Latest Development news from Eugen, small teasers of the upcoming changes to radios and other VoIP devices, as well as the final particle effects for gunshots, and also a nice summary of our trip to PAX East! It's not Tuesday, but it's still Status Report time, so let's read!
Dear DayZ players.
All of us here are both playing and tweaking the version for the first Stress Test. You might be asking why it's not out yet, and how on Earth we are enjoying it and not sharing that with you? :). The current state of the build, although fun and quite consistent, is still a bit unstable. And what I mean by unstable? In the worst gunfights with large numbers of players and looting, we can still see at least up to 10 different crashes averaging in up time of less than an hour. We fixed about 500 bugs so far for this Stress Test alone, and there is about 50 left. About 10 of those are crashes that have been plaguing our most recent internal playtests. The good news is that we were finally able to debug the reasons behind these, and are working on fixes as you read this.
Quick look at the issues that need fixing for 0.63 Experimental as of this afternoon (not including features that still need to be implemented). Click to Enlarge
Once these fixes are confirmed, and if nothing else pops up (usually does, but fingers crossed!), we will evaluate the state of the build again and start with Stress Testing. We are as anxious as you to get this ball rolling :).
Now for the work invested into things that are not launching with either Stress Tests or with the first Experimental build: there are about 1000 bugs fixed so far for Experimental and we are doing some heavy work on UI visuals and functionality to go beyond the basics needed to develop on the new engine. Jumping has got into the game with its first iteration and will be followed by climbing later as we polish animations and possible edge cases where players get stuck.
On the notion of having other means of movement rather than walking and running, we are still working on 0.63 vehicles, and also the first helicopter iterations for internal testing. These are still heavy work in progress as vehicles, base building, and several other features are still waiting for a commit (= implementation to the main game code) of technology that we have mentioned a couple of times: enabling hierarchy between entities in the game. We will move on to that commit once we confirm that there are no larger issues during Stress Tests.
Just to give you some scope (since I started using numbers) over the years, we have tracked around 30 000 issues and resolved about 25 000 of them, where resolving means that some have become irrelevant on their own either due to change of tech or design (Expired, Won't fix, Duplicate, As Designed and other resolution types in the chart below except for Done or Fixed). Part of the remaining unresolved issues is also related to post 1.0 content and features:
A quick look at the issues that need fixing for 0.63 Experimental as of this afternoon (not including features that still need to be implemented).
I'm excited about what's to come with the first stress test and feedback that we can work with. I'll be there trying to survive there with you! :)
Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Voice communication is something we haven't really talked about for some time. So I'm here to introduce you to the changes we've done on the gameplay side. But since this is my first Status Report, I'll start with a small introduction. My name is Jan Huňka (on the internets, I go by the nickname Zoidy) and I work on DayZ as a Gameplay Programmer specializing on networking - but I also worked on the new damage system, login/logout process and a bunch of other things.
The main goal of these changes was to make the communication as seamless as possible. As soon as your radio has a battery in, you can talk on the selected frequency. If you turn it off, you're automatically using direct communication again.
Currently, we have three types of communication devices in the game. Megaphone, personal radio and also a Public Address System.
Personal radios are very easy to use. You don't need to hold the radio in your hand, it can be anywhere nearby like in the inventory or just on the ground and you can still use it. Other survivors nearby can also use your radio if they're close enough. To transmit on larger distances, you can use big radio stations. Signal strength is based on the maximum distance. The closer you're to the maximum distance, the more noise you're gonna hear. The same goes for the text chat. The closer you're to the max distance, the more can your text message be corrupted.
Public address system (PAS)
We placed quite a few PAS loud-speakers across the cities of Chernarus and now you'll finally be able to use them. PAS broadcaster can broadcast your voice to all loud-speakers in range. You just have to stand close to the broadcaster. It is also possible for multiple players to use the broadcaster at the same time. Listening players are hearing voices of the speakers from the loud-speakers based on its distance and direction.
Megaphone needs to be held in hands to use and it basically allows your voice to be heard on larger distances than just talking.
Server keeps information about nearby communication devices that every player is currently able to use. This information is then cross-referenced against other players and the result is a "list" of players that you can communicate with. All voice messages and also text chat messages are routed to appropriate clients using this information. Thanks to this, you can transmit your voice to multiple devices at the same time. For example, if you want to set up some radios on different frequencies nearby your PAS broadcaster and then broadcast your amazing speech on all possible channels and PAS at the same time, it is completely possible.
Contrary to the original plan, you cannot use one device to transmit to another device. Like leave your personal radio nearby PAS broadcaster. The chains of devices that could be created using this feature could become very complex really fast. We would also need to constantly check all communication devices on the whole map to update these chains, which could get costly in terms of resources. But we'll try to keep this in mind and maybe this feature could make it to the game on some smaller scale.
We added and tweaked the sound filters for different types of devices. Radios still have their typical noise, but megaphones and public address system received some nice echo effects, so you should be able to tell what device is the source of the sound.
If, for example, there are three radios around you on the same frequency, you're gonna hear the same voice with a little echo, so you can recognise the same voice is coming from multiple sources. The echo is calculated based on the number of devices and their distance from the player.
Thanks for reading and I hope you're gonna have a lot of fun with the new communication system in Chernarus!
Jan Huňka / Gameplay Programmer
Survivors! I have some news from our scripting team - I'm happy to say that the system for weapon particle effects has been finished for some time now, so here is a small sample of the quality of muzzle flashes you can expect to see in the 0.63 Stress Test:
Note that rapidly firing for a prolonged amount of time will heat up the barrel, causing a continuous stream of smoke until it cools down. In later experimental updates, badly worn out weapons will tend to smoke more as build-up collects in them, which prompts players to use the weapon cleaning kit to avoid malfunctions.
The next task related to gunfights is the improvement of bullet impact effects (including blood splats), which are meant to better visualise our advanced ballistic system. Currently, we have a simplified placeholder system implemented until the final solution is fully prepared.
Fire away, survivors, but mind the heat of your gun barrels!
Boris Vacula / Scripter
I don't know if you noticed, but me and my colleague Martin were invited by Microsoft to show you the Xbox One DayZ DEMO at PAX East in Boston. Yes, we already have a playable single player 0.63 demo that runs really smooth, and this was the first time we presented the Xbox version to public!
We were a bit nervous about the reactions, but your enthusiasm about the demo calmed us down and we were really happy that you liked it. Xbox players had a chance to try the demo for the first time, running around and exploring what DayZ is all about. Meanwhile, experienced PC players were testing new features, because it was also the first opportunity for the to get their hands on 0.63.
If you want to see a personal experience of one of our players, here is a video from Jake:
And of course, we've met so many nice people who we know only from online communication. For me, that was the highlight of the show. Thanks everyone who stopped by and talked to us or just tried the demo!
Our little station was right there. Massive thanks to Microsoft for inviting us to their booth!
Pax East was so crowded!
We've met a couple of survivors in DayZ cosplay!
Some streamers like MarkstromTV, TheLoyalPatriot, LtDanOfficial, Mr. Moon, Deadly Slob, GamerDad, Johny Rotten, Puhdado, Acesfury and Jakon tried our demo too.
So many amazing people came to Pax to meet us. We love you guys.
Let's check out some events on private servers.
The first one is organized by DayZ Underground server and it is called "king of Severograd". Be ready tomorrow at 4PM EST. Don't forget to register!
Another one will be on Saturday at 7pm CST on the DayZ Noob server and it is melee weapons only. You can win a fully decked M4A1, AK101, AK74, FAL and AKM. Nice prizes!
And the third one is today, so run and join other survivors on TopeRec&Spaggie's server (220.127.116.11:2602) at 20:00GMT as soon as possible.
The last thing for today are some of your questions (we'll do the riddle next time):
Is PC your primary platform?
Yes, it absolutely is our primary platform. Every piece of new content, every feature, every new bit of technology always gets into the PC version first. Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 run only what already exists on PC. Ultimately any development progress made now is always implemented on PC first.
Should we be worried about DayZ being on consoles?
No! Quite the contrary: we need to squeeze every frame, and every possible line of code optimization out of DayZ in order to make it run well on consoles. This massively contributes to the overall improvements of the PC build. Exploring new platforms with DayZ also opens more possibilities to cooperate with different partners - if we did not make DayZ on Xbox, it would be harder for us to visit you in person or events, for example.
Is it going to slow down PC development?
No! Remember, PC development is console development. It's not two different things. There is, of course, some amount of work associated with specific platform support and bug fixing, mostly in programming and QA, but we're not taking the time of any developers that are critical for reaching our Experimental, Stable and 1.0 goals for PC.
And that is all from me today. Don't forget to send us your videos, pictures and everything DayZ related you've made, because we love it!
We're back from a trip to GDC, and also back to the regular Status Report schedule. Let's read more about our upcoming 0.63 public stress tests, our progress on Xbox, and plans for PAX East!
Dear DayZ players,
There is a lot of commotion in the office as we get near our first 0.63 public stress test (which I will talk about more today and share details of why and how we are approaching this step, and what should be the outcome for both you, the players, and us - the developers). Besides the obvious focus to get things into public hands for testing, we are dealing with issues related to weapon collisions with environment and zombies. While also working on climbing and jumping to make traversing through the environment a much better experience.There is a lot to cover in the coming weeks, and we are looking at the missing pieces, as well as pushing for the level of polish we want to achieve before we finally move 0.63 to the Experimental branch of DayZ on Steam.
0.63 Stress Tests
As we've mentioned during our 0.63 Dev Live Stream, the initial releases of 0.63 will take the form of time-limited, focused stress tests. To differentiate these stress tests from the more traditional Experimental testing phase, we'll create a completely new "Stress Test" branch of DayZ on Steam, which anyone of you will be able to switch to, and play on test servers provided by us.
Once 0.63 gets ready and releases on the Experimental branch, this option will be gone, but we expect to have more than one of these stress tests happening in the next couple of weeks, so you might get a chance to hop in early and test the game in a limited capacity.
Our main goal with stress tests is to test server load and see the number of players we can handle on one server. These stress test can both happen very often, or there might be some delay between them. We will be auto collecting logs and servers crashes for further analysis, as well as profiling the server performance. A big chunk of the work will go into making sure we get lots of data to sort through and evaluate.
We will announce the time of each stress test on our social media channels so that you can prepare at least a little bit ahead of time. Besides the timeline of availability, we will try and provide you with a list of things that we've assigned the highest priority for getting feedback on.
I know a lot of data miners are going to look into everything we've done with the game, as there is tons of work in progress features hidden inside the client data, possibly including some not yet covered details that may cause a little bit of premature excitement. While we totally expect that this will happen, we will be, however, pointing our focus towards a more limited set of things at one time in these tests. For the first test, we will try to take a close look at the new implementation of gunplay and player synchronization.
You will be spawning in a much more concentrated manner on selected locations in Chernarus, already equipped with basic gear that we have ready for testing. Many things in those builds will still be either disabled completely or not spawning. On the other hand, we will try and increase the player numbers per server to see how far we can go. It's going to be a bit of a bloodbath, that's for sure!
For the first bunch of stress tests, there will be a limited time window, with a limited number of items spawning, and also with a somewhat limited functionality so that the data we are collecting is helpful. We are at a point where we need your help, your feedback. It's necessary for us to move forward, and to make sure that when the game goes live for everybody, it’s as consistent and reliable as it can get. For now, there will be broken animations, bugs and different annoying details that we know about. However, I cannot state how important for us it is to start testing now, and not wait any longer. Some of the issues we might encounter will take some time to solve, and will only be able to be reproduced in the high traffic environment of public testing.
Now to answer the question why we do so with a limited feature set and in a limited time window: any data collection past the initial findings and blockers is diluting the effectiveness of such efforts. Problems can be hiding in layers - as you fix one, another appears because with the first problem in its way, it never had a chance to occur. We think we know about a lot of them - if not most - but we realize there is more to do. It's going to be fun either way - we are ready to face this head on, and roll fixes in quickly. Ramping up our communication both ways is an important part of the process that's coming both during stress tests and in Experimental.
For feedback, videos are one of the best mediums for us to understand what’s happening, so if you have a chance to share them with us on the Feedback Tracker and the DayZ forums, they are more than welcome! We'll talk about this when we release the notes for each stress tests, but as mentioned, we will mostly be looking for inconsistencies in player movement and gunplay. You'll definitely experience a lot of weird inconsistencies or bugs with things like melee, environment actions, or crafting, but we're working on those, and these just require time, but meanwhile, we can already run tests on those focus areas that will help us move forward faster.
As for when do we start those stress tests - again, as mentioned in the Live Stream, we were looking at the initial releases of 0.63 as something that's weeks, not months away. It's been two weeks since the Live Stream now, and so it goes without saying that we'll all get to some testing rather soon!
Over the course of the last couple of weeks, we have worked on several smaller tasks and features such as swimming, footsteps in water, ladder climbing, user action and fireplace sounds.
We've also finished the work on the interior controller for weapons and character sound. Now we can have different tails for indoor shooting, reloading magazines of footsteps. Indoor ambient sounds are still in progress.
For next few weeks, we will be focusing on melee fight. We will re-design sounds for attack animations and also make many new melee hit sounds.
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
In case you haven't noticed, we skipped the last Status Report and we broadcasted a Live Stream of the 0.63 build instead, with dev commentary. And we are really happy with your feedback, thank you for that! We are improving our streaming skills and we are hoping to stream more often in future, to share our DayZ development goals with you!
If you missed the stream, we exported it to our YouTube channel and you can watch it here:
Part of our team was attending GDC last week, where we've met with a bunch of journalists at a closed event organized by ID@Xbox - to all of them, we've presented a short Staroye DEMO of DayZ on Xbox One. People who tried it were amazed by how smooth the game runs, and how good it feels. Here is a short video of the press event on Tuesday:
If you are sad you couldn't have tried it at GDC, we have another chance for you to get your hands on our DayZ Xbox demo! We are going to PAX East in Boston next week and we will be there ready for you from Thursday 5th to Sunday 8th at the Xbox booth.
I know you always have questions about the console versions! I chose the three hottest ones:
Are you developing DayZ for Xbox One X only?
No, we’ll be releasing on all Xbox One consoles, and on PlayStation 4 as well!
How about the frame rates on Xbox One X?
It’s all work in progress, but we’re already peaking at 50-60 FPS in 1080p on Xbox One X, and we plan to support 4K@30 FPS. We’ll see where we end up though!
Will there be cross-platform between platforms?
That’s unlikely - while it’s perfectly viable from the technology perspective, we’d rather not mix PC and console players because it would cause a noticeable disbalance in gameplay.
Let's check out the content you have done since the last Status Report. There is a lot of it, so I had to choose just some of the things you sent me.
I know we highlighted Gaming Roach Entertainment before, but he is so original and we love his videos very much! He made a DayZ parody of the TV show "Friends" and it is stunning. You need to see it!
I saw a picture on Twitter that made me hungry. And I hope it will make you hungry too. This amazing package was sent by PetitPoney to his DayZ friends. Looks like human meat, doesn't it? I asked the recipient EVILZ if he likes human meat so much, and he replied to me that it is just pork meat and he made a backpack from its skin. Okay, I am going to trust you for now.
Look at these cans, can you recognize them? They are just like the ones from the game! This picture was sent to us by Wallamys Uchiha, who made some for himself in real life. Do you want them too? You can make it yourselves, Wallamys shared the labels with us here.
I love your artworks guys. Please send more to me! This one is made by Dominik Figlhuber and it is in 80s style. Amazing work Dominic, I am looking forward to your next fanart!
Let's check some events that servers prepared for you.
Do you know the server Mafia of Balota? Admins prepare events every week and they have some safe zones around the map, so don't forget to read the rules before joining. The event for this week is in medieval style. If you want to particiate, just join their Facebook group and learn more there.
And the new riddle is a really hard one, too, because it is from Adam again - he likes to challenge you!
If you know this place, tweet the location to our official Twitter account and you can be featured in the Status Report next time!
Thank you for your amazing work guys and I am looking forward to seeing your content in two weeks. Don't forget to check our Instagram next week, we will post some pictures from our trip to PAX East there! Love you all <3.
This week we, unfortunately, didn't give Brian much space to remember anything from the good old days of DayZ - and that's because we've got quite a lot of things that are happening in the present! We did our best to provide plenty of information about our progress and also detailed some design decisions regarding our damage system and ladders. Adam is also teasing some of the lighting updates he's working on, and to support all that, we've got a decent portion of visual materials this time - including videos! Let's get to it, Survivors!
As the iteration speed on many of our features increases, we are seeing some good results coming in - both in terms of features and stability. In the last two weeks, we have been focusing on and finished the below-mentioned functionality, and as of now, we are closing more issues than are coming in, which is a good sign.
Mentioned before a million times, but it's finally working and ladders are done on the player side. We're converting data for all buildings and working on sounds for ladders.
Again, something that has been missing from the basic movements of the new character for a long time, and it's merged in and done now. As is the case with ladders, sounds are the last thing being added at the moment.
We are currently at the beginning of the polishing phase of all the animations and data and looking into connecting the state with character representation and shock values.
Damage System (bleeding, penetration, ballistics)
After merging in our first working implementation of the new damage system, we're finally working on tweaking the damage values and states, penetration and ballistics. Looking to polish it for experimental release. Bleeding has been connected to the system as well and is working already. We are fighting issues with particles and blood and trying to find a good visual solution.
Since swimming and ladders are working technology-wise, we have moved onto the proposed jump and climb mechanic. Jump is going to get in first, and climbing - as it is quite complex - is definitely going to require a lot more polish.
The QA team just got back to work on the build stability. Our stability has been pretty bad recently, with all the large features getting in, so most of our team is focusing on bug fixing and it has paid off already. We're definitely not done and there is still tons of crashes to fix, but the stability has increased by a factor of 30 in just the last two weeks. And I look forward to a normal play session on 0.63 Experimental RC (Release Candidate build).
Because everything you do in-game is working through user actions, we are getting the proper animations in, making sure that the base survival mechanics work, and that there is a loop to follow when you get into the game. It makes the gameplay much smoother.
Work on weapons has slowed down because some of our team members were traveling, and also because we wanted to get in more of the melee combat animations, with the last changes in heavy and light attacks. The guys from the animations team in are in general working on making sure both one handed and two-handed attacks are polished and ready for use.
We're looking into what's next for all the amazing features that the new animation system has brought us and polishing them, trying to fix both functional and visual issues that arise from the fancy and cool prone combat.
4K UI and bug fixing
As we're working on expanding the usability of UI in different resolutions (including 4K), we have tons of bugfixes for inventory actions and visuals for icons, actions and a lot more. Making sure things work reliably with the UI is key now.
Refactor of Infected
Since a lot of the work on the player is getting done, our Lead Programmer Mirek is heavily focusing on a refactor of the infected, both in terms of stealth and combat. We don't want to promise anything, but we should hopefully be seeing the results soon, and build advanced features for the infected in quick succession after the basics of that work are merged in and working reliably.
Not much has changed here since the last Status Report. There is a huge pass on all objects in the game in terms of collisions for both gameplay reasons, camera, and much more. And since there are hundreds if not thousands of objects, depending on how you count some, this is definitely a long-term task.
I'm very happy with the progress we're seeing and can't wait to play with you sooner than you think (wink wink).
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
In the last Status Report of December, I was mentioning ladders. Now you can check them in all their glory in the presented video (thanks to Adam!). You can see the animations for climbing up and down with normal speed, as well as quick scale up and fast slide down. Also note that climbing the ladder is being shown on one long, continuous, seamless ladder, with the possibility to exit and re-enter the ladder on accessible levels in the middle of the tower.
Let’s jump to the ongoing work being done on the new damage system and ballistics. In the dark past, the old damage system used the so-called hit points (basically plain points positioned on a body, where the distance between them and the hit impact was compared in order to determine to which hit points the relative damage should be dealt). Now, in the new damage system, we are using hit zones, which are defined by meshes. That allows us to properly depict shapes of every desired component, leading to accurate hit detection and allowing us to incorporate terminal ballistics of projectiles to calculate the proper damage that should be applied.
DayZ is an authentic game, and I’m convinced that range combat should definitely underline this direction. Hit zones obviously correspond with basic individual parts of character's body such feet, legs, hands, arms, torso, and head. There are also additional hit zones for vital organs - brain, heart, spine, lungs, and liver to deepen the representation of the character body.
In real life, damage dealt by projectiles to the human body is very complicated and it’s fairly impossible to simulate it in game, so some necessary simplification is in place. Each hit zone has its own health which may or may not affect the global health of the character, as well as optional vital attributes.
A player character cannot directly die just by shooting its limbs - our goal here is to avoid unreliable situations like shooting the character 10 times to its feet in order for it to get killed. However, as projectiles' penetration leads to bleeding wounds, the character will die indirectly by bleeding out without a treatment. Also, limbs can be fractured if their health falls down to zero, leading to restriction in character movement unless treated by attaching a splint to the fractured limb, which will heal it over time.
On the other hand, damage the torso and head can lead to direct death (global health at zero), as well as indirect death by bleeding out. Vital organs have relatively low health, and destroying them leads basically to instant direct death, which opens a way to encouraging shot placement in combination with ammunition used, depending on current situation.
For determining terminal ballistics, we have a complex set of parameters in place. Projectile speed and energy now depend on barrel length, which allows us to differentiate between different firearms using the same type of ammunition. Of course, speed and energy decrease over time with the distance traveled. Penetration also depends on the caliber of a given projectile, and obviously on the type and thickness of the material used. There will be a coefficient that takes into account how projectiles behave while penetrating materials, which will help us mimic such behaviors as tumbling, or expansion, of different projectile types. From all these parameters, impact depth and damage applied is calculated to be as close as possible.
Now, to emphasize, I fully understand, that all of this can seemingly be perceived as somewhat mysterious behaviour, and could look like random or even buggy to observers, especially those who are accustomed to primitive damage systems where X hits from Y gun definitely leads to character's death. However, even with that risk, I want to give it a spin. Sure, it will be hard to balance and get it as right as possible, but hopefully, you will bear with us and at the end, you will appreciate the possibilities it opens. In worst case scenario, we will be forced, for the good of the game experience, to change it to a more streamlined approach, which will be more cleaner and understandable by yielding more predictable results.
No mercy for what we are doing... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
This time, my contribution will be rather short. With the 0.62 update, we have introduced many changes to the world lighting configuration. With the upcoming 0.63 update, we have made additional changes to address:
Overall brightness during daytime
Dawn and dusk transition brightness issues
Improve nighttime and star read-ability
Please note that following comparison pictures (0.62 vs 0.63 light config) are work-in-progress and do not represent the final state. It should also be noted that both pictures were taken on 0.63, which, compared to 0.63, also contains a number of colour improvements to environment assets (grass, vegetation, artificial objects).
- Adam Franců / Map Designer -
For the last couple of weeks, we have been busy with ambient sounds. Though we're not finished yet, we've made some progress. Ambient sounds are more dynamic now and react to weather changes and location changes. We've also made progress with positional environmental sounds. Now you can hear birds and insect coming from trees and bushes, rustle of tree leaves in the wind above your head, metal squeaks and creaks coming from old building's roofs and much more. Here's a small teaser (please be aware that everything is very work in progress):
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
Hello everyone, let's start with answers to some of your frequently asked questions:
Q: Will the cost of DayZ servers be reduced with the BETA release?
A: Yes. In future, anyone will be able to host their own servers on their own terms, as we want to release the DayZ Server Files with BETA. Maybe not right with the first BETA build, but definitely during BETA.
Additionally, we want to provide a Linux version of the DayZ Server Files, and that should further cut the costs of running a DayZ server. While we don't have direct control over the pricing offered by our selected server providers at the moment, the Linux Server Files should also lead to noticeable cost reductions with these providers.
Q: Will the performance of the game be better in BETA or in the future?
A: Optimizations of performance in DayZ are a continuous process, but we can definitely say that the game performance in BETA will be better than the current performance in 0.62 Stable. How much better depends on specific hardware. Besides optimizations of the rendering pipeline, we have rewritten multiple systems to utilize more CPU cores, we've implemented double buffering for rendering and changed some of the synchronous operations to asynchronous (which allowed further parallelization of those operations). All of these changes have a positive impact on the framerate in the game, especially client-side framerate.
Q: Do you have any plans for new buildings?
A: Yes, we already have some new buildings on the Northwest Airfield in 0.63 and more buildings are planned.
I would like to tell you an interesting thing that happened already a few months ago, but some members of the community still ask about it today. We've got in touch with the creators of a Norwegian political thriller TV series named Okkupert (Occupied) based on an original idea by Jo Nesbø in 2016. A lot of you already saw the episode September (second series) which had DayZ in it. In the episode, the Norwegian Police Security Service is using DayZ to infiltrate a resistance group and to gather some information. You can see them playing on PlayStation 4, however, it wasn't for real. At that time, it was still not possible and a lot of you were confused. Let's check out some screenshots I've made:
We know how hard can the current situation be for server admins and how hard can it be to keep your communities active. A lot of good servers died and we can't do anything for them now, but we believe (and hope!) they will be back after the BETA update. As I wrote earlier, with Linux servers, the rent should be cheaper, although we don't control pricing of the servers directly (that's up to server providers of course). I just want to thank all admins for being so passionate and for caring about the communities of their servers. Better times are coming!
I found out some of you don't trust us about the Xbox version build. But yes, we are really working on the console version, on both of them - Xbox One and PlayStation 4 too. Here's a small teaser - hopefully, we'll be able to show them in action soon, as both versions actually run pretty smooth!
I have not seen such a well-done video for a long time. Uncuepa is talking about his vision of humanity in DayZ. He has a lot of interesting thoughts. What do you think about this system, do you like it?
This video has improved my day. I don't know if the participants were forced to sing, but this is kind of a "Chernarus got talent" episode. I love it, thank you for your work DuckyFTW!
Creator of regular DayZ Spotlights Boydy interviewed our map designer Adam "Sumrak" Franců. You can find a small video sneak-peak of Namalsk inside and some info about modding and map changes. Enjoy!
No cinematic video this week.
Plonker made this cute Cartoony DayZ Turntable and showed it to us on Steam. And I am showing it now to you. :)
And as the last thing, we have the riddle again.
Who won last time?
This time is it a location from Adam again. So, do you know where is this house located?
Two weeks have passed, and we're bringing you the latest progress from the Dev Team - the usual setup got a bit of a twist with Eugen traveling this week, but we've got a whole lot of news nonetheless! Let's keep the intro short, and do some real reading, Survivors! It's good for you.
Hello everyone! As Eugen is traveling this week, it's my turn to contribute to the Status Report (after quite some time), and provide some summary of the past two weeks in the DayZ Dev Team. With February in full swing, we're approaching the moment where with each week, the 0.63 experimental release is becoming more and more likely. We're about to start team-wide play-tests to get our internal servers as full as possible in order to get proper data on server synchronization and performance. With that said, there are still elementary parts (like swimming and vaulting) of the game that are very much work in progress, and for that reason, we are still not feeling very comfortable talking about any potential 0.63 Experimental release dates publicly.
Considering some feedback we got under the last Status Report on Twitter, we've been looking at ways how to still communicate the state of things more clearly, potentially as a progressively updated online task list. Together with Eugen and Baty, we've compiled a to-do list of sorts (basically our Experimental goals from the BETA Status Report) where we want to provide a simple overview of the current state of each key part of the 0.63 update. We'll check if and how we can publish it (we still need to work out some specifics with our team leads, also during the play-tests I mentioned), but suffice to say - there is a lot of work in progress, and less things that we would already be able to tick off as "ready for Experimental".
While we don't want to give in to some unnecessary rush, there is also the other side of things that kind of makes us want to progress towards the 0.63 Experimental PC release as fast as possible. Our release schedule for this year is pretty tight. The main goal is to have the PC BETA and 1.0 all happen in 2018, and we're also getting much closer to bringing DayZ to console players. Our good relationship with both Sony and Microsoft opens interesting opportunities for cooperation, and since we've always had our focus aimed at the existing PC community of players first and foremost, it's in our own best interest to bring you solid PC releases ASAP so that we can also satisfy the large audience waiting for DayZ on consoles.
Despite the not-so-huge amount of work going into our console builds of the game, we're basically able to run our regular PC 0.63 builds on both consoles with no major issues in gameplay or performance, and so the progress towards PC releases of 0.63 Experimental and Stable is critical also from this point of view - not only we really want you to have something to play already, we also want to grow our community further.
Let's see how that works - we'll keep you posted! Meanwhile, see you in Chernarus! (Or on the forums, social media channels, and Reddit!)
- Martin Čulák / Brand & PR Manager -
Our first working implementation of the new melee combat looked great, especially with predefined combos chained by attacks flying through the air. However, after applying a rule set to it and passing some internal play-tests, we have confirmed that it would be really hard to wrap our intentions of melee combat around these predefined combo attacks.
As gameplay is the most important thing in DayZ, I don’t want to compromise on possibilities. Ideally, players should be always able to choose which attack option at hand they can use. Considering that predefined combo chains were composed of different attack types, players were not able to choose between light and heavy attack types. Since their order was firmly determined, it made melee combat feel like something that's a bit out of your hands, which made it less interesting in the end.
We have decided to try one more prototype, in which the player is able to freely choose which attack to perform - a light or a heavy one. Immediately after the first play-test run, it was clear that’s the right direction to make the melee combat more "controllable". We will continue to iterate and improve the melee so that we finally arrive at the final implementation. It's safe to say that despite the shift from predefined combos, the new melee combat will still maintain visual variety in terms of movement, as there are still attack variations from both the left and the right side, and for both light and heavy attack types. These variants are seamlessly blended together, creating a continuous flow of attacks that simply looks nice.
The infected AI that you know well from 0.62 and older versions of DayZ was kind of always limited, and it never met our expectations, nor came close to the behaviours we defined in the design team. Currently, the infected AI is being heavily re-worked, incorporating the new animation system. We are cooperating closely with our programming team to achieve all the intended features.
The primary goal is to make the infected feel better on every level you can imagine. May it be more clever use of sensors to strengthen stealth, luring and aggro, adding search behaviour around the last known position of their target, or simply much improved readability of infected AI, utilising transitions like lost interest, target confirmed or target lost between their states. There are some significant changes coming to their melee combat as well, with jumping attacks making a comeback.
Don't end up feeding yourself to the infected... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
Hi everyone. The entire team is still really busy implementing the remaining parts of our animation system overhaul, so today, I would like to at least quickly share with you a couple of fresh GIFs from the development. After receiving the implementation of the new ladder climbing from our programmers, we are currently applying some final touches to ladder animations and behaviour. We're finally able to enter/exit the ladders in a rather smooth way, and also climb and even slide down the ladder. There's still some polish and fine-tuning to do before we can make ladders experimental ready, but we're getting there! The team is also busy with weapons, player turn animations and unconscious animations:
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -
In this Status Report, I would like to talk about another map feature of the upcoming 0.63 update - Tourist Trails. The Chernarussian Tourist Club (also known short as КЧТ) is responsible for a wide network of the tourist trails in the Republic of Chernarus. In South Zagoria (province of Chernarus that we have in DayZ), they maintain roughly 200 kilometers of tourist trails. From the northern border mountains, through the central fields to the important destinations in coastal towns. Connecting many of the historic and natural landmarks, but also showing perhaps not often visited places in South Zagoria. All that to make your travels easier and safer.
The idea of having the tourist trails on Chernarus has been floating around since early Arma 2 days. It was brought up again at the start of DayZ development with more details fleshed out. But given the rapid iterations on Chernarus+ map, it was not really feasible to start with the actual implementation until the map was in a more stable state. With the release of the update 0.62 (which introduced a total vegetation overhaul along with the western border rework), we felt that the map has finally reached a somewhat stable state that would allow us to finally return to the idea of tourist trails.
We have re-visited the original plans, made several improvements and re-designed the planned trail network to support all the map changes that happened over past couple of years. A result of this task is an overwhelming, 200 kilometer long trail network - so what helped us getting there?
4 different color markings to mark the trails
you will find these on trees, rocks, poles,...
in real life, you would also find arrow versions of these markings, but to avoid too much duplication in data, we had to design every hard turn of the trail without the arrow markings.
93 custom directional crossroad signs
tailored for each trail crossroad, any important place (stops), and for the start/end of each trail
crossroad signs contain the local name and mark the crossroad's elevation above sea level (in meters)
individual plates cover every possible direction you can take, along with the travel distance (in kilometers) to three following crossroad/directional/trail signs
same as traffic directional signs and settlements signs, everything on these plates is written in Russian (Cyrillic)
2 types of the actual path models for the trails
we use these models when the trail goes through the meadows, fields, and forests
roughly 60% of the whole trail network is covered by these models - because as in real life, trails are also using the existing road network (excluding major roads so tourists are not in a danger of a serious car accident)
2 types of tourist shelters
to make bigger trail crossroads more interesting and believable
brand new assets that serve as shelter for players during rainy weather, or when you just want to get a bit of a rest before continuing your journey
In addition to these, we also have one other supporting asset that may or may not make it into 0.63:
in real life, these are present mostly on major trail crossroads in order to help tourists to get a bigger picture and plan their trip
we've got several prototypes so far, but still ironing out the best shape, size and the map coverage (if it will be the entire map or, for example, quarters)
there will be a "you are here" sign on the map to help you pinpoint your current location
Overall, tourist trails gave us a nice opportunity to improve our landscape - many improvements were done to it while the network itself was worked on. Additionally, it also gave us an opportunity to revisit all the locations names and make them actually visible directly within the environment.
We hope that they will prove to be a useful feature when navigating through our 225 square kilometers of environment, and that you will have great encounters with other like-minded survivors there. We certainly enjoyed building the network and we hope that we will meet some of you there when this feature hits the live servers!
- Adam Franců / Map Designer -
Over the course of the past two weeks, we continued our work on footsteps and cloth rustle sounds. It's kind of a tedious work because we have to implement these sounds into all animations - and the number of animations in DayZ is pretty overwhelming :).
Another big task ahead of us is represented by an update of ambient sounds. We intend to create a more dynamic and realistic soundscape than before. We do not want to relate only upon flat 2D ambient sounds, but rather want to use as many positional sounds as the audio engine will allow us to have. Within the next couple of weeks, we will see how far we can push it!
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
I would like to start a new tradition - answering some of the community's most asked questions in every Status Report and post it to a special thread on our official forums.
So, let's check out what you want to know:
Will DayZ be released on consoles?
Yes, Xbox One version will be out this year in the Xbox Game Preview program. We are also working on a PlayStation 4 version and want to provide more details about that soon!
Can you give us some modding tools already, goddamnit?!
Not right now, we can't. There are ultimately two main reasons for that: we're simply not ready to legitimately support modding until we have a solid foundation in what is a game functional on an elementary level. We also need that game to be in YOUR hands and we need you to be able to run your own servers. That will not happen before 0.63 hits Stable. In addition to that, we're also still evaluating how far along will DayZ be moddable, and how we can best support modders with all the necessary modding tools.
How long do we need to wait for the 0.63 Experimental? We want to play it so bad!
I know, we want to let you play it too! Right now though, it just really needs more love from the DayZ Dev Team. It's not fun to play yet. All the teams are working like devils now, trust me - I am sitting right next to them in the office, I can see it all happening and I want to play it with the community as bad as everyone. But 0.63 still needs more time!
Yes, the base building is also not ready yet but we know how much you are looking forward to trying it. An example is Axel, who made this cool base building concept.
We have a DayZ Tip by NomadGaming. We know vehicles are sometimes pain in the ass in the current version, and you can get them stuck pretty easily. But don't forget - if you can't unstuck them, just destroy them with a matchbox, and they are going to re-spawn!
We had Gaming Roach Entertainment here before and they are back with another cool cinematic. It is a story about mother who wants to protect her daughter from dangerous people in every way she can. Another good job Gaming Roach, you amazed me again.
What about some DayZ in real life? BarelyInfected has done a short video, it is nice to see his face again!
Do you know RDiddy? He is the Australian streamer who loves jumping with cars in DayZ. This is the best jump he'S ever made! GG RDiddy!
Let's check out some more screenshots.
dayz_bron sent a beautiful screenshot to Reddit and I want to share it with you.
Another amazing view from Green Moutain by DrDesync. Be careful, I was shot standing there like this!
And now is the time for your favorite riddle!
Who answered correctly last time?
14400bps is enough
True DayZ pros!
I asked our map designer Adam for a hard location this time. Can you guess where it is? Send the location to our official Twitter account and be on the wall of fame next time!
Thank you for all your content and enjoy the Valentine's Day. And don't forget that we love you! <3
- Baty / Community Manager -
Mardi 30 janvier 2018
Status Report - 24 January 2018
We're keeping it short, but sweet this week - we've got some changes in the team, and so along with his regular dev update, Eugen is taking the time to thank some of his team members and to say goodbye. Since we're at saying good byes, Peter is finally done with having apple tree and stone texture spamming in the game, and hints at our new dynamic ambient loot spawning. Finishing off the dev part, we have Mirek teasing bits about the infected movement, and our Audio Designer Filip sharing his latest and greatest. As always, Baty adds your awesome community content, and the ever famous Status Report riddle! let's get to it, survivors.
When something ends, something else begins. As I mentioned in the Year in Review video, it's always hard losing team members, but it's a necessary part of the development cycle. Lots of people have joined the team over the last four years, growing from a strong core into a large, two-studio production with almost 80 developers full time. Some are moving on to new challenges, and I wanted to thank them for their contribution to what DayZ should be. A monumental undertaking that all these people were part of.
My thanks go specifically (but not exclusively) to Andrej Sinkević (who is moving back home to take care of his family) for overseeing the creation of new weapons sounds, environment sounds, and making sure we are expanding upon the options available.
My thanks also go to our Environment Designer Senchi for making Chernarus exciting again, for his passion, for thinking outside the box and for trying new things.
At the same time, I would like to introduce Filip Čenžák, who will be taking over the DayZ responsibilities in our Audio Department, and will be sharing what's coming here in Status Reports :). Good luck, Filip!
Even though we've said a couple of good-byes early this year, the work hasn't stopped and we have progressed significantly. So let me go over the updates that we have seen on our internal build - there are some exciting things we have been working on:
We've had a prone review meeting last week in order to look over what's next for the feature, and we have started tweaking the turn animations and bugs with collisions in different parts of the prone animation.
Right now, we're working on a script implementation to make ladders available ingame, as most of the stuff is almost ready. We will definitively come back and check the data and overall ladder setup again once this part of the game becomes testable.
Another iteration of melee combat is now available in-game, with new heavy and light attack modes, new evades, bug fixes for targeting, and animations for melee with ranged weapons - those are ready to get into the animation graph for quick tests.
We are trying to unify the spawning in-game to use one spawn function, and we're refactoring dynamic ambient spawning system for specific situations around the player. Peter shares more about this in his part.
Work has again started on vehicles, as the Enfusion Engine hierarchy for entities gets further in its development. Our focus is on the refactor with creation of locals pace, and real player character being in the vehicle rather than a dummy character. If you remember, there were issues like entering a vehicle and crashing, which would teleport you back to where you entered the vehicle, simply because the system didn't really allow for something being inside of a vehicle - it was all dummy characters and lot of improvised hacks.
The camera has progressed further through several bug fixes, and we are starting to go through ingame data and collisions to fix objects with wrong collisions, which of course benefits more features than the camera itself.
We have finally started again the work on the infected, as the player character features are getting in better shape. Mirek has started a refactor on sensory mechanics, jumping, and combat, and we are going to have a longer discussion on our expectations tomorrow.
Besides the specifics above, the weapon team is getting through the expected list of weapons for experimental at a steady pace, implementing the new features for every weapon, adding all the animations and making sure everything works as intended. At the same time, we have people tackling issues of the last inventory implementation or looking into the server browser back-end.
And I'm going to shut up now and get back to work! ;)
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
Search for apples, now something of an iconic user action is gone forever. The same goes for every other search action present in the old DayZ!
As you know, search actions were added as a placeholder to broaden the possibilities of survivalism, and promoting the hermit playstyle in terms of gathering food and other useful nature resources - may it be rocks, sticks or feathers. Driven by a random number generator, which I’m really not a fan of, it was nearly impossible to balance the outcome of these actions. They were open to abuse by limitations of the old animation system, and they also didn’t make sense from a visual point of view.
Now, the part of Central Economy which deals with dynamic spawning is able to also spawn such ambient loot as apples, rocks or mushrooms. Dynamically spawned ambient resources are linked with static objects in the map, for example apples are linked with apple trees and rocks with stone paths or bigger rocks.
As mentioned these items are spawned dynamically around players, and they are capped from the side of a linked object, as well as by a total maximum amount available of that specific loot type (e.g. max 3 apples per tree, 100 apples total). Once a player leaves the area, ambient loot is despawned when its lifetime ends. Of course, as it’s part of Central Economy, it’s all properly synced, and all players will see the same ambient loot in any given area. Our solution is also friendly to server performance.
I’m really happy that we were able to finally add such feature as it puts emphasis on our physical approach to design, and provides a more authentic feel to the overall experience.
When you see it, you can take it... see you in Chernarus, folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
Hello survivors, not much has changed since the last Status Report. We're still dealing with pretty much the same tasks as last time, there's just one little change. We've started the work on improving the infected a little bit earlier. Currently, we're focused mostly on improving stealth mechanics, which means adding some new features for AI sensors and tweaking their parameters. Together with AI sensors, we're adding some new animations for movement. Here's a small teaser of three new movement variations. You can see that the movement is still not ideal, especially when the infected is making sharp turns, but rest assured, we will improve this - the animations are already prepared, we just need to spend time on the implementation.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Programmer
Hi all, Filip here! As Eugen already mentioned, I'll be taking over most of the audio-related tasks from Andrej - and that includes writing the Status Reports for you!
The sound department is focused on character sounds now. We could finally implement footstep sounds with the animation system as we intended. That meant creating a new animation event for every footstep in all animations. It took a while, but now we can synchronize footstep sounds with animations with much better accuracy. There are still some technical issues that have to be solved, so we hope that the programmers will find some time for us in their busy schedule.
The second major feature we are working on now is attachment sounds. That means cloth rustle, backpack or weapon sounds when the character is moving. We have a working prototype, which will allow us to have different foley sounds for different types of clothes or other things you can wear. For example, it will allow us to have different cloth rustle sounds for shirt and leather jacket. In the final mix, the sonic differences will be small, but still noticeable and should create bigger immersion for players.
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
You are important to us and we are glad to see all your content. We don't want to keep it just for ourselves, so let's share it!
Do you know BIBIX? He is a streamer from France and a true DayZ fan. He decided to visit the real Chernarus this week and to come greet us in Prague on the way. He took a photo with Peter Nespesny and visited Stary Sobor. We hope you enjoyed your trip, BIBIX!
When I visited the DayZ Steam community, I have found this nice artwork by Mr. Boogie. Simple and beautiful.
Eiemoja is a loyal DayZ fan with more than 2900 hours in the game and is also an enthusiastic artworker. If you are interested in his work, here is his Steam collection.
This picture by M.J.D. shows the last moments in the life of the owner of a village pub from Chernarus. I like hidden stories like this one.
And when we are talking about stories, I fell in love with this one. It is romantic and sad at the same time. Good work!
"Close to retirement, an older couple, Archeologist and Chemist, traveled to Chernarus to look for out-of-place artifacts when they are hit with the outbreak. They stop at nothing to remain together through it all."
I know we had M1NDR here last time, but this is one really entertaining video! He met Jessica the medic. But he didn't know how much she loves blood…
We can see a lot of Snapchat filters on DayZ characters lately. There is a Reddit thread dedicated to it and people are adding their creations.
Snap face is really freaky ...
Let's solve the riddle.
The answer to the last question was "Kumyrna". It is an old, abandoned town on a mountain plateau directly south of Guglovo.
The wall of fame:
Question of this Status Report:
Near which town is this place located? Send me your answer to our official Twitter account!
Thank you for your amazing work everyone and see you in two weeks!
It's been only a bit over two weeks in 2018, but we're already seeing some nice progress in DayZ Development! Eugen is providing a quick summary of our current production, Mirek and Viktor detail their ongoing work on the new player character (among other things), and Adam opens up 2018 in style with a major update regarding watercourses on Chernarus! As always, Baty closes with your community content - this time rather unsurprisingly focused on the bygone holiday season! There's also one song included, though. Let's go, it's the first Status Report of the year!
The year of DayZ is here, and the first two weeks of it are behind us. I'll be looking over the decision making and work happening during the recent ramp up, with the entire team fully focused on 0.63 Experimental build delivery. We looked over the state of the game more energised after the holiday break, and came up with a selected subset of experimental features that will get us to a playable game state as soon as possible.
Even with this goal of fast implementation in mind, we understand how critical it is to, after all the time with legacy builds, get the game out in a good state. Making sure that the long standing issues that bother us all the most get fixed for once: performance, stability, cheating prevention, and functional gameplay mechanics.
We are aiming for a good balance of polish and progress, but don't get me wrong: 0.63 Experimental and BETA are still going to represent an Early Access game, sothere will be issues. On the other hand, we will also work with a faster iteration speed to fix the remaining issues, to implement remaining content and features from our BETA/Experimental goals, and to go through all your valuable feedback.
The past two weeks were spent on actionable items mostly within the player character feature set. I'll try and explain in more detail what are we dealing with right now:
Polishing prone mechanics
Besides waiting on polished animations and player prone turns, we still need to deal with limitations of weapon movement and ground collision. It's slick as hell though
Tweaking the new melee combat prototype
Moving to last iteration should bring us closer to final state and give us time to balance things out - damage and speed-wise
There were some changes to control scheme and targeting options
Implementation of Inverse Kinematics on player's legs
Huge step towards a right balance of player turns
Functional system that prevents extreme zig-zagging and visual fidelity of movement
Cleaning up error logs
Also looking into slimming the data and getting more order into current state of things
We do come back regularly to clean up the mess in logs and error messages in order to keep them in a readable state
The nearest major step in the new player movement implementation
Still needs more work on code, but script implementation is already waiting to be switched on
More details in Mirek's part
There is a lot more work that has been done in these two weeks, but some of it is just at its very beginning. After we're done with the new player character, you'll see more stuff done on the infected side of things. The same goes for vehicles and helicopters - once they are working and we have them in some presentable state on 0.63, you'll be the first to know!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
Hello survivors, I'm afraid I don't have much to show you visually today, because a large amount of our work is still in progress. In any way, I will at least compile a short list of what we're currently working on in the programming team:
Client side prediction of inventory actions
this ultimately means preventing network lags when players manage their inventory
the implementation is now done, we're fixing bugs that this change introduced in the game
Player Character - Inverse kinematics for legs
the implementation is almost ready
Player Character - Movement on ladders
work is in progress, we're hoping to show some visuals in the next Status Report
Central Economy - Dynamic spawn of items around players
a system that can spawn items like stones, sticks or mushrooms around the player
this is in a prototype stage
we need to review the prototype with our game designers
3rd person camera collisions
improvements in camera collisions prediction
we're happy with the implementation now, but there's more tweaking to be done during BETA
I hope you're not too disappointed for now, but I believe we're getting pretty close to showing you you more visual content in the following Status Reports, as we're making progress towards connecting new animations for the infected, as well as character's animations related to vehicle interaction. These will keep us busy in February.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer -
Hi there! The animation department is currently focused on a couple of player character features. Last week, there was a small motion capture session where we recorded a bunch of missing animations for prone, combat, ladders, as well as first batch of unconscious state animations.
Do you remember the prone GIF from the previous status report? Well, we have progressed with the prototype of this new prone behavior a bit. At the moment, the player character is able to turn on his back freely with every item, as well as aim and shoot with weapons. We have only the placeholder animations implemented at this point, so it's an ideal time to start replacing them with polished ones.
The melee combat has seen some iterations and on the last week's mocap session - we have captured some new animations for this part of the game as well. Among others, we recorded butt-stock, bayonet, pistol and other melee attacks with firearms. We will work on these in the upcoming weeks.
Our next focus will be ladders. We have adjusted the animation graph and prepared some enter/exit animations for that over the past couple of weeks. Of course, we also continue on weapon animations, as well as adjusting existing vehicle animations. The player character movement has received some love as well. The rework of turns is progressing well, with great results as you can see in the attached GIF.
We are now looking forward to the inverse kinematics on feet, which is being worked on at the moment by programmers. This will provide us with an additional set of improvements, and will take care of unwanted sliding that is still present during movement.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator -
If you have seen my Q&A video (Part 1, Part 2), you may remember that I touched upon the commonly asked subject of having actual flowing water in our environment. In our everlasting effort to have one of the most immersive game worlds ever created, I am proud to announce that at last, we've made significant progress towards having proper watercourses! Unless something goes wrong, this will be available for all of you to check out in 0.63:
Watercourses are really important to the landscape - simply because they add a sense to what we are trying to recreate. In real life, it is completely normal to go down into the valley and find at least a small stream or some kind of wet area. And like a power-line, a road, a railway or even a tourist trail, finding a watercourse can help you navigate within the game world. Will you go up against the flow, or down? The choice is yours.
The days of the legacy renderer and the limitations we had to deal with when creating other-than-ocean water are long gone, and with the recent engine improvements made, namely:
Ability to have multiple water materials per map
Ability to define wave animation using the flow-map
Ability to have a floating water moss
we can now improve the visual quality of our static water bodies, and also implement watercourses. We can now visually distinguish different water bodies on Chernarus (some can be dirtier than others) while still having multiple materials for watercourses.
Our current implementation considers two types of a watercourse:
Narrow and shallow watercourse
Used mostly inside small valleys
They either connect to another stream or into small river
Wide and shallow watercourse
Used in major valleys
They form multiple streams and connect to the sea
They have a name
Since our game world is spread across 225 square kilometers, we have decided that our implementation has to be something we can recreate within such large scale. The approach is quite straightforward - we first prepare a stream/river bed by simply carving out the terrain where needed, and then we use different stream/river model parts (similarly to railways, roads) to fill the river bed with it.
Some stream/river parts even have several variants with rocks and custom flow-map to simulate the flow of water around the obstacles, but we of course also focus on adding additional details around the watercourse when we feel it still lacks something. Stream/river beds also have a gravel ground texture (the same surface you have on the coast and is commonly used to collect stones).
This implementation, however, has its downside to it as well - our terrain resolution of 7.5 meters makes some stream/river beds weird looking due to jagged edges. We try our best to mask it out whenever we can, but it is not an easy task. You may say, why not increase the resolution? While we would probably find a way how to make the 3.75 meter resolution working (performance wise), at this point in development, such detailed grid would end up not being used on most of the map anyway - terrain resolution often defines the way you design things within your environment (mainly when it come to hilly areas). We can't just go and rework everything again (just to utilize the existing option), so I feel like increased terrain grid would mostly be nothing more than an FPS sinkhole at this point.
Also, I would like to mention the fact that there are no physical currents, dropping an item won't make it float downhill and given the shallow stream/river beds, do not expect an ability to traverse the map using some kind of a boat either. Most of the stream/river beds were designed in a way that you can traverse them without swimming, so it is up to you whether you cross (and get wet) or invest some time and find a bridge or a rock to take you to the other bank.
We are in the process of evaluating the impact of watercourses on the navmesh (AI navigation), and it is also important to note here that at this point in time, the new player implementation is missing interactions with any water (sea, lake, streams...), so exact behaviour will have to be tested, but it is good that the watercourse solution is ready in data and environment, so it is something we can work with while implementing the interactions of player character and water bodies within the environment.
We are also looking into further visual improvements to the way water flows/collides, and we're also adding local particle effects for smaller waterfalls, including some kind of audio samples to stream/river model parts.
So, you may ask - when can we expect watercourses on Chernarus? Our progress in this whopping landscape task can be divided into four stages:
1.Analysis and prototyping of the watercourse solution 2.Adding watercourses to the western areas of Chernarus 3.Rework of existing old stream-like ponds network 4.Adding new watercourses and connecting reworked streams (from 3rd point)
As I have already mentioned in my Q&A, western areas that have been reworked in the update 0.62 already have stream and river beds prepared (I am sure many of you noticed that already). This was really convenient for us, as we could use them to prototype best shapes for stream/river model parts. And it did not end just at the prototyping stage - I am happy to announce that 17 kilometers of watercourses have been already implemented there, and will be available for all of you to check out in 0.63.
But what about the other points? We, unfortunately, cannot give you any ETA for that as of now. We do have quite extensive watercourse network planned and obviously, we would like to implement it over the whole landscape, but it unfortunately is not a simple task, and it's something to work on even after the 1.0 release. We will keep you updated on the progress though.
These are really exciting times, thanks for reading and see you in Chernarus!
- Adam Franců / Senior map designer -
I am really glad for the amazing feedback we got from the Christmas update. You sent us tons of screenshots and videos with Christmas themes and I saw them all (at least I hope!). We decided we will keep the Christmas boxes until at least the end of January, because we know you like them a lot!
Santa Joshua was in Chernarus and he had a bodyguard with him, just in case. Chernarus isn't a safe place to bring presents, you know:
Another Santa BrianM sends greetings from his travels through the post-apocalyptic world:
And Miklós Tóth probably killed the Santa and took all his presents just for himself:
We've found some beautiful New Year greetings on our social networks:
This one is from Reddit user Wargasm011 - a New Year greetings card in Chernarus style!
Another one is from the French server The Team Onu. What a beautiful artwork!
But Christmas is gone now, so let's check some of your best moments in DayZ.
The Nomad Gaming is known in the community as a professional long sharp-stick killer. He put his best funny moments into one video, where you can see his skill, funny bugs, or how he trolls other players:
TopeRec made a best-of video from his stream again. He tried some role-play as Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead and it is pretty funny:
Streamer M1NDR became a hostage and someone tried to save him… but it didn’t go as he planned.
What about some real life things?
Partypomcer has shown to all people from Reddit that he lives in a landscape similar to Chernarus (Northern Arkansas). Look at the barn in the distance!
Tikacika sent us a new decoration he created on his wall. It is a vinyl DayZ logo and he made it by himself! Good job!
And the last content from the community is a song! I love DayZ songs so bad, I have a list of them in my phone and I listen to them almost every day.
This new one is called Hotel Chernarus, it was made by WiseManLofty and it is pretty cool, but we'll never forgive you the part about Adam and trees… ;)
The answer to the last question was "The house is between Stary Sobor and Rogovo."
The fastest responses were from these survivors:
R. A. Raygor
Frank the Tank
1 eyed gamer
The question of this Status Report is:
What is the name of this place?
Send me your answers to our official Twitter account and your name can be here next time!
That is all from me today, have a nice game and see you in two weeks!