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!
Contents This Week
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:
Analysis and prototyping of the watercourse solution
Adding watercourses to the western areas of Chernarus
Rework of existing old stream-like ponds network
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:
A massive thanks to all of you who participated in development and everyone in the community who played DayZ this year - your support keeps us going, and we'll have some exciting things ready for you in 2018!
We're entering the last two business weeks of 2017, and before we let the holiday spirit take over our offices on 23rd, it's time for one more update from our teams - today, Eugen is recapping some of the recently made bullet-point style progress across departments, Peter takes a look at ladders, climbing and the melee combat of 0.63, Adam teases the NWAF changes along with tourist trails, and Viktor has two sexy GIFs, one of which teases a feature that will change DayZ combat in a totally unexpected way. After a pause, we also have Baty back, with loads of your amazing community content <3. Let's read, it's good for you!
Contents This Week
First, I would like to thank you for all the critical feedback on the last status report, it was a hard one. Expectation were high, and we chose a road littered with risks going for the new engine, for the larger benefit in the long run. The team knew this wasn't going to be easy, but almost all major uncertainties are resolved and we are looking at brighter future for both you the players, and the team here. We also understand and agree the call for a more visual representation of this years' progress and there is an end of the year video in the works right now.
Many of you were asking about the console version of DayZ and the team working on it. Our goal has always been to release a PC version of DayZ first before we turn to players on PS4 or Xbox. That hasn't changed. There is only one person working on each of these ports at the moment, keeping things intact so we have an easier time adapting the experience when the team is done with the PC version. We will be happy to share more details once we are in a better state of things with the PC version.
There is more to enjoy visually in the rest of the Status Report, and there is no reason to repeat myself more, so let's take a quick look at some of the work that has been done over the past month / is in progress - and then we are just going to get back to work, and get more shit done :).
Network optimisations - bit stream implementation, network traffic optimisations for AI and players
Weapon & inventory bugfixing
Movement tweaking of character controller for better gameplay experience
Character's prone state
New offline database
Hive refactorization for 0.63
Login system bugfixing
Damage system - new texture switching of damaged entities
Bugfixing and optimizations of central loot economy
AI - Animals:
Threat state behaviour and actions
Animals freeze in random intervals fixed
Various crash fixes
External launcher - adding local mods
Items for Christmas event configuration and setup for Central Economy for 0.62 version
Melee combat refactor of targeting and implementation of it's second check at hit event
Connected item quantities to Central Economy
Optimalization of UI client/server middle layer
Notifiers code clean up
Options screens refactor
Stamina system refactor
Firearms unjamming refactor
Implementing state machines for AKM and SVD
Implemented new network synchronization for electricity, traps, fireplace, cooking, placing, life span, user actions
Implemented sounds for bear trap, landmine, defibrillator
Parts of HUD can be toggled on/off by pressing or holding [~]
Implemented prototype particle for AKM, UMP and CZ61
Animated perimeter for a land mine
Identification of blood type in inspect menu after blood test
AKM, SVD reload animations implemented
Polishing for prone 360 aimspace poses
Player turns improvements
Animations for Hatchback reworked due to vehicle scale changes
Animals herding behavior: the most of the progress has been done on new herding behavior for domesting animals. Although it doesn't require massive support from animation side we found usefull to change some poses and especially lookat mechanic to bring as natural feeling on close distance as possible. Most of the work has been done in new AI tools on animal configuration side. Anyway we already have functional prototype of a herd that can be shepherd through the map.
Animals animations: Sheep animation pack is progressing. Goat animation pack has been finished
Radar tower rework
Reworked Pile of tyres
Reworked Blast covers
Abandoned Chernarus – harvester header
Reworked male heads
Animal damage zones
Map Design Team
Chernarus tourist trails
We have finished 200km network along with tweaks to the satellite and surface mask and final checks and polish
Tourist trails are now ready for survivors in 0.63, the only thing that is left to solve is the map stand that is located at several key trail crossings, but that on itself does not block / prevent people from using the trails as there are 93 detailed directional signs to help them where they want to go
Improved satellite and surface mask within the whole NWAF area
Object layout improvements and fixes
Coal power plant prototype done (last missing object)
We have prepared varied interiors for two of the mostly used military tents to make such important object more interesting for players and more suitable for central economy to spawn items
All instances of military tents on Chernarus were replaced with these new variants
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
As the new character also have to traverse vertical differences in structures, we've started with new implementation of ladders. You don't need much to observe that the behaviour of old character on ladders in 0.62 (and older) is quite unpleasant visually and partially lacking also from the functional point of view.
Transition animations for getting on off a ladder will be added for several situations, even from/to water, as well as to sides when there isn’t any free space available behind the ladder. As we unified dimensions of ladders thorough all structures, the positioning of character hands and feet will match that of ladder steps.
It’s still valid that getting on a ladder is done through interact action (same as manipulating with doors) and getting off will be automatic at the end of the ladder. We would also like to add proper continuous ladders going through more floors, on which character can optionally get off the ladder, and where it won’t be necessary to ‘pixel hunt’ for proper interact action to get on the ladder and continue in desired direction. However, this has a lower priority as we need to solve simple ladders first.
As climbing the ladder is exposing you in situations that can be relatively dangerous, we are adding the possibility to quickly scale up the ladder, or to fast slide down the ladder. I would like to also see jumping off the ladder as it could be useful in some critical situations - in trade off for a higher risk of injury after landing. But again, this is lower on priority list for the ladders implementation.
When I mentioned jumping, let me make it clear: we will be adding jumping, alongside with climbing over obstacles later, after ladders are done, as smooth traversing through environment is very crucial for DayZ gameplay.
Ongoing work is being done on a melee combat system to make it skill basedwith clear rules.
Blocking and evades are implemented and functional, awaiting a polishing run. We are trying different control schemes for melee combat iteratively to achieve intuitive controls. Same goes for timing animations and their cancellation, as we want to have combat flow as seamless and fluid as possible to avoid clunkiness.
Knockdowns to the ground and finishing attacks on laying character are still on the TO DO list.
These are directly related to melee combat in prone, which was just a step away, as we had a request for absolute freedom of aiming firearm in prone in 360 degrees, which is done thru smooth and continuous turn of character from belly to back and vice versa.
After knockdown during melee combat to the ground on back position (or in case of turning character to back from belly) you can use push kick to push opponent back, may it be survivor or infected, to avoid being hit with his finishing attacks which can be potentially devastating. Similarly, I would also like to see push kicks from stand with raised hands as well (applicable for firearms too), which will add really nice flavour and together with attacks, blocking and evades adds depth and open possibilities for tactics in melee combat (and additionally allows us things like kicking doors and others).
Anyway, I would like to thank you for your support during the tough year 2017. DayZ has the best community and it’s amazing to have you around. Thank you all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Hi everyone. Today, I'm going to provide you with a short update on what is happening in the animation team. Our priorities are pretty clear - main focus is still on the player character animations. That includes finishing turning animations, improving locomotion and adjusting the player graph.
At the same time, we have been working on some exciting stuff recently. Our player character now has a much wider range of motion while in prone. You can now fluently turn on your back, aim and shoot. This gives better control over the character and I am sure it will lead to many interesting situations in game. We have a basic prototype working and now we are starting to polish the animations, poses and camera behaviour. This will also require small motion capture session where we will record necessary transition animations.
In addition to that, we have also recently re-done enter/exit animations for some vehicles, so that player can enter and exit vehicles much faster. Recently implemented weapons in 0.63 include SVD, AKM and there is an ongoing work on the Mosin.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
It has been quite a long time since my last contribution to Status Report, but do not worry, it is just that we have been working very hard pushing towards our 0.63 goals. But before we talk about that - given the fact that is a last status report of 2017 - let me first dive a bit into the things that happened in 2017.
In 2017, Chernarus has gone through what probably is the biggest change since its inception in Arma 2. We have introduced a complete overhaul of forests aimed at bringing much needed variety to the landscape of Chernarus. This overhaul essentially doubled the object count (1.4 million to 2.8 mil., but with .63 changes, we are nearing 3 mil.), an increase that was only possible with the introduction of the Enfusion renderer (update 0.60).
In addition to this overhaul, update 0.62 also introduced phase 1 of a big western border rework (the last area that remained basically untouched since Arma 2 days). We have also overhauled the entire railway network and made global changes to the satellite texture. Vegetation model swap and the re-generated forests areas introduced quite a lot of issues with object placement (objects misplaced or clipping) and we will work hard to eliminate as much of these issues as possible prior to the stable 0.63 release to make sure the first BETA build is a step towards a more polished experience from your travels on Chernarus.
Now you may ask, what else can you expect from the map in 0.63?
Completely re-done North West Airfield (NWAF) along with surrounding landscape
200 kilometres of tourist trails
New locations on the western border of Chernarus
New points of interest across the map
New models for bushes and rocks
New textures for roads and road damage decals
We will cover these points in better detail in future Status Reports. For now, we would like to thank you for joining us on our journey towards one of the most immersive game environments ever created. Very excited to show you what we have in store for 0.63 and beyond!
Merry xmas and happy new year!
- Adam Franců / Senior map designer
It's nice to be back with another Status Report - it's been 4 weeks already and I have a lot of community content that I need to show you. So sit down comfortably, this will be long.
Life doesn’t always bring only good things, and that is what I want to talk about today.
The first sad thing that happened is Wobo's leave. One of our big and longtime supporters is leaving the content creators’ scene, because he needs to take care of his mother who has cancer. He did his last stream to raise funds to help his mother and the DayZ community surprised him a lot. He had 4000+ people on the stream and raised over 35 000 dollars to help him with taking care of his mother.You can see here how amazing the DayZ community is!
Wobo's mum underwent a 9-hour surgery and she will stay in the hospital for the next two weeks.
Everyone from DayZ Dev team wishes Wobo's mum good luck! Stay strong Wobo!
The second sad message arrived to our team from Tim, Max, Nils, Dominik, Vincent and Jonas.
These guys are a group of DayZ players who lost their friend Phil in a tragic accident this year. They are reminiscing about their first meeting:
"We met him at the very beginning of the DayZ standalone near the Rify in that old helicopter crash site (one of these that did not spawn randomly). It was a pretty hilarious situation as me and him did’nt see each other until the moment we both went inside the helicopter. We both panic so hard :D Even thought most of the players shot on sight at this time, we did not and 2 minutes later we both laught so hard together in his teamspeak, it was the beginning of the best friendship in my whole life. There are so much more great memories we shared together because of DayZ. Me and my whole squad really want to thank you for this memories!"
They sent us this message because it was Phil's birthday and they asked us to commemorate him in the game on the spot where they first met.
So we decided to place a memorial at this place in a form of a small cross. This cross will be in game since 0.63 and if you come across it, just remember it belongs to Phil, one of the players.
When we are talking about a group of players, Ferosso shared with us this amazing ugly-Christmas-sweater DayZ party photo and it looks so cool, I want to jump into it and join them! And look at the Chernarus map on the wall! Just wow.
I want to show you some nice edit by Spuddy0108, who turns a DayZ screenshot into The Long Dark's style. I really like it!
One more screenshot for you - Adam sent us a really creative picture of tents with chemlights inside and it looks awesome!
And how about an event this week? A lot is happening this Saturday 16th! You can choose from plenty of events:
Noobs server is organizing The Hostage event where you need to take out the captors and successfully retrieve the hostage. More information here:
DayZ UK Alliance invites you to The Genocide Run IV - a battle royale style event in teams of two.
Another movie by Tickle - Ghost is telling us the story of a retired nurse, Ashley Gradham, discovering the complexities of the zombie apocalypse through a budding friendship with Richard Maxwell, a daring and quiet man with a difficult childhood.
Let's talk about Christmas. You will have your Christmas in Chernarus, we didn't forget, don't worry! There will be Christmas trees, and maybe a little smomething more, but that's still a secret. Watch our Twitter feed for more information!
We are almost at the end, but there is one more thing - the riddle! These guys answered correctly last time, good job:
And this is the riddle for this Status Report. Between which towns can you find this house? It is not that hard, so I expect a lot of correct answers on our official Twitter account.
That is all from me, have a nice holiday and see you in 2018!
The last few months for DayZ has included a lot of review meetings. Both technical and gameplay design related - and now it's come that time where we have some solid information to share with you all on the upcoming 0.63 Experimental and Stable updates. Where we are with it, what we're looking at it being - and in short to offer some clear transparency to you all looking at it forward.
Some of this information might be frustrating to read, and some of it might get your own internal hype train running. The important thing from the information we will be laying out today is that you all understand where we are with the move away from legacy DayZ, and why we've made the decisions we have.
That said, I'll let Eugen take it away and guide you all through what we're looking at.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
Hello everyone. Being candid is the core of the relationship we have as a studio with you, our community. That includes openly talking about things that we know will cause a lot of disappointment and negative feelings. I'll start right of the bat with one such thing: unfortunately, there will be no other major release this year (that means we won't be releasing 0.63 on neither Experimental and Stable branches).
PLANS FOR THE REST OF 2017 & 0.63 EXPERIMENTAL GOALS
I'm going to be very straightforward: along with releasing 0.62 Stable, it has been our main internal goal to get 0.63 Experimental out this year (as mentioned in Status Report on April 18) - we have put pretty much all our resources on that task, but as of now, we already know that the scope we will be able to achieve by the end of 2017 does not represent a full DayZ experience, and therefore blocks the 0.63 Experimental release..
Large chunks of the core gameplay loop are just now getting more settled, but there are still core features that are heavily work in progress, or not implemented - for example vaulting, swimming, and vehicles - and unfortunately that means that despite all the progress we've made on the other parts of the game, this is still not enough for a potential Experimental release.
We do understand that all you guys want is to play 0.63 - and while it would be possible to have some Experimental 0.63 release this year that would be relatively stable and enjoyable for a short period of time, just releasing something is not a viable approach this time around. Both 0.63 Experimental and 0.63 Stable (= BETA) are key releases for us, as they are the last steps before we leave Early Access.
And since it's so important, we have a set of so called epic goals that are implemented into everything we're making for the game in the new engine. These goals are:
We want to avoid any issues from lack of oversight in development or project architecture - for example we just want to make sure that our infected numbers and player numbers per server are as high as possible, and both DayZ client and server apps maintaining good, reliable up-time.
To get a better understanding of what still needs to be done on our end before we can push the first 0.63 Experimental, read through this bullet point overview of our focus areas. All of the listed features are in different stages of development, and a team or person dedicated to its completion. These are the features we want to see finalized before experimental release.
This week, we have Brian remembering the struggles he experienced during his modding days - and looking forward to how the DayZ Standalone modding will make things a lot easier. Eugen is providing a thorough recap of our recent progress, we're introducing our scripter Boris Vacula and his work on particle effects, and Baty is announcing the winners of our wee Halloween screenshot contest! Let's dig into it, Survivors!
Contents This Week
As we approach the entry into the BETA phase of DayZ's development, I am reminded of how things were back in 2012 as we worked on the original Survivor GameZ. Working with Dean to get us early access to upcoming builds of DayZ Mod, and trying to modify the script codebase to match the projects needs. Much like many mod authors back in the day, it was a frustrating experience, trying to create our experience within a framework (Arma 2 scripting code/commands) that was simply not designed for the type of experience we were trying to create.
It is experiences like this that specifically has me so excited for what we'll be able to offer mod authors with DayZ. The project benefits so much from being developed in house by Bohemia Interactive - doing this on in house technology is such a rare opportunity in the grand scheme of things. For both us as developers, mod authors, and you all as passionate advocates of survival in a post apocalyptic world it means a technology base that is designed nearly from the ground up to provide the tools needed to create the experience we've all had our eyes on from day one.
From a more modern and robust animation system offering true layered animations (being able to move and perform an action at the same time, yay!), to a renderer better designed for the large distances and huge amounts of enterable structures and objects drawn at one time, to a more robust and performance conscious scripting language. Making sure that when DayZ leaves principle development and the Early Access program that it provides people in the tradition of all Bohemia titles with tools to tell their own stories is 100% key.
Another thing I wanted to discuss briefly was DayZ's survival mechanics - both in gameplay systems, and in the economy values. I've often received shouts of dismay from both sides of the fence. Things being too easy, and being too hard. Looking at the mechanics we have on the survival side, something we've struggled with often as developers is providing an immersive (sometimes punishingly so) sandbox that has systems that don't frustrate. Paying attention to feedback has been critical, and I don't quite think we've hit the mark just yet with this. Far too often, players are forced to manage survival simulation mechanics while trying to engage in the true draw of DayZ, the player interactions. Rather than the survival mechanics serving as a method to drive, and give agency to the player interaction.
In addition to this, the idea of an economy of scarcity should give said agency to players engaging and interacting with each other, but far too frequently, it ends up being a drive to either completely avoid players - or to just destroy them on sight.
I truly hope that as we move into BETA, and begin to see mechanics that give players more of an option and feel of having an impact on the world, that we see the core game loop expand past loot-shoot-survive. As my most memorable experiences in gaming all come from those types of interactions with DayZ, and DayZ Mod.
To achieve this however, we need more than passionate developers. We need to hear from you all. Constructive, and engaging feedback on the systems and mechanics of DayZ that either drive, or hinder player interaction is key - and I hope you all will engage in this more often as we move into BETA. Utilize our official forums, open tickets in the feedback tracker - hell, even post on Reddit and tag Baty. This is as much your game as it is ours.
In closing, I was asked by my partner once: "If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?" - and I'll be honest I thought pretty damn hard on this one, but I am proud to say that my answer was a confident "DayZ" - and I hope to still be playing DayZ years from now. Allowing people to tell their own stories, and paint the world with their own brush will help make this a reality.
Much like how development is far more of an orchestra, than one mans solo performance - a strong community is one that gives a voice to the ideas and vision of its members.
Stay safe out there survivors, and remember: mo mic, no life!
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
I'm going to change things up before we continue on our intentions and goals for release. We want to prepare detailed information in a digestible format as far as content and features go that will be available from the get go in the first 0.63 Experimental and BETA. I'm excited about how we can communicate with you in the future.
Today I will focus on things we are currently dealing with, as far as the internal version goes, and its recent development. I do believe it's important to share the steps we are taking to complete this amazing gameplay experience that is so specific to DayZ as a game. Details are crucial in getting things right. And as I said multiple times already, there is only one way out of this: having a good game.
Before we get into the summary, I'd like to point out we have released a security update on our 0.62 experimental branch. I know it might not seems like that important to test, but on the contrary: it's very much so. To increase the incentive on playing experimental servers, we have been discussing the possibility of making some small changes to how the game behaves, making it more interesting to switch between the branches and find a little bit of relief before the release of BETA. All ideas are welcome and I'll be happy to look into any feedback provided.
From a gameplay standpoint, our focus is still on the player features that you might have seen on the DayZ Player Diagram[dayz.com] a couple of Status Reports ago. The main issue we are still very much focused on is the fix for rapid zig-zag movement in PvP combat. We want to have a solution that is both visually appealing and on point when it comes to gameplay. Additional, we are looking into more tweaks regarding how the player camera behaves, and experimentation with its new features.
Besides that, that are two major things coming to internal client that haven't been available in the Gamescom demo, just this month. One being prone ranged combat with proper turning on the back, as you move around with your weapon, and second the expansion on melee combat in the form of evades and blocking mechanics. Be aware that things can always change, but we are happy to start working with these as they get play-tested properly. I'm hopeful we can show some early prototypes soon and share the progress on these specific features as we progress further with their implementation.
From a content standpoint, there has been a couple of sound recordings done and more work on the polish of the data gathered, as well as implementation of specific features that will enable us to fill the game with cues and sounds in right situations. Its an crucial stepping stone for bringing atmosphere and tension into moments and stories you'll experience in the world of Chernarus.
Sound is not the only content we are working heavily on, as our firearms team continues to implement one firearm from our list roughly every two weeks. The list of BETA weapons should be covering various firearms across weapon types, their specific uses, their overall quality and more. We expect some changes to the pace of implementation as we add in more complicated firearm mechanics, but we are very happy with how things are going right now, and we will feel comfortable finalizing and sharing the list with you pretty soon.
In the meantime, artists are looking into all the old assets used in-game, and reworking them into a condition that is fit for year 2017, and also fit for the options that we now have regarding the new renderer. Bringing the visual appeal of Chernarus into this century is the main goal here, as DayZ, while still pretty good-looking overall, is certainly lacking some more up to date finesse in certain places. Speaking of Chernarus, work on tourist trails is ongoing, and I can't be more excited after seeing the first internal results. It adds tons of flavor to an already interesting world. Adam will share more as we get closer to some final-ish state of things.
Last but not least, as always, our concern is performance and stability, and we are going through bugs as they get introduced with new content or features. Its not something we take lightly. As you can see, we are trying to cover a lot of things that this game needs in order to introduce the critical changes all of us want to see.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Greetings survivors! This is my first Status Report so let me quickly write something about myself. I've joined the DayZ dev team as a member of the Bratislava studio 3 years ago. Since then, I work as a scripter / designer and I wrote various systems (both on SQF and Enforce tech). Today, I would like to show you what I am currently working on in regards to firearms mechanics.
Thanks to the new Enfusion technology, scripters now have better ways to handle particle effects. One of the features that heavily relies on this system are weapon muzzle flashes. In DayZ 0.63 and onward, all firearms will shoot unique particle effects depending on various parameters, such as ammo type fired, weapon type used, muzzle attachments used (suppressors, compensators, muzzle brakes or flash hiders) and the damage state of any of these components.
In addition to that, particles can now be generated coming from multiple parts of the weapon. So for example, in addition to seeing typical muzzle flash coming from the rifle's muzzle, you will also see a patch of smoke escaping from the ejector. Or, if some specific muzzle brake is present, the flash will form a star-shape.
Internally, we're currently at the beginning of creating particle effects for each weapon type and muzzle attachment configuration. This will be a long-term continuous process that will require a lot of tweaking to get right. However, we already have a few rough prototypes that we can show:
This system will be fully moddable and with a few simple tweaks, content creators will be able to achieve quite wild results:
- Boris Vacula / Scripter
Hello everyone in our lovely community!
We are back after two weeks and you have created plenty of awesome community content again!
If you read the latest Status Report, you had two chances to participate in some of our official community activities.
The first thing was an event - The Big Pumpkin Hunt. 50 players split into 4 groups and were tasked to find as many pumpkins as possible in Chernogorsk. The only permitted way to fight was with bare hands and additionally to all that, there were creepy devs running around, scaring and killing the players. The event was quite successful and I am so proud everything was ready in time. I wanted to show you the kill log, but it has more than 5000 lines and I didn't have enough time for it. It should be ready this week though!
The winning PINK team collected 80 pumpkins. Congratulations again!
Fun fact for you - we have placed more than 200 pumpkins around all Chernogorsk in-game, all done by hand. The placement was not scripted at all!
We had several content creators there and they have some screenshots and videos for you.
TRMZ and CamCANTRUN made edits from the event, so you don't need to see the whole thing, just the interesting parts:
I really enjoyed the event and I am planning another one, so stay tuned and read the Status Reports for more information.
DayZ Noob has a community event for you, it will be a fist fight in Kamy and it sounds awesome, so check it out!
If you have an event coming up as well in the future, just let us know via our DayZ Twitter or Twitter and we'll help to spread the word.
The second thing you could have participated in was a Halloween screenshot competition. And you sent us tons of really amazing screenshots! I was sad we can only choose three winners. I collected 63 votes around the team and we made a decision. So…. The winners are:
Devs chose DrDeSync's screenshot because of the story behind this picture. Group of survivors are resting peacefully around a fire, but there is a creepy killer hiding behind a tree, waiting for the right time to attack.
I want to thank you all for your nice screenshots, I love all of them. Thank you! I will contact the winners this week
Another video is by Axel Hjelmqvist and it will cost you only 1 minute of your time to see it. It is about morning routine of just about every survivor. Wake up, eat some food, drink some water, choose a weapon, kill some zombies and try to survive.