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!