Hello Survivors! This week, we're sharing progress on new melee combat animations from Victor, our Lead Sound Designer Andrej is teasing audio updates in 0.62 and 0.63 and our Community Manager Baty is sharing her experience from a community event that happaned on DayZ Underground this weekend. We also want to inform you about planned website improvements and recent changes on our forums.
Contents This Week
DayZ Forums News
For this Status Report we're going to take a look through the current tasks and immediate goals for .61 Hotfixes, .62 Development, and the march towards Beta. I'd also like to list out the top 3 issues the QA department is looking for more data on from you all over on the Feedback Tracker.
.61 Stable Branch:
QA Team is currently investigating reports of unlootable corpses. Repro steps being investigated before gameplay programming team can attempt to address.
Gameplay Programming team currently working on addressing physics issues with .61 Exp/Unstable build that result in animals sometimes moving below terrain
QA Team is verifying adjustments to vehicle physics on Exp/Unstable branch that should address vehicles slipping below terrain
Gameplay Programming team is working on addressing some legacy security issues found on .61 Stable
QA Team is verifying changes to vehicle persistence and the handling of destroyed vehicles on Exp/Unstable branch that should address problems on stable with destroyed vehicles sticking around.
Over on the .62 Front, Adam and his team continue pushing along - and for those that missed PAX East we will include the cut of slow pan through WIP Broadleaf Forest, and pan through grass with the WIP new grass shader.
.62 Current Tasks:
Young Conifer Distribution
Additional Color Adjustments to Tree & Bush Colors
On the Beta side of the fence, there is a large amount of work ahead of us. I know we've made comparisons before about the extensive changes being compared to a spinal transfusion for DayZ, and that cannot be stated enough. This is a massive undertaking, and it is and will take time. That said, lets take a look at what the team is currently focusing on for their immediate tasks.
Beta Current Goals:
Rework of User Action System
Iterating Melee Combat Mechanics
Internal Testing of Knife/Axe Prototype Combat
Soft Skills Prototype
Introducing Animations for User Actions that previously used generic
Creating support for vehicles to functionally have more than 4 wheels (V3S for example)
Electricity System Prototyping
Unjamming Anims for New Player
Lastly, I'd like to list the top 3 issues the QA team needs more feedback on from our official Feedback Tracker - If you have any data, repro steps, etc on these issues please feel free to update them with what you have!
Today, I would like to talk about our progress on melee combat. At this point, we have implemented animations for unarmed combat, axe, pipe and knife combat. These animations are still work-in-progress but allow us to test basic behavior in-game.
This is very useful: we can now iterate with programmers and designers and adjust every animation accordingly so that it blends better, for instance if you perform continuous attacks. Our plan is to have unique attack animations for fist fight, axe, knife and items like fire extinguisher, pith fork, baseball bat, pipe and many other items in order to achieve a unique look and feel when fighting.
Creating attack animations for this new system is bit more time consuming though. In the old combat, there was one attack animation per item. In the new melee combat, we now have a series of 6 animations per item. These animations blend together, so you can either perform attack and go to idle or you can continue with another attack without interruption.
In upcoming weeks, we are planning to add damage to the player and hit reactions, as well as continue on balancing the entire melee combat system.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Ahoy survivors! The audio department is operating at full power, working on both 0.62 and 0.63 updates.
For 0.62, we are preparing a full revamp of ambient sounds. New atmospheres andenvironment sounds in general, but also spatial vegetation or structure sounds. We are utilizing the potential of our new sound system, so it's not just new samples, but a true, complete overhaul: new ambient sounds for forests, coast side, fields but also cities and villages are all in the making.
The infamous, annoying random sounds of fence screeching are gone, and audio will also follow weather dynamically and in more detail, ultimately meaning new wind, thunder and rain sound effects will be added to DayZ. In general, roaming the countryside of Chernarus will be a much more pleasant experience to your ears.
At the same time, part of our audio team is working on the 0.63 update, where we will introduce new user actions sounds, weapon reload sounds and basically all audio connected to the player character. 0.63 will also bring new vehicle sounds through our redesigned audio system, so driving will sound more natural and responsive to engine behavior.
That's all from audio department now, we will share some more before the update drops!
- Andrej Sinkevic / Lead Sound Designer
DayZ Forums News
During the past week, the DayZ forums have gone under a short (but long overdue) maintenance. The new software update to the forums, deployed by our Web Team on Wednesday introduced some neat improvements to the design template, but more importantly, it significantly increased the loading times of the forums and their overall security.
We've also re-introduced the "give beans" feature that all veteran forum users surely remember from past - much to everyone's delight, too, as from what we've seen, the flow of beans has been pretty steady on the forums since the update happened!
We'd like to continue with general improvements to the forums, and eventually also start looking at improvements to the DayZ.com website design and usability. While we're well aware of some critical issues that make the DayZ website less intuitive (and outdated), we'd definitely love to hear what you think would make you interact with our website more often - please share your thoughts with us in the topic linked below!
Over the last weekend, me and Creative Director Brian Hicks were participating on an event called "The Hunting Season" organized by DayZ Underground server team. It was a large hunting event and to win you had to be the group with the most pieces of steak and hide. Groups could hunt each other during the event, but human meat did not count towards the victory. You could have met Survivors from all around the world as well as well-known streamers likeM1NDR[www.twitch.tv], MarkstromTV[www.twitch.tv] or Moondye7[www.twitch.tv]. The entire event was very exciting and hunters wiped out almost every deer in Chernarus. I have never seen more steaks at one place. Brian Hicks and MarkstromTV were the winners, congratulations! There were more competitions at the end - bow shooting and the best dressed participant of the event. We sat by the fire playing musical instruments and roasted meat. Do you know any better way to spend a Saturday night?
If you are organizing community events on servers, do not be afraid to let us know! We love community events!
Tourettesmexchanic and his friends were showing off their DayZ inspired weapons collection on Reddit. And it is a truly fabulous one! It has almost everything, including camouflaged Mosin, Repeater and accessories like Tactical Bacon or protector case. These Survivors are ready for an apocalypse and nothing will surprise them!
This week, Brian and Mirek are explaining our decision to push vehicles to Stable branch early, Peter is teasing bits and pieces about our recent effort to improve the melee weapons combat, and Viktor reports on the progress his team made on animations used with that new melee combat system.
Contents This Week
Development Board Spotlight
Development Board Spotlight
We appreciate everyone's patience with this Status Report coming out a day later than normal as our Brand Team works on recording the next of our Dev Spotlight videos for Viktor Kostik, our Animation Lead (Baty shares more on that in the Community Spotlight).
For this Status Report I'd like to lead off briefly talking about vehicles on the Steam stable branch, then take a quick look at the critical tracked issues on 0.61 and hand off to Peter, Viktor, and Mirek for the rest of this report.
As many of you may have noticed, we went ahead and re-enabled the spawning of vehicles on the Stable branch servers. We've gone through a good deal of iteration on these over the last few months on experimental branch. While we've been able to tackle a great deal of the issues discovered in testing on the Exp/Unstable branch, there are still obviously critical issues with the existing implementation.
Vehicles are a pillar of the DayZ experience, and one that we're far from being happy with in their current state. Their push to Stable was a measured decision based upon the limited number of active players on Experimental/Unstable branch (to be fair, the draw to participate in Exp/Unstable is obviously lower on hotfix builds compared to full updates) and the data we received through the feedback tracker, and repro steps provided.
Not an easy decision to be sure, but given the option of leaving them on Exp/Unstable only and not getting the larger pool of users getting hands on with it - the call was made. Mirek will elaborate upon some of the technical points below, but I want all of you who are concerned about the operation and systems behind vehicles to rest assured.
Where we are now, and where we want to be are two separate points and vehicles -will- get the attention such a core pillar of DayZ deserves. Like many things right now, all that is required is patience - as the push to Beta is a massive undertaking for us, and every in game mechanic and gameplay system is impacted by it in one way or another.
As far as 0.61 work goes - we've continued to push builds through the Exp/Unstable branch over the last few weeks - and today we should be pushing another update to Stable branch from Exp/Unstable. For today's Stable update we're looking at changes that should hopefully address:
Characters/Infected not dying under certain conditions (Eg: Unconscious players & headshots)
Disappearing bodies of unconscious players when disconnecting
In addition to these, we are still investigating several issues related to the reintroduction of vehicles onto stable branch - such as but not limited to:
Server Performance Degradation (potentially related to vehicles)
Reports of invisible players
It's critical to understand that poor server performance can be the root cause of a significant amount of issues that you as players encounter. While this may seem concerning, as we are approaching the limit of what we can do with 0.61 and the legacy technology - the Beta milestone, and introduction of new technology on the Enfusion side opens up a lot more opportunities for us. Not to mention being able to move the server away from having to track two physics systems, which in and of itself is very resource intensive.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
Since new player character got on stage, we started to prototype a new melee combat with animators and programmers. Through the time, whatever we did with the melee, it still ended being just unsatisfying.
In past, we bet everything on tracing actual swings and finding their collisions with geometry. While this system has its own positive aspects as it simulates real trajectories, it just doesn't behave well in such broad multiplayer environment that DayZ offers, where you need to fight server-client synchronization foremost. Even if that side of things worked flawlessly, there are other issues connected with such system. Most notably it's very difficult to predict where hit lands, or even if it reached its target, which results in uncertain behavior and ends up as frustrating for players.
With all that in mind, we decided to look at it from a different perspective and build a new melee combat from scratch. Instead of simulating trajectories, we'll experiment with evaluation of successful hit, right after attack is initiated, based on variables such as distance and direction to target, speed and others. Everything in that system is reevaluated throughout the action to avoid possible misinterpretation (e.g. opponent being hit and thus receiving damage, even when he fell down from cliff before action was finished).
This approach should ensure fair hit detections, and also when combined with new full body animations of melee attacks, where character is moving forward during attack, it will allow us to utilize slight rotations and drags of attacker towards his opponent, which should results in proper visual contacts of hits.
What remains the same is the rule 'every item is a melee weapon' with some exceptions applied. Especially heavy items as vehicle wheels or barrels with their separate set of movement animations will be omitted from that rule for logical reasons. It's also still valid that there will be possibility for melee attacks with ranged weapons like pistol whips, buttstock hits and bayonet stabs.
More attack animation with same melee weapon were added, resulting in more visual variety and combos, however we don't plan to take advantage of combos from the gameplay perspective yet. On the other side, we want to add dashed attacks from sprint. We are considering to add charged attacks and eventually a push move in case it will be doable (do not confuse with current issue of infected pushing player characters around, which is caused by interaction of two independent physics simulations), to deepen melee combat mechanics. New animation system also allow us to play proper impact animations when character being hit.
New damage system has already been deployed and it's used exclusively with the new character, providing straightforward configuration and clear damage outcome from hits per weapon, properly affected by clothing. I bet new melee combat will prove to be worth the wait and it will yield satisfying results for you, players, and together with other systems which are being worked will create best possible overall experience.
Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
New player character is progressing well. We are now testing and iterating the new melee combat system in game. This includes cooperation between animation, design and code departments - designers are giving us their thoughts on how the combat should look like, we are adjusting attacks to that, and programmers are taking care of controls and giving us features we ask for. We are still testing on a basic set of attacks for bare hands and two handed item though, so we are still rather prototyping, but once we are satisfied with the results we will add more variations to attacks as well as unique animations for some items. Of course a lot of polishing is also expected.
As the player actions are now working in a new system with new scripts, we are changing some of the old "one time" animations to looping ones. We have also started to work on more unique animations for interesting actions. To name few, we have recently created stitching, animal skinning, starting fire, washing hands and other animations to improve overall experience when interacting in the world.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Today, I won't have anything new about 0.63, we're still working on tasks which I mentioned two weeks ago, but because we enabled vehicles last week on 0.61, I would like to clarify and describe issues which they have and how we will solve them.
First, I would like to describe how vehicles are different than vehicles in Arma 2 / DayZ mod. There are two major changes:
DayZ Standalone is using Bullet Physics Engine, which allows us to create better vehicle physics behavior, but on the other hand, simulation is much more complicated. We're still working on better vehicle simulation which we would like to introduce in 0.63. But the worst issue about vehicles in 0.61 is collision detection of dynamic physical objects and terrain (you can also observe this issue when you throw some item to ground) and engine programmers are currently investigating this issue.
DayZ Standalone is using a client-server architecture instead of peer to peer and since 0.61 there is full server authority over player/vehicle transformation, which is preventing against cheating (teleportation/flying/speedhacking).
In DayZ mod, vehicle is simulated on player's client and results (position, orientation, etc.) are sent to other clients, but in standalone version, player/vehicle is simulated on both (player's client and server) and server sends results to other clients and to player's client as well for correction.
When simulation result are different, player's vehicle is corrected and that is the stuttering you are observing. This can happen when some vehicle state between player's client and server is desynchronized (f.e. gearbox state) or when server performance is too low. We're looking for state desynchronization now and as I wrote in past status reports, server performance optimizations are a long term process (we already have some improvements ready for 0.62). Anyway, we will implement better smoothing algorithm, so the correction wouldn't be so aggressive.
Now, you can see that vehicles in Standalone are completely different than in Arma / DayZ mod, so a lot of issues can arise. Vehicles hit experimental on December 23rd, several days after 0.61 hit stable. We thought that vehicles would be the reason to stay on experimental branch for a larger number of players, but the result was that experimental servers were almost empty.
That means we didn't have enough data of how they behave on full servers or in different situations. We've fixed some issues which players had found on experimental servers (server crashes and some bad behavior of remote vehicles) and then we needed more data, so we enabled them in central loot economy (we can always disable them again without any update) and are now gathering more data to fix / improve the vehicle simulation.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
This status report was postponed by one day due to filming of a Q&A video with Lead Animator Viktor Kostik. We have decided to use this opportunity and record it in an environment that is very close to animations – the Bohemia Interactive motion capture studio where work was in full swing. The video is being processed right now and we cannot wait to show it to you, because we believe it is very interesting and you will enjoy it!
New players may be surprised to find out that Chernarus is based on a real place. It is modeled after a region in Czech Republic around the town of Usti nad Labem, bordered by the river Labe. Many hard-core fans have already traveled there. They wanted to see the real Chernarus and to browse the land they already know like their own backyard, because they spent hundreds and thousands of hours running around it.
Streamer TopeRec[www.twitch.tv] is one of those guys. He was planning to come to Czech Republic for a long time and his dream was to see the template for Chernarus. First he went to Gorka, followed by Stary Sobor to see the famous red metal shed. And as he said for himself, he knew exactly where to go and did not even need a GPS, because the surroundings were so well known to him from the game.
If you are interested in knowing what the Chernarus landscape looks like for real, Ivan Stroganov created a map of Chernarus over the real map of Czech Republic, so you can examine everything in detail. Check it HERE.
And if that is not enough, you can check out some pictures from bufkin[imgur.com], who saw real Chernarus with his own eyes. Just click HERE[imgur.com].
Should you have any experience with the real Chernarus, we will be glad if you share it with us on our official Twitter. And if you have any interesting content from DayZ universe, don't be afraid to send it to us.
Creative Director Brian Hicks will share the latest info on where we are at in the development process, Mirek and Peter are talking about removing SQF and Adam wants to share with you our progress with trees - biggest change Chernarus has received for the past years.
Contents This Week
I don't have too much for you this Status Report, fortunately Adam from the Environment team, as well as Peter (Lead Designer) and Mirek (Lead Gameplay Programmer) are joining us this time around - so there should be plenty of new info for everyone to dig into. Recently I sat down over on our forums to discuss some of the questions or confusion we get around addressing issues on the Steam branch while development moves forward internally on upcoming builds. I encourage everyone to take a look at it - as it might serve to relieve some confusion around what gets fixed, when, and so on. In addition, our Producer Eugen wrote up a forum post covering the internal milestone we recently reached towards Beta, eliminating support and dependency on the old SQF scripting language that so much of the DayZ Alpha had throughout it. This was a huge step for us internally, and something many of us have been talking about and looking forward to for years. I'll make sure to link both forum posts at the bottom of my portion of the Status Report.
We're continuing to push new builds through Experimental/Unstable branch and on to Stable branch as we try and address the remaining critical issues with .61. Since the last Status Report we've been able to address several issues with memory management on the client, pushed several improvements to server performance, resolved a few known server crashes, resolved several of the performance issues tied to light sources, and we are continuing to address:
Additional Client Crash issues
Server Memory Consumption (Which can sometimes cause issues with player stuttering, battleye time-outs, and so on)
Server crashes tied to vehicles and/or AI
We're hoping to be able to show some teaser video content at PAX East over at the Astro Booth showing off some of the progress on the visual overhaul of wild Chernarus for .62, rest assured this will also be shared through our standard channels if we're able to have this available in time. As I mentioned earlier, both myself and Eugen made two forum posts that are very helpful reading to understand what our priorities are internally, as well as the impact the internal milestone of finally being able to move away from SQF has on development. Check out these posts here (you do not need to make an account to view them, don't worry :) ):
We know the road to the next few major builds hitting Steam might seem long, but the work going into reaching Beta is extensive - and a major change for DayZ as a whole. I know I personally (and I'm certain the whole team as well) appreciate everyone's patience, and feedback as we move towards it. I'll see you all in Chernarus - and remember, gunshots attract attention ;)
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
Last week we reached one of our internal milestones, specifically the removal of SQF, high level scripting language which was introduced back in days with Operation Flashpoint. When we started to work on standalone DayZ we heavily relied on SQF with its rich API of commands built over years of usage across Arma series. Original plan was to prototype and implement systems and mechanics we wanted to have in DayZ in it, then hardcode them to Real Virtuality engine directly to gain performance back. This changed once decision to build new Enfusion engine, based on previous RV and Enforce engines was made. Latter one used powerful and fast low level object oriented scripting language with its own IDE and therefore it was logical step to carry it over and improve it.
Once it was production ready, we start to rewrite all gameplay and support scripts from old SQF script to newly established Enforce script, which offered us to become largely independent from programmers and to keep game open for modding. This process was quite difficult and tedious, mainly because of missing backwards compatibility, specific design and technical dependencies, limitations found down the road, and all that mixed together with our commitment to release playable version of DayZ in Early Access program. All these led us to maintain and develop basically two versions of game side by side - obsolete one for public to play in meantime and new one for us to make game as best as possible for public to enjoy later.
Recently, new animation system began to be synchronized between server and client, which was long awaited impulse for us to switch exclusively to "all new" mindset to push things forward internally. Now every piece starts to finally fall into place, forming something I like to refer to as DayZ 2.0.
The King is dead, long live The King...
See you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
In the last status report, I mentioned that we started removing the legacy scripting language. We're done with it now, so Enforce Script is the only scripting language which runs on our internal version. We will continue removing other legacy systems: the next stop is the animation system.
Synchronization of the new animation system is done, now we have to apply new synchronization rules to the user action system and to events performed only on server side.
New player controller is now receiving support for melee combat, which will allow our animation team to tweak the combat animations in-game.
Also, it's important to note that our Bratislava team is applying the new animation system to AI units. This will allow us to have much better interactions between players and infected/animals.
Otherwise, we are still working on some major issues for 0.61, which we also need fixed for the 0.62 update, so every important fix is directly merged into the 0.62 internal branch, too.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
As many of you already heard, the upcoming 0.62 update will introduce a first set of audio-visual changes to the environment of DayZ. You may remember that we've already shared some progress[dayz.com] on this matter last year. In this status report, I would like to touch on the subject of updating forests in Chernarus a little bit more. This is by far the biggest change Chernarus has received for the past years of its existence within Arma 2 and DayZ. This would be really tedious and unwise thing to do manually (there is a lot of forested areas), so we have internally developed a forest generation tool that will allows us to generate most of the forested areas on Chernarus. While the whole process of getting generated forests on top of anexisting map (that has all kinds of other objects already placed) requires some polishing work of course, we are very satisfied with the results so far.
One of the most important things for new forests was to have enough variety. There are four key features that allowed us to have more varied forests. First, we have got roughly 6 different generation templates for each tree species (you can imagine this simply as young, mixed, older forests and so on). Achieving such variety would not be possible with the old models, so we have got at our disposal a completely new set of vegetation that contains roughly 3 times more models than the old one (and it is still growing). To give you an idea, lets take a look at the standard beech forest case (Fagus sylvatica). Following picture shows an example of available models for beech forest.
This is quite a big change when compared to the old vegetation set (where we had like 3 available models for this specific species) and the picture is not even showing all models (we also do have dead tree variants). I should also mention that this is not just the case of beech trees, we do have similar-sized sets for oaks, pines, birches, larches and spruces. Just imagine combinations that can be done within just one species alone, not to mention what can we do when we combine them. We of course have some other types of species prepared too (for rarer use within forests and of course for solitary ones within fields and settlements).
The third thing (that helps us achieving forest variety) is the tree colorization feature, which we already announced in one of the last years status report[www.dayz.com]. This feature enables us to differentiate individual trees by changing their color ever so slightly to achieve a better autumn feel. And finally, fourth is the addition of 8 forest surface textures. This allows us to greatly increase variety on the ground level, because configuration of randomized miscellaneous objects is done per one surface texture (we can have one with more grass, one with taller ferns, etc.)
Please keep in mind that what you see on this picture is still work in progress and does not represent final look, these two are here to give you an idea how the transformation from old to new forest look on a small patch of forest within Stary Sobor fields.
We are well past of setting up the generation process of the whole map and tweaking the visual feel of individual forest templates (assigned to forest parts on the whole map). Our primary focus now is to make sure we won't introduce any major performance problems. There is no question about the fact that while the new vegetation models were done to be much more performance friendly, we won't just aim for the same density as the old forests were. The introduction of Enfusion renderer with .60 provides us with an opportunity to go further.
We are currently working with roughly doubled object count (that equals roughly 2.6 mil of vegetation objects). Our PCs are running map benchmarks overnight (multiple times on multiple machines if necessary) to get an overview of how does the current version of Chernarus with new forests perform. We can then use this information to make additional changes to the generation (forest density). Following picture shows what kind of results we get from one type of benchmarks that we do.
There is still lot of work ahead of us, but it is awesome to see that things are finally coming together. We cannot wait to share more info about things to come with 0.62 update (yes, there is definitely more to talk about).
- Adam Franců / Lead Map designer
Valentine's day is behind us and some love went to Dayz as well! You sent us some nice and creative love poems on the "Roses are red, violets are blue…" theme and we want to share them with you.
This poem is made by Pedro Silva and it is not romantic at all. But love is not missing here! The love for weapons.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I love winchester
but i like SVD too
Jordan Strang send a poem where he talks about his love for killing enemies.
"Actually over 2 years ago I found my valentine up in the north in the wilderness of DayZ :3. He was the kindest one I´ve ever met: He made a market with his friends, shared pullovers, apples and even a weapon, when I had absolutely nothing... 2 hours later a guy came and shot the whole group :D. But fortunately I had the same Nickname ingame and in Steam <3."
And finally we have an older love song by the famous Team GEO. It is a survivor singing about his true love. Enjoy if you don't know it, because we love it!
We have a new Status Report for you. Brian is talking about known issues and fixes what are we working now and Victor is sharing some news from animation department. We want to show you an interesting thread from our official Forum and you can find awesome song in Community Spotlight.
Contents This Week
Handpicked: DayZ Forums News
This Status Report we're going to cover what the .61 Live Team are focusing on for Stable branch issues, I'll touch briefly on .62 - and then I'd like to give a little perspective on the work currently under way for the bulk of the team (Beta milestone).
Rest assured, the development team is well aware of a good deal of critical issues that have popped up on various builds coming through Exp/Unstable and onto Stable branch. Some of them we're working to address in .61 updates, and some will more than likely have to wait for Beta milestone (as we're on the edge of addressing some issues in technology and systems that won't be around in Beta).
The team has been able to make good strides on addressing server crash issues, but we're also tracking a good number of additional issues that have come in through the Official Feedback Tracker[feedback.dayz.com]:
Issues with the Central Economy group spawning items and clustering in some areas after extensive persistence uptime
Client side FPS drops from several causes
Issues tied to animation transitions at time of death
Client side network freezing in some cases
Remaining issues with vehicles from Exp/Unstable
Server Performance Issues
We're all aware that these issues are critical to everyone playing on 0.61 Stable, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and participation in utilizing the Official Forums and Feedback Tracker to better allow us to track these issues down. Hang in there and be patient, as mentioned before .61 hit Stable - a majority of the team has switched to working on Beta, and some of the issues might not make sense to spend time resolving as we're working on the .62 and Beta milestones now - but we've not given up on addressing them for .61. If you find any new issues, or have new data - please continue to utilize the Official Feedback Tracker, it might not seem like it helps but trust me - it *does*.
For .62 development, we don't have too much for you in this Status Report - however Adam (Sumrak) is working on putting together some tasty information on the .62 team's progress on their end for the next Status Report. Currently the .62 team is working on profiling the Chernarus with the new trees, and making adjustments to the forests based upon the data they gather from the profiling tools. There are some additional improvements on the visual fidelity side they are looking into - but I won't ruin any of that as Adam is looking forward to what he can tell you all in the next Status Report.
It (almost) goes without saying - but the Beta milestone isn't just a matter of plugging a few new things into DayZ. The Animation System ties into effectively everything you guys do in DayZ, and the New Player as well. Tie into this the goal of total removal of SQF support (The scripting language that DayZ utilizes for most every gameplay mechanic) and the teams undertaking starts to closely resemble a skeletal and critical organ transplant. A great deal of work has gone into recreating all of these SQF scripts and mechanics into the new Enforce scripting language over the last year or so, but even so - the risk and work that is required to coordinate across the team, ensure things are functioning as expected, and discovering exactly what impact the total removal of SQF has against the game is a significant amount of work. We're all excited (and a bit winded) at all of this, and understand that it may be frustrating not getting the fixes you all want for .61 Stable as fast as you'd like - but rest assured, the work that we're doing on the Beta milestone will be worth the struggle of legacy bugs on .61.
Lastly, In regards to the Official Feedback Tracker - the BI Webteam has recently added support for logging in utilizing credentials from Facebook/Google accounts for those who might not want to make an additional login just to report issues. We hope this lowers the barrier for some of you that might have data on bugs you're experiencing, but have held back on reporting them.
I know you're all eagerly awaiting visuals and news from .62 and Beta, and no one would love to share awesome stuff with you more than those of us on the development team. We appreciate all your patience, passion, and participation in the DayZ Early Access - 2017 should be an awesome year for DayZ and the road ahead looks like a lot of fun.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
In my short update, I would like to share some news from the animation department. We have been playing around with the player character animations a lot recently. One of the latest additions include extra transitions for player Now the character is able to move from stand or crouch run/walk/sprint to prone movement fluently. This does not limit the character in any way though, unlike in the past. If player decides during this transition he wants to stop - the character will stop nicely immediately.
We have created combat animations for player and are now about to start testing them in game. We want to find nice balance between how player looks and how it plays. This is a difficult topic as our game is set in multiplayer environment, which means we are bound by some limitations that are not present in single player games.
To mention other areas. Special interaction animations inside vehicles are being created now. Refining the animations is always in progress. We have revised the aimed movement for rifles, and we will focus on hand guns next. We also have received some new weapons from the Art team so we are adding animation sets to those as well.
And finally, don't forget you still have some time left to ask animation related questions for our next Q&A video. Head over to the official forums[forums.dayz.com]please and ask anything you are curious about regarding DayZ animations - anything that you want me to answer.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Handpicked: DayZ Forums Topics
We're getting back to our idea of highlighting interesting topics from the official DayZ forums[forums.dayz.com] this week - despite the regular, ongoing discussion we're maintaining on the topic of both Stable Branch[forums.dayz.com] and Experimental Branch[forums.dayz.com] updates, there have been additional interesting topics that you may have missed. Here's four of them, conveniently handpicked and awaiting your replies!
Q&A with Animation Lead Viktor Kostik
OK, you have probably noticed this one already, but we really want everyone to be aware of it: DayZ Animation Lead Viktor Kostik is up next in our series of Developer Q&A videos and he wants to answer the animation questions you're curious about. Make sure to ask your questions under this topic, as that's where we'll be collecting them!
"Who was killed by zombies in 0.61?" by igor-vk
Since 0.61 got out, we've been ensuring everyone that the infected are absolutely meant to be a serious threat in DayZ[dayz.com]. While there is still a lot work to be done before the experience is final, the infected are already influencing the play-style of survivors in a way our design team expects - more often than not, frantically running through a city ultimately gets you killed, as witnessed by igor-vk and other survivors in a topic that beautifully describes how deadly the infected became in 0.61:
"Items that don't spawn anymore" by Weyland Yutani
For various reasons, we sometimes prevent certain items from spawning using our Central Economy settings. If you want to check whether an item you're looking for is indeed disabled or you're just being unlucky, make sure to read the following topic - other survivors might help you out, and we'll do our best to occasionally have our Community Manager Baty join the discussion:
BETA Content: PKM discussion thread
To finish off our handpicked section, we've got Brian teasing yet another weapon that's waiting to be implemented into the game during BETA: the unmistakable PKM general purpose machine gun, a truly effective weapon of Russian origin, present in nearly every major armed conflict of the past 30 years:
Recently, you have been letting us know on our social networks like Forums[forums.dayz.com], Twitter,Facebook, Reddit or Steam, that you are having issues with client crashes due to memory errors. Should this error happen to you, we would appreciate if you could send your crash dump files from the folder C:\Users\YourPCName\AppData\Local\DayZ to our feedback tracker. By submitting those files, you can help us to solve the issue.
Now let's move to a community content. I found a new and amazing rap music video about life in Post-Apocalyptic Chernarus with an unexpected ending. CamCANRUN proved again that he can create quality content.
You know that feeling when you need to try something else. Something special. Including some new Dayz experience. That is the reason why some servers organise themed events for their players. I myself attended few "Wild West" events with Magnum, Repeater and cowboy hat or competition with .22 weapons only. But my most favourite are medieval fights with bows, swords and knight helmets. Astros Legacywas also attending such event on Gents Of Novo server. You can find a recording of this entertaining event on his channel.
We've all experienced a lot of server crashes over the last two weeks, so Peter and Mirek are providing an update on how we want to handle them. Additionally, Brian is talking about known issues, Adam is sharing some of his recent passion for Chernarus railways and I have the pleasure of introducing you to DannyBoyy, a truly, truly friendly survivor!
Contents This Week
The last few weeks for us on the dev team have been busy. With the bulk of the team working on the Beta milestone, a smaller strike team working on 0.62, and of course ongoing efforts to address critical issues in 0.61 Stable and reintroduce vehicles to Stable branch. As soon as we have our 0.62 branch at a point we're comfortable with, we'll be sharing more example images and camera fly overs - so be on the look out for that. On the more immediate side we have a list of issues that we're fully aware of on 0.61 Stable that we're working hard to resolve. (Its important to make sure you guys know this is on our radar, so you don't think we're overlooking the issues critical to you all).
Known server crash methods
Known duplication methods
Investigation into current security exploits (Player Gear, etc)
Server Performance degradation (This one impacts things such as player position sync, infected speed, and more)
Server Side Economy cleanup (And potential impact on server performance)
A lot of the issues listed above are directly related to issues we've noticed reported in the forums, feedback tracker, on youtube videos, and on Twitch streams and are a priority for us to address. Given that some of them are tied to legacy systems - many of which are slated to be replaced in beta - addressing the issues can be time consuming, but rest assured we are digging into them and they are not over looked.
In addition to this, there has been a good amount of discussion (and feedback tracker usage on this issue again - awesome!) in regards to the distribution in the economy, and some behaviors that don't fit with the development teams intended design. Specifically, the distribution of firearms, and their attachments across Chernarus after a decent amount of uptime on a servers local storage. The Central Economy (CE) is certainly not where we as developers want it just yet, but iteration is key with this. The designers and programmers that touch on these areas have been working on potential improvements to the economy that should help address this issue specifically - but like anything with a complex system it will require iteration over several builds to see. This isn't live on Experimental just yet - but we'll make sure to let you all know on the forums when these new changes make it that way.
I know this Status Report isn't chock full of fancy new screenshots or videos - but we're currently at the point in the build process where branches, and high risk commits occur. As we get further into 0.62 and Beta development and things stabilize we'll be able to share more. :)
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
My message will be quite short today as I just want to announce some significant changes for current 0.61 version in upcoming updates. Over the last weeks, we witnessed how the abuse of an exploit often used for duping results in server crashes in some cases, which became very common lately and essentially ruined the user experience.
Because of that, we were forced to make some actions to prevent it. First one is locking the hands slot while character is performing some action - thus, you are unable to remove an item or swap it with another until the action is finished. Second one prevents initiation of user actions on items directly from inventory slots.
These changes can be unpleasant as the old user action system and its quirks are now deeply rooted. However, I would like to remind you that new user actions are built on usage of hands slot exclusively, so it's not a bad idea to get used to it in advance. If you would like to read more about the upcoming new user actions, you can check my previous Status Reports from October 30, 2015[dayz.com], March 1, 2016[dayz.com] and March 29, 2016[dayz.com].
Crashing servers is bad... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Hello survivors, in my first Status Report this year, I would like to briefly cover current our goals for the 0.61 version and future 0.62 and 0.63 updates:
We (the gameplay programming team) are dealing with server performance and stability issues, and also with vehicle synchronization bugs. Hopefully most of the annoying issues will get fixed soon, so programmers working on them can join the rest of the team and they will contribute to the work on new things or 0.63 version goals.
As this update will be mostly visual, there won't be any major changes coming the our team. We will mostly try merging in some of the critical fixes or performance/networking improvements.
Currently, major part of the gameplay programming team is working on tasks related to this version. Internally, we have managed to deactivate the legacy damage system completely and now we're focused on fixing issues with our new damage system. We are also getting ready to hit the switch on all of the legacy SQF scripting, which is being replaced by Enforce Script, and we're removing some other parts of the legacy code, which is related to features we won't use anymore - such as the Arma AI, for example.
About the new player controller - we are finishing network synchronization of our new animation system. The next step will be the ability to control vehicles using the new character. This will be another big change, because now you are controlling the vehicle directly and character inside vehicle is controlled by vehicle simulation. This change will simplify vehicle synchronization and can also introduce some more options for modding.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
As I mentioned in earlier Status Reports, we plan to change the entire western border of Chernarus. This is a major task and it is very likely that you will not see this upgrade fully within just one game update. In fact, if you venture towards western border on .61, you can already see results of this task - two military roadblocks with traffic jams.
We are really delighted to see survivors venturing in these far locations and having interactions with other survivors and/or environment threats in these brand new places.
An important part of the whole western expansion task are changes and additions to the Chernarus railway network. Railway is a very important man-made feature that always helps survivors when they get lost. The rule is simple - follow either right or left and it will eventually guide you somewhere.
Now let me invite you on a small trip around Chernarus railway! Please keep in mind that all content, visible on pictures below, is work-in-progress and does not represent final quality.
The biggest change within the railway network is the addition of railway through the whole western border of Chernarus. That means you can follow railway track from Kamenka through Zelenogorsk, Myshkino, Vavilovo and finally to Novaya Petrovka. But that is definitely not all.
To make sure railway network is not forming some sort of a circle (that sort of looks like a model railway), two new railway exits were added. One from Novaya Petrovka to the western border, leaving Chernarus close to where military roadblock with fuel station is located. Second railway exit starts in Svetloyarsk and goes through Turovo and Dobroe, leaving the lands of South Zagoria in northern rocky valleys.
Then we have bits and pieces that were added on top of these railway network changes. The most significant are massive changes within Zelenogorsk. This town now hosts a big railway station that is split into three parts - civilian, military and industrial. Military base in Zelenogorsk went through a major face-lift and now offers more loot than ever before.
Heading further north, you may find that the huge railway and bus station in the middle of nothing near Vavilovo are missing - this is our intention as we did not really find it to be useful at that spot (and we have something better planned there). Instead, we have added a completely new railway station to Novaya Petrovka. This town is currently quite thr hot spot and with newly added railway station just north of Bashnya, it offers quite the view on the entire Novaya Petrovka valley.
If you head east of Novaya Petrovka, you may notice that railway here is much flatter than ever before. That is no coincidence, as we have found the old roller-coaster-like railway track here too immersion breaking, and so the whole northern railway track was redone from scratch, along with necessary terrain and object changes. And now that Novaya Petrovka has a railway station, the biggest northern town - Novodmitrovsk - could not be missed.
The appropriate spot was found and a new railway station was built south of Novodmitrovsk (just near the road that heads to Cernaya Polana). This railway station offers a spectacular view on Novodmitrovsk - the industrial railway station that was located outside of the Novodimitrovsk industrial complex has been moved into a much better place inside the complex itself, and now has a direct railway connection to Svetloyarsk.
And just when you continue along the tracks towards Svetloyarsk, you will, sooner or later, encounter the northern railway exit that crosses Svetloyarsk - Novodmitrovsk valley on a brand new stone railway bridge. Unfortunately, I cannot just yet share the pictures of it, as our graphics artists are still at hard work on it, but I promise I will share the results once everything is ready.
There is a lot more to cover for the upcoming .62 update, so stay tuned! 2017 is going to be a great year for Chernarus, so see you there!
- Adam Franců / Map Designer
In the December Status Report[dayz.com], we were contemplating whether players can be trusted and if you can safely turn your back to a person who seems friendly. Therefore, I want to introduce you to Dannboyy, who is well known in the DayZ community and some of you might have met him already - without even knowing it. Unfortunately, you will usually not survive meeting this nice lad.
He has a pleasant voice and is very kind, which is what you will notice first. And you will trust him easily. You will become friends. But is DannyBoyy exactly the kind of friend you would expect?
DannyBoyy’s videos are nicely made, very well cut and fun to watch. My personal favourite is "The Friendly French Man".
Don’t forget about our Official DayZ forums, too! If you want to have fresh information from latest updates, forums are the place for you. Check out an important update about Experimental/Unstable branch from yesterday[forums.dayz.com]:
As always, If you have any DayZ creations of your own that you'd like to share, tweet them to us on our official Twitter channel. We love content from our community!