It's a crazy time for us here at the office, with the release of the Xbox version and the PC server files behind us we're now moving for the PC BETA! Of course, this is not going to happen over night, Eugen will give you an introduction on this. We also have our Leads from the Gameplay Programming, Animation and Sound departments with us to bring you some more detailed information on what's going on behind the scenes of our road to BETA.
Dear Survivors, the server files release is now behind us, and I would like to thank all the community members who have patiently waited all the way to this point. We are very happy to see old players coming back to try the new servers popping up. We are aware of the issues currently plaguing the administrators running community servers and your feedback is very much welcomed. We have already deployed a patch with fixes, and there's more coming.
We are looking specifically into issues with zombie spawns, logs, configuration and security. Once ready, you will see updates coming directly to the Experimental branch of the game.
Now that our Experimental content patch is out in the open, I wanted to talk about the next thing.
Some of it has been said previously mentioned in interviews from Gamescom, and I wholeheartedly recommend watching these, as the questions asked by both M1ndr and BarelyInfected have been straight to the point.
While there have been some serious delays with the delivery of the first content patch, the work on the internal version of the game has not stopped. This basically means one thing: the next patch arriving to the Stress Test branch will be considered an Experimental BETA and will contain new content and features, including vehicles and base building. We will offer a detailed list of the BETA package later on. The list for both features and content is not exactly short, so we'll need to make make sure everything works.
The process for the publishing of this patch will start with Stress Tests focusing on the new content. Currently, we are quite happy about the stability of the internal client and server, and most of the team is focusing on bugfixing. More information on the release will be shared through our official channels, I cant wait for you guys to drive around Chernarus with your friends.
Once this patch hits the Experimental branch of the game, it will again be made available with both server and client, and pushed to Xbox as fast as possible.
That brings me to our players on Xbox. While we may not seem that active now, we are listening to your feedback and concerns, and we're working on necessary changes and bugfixes plaguing the game. There was a smaller game update pushed earlier today, and whenever possible, we'd love to keep updating at least once a week. The current patch focuses on UI fixes (no major inventory changes yet), server messages and VOIP. This also includes any fixes done to the game on PC. More changes are coming alongside the mentioned BETA patch and features.
See you in Chernarus!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
I have a very brief overview of the features and bugs we are currently working on. Let's take a look:
LODs for the animation system
Currently, when playing any animations, the whole skeleton is evaluated (every single bone), no matter how far away from the camera the other entities are. Our new system will improve the client & server performance significantly - especially server-side. Instead of evaluating almost 200 bones, we now need only about 20 or even less to be evaluated on server-side. The evaluation of the entire skeleton currently takes about 75 percent the of AI's simulation time, so we believe this optimization will help to increase AI numbers significantly.
Vehicles - physics
The gearbox (clutch) simulation and tire friction still need some tweaking, because vehicles still have some issues with riding to hills.
Vehicles - animations / camera
We improved the 3rd person camera and added more character animations. This includes handling the clutch, brake & thrust pedals.
Vehicles - networking
We have reworked the networking logic for 4 wheeled vehicle synchronization (and the same logic will work for future vehicles), the next step is network traffic optimizations.
We had to rework the input system a bit, due to requirements to simply add new actions (something the modders among you will appreciate!). Currently, the new system is in testing, adding the key binding options will be the next step.
AI spawns on servers with offline DB
This is probably one of the last bugs we want to solve on the current Experimental branch. The rest will be fixed within the Experimental BETA update.
A lot of other bug fixes (bugs which we have already fixed on the internal branch) will also be included in the Experimental BETA. This includes fixes for the iron-sights/optics inaccuracy, damage system issues, attachments rendering in inventory and many, many more.
- Miroslav Maněna/ Lead Programmer -
Last week, we've had a small motion capture session. This was mainly dedicated to a capture of various missing animations for player character or minor fixes to existing animations. Meanwhile, we were also focusing on bugfixing and polishing of the player actions, vehicle related animations, and item poses. The vehicles now have many advanced animations like switching the lights off and on, using pedals, shifting gears and of course steering.
There are many new things and improvements done on the player animation graph side. One example to speak for all, just recently we have reworked aiming with the flashlight, torch and other items. This was always not very convenient to use because the light was not going in the right direction. From now on though, it works just great! The light beam now aims where you are looking, no matter if the character is standing or moving, so flashlight should be your best friend from now on in dark areas. We have also added a small detail in the form of an animation for switching the flashlight off/on.
- Viktor Kostík / Lead Animator -
Hello everyone. The entire audio team is continuing the work on the overall audio appeal of DayZ, and we've created a range of new and updated game sounds. Let's have a look:
New rain sounds for tarmac, tile and wooden roof surfaces
Updated the rain sounds for trees and bushes
Updated the leave rustling sounds for bushes
New sounds for the "empty vessel" and "pour liquid" action (pouring water onto the ground or into another vessel)
Sounds for jump and landing animations
New sounds for various items for pick into hands action
New sounds for carrying weapons on your shoulder
Infected play different footsteps (bare feet, sneakers, boots) according to what they are wearing
New sounds for eating fruit, cereals and taking pills
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer -
Mardi 18 septembre 2018
DayZ Server Files launch
today we are releasing the DayZ Server Files. Anyone with sufficient hardware will be able to host their own DayZ server. You are now going to have more customization options and will be able to configure your servers directly.
This, of course, goes hand in hand with new opportunities for modding as having access to the server files gives you much more freedom than ever before.
It is important to mention, that even though we are thrilled to see what our community can make we are not officially supporting modding yet. Why? Mainly because some parts of the game can change a lot and we are still finishing the modding tools we want to provide to you in the future.
That being said we definitely won't stand in the way of your creativity.
You can read the documentation and the minimum recommended system requirements here.
We believe that these files will help you create the unique server environment you always wanted.
See you in Chernarus!
Mardi 11 septembre 2018
Status Report - 11 September 2018
Today's Status Report will start off with a small surprise for most of you guys, so definitely check out Eugen's opening announcements. Our Lead Gameplay Programmer Mirek is answering community questions on the recent server issues and our animator Adam demonstrates the return of the surrender and restraint systems. Let's dive into it!
Dear Survivors, we have some good news to share. The Content Update has hit the Experimental Branch today, and that means we're also making it available to community server owners currently hosting with one of our Game Server Providers (GSPs). Please expect slight delays as GSPs will cope with the number of switch requests, but I'm happy to see things finally move along to the Experimental phase after most of the critical issues were fixed in our Stress Tests. We have implemented a large number of optimizations in our network code while trying to identify an issue that in the end was caused by specific server hardware problems.
Now I have something that many of you probably don’t expect yet, but we want to see things move along at a faster pace there so we can get feedback: We've decided to release the DayZ 0.63 Server Files before BETA, and currently, we'd like to make them available to all DayZ players within the next week. Everyone will be able to download the Server Files for free on Steam under the tools section, and from that moment, everyone will be able to host a DayZ server on their own. I think that with the release of Server Files, we will see a much broader variety of server setups and community made game modes and while the full modding tool-set won’t be available before BETA, I think you guys have already figured a lot of the stuff out.
Last but not least, our goal with the next Content Update (that we might already call an Experimental BETA patch since we will be stabilizing the internal version of the game on the Stress Test machines) is to have a release in as soon as the next couple of weeks. This update will, again,introduce a variety of new things, with vehicles getting in a bit later after the initial release of this next Content Update. We will announce the new features and content as soon as we release the first Stress Test build. Just to pick one example, the new restraining system that Adam talks about is definitely one of my favourite ones.
The Xbox version of the game will see major game updates getting in soon after they hit the PC Experimental branch. While we won't be Stress Testing as of now on the Xbox platform, we will keep churning out updates with bug fixes and stability fixes to this version as they manifest themselves. Even today, we have pushed a game update with lots of fixes for bugs that we have seen in the PC version, and most importantly, we're fixing some of the specific inventory issues and controller related bugs that will make DayZ a better, more enjoyable experience on Xbox.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer -
Hello survivors. For the last couple of weeks we were releasing new Stress Test builds almost every day with the goal to improve server performance and to finally solve the BattlEye mass kicking. And we solved it! I'd like to describe here what we were doing and why Stress Tests are so important for us.
Probably the best way how to explain what we were doing in our last Stress Tests is to answer some questions directly from the community. Let's go through the questions that TheMagicTorch asked on Reddit, as they will nicely demonstrate our thought process.
Q: Are you working with BattlEye developers to try and resolve the issues?
A: We do have a direct communication open with BattlEye developers, and the first thing we've made was that we asked them for some input on what could be wrong. In any case, the kicking issue was there even when we disabled BattlEye, so logically, we started looking for an issue on our end.
Q: What do you think is causing the kicking? In technical terms.
So we knew that the issue is on our side, we were sure it must be somewhere in the low level part of our networking - we were thinking that the issue must have something to do with packet ordering or re-sending of lost packets, or even with serial numbers of packets. Now we know it was caused by packet fragmentation - in some rare cases, some packets were dropped and it broke down the entire server.
Q: Why are you finding it particularly difficult to resolve kicks and lag? Are the kicks and lag a result of lots of bugs that you're slowly working through, or are you still trying to identify where problems are?
The source of the kicks was just one mistake in the code, but it was hard to find it, since we weren't able to reproduce it internally. The 0.63 branch was created almost 2 years ago and a lot of changes have been made during this time period. Two weeks ago, we started to revert these changes, because it was probably the fastest way (but not the easiest one) how to find the source of the issue. We have reverted one or two improvements every day, made a build and released it on the Stress Test servers, so basically we went back in time every day (the curiosity here is that this bug has been in the build since May 2016). When we've identified the source of the issue, we started putting the reverted and working stuff back into the branch, and released it in Stress Test #46.
Lags are closely connected to the server performance, so different parts of the code may cause them. We were profiling the servers every day to find out the source of performance drops, or what exactly takes most of the CPU time. Every day, we've made some improvements, which were merged into the Stress Test branch for play-testing. It's important to test these optimizations because optimizations can often break things that were previously working fine. One optimization helped us to find out that there is an issue with the firearm damage sanity check, which caused bad hit registration. This bug was there the whole time, but after the optimization, it happened more often.
Q: Why does performance seem to vary between region?
The deployment team along with Eugen has tracked this issue down to be a problem with a hardware configuration of the servers, and we're now seeing consistently decent server performance across regions.
- Miroslav Maněna/ Lead Programmer -
Hey everyone, it's been a while since I wrote something, but boy, have I got goodies today or what?
For the last two weeks, I have been working on looking through optics, surrender and restrained states.
The current implementation of looking through a detached optic in the latest public build had a lot of problems with it... The accuracy of mouse-to-screen is sub-par at best, and you can't accurately follow a target without moving your mouse a couple of meters. We discussed various ways to implement a solution, but I was mainly worried about the character not accurately displaying where someone is looking. If we were to ignore the player animation accuracy and just set the camera to be 1:1 with the mouse, other players could think that they haven't been discovered all while the player who's looking through his binoculars could be tracking them.
I solved this by not allowing you to move while looking through binoculars or scopes, and by doing this, I eliminated any external factors that could mess with the accuracy of the animation; because really, what kind of crazy person would be moving while looking through a pair of binoculars? One wrong step and you could lose your target entirely! Here's the animation I cooked up:
As you can see, it's quite damn responsive. Here's how it looks while looking through it:
It's in a really good state so far and accurately displays in and out of the optics exactly where that person would be looking.
Surrender and restrained
Surrender is a highly sought after feature that we have been working on to deliver in the highest possible quality. At first glance, it would look like it's just another gesture; but under the hood it holds a bunch of complexities. You can't access your inventory when you're in surrendering - not something common for gestures. You also have new stance rules where you can only walk while standing and only turn in standing and crouched - also not something gestures can control. Lastly, but not least, it also has a bunch of surrender-specific stance changing animations - also something that gestures cannot control. With these things in mind, we had to approach the surrender mechanic with a bit more caution, as a half-assed approach would probably come back to bite us later down the line.
We have solved it by essentially handling it like a gesture state on the script side, but on the animation side, it would be considered an "item" of sorts. The reason behind this solution is that when a player puts an item in his hands, his character will switch to the corresponding animation set (picking up a rifle will start playing the rifle animations, pistols for pistols, and so on) with all of their specific animations for turning, changing stances, etc. By putting this "ghost item" into the character's hands, the surrender animation set is enabled, and the specific movement rules that that animation set has attached to it. In addition, we have opened up avenues for ourselves where we can have a bunch of surrender-specific animations; such as deaths, gestures, actions, etc, etc. Gestures-in-gestures? Oh boy.
All of those same rules also apply to the restrained state, but this also means we can accurately show what item is currently restraining you; such as in this case with some locked handcuffs:
Maybe down the line, you'd be able to drink face-first from ponds even while restrained to keep yourself hydrated while running from your captors. Who knows!
Until next time.
- Adam Oresten / Technical Animator -
has it really been two weeks already? It passed quickly with all the community feedback from all of you Xbox and Stress Test players! I want to thank you again for the feedback, it is really important, and it helps the dev team quite a bit.
Let's start with a new merchandise on the Bohemia Store. A lot of you already have our t-shirt but you asked for hoodies too. And here we are:
With this hoodie, you are never going to be hypothermic again!
A question time! You can ask our technical animator Adam Oresten any relevant question and he is going to answer them on the Bohemia Developer's blog. Just tweet your question with #MeetTheBohemians and #AskAdam.
Do you have a problem with orientation in Chernarus? We don't have any in-game map now, but if you need to find where you are or where to go, iZurvive is a solution. It features a 0.63 map and there's also hiking trails, wells, animal locations, and more.
The first one is Claire aka ArrianaGaming. She is streaming almost every day and she is a passionate DayZ Survivor. Check out her Twitch channel, Instagram and Twitter and give her a follow
The second one is RageBruhTV. He is also a very passionate DayZ player and an entertaining streamer.
Last but not least is BenFruit, a partnered streamer with a cool voice. He is a friendly player who loves interactions. Check him out!
I choose four videos from the community today.
This interview is from Gamescom made by M1NDR. He is talking with our Lead Designer Peter Nespešný about the future of DayZ.
Another interview from Gamescom by Luzi, this time with our Lead Producer Eugen Harton.
This video could be handy for Xbox players. Virtual Flood is introducing a looting guide for beginners. Finding loot is so easy!
Are you stressed? Do you need to relax? I have a nice, calm video for you. Just sit down, put your headphones on and enjoy the sound of DayZ's nature.
The answer to the latest riddle is a house near Gvozdno. And who guessed the right answer this time?
And where can you find this location? Send an answer to our Twitter account with the #DayZriddleTime hashtag.
Thank you for your nice content and see you in two weeks!
- Baty / Community Manager -
Mardi 11 septembre 2018
Experimental Content Update
it's been a while since we brought our last major update to the Experimental servers, 3 months or 23 Stress Tests, to be exact. But the wait shouldn't be for nothing. This content update brings the re-implementation of several weapons, scopes and animals. It also brings back big chunks of the character representation, including diseases, environmental exposure and soft skills. And that's not all - let's see what we've got for you in the update!
What does 0.63 Experimental Content Update bring to you?
Blunt damage to your head or massive blood loss can render your character unconscious. Other players can provide CPR in order to wake you up faster.
The well-known Mosin Nagant and M4A1 are returning to Chernarus with a number of scope attachments.
Be careful what you eat or drink: We are returning a first bunch of diseases and illnesses, including Influenza, the common Cold, Salmonella, Brain Disease and Cholera. They are a bit more tricky and less deadly, but for now keep an eye out for coughing, sneezing and sudden vomiting.
Your character will feel the cold and wetness again. Right now these factors won't affect characters directly, so try to get used to keeping your values intact. Water will soak through your gear, making it heavier and therefore impacting your stamina.
Using a shovel or gardening tools, you can bury backpacks and other containers with loot anywhere in the world for later usage. It's also a handy way to get rid of dead bodies.
You can now meet the sheep, goat and wild boar in Chernarus, be it just for wildlife watching or hunting for food.
Soft Skills feature will now sort all actions into either rough or precise actions. Focusing on actions from one category will decrease your time needed to execute those actions, while also gradually lowering your required resources and slowing down the tool degradation.
We're finally re-introducing the jump - and if you're skilled, it'll take you to places that were not accessible before with the legacy vaulting system.
In addition to the regular radio and the megaphone, we are now adding the radio backpack and the Public Address System, which you can power with a car battery to let your voice be heard throughout entire villages.
The days of spam-picking stones from ground textures are counted. You will now find stones, sticks and apples spawning dynamically on the ground. We've also added plums, pears and several types of mushrooms, so watch out for all kinds of food that can help you on your journey.
With the compass we return the first item for navigation purposes so you can find your way across Chernarus without losing your direction.
Map and game stability improvements
Our Map Designers have been working on numerous fixes for the Chernarus+ map. While narrowing down kicking issues the team has made a number of optimizations to the network code. Server and client crashes have been massively reduced as well.