Following the 0.63 Experimental release last week we are back with our Status Report. Today, Eugen gives us an update on the state of development, while Viktor and Adam from the animation team show us what they've been up to for the past couple of weeks. Our Map Designer Adam demonstrates changes to the weather system and we get some insights into the audio progress by our Sound Designer Filip. And of course we close with our community highlights, let's dive into it!
the Experimental release is behind us, but the work does not stop here. So I would like to look at the issues present, troubling the community playing this version and also talk about the internal development that has happened and features you'll be seeing very soon on the Stress Test and Experimental branch. We kept both of the branches active to make sure we don't break Experimental too often and have features coming into it with more polish. While 0.63 is heavy on new technology, we know it's quite light on content. But you will be able to enjoy a lot of the new stuff in the upcoming weeks.
The issues that take longest to iron out are related to the stability of client and server, and problems that would end up interrupting your play sessions for various reasons. From locked characters, to server kicks or just unexpected crashes to desktop. Things are getting better, but there is more to be done in this regard and we continue to monitor the situation and apply fixes to make sure we eliminate this as soon as possible. We know its not there yet and its our top priority.
We should also talk about our plan to make the Experimental servers available to server owners currently running their communities. Sadly this had to be slightly postponed due to changes necessary for GDPR and memory leaks wreaking havoc on stability and performance. These seem to be fixed as of today, so very soon you will be able to switch over and enjoy the updated version with your fellow community members on your own terms.
In terms of development, we are currently moving along quite nicely with only small delays in features planned out internally. The benefits of the new technology are already showing themselves in the pace of implementation. We are also looking into possible solutions to issues that currently cause these delays and make sure we deliver. Let's go over the current state of development and features themselves.
We can consider finished for Experimental phase:
UI Main Menu
Goat - Animal
Last week we have moved/continue to the review/bug fixing of:
UI Server Browser
Weapon/Item Swap Action/Animation
Gathering Ambient Loot
Vehicles - Open/Close doors
Vehicles - Attach/Detach vehicle parts
This week is dedicated to the internal implementation of:
Weapons - Double Barrel
New Input System
Collisions during melee
So you might be asking yourself when these things hit Stress Test and Experimental branches. We plan to switch over a bunch of these very soon, and you can expect to have these available in batches over the coming weeks. However, we want to aim for at least unconscious state to be finished in different edge cases. As of now, there are still small issues with ladder/water unconscious state interactions that are not ready for the Stress Test, but this week we should see them fixed and as such moved to the Stress Test branch alongside many other new features and content.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
Hello everyone, today I would like to share with you in this short update what the animation team has been working on for the past weeks and what is going on at the moment. Obviously, the player character is important to us, so we continue improving its behaviour and what it can do.
At the moment, we are revisiting some of the animations and improving them, or replacing them with better ones. This includes melee combat and its attacks. There have been some animation changes to better represent which item is the player attacking with, like a new sprint-attack with the baseball bat. Also, a lot of work has been put into finger poses so that the character is holding various items the best way it can. Some of the recent animation additions include the new IZH43 animation set, and some gestures like nodding head, shrug, and "OK".
One of the more significant improvements to player locomotion is the ability to jump over obstacles. The feature is still work-in-progress, as well as the animations, but the character is now able to overcome small objects that are in his way by jumping over them. We are now in the process of adding all the animation variations for different directions and items in hands. At the same time, our programmer is working on the climbing for players and soon, we will start implementing animations for it.
As we also started tidying up some animations and features, there is an ongoing work on player actions. This includes polishing of existing animations, some graph tweaks, but also some new animations to better visualize what the character is doing. Our Technical Animator Adam will share more details on what was happening over the past weeks regarding various animation improvements related to these actions.
Make sure to check out the gifs for the baseball bat attack and cutting down bushes.
- Viktor Kostík / Lead Animator -
Dev Update/Adam Oresten
For the past couple of weeks, I have been hard at work revamping, tweaking, and creating animations for many various actions. User actions are the backbone of the game, and as such, they require thought out implementation; what items can they be done with? What stances are they realistic in? Should the character be able to move during the action? All of these play a huge role in their realization, concept, and execution.
I’ve implemented animations for on back actions (mainly important ones; drinking, eating, etc), tweaked some action animations to be faster or slower and cutting out unnecessary parts, depending on which type of action. I’ve also created and implemented animations for placing heavy items (barrels, generators, etc) and smaller items (bear traps, mines, etc), and I’ve also revamped the horticulture action animations, such as cutting down a tree with a two-handed axe, or one-handed hatchet, cutting down bushes, and getting bark from trees with knives or machetes. As a part of these actions, I also implemented some smaller QoL (quality of life) representative action animations for viewing compass and viewing the map to properly convey what the player is currently doing.
We’re in “full steam ahead” mode with the actions and their corresponding animations, and every week we’re working on new actions and polishing the animations for the ones we already have!
- Adam Oresten / Technical Animator -
Dev Update/Adam Franců
In our Status Report from 22 November 2016, we shared our plans to upgrade SimulWeather/TrueSky - a 3rd party library used to render volumetric clouds in DayZ. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we had to ultimately cancel this plan and rather focus our attention on the current implementation that is present in DayZ since the beginning of Early Access. This has not only allowed us to make necessary performance adjustments but also to take a closer look at the visuals of clouds and what could be improved within the limits of the current implementation. Here is a short summary of what has been changed:
Regarding performance improvements we have reached a point, where we have decided to remove the ability to disable volumetric clouds on the client side - this change will take an effect once revamp of graphical options is finalized. There have been major changes in the cloud configuration, which are mainly aimed to make the clouds more visible and distinct from the skybox background. We improved the interaction of fog (in distance and height) and volumetric clouds, so that clouds should blend better with the horizon when it is foggy.
The silver lining effect of clouds has been greatly boosted during the early to late sunrises and sunsets. The movement speed of clouds during windy conditions has been reduced and we've brought additional improvements to the skybox background textures (overcast-dependent) along with some minor tweaks to the global lighting config to support the changes in the skybox and volumetric clouds.
In addition to the changes of clouds, we have also taken a look again at the visuals of rain. These new changes include:
Closeup raindrops are much more visible now.
Re-added effect that tries to visualize light refraction on raindrops.
Fogginess parameter has been tweaked so the rain blends better with the background.
Closeup rain drops are more visible during the night-time around light sources.
Rain speed has been increased.
Both clouds and rain changes should be available to test once the next major Stress Test branch update happens. We are looking forward to your feedback on these improvements!
- Adam Franců / Map Designer -
Dev Update/Filip Čenžák
The latest sound feature we started to work on are voice sounds for the character. So far we've implemented breathing when the character runs out of stamina, the sounds for holding breath while aiming in iron sight mode. and hit reactions when the character takes damage. We plan to add more sounds to create a more immersive character representation. Some of the sounds will be connected to animations, like grunts while jumping, or picking up heavy items, or sounds to emphasize melee combat. Others should be connected to character states, like the feeling of hunger or representation of disease.
So far, all sounds are placeholders and in some cases, only male sounds are played.
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
Hello everyone, the last two weeks were both really exciting and busy for us.
The release of Experimental was a big milestone all of us have been looking forward to for a long time. Even though we are aware of some issues on Experimental, we are happy, that you finally can play 0.63 almost whenever you want. If you haven't done it already, check our Highlight page featuring all the good stuff from this update!
Another big event was our Community Live Stream. We knew that just a day after the release of 0.63 Experimental, there were going to be a lot of questions. Unfortunately, after announcing the stream, our beloved Eugen got sick and it was clear, that he wouldn’t be able to attend the stream. We still wanted to hold on to our promise and decided to take it as an opportunity to do our first Community Live Stream. We introduced new members of our Community team, opened Boydy's package (thanks again!) and tried to answer as many questions as possible even without the devs.
As I said before, we had a Community Live Stream. I just want to explain what it means. In future, we want to stream in two formats – a developer and a community stream. On developer streams, you can expect information directly from devs and detailed answers for your questions. The second format is more community-related. Our community team wants to talk with the community about events, content from creators and all the stuff from you because you are really important to us. We tried the first community stream and we had a lot of technical difficulties (as always, it is not fun without it, is it?). Here is the VOD from the stream:
You asked who made the music on the stream. It is a member of our community from the Netherlands called L_K_P1 who makes DayZ inspired music and we love it in the dev team! The song from the stream is named DayZ meme and here it is if you are interested:
Do you need a new wallpaper? I have a cool one for you made by ChernoMerlo from the DrDesync’s screenshot.
And here is another one. I have it on my desktop already!
Shane O’Sullivan sent me a really interesting piece of a newspaper. It is named Bohemian Post and he made it by himself. There you can find news about the infection spreading across Chernarus.
Now I want to show you a special project by DayZUnderground called #TwitterPlay. It is an interactive DayZ story within Twitter and it is updated daily. People are making a story through their votes in polls and they can decide what happened with a survivor, about whom the story is. It is a really nice idea and we love it! Join the story and make your own part! You can find the latest part here.
Cage, who we met personally at Pax East, sent us his custom advertisement inspired by our Nota Cola and Pipsi drinks and they are pretty creative.
And the last two pieces of content are videos. The first one is a cinematic trailer about surviving in Chernarus and it is sick. Everyone from the dev team loves it, this is amazing work by HookOak Productions!
The last short clip is made by our loyal member NeuroticEUROtic and he is sharing his feelings when Experimental was near.
Time for a riddle. The riddle from the latest Status Report wasn't so hard, the rock is situated on the North-West of Svetlojarsk above the train yard. Who guessed it right?
This time we prepared this picture with Adam:
If you know where is it, tweet it to our official Twitter account with #DayZriddleTime and you can be on the wall of fame next time. Thank you guys for your content and I hope you will share your creation with us next time!
- Baty / Community Manager -
Mardi 5 juin 2018
Status Report - 5 June 2018
To start off this Status Report, we are going to let Stress Test #18 run over night, so have a good time. Today, Eugen is going to talk about the upcoming weeks as our Stress Test versions gain more and more stability. Peter gives an introduction to the conditions of our new Central Economy system and Adam explains the ongoing changes to the Balota airfield. We close with some of the most memorable highlights of our community. Let's dive into it!
As we are pushing a large amount of fixes into the current Stress Test Branch, our aim is to stabilize the build enough to launch an Experimental Branch that will be available on official Experimental severs, as well as community servers, as server owners will be able to switch over. We expect the 0.62 Stable to be played less often and we will move server resources to Experimental depending on the player interest.
We expect a couple more Stress Tests to be happening this week, aimed at least a couple fixes for crashes and locked character issues. We would like to confirm these fixes over the next couple of days and have the build available during the weekend for an extended Stress Test. This will be the version we will be launching for all the players interested in moving to experimental.
In the meantime, we have planned out the features that will be reviewed and connected to the new engine. This is done on the Internal branch of development and will move over to the Experimental in bundles. Last week we have moved to review/bug fixing of:
Chambering loop (Enabling weapon classes such as the Mosin in-game)
Character - Unconsciousness
UI - Main Menu Polished
Sensors audibility/visibility (Infected)
When these features will hit experimental, soon after the Experimental release we expect to switch over and keep doing Stress Tests for the newer builds before they move on to Experimental. The process itself is focused on connecting these features to the new character as a lot of them have been under development for a long time now. Each week we aim to deliver the implementation and dedicate the second week to bug fixing. Switching these over to Experimental will be done depending on the feature review and the community feedback that might affect priorities.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
The new Central Economy (CE) is in charge of the spawn and clean up of items, infected, animals, vehicles and dynamic events. It is easier to setup than the old CE and allows us to be more flexible with the categorization and areas of occurrence. A more precise placement can be achieved as well. After a series of internal tests during its implementation, we deployed it to DayZ 0.63. The CE is a complex system, as its behaviour develops over time and reacts to player interaction. Testing on our side was limited in scale and time.
To check how the new Central Economy is behaving on a mass scale in the wild, we gathered data during the 11th Stress Test. From 18.5. to 20.5. we saved the storage files every hour across all servers which were constantly under full load. Loading this data back into the game allowed us to reconstruct how the CE behaved over time.
From all the items spawned by the CE we picked the ones that are crucial for survival - food (beans, spaghetti, peaches, sardines, tuna), drinks (Cola, Pipsi, Spite, Kvass, water bottle) and firearms (Makarov, FNX45, Skorpion, IZH18, MP5, UMP45, AKM). The presented data is from the UK 0-8 server. The overview maps show where these items were spawned over time and similarly, the graphs show their overall quantity on the map over time (note that one dot means at least one item or more). To put things into context there is also a map of character spawn areas.
Areas of character spawns along the coast.
An animated occurrence of food across the map from Friday to Sunday.
Amounts of food across the map from Friday to Sunday.
Positions of food in the map at its lowest, Saturday 11:00.
Amounts of drinks across the map from Friday to Sunday.
Positions of drinks on the map at their lowest, Saturday 09:00.
Amounts of firearms across the map from Friday to Sunday.
Positions of firearms on their map at their lowest, Saturday 15:00.
From available data granularity, it can be seen that in general, there have been enough food and drinks across the map to survive, as well as firearms to provide empowerment of survivors. Interestingly, the sum of all initially spawned food in 0.62 is lower than the sum of all spawned food at their minimal quantity in 0.63 (when an item hits its minimum threshold it will start to respawn back to its initial value). It would be nice to see players adapting to a new mindset of getting prepared before starting their next trip by checking more houses and structures at their location.
However, there are things which will be addressed down the road to improve the CE behaviour and its balance. It’s clear that some parts of the map are rather empty, especially in the bottom right corner. In such cases, areas for character spawns will be tweaked and more structures will be added where it makes sense. That goes hand in hand with lowering the safe radius around characters which prevents items to pop up, as in high traffic areas this can cause the lockout of entire cities.
Next, it’s the settings of the CE itself playing the decisive role. The randomisation of the lifetime of more common items has to be set in a greater range, as we noticed there were cleanups of large amounts at once causing noticeable dips. Moreover, the difference between nominal and minimal values of an item makes items spread across map even more unevenly. Most importantly, the short time frame we had to ‘boot up’ the new Central Economy and the truncated list of given items to spawn, led to a sub-optimal items categorization and defined tier zones. This is the area of the CE which will become crucial when more items start to flow back into the game and we really need to nail it.
With the new Central Economy we definitely have a great toolset to tune loot and its distribution as good as possible, but given the nature and complexity of it, it will take some time.
Let the looting begin... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
As mentioned in our Status Report from April 25, we are re-designing Chernogorsk and its surroundings. If you have played on the 0.63 Stress Test Branch and visited this area, you may have seen where we are heading with this re-design. I should remind you that map changes, unlike other parts of the game, are something that is not receiving updates on the Stress Test Branch that often, because of the difficulties with the branching of map data. Anyway, I am happy to say that quite a lot of progress has been made over the past few weeks and we are nearing the final stages of polishing and optimizing the overall area.
If you have played the more recent versions of the 0.63 Stress Test Branch, you may have also noticed that we have decided to re-design the Balota airfield. This change was planned for a long time and originally set to be made at a later stage of development, but since the re-design of Chernogorsk is covering the area from Balota to Elektro, we have decided to include the Balota airfield re-design in it too. Balota is such an odd spot for any type of airfield to begin with, but we feel the need for a number of airfields across the Chernarus.
Now with the NWAF re-design close to being done, we have got a proper military airbase on the map and we feel like there is no need to have other military air bases. And so the airfield was completely de-militarised, the concrete runway was removed and the whole airfield was rotated a bit more facing inland (so the corridor is pointing away from inhabited areas). Given the relatively small and odd place, we have decided to transform this airfield into a local airstrip, maintained by a local flying club and have re-used NEAF buildings to support this idea (and if you ask, yes, we do have further plans for NEAF too, but not for 0.63). To give this newly re-designed airfield a backstory, it has been captured by the military forces, with most of its entrances sealed off by mostly improvised structures.
- Adam Franců / Map Designer -
Let's check out what the community has for us after two weeks.
I need to start with something really sad. Our community lost one of its members and a great streamer. Jen, known as Poisonantler, died under unfortunate circumstances on 8th March. We decided among the dev team to commemorate her by placing a small cross and a bench in the place where she disconnected for the last time.
Our Brand Manager Martin Čulák accepted an invitation from our favourite Australian content creator Boydy and joined him in his podcast. Check it out, you can find interesting info in the video:
I didn't expect much from a video with just walkie-talkie recording. But I was really surprised by how entertaining the video is. This is a recording of a few people's conversations from The Village server which has a very interesting ending. I really recommend to check it out.
It is good to see that hand painting is not dead. This DayZ logo on a canvas made by danyuls0n's girlfriend makes us happy. We hope it is already hanging on the wall somewhere near a PC.
I know we didn't have a location riddle for a long time. Our Twitter is now overwhelmed, because of Stress Tests, so we need to identify the riddle tweets. Just tweet the location with #DayZriddleTime hashtag and I will find it!
Following the 0.63 Stress Test weekend we are back with a new issue of our biweekly Status Report. Today, Eugen looks back at the first results from the weekend, Peter talks about missing visual indicators in the current Stress Test builds and Viktor gives a glimpse into the progress of the animation team. The Community Spotlight is defined by your first reactions to 0.63. Let's dive into it!
at first, I would like to thank you for the amazing participation during the weekend Stress Test. It has helped us to identify a number of new issues that we are investigating as I write this. Let's take a closer look at some of those issues.
Crashes and general game stability issues
There have been about 200 crashes altogether over the period of two days with a couple of different causes. Some of them are new, but most are known. Hopefully, the amount of data generated will identify the pattern to replicating these issues internally and getting them fixed.
Character locked in database
Besides the stability issues, we are still tracking situations where a player character gets locked in a database. Although happening less often than previously, this is still a major problem that is most likely tied to a server/client crash/freeze not closing the connection gracefully, and not unlocking the character as intended. We have a possible fix for these outlier issues and crashes in our internal main Development Branch of the game and should roll these out in next few Stress Tests.
Basic Central Economy balance
There is an investigation ongoing into Central Economy loot distribution. Specifically, we're looking at cases where the intended gameplay loop is not properly supported by items presented/spawned to players exploring even the most remote corners of Chernarus.
DayZ Central Economy
The Central Economy is a complex system that controls the distribution of loot across Chernarus. It's supposed to sustain a barrage of ongoing player interaction on a given server (player picking up and dropping loot, taking it across different servers...), with the goal to keep the core gameplay loop during a gameplay session challenging, encouraging players to learn, and eventually master the survival in DayZ. At the same time though, it needs to be a fun gameplay mechanic.
It's important to note that the Stress Tests are our first real opportunity to really see how the Central Economy behaves in 0.63, as we're just not able to internally reproduce the behavior of large amount of players in the game. That ultimately puts us at the very beginning of all the balancing. During Stress Tests, we are extracting economy states over periods of time to understand the players movement and their interactions. This in turn helps us understand where our priorities should be within the spawning system.
The second part of our loot/basic survival mechanic problem is the character representation itself - meaning how healthy/hungry/thirsty your character is. That sets the pace to this core gameplay loop of keeping your character fed and alive. Any potential tweaking of character representation values depends on the findings of our loot distribution tests. We will have to cover a lot of possible border cases that happen to players.
Additionally, we will (as previously suggested) also play around with the overall player numbers per server, and we will need to see how to scale the Central Economy with the player numbers going up, possibly all the way to a 100 players per server.
How do we prepare the Stress Test release packages
Since I've mentioned our internal Development Branch earlier, I also wanted to explain the process behind the scenes that goes into releasing a Stress Test itself. Internally, we have created a new branch of DayZ for data and changes that we specifically need to run public Stress Tests.
We've been merging various fixes and surgical tweaks to the game on that branch, while the regular development has been ongoing on our main Development Branch. With Stress Tests, we are trying to gather data on specific problems that require a high-stress environment with tons of players coming in and out of the server, pushing all gameplay systems to their limits. That is specifically the case with loot distribution and all player interactions tied to it.
Stabilizing these interactions and making them somewhat consistent with a decent amount of variety is our primary goal. We want you to experience that feeling of discovery when you find what you need at a certain moment. Especially if it's a rare item. Looting is a big part of the DayZ gameplay, we know how much this can affect the enjoyment from fighting for your life in Chernarus, so with each Stress Test, we set a goal and a particular combination of data that we want to gather within a specific gameplay element or system. Then, we add extra logging to these interactions, helping us to decide on the next action we should be taking.
It's only a small part of the development though. The Development Branch has seen a lot of additional optimizations already, even including fixes to several different issues that you have been experiencing, so our goal now is to leave the Stress Test branch to keep the development pace going forward. Our Development Branch is where the progress towards experimental goals happens, so it's about time we make sure this branch is viable for live playtests. To ensure we really are ready to do that switch, we will release a short Stress Test based on the code/data of that branch before we go on for another longer Stress Test.
Once again, I want to say a BIG thank you for the feedback coming in, it's what makes this community special. All of us want a great game, no doubts about it!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
In the last Status Report I was commenting on the community feedback regarding firearms in our DayZ Stress Tests. Today I will continue with different elements which are related to them.
Weapon switching animations
As is pretty obvious, the animations for swapping items from the inventory to the hand slot are missing. Especially with weapons, this creates a gameplay problem, as a lack of visual communication turns a harmless disarmed character into a threat in a split second.
Currently we are implementing these item switch animations and, along with them, we are changing one important thing - shoulder slots will be no longer be dedicated. That means you will be able to carry two long firearms or two melee weapons as needed. As we progress with 0.63, a slot for a belt will also be added, opening possibilities for an additional pistol holster, knife sheet, or quiver. A slot for the bow is considered as well, but there needs to be a bow implemented first to see how it will work with non-dedicated shoulders.
Another part missing is animation feedback of a target being hit with a projectile, as we turned that specific feature off for the Stress Test. We ran into a problem where even additive impact affected the aim of a firearm. Such an authentic affair quickly becomes a very unpleasant mechanic, preventing a reaction by putting you in a disadvantage after being hit - the only chance was that the shooter will miss or have to reload so your aim can recover in the meantime. We will have to address this issue as we would like to have animated feedback following a projectile hit.
On a different issue, bleeding and its treatment are basic DayZ mechanics. Unfortunately, without the new parent-child hierarchy, which is being implemented as we speak, we cannot pin particle emitters to the character properly and animate them with it. We've decided to postpone the visual representation of bleeding particles as well. Admittedly, this is a bad timing, as in 0.63 you have to treat every bleeding source individually. With slightly unresponsive progress arrows of the blood stat icon (more about indicators later) and no way to tell if there are some bleeding wounds left, it’s hard to say how many times you should bandage.
Apart from that, please be aware that many elements you see in the game right now have not been not through a basic balance pass just yet. From digestion, regeneration speeds and stamina, through damages of melee and projectiles to the weight of items, their sizes, and cargo spaces... it’s safe to say that basically everything will be adjusted more or less and it is connected to some degree with the lack of features, mechanics, and content, which will be added down the road during the 0.63 Experimental phase.
Oh, and it will be a ride... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
The animation team is now focused on several parts of the player character. We are now in the phase of improving and finalizing the prone system. Animations for crawling in prone on the back, which have been missing until now, are being added. The cameras and some poses are not final yet as well. And of course, after the animations are finished, we will have to do a couple of rounds of bugfixing for prone on the back before we tick it off as done.
Another important part that is in progress, is overcoming obstacles. We now have a working prototype for jumping, but we are still in the process of adding missing animations. Meanwhile, there has been some work done on climbing over higher obstacles. These are divided into multiple levels, and different animations will be played depending on the height of the obstacle.
Close combat will see some changes as well. As we want to have more variation to the combat, we are adding new animations for the baseball bat. These should better reflect the item. In the future, we want to continue with this and add more item specific attack animations.
Last but not least, there is ongoing work on firearms, vehicles, user actions, infected and also tons of general bugfixing. All of these areas are a longer term task, but you should see constant improvements in the game with everything related during Experimental. But for now, let's check out some gifs! Cheers!
- Viktor Kostík / Lead Animator -
I hope you had a weekend at least as amazing as I did! Why was it so amazing? Because of you! You were simply being a fantastic help during the Stress Test! 30 482 of you have already tried the first version of update 0.63. Wow, thank you! We've had so much feedback, that I wasn't able to read it all in just one day!
We were watching streamers the entire weekend and we are really happy to see your love for DayZ. You had a lot of fun, we saw all the emotions, it was so awesome.
For a while, DayZ was the second most watched game on Twitch this weekend, it reached more than 76 000 viewers and it has been played by some of the biggest streamers such as Summit1g, Anthony Kongphan or shroud and they were having a good time too.
You did a great job with videos this week.
I found this cinematic made by DaGuyd and it is pretty impressive. Check it out, it is only under 2 minutes long:
Another cinematic short named Loot Lost is made by our favorite Status Report reader Septic Falcon. And we like it a lot.
And here is a creepy story about a cannibal doctor who loves the flesh of his patients by MarcusGalic. Eating people is bad, isn't it? Who knows…
Look at this true hero! His name is Reginald and he is a humanitarian in Chernarus. His mission is help to people and he is very good at it:
The last video is from the well known double trouble creators - Vertiigo and MrMoon. It is a really funny story of friends lost in the wilderness - they are best friends until the hunger comes… I almost died laughing watching this video.
I love your creativity and your passion for DayZ on both real and virtual paper. Art pieces like these make me happy and I thank you for them.
This one is made by AStupidAnt from Reddit. It took him about 4 hours and he did a really good job.
This photo is from a true DayZ fan, ScarecrowCOD. He even has a gas mask! And check the painting on the wood he made. Nice!
That is all from me, have great two weeks and see you on the next Stress Test!
Following an entire week of Stress Tests, the team has gathered around to report on the results of our first public testing phases for 0.63. We’ve received so much feedback from you guys and we’re going to dive right into it; but first, there is someone you probably haven’t read in a long time!
I can't begin to tell you how great it has felt for myself, for Peter, and honestly for the whole team to see all of your reactions to the work that has been done on .63, and DayZ as a whole. For what seems like years, a big part of the team (especially Design and Animation) have worked on documentation and internal prototypes without hardly any feedback. To finally be able to start sharing some of this with you all (and thanks to platforms like Twitch, Youtube, Mixer, etc - SEE) and hear your thoughts has been the most uplifting since the Early Access launch on Steam.
It’s a good day for DayZ and the DayZ community. I can not wait for .63 to hit experimental (and stable as well of course!) and begin to be able to spend more time with you all in this new DayZ experience in longer play sessions.
With that said - I feel DayZ has reached a point in which I, much like how Dean felt years back - am no longer needed. I've spent years talking to you all, working with the team, and collaborating with Peter on where we want DayZ to be, how we want DayZ to feel. Now that you have started to see, and touch DayZ .63 I feel like our plans, our dreams are finally within grasp. Peter Nespešný and the design team have a rock-solid grasp of what DayZ is, and what it needs to be. All of our systems have been discussed, documented, and discussed again.
For the last year, I have been slowly taking more and more of a back seat (as I'm sure some of you have noticed) and tried to push folks like Peter, Adam, and others to let their voice be heard. Over that year I have made plans for what is next for me and worked for free with Peter Nespešný in a design consultant role.
I won't lie - it hasn't been easy, and there have been times where Peter and I both were uncertain about how .63 would be received, or how it would perform under full-scale load. I don't want to be a broken record - but I am so happy that all of those concerns have been washed away.
DayZ has been my life, made my life - and been so ingrained in who and what I am that I won't be able to just walk away. Hell, I've just crossed 7,000 hours between two accounts. From here, I look forward to opportunities back home in the States, being closer to family, and playing DayZ as much as I possibly can. I certainly have not forgotten my promise to TSM Smak to do a 24-hour stream when DayZ hits 1.0.
See you out there in Chernarus folks, the sun is rising and the future looks bright.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director -
before I start, I have to thank Brian for his contribution to DayZ over the years and wish him the best in his future endeavors. His passion is an inspiration to many. And I’m pretty sure we will be seeing each other in DayZ all the time :). I know we both wish for the game to grow and improve and finally testing the 0.63 has been a step in the right direction although a lot of work remains to be done.
On that note, I want to thank you for participating in the last few stress tests. Feedback is coming in from every channel and we read all of it; from our forums, Reddit, Twitter, and more. I noticed a couple of topics that are coming up, and I want you to know we will be looking at these in the testing of both stress test build and experimental. We will prioritize resolving issues depending on their severity or their impact on the gameplay, while also working on more advanced features like climbing, vehicles and base building alongside that. I want to remind everybody that these will be part of the experimental build but probably won’t appear in its first iteration. It is extremely important to test these during experimental because as soon as we move the build to the stable branch, we want to focus on bug-fixing and tweaking. Don’t forget that as soon as we hit experimental, customer servers will be able to switch over.
Now let’s get back to the things that were tested thanks to Offline DayZ being available, although it is definitely not representing the DayZ experience yet.
Distant sounds, not hearing a gun or where is it coming from, or megaphone audio not traveling far enough; all of these things require tweaking as most of the initial configuration has not seen a revision yet, we will be looking into these as we progress with experimental.
Distant lights, either a flash from a gun or a camp far far away; now these issues sadly have no simple solution, but we are talking about possibilities and will experiment with those as we get further down the development.
Inventory visuals and functionality; a lot of the underlying tech is in, and visuals are still WIP. However, there are a lot of things we want to improve and work on during the ongoing testing. We want the game to feel physical and consistent in its behavior, as well as making sure things are telegraphed to a player when they need to be, focusing on the user experience of crafting and manipulation. The idea is there it just needs a lot of bug-fixing and tweaks.
Besides the issues mentioned above there is an amazing amount of gameplay feedback, from the crosshair interactions, reload mechanics, aiming, shooting, controls, actions and more. We will be looking at what has been said and discussed and I know Peter will talk about these in much more detail over the next few status reports. As already mentioned before our next goal is multiplayer testing with infected and I’m definitely looking forward to that one!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
Two weeks passed since the first Stress Test of DayZ 0.63. In the meantime, there have been another three more Stress Tests plus we added the possibility to play in an offline mode if you are interested in trying out what’s on the table with the “new” DayZ.
During this time we gathered a lot of qualitative and constructive feedback from you - our community, which I am very glad for (read past Status Report to find more about my feelings designing something without feedback for so long). Now I would like to comment on the most important things through the Status Report, which is the most effective way on how to reach most of our players.
As most of you know, our goal is to make everything to feel as tangible as possible, so you really need to be making things over time, at least most of the core actions. In this respect, we chose to have reactive raise of hands. To maintain the active stance, in which you can endanger others or defend yourself against them, you need to hold a dedicated button. Once you remove your hands from controls, the character should be rendered as relaxed and harmless. Telegraphing intentions and what’s going on is one of the most important aspects of DayZ.
However, from feedback it seems like there is no problem with holding raise to become actionable, but more with the actual switching to iron sights while the firearm is raised. Currently, this is bound to MMB/LSHIFT, which obviously feels awkward and clunky, especially when it’s on another hand than the one controlling aim and shooting itself. One solution is to a double-click of raise and then hold it to enter ADS directly, but unfortunately, proof of concept which was available in first Stress Test, was implemented in a very crude way and it felt very unpleasant, confusing and it did not meet with understanding.
Personally, I think a chain of actions is fine, firstly I’m raising my firearm to do some immediate shooting or I enter aiming down sights to get better precision, especially on mid to long range. On the other hand, I know that I will be upset finding myself in an advantageous sniper position and having to hold raise for the whole time waiting for the right moment to strike the target. I can assure you that we are very aware of this discrepancy and we want to solve it. As many of you already suggested, and we are tending to it for some time already, the solution is to simply have raise still on hold, but ADS (aim down sights) togglable from a lowered stance. While I’m not a huge fan of such kind of “togglability” of states (you won’t believe me how much it triggers me off watching friendly survivors talking by a fire while aiming at each other's faces), we will definitely try some other ways to address this until we end up with implementing this simplest solution.
Another thing which is causing some tables flipping around is ‘hip fire’, respectively how accurate it is. Actually, it’s not hip fire, as the firearm is in the same position as while being ADS - the only difference between these two is the camera position - but for simplicity’s sake let’s call it ‘hip fire’. In the first place, it needs to be clear that ‘hip fire’ is not meant to be accurate by any means. It should be used for immediate reactions at very close ranges. Anyways advantage of it in its current state is coming from several factors. I already mentioned non-ergonomic switching to ADS above. First off we changed how the direction of the projectile trajectory is calculated while shooting from ‘hip fire’. Currently, it’s always heading from the weapon to the center of the screen. In the previous version .62, bullets were always fired out in the direction of a barrel of a gun, which didn’t make sense to anyone, which led us to introduce a floating crosshair to show where the barrel is pointing at (you kinda know to estimate that direction even when firing from hip IRL). However hunting this floating crosshair which is jumping across the screen like crazy is unpleasant and in the end, doesn’t make sense. So why not simply shoot towards the center of the screen - hence the change. Of course, the current implementation has a few worst cases where it’s not working properly or very badly to be honest, but those will be fixed one by one.
Another thing is that after the rewrite of the weapons we are missing implementation of dispersion - random cone-shaped spread defined by angle. Previously it was used as kind of an inaccuracy from the manufacturing process where long barrel weapons were most accurate and short barrel ones were least. We are not using it anymore as I think ‘fighting’ some random nonsense on mid to long ranges is over the top, as players are already challenged enough by mechanics like sway, recoil, zeroing, actual bullet speed and drop - all that combined with character movement, which is enough. However, if it’s applied only while using ‘hip fire’ it can help to introduced much welcomed inaccuracy on mid to long ranges. For now, we will try to address it with modified sway while not in ADS to see how it works out.
Next thing is the overly precise crosshair for ‘hip fire’. The former crosshair was ugly for sure, but in its size, it wasn’t precise at all, thus it was hard to assess the center of the screen, but still good enough to show the direction of shots. After a massive outcry about how ugly the crosshair is, we change its look as it is very simple to do - and to show you how a simple change can have a huge impact on gameplay, which, not surprisingly, you don’t like. In the past during internal playtest we ran a series of tests without a crosshair, but people were mostly unable to shoot anything even on close ranges during stress situations which required fast reactions. Personally, I’m for the complete removal of the crosshair, but then there are plenty of 3rd party software or monitors allowing to overlay crosshair on screen, making it unfair to those playing fair. By the way, you can disable crosshair (along with dot) from options (game>crosshair>off). Forcing disable of crosshairs will be also available server side.
As a mix of all the above, there is a possible exploit now with ‘hip fire’ where you can fire immediately after pressing the button for raising firearm where the dot can be abused for super precise aim. Of course, this will be fixed down the road.
Advanced firearms manipulation and subsequently accentuate usage of quick slots as pockets with instant access to items in them, is related to the philosophy of DayZ’s survival element - being prepared for possible things to come. Using quick slots for anything else beyond the switch of items in hands is not standard at all and it needs some time to get used to it for sure. Compared to old DayZ (.62 and previous versions), we changed loading weapons to hold-action, instead of just click, for a reason that weapons with internal magazines will be loaded continuously - same as how feeding detachable magazines works now. Next, we enriched the usage of quick slots for initiating any combining actions, basically crafting, but I have to see someone to using it like that yet, as it can save a lot of time and inventory access.
Anyways quick slots have that disadvantage that they are kind non-ergonomic, especially for hold-actions which is of course a problem. Just the fact, that R key isn’t working as it’s used to work across all action games, which is so deeply rooted standard, inflames most of the players. I would like to point out, that currently, we cannot present you the big picture, where the pieces fit together - and that’s manually charged firearms like bolt action rifles or pump shotgun - which internal magazines can be continuously loaded and have to be manually charged prior to every shot, where R is used for now as it’s manipulation using a mechanism of the weapon. Even if it will be still unclear and uncomfortable after that, we have already plan B prepared, which makes R key to behave in ways people are more accustomed to. In that case, R would reload magazine or chamber (most probably from pre-prepared items in quick slots) while holding R would manipulate with the mechanism, or unjam it in such chase. We will be able to see and evaluate once manual firearms are implemented.
There is also critique regarding weak recoil. It’s good to know, that the new system for recoil is good, however, there is only one setting used across all weapons for now if I’m not mistaken. As it was tweaked for low caliber pistol, of course, it seems very off using an AKM. Better recoil patterns will be added gradually.
From other stuff related to gunplay which is also being questioned is hold breath. To be more specific - its default keybind, which is currently set to left CTRL. At first it seems to be non-ergonomic, but on the other hand, it makes sense as it’s paired with the walk modifier. With the upcoming new input controller we will separate these actions from each other, so we will be able to bind them independently. It’s worth to mention that most actions of the new character are hardwired to the actions of the old one which is gone for a long time now. This means we are in some occasions limited in achieving the desired result (for example we are still missing hold-action for environment interaction - currently bound to F, which limits us in the introduction of continuous actions, like drinking from the pond). Until the new input controller is in I would advise you to not rebind controls as it can completely mess up a new character in some cases.
Seems like I already made it into a solid wall of text even as I wanted to comment on other stuff as well in no particular order, like weapon changing animations, bleeding, hit impacts, falling, stamina, HUD and tendency icons, headbob, fake inertia, clipping issues in FPP, inventory, infected behavior, melee combat, balancing in general, lack of content and more. But I would better stop right there and leave those for next Status Report.
Brian, thank you for all your hard work for DayZ, your passion will be missed... see you in Chernarus man!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
today, I'd like to write about current Stress Tests, how they are helpful to us programmers (especially server-side stuff) and what's the plan with next Stress Tests. Secondly, I will write about our progress on the infected.
First of all, I want to thank all of you who are participating in these Stress Test sessions. They already helped us to find performance bottlenecks, some thread deadlocks, sources of crashes and connection issues. We fixed several of these issues and we're working on the rest. We've prepared some performance optimizations, which are in our internal branch and are ready for internal testing.
Our current Stress Test scenario, where all players are spawned in the same city, is probably the worst case for server performance and network traffic. Although we're quite happy with the numbers we received, we'll continue to improve performance till DayZ hits stable in version 1.0.
The next Stress Tests scenario (I'm not sure now when it will happen) will look like your ordinary DayZ session, which means that players will be spawned at different places and infected will be present. In these sessions, we will try to continuously increase player and AI numbers to see how intense we can populate Chernarus. Please keep in mind that the AI can be still buggy in these test so don't be angry if you'll be killed by infected which went through a wall (I will explain why this is happening in next paragraph).
So, now about the infected status. Some of you have met them in our recently released offline mode and noticed that they can go through obstacles sometimes. This is known to us and it's happening because we decided to save some performance on collision detection, therefore we've disabled collisions between AI units and static objects during movement - the navigation system should keep AIs on the navigation mesh and that's the reason why we disabled this collision detection. This bug is one with the highest priority and hopefully we will fix this navigation issue soon.
About infected and their features - basic movement, stealth mechanics, and fight logic are in place and we are iterating them. Designers are tweaking infected senses, which means they are balancing how infected can spot a player depending f.e. on player's stance or clothing which they wear.
We're adding some more movement features right now - turns and crawling. Crawling will be there a little bit later because not all animations are ready now for this movement state, but here you can at least see transition animations in the game:
Turning - I think it will be best if you look at these samples, to see what that means - I believe these will make stealth and fight funnier:
And that's all for now. As you can see, stability improvements and infected are our current milestone. Hopefully next SR we will be able to show you more from other game features.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Programmer -
over the last couple of weeks, we've made several improvements. We’ve implemented ambient sound attenuation for interiors and added a smooth transition between outdoor and indoor states. The number of ambient sounds that can play simultaneously is now higher plus we’ve added a few new controllers, so sound can react more dynamically to weather changes. Regarding doors, we redesigned door open/close sounds and added over 200 new sounds in the process.
On a different issue, the localization of sound sources in 0.62 did not work very well. The visual position did not correlate with the position of the sound. Especially with animals, which you can hear over long distances, this slight offset made them hard to locate. This is why we decided to redesign vector panning. We are very happy with the changes we did for stereo configuration and now we are concentrating on surround configuration.
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
It is finally beautiful weather outside, but who cares when you can play the Stress Tests! We released four Stress Tests already as well as an offline version of DayZ and we received a lot of feedback from you. We are glad you are helping us to fix all these annoying bugs and crashes.
Let's check what you've sent us through our social networks.
This is really cool. An old friend of Sweetest_Kill gave her a DayZ-themed bat with her name on it. It is a nice gift, but please, don't use it on living creatures.
Guys, I want to show you a great video made by HandZ. It has everything - sadness, regret, violence, moral decision-making, betrayal and death. Great work HandZ, it is one of the best live action videos we ever saw.
DickieTheChamp made a cute DayZ inspired USB. It is a small can of Pipsi and I want it so bad!
If you think it is only violence and blood in DayZ, we want to show you that you are not right. You can find love there as well. Mach and FubarBundyy can confirm we are right because they met in DayZ and they fell in love with each other. They are just celebrating one year together! So adorable!
Willkillshill shared his selfie photoshoot with us, from when he was playing on one of the Stress Test session. And it is hilarious.
And now some real Chernarus thing - on Reddit, zverus showed pictures of the real Nord East Airfield named Nalivaikivka airstrip, which is located near Kiev in Ukraine. Check it out, it is really interesting:
That is everything from me today, If you have anything you want to share with us, just send it to our official Twitter account and I will check it out!
The Stress Test #1 finally happened yesterday - after years of work, we've finally let some of you play the "new DayZ", the 0.63 update. Of course, this would be the focus topic in today's Status Report, and most likely even for a couple of the upcoming Status Reports, so we have Peter and Eugen reflecting upon yesterday's events, together with Adam teasing a small bit of his work on Chernarus! Let's read.
Dear DayZ players. Some of you had the chance to try the 0.63 Stress Test yesterday. The team is going through the feedback as I write this text, and we will try and push changes over the next couple of Stress Tests. The stability of the build was quite okay, but it still needs to be looked at as we've had 25 server crashes across the 52 servers that were available yesterday. We expected the crashes to be a lot more severe, so we're happy with the first iteration in this case. If you encountered any client crashes, the best thing you can do is to go to our Feedback Tracker and follow our guide on getting the right files and information to us. For those worried that they didn't get in, don't worry, there are more Stress Tests planned and I'll talk about how we want to approach them more today.
The biggest issue yesterday was the BattlEye kicks affecting everybody. We are working to figure out why there were timeouts in the communication with BattlEye, however, this is almost impossible to test internally (needs thousands of players), so we will try and make changes to the current system, and stop the gameplay interruption caused by it.
On the note of the second most common issue, which is the character lockout in a database. Its an anti-dupe system that makes sure that you're not game the system by saving your character with items that you have dropped on a server. There is still tweaking to be done to this system, and we will go through the logs and cases where it just didn't do what it was supposed to do.
Regarding any of the gameplay issues and bugs happening: most of them are known, and we will come up with solutions and test them out in the upcoming Stress Tests that will happen going forward. So how are we going to approach the next few weeks really depends on how quickly we deal with the last stability issues. Whatever the case may be, however, the next big test for us and the DayZ servers is going to be AI (infected and animals). Once we are ready to test the performance with them, you'll be seeing different setups of player items, spawn points etc. to test different parts of the game under high-stress conditions.
the first bunch items on the fixing menu are crashes, and the two biggest issues already mentioned: BattlEye timeouts and character lockouts. We will try to get changes in for the next Stress Test to either get more information and/or lower the impact. The client freezes that you might have experienced are next on the list, and we have fixes in our main Internal branch that we want to port over to the Stress Test branch. Looking forward to the next Stress Test already!
A BIG thanks to all of you participating and helping us with the Stress Test #1. Don't forget to send us your feedback either through the Forums or the Feedback Tracker and let's get this ball rolling in the right direction. The engine is here, now we want to make the game better!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
Yesterday, with the first Stress Test available for a limited amount of time, you had a chance to finally try out the recent build of the new DayZ - a build that will evolve into 0.63 Stable (aka DayZ BETA) in its final form over the coming months.
We've spent tons of time developing the new DayZ (I personally call it DayZ 2.0 as it’s significantly different) alongside with its predecessor, which was ultimately terminated with the 0.62 version that's now on the Stable branch. It was definitely a long, winding and bumpy road. To be honest, we are still not at its end yet, but I’m glad we were brave enough to take that road!
Versions you are able to test out during the series of Stress Tests have plenty of new stuff and a whole lot of changes made on the granular level. It’s clear, and completely understandable that the new take on DayZ's game design and direction with most mechanics, features, and systems can feel "inappropriate" at first, and can create a lot of drama in the community - possibly even divide it. Especially since with some things, we are certainly far from the usual game industry standards. However, DayZ has never strived to be another ordinary game, and that is not going to change.
Of course, these are not changes made for the sake of changes themselves. As stated many times before, we are focused on making the DayZ gameplay to feel genuine by adding as much of actual physicality to it as possible.
That’s why we've decided to take some unusual design directions, which introduced many new things to the gameplay mix: a dominant hand slot, where all interactions with items now take place. An enhanced usage of quick slots, allowing you to execute combine actions with items in hands. A reactive raising of hands and advanced firearms manipulation. Even loading magazines with bullets, and many other mechanics and features cross the usual/familiar video game boundaries. Only that way we can deliver an authentic, strong, and unmistakable user experience of playing DayZ.
I’m very proud and happy to see such positive feedback from you, our players, on the design we have been sitting on for ages. Over the time, it’s very easy to start breaking apart from the reality and to be honest, I was getting pretty nervous before the release of Stress Test, thinking about how it will be accepted. It turned out to be a stunning sanity check. I want to emphasize that a lot of the stuff in Stress Tests is still in a placeholder stage, largely just being unfinished or unbalanced. We are in the process of getting everything together. The great foundation is there, and we can build upon it.
The new era of DayZ has finally begun... see you in Chernarus, folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer -
If you manage to venture into the city of Chernogorsk in the upcoming Stress Tests or when 0.63 hits Experimental, please do not panic. As teased on the 0.63 live stream a few weeks back - yes you saw it right - we are re-designing Chernogorsk, yet again.
While the current version of Chernogorsk (v2.5) definitely brings the area of Chernogorsk to DayZ standards (in terms of overall visual quality), we felt that it really lacks on the design side of things. Increased size with additional details contributed to some major performance issues, and the current version is also unnecessarily constrained to the old Arma 2 layout (basically no major landscape changes were done).
The plan for version 3 is to figure out broader changes to the area to ensure better performance while keeping the town itself still big enough, and the industrial part still making sense and being dominant like in the days of old Chernogorsk. Additional goals of the version 3 are design and performance related improvements to all three tenement cities and also making sure that this re-design is also seamlessly connected to the other parts of the map (in other words, changes do not end at the border houses, but also affect surrounding areas such as Balota, Nadezhdino, Prigorodki, Elektrozavodsk and the iconic Pik Kozlova).
Please keep in mind that this is a crazy big task and as of writing this, it is still ongoing. All that you see in and around Chernogorsk is and will be work-in-progress for some time throughout the 0.63 Experimental period. I will not be going into details on what exactly has happened with the area (I will leave that up to you to figure out), but allow me a small teaser.
That's not everything though, I also have an update on the watercourses we previewed in January 16th status report. Some great progress has been made on the visual side of things and we are currently applying this latest iteration on brand new locations (valleys going from central Chernarus to South, South East, and East). We are not quite ready to show anything yet (this iteration won't be available in the first releases of 0.63 on Experimental), but it looks and sounds really good! If you are interested to see a flowing water in the upcoming experimental releases, the version we have previewed at the beginning of this year will be available for you to check out on a number of locations on Chernarus already.
- Adam Franců / Map Designer -
Hey guys! You tried the first version of 0.63 with your own hands yesterday (or at least saw the main menu in some cases, sorry for the crashes! :)). We've had 3120 slots on servers and 4209 of you joined the Stress Test branch altogether - just wow!
I am processing the feedback from you guys at the moment and the dev team will be taking a closer look at it. Thank you for that, your feedback is really important to us!
I can't promise you how often the Stress Tests will be happening, but it should get better and better every time. Remember, you usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for! :)
Btw. I love this gif :D
I just want to remind you of one thing. I know that waiting in queues is frustrating for streamers. For the next Stress Test, we will have one server open for Content Creators. Contact me if you think you should be there, but remember - I will scan through your channels and I want to see DayZ on them! :P
I want to thank you for the amazing content we are getting from you. You sent me so many awesome things this week.
This first video is incredible. It is a live-action story about two survivors who don't trust each other. Just wow, I have no words. When I sent it to the dev-team, they were amazed too. You NEED to check it out!
Another video is made by gekofish and he is showing a special power of his Sedan - hyperdrive! Good job!
Did I say how I love your artworks? I believe I already did because you've sent me plenty of them. Either way, let's check some of those that I picked.
This is an edited screenshot by Matthias and it looks really cool.
This one is from SwatTheWolf who is hyped for the BETA. Yeah, we are hyped too!
Liquidcactus from our official forum shows off a few of his artworks and they are really nice. Look at this one.
My favorite mass murdererDanny Boyy wants to have lightsabers in the game. So he did some Photoshop magic and created this:
Guys, did you ever see a better Twitch overlay than the one Joito has?
And look, someone is in DayZ mood! AmishGangsta404 is ready for an apocalypse!
And one last thing - someone had a birthday and got an amazing cake! Happy Birthday, Reece!
Pitstop Head prided himself on how many screenshots he took in-game on Twitter and other players started to show their number of screenshots too. So, how many DayZ screenshots do you have? Send it to us via our official Twitter account, I am really curious.
And I promised a riddle last time, so here is the list of winners:
And here is a picture of a location to guess. It is from Adam again, so it is hard as usual. Can you figure it out? Our Twitter is ready for your answers!
I will dig into more of your 0.63 content next time because I prepared this Status Report before the Stress Test and I didn't have time to check it all out.
And thank you for your feedback again, we really appreciate that!
- Baty / Community Manager -
Vendredi 13 avril 2018
Status Report - April 13, 2018
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 (126.96.36.199:2602) 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!