems!)
    Consoles
    Animations
    All gameplay systems written inscript (to a certain degree)

We need to work on all that while we create data and iterate, while we’re slowly trickling some systems into the live game (the public Experimental/Stable branches of DayZ) to test them. That creates a certain lack of visible progress as things are in motion and need time to settle down. These days, many of the base systems are in-game internally, and we are spending a significant amount of time removing a lot of old systems, while interconnecting the new ones.

Let's compare that vision we have for DayZ with the live game that’s out there right now, just so that you have an idea of what it all means in practice. 

Live game runs old physics system, where collisions are a giant hog on server performance. To replace that, you basically need to replace everything else, as many of these old systems were hard-coded to a large degree. You need to make an originally monolithic application into a modular one, where all these old systems are interconnected. You almost, almost start from scratch. And as small as it sounds, server performance can break anything. Most of the systems above have not been part of live game because of this dependencies in old structure.

Every issue in DayZ has a reason. Most of those issues that trouble you are known to us, and have a solution somewhere in all this work that we have done, and want to bring to you. Like the stairs killing you, which is a combination of many, many factors: Issues with data binarization, physics, collisions, server-client architecture and even script and player itself. 

To fix a “simple” issue like that takes years of work because we really can’t take on any more technical debt and “hack” these fixes into the game to save the day. We play for the long haul, not for the short term gain. And as such, there lies the inherent issue of how to approach early access. 

Things take time, and you can’t buy patience with a wall of text. You just can’t. And I get that now, when we have to face the truth here, as all these things that we worked for are not in a state to make for a fun game. Yet. That point (where we will present a fun to play game) is BETA for us. 

Yes, we could probably, eventually set up a deployment to show each different technology change part by part (like we did with the renderer), but unless you have base the game loop present in a game, it’s just a tech demo. Even if we have all the parts ready, these details (bug fixing, connecting pieces together…) matter a lot.

I’m going to use a simplified story of a decision making that happened around one simple upgrade. How player sounds should work in the future:

Sound in games has a lot more to it than one would imagine at first. Besides the sound data itself (which has to be prepared in context of the technology, as in supporting its data structure, and also allows further data modifications by the underlying game technology that plays the final sound for the player) there is also the important part of letting the game know when it should play a sound. Let's call that an event.

You also need to edit all this in some way, to put events in gameplay that plays the sounds, and edit the sounds themselves, and don’t forget the pipeline for building the game that puts all this in some structure. Events have to be called from script, animations, items, environment... There has to be some logic to it. You need tools to visualize the data, a script to play it, have logic that decides how and why…

Many of these systems were originally hard-coded - hard to tweak, hard to change. So the goal was (and is) to bring them in line with the rest of the DayZ vision, and to make the game modular, editable (visually, if possible) and expandable in the future. So we’re talking about tons of disciplines that are affected, and you can’t do one part of it and think the whole thing will still function. 

As you prepare the new technology to be compatible with rest of the new stuff, it is often impossible to keep things compatible. And more than often, you just need to move on and focus only on the new technology.

For example with player sounds, we’re now in process of writing the sound event manager, and then we will need to connect the sounds into data structure, and define events that launch them for new animations of player moving. Meanwhile, we’re also reworking all the textures to prepare the game to recognize surfaces better, or to recognize when a sound is played in interior/exterior. At the same time, we’re implementing a way to edit the data in animation editor, in order to be able to set up these events visually, not just by playing a loop like in the old system. At the end of all this, there will be sounds playing when the foot of the player touches the ground. 

It might sound silly at first, but all these things and changes can expand the scope heavily for us and the modders alike. Its not going to be easy, but as I said, we're not going anywhere.

- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -

Dev Update / Viktor

Our focus in the animation department is still mostly on melee combat and animations for new user actions. We are still iterating and adjusting animations and the game design to make the combat feel good. However, there is the second part of the animations Q&A video that got finished just minutes ago! In the first part, we were filming at our Motion Capture and studio talking about animations in DayZ in general.

This time, I am trying to explain our upcoming animation system and how it helps us improve the game. You can watch both parts right here:




- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Dev Update / Peter

After the new inventory was publicly released, we were continuously adding and implementing features to it which are directly connected to our ambitious revamp of how systems works with user actions, crafting, attachments and inventory management (you can check Status Reports from 1 March 2016 and 29 March 2016 to find out more about this effort to unify and simplify different behaviors).

As we were integrating all that stuff, current inventory implementation of scripted UI got bloated and finally became unsustainable. Currently, it's being rewritten from scratch, which may seems scary at first, but it's the right step for a better, cleaner, more functional and most importantly faster inventory UI.

System of gestures was implemented in Enforce script and it's not a hard-coded part of the engine anymore, which offers more possibilities. Powered by the new animation system, it brings smooth controls and seamless transitions from ending part of gesture animations directly to character movement. As over time number of gestures exceeds available function keys, we started the work on a new radial menu UI for gestures picking (binding gestures to function keys is still possible though).

With upcoming changes to vehicle physics and simulations, we are also enhancing visuals for different damage states of vehicles, as well as how to make new abandoned and wrecked ones from all these driveable models we already have. Large attachments like doors, hoods and wheels will be removable from these abandoned and wrecked vehicles, which can be combined with different color and damage states. The fact I like the most is the possibility to interchange all of these per attachment, or on different parts of body, depending on the direction of impact.

For more variation... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Mirek

Last week, another major milestone has been met - we've moved animals and infected to the new animation system, which means the internal build of the game is only using one animation system now. This is great, because we can now focus only on one type of implementation, and can remove a lot of the legacy code, which will make our lives a lot easier.

Now we just need to connect existing game features to the new implementations of player and AI entities, and solve issues like AI pushing players etc.

Interaction system with game environment is heavily modified, too. In current 0.61 (and future 0.62) updates, the client side is asking the server side for possible interactions and the server returns a list of these actions. In 0.63, we've decided to get an action list on the client side, so there won't be any latency lag and there will be less network traffic between the client and server.

Also, there is going to be a client side prediction for each performed action, which means that you will see direct response when you press interaction button and server will be able to interrupt these actions in case of faulty prediction (e.g. two players are picking up some item at the same time) or in case of cheating.

Another major change in our internal version was the Voice over Network communication. It's now using client/server architecture as well. This allowed us to optimize voice data traffic, and more importantly, there will no longer be any peer to peer connections between players.

Together with these changes, our scripters should be able to begin with the Enforce Script implementation of new advanced communication features (like public address system or static transmitters).

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -

Dev Update / Adam

We've made serious progress on an important milestone task for the release of the 0.62 update - color tweaks for all the new vegetation assets. This task is focused on making sure that all new assets blend together and look just right. In addition to that, we are also utilizing colorization feature that brings much needed local color variety between individual assets. 

Please consider content of all pictures in this status report as work in progress. They do not represent final state yet as we are still working on additional color tweaks and other things such as configuration of clutter (grass) and surface mask. Following two pictures show how the color tweaks affected the overall feel of the new Chernarus.

In first picture, you also have the option to compare it with current (0.61) version of Chernarus:


We've also added younger conifer forests to the layout of the new Chernarus forests. In our previous iterations, only older conifer forests were used for all conifer generation shapes. We have prepared a layout and included these younger parts everywhere we thought they would fit.

That not only includes denser spruce, larch and pine forest parts, but also clearings with really young trees. This change should give you an idea that many of the conifer forests on Chernarus were actively harvested for wood, and thus many resemble un-natural shapes.

Following pictures provides an example of young conifer forest parts near Devils Castle (which is one of the more harvested areas on new Chernarus). Again, you have the option to compare following pictures with current (0.61) version of Chernarus.

You may remember that I mentioned a western expansion in earlier status reports. This task is still very much active and just last week, we have replaced all prototype forest on the western part by the generation output. This basically means that the western border now has properly generated forests, same like pretty much the rest of the new Chernarus.

With this, I can happily say that you will be able to enjoy the whole new look of the whole western part of Chernarus in 0.62 update (time to say good bye to the empty lands with few trees!). That being said, this is just the first iteration, expect many changes with future updates.

This picture is meant as a small teaseer of what you can expect on the western border. Direct comparison to the old Chernarus does not make sense in this case, as the terrain is now vastly different:

- Adam Franců / Map Designer -

Dev Update / Community Spotlight

Server Pipsi is preparing an interesting PVP event themed “Australia vs. New Zealand”. Player slots are filling up quickly, but New Zealand still has couple of available ones, so if you are from Dean Hall’s home country, be sure to sign up!

This amazing teddy bear from streamers and big DayZ fans Queennie and MrBlue, who've been supporting DayZ for several years, arrived to our office. Many thanks for the beautiful and kind letter that warmed our hearts. 


When we are on the topic of gifts, DukeTales was showing off a birthday gift from his girlfriend on Reddit. The clock is hand-made and its face is decorated with cans you can recognize from the game. Happy birthday DukeTales! 

 

Next, we would like to show you the absolutely brilliant artwork with DayZ theme by IqfishLP, which he published on Reddit. He even recorded the process of creating it. He managed to transform a common screenshot into this artwork worthy of being your new wallpaper. Great job! 



To finish things off, let’s go back to one April Fools’ Day joke which spread through the community a couple of years ago and was initiated by Duro Bulo. I was not yet part of the DayZ team back then and I did fall for it. Duro Bulo started a hoax about a possible malaria infection being carried by the vicious mosquitos of Chernarus. He even made up a way to protect yourself from this dangerous insect – a bug repellent spray. Duro certainly does not lack creativity. But don’t forget, it is only a joke! 


Tweet us if you encountered any DayZ April Fools’ joke this year. Did you get fooled?

If you have any community content or event which you would like to share with us, the easiest way is to tweet to our official Twitter

Header image by: THE MR POTATO

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mercredi 29 mars 2017  
 
Status Report - 29 March 2017

Evening Survivors,

It's time for that update on what's been going on during the past two weeks. We have a bit of info on blocker issues for 0.60 as well as which subjects will be in focus for the immediate future.

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

Hey everyone. While I don't have an experimental build for you today - I do have good news and an update on what is going on with the blockers, how far we've got with them, and so on:

Inventory UI

    User controls within the new inventory look to be at parity with the old inventory system. The last few remaining issues are a few nasty blocking bugs on the functional side, such as items missing their icons.

Reload mechanics

    The QA team have worked with the design and animation teams to get a firm handle on exactly where the inconsistencies are with the new reload mechanics, and said teams are working on resolving the issue. I think we can all agree that when we push a large change to how weapons reload - they damn better all reload with the same mechanics ;)

Character Loading/Saving

    Proper character loading/saving is back, and in the process some nice network optimizations in this area were made!

Renderer based blocking issues

    We've cut the list of blocker flagged issues tied to the new Enfusion renderer in half since the last time we talked - and in the time since our last Status Report the Enfusion engine team has made some outstanding optimizations across Chernarus - which you can see the result of in the latest .60 Dev Log video that you see below.
    In addition, while the Enfusion engine team was able to commit and test their latest optimizations, the automated performance benchmarking tool briefly discussed in the latest .60 Dev Log video has enabled the environment team to begin to isolate problematic issues with certain areas of the map that would not otherwise be noticed. We're excited to see these fixes give us yet another small bump up in Enfusion's new renderer performance.


As we get closer to bringing .60 to experimental branch, I lightly urge you all to temper your excitement with a few brief statements of reality about public development of a title, and its engine:

    .60 is focused on UI, and Renderer - it does not feature the new animation system, player controller, or user actions
    We still have plenty of issues ahead of us to tackle, the renderer is but one hurdle on the road to a complete DayZ
    Network Optimizations, Server Performance Optimization (This is a big one, standing between us and more players, more infected, more animals), Animation System, Eden Update Audio Tech merge, and more are all ahead of us

So I encourage you to keep your eye on the proverbial prize here and report your bugs over on the official DayZ forums, be active in testing these new technology changes, and be a part of moving DayZ towards 1.0

Before I wrap up my part for this Status Report, I'd like to include an excerpt from a post I made over on the official forums - that I think a lot of you might have missed:

"I frequently get asked why a specific bug might not be resolved yet, or why something hasn't been addressed yet in development that from a players perspective might seem critical.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration in development when weighing a bugfix, not to mention when you're dealing with a title transitioning from one engine, to another one that is *in development* Lets take a quick look into a brief break down of how the thought process goes:

- First off - what is the risk of this fix at the current time?

    What are the goals for the upcoming build? Does this potentially represent larger issues that will push the build back?
    Is this issue tied to a technology that is going to be replaced?

      For example - Is this an issue tied with the legacy renderer?

    Is this issue related to ongoing investigation of a larger issue with wider sweeping impact on the title?
    If this issue IS tied to a system scheduled to be rewritten or replaced - what is the estimated time involved in:

      Work resolving the issue itself
      Test pass on the issue
      Overall BVT test pass to ensure related issues are not encountered
      Regression testing on the issue 

    A lot of issues consumers see in the way of:

      Duplicating (Old action system)
      Glitching into models
      Damage / Projectile cheats
      Balancing / etc

Are all things that are slated to be resolved, or at least mitigated with new technologies that are being worked on *right now* - so the hard decision has to be made - Do we potentially waste valuable development time and resources on something that will *not* end up in the shipped title? Honestly - we try to do that as little as possible. We still end up going a very large amount of it to try and keep the consumer steam branches as playable as possible, but frequently the unpopular and hard decision has to be made to stay the course, and dedicated those resources towards the final product / final systems / final technology."

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Peter

I'll continue were I left off in my last Status Report entry and write a bit about the planned changes to the systems and functionality tied to such mechanics as attachments, crafting or the quick bar. As I said few times already I want to see DayZ's gameplay as much physicality as possible and controls as less obstructive as possible.

One of the problems we are facing is a quite non readable agenda or to say it better, limits of the game that we set - what can be done or achieved and how all these various mechanics work, coupled with a rather chaotic approach to the usage of these systems, it leads in most cases to force players to visit community wikis and find out there. Of course in the past with the dawn of the original DayZ mod it was really refreshing and stunning to find out all the obfuscated in-game mechanics by yourself or learn them directly in-game from other survivors and at the end it contributed to creating one of the most beautiful game communities out of these shared experiences. It was one of the key points of mod success without any doubt, even when it was a virtue of necessity in the light how it all began and was made. However do we still need to keep the same approach after such time, where most of the orthodox players already known everything and new players came to the game mainly for all sort of experiences and stories they seen or heard about? If this is what we are offering to the players - experiences and stories - then we should not stay in their way.

We decided to unveil how things work with addition of meaningful assistance especially in the inventory side. You will find ghosts/silhouette placeholders for all possible attachments that can be attached to systems like player character, weapons, vehicles, constructions, fireplaces, etc. Of course it can ignite pursuit for "filling those spots" notably for completionist style players. On the other hand it will help to orientate what is possible and what isn't as in reality you know that you can definitely can put a second rifle around your neck but you can’t in game, so instead of trying by yourself it's better to be told straight that these are the cards to play with instead of trying all the possible combinations to find proper one like in old school point and click adventures (which I love, to be clear). With the possibility to add and remove all attachments within the inventory screen and with the need of securing some of them with tools in mind comes a secured/unsecured icon - think of vehicle wheels which you can attach to the hub but you need to fasten them with lug wrench for proper functionality or they will simply fall off during the drive or nail down the planks to make a fence from simple frame. With this locking of attachments via user actions it comes hand in hand need of the unreachable functionality for attachments, again think of how visually unpleasant it will be to teleport wheels to front hubs of bus standing at very different side or by its back, this will get you to the right spot if you want it to drag and drop it from inventory instead using direct in-game attach user action. To quickly mention some other aids for convenient usage, we plan to introduce lighting bolt icon for electricity system to clearly overview if object it's plugged in/under current or needed amount of some specific item to be able to turn it into desired state like number of planks to barricade the doors.

Crafting is another important part of the game and it is critical to bring it out to the light from the darkness of the inventory screen. Intended plans for field crafting changes is that it always needs to be initiated from the hands with the one of the two required ingredients for said recipe. Combining wooden sticks with rags is a good example. Crafting can be initiated in different ways, solely in inventory by putting let's say rags to hands and drag and drop wooden sticks on them from vicinity or cargo, second possible approach is a bit of a shortcut when you have let's say wooden sticks already in hands and rags set in some quick slot and pressing this quick slot number to invoke the crafting recipe, or the last way is with direct interaction with the item in the world by pointing rags in hands onto sticks gathered from bush. All of these options of crafting initialization let you to choose how you want to craft directly in the world instead of the inventory, in that case a torch, splint or fireplace and by holding the right mouse button craft it the same as you would use a canteen to continuously drink from. Some of the positives of this approach is that it eliminates automatic removal of previous item in hands so you don't suddenly loose your precious double carried item, adding tangibility and actual feel to execution of crafting actions or the possibility to walk during some crafting actions like opening cans or feeding magazines with cartridges. Additionally feeding a magazine will be a continuous action, the same as feeding the internal magazine of a gun which takes some time, one by one cartridge loading as long as you perform that feeding action which leads to a much more believable tension with planning ahead and tactical approach instead of that game where the fastest fingers win the crucial situations. At the end of the day the advantage of magazines lays in how many rounds you can fire with the current set without manipulating too much with the weapon or magazine instead of making nearly endless stream of fire with juggling with just two mags and ammo piles. (Keep in mind, we aren't going for 1:1 realism - obviously in a video game, round by round loading will be a bit faster than in real life).

As in the good tradition of DayZ all new changes will have visual feedback to players like attaching something to gun, picking item from ground, dropping it, feeding the magazine or crafting something. Everything should be readable by other survivors to make it clear what's going on and to be able to react on your performed actions which can offer time windows to take advantage of. All these changes will shift how DayZ is played a bit but I truly believe these they are introduced for a good reason and help to form a higher principle.

Nothing should stand between you and your stories... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Viktor

We are now focused on adding missing animations for vehicles. For the new animation system we have been adding some offset poses to allow player to look around inside the vehicle and also changing slightly how steering wheel looks to allow animating shift gear in the future.

Obviously never ending work on guns is still in progress. That means we are adding chambering animations for more guns and polishing existing reloading anims. The player graph now containes some new actions like animation for emptying bottle. Some more wounded moves have been created. The bow and pistols now have the same set as rifle - standing walk and run.

I am also planning next mocap session to capture some animations for operating the vehicles like engine repairing or attaching doors and wheels. More wounded anims are also on mocap list so we can continue on this feature.

- Viktor / Lead Animator -

Community Spotlight: Days of Z

Ah nice, another live action movie of DayZ. I know, it's a bit over a year old so some of you might already have seen it. Still, I'm always amazed at how some people are able to put together videos like these (looks like it was fun being part of this production), so here we go, I hope you'll like "Days of Z" as well:



Big thanks to Fleet Productions for sharing their video with us!

If you also have some videos, screenshots/artwork, or photos of you in your real life DayZ gear that you would like to share, just jump across to the DayZ Forums and post it. We always love to see what you guys come up with!

Header image credit: DOS_v1.05

- Michael aka SMoss / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 21 mars 2017  
 
Status Report - 21 March 2017

Hello Survivors!

This week, we're sharing progress on new melee combat animations from Victor, our Lead Sound Designer Andrej is teasing audio updates in 0.62 and 0.63 and our Community Manager Baty is sharing her experience from a community event that happaned on DayZ Underground this weekend. We also want to inform you about planned website improvements and recent changes on our forums.

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

For this Status Report we're going to take a look through the current tasks and immediate goals for .61 Hotfixes, .62 Development, and the march towards Beta. I'd also like to list out the top 3 issues the QA department is looking for more data on from you all over on the Feedback Tracker.

.61 Stable Branch

    QA Team is currently investigating reports of unlootable corpses. Repro steps being investigated before gameplay programming team can attempt to address.
    Gameplay Programming team currently working on addressing physics issues with .61 Exp/Unstable build that result in animals sometimes moving below terrain
    QA Team is verifying adjustments to vehicle physics on Exp/Unstable branch that should address vehicles slipping below terrain
    Gameplay Programming team is working on addressing some legacy security issues found on .61 Stable
    QA Team is verifying changes to vehicle persistence and the handling of destroyed vehicles on Exp/Unstable branch that should address problems on stable with destroyed vehicles sticking around.

Over on the .62 Front, Adam and his team continue pushing along - and for those that missed PAX East we will include the cut of slow pan through WIP Broadleaf Forest, and pan through grass with the WIP new grass shader.

.62 Current Tasks

    Young Conifer Distribution
    Additional Color Adjustments to Tree & Bush Colors
    Chernarus Lighting config changes
    Performance Analysis


On the Beta side of the fence, there is a large amount of work ahead of us. I know we've made comparisons before about the extensive changes being compared to a spinal transfusion for DayZ, and that cannot be stated enough. This is a massive undertaking, and it is and will take time. That said, lets take a look at what the team is currently focusing on for their immediate tasks.

Beta Current Goals

    Rework of User Action System
    Iterating Melee Combat Mechanics
    Inventory Refactorization
    Internal Testing of Knife/Axe Prototype Combat
    Soft Skills Prototype
    Introducing Animations for User Actions that previously used generic
    Creating support for vehicles to functionally have more than 4 wheels (V3S for example)
    Electricity System Prototyping
    Unjamming Anims for New Player

Lastly, I'd like to list the top 3 issues the QA team needs more feedback on from our official Feedback Tracker - If you have any data, repro steps, etc on these issues please feel free to update them with what you have!

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update / Viktor

Today, I would like to talk about our progress on melee combat. At this point, we have implemented animations for unarmed combat, axe, pipe and knife combat. These animations are still work-in-progress but allow us to test basic behavior in-game.

This is very useful: we can now iterate with programmers and designers and adjust every animation accordingly so that it blends better, for instance if you perform continuous attacks. Our plan is to have unique attack animations for fist fight, axe, knife and items like fire extinguisher, pith fork, baseball bat, pipe and many other items in order to achieve a unique look and feel when fighting.

Creating attack animations for this new system is bit more time consuming though. In the old combat, there was one attack animation per item. In the new melee combat, we now have a series of 6 animations per item. These animations blend together, so you can either perform attack and go to idle or you can continue with another attack without interruption.

In upcoming weeks, we are planning to add damage to the player and hit reactions, as well as continue on balancing the entire melee combat system.

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Dev Update / Andrej

Ahoy survivors!

The audio department is operating at full power, working on both 0.62 and 0.63 updates.

For 0.62, we are preparing a full revamp of ambient sounds. New atmospheres andenvironment sounds in general, but also spatial vegetation or structure sounds. We are utilizing the potential of our new sound system, so it's not just new samples, but a true, complete overhaul: new ambient sounds for forests, coast side, fields but also cities and villages are all in the making. 

The infamous, annoying random sounds of fence screeching are gone, and audio will also follow weather dynamically and in more detail, ultimately meaning new wind, thunder and rain sound effects will be added to DayZ. In general, roaming the countryside of Chernarus will be a much more pleasant experience to your ears.

At the same time, part of our audio team is working on the 0.63 update, where we will introduce new user actions sounds, weapon reload sounds and basically all audio connected to the player character. 0.63 will also bring new vehicle sounds through our redesigned audio system, so driving will sound more natural and responsive to engine behavior.

That's all from audio department now, we will share some more before the update drops!

 - Andrej Sinkevic / Lead Sound Designer -

DayZ Forums News

During the past week, the DayZ forums have gone under a short (but long overdue) maintenance. The new software update to the forums, deployed by our Web Team on Wednesday introduced some neat improvements to the design template, but more importantly, it significantly increased the loading times of the forums and their overall security. 

We've also re-introduced the "give beans" feature that all veteran forum users surely remember from past - much to everyone's delight, too, as from what we've seen, the flow of beans has been pretty steady on the forums since the update happened! 

We'd like to continue with general improvements to the forums, and eventually also start looking at improvements to the DayZ.com website design and usability. While we're well aware of some critical issues that make the DayZ website less intuitive (and outdated), we'd definitely love to hear what you think would make you interact with our website more often - please share your thoughts with us in the topic linked below!

 - Martin Čulák / Brand Manager -

Community Spotlight

Over the last weekend, me and Creative Director Brian Hicks were participating on an event called "The Hunting Season" organized by DayZ Underground server team. It was a large hunting event and to win you had to be the group with the most pieces of steak and hide. Groups could hunt each other during the event, but human meat did not count towards the victory. You could have met Survivors from all around the world as well as well-known streamers like M1NDR, MarkstromTV or Moondye7. The entire event was very exciting and hunters wiped out almost every deer in Chernarus. I have never seen more steaks at one place. Brian Hicks and MarkstromTV were the winners, congratulations! There were more competitions at the end - bow shooting and the best dressed participant of the event. We sat by the fire playing musical instruments and roasted meat. Do you know any better way to spend a Saturday night?



Screenshots by DrDeSync 

If you are organizing community events on servers, do not be afraid to let us know! We love community events!

Tourettesmexchanic and his friends were showing off their DayZ inspired weapons collection on Reddit. And it is a truly fabulous one! It has almost everything, including camouflaged Mosin, Repeater and accessories like Tactical Bacon or protector case. These Survivors are ready for an apocalypse and nothing will surprise them!



If you experience any bugs on Stable or Experimental servers, don't forget to use our Feedback Tracker to submit bugs, and for the newest info or a place to share your screenshots, follow the official DayZ Development Team Twitter account.

Header image by: NotSymmetra

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mercredi 8 mars 2017  
 
Status Report - 8 March 2017

This week, Brian and Mirek are explaining our decision to push vehicles to Stable branch early, Peter is teasing bits and pieces about our recent effort to improve the melee weapons combat, and Viktor reports on the progress his team made on animations used with that new melee combat system.

Development Board Spotlight


New addition to DayZ weaponry - Bizon submachine gun chambered in 9mm, coming with new AK compatible Kobra sights.

Dev Update/Brian

We appreciate everyone's patience with this Status Report coming out a day later than normal as our Brand Team works on recording the next of our Dev Spotlight videos for Viktor Kostik, our Animation Lead (Baty shares more on that in the Community Spotlight).

For this Status Report I'd like to lead off briefly talking about vehicles on the Steam stable branch, then take a quick look at the critical tracked issues on 0.61 and hand off to Peter, Viktor, and Mirek for the rest of this report.

As many of you may have noticed, we went ahead and re-enabled the spawning of vehicles on the Stable branch servers. We've gone through a good deal of iteration on these over the last few months on experimental branch. While we've been able to tackle a great deal of the issues discovered in testing on the Exp/Unstable branch, there are still obviously critical issues with the existing implementation.

Vehicles are a pillar of the DayZ experience, and one that we're far from being happy with in their current state. Their push to Stable was a measured decision based upon the limited number of active players on Experimental/Unstable branch (to be fair, the draw to participate in Exp/Unstable is obviously lower on hotfix builds compared to full updates) and the data we received through the feedback tracker, and repro steps provided.

Not an easy decision to be sure, but given the option of leaving them on Exp/Unstable only and not getting the larger pool of users getting hands on with it - the call was made. Mirek will elaborate upon some of the technical points below, but I want all of you who are concerned about the operation and systems behind vehicles to rest assured.

Where we are now, and where we want to be are two separate points and vehicles -will- get the attention such a core pillar of DayZ deserves. Like many things right now, all that is required is patience - as the push to Beta is a massive undertaking for us, and every in game mechanic and gameplay system is impacted by it in one way or another.

As far as 0.61 work goes - we've continued to push builds through the Exp/Unstable branch over the last few weeks - and today we should be pushing another update to Stable branch from Exp/Unstable. For today's Stable update we're looking at changes that should hopefully address:

    Characters/Infected not dying under certain conditions (Eg: Unconscious players & headshots)
    Disappearing bodies of unconscious players when disconnecting

In addition to these, we are still investigating several issues related to the reintroduction of vehicles onto stable branch - such as but not limited to:

    Server Performance Degradation (potentially related to vehicles)
    Reports of invisible players

It's critical to understand that poor server performance can be the root cause of a significant amount of issues that you as players encounter. While this may seem concerning, as we are approaching the limit of what we can do with 0.61 and the legacy technology - the Beta milestone, and introduction of new technology on the Enfusion side opens up a lot more opportunities for us. Not to mention being able to move the server away from having to track two physics systems, which in and of itself is very resource intensive.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Peter

Since new player character got on stage, we started to prototype a new melee combat with animators and programmers. Through the time, whatever we did with the melee, it still ended being just unsatisfying.

In past, we bet everything on tracing actual swings and finding their collisions with geometry. While this system has its own positive aspects as it simulates real trajectories, it just doesn't behave well in such broad multiplayer environment that DayZ offers, where you need to fight server-client synchronization foremost. Even if that side of things worked flawlessly, there are other issues connected with such system. Most notably it's very difficult to predict where hit lands, or even if it reached its target, which results in uncertain behavior and ends up as frustrating for players.

With all that in mind, we decided to look at it from a different perspective and build a new melee combat from scratch. Instead of simulating trajectories, we'll experiment with evaluation of successful hit, right after attack is initiated, based on variables such as distance and direction to target, speed and others. Everything in that system is reevaluated throughout the action to avoid possible misinterpretation (e.g. opponent being hit and thus receiving damage, even when he fell down from cliff before action was finished).

This approach should ensure fair hit detections, and also when combined with new full body animations of melee attacks, where character is moving forward during attack, it will allow us to utilize slight rotations and drags of attacker towards his opponent, which should results in proper visual contacts of hits.

What remains the same is the rule 'every item is a melee weapon' with some exceptions applied. Especially heavy items as vehicle wheels or barrels with their separate set of movement animations will be omitted from that rule for logical reasons. It's also still valid that there will be possibility for melee attacks with ranged weapons like pistol whips, buttstock hits and bayonet stabs.

More attack animation with same melee weapon were added, resulting in more visual variety and combos, however we don't plan to take advantage of combos from the gameplay perspective yet. On the other side, we want to add dashed attacks from sprint. We are considering to add charged attacks and eventually a push move in case it will be doable (do not confuse with current issue of infected pushing player characters around, which is caused by interaction of two independent physics simulations), to deepen melee combat mechanics. New animation system also allow us to play proper impact animations when character being hit.

New damage system has already been deployed and it's used exclusively with the new character, providing straightforward configuration and clear damage outcome from hits per weapon, properly affected by clothing. I bet new melee combat will prove to be worth the wait and it will yield satisfying results for you, players, and together with other systems which are being worked will create best possible overall experience.

Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Viktor

New player character is progressing well. We are now testing and iterating the new melee combat system in game. This includes cooperation between animation, design and code departments - designers are giving us their thoughts on how the combat should look like, we are adjusting attacks to that, and programmers are taking care of controls and giving us features we ask for. We are still testing on a basic set of attacks for bare hands and two handed item though, so we are still rather prototyping, but once we are satisfied with the results we will add more variations to attacks as well as unique animations for some items. Of course a lot of polishing is also expected.

As the player actions are now working in a new system with new scripts, we are changing some of the old "one time" animations to looping ones. We have also started to work on more unique animations for interesting actions. To name few, we have recently created stitching, animal skinning, starting fire, washing hands and other animations to improve overall experience when interacting in the world.

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Dev Update/Mirek

Today, I won't have anything new about 0.63, we're still working on tasks which I mentioned two weeks ago, but because we enabled vehicles last week on 0.61, I would like to clarify and describe issues which they have and how we will solve them.

First, I would like to describe how vehicles are different than vehicles in Arma 2 / DayZ mod. There are two major changes:

1. Physics

DayZ Standalone is using Bullet Physics Engine, which allows us to create better vehicle physics behavior, but on the other hand, simulation is much more complicated. We're still working on better vehicle simulation which we would like to introduce in 0.63. But the worst issue about vehicles in 0.61 is collision detection of dynamic physical objects and terrain (you can also observe this issue when you throw some item to ground) and engine programmers are currently investigating this issue.

2. Networking

DayZ Standalone is using a client-server architecture instead of peer to peer and since 0.61 there is full server authority over player/vehicle transformation, which is preventing against cheating (teleportation/flying/speedhacking).

In DayZ mod, vehicle is simulated on player's client and results (position, orientation, etc.) are sent to other clients, but in standalone version, player/vehicle is simulated on both (player's client and server) and server sends results to other clients and to player's client as well for correction.

When simulation result are different, player's vehicle is corrected and that is the stuttering you are observing. This can happen when some vehicle state between player's client and server is desynchronized (f.e. gearbox state) or when server performance is too low. We're looking for state desynchronization now and as I wrote in past status reports, server performance optimizations are a long term process (we already have some improvements ready for 0.62). Anyway, we will implement better smoothing algorithm, so the correction wouldn't be so aggressive.

Now, you can see that vehicles in Standalone are completely different than in Arma / DayZ mod, so a lot of issues can arise. Vehicles hit experimental on December 23rd, several days after 0.61 hit stable. We thought that vehicles would be the reason to stay on experimental branch for a larger number of players, but the result was that experimental servers were almost empty.

That means we didn't have enough data of how they behave on full servers or in different situations. We've fixed some issues which players had found on experimental servers (server crashes and some bad behavior of remote vehicles) and then we needed more data, so we enabled them in central loot economy (we can always disable them again without any update) and are now gathering more data to fix / improve the vehicle simulation.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -

Community Spotlight

This status report was postponed by one day due to filming of a Q&A video with Lead Animator Viktor Kostik. We have decided to use this opportunity and record it in an environment that is very close to animations – the Bohemia Interactive motion capture studio where work was in full swing. The video is being processed right now and we cannot wait to show it to you, because we believe it is very interesting and you will enjoy it!



New players may be surprised to find out that Chernarus is based on a real place. It is modeled after a region in Czech Republic around the town of Usti nad Labem, bordered by the river Labe. Many hard-core fans have already traveled there. They wanted to see the real Chernarus and to browse the land they already know like their own backyard, because they spent hundreds and thousands of hours running around it.

Streamer TopeRec is one of those guys. He was planning to come to Czech Republic for a long time and his dream was to see the template for Chernarus. First he went to Gorka, followed by Stary Sobor to see the famous red metal shed. And as he said for himself, he knew exactly where to go and did not even need a GPS, because the surroundings were so well known to him from the game.



If you are interested in knowing what the Chernarus landscape looks like for real, Ivan Stroganov created a map of Chernarus over the real map of Czech Republic, so you can examine everything in detail. Check it here.

And if that is not enough, you can check out some pictures from bufkin, who saw real Chernarus with his own eyes. Just click here.

Should you have any experience with the real Chernarus, we will be glad if you share it with us on our official Twitter account. And if you have any interesting content from DayZ universe, dont be afraid to send it to us.

Header image by: PuppyMonkeyBaby

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mercredi 1 mars 2017  
 
Status Report - 1 March 2017

Afternoon Survivors,

For this week, Brian Hicks (Lead Producer), Peter Nespesny (Lead Designer), and Miroslav Maněna (Lead Gameplay Programmer) will let us in on details regarding the CLE, the new engine + renderer, and upcoming plans and work for the damage system and Enforce script among other things.

Dev Update / Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

As mentioned as a high possibility, we ended up passing our internal goal for putting 0.60 in consumers hands. However, this was expected as a high chance. We are of course working hard on getting it ready, and on to experimental branch as soon as possible. Our work currently is focused on optimization of the performance inside major cities in Chernarus. New Chernogorsk has caused us some performance hickups we want to resolve to an acceptable playable frame rate. The engine team has a daunting task ahead of them, focusing on the last few hurdles to unlock the capabilities of the renderer while still combating and improving legacy engine scene management. With trouble areas in the DirectX 9 area dipping as low as the mid teens in some situations, we consider it critical to isolate those areas and ensure we can hold a stable 30fps (In Direct X 11) in them. Globally, frame rates on average can be in the 40 to 60 range on average - so obviously our focus right now is in those major cities. It is key to keep in mind as said many times before - this is just the first iteration. In addition to continuing bugfixes on into beta and the 1.0 release, the new renderer technology will open up many new particle effects to the design team, and we'll be working with GPU manufacturers for cross testing to isolate areas in which hardware specific optimizations can be made.

Tasks Completed

    Implementation of all base renderer features
    Simulweather/True Sky Implementation

Current Focus

    Optimization of major cities
    Dynamic Lights
    Finalization of New Renderer Settings UI/Options
    Implementation of New UI
    Bug Fix, Bug Fix, Bug Fix

I'm confident that a global increase in frame rate playability, as well as a huge upgrade in the visuals in DayZ are going to be well worth the work that has gone into the part of the Enfusion engine, and I can't wait to share it with you all. While .60 obviously focuses most heavily on implementing the engine's new renderer - .60 also has continued iteration on the Central Economy (something I think many people don't realize is VERY critical to the DayZ experience) with the audit mentioned in previous Status Reports complete, as well as changes to the tagging for weapons. Changes to vehicle spawn points, initial attachments, and finally - weapons are both spawning with random attachments AND a chance to spawn with magazines that have a random amount of ammo inside them.

Beyond .60 - the teams next major updates focus is primarily on the new animation system and player controller. For the end user, it is important to understand these large engine changes have been holding back fixes on a lot of legacy issues with the title, as well as much larger over all changes to how DayZ plays - including, but not limited to DayZ's new user actions - something that I feel paired with the renderer, and new UI complete a 3 part massive change to how DayZ *plays*. In addition, the gameplay programming team's work on the new damage system - which will be explained in a bit more detail below by Lead Gameplay Programmer Mirek. The members of the programming team focusing on the Central Economy also continue to work on the deployable version of the CLE & Database structure for use by both mod authors and private server operators alike - as well as functionality for DayZ's local offline mode.

On the Early Access / Community side - our forum transition is complete, and DayZ.com forums are back online. As some of you may know the feedback tracker is offline while we transition to a new software option for it. This shouldn't be down too much longer, as it is critical to providing an outlet to those testing DayZ's development builds to communicate the issues they encounter while doing so.

We know that members of the community have wanted to see an increase or change in the format of our outbound communication, and that too has received some love this month. We've done some restructuring in the processes behind these, as well as the structure of responsibilities. We're hoping that over the coming month you'll all enjoy the changes in this area - and we'll be keeping an eye on your reactions.

- Brian Hicks / Lead Producer -

Dev Update / Peter

New user actions framework in Enforce Script has been completed and while all actions are being rewritten into it they rely on a connection to the new player and new animation system, we have also looked at crafting processes currently used in game and usage of activities available in DayZ such as preparing fireplace and cooking, creating electricity system, construction of non portable structures, vehicle maintenance, growing crops, placement of objects, weapons handling, interacting with objects in world, doors barricading and others.

With such wide spectrum of different activities which were continuously implemented through the development and honestly most of them ended in prototype, unfinished or experimental state is easy that their usage can become inconsistent especially when we were trying different approaches to it over time. Now during general rewrite of scripted game systems and mechanics to Enforce script and overall heading towards Beta release it's a great time to overhaul everything which makes sense to overhaul and can be reasonable achieved in tight timeframe. Our aim is to bring as much consistency as we can into very different behaviors to unify and simplify them thus they become much more clear and understandable to players. I'm very proud that vision of physicality, tangibility and strong visual feedback through the whole game and it's actions and activities is becoming the reality which is, to be honest, quite unique in games nowadays. For example you can look forward to reinforcing the rule of hands even in crafting which become really close to user actions, or stretching the functionality of quick slots beyond their usual behavior seen in games.

For greatest experiences it's immersion that matters... See you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update / Mirek

The legacy Arma damage system was designed only for ranged weapons, which means that every hit was an explosion. But when we've added close range weapons, we've found that this system isn't suitable and it's difficult to balance properly.

It was hard to set up how much damage will be applied to different parts of character's body, and how this damage will be modified when characters has different types of armor and so on. We’ve decided the best solution is to write a completely new system for this, which will allow us to have several different types of hits and wounds, which will allow us to add more game features and easily balance them.

Together with this, we're changing the process of damage synchronization between client and server, so this new damage system will be more efficient for server performance and network traffic, and be  secure against the possibility of cheating.

The new damage system is now pushed to our designers, who are creating the initial setup, at which point we will begin testing internally. The team is also working on performance and network optimizations and bug-fixing some major inventory issues.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Programmer -

Community Spotlight: NinjaYourself - One Life Series

How long can you keep a single character alive? Depending on playstyle, that might vary quite a bit. This week we'll have a look at NinjaYourself and a series of videos he's created, "One Life Series", in which he showcases the many encounters, both friendly and hostile, of one of his characters.





Part 3 @9:33 - That is one big bunch of team members!







Taking the amount of encounters into account, it is quite impressive that NinjaYourself managed to keep that character alive for that long. Well done sir!

As a content creator, there is of course a lot of material available on his Youtube account, and you can follow his Twitch account for updates and news in relation to new videos that he pumps out.

In case you also 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 be more than happy to have a look.

- Michael aka SMoss / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 21 février 2017  
 
Status Report - 21 February 2017

Greetings Survivors,

Creative Director Brian Hicks shares the latest info on where we are at in the development process, Mirek and Peter are talking about removing SQF and Adam wants to share with you our progress with trees -  the biggest change Chernarus has received in the past years. 

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

I don't have too much for you this Status Report, fortunately Adam from the Environment team, as well as Peter (Lead Designer) and Mirek (Lead Gameplay Programmer) are joining us this time around - so there should be plenty of new info for everyone to dig into.

Recently I sat down over on our forums to discuss some of the questions or confusion we get around addressing issues on the Steam branch while development moves forward internally on upcoming builds. I encourage everyone to take a look at it - as it might serve to relieve some confusion around what gets fixed, when, and so on. In addition, our Producer Eugen wrote up a forum post covering the internal milestone we recently reached towards Beta, eliminating support and dependency on the old SQF scripting language that so much of the DayZ Alpha had throughout it. This was a huge step for us internally, and something many of us have been talking about and looking forward to for years. I'll make sure to link both forum posts at the bottom of my portion of the Status Report.

We're continuing to push new builds through Experimental/Unstable branch and on to Stable branch as we try and address the remaining critical issues with .61. Since the last Status Report we've been able to address several issues with memory management on the client, pushed several improvements to server performance, resolved a few known server crashes, resolved several of the performance issues tied to light sources, and we are continuing to address:

    Invisible Infected
    Additional Client Crash issues
    Server Memory Consumption (Which can sometimes cause issues with player stuttering, battleye time-outs, and so on)
    Server crashes tied to vehicles and/or AI

We're hoping to be able to show some teaser video content at PAX East over at the Astro Booth showing off some of the progress on the visual overhaul of wild Chernarus for .62, rest assured this will also be shared through our standard channels if we're able to have this available in time. As I mentioned earlier, both myself and Eugen made two forum posts that are very helpful reading to understand what our priorities are internally, as well as the impact the internal milestone of finally being able to move away from SQF has on development. Check out these posts here (you do not need to make an account to view them, don't worry :) ):

We know the road to the next few major builds hitting Steam might seem long, but the work going into reaching Beta is extensive - and a major change for DayZ as a whole. I know I personally (and I'm certain the whole team as well) appreciate everyone's patience, and feedback as we move towards it. I'll see you all in Chernarus - and remember, gunshots attract attention ;)

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Peter

Last week, we reached one of our internal milestones, specifically the removal of SQF, the high level scripting language which was introduced back in days with Operation Flashpoint. When we started to work on the standalone DayZ, we heavily relied upon SQF with its rich API of commands built over years of usage across the Arma series. Our original plan was to prototype and implement systems and mechanics we wanted to have in DayZ in SQF, and then then hard code them to Real Virtuality engine directly to gain back some perofrmance. This changed once the decision to build new Enfusion engine was made, based on previous RV and Enforce engines. The Enforce engine (used in Carrier Command or Take On mars) used a powerful and fast low-level object oriented scripting language with its own IDE and therefore it was a logical step to carry it over and improve it.

Once the newly established Enforce script was production ready, we started rewriting all of the gameplay and support scripts from the old SQF script, which offered us to become largely independent on programmers and to keep the game open for modding. This process was quite difficult and tedious, mainly because of missing backwards compatibility, specific design and technical dependencies, limitations found down the road, and all that mixed together with our commitment to release playable version of DayZ in Early Access program. All that led us to maintain and develop basically two versions of the game side by side - obsolete one for public to play in the meantime, and a new one for us developers to make the game as good as possible - one that you, players, would enjoy later.

Recently, the new animation system also began to be synchronized between server and client, which was a long awaited impulse for us to switch exclusively to "all new" mindset to push things forward internally. Now every piece starts to finally fall into place, forming something I like to refer to as DayZ 2.0.

The King is dead, long live The King... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Mirek

In the last status report, I mentioned that we started removing the legacy scripting language. We're done with it now, so Enforce Script is the only scripting language which runs on our internal version. We will continue removing other legacy systems: the next stop is the animation system.

Synchronization of the new animation system is done, now we have to apply new synchronization rules to the user action system and to events performed only on server side. New player controller is now receiving support for melee combat, which will allow our animation team to tweak the combat animations in-game.

Also, it's important to note that our Bratislava team is applying the new animation system to AI units. This will allow us to have much better interactions between players and infected/animals.

Otherwise, we are still working on some major issues for 0.61, which we also need fixed for the 0.62 update, so every important fix is directly merged into the 0.62 internal branch, too.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -

Dev Update/Adam

As many of you already heard, the upcoming 0.62 update will introduce a first set of audio-visual changes to the environment of DayZ. You may remember that we've already shared some progress on this matter last year. In this status report, I would like to touch on the subject of updating forests in Chernarus a little bit more. This is by far the biggest change Chernarus has received for the past years of its existence within Arma 2 and DayZ. This would be really tedious and unwise thing to do manually (there is a lot of forested areas), so we have internally developed a forest generation tool that will allows us to generate most of the forested areas on Chernarus. While the whole process of getting generated forests on top of anexisting map (that has all kinds of other objects already placed) requires some polishing work of course, we are very satisfied with the results so far.

One of the most important things for new forests was to have enough variety. There are four key features that allowed us to have more varied forests. First, we have got roughly 6 different generation templates for each tree species (you can imagine this simply as young, mixed, older forests and so on). Achieving such variety would not be possible with the old models, so we have got at our disposal a completely new set of vegetation that contains roughly 3 times more models than the old one (and it is still growing). To give you an idea, lets take a look at the standard beech forest case (Fagus sylvatica). Following picture shows an example of available models for beech forest.

This is quite a big change when compared to the old vegetation set (where we had like 3 available models for this specific species) and the picture is not even showing all models (we also do have dead tree variants). I should also mention that this is not just the case of beech trees, we do have similar-sized sets for oaks, pines, birches, larches and spruces. Just imagine combinations that can be done within just one species alone, not to mention what can we do when we combine them. We of course have some other types of species prepared too (for rarer use within forests and of course for solitary ones within fields and settlements).

The third thing (that helps us achieving forest variety) is the tree colorization feature, which we already announced in one of the last years status report. This feature enables us to differentiate individual trees by changing their color ever so slightly to achieve a better autumn feel. And finally, fourth is the addition of 8 forest surface textures. This allows us to greatly increase variety on the ground level, because configuration of randomized miscellaneous objects is done per one surface texture (we can have one with more grass, one with taller ferns, etc.)

Please keep in mind that what you see here is still work in progress and does not represent final look,
these two are here to give you an idea of how the transformation from old to new forest could look on a small patch of forest within Stary Sobor fields.

We are well past of setting up the generation process of the whole map and tweaking the visual feel of individual forest templates (assigned to forest parts on the whole map). Our primary focus now is to make sure we won't introduce any major performance problems. There is no question about the fact that while the new vegetation models were done to be much more performance friendly, we won't just aim for the same density as the old forests were. The introduction of Enfusion renderer with .60 provides us with an opportunity to go further.

We are currently working with roughly doubled object count (that equals roughly 2.6 mil of vegetation objects). Our PCs are running map benchmarks overnight (multiple times on multiple machines if necessary) to get an overview of how does the current version of Chernarus with new forests perform. We can then use this information to make additional changes to the generation (forest density). Following picture shows what kind of results we get from one type of benchmarks that we do.

There is still lot of work ahead of us, but it is awesome to see that things are finally coming together. We cannot wait to share more info about things to come with 0.62 update (yes, there is definitely more to talk about).

- Adam Franců / Lead Map designer -

Community Spotlight

Valentine's day is behind us and some love went to Dayz as well! You sent us some nice and creative love poems on the "Roses are red, violets are blue…>" theme and we want to share them with you.

This poem is made by Pedro Silva >and it is not romantic at all. But love is not missing here! The love for weapons.

Roses are red

Violets are blue

i love winchester

but i like SVD too

Jordan Strang send a poem where he talks about his love for killing enemies.

Roses are red

Violets are blue 

I have a mosin 

And your head too

And short and clear one from Armin Cortez.

Roses are re-- bääämmmmm

Dave M. Seybert is sad because his PC is no good for playing DayZ :(. He made a poem about it.

My eyes are red,

my heart is blue,

my computers too old,

to play DayZ with you.... :(

And an amazing last one by  >Stefan Asseryd.

Militarytents are green

To the right or left you can lean...

Fireaxes you can colour black

Remember you can make a backpack from a sack...

If you get hurt it splashes some red

Beware of enemy players, wolfes, rain or you will be dead

We need to share a love story from our Facebook page by Sara Kpoint who met her love in DayZ as well. Awww!

And finally we have an older love song by the famous Team GEO. It is a survivor singing about his true love. Enjoy if you don't know it, because we love it!



If you have some video, screenshot, poem or your own artwork you'd like to share, send it to our official Twitter account.

Header image by: S3X

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 7 février 2017  
 
Status Report - 7 February 2017

Hello Survivors,

We have a new Status Report for you. Brian is talking about known issues and fixes what are we working now and Victor is sharing some news from animation department. We want to show you an interesting thread from our official Forum and you can find awesome song in Community Spotlight.

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

This Status Report we're going to cover what the .61 Live Team are focusing on for Stable branch issues, I'll touch briefly on .62 - and then I'd like to give a little perspective on the work currently under way for the bulk of the team (Beta milestone).

Rest assured, the development team is well aware of a good deal of critical issues that have popped up on various builds coming through Exp/Unstable and onto Stable branch. Some of them we're working to address in .61 updates, and some will more than likely have to wait for Beta milestone (as we're on the edge of addressing some issues in technology and systems that won't be around in Beta).

The team has been able to make good strides on addressing server crash issues, but we're also tracking a good number of additional issues that have come in through the Official Feedback Tracker:

    Issues with the Central Economy group spawning items and clustering in some areas after extensive persistence uptime
    Client side FPS drops from several causes
    Issues tied to animation transitions at time of death
    Client side network freezing in some cases
    Remaining issues with vehicles from Exp/Unstable
    "Ghost Infected"
    Server Performance Issues

We're all aware that these issues are critical to everyone playing on 0.61 Stable, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and participation in utilizing the Official Forums and Feedback Tracker to better allow us to track these issues down. Hang in there and be patient, as mentioned before .61 hit Stable - a majority of the team has switched to working on Beta, and some of the issues might not make sense to spend time resolving as we're working on the .62 and Beta milestones now - but we've not given up on addressing them for .61. If you find any new issues, or have new data - please continue to utilize the Official Feedback Tracker, it might not seem like it helps but trust me - it *does*.

For .62 development, we don't have too much for you in this Status Report - however Adam (Sumrak) is working on putting together some tasty information on the .62 team's progress on their end for the next Status Report. Currently the .62 team is working on profiling the Chernarus with the new trees, and making adjustments to the forests based upon the data they gather from the profiling tools. There are some additional improvements on the visual fidelity side they are looking into - but I won't ruin any of that as Adam is looking forward to what he can tell you all in the next Status Report.

It (almost) goes without saying - but the Beta milestone isn't just a matter of plugging a few new things into DayZ. The Animation System ties into effectively everything you guys do in DayZ, and the New Player as well. Tie into this the goal of total removal of SQF support (The scripting language that DayZ utilizes for most every gameplay mechanic) and the teams undertaking starts to closely resemble a skeletal and critical organ transplant. A great deal of work has gone into recreating all of these SQF scripts and mechanics into the new Enforce scripting language over the last year or so, but even so - the risk and work that is required to coordinate across the team, ensure things are functioning as expected, and discovering exactly what impact the total removal of SQF has against the game is a significant amount of work. We're all excited (and a bit winded) at all of this, and understand that it may be frustrating not getting the fixes you all want for .61 Stable as fast as you'd like - but rest assured, the work that we're doing on the Beta milestone will be worth the struggle of legacy bugs on .61.

Lastly, In regards to the Official Feedback Tracker - the BI Webteam has recently added support for logging in utilizing credentials from Facebook/Google accounts for those who might not want to make an additional login just to report issues. We hope this lowers the barrier for some of you that might have data on bugs you're experiencing, but have held back on reporting them.

I know you're all eagerly awaiting visuals and news from .62 and Beta, and no one would love to share awesome stuff with you more than those of us on the development team. We appreciate all your patience, passion, and participation in the DayZ Early Access - 2017 should be an awesome year for DayZ and the road ahead looks like a lot of fun.

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Viktor

In my short update, I would like to share some news from the animation department. We have been playing around with the player character animations a lot recently. One of the latest additions include extra transitions for player. Now the character is able to move from stand or crouch run/walk/sprint to prone movement fluently. This does not limit the character in any way though, unlike in the past. If player decides during this transition he wants to stop - the character will stop nicely immediately.

We have created combat animations for player and are now about to start testing them in game. We want to find nice balance between how player looks and how it plays. This is a difficult topic as our game is set in multiplayer environment, which means we are bound by some limitations that are not present in single player games.

To mention other areas. Special interaction animations inside vehicles are being created now. Refining the animations is always in progress. We have revised the aimed movement for rifles, and we will focus on hand guns next. We also have received some new weapons from the Art team so we are adding animation sets to those as well.

And finally, don't forget you still have some time left to ask animation related questions for our next Q&A video. Head over to the official forums please and ask anything you are curious about regarding DayZ animations - anything that you want me to answer.

Cheers!

- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -

Handpicked: DayZ Forums Topics

We're getting back to our idea of highlighting interesting topics from the official DayZ forums this week - despite the regular, ongoing discussion we're maintaining on the topic of both Stable Branch and Experimental Branch updates, there have been additional interesting topics that you may have missed. Here's four of them, conveniently handpicked and awaiting your replies!

Q&A with Animation Lead Viktor Kostik

OK, you have probably noticed this one already, but we really want everyone to be aware of it: DayZ Animation Lead Viktor Kostik is up next in our series of Developer Q&A videos and he wants to answer the animation questions you're curious about. Make sure to ask your questions under this topic, as that's where we'll be collecting them!

"Who was killed by zombies in 0.61?" by igor-vk

Since 0.61 got out, we've been ensuring everyone that the infected are absolutely meant to be a serious threat in DayZ. While there is still a lot work to be done before the experience is final, the infected are already influencing the play-style of survivors in a way our design team expects - more often than not, frantically running through a city ultimately gets you killed, as witnessed by igor-vk and other survivors in a topic that beautifully describes how deadly the infected became in 0.61:

"Items that don't spawn anymore" by Weyland Yutani

For various reasons, we sometimes prevent certain items from spawning using our Central Economy settings. If you want to check whether an item you're looking for is indeed disabled or you're just being unlucky, make sure to read the following topic - other survivors might help you out, and we'll do our best to occasionally have our Community Manager Baty join the discussion:

Beta Content: PKM discussion thread

To finish off our handpicked section, we've got Brian teasing yet another weapon that's waiting to be implemented into the game during BETA: the unmistakable PKM general purpose machine gun, a truly effective weapon of Russian origin, present in nearly every major armed conflict of the past 30 years:

Community Spotlight

Hey Survivors!

Recently, you have been letting us know on our social networks like Forums, TwitterFacebook, Reddit or Steam, that you are having issues with client crashes due to memory errors. Should this error happen to you, we would appreciate if you could send your crash dump files from the folder C:\Users\YourPCName\AppData\Local\DayZ to our feedback tracker. By submitting those files, you can help us to solve the issue.

Now let's move to a community content. I found a new and amazing rap music video about life in Post-Apocalyptic Chernarus with an unexpected ending. CamCANRUN proved again that he can create quality content.



You know that feeling when you need to try something else. Something special. Including some new Dayz experience. That is the reason why some servers organise themed events for their players. I myself attended few "Wild West" events with Magnum, Repeater and cowboy hat or competition with .22 weapons only. But my most favourite are medieval fights with bows, swords and knight helmets. Astros Legacy was also attending such event on Gents Of Novo server. You can find a recording of this entertaining event on his channel.



If you have something you want to share with us just tweet it to our official Twitter channel.

Header image by: iSkyfallz

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 24 janvier 2017  
 
Status Report - 24 January 2017

Evening Survivors,

We've all experienced a lot of server crashes over the last two weeks, so Peter and Mirek are providing an update on how we want to handle them. Additionally, Brian is talking about known issues, Adam is sharing some of his recent passion for Chernarus railways and I have the pleasure of introducing you to DannyBoyy, a truly, truly friendly survivor!

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors,

The last few weeks for us on the dev team have been busy. With the bulk of the team working on the Beta milestone, a smaller strike team working on 0.62, and of course ongoing efforts to address critical issues in 0.61 Stable and reintroduce vehicles to Stable branch. As soon as we have our 0.62 branch at a point we're comfortable with, we'll be sharing more example images and camera fly overs - so be on the look out for that. On the more immediate side we have a list of issues that we're fully aware of on 0.61 Stable that we're working hard to resolve. (Its important to make sure you guys know this is on our radar, so you don't think we're overlooking the issues critical to you all).

Stable Issues

  • Known server crash methods
  • Known duplication methods
  • Investigation into current security exploits (Player Gear, etc)
  • Server Performance degradation (This one impacts things such as player position sync, infected speed, and more)
  • Server Side Economy cleanup (And potential impact on server performance)

A lot of the issues listed above are directly related to issues we've noticed reported in the forums, feedback tracker, on youtube videos, and on Twitch streams and are a priority for us to address. Given that some of them are tied to legacy systems - many of which are slated to be replaced in beta - addressing the issues can be time consuming, but rest assured we are digging into them and they are not over looked.

In addition to this, there has been a good amount of discussion (and feedback tracker usage on this issue again - awesome!) in regards to the distribution in the economy, and some behaviors that don't fit with the development teams intended design. Specifically, the distribution of firearms, and their attachments across Chernarus after a decent amount of uptime on a servers local storage. The Central Economy (CE) is certainly not where we as developers want it just yet, but iteration is key with this. The designers and programmers that touch on these areas have been working on potential improvements to the economy that should help address this issue specifically - but like anything with a complex system it will require iteration over several builds to see. This isn't live on Experimental just yet - but we'll make sure to let you all know on the forums when these new changes make it that way. 

For those curious - the current ticket on the feedback tracker related to the CE loot spawning system can be found at: https://feedback.bistudio.com/T115748

I know this Status Report isn't chock full of fancy new screenshots or videos - but we're currently at the point in the build process where branches, and high risk commits occur. As we get further into 0.62 and Beta development and things stabilize we'll be able to share more. :)

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Peter

My message will be quite short today as I just want to announce some significant changes for current 0.61 version in upcoming updates. Over the last weeks, we witnessed how the abuse of an exploit often used for duping results in server crashes in some cases, which became very common lately and essentially ruined the user experience.

Because of that, we were forced to make some actions to prevent it. First one is locking the hands slot while character is performing some action - thus, you are unable to remove an item or swap it with another until the action is finished. Second one prevents initiation of user actions on items directly from inventory slots.

These changes can be unpleasant as the old user action system and its quirks are now deeply rooted. However, I would like to remind you that new user actions are built on usage of hands slot exclusively, so it's not a bad idea to get used to it in advance. If you would like to read more about the upcoming new user actions, you can check my previous Status Reports from October 30, 2015March 1, 2016 and March 29, 2016.

Crashing servers is bad... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Dev Update/Mirek

Hello survivors, in my first Status Report this year, I would like to briefly cover current our goals for the 0.61 version and future 0.62 and 0.63 updates:

0.61 goals

We (the gameplay programming team) are dealing with server performance and stability issues, and also with vehicle synchronization bugs. Hopefully most of the annoying issues will get fixed soon, so programmers working on them can join the rest of the team and they will contribute to the work on new things or 0.63 version goals.

0.62 goals

As this update will be mostly visual, there won't be any major changes coming the our team. We will mostly try merging in some of the critical fixes or performance/networking improvements.

0.63 goals

Currently, major part of the gameplay programming team is working on tasks related to this version. Internally, we have managed to deactivate the legacy damage system completely and now we're focused on fixing issues with our new damage system. We are also getting ready to hit the switch on all of the legacy SQF scripting, which is being replaced by Enforce Script, and we're removing some other parts of the legacy code, which is related to features we won't use anymore - such as the Arma AI, for example.

About the new player controller - we are finishing network synchronization of our new animation system. The next step will be the ability to control vehicles using the new character. This will be another big change, because now you are controlling the vehicle directly and character inside vehicle is controlled by vehicle simulation. This change will simplify vehicle synchronization and can also introduce some more options for modding.

- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -

Dev Update/Adam

As I mentioned in earlier Status Reports, we plan to change the entire western border of Chernarus. This is a major task and it is very likely that you will not see this upgrade fully within just one game update. In fact, if you venture towards western border on .61, you can already see results of this task - two military roadblocks with traffic jams.

We are really delighted to see survivors venturing in these far locations and having interactions with other survivors and/or environment threats in these brand new places.

An important part of the whole western expansion task are changes and additions to the Chernarus railway network. Railway is a very important man-made feature that always helps survivors when they get lost. The rule is simple - follow either right or left and it will eventually guide you somewhere.

Now let me invite you on a small trip around Chernarus railway! Please keep in mind that all content, visible on pictures below, is work-in-progress and does not represent final quality.

The biggest change within the railway network is the addition of railway through the whole western border of Chernarus. That means you can follow railway track from Kamenka through Zelenogorsk, Myshkino, Vavilovo and finally to Novaya Petrovka. But that is definitely not all.

To make sure railway network is not forming some sort of a circle (that sort of looks like a model railway), two new railway exits were added. One from Novaya Petrovka to the western border, leaving Chernarus close to where military roadblock with fuel station is located. Second railway exit starts in Svetloyarsk and goes through Turovo and Dobroe, leaving the lands of South Zagoria in northern rocky valleys.

Then we have bits and pieces that were added on top of these railway network changes. The most significant are massive changes within Zelenogorsk. This town now hosts a big railway station that is split into three parts - civilian, military and industrial. Military base in Zelenogorsk went through a major face-lift and now offers more loot than ever before.


Heading further north, you may find that the huge railway and bus station in the middle of nothing near Vavilovo are missing - this is our intention as we did not really find it to be useful at that spot (and we have something better planned there). Instead, we have added a completely new railway station to Novaya Petrovka. This town is currently quite thr hot spot and with newly added railway station just north of Bashnya, it offers quite the view on the entire Novaya Petrovka valley.


If you head east of Novaya Petrovka, you may notice that railway here is much flatter than ever before. That is no coincidence, as we have found the old roller-coaster-like railway track here too immersion breaking, and so the whole northern railway track was redone from scratch, along with necessary terrain and object changes. And now that Novaya Petrovka has a railway station, the biggest northern town - Novodmitrovsk - could not be missed.

The appropriate spot was found and a new railway station was built south of Novodmitrovsk (just near the road that heads to Cernaya Polana). This railway station offers a spectacular view on Novodmitrovsk - the industrial railway station that was located outside of the Novodimitrovsk industrial complex has been moved into a much better place inside the complex itself, and now has a direct railway connection to Svetloyarsk.


And just when you continue along the tracks towards Svetloyarsk, you will, sooner or later, encounter the northern railway exit that crosses Svetloyarsk - Novodmitrovsk valley on a brand new stone railway bridge. Unfortunately, I cannot just yet share the pictures of it, as our graphics artists are still at hard work on it, but I promise I will share the results once everything is ready.

There is a lot more to cover for the upcoming .62 update, so stay tuned! 2017 is going to be a great year for Chernarus, so see you there!

- Adam Franců / Map Designer -

Community Spotlight

In the December Status Report, we were contemplating whether players can be trusted and if you can safely turn your back to a person who seems friendly. Therefore, I want to introduce you to Dannboyy, who is well known in the DayZ community and some of you might have met him already - without even knowing it. Unfortunately, you will usually not survive meeting this nice lad.

He has a pleasant voice and is very kind, which is what you will notice first. And you will trust him easily. You will become friends. But is DannyBoyy exactly the kind of friend you would expect?  

DannyBoyys videos are nicely made, very well cut and fun to watch. My personal favourite is "The Friendly French Man":



His latest video is named "Sick" and here you can see how wicked this young man is:



Danny has no heart. And that is a reason why I like him!



Check his channel for more amazing videos.

Dont forget about our Official DayZ forum, too! If you want to have fresh information from latest updates, forums are the place for you. Check out an important update about Experimental/Unstable branch from yesterday:

As always, If you have any DayZ creations of your own that you'd like to share, tweet them to us on our official Twitterchannel. We love content from our community! 

Header image by: Joanna Łuczak.

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


Mardi 10 janvier 2017  
 
Status Report - 10 January 2017

Hello Survivors,

New Year is here and with it the first Status Report. Brian would like to present major goals for 2017, Peter talks about reasons why the game is more hardcore than before and Baty summarizes your Christmas experiences.

Dev Update/Hicks

Greetings Survivors!

Its our first Status Report of the year - and as we've had team members trickling back in through the first week of the year it might be a bit of a dry one, but lets take a look at the major goals going forward as well as what has occured so far in 2017.

As work on 0.62 and the Beta milestones move forward, internal teams have contined in our goal to address the remaining issues in 0.61, and hopefully introduce vehicles to stable branch. Over the last few weeks the team has been cycling issues through exp, and onto stable directed at:

    Known Server Crashes
    Adjustments to Infected Behavior
    Adjustments to Hypothermia damage
    Fixes for Vehicle and Tent Lifetime
    Fixes for Invisible Body Parts
    Vehicles on Exp falling through terrain
    Fireplaces not being able to be placed in Stoves

In addition to these adjustments cycling through the Exp/Unstable branch, the development team is tracking and working to address a number of additional issues:

    VOIP Volume/Proximity Dropoff
    Vehicle client side performance
    Server side performance drops (Causing issues such as player position desync, delayed actions, etc)
    Server side memory consumption
    Additional known server crashes
    Infected spawning behavior issues
    Contined polish and work on addressing remaining issues with vehicles

As mentioned this is all in addition to ongoing work for both 0.62 and Beta milestones - Once we get internal builds in a state we are confident to start showing examples of both visuals, and client side performance for 0.62 we'll be sharing that. All of us here on the dev team are excited about this, as the small team of artists and support programmer begin to start preperation for branching for this milestone. I know this Status Report is chock full of cool and amazing things, but our first goals as we kick back into the groove for the new year are squarely focused on addressing the critical 0.61 issues you've all been experiencing, and pushing forward into 0.62 and Beta.

We all hope you had a great holiday season, and were able to spend time with your friends, families, and most important loved ones. 

- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -

Dev Update/Peter

With the release of 0.61 version of DayZ, one major issue raised by the community, which is still discussed back and forth, was the noticeable increase in difficulty of the PvE challenge in the game. I wanted to comment on this.

Recently we took advantage of the new dynamic spawning system and because of that, concentration of infected is much higher then ever before (and I hope, there will be even more of them in future with the possibility of hordes when everything goes well). Now, when we finally achieved some reasonable numbers of infected in locations for intended gameplay purposes, it is unthinkable that they will just stand there, ignoring you while filling up empty space in settlements like scenery. It seems some don't remember how harsh infected were in the mod back in the days, when crawling on your belly for long minutes to observe a town to choose an entry point with the least resistance wasn't anything special. Don't forget that infected are meant to be a real threat to survival in Chernarus. You either need to avoid them or fight them (or eventually flee if you are lucky).

There are some known issues in AI which need to be fixed and I understand that it may be hard to have a stealth approach with old habits that came from nearly nonexistent infected in the past, and without the planned presence indicator (combined with how much noise you make and how well you are visible) in the upcoming HUD, you can try to follow some general rules which might help you - stay low, keep distance and avoid their line of sight (yes, they have peripheral vision too). As far as close combat goes, it will be overhauled once the new player is ready and we already started to prototype it in meantime. Of course reported issues like infected running through seemingly closed doors, or spawning right next to you are unacceptable and will be fixed.

If you would like to read more about design of the Infected, check out the Status Report released in 3rd March 2015

Also, rain and ensuing low body temperatures become a factor to consider in the fight for survival. Which again, is nothing unexpected and you shouldn't be afraid of it, just adapt to it. When all the systems like metabolism, diseases, injuries, stamina, weather impact, infected, predators and others will fall in place and became fine balanced you will witness a definitive survival game, where you need to be careful, have to plan ahead and get prepared for possible upcoming situations - this is DayZ people.

Stay strong and never give up... see you in Chernarus folks!

- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -

Community Spotlight

Christmas and New Year celebrations are now behind us. You might have done some of your celebrating in DayZ, where Christmas trees were added and as a little present you might have found cute little teddy bears with surprises hidden inside them. They were able to protect your equipment from damage if you kept them with you.

You were so excited about them, that you kept sending pictures showing your happy findings to our official Twitter. 

Dystopian Gaming sent a screenshot from his Christmas celebrations with the message:

I ❤ my pink teddy! Merry Xmas! 

Sam Kingswell was really thrilled about the number of furry soft toys that he encountered in Chernarus!

Not everyone was getting presents only in-game. Streamer MrBlue got some DayZ style gear from his girlfriend. Awesome!


And last but not least, we received a New Year greetings from Watchman.

I would also like to wish you all a happy and successful new year, full of good health, love and fun.

Header image by: berdu

- Baty / Community Manager -

 
 


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