As expected, work continues on 0.56 stable branch release. This release as mentioned prior will hit in the early weeks of May rather than the standard end-of-the-month update for April. This is mostly due to bugfixing that needs to occur related to the inventory refactorization in order to get the build to a state that can be used by the Early Access audience. As well, the gameplay programming team are resolving the bugs discovered in the loot spawning system several weeks after the 0.55 stable date.
Given that most of the core work these last few weeks has been on such major systems as the inventory, and central loot economy - I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss a few points people have requested hearing information about. First off, I feel the need to reiterate on Early Access, development builds, and what to expect.
A few status reports ago I mentioned the fact that as we move forward through the development of DayZ, people *will* see more things break, more bugs, and so on. Part of getting access to DayZ as early as weve allowed via the Early Access program means that youre seeing the real ups and downs of game development. Ive seen people over the last few months on forums, twitter, and so on mention the back and forth stability of builds as if this is an anomaly - an oddity in software or game development.
Photo Credit: DayZIntel
Early Access is as the fictional character James Kirk once referred to the USS Excelsior - "The Great Experiment". DayZ approached this at its truest form, 3 months into our principle development - and as said development has continued, the scope has expanded to include the development of the next game engine from Bohemia Interactive, Enfusion. It should go without saying, that the development of any large scope video game takes years. A multiplayer only title, that also aims to fully support Steam Workshop modding is no short order. Developing said title, the game engine powering it, and maintaining a steady monthly cadence of updates to the consumer is no short order.
So I ask you, the Early Access user - when you encounter a bug that frustrates you - make sure it is listed in the feedback tracker, make sure you read the Status Reports (although, it seems that if you are reading this youve already completed this step), engage with the development team on the DayZ forums. Ive found that when it comes to the Early Access program and your experience with it, we'll all get out of it - what we put into it.
Moving past that, many people have asked about the audio side of the Enfusion engine. Obviously fairly early on into the Early Access program, we realized that the existing audio technology interited from the RV engine wasn't going to suit the needs of the project. Problematic (and annoying) audio bugs began to reveal themselves, and resolving those within the legacy technology clearly demonstrated it would be time lost. Thus, work began on a new audio module to be paired with the in-development Enfusion engine. As with any core engine work, this is not a short form task. Obviously the goal for initial deployment is feature parity with the legacy audio technology, it is my personal hope that once this is achieved - we can look to expand the options for enhancing the audio experience in Chernarus, as I firmly believe audio in DayZ is just as critical as any core technology and part of the immersion into the world.
My personal holy grail throughout the development of DayZ has, and will remain the server side performance. Much of what folks attribute to "lag" or "desync" can be traced back to poor server side performance. 85% of which comes from the performance heavy usage of SQF engine script for many gameplay systems. Mentioned in prior status reports, EnScript (the name for Enfusion's engine scripting language) is leaps and bounds ahead of the legacy SQF in terms of performance. This, the portion of the performance budget currently consumed by SQF usage is the largest roadblock between 50 player servers, and 100+ player servers. Moving the title completely away from legacy engine scripting tech, and onto the new engine scripting language for Enfusion is by no means a small task, and will be an ongoing goal for the team (and in my opinion 100% required for DayZ to reach 1.0)
Sample EnScript - Not actual in-game
Last on my list for this week is some comments I wanted to make in regards to play styles, difficulty, and exactly how to play DayZ.
Obviously, as DayZ is an open world sandbox title, nearly anything is technically possible (in regards to play styles). As the initial deployment of the new infected A.I., as well as the central economy ramped up the difficulty within Chernarus, there were people vocalizing how they disliked how difficult DayZ was becoming. Now, obviously I've spoken on this before - but I feel the need to reiterate, and clarify a few things.
Surviving in Chernarus is intended to be difficult. I want you to value each bullet, I want discovering a roaming boar in the forest to be a stroke of good luck. However, this does not mean the play styles of "Coastal Chaos" or "Squad play" and so on are not viable playstyles.
You can, and should be able to play DayZ however you want. Be warned however, every choice - every play style should, and will have its own cost. You can choose to spend your time in Elektro, fighting over sniper hill, or pitting your squad against a rival group up at the Northwest Airfield each have their own requirements to maintain, and overall costs (be it in time, health, resources, or life duration).
Lastly, as the text below calls out - Standup notes are not a change log, they are a list of the things the teams have been working on this week, to give you all transparency into the current task priorities. So try not to get upset if you see a task thats being worked on not be in the latest stable branch update, and so on.
See you guys up north,
- Brian Hicks / Lead Producer
Header image credit: [TDay]Spalte
Status Report continued at: dayz.com/blog/status-report-22-apr-15