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
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:
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.
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 ;)
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
"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
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:
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!
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
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
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
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!
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
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 -
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?
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!
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.
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 -
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 -
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 -
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:
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.
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 -
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, don‘t be afraid to send it to us.
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
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.
Implementation of all base renderer features
Simulweather/True Sky Implementation
Optimization of major cities
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.