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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 -

 
 

 

 


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