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