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  1. An outbreak of Gamescom plague caused chaos in our schedules and organisation, but most of the team is back in business now. Brian sets a perspective on how to balance excitement and expectations now when we're approaching an important milestone in DayZ development. Eugen sums up our immediate internal development goals that will eventually lead us to that BETA milestone, and how they add up to the big picture of DayZ 1.0. We're welcoming back Viktor, who's found some time to reflect upon the new animation changes presented at Gamescom, and there's also Martin's update on the status of a promised 0.63 Dev Log video. As usual, Baty is closing of with awesome community content, and invites everyone to Birmingham's EGX next week! Let's get ready for some reading! Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Viktor Dev Update/Martin Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, Y'know, I've seen a lot of folks talking about 0.63 like it will solve world hunger - which is something I've seen associated with other pending builds before. Be it the new renderer, changes to sound, adjustments to economy, or even the introduction of the V3S. Typically people get pissy with me when I have to try and bring things down to earth, but I'm alright with being the bad guy in this case. Anytime you change the technology powering a piece of software, hell anytime you change the software itself in any way, you come up against risk. The degree of risk is the factor that fluctuates, and its up to the developers creating said software to weigh the risk of a change, versus the pay off. For us as a team, and for DayZ as a product the pay off is well worth the risk. For years now we've been internally prototyping, be it in documentation, in script, or in intermediate technologies built to serve the gap between what is functioning on the consumer Steam branch, and what is functioning internally on the main trunk. I've had the pleasure of previewing, discussing, and in some cases "teasing" these prototypes, and documentation for years. Eager to share our intent with you, but often blocked from actually sharing the experience with you due to technical limitations. The .63/Beta update is the first major step towards the technology finally being able to bring this vision forward. It is not the end of the road, but it is most certainly the most important lap we have made I did not overstate it when I said that the change to animation system, player controller, and scripting language would begin to alter how you interact with the world itself. This is fundamentally a huge change, both internally and externally for you, the consumer. I'm neither trying to charge up the hype train, nor am I trying to crush anyone's hopes and dreams. It's rare that a title gets the support from a company to spend the time working on improving the core technology to better meet the needs of design. Typically, technology limitations inform design within a few small exceptions from time to time. Its been a long road, and bumpy as hell ,but we're finally within sight of being able to finally share with all of you the things we've all worked on for so long. And we couldn't have done it without all of you. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Eugen Hello survivors! Post-gamescom rush has ended quickly with a lot people getting sick, feverish from Gamescom plague. With people missing we were trying to get through the feedback in our internal post-mortem and follow up it up in the plan for following months and weeks before BETA becomes available. I have to say that the road does not end there, and we still are dedicated to polish the experience further before we leave Early Access. What BETA means is that most if not all features promised will be implemented in the new technology, and iterated upon further as we move to leave out of Early Access with 1.0 version. I believe that feedback will be critical in this phase where all the issues need to get ironed out. In the meantime, we focused on issues either seen during Gamescom or general plans that have been set out. Special attention has been put on critical issues of camera that was still up for refactor. As it is nowhere near the level that we want from the game, nor has the feature set needed. From the clipping issues to twitchy movement and abuse, there is lot of ground to cover. And there is a lot more as the whole Gamescom experience worked as an amazing focus test on large scale. We had the chance to see how people work around the new stuff available and observe to see the flaws in the whole system. Which was an amazing opportunity, and I can`t wait to have the same experience with other people online, so that we can make this game the best it can be together. The next step for us, is to finish up more advanced features for melee and ranged combat, additional camera technology to support all the new gameplay, and finalizing the character movement and variation, before we move heavily into area of infected, where some heavy work needs to be done. Once the base loop feels really good, we will move onto rest of the game to polish all these things in the new technology. We will survive!   - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Viktor Hi everyone. It has been a while since the last time I contributed to the Status Report. The past weeks were a bit hectic with the animation things related to the Gamescom build. I think animators did a great job adding all the content which everyone was able to play for couple of days. We were very pleased by the positive feedback to the new player controller, injured animations, heavy items animations, combat and everything else that was presented. The version available to play was not final by any means. We are still aiming for significant improvements in many areas of player character and infected as well. The presented wounded character was a first draft in fact. In the upcoming days, weeks and months we will continue on animation improvements and reworks. Currently, we are also working on some new death animations. We are adding directional deaths for all item types and all stances. Initially, the character will play the pre-recorded animation only but later, we will start with directional death animation and in the middle of the animation, we will switch to ragdoll so that the characters would fall and align with environment nicely. Another big part of the game that is being worked on are poses for different items. There are hundreds of various food items, weapons or tools that need a proper pose. From the very beginning of the DayZ, we have decided to have a nice holding for each of these items. At the moment, all these poses are being made and added to the game. - Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator Dev Update/Martin Survivors, I just want to briefly update you on the status of the 0.63 Dev Log that we teased and promised to deliver after Gamescom. Unfortunately, a sizeable portion of the team (including Baty, Eugen and me) got hit by an outbreak of some sneaky virus that we most likely brought with us back from Gamescom. Since we have a very small marketing/community team here, this further delayed the production of the Dev Log video, but we're back in business now, and we've also managed to get some additional help from our QA Engineer Dan Fialka (who's been with us at Gamescom as well). He's recording some of the gameplay clips as we speak, so hopefully we'll be able to speed things up a notch now. Recording a couple of gameplay clips from an internal build may sound like an an easy task, but if they are supposed to be done according to a script, and connected with a developer voice over, it suddenly becomes a complicated undertaking - especially when the internal build of DayZ just decides to behave weirdly, and randomly throws crashes and glitches your way. Of course, we want to avoid showing these things in official content as much as possible, as the intent is to present the best of what the current build can offer. If anything, it also shows that the build is simply not ready to be played beyond a very controlled and structured environment that was the Gamescom booth, and that our decision to not release it on a Steam branch was very well reasoned. We'll let you know on our forums and social media channels the moment the video is ready - for now, please hold tight end enjoy some of the community content from Gamescom that we shared in the last Status Report! - Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager Community Spotlight Survivors! The Gamescom epidemic hit a lot of us and I wasn't an exception. But I am ready for a new event! You might know there is a show called EGX in Birmingham, England. I and my colleague, brand manager Martin Čulák, will be there on Friday and we want to meet everyone from DayZ community, who is also planning to attend this gaming event. Watch our Twitter for more information. Barely Infected came with an amazing idea. He organized a group of survivors and built a camp named "DayZ Village" where all the good people can live together and help each other in this cruel time of apocalypse. This project had great success and The Village is nowadays still pretty crowded. You can find it on Spaggie's server at 185.16.86.48:2402 and The Village is located on the Zub castle. I spent some time there and it was awesome. People are nice, they care about each other and try to protect The Village together. The Village was planned for just one week, but with this success, Barely Infected decided to prolong it. Barely Infected has documentation of every day on his server. You can find a lot of content from creators on Youtube and make your own impression of what is going on on the server. For example from these guys: Gaming Junkie, CitizenZ, CamCANTRUN, Raig Prime, Kerbo, FriendlyNikolai, 2dogsgaming, RageBruh or HandZ. Here is a funny prank from M1NDER, he pranked the whole village. And one last thing about this event - artwork of DayZ Village by Dominik Figlhuber. Everyone is looking forward to the 0.63 update. But not as much as this guy. KaskadianRepublik's body is ready. But since 0.63 is still not ready for public, you will need to wait until it's done. I want to show you one video. It is about love between a dog and a human. Fluffy cute wolf who wants to eat everyone around him. But Whoopsie DayZ falls in love with him and wants to have him as a pet. How this can end? I laughed a lot, you need to see it. Have a nice time guys and see you in two weeks! Header image by Vernon Price. - Baty / Community Manager
  2. This week, the Status Report fully focuses on recapping our Gamescom experience. We've been presenting the 0.63 playable DEMO in Cologne, Germany the entire past week, and met literally hundreds of players who tried the DEMO live at our booth as we watched them play. We've gathered a lot of important feedback, which both Eugen and Peter cover in their texts. There are also VoDs of Gamescom live streams, some exciting Gamescom gameplay from our community, and more! Let's get to it. Contents This Week Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Martin Community Spotlight Dev Update/Eugen Gamescom DEMO has been an amazing experience for all of us. Being able to finally get direct feedback on 0.63 and talk to our old school players, or see the new ones playing it for the first time has made me more than a little happy. After getting this DayZ potential ready tech wise, we had a game to share, and talk about. It was exciting and exhausting. We are looking forward to sharing more. At the same time, I have some less exciting news for you. As the build we brought to Gamescom would still take weeks to get ready for public testing, we will not be releasing the DEMO for Steam. We really wanted to, but it just no longer makes sense to spend time polishing a very small part of the whole BETA experience. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on the floor, and I do believe we are hitting the right notes on what BETA should feel like. Rather than releasing a DEMO, our goal is to get the BETA/0.63 update out as soon as possible in its entirety on Experimental branch when ready. That does not mean it's going to be rushed. We do believe that the only way out of this hellhole is a really good game that all of us want to play. We are going to focus on the combat a little while longer to incorporate some of the good feedback that we got, as well as features missing from the DEMO that were cut before it was used on the show floor. There is still a lot of details to implement, or content to convert in that regard. Since we have only returned from Gamescom floor on Sunday late night, we plan to have an internal post-mortem first and get the team together to plan out the next month in detail. However, as you may know, the scope of BETA is huge, and even though we have developed a lot of these features during the same time as technology, now it is time to put it all together. It’s a painful process, but the game is finally there. We are going to need a lot of balancing runs, polishing and bug fixing before we are happy to put it out. We will be reading the feedback on the details available and try and share with you more as we recover from the trip. - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Peter Gamescom 2017 has ended, so let my write down my impressions. At first, knowing all that stuff which was completely missing from the DEMO, or just in early prototype state, and all the remaining limitations we still needs to figure out, I was feeling a bit insecure about the quality of the DEMO build that we brought for showcase at the Gamescom booth. I'm a person who likes to have things in order, and as polished as possible, which leads to situations where I’m just not pleased enough with the current state of the game. So naturally, I was very curious how it's all going to turn out in the end. To quickly recap what was presented in demo: New rocks, roads and their decals with parallax mapping. New characters with better body proportions and heads with lifespan, containing growing shaveable beards, washable bloody hands from skinning bodies New character controller and animation system with very responsive and fluent character movement, coupled with new physics for better collisions, allowing for smooth traversing through environment (yes even running down/up the hill!) New movement sets for turning, injured, falling character as well as carrying heavy items around in hands New gestures with the ability to move while using them New stamina system, differentiating character movement speed depending on their load New melee combat system with attack and hit impacts animations New ranged combat with extended weapon handling and aiming with new sway and recoil New intuitive way to perform actions with items in hands even while moving, crafting new ones even directly from world and interactions with environment without pixel hunting New HUD and inventory with clear layout and resized cargo and item sizes New voice communication including personal radio, megaphone and public address system New advanced placing which will be used for precise placement of specific items New electricity system with cable reels to reach far places And much more... There were thousands of gamers and content creators looking forward to get their hands on the first iteration of what DayZ will become in BETA. It was an interesting mixture of people that never played DayZ before, ones who put it down waiting patiently for BETA, and those who still play DayZ regularly and spent from hundreds to thousands of hours in-game. I've spent a great amount of time observing how people play the game, and discussed with them about what they like on the new DayZ, what would they still like to see improved, and why. With this approach, I gained a ton of feedback. It was very positive to see and hear that we are actually on the right track, and people do like what they see, and especially how it plays. Bear in mind nothing is set in stone yet, and everything could be changed, especially after valuable feedback we received. It will allow us to refine the design a bit more, so in it’s final form, DayZ could unleash its full potential, and allow people to enjoy what DayZ is so well known for - an emergent gameplay full of interactions, which creates stories filled with unique experience and leaving strong memories in atmospheric world. After meeting you at Gamescom 2017... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Martin As both Eugen and Peter mentioned, Gamescom was a really positive experience for us. The very stressful couple of weeks before we left the office and travelled to Cologne were definitely worth it in the end, as we've been met with a very warm welcome at Gamescom, and also fulfilled our mission: to gather preliminary feedback on an early 0.63 build. As Baty will share in her part of the Status Report, we did our best to provide some meaningful coverage for those of you not visiting Gamescom. The couple of live streams we organized with Twitch and GameStar.de were quite full of interesting news, so do check them out below, along with content from M1ndr, Barely Infected or Merlin from DayZ Underground. It's a bit unfortunate that we were not able to capture a better gameplay clip for both live streams in time (due to both time constraints and last minute fixes to the playable DEMO build), so the presented footage was a bit bare bones and glitchy at times, but as promised, we will deliver a good amount of quality 1080p/60FPS footage in the following days. The footage will take the form of a Dev Log video similar to those made for 0.62, and you can expect around 10 minutes of new content with Eugen's developer narration. Also, since we decided not to make the DEMO available on Steam, we'll see if we can at least organise a live stream where you can see live gameplay, and ask us questions. Our pre-gamescom live stream was a bit of a technical failure, so we need to spend some more time planning the live stream, but we have a decent combat plan to make it all happen. That's it from me this week. Thanks everyone who visited us at Gamescom, you were awesome! Now, let's see some of the community content from our booth. - Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager Community Spotlight Gamescom is over, we are back in Prague, and work on BETA continues. It was something new to us and some people in the team have never been to a big event like Gamescom before. It was exhausting, but it was worth it, because your feedback is what we really needed. And we are really happy we got a lot of very positive feedback from you! It was a total of 6 of us from the DayZ team, and for five days, you were able to meet us in the booth and play DayZ on 18 PCs. You could play a short PvP demo, try some features from the upcoming 0.63 build and grab some nice little presents along the way. You've surely seen videos that appeared mostly on Twitter and Reddit from people who have already tried the demo. Unfortunately, as Martin explained, we do not have an official video ready yet, but we will catch up this week and if everything goes according to our plan, the video commented by our Lead Producer Eugen Harton will be released by the end of the week. Before it's out, you can look at the impressions of M1ndr and Rene (Barely Infected) who also visited us to try the DEMO: There were two live streams during Gamescom where our Lead Producer Eugen was talking about the Gamescom DEMO and BETA. First one on the line was the GameStar.de live stream, and the second one was a Twitch official Gamescom live stream (watch the VOD here, you need to move to time 8:10:55). We also hosted a community meetup at Gamescom, where we met ten of you and barely fit into our small meeting room. For almost two hours, we talked about DayZ and what you can expect from the BETA. And you got some special gifts we prepared for this event. I would like to thank you very much for coming to see us and I hope you enjoyed the meeting as much as we did! Before Gamescom, we organized an event on Skalisty Island where players became knights and fought in teams to capture the Skalisty castle. Except for a bit of a waiting waiting, everything went well and all players were quite happy. There were some content creators who were streaming or recording their gameplay which they then placed on YouTube, so those of you who were not there can see it too. Blue team won the battle of the castle, but the greys fought bravely too. I want to thank everyone for their patience and the fact that they have arrived. You can look forward to another event soon! Just for clarification, the recording of the developer stream that accompanied the event was removed due to technical issues during the stream. Unfortunately, we did not correctly estimate the demands of the stream on the hardware and therefore the stream was flawed by unpleasant lags. We learned our lesson and it will be better next time. I've created a list of YouTube recordings for you, so you can see what was happening through the eyes of several players. If I forgot to include someone just tweet me at @batyalquawen and I'm going to add you to the playlist. And in the end, I want to show you a funny bug we found yesterday. Adam Franců sent it to me with this description: Thanks again to everyone who came to play the Gamescom demo and to everyone who gave us any feedback. We really appreciate it. See you in two weeks guys and have a nice start of a new school year! Header image by MAMAD_NZR. - Baty / Community Manager
  3. Hello survivors! Where the last couple of Status Reports felt a bit dry and lacking on exciting content, we're doing our best to improve our track record this week! Starting off with Brian, and his excitement which clearly shows that we've had a good couple of rough, but good weeks, through Eugen, who's offering a closer look at the contents of the upcoming Gamescom DEMO, and then over to Peter, who details the changes made to melee and firearms behaviour in 0.63, it's a joyride of teasing new and exciting content. Adam continues by sharing his bits on new decals updates, our Brand Manager Martin assures everyone that the Gamescom news will make its way to everybody, and Baty invites you to Gamescom AND to our upcoming community event next week that goes together with a pre-gamescom developer live stream. Oh hey, and there's also GIFs showing some new stuff (because yes - it is a long read again). Ready? Go! Contents This Week Dev Update/Brian Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Adam Dev Update/Martin Community Spotlight Dev Update/Brian Greetings Survivors, As we approach Gamescom I can't help but reflect back on all the work, stress, and dedication that has preceded where we are now. Back in the end of 2013 when we were trying to prepare a build for Steam, we couldn't have imagined the opportunities all the time that has been spent on technology, and the foundation of the project would afford us. Looking at the Early Access release of one of my personal favourite pure survival titles, The Long Dark I can't help but remember what that experience was like when it first hit Steam, compared to how amazing it is now. The team has been working tirelessly for quite some time, and the focus over the last month or so on preparing a functional vertical slice build for Gamescom, which should raise spirits a great deal internally. One of the most frustrating professional experiences for me has been working on adapting the design and experience of DayZ over the years, but knowing that you the consumers couldn't see these changes and get hands on with them until the underlying tech was ready to support it. Gamescom is just over the horizon, and I know everyone here on the team is really focused on trying to get an outstanding snapshot of the new DayZ experience for you all. Not losing focus on the fact that the development teams'; core goals have been aimed specifically at setting the foundation of DayZ for the years to come is a difficult order. The technology that we hit Steam with fundamentally just can't do justice to the experience we want to bring, and fortunately leadership inside the company has understood that and supported our drive forward. BETA by no means is the end all be all milestone for DayZ - we have plenty of amazing things beyond it and before leaving Early Access - but this is fundamentally the biggest impact on how you the users interact with the world, and establishes the technology baseline that enables us to do all the things we've talked with you about over the years. It's been a hell of a journey, but I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Eugen Hey guys! I'm going to get into detail in regards to what the Gamescom DEMO is and what is the plan going forward with it. As the Gamescom is getting closer, things are being set in stone. When we decided to go forward with the idea (which was about three months ago), we were nowhere near the expected result. However, deadlines and these goals make sure you are able to focus on what is actually important and as such help you eliminate the noise that gets in the way of development. Sometimes it's feature creep, other times you just follow an overly complicated solution to a problem that’s much simpler to solve. The renewed target helped us follow through. Everything starts with how you control a game, it needs to feel just right. When the game is making it hard to do what you actually want to accomplish through arbitrary complexity or inconsistency, it quickly becomes tedious. As this DEMO features the new player controller, animation system, physics and much more, it will feel different at first glance. Interacting with players, AI or environment should feel much smoother. We will have the new controls printed out for players coming in for an easy reference point. As this is quite a complex rework of the game, and we want people to test specific things, it will have its own "map" built around Staroye. The map includes new roads, rocks, and more reworked old assets as we are gradually improving visual fidelity, and leaving the old stuff behind. Only subset of player usable items will be spawning for the purpose of quick access, as we expect the turnover to be quite large. The density is also much higher to make sure you can try more things in a short span of time. Besides the map, you can also expect new particle effects implemented with Enfusion technology, new character faces and much more. It will feature the new inventory implementation, which again should feel much smoother and faster as we have invested quite a lot of time to do this properly. And one large change that we expect to have significant impact on how people play: you won't be able to move with inventory open. A lot of the things that people have used inventory to solve, like finding small items or interacting with their weapon to avoid delayed quick bar, will be long gone. Items will show their icons in the world, as well as all action being moved to contextual methods. And quick bar will become a core part of your setup as you explore the world of DayZ. You will get more slots as you get higher tier items, which in translation will increase the amount of stuff you can get done quickly in the world. There are tons of new animations coming in to show different states of character, exhaustion for example. And many detailed systems trying to avoid using text and use of heavy UI, so that living your life in Chernarus is all about your character. New gestures that will spice up the interaction between player, hopefully causing a laugh or two. Or making sure you can understand each other over a long distance. Lot of new UI changes that will focus on giving you enough detail if you want, or just immerse into the character in front of you. Tons of new sounds both ambient, character or weapon related. There is new synchronisation model that is quite different from what we had before, hoping to support the full scale of 100 players and tons of AI. All these things will be stress tested heavily to make sure there are no issues when we go live. Lot of the things are however heavily work in progress, but also for the first time, all of the new tech is in and working with new data. It's exciting as hell. And last but not least, new melee combat and ranged combat. But I'll let Peter talk about those   There will be issues I'm sure, as something always slips past, or gets broken in the last second. This is a complex game in making, and we can't wait to share our progress with you. We are discussing the possibility of making the DEMO available for a limited time on a separate Steam branch, but we'll yet have to see about that. Programmers - Weapons actions - Vehicle controller refactor - Melee combat (programming wise) - Particles (programming wise) - Physics and optimisation tweaks - New zombie controller - CLE (Central Loot Economy) tweaks - Bug fixing Animators - Animals animations - IK (Inverse Kinematics) poses - Injured animations - Weapons animations (loading/unloading) - Bug fixing Designers - Melee combat (script wise) - Communication - Horticulture - Particles (script wise) - Inventory UI refactor - Advance placing system - Gamescom demo preparation (spawning, menu, ...) - Bug fixing Audio - Sounds for weapons interactions - Footsteps sounds (surface vs footwear) - Ambient sounds - Bug fixing QA - Internal client stabilisation - Gamescom demo features testing - Bug reporting Art - Old assets rework - New assets preparation (NW Airfield ) - Object layout for western region - Bug fixing - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Peter As you may know from previous Status Reports, we scratched old firearms and melee implementations and started from the ground up to allow us fulfil our vision of having more control over firearms and melee fights, resulting in much better, authentic user experience. Both ranged and close combat have crucial role in DayZ, may it be in PvE or PvP encounters. Over the last few weeks, there was quite a lot of progress made in both combats, and now as things starts to look well enough, it's a good time to talk about them and showcase them. Ranged combat with firearms is defined by their handling and aiming models. So far on handling side, we have loading of firearms with either magazine or chambering directly with ammo from inventory, quick slots and even from the ground. Next is the mechanism manipulation itself, were you can feed ammo from a magazine to chamber in case of manual firearms, or eject ammo in automatic ones. It's also used to un-jam the mechanism once it gets jammed by a casing not being ejected properly. We reintroduced zeroing and fire modes, as well as iron sights, though optics are not working now due to some issues we're battling down the line (specifically switching to camera point on optic attachment, to be honest we have ran into some problems with attachments in general lately, as they are not in hierarchical order, so it will require some rewrite). Aiming model of firearms is where the real fun begins. Currently, we have a new sway mechanic (yay, finally!) - it mimics breathing with constant vertical movement as well as corrections of hands direction with subtle random horizontal movement. It's very effective and robust design solution which allows us to modify output by plenty of factors, like firearm attachments configuration, especially hand-guard and butt-stock, and its weight, character stance and movement, amount of stamina, overall character state with all that unpleasant things like low body temperature or diseases, and of course also the hold breath feature (yes, I'm not kidding). Recoil is another functional part of the aiming model now. While projectile is fired, we've introduced movement to firearms in all three dimensions. We are experimenting with pre-animated recoils, which are procedurally modified to produce nice looking visuals with ability to differentiate between firearms. Similarly to sway, it can be modified, this time it could depend on calibre, barrel length, overall firearm weight and its attachments, especially muzzle devices like brakes or compensators, and we are also considering impact from stamina. What's still missing is some sights misalignment in the aiming model, same goes to lifting firearms next to obstacles, however we will get there as both are a must have for proper aiming model. Quick update regarding new melee combat - in current state, it's already way ahead when compared to the old system. Apart from full body attack animations, which can now be chained into combos and opponents reacts to hits with proper strength and directions of impacts, there is also a dashed attack from sprint implemented now. I would like to highlight the current melee targeting implementation which is taking length of a melee weapon into account, as well as distance direction and vertical angle to opponent. Combined with rotating and dragging character towards selected targets during attack animations, it produces great looking, fluid and addictive melee combat. It's quite hard to miss your opponent now, gone are the days of grotesque melee fights where everybody ran in circles trying to play game of chance to deal some hit. Last but not least, we also introduced some changes to controls of the new character. What really stands out is changing of stances which is using one key now instead of three previously. With programmers and animators, we are discussing missing moves of new character, like leaning, jumping or climbing, as we would like to push on these and make them more interesting for gameplay. Apart from Gamescom 2017... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Adam Much like in the last Status Report, let's begin with a showcase of some additional improvements to the visual fidelity of Chernarus. This time, let's talk about decals. On Chernarus, decals are primarily used to make specific areas (such as concrete surfaces and roads) look more damaged / abandoned. We cant simply add local damage to the concrete / roads texture itself as it would look too repetitive in the end. And so these decals are a great way to add a local damage exactly where we want. While decal textures were trying really hard to show that there are holes in the road, they ultimately failed alone because they were missing visual depth in-game. Luckily, this was changed with the recent implementation of parallax mapping for decals. And since we have got new textures for roads for quite some time, we have also decided to re-do textures for all road damage decals so the visuals of decals match together with the new road textures (visual inconsistency between old decals and new roads is one of the reasons we decided to postpone the release of new road textures, originally planned for update 0.62). Here are some examples of how medium and small-sized decals look after these changes: These changes (along with the new road textures that you can also notice on pictures) will be available with the update 0.63. And as usual - a short report on what has happened on western border of Chernarus since the last Status Report. Details were added around the Myshkino dam (including the HV power-line connection to Zelenogorsk), new recreational facility of TES company near the shore of Myshkino dam and probably the biggest lumber mill we currently have on Chernarus has been added north of Myshkino military site. These locations will hopefully make encounters in the Myshkino tents valley a bit more interesting and offer additional looting options for the players who prefer to roam the western region of Chernarus. As always, please remember that all pictures show work-in-progress content. - Adam Franců / Senior Map Designer Dev Update/Martin As we started outlining our Gamescom DEMO over the last two Status Reports, I've noticed a raising concern in the community about us presenting a build of the game on a gaming convention rather than delivering it directly to the core players on our Experimental and Stable Steam branches. As our community of existing players is what we truly care about the most, I'd like to address these concerns and add further context to Eugen's text above. First of all, thanks to Brian and his great relationships with guys over at Astro Gaming or Twitch, DayZ's been present at many public events in the past, and I'm sure it's always been fun for everyone to meet and greet while occasionally streaming or presenting some of the upcoming features. Usually, most of the news from these events also made it out to the general public - either by being directly shared by the DayZ team over social media, or organically by someone from the community posting on the forums or Reddit. This worked quite well, and considering that those activities were not a part of any sophisticated marketing/promotional plan (there hasn't been anything like that for DayZ, and this won't change until BETA drops on Stable), it's also been quite effective. Gamescom is a little bit of a step up from these events, as we'll be part of a bigger Bohemia Interactive booth. That means that our presence needs to be a bit more official, that we need to present something meaningful, and ideally also playable. That's where the Gamescom DEMO comes in - as a publicly playable content, it also conveniently solves three problems for us: a) it helps the development team to deliver a package even before the first BETA build is done internally, or ready for public branches - hopefully helping everybody have a feeling of accomplishment (which Brian nicely described in his part) b) it allows us to do very early focus tests in a controlled environment where we're standing right next to the person playing c) it helps us make a point to the general public that we are being serious about our intentions to bring DayZ to a stable 1.0 release, and support it for years to come (which some people still refuse to believe in) As Eugen already pointed out, we may (or may not), at some point, and in one way or another, make this DEMO available to all of you who won't be able to try it at Gamescom. While it's not fully representative of DayZ as the hardcore survival game it should be (and technically only works in a "LAN" mode as well), we understand that everybody just wants to get their hands on the new player controller! More importantly though, we have plans for extensive online coverage of all the things we're about to show at Gamescom. Just to pick a few that will happen right during the Gamescom week: we&'ll be live on the Twitch Gamescom stage for about 15 minutes, talking about the DEMO and DayZ BETA in detail, including some gameplay. We'll have a couple of media appointments that will hopefully produce some cool articles, and we'll also be producing our own photos or possibly even some basic video content directly from the show floor. Now, creating (audio)visual content of any upcoming game changes is always a struggle. With the way our community-driven development works (the moment we have a "legit" build in our hands that we need your feedback on, we drop it to Experimental), it is sometimes literally impossible to even play the internal branch of DayZ for several minutes straight, and prepare content in advance. This has been the case with the supporting content we're making for Gamescom, and over the last two weeks, it produced some rather hilarious clips: While those GIFs may look like a lot of fun, the reality is that any bug like that always breaks the gameplay, not to mention the recorded clip or screenshot. Count in some nasty crashes, network issues or general server degradation we still need to resolve, and you have a good reason for our Status Reports rarely including any relevant visual content at all. It's also why we're still relatively far from dropping any BETA package to the public Steam branches - while our new player character (and other systems) already work well within the limited scope of the Gamescom DEMO, they are not ready for the full-scale DayZ experience just yet. Well, that'll do it for today - I hope this helped some of you to get an insight on what's happening around the DayZ office. Baty should have some more details about our upcoming Gamescom coverage! P.S. - please do let us know if you're coming to Cologne, and come hang out with us! - Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager Community Spotlight Hello guys, We have two weeks till Gamescom and in our office, as in many other gamedev offices around the world, we're preparing for the game show, and we are starting to panic a bit. There is still so much to be done! I spent the last two weeks working on videos, which should be done before Gamescom, but as Martin wrote above, the game is still not in an ideal shape. Therefore, we tried to make the best of the actual unstable version to be able to show you some of the new features which you will be able to experience at Gamescom. I will not try to hide that it is very challenging to capture scenes without any errors and bugs, be we are close to finish and the video should be ready for Gamescom. In any case, Gamescom is near and the mood in the Dev Team can be best described as: But enough of silly things. Let’s take a look at what is waiting for us in the next couple of weeks. Next Thursday 17th August at 17:30 CEST (GMT+1) you can look forward to a stream from our Bohemia Interactive office. We would like to share more information about what you can expect in our booth at Gamescom, we will tell you more about a demo we are preparing and also about a community meet-up which will be organized at Gamescom. We will talk in more detail about BETA and answer some questions. And this time, we will have moderators and better sound, so it will surely be better than last time! But the stream will not be only about DayZ. We will talk more about other BI projects, like Mini DAYZ, Ylands and Arma 3. Do not miss this stream; you can learn a lot of new information there! Simultaneously with the stream, we will host a small event. It will be a battle of the castle again, where we will return to the Middle Ages and play as knights. The event will take place on 17th August at 17:00 CEST (GMT+1) and you can be part of it if you are interested. You can sing up HERE. And now back to the Gamescom. It will be held between 23rd and 26th August at Cologne in Germany. As I said in previous Status Report, we will be there, specifically in hall 10.1., booth A010. Beside DayZ team, we will also have Ylands and Arma teams there. You will be able to play the Gamescom DEMO about which the devs were already talking above. More information about the demo will be revealed at the stream next week. I want to point out that the DayZ and Arma parts will be separated from public area and will only be accessible for adults 18+. But don’t worry if you are not 18 yet. You can come visit us at the community meet-up in front of our booth, talk with the devs and get some gifts. Community meet-up will take place on 25th August at 13:00 CEST, so don’t hesitate to come, we will be happy to see you. And if you come in DayZ cosplay, you will make us even happier! For those of you that cannot make it to this year’s Gamescom, let me assure you again: we are preparing reports, videos and photos. Don’t forget to follow our social media channels! Finally, we will have a look at some of your creations. First, I would like to present you a member of Spanish community who is playing on role-play server DayZRP and is sharing his adventures on his YouTube channel. His last video is "La masacre" and as the title suggests, it is about a massacre in Lopatino’s church. There are English subtitles for those who do not understand Spanish. I really like the story and what I like even more is the amazing comic that accompanies the video. Other parts of the comic can be found on his Twitter channel. And now for the mentioned video: Further on, I was pleasantly surprised by a community member paulmosin, who is sending his ideas of a real world survivor to our Twitter. We love him! On Reddit, I discovered a post by user SpectreRobin. It is a DayZ picture, painted on 3 canvases, which is inspired by a well-known screenshot. It was drawn by his friend, who is a very talented artist. It reminds me of paintings in our office (which I would very much like to take home) and we can be only jealous that he has such a nice decoration on his walls. Thank you very much for all your content that you share with us on our official social networks, we really appreciate it. We will have to move the next status report to 29th August, because it would be right in the Gamescom week and we will not be able to prepare it while at the convention. But as I wrote above, we will be definitely sharing the photos, experiences and impressions with you the whole week. So make sure to follow us and we are looking forward to seeing you on the stream, and at Gamescom! Header image by RageBruh.‏ - Baty / Community Manager
  4. This week, we're keeping it short and sweet with Eugen, Adam and Baty, as the rest of the team got their hands full with work on major 0.63 tasks. Eugen actually shares more on why we've been quieter than usual the last few Status Reports, and sets some expectations regarding BETA release schedule. Adam is reporting on the ongoing tireless work of the environment team, showcasing some of their recent achievements, and Baty closes off with a little teaser of an upcoming live stream - along with sharing awesome community content, of course! Let's get to it folks. Contents This Week Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Adam Community Spotlight Dev Update/Eugen In BETA we trust, deliver we must. A catchphrase that I've seen on one of our whiteboards a couple weeks ago perfectly summarizes how we as a team feel right now. We know things haven't been perfect and that the experience that we wanted to provide has not always been consistent with our vision. Technology debt that we have been fighting held us in fairly firm grip where we quickly realized that providing short term solutions over and over isn't going to cut it. We had to rethink and go back to the drawing board multiple times to start making a fun game. We knew the solutions needed but the time investment was huge with lot of risks ahead. Which is where a lot of the development kept getting slowed down by the complexity of the engine changes that were needed, as well as unexpected issues that kept changing the landscape before us. It was a risky move that we hope will keep the game alive going forward and bring back those that might have been turned away by the state of the game. As we truly believe that what you players want and we meant to deliver wasn’t doable with the technology we had. There are players out there who are patiently waiting, while playing the game in a state that it is in now, others who wait for the full release or some who come back every once in a while to see what changed. Some are more invested than others, they read our channels, think about consequences of what we talk about, and some just want to see it in action. As the BETA is becoming a fleshed out reboot of the game all of us wanted, we plan to have a limited playable build at Gamescom this year. We're doing everything we can to make it available at the Bohemia Interactive booth for the visitors to try it out. The sole focus of this build is gunplay and player movement on an edited version of Chernarus prepared especially for the purpose of this demo. That is why a lot of our efforts have been looking at the flow of player actions, controls and consistency of their outcome. The team will be there in person to discuss the details with those interested. Feedback is the most important thing and we can't wait to see people play it and smoothen the rough edges. Now that also means that the next couple of weeks are fully focused on the content of the Gamescom demo, so that there are no major hurdles when fans in Cologne get their hands on it. All departments are trying to iron out the details as much as they can, so that we can have fun with in Germany. For the first BETA update itself, there is no release date yet. We don't want to let you down unless we're absolutely sure it's coming. The Gamescom demo work itself still counts towards the overall development of course, but we're not ready to put that version of the game on any of the public Steam branches - simply because the feature set of our demo will be limited and does not represent the complete DayZ experience. To finish things off, let's take a look at a list of things the team is tackling now: Programmers Weapon actions Vehicle controller refactor Basic state machines and script classes tweaks Melee combat preparation (programming wise) Central Loot Economy tweaks Physics and optimization tweaks New animation system for zombies Bug fixing Animators MoCap session preparation Animal animations Weapon animations Designers Melee combat (script wise) Aiming model Weapons handling Inventory UI refactor (crafting, character) Advanced placing system New player and item spawn definition Audio Sounds for weapon interactions QA Playtesting the 0.62 update Internal client stabilization New animations/weapons functionality testing Art Gamescom map preparation Old assets rework Fire mode selector for weapons Object layout for western region - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Adam As we mentioned in earlier status reports, our efforts on improving graphical fidelity does not end with the update 00.62. With such massive change for the environment that update 0.62 has brought, one of the most important things for us is to get the environment right color-wise. That means getting lighting config right and having all assets in our environment properly configured (material and texture wise). We have already released an update for grass color for 0.62 on June 21 and since then our environment designer Mark has been working tirelessly on another iteration, this time focused mainly on changing another important piece of this whole color puzzle - satellite texture. You know this texture very well, because it is the one that you see whenever you look into the distance (and also texture, that is commonly used on community-made maps, that helps you in travels through Chernarus). Since Chernarus was originally made for Arma 2 and DayZ version has been built on top of it, it also uses satellite texture from this version. The texture was unfortunately nowhere near to being consistent in the beginning (in terms of the way details were made or in used color pallete) and with the additional things added on top of it in DayZ (northern, western expansion, settlement rework,..), this problem was only deepened. With the update 0.62, we felt that it is the time we finally look at this problem and make sure satellite texture for the new Chernarus uses somewhat consistent color pallete and looks good both in old and new areas. This change was also particularly important for us with update 0.62 since satellite texture affects colors of grass and ground textures. Now, do not expect that suddenly, a texture that has 15360x15360 pixels will be great in every detail, but the work that has been done so far is a huge step forward and will be good starting point for any additions and improvements. BEFORE AFTER With satellite texture changes of such scale, another pass on colors of grass and bushes/trees was inevitable (to basically bring close and far LOD visuals in-line with colors on new satellite texture plus several issues with material configuration were also fixed). And since all that was purely a data change, we felt that it would be shame not to include it for update 0.62, too. And so all of the changes are now available on Experimental Branch for you to check out. And I do have also some bonus pictures for you this time - work has progressed on western border of Chernarus. Currently, detailed object layout is being worked on in areas west of Zelonogorsk. First two pictures show new settlement, called Zvir. Third shows Orlye ozero with mountain Velikyj Kotel rising behind. Now please keep in mind that content on these pictures is work-in-progress. If you want to read more about the planned changes on western border, check out the last status report. - Adam Francu / Senior map designer Dev Update/Community Spotlight Two weeks have passed and it is time again to take a look at what is happening in the community. At first, I would like to talk about an important event which is ahead of us this summer and that is Gamescom. We've been preparing for it for several months and it is very important to us, because we will meet you – the community, and at the same time, we want to show you something new. If you are planning to be at Gamescom, we will be glad to see you. You will find our booth in hall 10.1, where we will be among other Bohemia Interactive games. Also, for the Friday 25th, we are preparing a small meet & greet with developers, including small gifts for you. Cosplayers are welcome! We will tell you more on a live stream before Gamescom, which we are also preparing at the moment and which you definitely should not miss. Recently, I was playing DayZ when I got a message from streamer Issy telling me she can’t wait to show me what she made. And she sent a picture of shoes she painted in DayZ style! Simply awesome! I had to share that with you. When browsing through DayZ videos, this DayZ-inspired rap caught my eye, made by DayZ Standalone - Jiveturkey600. He created it on a request from one of the fans, who wanted a song from zombie point of view. Today I would like to focus on an international fan group on Facebook - DayZ Standalone Community, which has over 13000 members. People show off their accomplishments there, look for others to play with or share their own creations. It was this group where I found Mark Duncan Copland’s post showing postcards he receives from his friend Michael. It is amazing to see how DayZ became an important part of your friendship! Another thing that got my attention in this group was a bar in Birmingham, UK, run by Jessica Mitchel who, as a true fan, decorated the bar windows with DayZ style stickers. I would like to invite you to a RP event on the Aftermath server which will take place next Wednesday. What is it about? Scientists have been carrying out experiments on the residents of Svetlojarsk. Slowly the residents started to notice people becoming sick and ‘turning.’ Information was leaked to the residents that scientists were going to visit the city to see the final result. The remaining residents held a secret meeting, they bought weapons off the black market and planned to capture the scientists to demand a vaccine for their friends and family. Worried that there may not be enough to go around, the civilians not only intended to capture the scientists but also kill anyone else who knew about the virus! If the story got you interested, don’t not forget to sing up, because the server is whitelisted. You can find more information on their web pages. As a last thing, I wanted to show you a beautiful screenshot of the town of Novodmitrovsk in an unusual resolution made by Reddit user NeuroticEUROtic. It is definitely worth sharing! That is all from me for today. Make sure not to miss the next Status Report, where we will give you more information about the upcoming stream and Gamescom. Enjoy the summer! Header image by disastrouscluck. - Baty / Community Manager
  5. Good afternoon Survivors, This week, the summer holiday is in full swing in Prague and Bratislava, which means that some of our developers are enjoying a well deserved vacation, while the others are super busy keeping the development process going. This unfortunately means that our Status Report will be rather brief and dry this time, but as always, we managed to come up with some interesting bits and pieces on what's happening behind the scenes. The main topic this week is the much discussed introduction of server browser tabs. Adam and the environment team is looking at all the settlements across Chernarus, and meanwhile, our friends over at the Bohemia mobile team released Mini DAYZ on mobile devices. It was quite the success to say the least! Let's get to it now, shall we? Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Adam Dev Update/Martin Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors! This Status Report, I had something short and sweet for you. I wanted to take the opportunity to address adaptation to changes, and changes coming forward in general. I know some of you were confused about the changes to the server browser we mentioned in previous Status Reports, and it raised a small concern for me when it comes to larger changes in the future. The changes to the server browser organization are absolutely vital for the final product of DayZ. I know it might seem confusing now but we, as developers need to look at the bigger picture. Presenting the new user with the intended, vanilla experience of DayZ is absolutely critical. If a new user hits the play button, they should be paired with the best candidate official server. If a user looks at the server browser, they absolutely should be presented with Official Bohemia Interactive servers. Servers that present the experience we have laid out, and that we know won't be resetting storage, and will all be on the same central infrastructure. I fully realize that now it might seem confusing to some, and now it might not seem to make sense based off of the current state of the build - but I promise you, it makes sense in the long run. I'm also aware of concerns with regards to some official servers going offline and people losing their camps, and I promise you - this is something that will be looked at, to ensure user progress and protection from unintended player progression loss. As far as other changes moving forward, the sheer nature of how you interact with the world and the gameplay systems involved in it will inherently change. Simply put, things just flat out operate differently. Not only do all of these extensive changes coming in 0.63 and beyond allow us to bring DayZ to be the experience we want it to be, it also allows us to get rid of nasty pesky issues related to the previous system limitations. Be it addressing the nasty "apple spam" or the frustrating deaths at short heights, or even duplication through abuse of animation system glitches. I'm not saying this will resolve every issue present, but it puts us in a position to be able to more easily, and more stabily resolve these issues. That's really all I had for you guys for this Status Report, but keep in mind - no one is looking forward to playing 0.63 on Steam more then us, the developers. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Eugen DayZ has always been a bit of a hybrid MMO - a combination of character and world persistence where instances act like shards themselves, and the official set of servers focusing on the "vanilla experience" - with the future expectation of additional variety with customizable modded servers. By being that open, we closed some doors for us to go full on on that notion of a never-ending progression in an online world - one that games like Destiny or The Division utilize. On the other hand, we still want to keep the idea that allows one player to spend a life of multiple characters across these shards, and have the variety of these different experiences that are consistent with our vision. As Brian has explained today, and in previous Status Reports, I just want to say that the main idea behind the recent tab separation is to maintain two separate worlds for our players. The "vanilla" one where you can expect a consistent experience, and the community one, where (when the BETA hits) you'll see a large variety of different gameplay and tweaks, with as much information as we can provide on the types of changes you'll experience there. Our goal is not to hide these community experiences, but only to show and highlight the difference. I understand that majority of people play on private servers nowadays, as there is more of that curation as to what happens there, and the dangers of vanilla where anything can happen might not be suitable for everybody. But we do believe that giving a choice and information about these differences will be crucial going forward when server files are released. You'll get a large variety of gameplay and setups, and less of a curated community vanilla experience that we at Bohemia will focus on. We expect that community will supply different maps, PvP modes, roleplay, and more. DayZ mod is a good experience to look back on as it has spawned multiple mods and changes, while vanilla experience attracted less and less of the player focus over time - which is understandable. As you spend hundreds of hours there, and want to try new things in this never ending world. We want to see the same thing with less hassle around doing so. You want to play a mod, we want you to see what that mod is, make the flow of playing without any obstruction, and we want to highlight these different experiences for players seeking them. I also want to touch upon the subject of 0.62 development, as it's slowly closing up with a last couple of critical fixes getting merged in, such as crash fixes. When we move on, we want to be sure that your experience is as stable as it can be, within the limits of knowing that everything is going to change when BETA hits. All these small things will help us with this huge transition. As I have said multiple times, we believe that we have something great ahead of us that will realize the vision all of us had for what sometimes feels as forever. So yes, we are now focusing on combat first and foremost in our internal version - and we want to share that with you as soon as possible. There are multiple build reviews every week, as we march towards this long awaited goal. To give a glance at the currently open development items in our teams: Programmers Vehicle controller refactor New animation system for infected Animation events for player Communication systems optimization Mosin 1930 basic state machine and script class MP 133 basic state machine and script class MP5 basic state machine and script class CLE (Central Loot Economy) tweaks Physics and optimization tweaks Bug fixing Animators M4A1 animations Player turns for pistols Unarmed & one hit reactions Player graph fixes IK (Inverse Kinematics) poses Designers New player and item spawn definition Player action targeting and floating cursor User actions in multiplayer Advanced placing system Inventory UI refactor (crafting, character) Aiming model Melee combat targeting Traps with grenades Weapons handling Audio Bug fixing Sounds for animals QA Playtesting the 0.62 update 0.62 feature testing Internal client stabilization CLE testing Art Old assets rework Detailed object layout for western border (locations west of Lopatino) NWAF overhaul Location names revision - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Adam With .62 update being on stable branch for over a month now, we have pretty much transitioned strictly to goals for the update 0.63 and onward. Primary focus being the overhaul of the North West Airfield, finalisation of tourist trails and additional locations on the western border of Chernarus (along with overall tweaks to the area). In this status report, I would like touch a bit on the topic of the plans on western border - where we are going with the changes and additions that we work on now. Our aim is to preserve its wilderness look. We wont be populating this part of the map with lots of settlements like we did on north. Instead of that, we are focusing on adding more lonely locations such as lodges, tourist destinations (tourist trails will be extended to western border) and industrial/farm locations. That being said, western border is quite a huge area by itself, and so it would be a shame to not to include anything that would resemble a settlement. There are currently three tiny settlements in the works, most of them composed of few houses scattered around without some structures like you are used to in the mainland of South Zagoria. Following pictures show one particular settlement located just south of the new castle that has been added in update 0.62 (and already received more details and polish now!). Please keep in mind that these pictures show work-in-progress content: And just to give you an idea, how we imagine some lonely locations, here is a screenshot of lonely lodge somewhere on the western border: Now I would like to give you some names instead of using "new castle" or "new settlement", but the truth is that we have to yet figure out some proper names. This is particularly important for the finalization of tourist trails task, and so in addition to mentioned map tasks, we are also in the process of revisiting all location names that are currently used on Chernarus, along with figuring out names for new locations or locations that are worth naming and were not yet named. Goal of this revision is to also make sure names are somewhat consistent between each other and fit the overall theme of Chernarus. There are over 230 entries (names for settlements, terrain features,..) that we currently work with, but luckily, we've got help from Ivan Buchta - one of the key members of the team behind the Chernarus for Arma 2, to make sure we do not deviate from the original naming rules and that you all will be able to call parts of the map with proper local names :). - Adam Franců / Senior map designer Dev Update/Martin While we're still very much on hold with pushing any release buttons for DayZ on PC and consoles (as the development is breezing towards BETA), I'm more than happy to share some of the excitment that's currently flowing through the veins of everyone at the Bohemia mobile team. On July 3rd, after some time of soft launch testing, they finally launched the iOS and Android versions of Mini DAYZ worldwide! Being 100% free to play (there's no catch, no in-app purchases or hidden transactions - it's just free, plain and simple!), Mini DAYZ stays true to the survival heritage of DayZ standalone (and the mod) by being incredibly unforgiving. It's something that I personally find very refreshing, especially on the mobile games market, which somehow always leans towards very casual and clichéd genres. The good thing is, I am probably not alone, as Mini DAYZ has been occupying top positions in appstore charts across the worold ever since it launched on July 3 - which is well, well deserved, even more so when you realize that Mini DAYZ was originally just a fan made project! Hats off to our mobile team, and especially to Mike Azovskikh, the original creator of Mini DAYZ for web browsers who spearheded the development of mobile versions here at Bohemia! I encourage you to download Mini DAYZ on AppStore or Google Play - for now, it's single player only, but still offers a very entertaining balance of healthy frustration and fun :). Well, that's it from me today - the next time I'm doing a Status Report, it will actually be related to that one DayZ that you all really care about. Gamescom is getting very close... but for now, let's see what Baty has for you this week! - Martin Čulák / Brand Manager Community Spotlight Hello Survivors! First thing I would like to address today is the new server browser. It seemed to confuse you a bit, because a lot of you were struggling to find your favorite community servers. When you launch DayZ and open the server browser, you will find yourselves on the Official servers tab. If you select the „favorited“ checkbox, only the official servers which you have added to your favourites will be displayed. If you change to Community tab and select „favorited“, you will see your favorite Community servers only. It's so simple! And now, we will look at two of your videos. Wobo did a couple of tests and prepared 30 tips for update 0.62, which you may have not heard about previously. Make sure to check it out, you could be surprised. Some of you will surely be familiar with the name TheLonelyBandit. Last year, he decided to create a challenge video, where he was getting food and water only from people he mugged. He returned to it now and his video where he attacked a really nice guy entertained me a lot. Watch him survive without the usual supply of food a water! A lot of interesting stories develop on the DayZUnderground servers thanks to organic role-play without rules. Stories of ordinary people trying to survive, as well as faction members who are not afraid to take your possessions and your life. Short articles "Humans of Chernarus" will allow you to look inside the mind of such people. And again, we have another peak into our office: That is all from me and as always, if you have any interesting content, which you would like to share with us, tweet it on our official Twitter profile. Header image by ThatOneKidBowen. - Baty / Community Manager
  6. This week, everyone's super busy with actual development work on 0.63, but Brian, Eugen, Viktor and Martin still managed to share some exciting bits and pieces - we're addressing our old development roadmaps, share some of our intended design on game economy, tease a couple of new gesture animations, and also discuss some of our communication related news (including an Instagram account!). Let's get to it. Contents This Week: Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Viktor Dev Update/Martin Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors. This week, I don't have too much for you, as a great deal of everything I've been so excited to work with Peter on over the last few years is entirely dependant upon the successful implementation of DayZ's new spine („DayZ 2.0“ as Peter lovingly referred to it in our 0.62 Developer Live Stream). This Status Report, I wanted to talk the opportunity during the wait for BETA to clarify a few points about our in game economy, and the continuing work that Peter, our programmer Frantisek, myself, and others are putting into it. Everyone on the dev team sees the same issues as everyone else. Buildings with repeated spawns of the same item in some situations, some items ending up clustering in one region of the map, helicopter crashes not spawning firearms (psuedo-intentional currently), and of course the availability of early game supplies. BETA isn't just about the new animation system, and related components. The programmers responsible for the central economy have reached the end of what they can do on 0.62, and a lot of work to address some of these issues has actually been done, but is on the 0.63 branch. Obviously this will need some testing and iteration to get it to where we want it - but I wanted everyone that follows developement of DayZ to be aware of the fact that we do know, and that we want it to improve as much as you all do. Heli crashes should spawn firearms, hell some of the stuff we have coming in the pipe has been discussed as clearly being dynamic event spawns only - so that people have to hunt these items down and can't just go to a static location to find them. There are many small details to DayZ that have a ripple impact on all connected points of gameplay, and the economy is a perfect example of this. Without it functioning properly, all the fancy improvements, fluid character movement, enhanced visuals and so on won't matter because the new player to DayZ won't be able to feel like they can learn, and master the world. They won't feel empowered early on to take on the challenges of surviving in Chernarus, if they can't understand how to find basic supplies. I could ramble on about this for hours, but I'll save you all that wall of text - Eugen, Peter, and Viktor will take it from here. I look forward to seeing you all in Chernarus, be it on 0.62 or beyond! - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Eugen Hi everyone! Since this week, everybody is really swamped with actual development work, I'll try to fill in for the lack of cool visuals or exciting new feature documentation and reflect upon some of our past decisions on the technology side of things. With the mindset of developing technology first to enable our vision for DayZ platform, we have gone through number of changes internally. Things were cut, changed, deprecated and sometimes reintroduced to get a good and fun anti-game first and foremost. However, all the work that was necessary to achieve this vision has shown us how large our technological debt was at the time. All that lead to plans that were clashing heavily with how fast we were able to remove the debt, and we ended up prototyping a lot of our vision in old technology to see what works, and what does not. We have shown a number of roadmaps that have proved to be a failure on our part. Anticipating, or predicting the effect that the technology debt can have on development speed is a very hard endeavor - and we have learned the hard way. It has always been a good plan longterm for both the game and the company. But we all do believe that what DayZ is supposed to be has not been achieved yet, and we plan to deliver on that notion. For years, we have worked with the best intentions on a good technology base for all features that this sandbox would largely benefit from. Going forward, we want to start sharing some of the internal documents to show what that means to us, how it fits within BETA and full release. We anticipate a lot of features will make it to the first BETA release of DayZ on this new technology base, meaning that the things that we haven't been possible to fix, change, improve, or make at all will get the much needed spark and detail. It's perhaps not going to be one big swoop for every single part of the game, but it certainly feels like playing a new DayZ. We hope that this will show the possibilities of our new technology and inspire modders alike to be far more ambitious with their goals. If you look at the gameplay of DayZ, one of the main and core pillars of it is the player itself. We have created mindmaps on design side that help us with the longterm vision of how (and where) the player interacts with the enviroment, or with the game. The graph you see below shows the base of what new player should be able to do by 1.0, with most features being available during BETA. DayZ Player Features Diagram (PDF, 1MB) And that’s only the overview of the player character interactions, not mentioning other features (say, base building) or the infected. DayZ is truly vast in scope, and there is a lot to go through, but starting here is important. I think you (the players) and we (the developers) want the same thing. There will be differences here and there, don't get me wrong. But we share the idea of having a multiplayer sandbox with apocalyptic background that’s unforgiving, immersive and gets your heart beating when these scenarios you have been imagining in your head become possible. We want this technology to allow just that. To serve as platform for a game where you get into these intense situations, or maybe just sit down at a fire with a friend. Where it feels almost real. We know what the game should be, we didn’t want to be held down by constraints of past, and have chosen to do our best and get the limits out of the way. I don't want to sound like a broken record, I just really want to play this thing with you guys and get lost in Chernarus again. - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Viktor Hi everyone! I'll be very short this time as we're still working hard on player character and firearms animations. What I can tease today is a couple of GIFs with some upcoming new gestures that I was talking about in my recent Status Reports. These new animations include military gestures, as well as new taunts. Here is the preview of some of them: Move Kiss Think Come Elbow - Viktor Kostik/ Lead Designer Dev Update/Martin Survivors, I have a brief update for you from our small marketing/community department within the DayZ Dev Team and Bohemia Interactive. As some of you may know, we set ourselves a goal to improve the DayZ website and make it (much like DayZ itself) more modern, functional, and fun to use in general. It's the single most important communication channel that we have to engage with our community, and it deserves our attention for sure. On the related forums thread, we've been collecting your feedback on our website, and the Bohemia Interactive online services team has succesfuly implemented some of your ideas (like having a proper search function, or tags to quickly sort through content). While there is still a lot of work to do on the actual content of the website, you can already check out a preview of the general design direction the DayZ.com website will be taking: our friends over at the Bohemia Interactive Mobile Team have announced the release of Mini DAYZ on mobile devices (3rd of July, save the date!) and their new website at www.minidayz.com shares some of the basic design elements that we will be using at DayZ.com as well. Other than that, we are getting ready to keep everyone well informed while our developers are doing all the hard work on the first BETA build. What lies ahead of us is probably one of the greatest challanges that we have faced in terms of communication - we need to do our best to keep your interest high with no other major updates scheduled for release before BETA, and at the same time, we need to make sure that the world knows that DayZ is still alive, and very much kicking when BETA happens. As Eugen mentioned, some of our past estimates were not quite right, and it's always the bad news that stays in everyone's minds. In general, do expect more of what we did for the 0.62 release (video content like the 0.62 Update Overview, and the 0.62 Developer Live Stream), and be ready to play a huge role in all that - our community is one of the three pillars that support everything we do at Bohemia after all. That's all from me, let's see what Baty has for you this week! I think she mentioned something about us having an Instagram account... :) - Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager Community Spotlight Hello guys! I want to thank you for all the feedback on the newest Stable update. It took us long time but we are really happy we found a fix for the annoying memory crash. Let's take a look at the official forums. We have instructions how to fix an issue with Steam overlay when using MSI Afterburner. If you are using this software take a look here: Baty Alquawen Community Manager VIEW PROFILE Posted June 26 Hello guys, If you are using MSI Afterburner when you're playing DayZ, you can probably have an issue with Steam overlay. I have a fix for you: » READ THE TOPIC Another thread I want to show you is really nice. Survivor BeanZMakeMeSurviveAlone is sharing his inspiring story with us on how DayZ helped him in real life: BeanZMakeMe SurviveAlone Survivor VIEW PROFILE Posted June 26 Was told to post this here to 'inspire' people :) So Beginning of high school I randomly got a stutter out of thin air, it brought down my confidence a lot and i struggled so even communicate because of how embarrassed I would get... » READ THE TOPIC I must say I saw one of the best DayZ screenshots ever this week. DrDeSync is a very talented man and has a way with interesting situations. Check out his latest screenshot named "Keep Your Eyes Peeled": What Community Spotlight would it be without some nice community video! Mr_Beardman made a story of escaping from a horde of infected on the Aftermath role-play server. Check it out! Are you on Instagram, Survivors? I personally love it and so I created our official DayZ Instagram account. There, you can occasionaly find some photos from our office and more, just follow us! This is everything for my part, I hope you like it! If you have any content that you would like to see on the next Status Report, just share it on our Twitter and you can be here next time! Header image by Yachiabunai. - Baty / Community Manager
  7. This week, Brian is addressing how walkie talkies in DayZ are the new server-wide chat. Eugen is touching upon the complexity of DayZ, as well as some of the recent tasks of the entire team. We also feature Peter who shares exciting news about changing the inner workings of loot spawns (this will be an extra crunchy topic for any future DayZ modders out there!) Next up are our map designers Mark and Adam, and yes, they have some screenshots for you this time! To finish it all in style, Baty is sharing a couple of photos from our trip to the real Chernarus, where we were filming the upcoming Q&A video last week. Let's get to it, it's a long one folks, but full of great development news! Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Adam Dev Update/Mark Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks The last time we spoke I mentioned discussing the impact of sway, and the implications on gameplay. I think one of the overlooked aspects of replacing the animation system, and legacy player is the fact that this isn't just a "change" in how sway / hold breath, and the likes behave. With the legacy setup, early on Peter and I both supported adjustments to try and refine where it was sitting as an experience in game. Pretty rapidly we realized that where we wanted it to be, and what the technology would allow us to do were two things very much apart. Rather than wasting development time trying to iterate and iterate upon a system that was slated to be replaced, the focus was placed on functionally where we wanted to be with the final product. Its important to understand that as I said earlier - this isn't just a change. This is a replacement of the technology and player - so the old methods for sway, stamina, and such are gone. As we move towards beta, and start getting those builds into the hands of players - then we can refine the new methods of sway, and get it to a point in which you still need to be aware of your stance, weight (hopefully!), and the amount of sprinting you are doing - but that it is entirely manageable and does not feel like this daunting and overwhelming rigid inflexibility it can become in some situations with the current legacy Steam builds. In addition to this, Peter and I have also been spending some time discussing the implication of server wide chat (specifically VOIP). I've noticed aside from strong private shard communities like DayZ Underground - folks don't seem to be utilizing radios in game. While on servers such as that, I find the communication across the map with random players occurs far more often. Personally, I'm a firm supporter of radios being starting gear so that every player can opt-in to server wide communication should they choose it - but I'm still working on converting Peter to this mindset. One of the limiting factors I've noticed the community discussing is the rate at which radios consume batteries, and the hunt for batteries themselves being both unrewarding and difficult. I know a lot of folks have expressed a desire for the old global chat (which personally I do not miss at all) - and some have also expressed an interest in the old kill feed. A default on global chat is just not something we ever felt had a place in DayZ. That said, it can easily be turned on for mod authors, a kill feed as well shouldn't be difficult to put together. For Peter and I - the immersion of the radios themselves, paired with the fact that they effectively serve as an opt-in global VOIP, is incredibly attractive. As I'm sure you all recall - we increased their range greatly several builds back. Aside from availability of the radios themselves, and consumption of batteries, I think they represent where we'd like global VOIP to be. So I encourage you all to utilize them more, so I can convince Peter that they should totally be player starting gear. C'mon - do it. You never know who will be on the other end. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Eugen Hey guys! First things first, I want to share the conclusion to the story I mentioned here the last time! We managed to fix the crash - yay! This means that everything seems to be in place for 0.62 on Experimental and I can't wait for you guys to play with the new environment visuals and sounds. There is still space to improve and make things more distinct, but the work does not stop there after we send 0.62 to Experimental/Stable. It's the first step to get visuals and audio where one would expect them in 2017. To continue with stories from the development front, large part of our daily routine here is planning for BETA, and doing recaps with the aim to refocus the development, structuring our team into smaller feature teams. In the last two weeks, we revisited mind maps of these feature blocks to set up a core functionality of DayZ - starting with larger ones, and working our way down to smaller, more actionable items that we can "close" as development items. DayZ is a complex game. It's a system sandbox where its gameplay loop starts working only when all the small details are in, and start interacting with each other. It's one of the hardest genres to iterate upon, as you can't structure the features easily, and every single thing can break the gameplay ecosystem. I highly recommend the original Deus Ex postmortem that was featured at GDC 2017 by Warren Spector himself. If you separate the work we have done over the years, you can simplify it into three layers: engine, data and gameplay. Engine is the core base and modules upon which we want to build this game, data are visual assets (e.g. models) or audio that support the features, and gameplay is represented in both code and script. That’s why we have technical designers writing script, and gameplay programmers doing the same for the DayZ codebase. Over the course of the last two years, these two groups (programmers and scripters) have been focused on closing core support systems for the architecture of gameplay in the new engine, and haven't had the chance to see their individual parts of the game work together. It's exciting now that what you could previously see only in a debug mode, or under parameters for internal client, is now finally able to support actual gameplay, and can be seen inside the game in a broader context. It’s a start of something much bigger for everybody in here. Instead of focusing on systems and technology, we are finally making a game. The core gameplay loop is our focus now, split into melee combat, ranged combat, player character and its interaction with the world, and the infected (and their interactions with the world). All these pieces we have been building are slowly getting playable. There are still hurdles along the way and ahead of us - but that’s how development works. What we're doing now is obviously one of the most critical parts of DayZ development, but all these previous decisions to create tech first, and focus on enjoyable experience later, are going to benefit the game (and gameplay) in the long run. To give a glance at the currently open development items in our teams : Programmers • AI script implementation • Zombie behavior script representation • Inventory and item conditions • Item spawn definition • User actions in multiplayer • Network traffic optimization • Sound event manager • Performance optimizations and multithreading changes • Input changes • Navigation changes • Hit reactions on player • Tons of crash fixing • Tons of bug fixes Animators • Weapon mechanics animations polishing (unjamming, reloads) • Inverse Kinematics poses • Hit reactions on player • Melee combat prototype • Ranged combat prototype Designers • User actions in multiplayer • Player representation • New player and item spawn definition • Inventory UI refactor • Radial menu for gestures • Soft Skills • Player action targeting Audio • Positional environment audio • Infected audio recording preparation • Player and weapon animation events setup QA • Playtesting the 0.62 update • 0.62 feature testing • Internal client stabilization Art • Tree fire geometry • Buildings optimization • Doors unification - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Peter In regards to Central Economy, there were some changes made in terms of loot spawning and its definition for BETA version that we are working on. Till now, loot placement was defined directly as specific point per one item in .p3d files, grouped in named selections (which are paired with categories and tags in configs and areas in area map later). There has been a need to pay close attention to dimensions of given items against each other, and available space around them to avoid unnecessary clipping between items, or between item and building itself. This process was tedious as it lacked sufficient spatial orientation in object editor, leading to prolonged time needed to populate a building (for example, the school building has tens of thousands of spawn points defined in the old system). Not to mention that packing and exporting proxies was mandatory in order to be able to see new/adjusted spawn points working in game, stretching the time even further. You can see how it was set for the police station on the screenshot below. Instead of exact points, the new loot placement uses ranges. Range simply defines a circular area within which item can be spawned. During placement of these ranges, they are checked against each other and building itself in real time. This approach avoids any clipping and collisions of items during spawning. Placement output is stored as XML directly in the mission folder, so it's very convenient for modding, it also can be loaded and edited. The best part of this new system is that it's completely defined and visualized directly in game, from free-fly camera. Additionally, everything is real time, which (coupled with independence from addons) cuts down the time required for setup dramatically. After introduction of this new system, we managed to get from more than 1.000.000 spawn points (mind that was after massive reduction for 0.61 version from 4.000.000+ spawn points) to current ~130.000 used, and at the end, what matters the most is the increased server performance. Don't waste time doing unnecessary things... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Mark Hi everyone, Mark Gill here! I'm one of the map designers who has done many tasks for Chernarus, but more recently I've been focused on developing the new Chernarus forests for this 0.62 visual upgrade. This has been a lengthy, challenging, but also rewarding process. I will try to share some of the thought process behind the changes that were made. With the new forest overhaul, we hope the survivor experience in DayZ will be greatly enhanced. We tried to make traveling through forests a more immersive experiance. Repetition can quickly become boring on a map of our scale, so as you traverse through forests across the map, the visuals will change at a fairly rapid pace. This was a large undertaking, but it was important to keep the visual stimuli changing in unpredictable ways. We were able to increase the number of tree variations thanks to our talented artists to create types of forest that display different characteristics. The overall shape, size, and canopy development gives sections of forest a sense of age. These sections can vary from close spacing of younger variants. to farther spacing of older variants. There are limits to density due to the performance impact, but hopefully the amount of variables at play will keep you on your toes as you travel across the map. Broadleaf hedgerows and forest edges now have a lower profile than in the past. This looks more natural and adds more coverage at a lower height. With this change, sections of forest are more self-contained with this "bushier" egde-line. This helps block some sight in and out of deep forest. While much thinner then reality, this balanced result is an important improvement to the visuals as well as gameplay. Moving as an individual or group in and out forest should be a more significant shift as well as hiding. While you may feel safe and hidden within deep forest sections, there is also the opposite of not knowing who may be nearby. We hope you will enjoy your freshly upgraded playground! - Mark Gill/ Map Designer Dev Update/Adam Hello everyone, I hope that you enjoyed this SR's contribution from Mark, our map designer, who has showed a great passion for such whopping task as transforming the nature of Chernarus is. He spend countless amount of time designing and configuring how the new forests and individual vegetation looks and we are all excited for the day when you finally be able to experience new Chernarus too. We are currently really busy with map tweaking to make sure we can deliver the new Chernarus in best possible shape we can in given time. Please keep in mind that update .62 has touched almost every corner of Chernarus and while we do our best to make sure everything will look just like we wanted, there will be some minor map-related issues. Also, keep in mind that update .62 contains initial changes to the whole western border, completely getting rid of old terrain and object layout and replacing it with much more detailed landscape and layout. This work, labelled as western expansion, is however split into several phases and more additions and fixes are planned for later updates. In addition to many great improvements to the way grass, trees look and behave in wind, our programmers also went and fixed many issues related to lighting and sky. One of the major things was that before 062, shadows were turned off too early / too late and that impacted the quality of scene (mainly interiors) in a very bad way. This issue was fixed along with many more (like smoother sky-fog transition, reduced size of the moon and sun, moon visibility, horizon look, and more...). These changes have enabled us to focus on lighting config for Chernarus, which saw some great changes. While we do not consider it to be final, we hope that it will prove to be a very fitting addition to the visual update coming with 0.62. Additionally, in January 24th SR I promised you that I will show you the new railway stone bridge, so here it is! Coming in 0.62 along with many additional changes to the railway network of Chernarus! See you in Chernarus! - Adam Franců / Senior Map Designer Community Spotlight Last week, together with our Brand Manager Martin and our external camera crew, we embarked to the real world model for Chernarus to shoot a new Q&A video with our Map Designer Adam Franců a.k.a Sumrak (a well known Arma 3 modder). The real Chernarus is found in the vicinity of the town of Ústi nad Labem in the Czech Republic and we already talked about it in the March Status Report. As a first thing we aimed for the "Pik Kozlova" (or Kozí vrch in the real world), which offers beautiful view of the outskirts of Ústi nad Labem that you most likely know from the game as Chernogorsk. Even from such distance, you can recognize typical blocks of flats in Chapaevsk, Novoselky and Dubky, where you surely more than once encountered camping snipers. The real Chernarus does not have a sea, because we don’t have any in the Czech Republic, but you can recognize the shore as the curve of the river Labe. I have snapped a couple of photos for you to compare the “real Chernarus” and it's game counterpart as shown in update 0.62. Comparison of Ústi nad Labem and Chernogorsk: Later on, we moved to Lipová, which was the original village you know as Starý Sobor. It has the characteristic red barn and two large abandoned cowsheds. I looked behind the buildings, where the military tents are supposed to be, but of course they were not there. There is an area with concrete floor instead, where silage used to be fermented. Abadoned cowsheds: After Lipová, we travelled to village Javory, which can remind you of ingame Gorka. That is where the church is located, that you can see in many locations in the game. We wanted to have a look inside, but there was a sign saying “gassed, do not enter”, so we decided to not take the risk and after a bit of filming we left the town and headed for the Zub castle. If you used to run through Moglievka to Vyshnoye in game, you might have noticed ruins of the castle Zub on your left hand side. The castle is really there, at least its remnants, and it is called Blansko. It is slightly smaller than in game, but it provides an amazing view of the surrounding countryside. You can see the small village of Vyshnoye and its vicinity. The name of the real village is the same as of the castle – Blansko. And one point of interest - a community member Ivan tweeted to us that he hid a non-public geocache with DayZ motive nearby the castle. So if you will be around and manage to find it, let us know its content, because we are curious what is inside and we didn’t find it. It was an absolutely amazing experience for me, because I felt like I was really in the game. We did not need a map, we know Chernarus like the back of our hands, therefore we know exactly which way to choose and where everything is. If you will ever have the opportunity to visit Czech Republic, make sure not to miss this experience. I am definitely planning to go back to real Chernarus, this time on foot, with tent and some beans for couple of days, because it is worth it, will you join me? I hope you enjoyed my short report and I can not wait to show you the video we filmed there. If you were also on a trip through the real Chernarus, do not hesitate to show off and tweet to us what you liked the most and some of your pictures! Have a great time and see you in Chernarus, this time in game! Header image: Mark_Knophler - Baty / Community Manager
  8. Hello Survivors! Another beefy Status Report this week! Brian talks about basic vehicle goals for BETA, Eugen shares a story about one of our development decisions, and Peter and Mirek go more in depth about some of their recent work! Let's get to it. Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Mirek Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, As Eugen is covering what the current tasks are, that frees me up to talk about some of the mechanics and systems that we (Peter, myself, the development team as a whole) are looking forward to improving upon in beta and the milestones past that. Given that after checking the various communities centered around DayZ, I noticed a group of posts doing their best impression of the World War 3 style courtroom audience summoned by the Q entity in Star Trek's Encounter at Farpoint when discussing the current state of vehicles, I figured now is as good a time as any to clear up some things when it comes to them, in DayZ. (The vehicles, not Q's apparitions) While I personally love the work Peter and the design team did on manual transmissions in DayZ, vehicle handling and mechanics as a whole are far from where we want them to be. The biggest culprit of this, obviously, is physics, and their handling on terrain. We did show some of the changes being worked on for that area of the vehicles, but many may have missed it. It's fair to say that vehicles in DayZ's Alpha phase of Early Access have received the least amount of user visible love. Part of that is due to the complex physics situation in DayZ, as we still currently operate two completely separate physics systems. Another part of that is due to so much of the focus being on technology, and getting it in place to support DayZ as we want it to be. I'm looking forward to that, as from my perspective, vehicles are a critical component of mid-to-late game DayZ gameplay - and quite honestly, without them in a satisfying state, you tend to just end up with a walking simulator ;) Let me give you guys a look at some of the areas we will be looking at improving into and throughout Beta. Terrain handling / acceleration SFX (Engines / Transmission) UI (Specifically in the toggle-able HUD that we have shown before - so that 3PP players can see the same critical info 1PP can) Feedback on vehicle damage state (Aside from damage materials, and doors falling off - think smoke from a damaged engine, engine stumble/diesel when running out of fuel) Proper destruction of vehicle when it has been destroyed (rather than the current state of the vehicle just not turning on) Don't think for a moment anyone on the dev team looks at vehicles the way they are now and says "Y'know what - that's perfect, ship it" - far from it. All of us are just as antsy and eager to see DayZ's systems start to flesh out and polish as we all want them to be - we just have to knuckle down and understand that the technology to support our vision needs to be ready for us to start implementing this. This exact reason, and so much more is why all of us are so focused on, and excited to enter the BETA phase of DayZ's Early Access. I'll leave you all with that, as I'd like to put together Peter and I's thoughts on stamina, and weapon sway for the next Status Report. For now, just promise not to kill me on sight when you see me in Severograd. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Eugen Hey guys, as some of you have noticed, I have omitted listing audio changes as part of 0.62 update in the last Status Report. That was an honest mistake, but it also highlights what a dynamic place game development is. I`ll try and have my contribution structured as a goal for the future Status Updates. Usually, I'll begin with a "story from development", just so you can see what kind of decision making is happening everyday, as well as going through the things we have been working on in the respective departments for each patch separately. 0.62 Strike Team Update & Development Story This time, it’s a story AND a progress update - yay! 0.62 patch was originally planned for delivery (on Experimental branch) during the second week of April, but due to complications and cooperation on engine milestones, it became apparent that we needed to close them sequentially, rather than working on both at once. Remember that only small team is working on 0.62 at the moment, as almost all of us are focusing on BETA/0.63 delivery. However, back to the topic at hand. Originally, that shouldn't have been that much of a problem. As we started testing the 0.62 update, we quickly found out that when we enable the new positional environmental sounds (basically the reworked Arma 3 tech introduced with the Eden Update that is becoming a part of Enfusion Engine platform), we encountered a crash. The crash itself manifests when you switch window focus fast enough during startup, but it can manifest at any point, this is just the easiest way to get it. The crash is based around file system and resource management of our engine - one of the last remaining parts that are not rewritten for DayZ yet. We have a couple of options now: We can either rework the content to work with the old system to make the new sounds function, but lose the ability for positional audio in environments, or fix the bug in the resource management and make the old system work with the new content and data. We can also rewrite the system completely to get the pattern of these crashes fixed on the platform as a whole. It might look like a small thing, but the positional environment audio makes the game much more immersive. And the issues go much deeper than that, as the same system might be causing some console performance issues (and more). To get an overview and make a right decision requires fast, but actionable intel. These things happen often when working with older technology, especially when you are in a process of refactoring it as well. This resource management has been the culprit of many issues in the past, but so far it held the test of time. That might not be the case going forward, and might need some serious looking into. Our team of designers in the middle of some deep thinking :) 0.63 BETA Strike Team Update As for the work with BETA Strike Team, I list them below. One line of text / bullet point usually means it's in the hands of a single person working on the feature and handling the ownership. However, be aware that I need to simplify it to make things at least a little bit digestible, so it's hard to strike the right amount of detail without basically reworking JIRA tasks to show them here: Programmers • AI script implementation • Zombie behavior script representation • Wind rework and debugs • Inventory and item conditions • Item spawn definition • User actions in multiplayer • Exhausted and hurt player animation support • Network traffic optimization • New version check (to prevent edge cases of connecting to a different build of a game) • Lightning fixes (new lightning setup) • Sound event manager • Tons of crash fixing • Tons of bug fixes Animators • Weapon mechanics animations polishing (unjamming, reloads) • Inverse Kinematics poses • Mocap (Player turns and more) • Hit reactions on player • Animation plugins • Cow and Bull refactor for the new animation system Designers • User actions in multiplayer • Player representation • New item hierarchy definition • New player and item spawn definition • Inventory UI refactor • Lifespan • Tree fire geometry • Tons of bug fixes Audio • Positional environment audio QA • Playtest 0.62 • Door rework priority assignment (standardized door sizes) • Performance profiling in 0.62 • Client performance benchmarks in 0.62 0.62 Strike Team meeting I know that a list is not the best way to present the progress, but might be interesting for the development folks out there. However, I would also like to make it much more representative. There are tons of things happening at the same time, and we are in process of visualizing the sprint in very near future and I`ll try and share our overview of BETA progress when things settle down. - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Peter Along with upcoming changes to doors behavior I wrote about in the past, another issue which we definitely need to address and solve is the wide variety of different widths and heights of door openings. It may sound like a marginal issue, but I encourage you to continue reading, and discover how it affects gameplay. Nearly every opening in DayZ is unique, which is caused by historical reasons and non-existing metrics back then (we are using a mixture of different structures collected from Operation Flashpoint, Arma 1, Arma 2, and some new ones made exclusively for DayZ). Apart from the fact that doors with dimensions below ideal standard just look bad and out of place (not to mention handles placed in above knees height) and feel odd (especially from the first person camera), they are also hindering the "fluency" of player movement. Character collisions coupled with old clunky locomotion are introducing unwanted challenge in such simple action as going through the door, turning doors into an obstacle. Internal tests made with both old and new characters show us that a minimum clear opening of doors in DayZ should have clear width of 120cm and clear height of 220cm, and these dimensions were established as required metrics. Everything below causes issues with character navigation, and feels odd especially in first person camera, where opening seems very narrow and low due to camera FOV and perspective. Also the third person camera then shows unnecessary jumping down while going through the door (if their opening height is under 220cm). New doors metrics with their new behavior will add a lot to responsiveness and smooth movement through the environment and its obstacles. As we are continuing to work on 0.63 version AKA BETA, programmers are getting rid of old systems down the road. Lastly, old player has been completely removed internally, and with it also firearms handling (that includes firearms action like chambering, reloading, shooting… etc.) and aiming model (which means sway, recoil, dexterity, aiming, holding breath…), together with melee fighting (traced swings…) are gone forever as these were integral parts of the old player. This untied our hands as now is the time when prototypes based on design I mentioned in past Status Reports (8 March 2017 and 28 September 2016) start being implemented in close cooperation between programmers, animators and us managing the design and script side of things. Rewrite of firearms also allows us to introduce mechanics like changeable gun barrels (we have 2 more barrels for AUG ready to experiment with), different muzzle speeds for the same ammunition type depending on barrel length (which helps balancing firearms between each other, or vice versa), different muzzle speeds for different ammunition type used in same firearm (pellets vs slugs anyone?), switching between scope and sights if possible (like AK family, AUG…) and refinement of, and more importantly, connecting already introduced firearms mechanics like unjamming, mechanism manipulation, chambering and others to the new animation system . I just can't wait for the moment these systems will be fully re-implemented, as it will change the combat experience a lot in general. - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Mirek We have finished network part of user action system as I described in my last Status Report contribution. It's worth to mention that this change has decreased network traffic from clients significantly and now our client on 0.63 sends (with some small exceptions) only input packets. This change will help a lot to resolve issues like late hits registration and it also should help to overall game responsibility. Weapon system has received some new features, like changeable barrels and muzzles and support for attached grenade launchers. Basic implementation for weapon jamming is ready since last week. And another small new feature - we're working on a system that will select communication channel for chat and voice automatically, so players won't have to change channel using keyboard cursor keys. Apart from that, most of our time is still being spend on the new player implementation - tweaking movement and collisions, creating new weapon aiming system and connecting it all to other gameplay systems - we'll talk about these later on, when they are ready. - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer Community Spotlight Greetings Survivors, It is getting warmer outside in Europe, but not even the nice weather can stop you from playing your favorite game. With every day, we are getting closer to release of the 0.62 Update and the community is trembling with impatience and nervousness. But don’t worry, I am also looking forward to the release of the new update, same as you. As you surely know from previous Status Reports, update 0.62 will also contain map updates, which are being taken care of by our map designer Adam Franců a.k.a. Sumrak. We will be shooting new Q&A video with him in the next couple of days. If you have any questions regarding his work and the DayZ map, feel free to ask him. And now for the things that landed on our Twitter, official forum or Reddit over the last two weeks. When I opened Twitter today, the first thing that caught my eye was an elaborate figurine made by Bragawn. It’s almost unbelievable that it is made entirely of paper! Great job! Next, I would like to share with you two videos that I found interesting. First one is for fans of role-play gameplay style. It is a ritual of Cult of Papa filmed by three different people and edited into one video by Ron Fox. Can you guess the place where it was filmed? Hail Papa! The other video is for PvP lovers. Absolutely brilliant singing opening and ending by IsSy is followed by exciting action with a lot of victims. Good aim Inherwake! For the end, I would like to introduce a smaller streamer from Australia who I like for his enthusiasm, optimism and being always cheerful. Make sure to check out his Twitch channel, you will surely be infected with his positivity! If you have any DayZ creations of your own that you'd like to share, tweet them to us on our official Twitter channel. You might just honor the next status report with your talent! Awesome header image submitted by: [O.N.U] Damigo - Baty / Community Manager
  9. Good evening survivors! This week, Viktor shares the second part of his animation Q&A video, Eugen is expanding upon his recent talk on a game dev conference here in Prague, Peter provides an example of the new car damage visualization for BETA and we've talked Adam into making some new comparison images of the new forests! Additionally, we have Mirek talking about another important milestone we've currently reached with our technology and Baty (among other things!) looks back at a pretty cool April Fools' joke from one of our community members. Contents This Week Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Viktor Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Mirek Dev Update/Adam Community Spotlight Dev Update/Eugen I don't usually contribute to Status Reports, but since Brian is out of office this week, I'd like to change that and touch upon a topic of DayZ development and Early Access development in general. Brace yourselves, as this will be a bit of a long read (but there's also a video embedded below). For the start, I understand that a lot of you have concerns about DayZ development. I also do believe there have been some inherent issues with what is, and what is not viable for Early Access development phase, as this is something that was not tried a lot before, and most of it is pioneered (process-wise) as things evolve. Early Access is a dynamic environment that is quite different from the traditional closed door development. I’m gonna get quite technical, so for those who do not feel like reading a wall of text, I had a presentation at White Nights Prague conference that takes on the subject of this Status Report contribution with less detail: That said, I do stand by the development decisions we made as a team, but also see major flaws in how one can present changes in games’ underlying technology, where most of these changes are actually the base building blocks which, in time, will be able to provide a significant change of the overall player experience. All these engine changes are, in the case of DayZ, developed with the aim to keep the game moddable at all levels, with expanded scope. The engine changes for DayZ include Renderer Networking system Controls Script Sounds Physics Tools Server-Client architecture (in most systems!) Consoles Animations All gameplay systems written inscript (to a certain degree) We need to work on all that while we create data and iterate, while we’re slowly trickling some systems into the live game (the public Experimental/Stable branches of DayZ) to test them. That creates a certain lack of visible progress as things are in motion and need time to settle down. These days, many of the base systems are in-game internally, and we are spending a significant amount of time removing a lot of old systems, while interconnecting the new ones. Let's compare that vision we have for DayZ with the live game that’s out there right now, just so that you have an idea of what it all means in practice. Live game runs old physics system, where collisions are a giant hog on server performance. To replace that, you basically need to replace everything else, as many of these old systems were hard-coded to a large degree. You need to make an originally monolithic application into a modular one, where all these old systems are interconnected. You almost, almost start from scratch. And as small as it sounds, server performance can break anything. Most of the systems above have not been part of live game because of this dependencies in old structure. Every issue in DayZ has a reason. Most of those issues that trouble you are known to us, and have a solution somewhere in all this work that we have done, and want to bring to you. Like the stairs killing you, which is a combination of many, many factors: Issues with data binarization, physics, collisions, server-client architecture and even script and player itself. To fix a “simple” issue like that takes years of work because we really can’t take on any more technical debt and “hack” these fixes into the game to save the day. We play for the long haul, not for the short term gain. And as such, there lies the inherent issue of how to approach early access. Things take time, and you can’t buy patience with a wall of text. You just can’t. And I get that now, when we have to face the truth here, as all these things that we worked for are not in a state to make for a fun game. Yet. That point (where we will present a fun to play game) is BETA for us. Yes, we could probably, eventually set up a deployment to show each different technology change part by part (like we did with the renderer), but unless you have base the game loop present in a game, it’s just a tech demo. Even if we have all the parts ready, these details (bug fixing, connecting pieces together…) matter a lot. I’m going to use a simplified story of a decision making that happened around one simple upgrade. How player sounds should work in the future: Sound in games has a lot more to it than one would imagine at first. Besides the sound data itself (which has to be prepared in context of the technology, as in supporting its data structure, and also allows further data modifications by the underlying game technology that plays the final sound for the player) there is also the important part of letting the game know when it should play a sound. Let's call that an event. You also need to edit all this in some way, to put events in gameplay that plays the sounds, and edit the sounds themselves, and don’t forget the pipeline for building the game that puts all this in some structure. Events have to be called from script, animations, items, environment... There has to be some logic to it. You need tools to visualize the data, a script to play it, have logic that decides how and why… Many of these systems were originally hard-coded - hard to tweak, hard to change. So the goal was (and is) to bring them in line with the rest of the DayZ vision, and to make the game modular, editable (visually, if possible) and expandable in the future. So we’re talking about tons of disciplines that are affected, and you can’t do one part of it and think the whole thing will still function. As you prepare the new technology to be compatible with rest of the new stuff, it is often impossible to keep things compatible. And more than often, you just need to move on and focus only on the new technology. For example with player sounds, we’re now in process of writing the sound event manager, and then we will need to connect the sounds into data structure, and define events that launch them for new animations of player moving. Meanwhile, we’re also reworking all the textures to prepare the game to recognize surfaces better, or to recognize when a sound is played in interior/exterior. At the same time, we’re implementing a way to edit the data in animation editor, in order to be able to set up these events visually, not just by playing a loop like in the old system. At the end of all this, there will be sounds playing when the foot of the player touches the ground. It might sound silly at first, but all these things and changes can expand the scope heavily for us and the modders alike. Its not going to be easy, but as I said, we're not going anywhere. - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer Dev Update/Viktor Our focus in the animation department is still mostly on melee combat and animations for new user actions. We are still iterating and adjusting animations and the game design to make the combat feel good. However, there is the second part of the animations Q&A video that got finished just minutes ago! In the first part, we were filming at our Motion Capture and studio talking about animations in DayZ in general. This time, I am trying to explain our upcoming animation system and how it helps us improve the game. You can watch both parts right here: - Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator Dev Update/Peter After the new inventory was publicly released, we were continuously adding and implementing features to it which are directly connected to our ambitious revamp of how systems works with user actions, crafting, attachments and inventory management (you can check Status Reports from 1 March 2016 and 29 March 2016 to find out more about this effort to unify and simplify different behaviors). As we were integrating all that stuff, current inventory implementation of scripted UI got bloated and finally became unsustainable. Currently, it's being rewritten from scratch, which may seems scary at first, but it's the right step for a better, cleaner, more functional and most importantly faster inventory UI. System of gestures was implemented in Enforce script and it's not a hard-coded part of the engine anymore, which offers more possibilities. Powered by the new animation system, it brings smooth controls and seamless transitions from ending part of gesture animations directly to character movement. As over time number of gestures exceeds available function keys, we started the work on a new radial menu UI for gestures picking (binding gestures to function keys is still possible though). With upcoming changes to vehicle physics and simulations, we are also enhancing visuals for different damage states of vehicles, as well as how to make new abandoned and wrecked ones from all these driveable models we already have. Large attachments like doors, hoods and wheels will be removable from these abandoned and wrecked vehicles, which can be combined with different color and damage states. The fact I like the most is the possibility to interchange all of these per attachment, or on different parts of body, depending on the direction of impact. For more variation... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Mirek Last week, another major milestone has been met - we've moved animals and infected to the new animation system, which means the internal build of the game is only using one animation system now. This is great, because we can now focus only on one type of implementation, and can remove a lot of the legacy code, which will make our lives a lot easier. Now we just need to connect existing game features to the new implementations of player and AI entities, and solve issues like AI pushing players etc. Interaction system with game environment is heavily modified, too. In current 0.61 (and future 0.62) updates, the client side is asking the server side for possible interactions and the server returns a list of these actions. In 0.63, we've decided to get an action list on the client side, so there won't be any latency lag and there will be less network traffic between the client and server. Also, there is going to be a client side prediction for each performed action, which means that you will see direct response when you press interaction button and server will be able to interrupt these actions in case of faulty prediction (e.g. two players are picking up some item at the same time) or in case of cheating. Another major change in our internal version was the Voice over Network communication. It's now using client/server architecture as well. This allowed us to optimize voice data traffic, and more importantly, there will no longer be any peer to peer connections between players. Together with these changes, our scripters should be able to begin with the Enforce Script implementation of new advanced communication features (like public address system or static transmitters). - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer Dev Update/Adam We've made serious progress on an important milestone task for the release of the 0.62 update - color tweaks for all the new vegetation assets. This task is focused on making sure that all new assets blend together and look just right. In addition to that, we are also utilizing colorization feature that brings much needed local color variety between individual assets. Please consider content of all pictures in this status report as work in progress. They do not represent final state yet as we are still working on additional color tweaks and other things such as configuration of clutter (grass) and surface mask. Following two pictures show how the color tweaks affected the overall feel of the new Chernarus. In first picture, you also have the option to compare it with current (0.61) version of Chernarus: BEFORE: AFTER: WEST: We've also added younger conifer forests to the layout of the new Chernarus forests. In our previous iterations, only older conifer forests were used for all conifer generation shapes. We have prepared a layout and included these younger parts everywhere we thought they would fit. That not only includes denser spruce, larch and pine forest parts, but also clearings with really young trees. This change should give you an idea that many of the conifer forests on Chernarus were actively harvested for wood, and thus many resemble un-natural shapes. Following pictures provides an example of young conifer forest parts near Devils Castle (which is one of the more harvested areas on new Chernarus). Again, you have the option to compare following pictures with current (0.61) version of Chernarus. BEFORE: AFTER: You may remember that I mentioned a western expansion in earlier status reports. This task is still very much active and just last week, we have replaced all prototype forest on the western part by the generation output. This basically means that the western border now has properly generated forests, same like pretty much the rest of the new Chernarus. With this, I can happily say that you will be able to enjoy the whole new look of the whole western part of Chernarus in 0.62 update (time to say good bye to the empty lands with few trees!). That being said, this is just the first iteration, expect many changes with future updates. This picture is meant as a small teaseer of what you can expect on the western border. Direct comparison to the old Chernarus does not make sense in this case, as the terrain is now vastly different: WEST: - Adam Franců / Map Designer Dev Update/Community Spotlight Server Pipsi is preparing an interesting PVP event themed “Australia vs. New Zealand”. Player slots are filling up quickly, but New Zealand still has couple of available ones, so if you are from Dean Hall’s home country, be sure to sign up! This amazing teddy bear from streamers and big DayZ fans Queennie and MrBlue, who've been supporting DayZ for several years, arrived to our office. Many thanks for the beautiful and kind letter that warmed our hearts. When we are on the topic of gifts, DukeTales was showing off a birthday gift from his girlfriend on Reddit. The clock is hand-made and its face is decorated with cans you can recognize from the game. Happy birthday DukeTales! Next, we would like to show you the absolutely brilliant artwork with DayZ theme by IqfishLP, which he published on Reddit. He even recorded the process of creating it. He managed to transform a common screenshot into this artwork worthy of being your new wallpaper. Great job! To finish things off, let’s go back to one April Fools’ Day joke which spread through the community a couple of years ago and was initiated by Duro Bulo. I was not yet part of the DayZ team back then and I did fall for it. Duro Bulo started a hoax about a possible malaria infection being carried by the vicious mosquitos of Chernarus. He even made up a way to protect yourself from this dangerous insect – a bug repellent spray. Duro certainly does not lack creativity. But don’t forget, it is only a joke! Tweet us if you encountered any DayZ April Fools’ joke this year. Did you get fooled? If you have any community content or event which you would like to share with us, the easiest way is to tweet to our official Twitter. Header image by: THE MR POTATO - Baty / Community Manager
  10. 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 Development Board Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Viktor Dev Update/Andrej Handpicked: DayZ Forums Topics Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, 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 Chernarus Lighting config changes Performance Analysis [youtube]Ip9l1RFPm8g[/youtube] 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 Inventory Refactorization 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! 0.61 Invisible Players and Zombies 0.61 Character is stuck attacking 0.61 Desynchronised Hand slot - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Viktor 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 Dev Update/Andrej 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! - Martin Čulák / Brand Manager Community Spotlight 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 like M1NDR, MarkstromTV or Moondye7. 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? Screenshots by DrDeSync 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! If you experience any bugs on Stable or Experimental servers, don't forget to use our Feedback Tracker to submit bugs, and for the newest info or a place to share your screenshots, follow the official DayZ Development Team Twitter account. Header image by: NotSymmetra - Baty / Community Manager
  11. 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 Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Viktor Dev Update/Mirek Community Spotlight Development Board Spotlight New addition to DayZ weaponry - Bizon submachine gun chambered in 9mm, coming with new AK compatible Kobra sights. Dev Update/Brian 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 Dev Update/Peter 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 Dev Update/Viktor 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 Dev Update/Mirek 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: 1. Physics 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. 2. Networking 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 Community Spotlight 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 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, who saw real Chernarus with his own eyes. Just click HERE. Should you have any experience with the real Chernarus, we will be glad if you share it with us on our official Twitter account. And if you have any interesting content from DayZ universe, don‘t be afraid to send it to us. Header image by: PuppyMonkeyBaby - Baty / Community Manager
  12. Greetings Survivors, 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 Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Mirek Dev Update/Adam Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, 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: Invisible Infected 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 Dev Update/Peter 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 Dev Update/Mirek 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 Dev Update/Adam 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 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. 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.) Before: After: 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 Community Spotlight 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. Roses are red Violets are blue I have a mosin And your head too And short and clear one from Armin Cortez. Roses are re-- bääämmmmm Dave M. Seybert is sad because his PC is no good for playing DayZ :(. He made a poem about it. My eyes are red, my heart is blue, my computers too old, to play DayZ with you.... :( And an amazing last one by Stefan Asseryd. Militarytents are green To the right or left you can lean... Fireaxes you can colour black Remember you can make a backpack from a sack... If you get hurt it splashes some red Beware of enemy players, wolfes, rain or you will be dead We need to share a love story from our Facebook page by Sara Kpoint who met her love in DayZ as well. Awww! 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! If you have some video, screenshot, poem or your own artwork you'd like to share, send it to our official Twitter account. Header image by: S3X - Baty / Community Manager
  13. Hello Survivors, 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 Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Viktor Handpicked: DayZ Forums News Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, 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: 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 "Ghost Infected" 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 Dev Update/Viktor 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 please and ask anything you are curious about regarding DayZ animations - anything that you want me to answer. Cheers! - Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator Handpicked: DayZ Forums Topics We're getting back to our idea of highlighting interesting topics from the official DayZ forums this week - despite the regular, ongoing discussion we're maintaining on the topic of both Stable Branch and Experimental Branch 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. 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: Community Spotlight Hey Survivors! Recently, you have been letting us know on our social networks like Forums, 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 Legacy was also attending such event on Gents Of Novo server . You can find a recording of this entertaining event on his channel. If you have something you want to share with us just tweet it to our official Twitter channel. Header image by: iSkyfallz - Baty / Community Manager
  14. Evening Survivors, 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 Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Mirek Dev Update/Adam Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, 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). Stable Issues: 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. For those curious - the current ticket on the feedback tracker related to the CE loot spawning system can be found at: https://feedback.bistudio.com/T115748 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 Dev Update/Peter 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, March 1, 2016 and March 29, 2016. Crashing servers is bad... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Mirek 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: 0.61 goals 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. 0.62 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. 0.63 goals 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 Dev Update/Adam 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 Community Spotlight In the December Status Report, 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": His latest video is named "Sick" and here you can see how wicked this young man is: Danny has no heart. And that is a reason why I like him! Check his channel for more amazing videos. Don’t forget about our Official DayZ forum, 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: 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! Header image by: Joanna Łuczak - Baty / Community Manager
  15. Hello survivors! New Year is here and with it the first Status Report. Brian would like to present major goals for 2017, Peter talks about reasons why the game is more hardcore than before and Baty summarizes your Christmas experiences. Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Peter Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors! Its our first Status Report of the year - and as we've had team members trickling back in through the first week of the year it might be a bit of a dry one, but lets take a look at the major goals going forward as well as what has occured so far in 2017. As work on 0.62 and the Beta milestones move forward, internal teams have contined in our goal to address the remaining issues in 0.61, and hopefully introduce vehicles to stable branch. Over the last few weeks the team has been cycling issues through exp, and onto stable directed at: Known Server Crashes Adjustments to Infected Behavior Adjustments to Hypothermia damage Fixes for Vehicle and Tent Lifetime Fixes for Invisible Body Parts Vehicles on Exp falling through terrain Fireplaces not being able to be placed in Stoves In addition to these adjustments cycling through the Exp/Unstable branch, the development team is tracking and working to address a number of additional issues: VOIP Volume/Proximity Dropoff Vehicle client side performance Server side performance drops (Causing issues such as player position desync, delayed actions, etc) Server side memory consumption Additional known server crashes Infected spawning behavior issues Contined polish and work on addressing remaining issues with vehicles As mentioned this is all in addition to ongoing work for both 0.62 and Beta milestones - Once we get internal builds in a state we are confident to start showing examples of both visuals, and client side performance for 0.62 we'll be sharing that. All of us here on the dev team are excited about this, as the small team of artists and support programmer begin to start preperation for branching for this milestone. I know this Status Report is chock full of cool and amazing things, but our first goals as we kick back into the groove for the new year are squarely focused on addressing the critical 0.61 issues you've all been experiencing, and pushing forward into 0.62 and Beta. We all hope you had a great holiday season, and were able to spend time with your friends, families, and most important loved ones. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Peter With the release of 0.61 version of DayZ, one major issue raised by the community, which is still discussed back and forth, was the noticeable increase in difficulty of the PvE challenge in the game. I wanted to comment on this. Recently we took advantage of the new dynamic spawning system and because of that, concentration of infected is much higher then ever before (and I hope, there will be even more of them in future with the possibility of hordes when everything goes well). Now, when we finally achieved some reasonable numbers of infected in locations for intended gameplay purposes, it is unthinkable that they will just stand there, ignoring you while filling up empty space in settlements like scenery. It seems some don't remember how harsh infected were in the mod back in the days, when crawling on your belly for long minutes to observe a town to choose an entry point with the least resistance wasn't anything special. Don't forget that infected are meant to be a real threat to survival in Chernarus. You either need to avoid them or fight them (or eventually flee if you are lucky). There are some known issues in AI which need to be fixed and I understand that it may be hard to have a stealth approach with old habits that came from nearly nonexistent infected in the past, and without the planned presence indicator (combined with how much noise you make and how well you are visible) in the upcoming HUD, you can try to follow some general rules which might help you - stay low, keep distance and avoid their line of sight (yes, they have peripheral vision too). As far as close combat goes, it will be overhauled once the new player is ready and we already started to prototype it in meantime. Of course reported issues like infected running through seemingly closed doors, or spawning right next to you are unacceptable and will be fixed. If you would like to read more about design of the Infected, check out the Status Report released in 3rd March 2015. (https://dayz.com/blog/status-report-3-mar-15) Also, rain and ensuing low body temperatures become a factor to consider in the fight for survival. Which again, is nothing unexpected and you shouldn't be afraid of it, just adapt to it. When all the systems like metabolism, diseases, injuries, stamina, weather impact, infected, predators and others will fall in place and became fine balanced you will witness a definitive survival game, where you need to be careful, have to plan ahead and get prepared for possible upcoming situations - this is DayZ people. Stay strong and never give up... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Community Spotlight Christmas and New Year celebrations are now behind us. You might have done some of your celebrating in DayZ, where Christmas trees were added and as a little present you might have found cute little teddy bears with surprises hidden inside them. They were able to protect your equipment from damage if you kept them with you. You were so excited about them, that you kept sending pictures showing your happy findings to our official Twitter. Dystopian Gaming sent a screenshot from his Christmas celebrations with the message: "I ❤ my pink teddy! Merry Xmas!" Sam Kingswell was really thrilled about the number of furry soft toys that he encountered in Chernarus! Not everyone was getting presents only in-game. Streamer https://twitter.com/BlueandQueenieMrBlue got some DayZ style gear from his girlfriend. Awesome! And last but not least, we received a New Year greetings from Watchman. I would also like to wish you all a happy and successful new year, full of good health, love and fun. Header image by: berdu - Baty / Community Manager
  16. Hello Survivors! Christmas is coming and we have a small gift for you - 0.61 on Stable branch, Brian is going to tell you more about it. Peter talks about character growth and Mirek has information about vehicles, and their presence on Exp/Unstable. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Mirek Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, For those that weren't aware - we pushed 0.61.136770 to Steam stable branch yesterday. While there are still some issues we want to address (VOIP Volume, Supersonic cracks, Container contents desync, Infected footsteps volume, status modifiers stuck, and more) we looked at the experience the tests over the weekend provided, compared to what was going to be available to those on Stable branch over the holiday break and decided to go ahead and make the move. This allows us to ensure that users on Steam stable over the holiday season will be able to enjoy a stable DayZ 0.61 experience, while we continue to address the issues the team is concerned about on Exp/Unstable branch, and pending build health potentially push these over to Stable on our regularly scheduled Wednesday maintenance. Lets take a look at the milestone goals for 0.61 Stable, and then we'll cover what is currently on Exp/Unstable branch - as well as what is pending a new Exp/Unstable update. 0.61 Milestone Goals: Server Login Queue Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update. Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology. Dynamic Spawning of Infected. Predators (Wolves) Dynamic Shadows Network Synchronization Improvements New Server Browser While we're happy to say that we've hit all of these milestone goals for 0.61, there are still issues that need to be addressed. Currently on Exp/Unstable we have build 0.61.136796 which is focused on the following changes: Fix for issues with container contents desync Fix to address supersonic cracks Adjustments of animal SFX levels Adjustments of infected footsteps levels Adjustment to Infected swing SFX In addition to the build currently in test on Exp/Unstable we are focused on more Exp/Unstable updates to address: Status Modifier Updates Adjustments to Dynamic Lights VOIP Volume too quiet Issues with Hand Slots on corpses Some clients experiencing FPS drops And lastly, as promised - future 0.61 Exp/Unstable builds will also be pushed (more than likely after the holiday break) with changes to test network sync on vehicles in DayZ. These builds likely will have vehicles set up to spawn ready to drive, but don't expect that change to follow through to Stable branch! We're all enjoying watching, reading, and hearing about your adventures in the latest change to Stable branch DayZ and we hope you all have a safe and enjoyable holiday break. This will be our last Status Report until January 10th, so see you all in the new year! - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Peter Don't get attached to your gear. This well known DayZ rule is there with us from very beginning. But then what is it, that you should be attached to? In short, it's your character, a survivor in post apocalyptic world full of infected and other threats, where every choice matters and has its consequences. It's easy to say that, but currently the only attachments your character has is his/her gear, his/her location within the world and his/her state. Losing all the gear, getting seriously sick or suddenly need fast travel often leads to sacrificing your character and starting from scratch as a fresh spawn. This behavior goes against the survival idea behind the DayZ in general. To build the value of your character we have planned three pillars which are connected to his life span and activities. Probably the most desired and awaited one is the visual representation of your character appearance like growing beards, scars, bloody hands and others which really reinforce connection between player and his character in world. Second pillar is pretty straightforward and it is connected directly to upcoming stamina system. With stamina in place, sprint wouldn't be intended for traversing long distances (that's what vehicles are for right?), however it will be an important factor for fleeing from immediate dangerous situations you may encounter on reasonable distances. Keeping the character alive longer will benefit from being able to carry more load until the penalty for overload in terms of shortening available stamina strikes in. Third pillar is obviously soft skills, which we have implemented in prototype state for quite some time. Same as with other stuff (for example stamina system mentioned above), this mechanic is waiting primarily for introducing his majesty, the new character himself, which as you may know will be formed from interconnected systems like new animation system, new controller and state machine, new physics, new damage system, new user actions and others. We had been speculating about soft skills for quite some time. Skills leveling system based on gained experience as we know it from traditional RPG games doesn't fit DayZ very well. First draft of soft skills was close to it, there was enclosed skill sets defined by actions which tried to mimic exact roles like medic, mechanic, hunter, builder, farmer and few others. Performing actions within skill sets add experience points to its pool and eventually raising its level. Such system leads to mindless grinding of actions without any meaningful gameplay context which, I believe can really easily ruin the gameplay experience for plenty of players just to witness such behavior. To minimize it, there needs to be some anti-grind solution like simple maximum cap for points per timeframe, or other more elaborate solution which demands more or less UI elements to be clear for players what are the rules and what's going on with experience and skills. In the end we decided to strip soft skills to bare minimum and dare to take different route once again so the vision of DayZ stays intact. Soft skills should not be mandatory, however they should reward long living, dedicated characters and reflect their past actions. Main idea behind it is simple - with little abstraction it's safe to say that if you can stitch up someone, you for sure are relatively able to gut animal or pick seeds from harvest, and on the other hand if you can build fences and watchtowers it should be relatively easy for you to cut tree down or dig garden plot. We introduced so called specialty, which is axis with two poles - precision and roughness, when a character is spawned the pointer is in the middle, neutral position. All actions in game can be divided between precise or rough ones. Even actions from traditional roles like medic can be categorized independently and sit somewhere else in specialty spectrum, for example transfusion as precise action while CPR as rough action. Performing actions in game is moving specialty dynamically towards one pole or other, every action can have different weight so it can move specialty in different amount, let's say while performing transfusion you gain more precision then with simple bandaging. Dedicated characters will be able to profit from current state of their specialty in terms of performing given specialty actions with shorter times, less materials used, wearing out tools less and more outcome gained as current specialty is multiplier for all of these. Not dedicated characters who don't care about specialty or those who feels like jack of all trades are not punished in this system as their specialty will be moving around the middle neutral position which means no penalty as both precise and rough actions will take default time, use default amount of material, worn out tools for default value and gain default outcome. Note, that we are not planning to punish dedicated characters yet (but there is a possibility to do so), if your specialty is more towards roughness you will be stitching yourself as you would do while your specialty is in middle position. I think it's kind of unique approach and it doesn't spoil DayZ with unnecessary tables, numbers, UI clutter and undesirable player behaviors. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Mirek Today it will be quick again. We released stable version yesterday, but we're still working on fixing some major issues, like broken modifiers and statuses for some players. We might have a fix today on experimental branch. Looks like it's happening only when one player is connecting at the same time when another is disconnecting, which can happen very often for waiting players in the login queue. About vehicles, we made some progress with synchronization. It's still not perfect and you will experience some micro-teleportation during driving when it hits experimental branch, so please keep in mind that it won't be in its final state. Currently there is just one known blocking issue and it's related to passengers not being able to get out of vehicle sometimes. I don't want to give any promises, but it's still our target to release vehicles on experimental branch before Christmas and if we don't make it, it's priority No.1 at the beginning of next year. I wish you a Merry Christmas and happy New Year. - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer Community Spotlight I'm sure this happens to you sometimes. You meet a fresh spawn on the coast, befriend him, travel and loot together. But when he finds a gun with ammo, you hear a shot and your screen goes black and you are dead. Your trust in other players is down, but is it like that every time or is there hope for friendly players? YouTuber Cyborg Lyzard had an idea about a social experiment which would prove whether or not players are as cruel and hostile for real. When he released his first social experiment video it was a real successful. Look at this social experiment on update 0.59. Cyborg Lyzard gave a weapon with ammo to a random player and waited to see what happens next. 31% of players killed him immediately. The remaining 69% were friendly. This is not so bad. He tried it again. But in the second experiment he gave the players a gun with ruined ammo. What a lecture on trust and morality! He repeated this experiment again a few weeks ago on update 0.60 and he found out that players are more friendly than before. And what about you? What would you do if somebody gave you a weapon with ammo? Would you put a bullet between his eyes or thank him and go your own way? Let me know on our official Twitter! Header image by: MrBlueAndQueenie Merry Christmas for all Survivals! - Baty / Community Manager
  17. *Here's the status report for others like myself who DO NOT check dayz.com and have for years simply followed the forum version of the SR. Baty is under the weather so I hope this thread will suffice! Status Report 12/6/2016 Greetings, survivors! We have Brian and Mirek on this week, mostly covering the recent improvements in server performance and our final push to have 0.61 out on Stable before Christmas. Additionally, Brian provides a bit of an insight on the intended DayZ survival experience, we have some exciting news regarding vehicles on Experimental branch and share several forums threads that we think you'll find interesting! Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Mirek Handpicked: DayZ Forums News Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks As many of you may know, we're in an Exp/Unstable branch iteration phase - on the road to moving 0.61 to Stable branch. So, this Status Report I'm going to break my part into two. First part covering where we are with 0.61, and what our current critical issues for moving to Stable branch are. For the second part, I'll talk briefly about my opinion on 0.61 as a build and our goals with it as an experience. Now that all of our milestone goals for 0.61 have been implemented, we're currently in a rapid iteration phase. For those testing on Exp/Unstable branch this means a lot of things can change quickly, not to mention break. Over the last few builds, we've been focused on both improving server performance and trying to tackle issues that were caused as a byproduct of work on optimizing client network traffic. While that may be frustrating for those of you excited to try out 0.61, it is absolutely critical for the development process that we are able to iterate, and test these changes under a larger load than internal QA resources allow. Additionally, a good deal of the critical issues we've been seeing on the Exp/Unstable branch servers simply do not reproduce internally. Thus, us being able to test through the Unstable branch, and provide the team with the critical crashdumps, debug logs, and profiler data is is absolutely required for 0.61 to get to Stable branch on Steam as soon as possible. So, the next time you run across a server crash, frustrating bug, or gamebreaking issue while testing on Exp/Unstable - do your best not to get frustrated, head over to the feedback tracker and give as much data as you are able to. Every ticket and comment on the feedback tracker helps, even if you might not feel like it does! For Stable blocking issues, we're currently tracking: Characters twitching/stuttering when crossing rubble/bodies Client Crash(es) Some structures not having proper shadows Items stuck in hands Server crash(es) VOIP Too Loud Infected Vocalizations too loud Naked Characters / Silent Gunshots Mirek has some fascinating insight into some of the issues we've discussed above, as well as where we are with improving the vehicle simulation - I encourage you to scroll down and read what he has to say, the information is critical to understanding what is going on with the gameplay programming team (which has a large impact on how DayZ plays!) For the second part of my text this week, I'd like to comment on the swing towards survival with 0.61. It is no secret that DayZ set out to be a punishing survival title from the start of the project. Much of the mechanics that would drive this type of experience have been in prototyped phase, with the full functionality of them dependant upon technology from the engine, optimization to make them a threat, and so on - because of that, for the majority of our development period they have had little impact on gameplay unless you intentionally sought them out (or a bug related to them caused larger issues, such as the hyperthermia issue on 0.60). With this side of the game being present in such a state, most of DayZ's gameplay throughout the Early Access phase has centered around social interaction, and gunplay. With little incentive, or push for anything else to occur. As bugfixing, feature implementation, and optimization has allowed us to bring some of these mechanics more to the forefront of gameplay, I fully expect the large portion of the Early Access playerbase that might not keep up to date on development to be surprised, and even push back on these changes once they hit stable branch. I'm fully aware many of you love DayZ for the action you experience when you get into a gunfight, or the interesting (and often hillarious) social situations that player interaction creates. I do not want you to feel ignored. Everything in DayZ should come with a cost, be it struggling to survive, choosing to make a beeline for the closest military base looking to pick a fight, or creating a farming commune on the coast. The closer we move to Beta, and Early Access release this will become more apparent, and we will of course ensure that all styles of gameplay are as viable as possible, assuming you make the correct decisions to overcome the environment that seeks to kill you. Be it through starvation, infection, murder, the cold, or being eaten alive by wolves. Excited as we are by the slow but inevitable progression to that unforgiving survival experience we set out to create back in 2013, we're all very aware (as you all should be) - that this is a development build. Many critical pieces to the final puzzle are still missing, and there will be bugs, but we hope that you find these changes compelling, and enjoy your experience inside Chernarus even more. I've rambled on enough for this Status Report. I'm sure you all wanted to see more fancy screenshots or gifs - but these things slow down as the team wraps up what is in 0.61, and starts to focus on bugfixing in order to get to stable branch. Once we get past 0.61 and can start talking about 0.62, I'm sure we'll have more eye candy for you. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Back to Contents Dev Update/Mirek Last week, we were mostly focused on server performance improvements. We rewrote the updating strategy of network objects and the results are pretty good. This part is now about five times faster. On the other hand, it reintroduced the "naked characters" bug. Things like these can happen quite often, because this mechanism is very complex. As server performance is one of the major blockers of stable release, we had to release it into Experimental branch as soon as possible, so there wasn't much time to test it internally. I hope you won't get angry when things like these happen on Experimental branch. Another bug we found is that Central Economy (CE) limits for infected count didn't work properly, so too many infected were spawned over the entire map. This slows down server performance too much and it's the source of incorrectly updated character modifiers, or the "persistent unconsciousness". We also decreased the simulation rate of distant AI units, so this should help the server performance a lot, and it should also lead to a general decrease in network traffic. All of these fixes are scheduled for merge into Experimental branch this week (it's possible that some of them are already merged by the time you're reading this). Now about vehicles. In the last status report, I wrote about two blocking issues. The broken simulation of more players in a vehicle is now resolved, but because the server is now authoritative over player's position and movement, new small issue appeared. You won't be able to see some animations (like head movement) of remote players sitting in the vehicle. We're not planning to fix this this in 0.61 - we will be taking another look at this issue when the new player controller is merged in, because we want to avoid doing things twice. Client side correction still doesn't work well and I'm not sure how long it will take to fix this. Also, because we would like to release Stable build before Christmas, we will release it without vehicles. We will, however, continue releasing Experimental builds with vehicles included, when they get ready. We've also made other vehicle simulation improvements, which will hit Experimental. Here's the short list of changes: dashboards now reacts to switching vehicle lights player can use zoom when sitting in the passenger seat engine animation now correctly reacts to all user actions, damage etc. cars can be drown in any water, not only in the sea working particles from wheels updated suspension physics and collisions cars can now drive over small obstacles based on wheel's radius suspension along with wheels now correctly reacts to land surface The second part of my status report will be dedicated to infected. We are working closely with designers to tweak them a little bit for 0.61, mainly improving their movement and attacking. Pushing won't be solved, as there is still the issue with AI units having a new physical controller built on bullet physics, while players use the legacy Arma collision detection. In this case, what happens is that infected penetrates into the player (because it's unable to find a collision), but player detects that he's in collision with something and moves away from the collision. We won't be able to resolve this without the new player controller, so we're trying to at least improve it by tweaking some movement parameters. This is all for now from me. - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer Back to Contents Handpicked: DayZ Forums News Our official DayZ community forums provide the easiest way to discuss all things DayZ. The discussion there is free of the usual constraints of other channels, like the 140 character limit on Twitter or the occasionally questionable voting mechanism on Reddit. The forums have a solid user base and are also the place where developers have been staying in touch with survivors basically ever since the early DayZ Mod days. For these reasons, we'd love to drive most of the discussions there - both those where members of the dev team engage with you, the DayZ community, and those where you simply talk to fellow survivors. Supporting the effort to keep the forums a busy place, we'll do our best to handpick some of the new content from the forums for each new Status Report, and highlight interesting posts or threads created in the past two weeks as a recommended reading material. Occasionally, we will also open a discussion on a topic we want to hear you opinions on. Mind you, there will likely be exceptions to the schedule: Status Reports often turn into truly massive behemoths already, and development updates should always be the main focus here. Then, sometimes, people simply get too passionate about one or two particular threads and just won't let go of them - and so we usually don't need to drive additional traffic to such threads. But now, let's get to it, here's what's been happening on the official DayZ community forums lately. Friday Experimental Build Thread As you probably know, the 0.61 build we deployed on Friday suffered from some serious server crashing, and the discussion that unfolds on the first 5 or 6 pages in the related thread is a nice practical example of the nature of the Experimental/Unstable branch of DayZ. Often, even if you can't really play the game properly, you may have actually helped the development team (and we appreciate that a lot!): Read the thread » While in this particular case, we've already gathered enough data about the crashes and our Deployment Engineer David sacrificed a bit of his weekend to revert the Experimental branch to previous build, it should be expected that Experimental builds may stay all over the place like that for some time. If that happens, we'd like to kindly ask for your patience, ask you to read this post over here to understand the nature of the Experimental branch, and ultimately ask you to switch over to Stable if you just want to play DayZ. 0.61 Stable Loot Thread Loot has always been a massive discussion topic in the community, and even internally. cs_wolf has started a thread where he's expressing his own hopes for the vanilla loot distribution of 0.61 on Stable, and while our design team is getting a clearer idea of where the vanilla experience is going themselves, feel free to fantasize about your own ideal setup with your fellow survivors: Read the thread » Best DayZ Weapon Combo Thread When you've managed to get the basics to survive, it's the best time to get properly armed. kataro posted what he believes is the most efficient weapon combo in DayZ, and is asking you to share your own deadly combos. Even our Community Manager Baty, a truly experienced survivor, is sharing her personal favorite, so hit the image to read the thread and see what her best weapon combo consists of: Read the thread » BETA Content: CR 550 Rifle Thread The last entry in our handpicked section of the Status Report is actually a start of what will hopefully become a series of sneak peeks on some of the BETA milestone content and features. This week, Brian is keeping it simple, teasing the already announced CR 550 and asking what your personal expectations and hopes are for this new piece of weaponry: Read the thread » Back to Contents Community Spotlight The news for update 0.61, which is on Experimental branch right now, are new dynamic shadows. Shadows look great, and the way you all are using them to take screenshots is really amazing. Besides facing the Infected, you also have to deal with an additional level of paranoia because dynamic shadows create a new dynamic, all happening in real time. Player XRW64 utilizes the new shadows and backlighting to create an interesting visual experience with a friend. It's like open world DayZ shadow puppet theater! Say hello to yourself! Test the new dynamic shadows and send us more rad images. Like JoeBandit. Wanna get really creeped out? Imagine a silent infected hiding somewhere in this room. Bibix is a very successful streamer from France, and he has a great talent for capturing unique moment. We love his screenshots. For more pics click HERE. All of these screenshots are great examples of how creatively Bibix uses the flares. It really sets a frightening mood. I don't know about you, but I definitely don't want to find someone (or something) dangerous inside, much less an evil clown. This is what can happen in the world of Chernarus. If you play on Experimental/Unstable servers, don't forget to use our Feedback Tracker to submit bugs, and for the newest info or a place to share your screenshots, follow the official DayZ Development Team Twitter account. Header image by: BIBIXHD - Baty / Community Manager Back to Contents
  18. Hello Survivors! we have a juicy Status Report for you again! Victor presents a video full of new animations, Adam is talking about military base changes and Baty is showcasing all the cool wolves footage from our community creators. Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Miroslav Dev Update/Fido Dev Update/Viktor Dev Update/Adam Community Spotlight Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, So as many may know, it has been a pretty busy few weeks. We've had a good deal of experimental updates go out. For those that don't follow our posts on the official forums I'll try and give you all some perspective on what those updates have been aimed towards, and what our current priorities are for 0.61. Server side performance is one of our major goals for improvement on 0.61 experimental. Aside from stability (server side crashes), this has the largest impact on the actual effectiveness of the major changes gameplay wise for 0.61. When server performance drops below the acceptable line on these servers, it will reduce and impede the functionality of these areas. To give you guys an example, server performance can cause issues such as (but not limited to): Modifier/Damage Application can be stuck or delayed AI Reactions and Speed can be reduced (Infected, Wolves, Wild Animals) Door States can be reported incorrectly Obviously, as you can see the above issues are critical to have reduced as much as possible for 0.61 Stable. In addition to that we're looking into issues related to: Infected vocalizations being too quiet Infected response to firearm types being uniform (Suppressed/Lower db ammo not having proper effect) Infected able to push characters through/into model geometry (potentially causing characters to be stuck/die) VOIP Volume too loud / Adjustment not functioning Today we pushed an additional update for Exp/Unstable branch addressing previous issues caused by the latest update. Characters displaying as nude in some situations, some gunshot sounds not being played for all players, a new server crash, and some adjustment to predator AI behavior. We'll continue our march forward to getting 0.61 to Stable branch, and I think I speak for the whole team when I say we're all very excited to see the .61 changes in the hands of the larger stable branch update. This of course is not where we want DayZ to be yet, but it is a great step forward to that experience. Don't forget to grab a raincoat, don't waste those bullets, and head over to the official DayZ forums at forums.dayz.com to participate in the ongoing discussion! 0.61 Milestone Goals: Server Login Queue Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update. Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology. Dynamic Spawning of Infected. Predators (Wolves) Dynamic Shadows Network Synchronization Improvements New Server Browser - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Peter With the recent addition of dynamic shadows casted from point lights and spot lights you can notice that they are quite dark due high intensities of lights in general. Overpowered lights are also causing unpleasant effect with camera exposure in new renderer as it tries to clamp and scale down huge differencies in scene luminancy for display output, which is resulting in pitch black surroundings outside the reach of lights. Power of lights was intentionally set higher in the past as they were compensating former pitch black nights in old RV engine renderer. In new renderer we approached the night time differently so there shouldn't be a need to change your gamma settings to see at least something when you play fair, of course those who doesn't we prevent unfair gamma abuse, but it's currently very low on priority list. What's on the top of the list regarding lights is for sure first balance pass of their intensities which should bring them to reasonable values for new renderer and its camera. You can expect to see these changes any time soon in 0.61 experimental releases. In future, for 0.62 version we would like to tackle day time and night time lighting to pull out more potential from new renderer combined visual updates for environment. Another troublesome behavior in 0.61 experimental releases you witnessed is infected and their movement and attacking. Actually it's quite a problem as currently both player character and infected are using different physics which doesn't like each other. However we are doing our best to fight these issues for 0.61 release via changes to configuration of AI which are the only weapons available for us now. With new player character, the old physics will be ditched and we gain more freedom in implementation of infected as well. One more thing I would like to mention is, that alongside new synchronization for players, vehicles are being worked on too. Count in they are getting so much love implementation wise so I hope we will be able to get some of these changes in 0.61 to make vehicles much more reliable and pleasure to drive. In the moonlight... see you in Chernarus folks! - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer Dev Update/Miroslav Today will be just a small update. We merged server performance improvements into experimental branch, which introduced some new bugs, like gear despawning for remote players (that's also the reason why you can't hear some gunshots - because remote players don't have weapon in their hands). Anyway, we fixed this issue and it should be available in the next experimental update. New server performance improvements won't be enabled, as we have to deal with some new server crashes. When these are resolved, we will enable these improvements. Another big task is finishing vehicle synchronization and it's priority No. 1 now, as we want to bring vehicles back as soon as possible. There are two blockers now - client side correction and bad simulation, when two or more players are inside the vehicle. - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Programmer Dev Update/Fido We’ve implemented terrain light reflection, variable coloring of trees (to add a bit more of the autumn feeling to Chernarus) and managed to progress with implementation of the new SimulWeather/TrueSky technology that we use for rendering the sky and clouds. These are merely some experimental visual effects, adding a little bit of “drama” to the world. - Filip Doksanský / Lead Engine Programmer Dev Update/Viktor Today I would like to share with you a short video that demonstrates some of the new player character features. We still have a lot to do to make all transitions work perfectly and we are also in the process of refining the animations. There are a couple of interesting things in the video however. I would like to describe them for you in more detail. First of all you will notice new camera and movement. The animations have been polished so they feel more natural and fluent. The camera system has been redone and now we finally are able to adjust the camera to our needs. The version you see is still WIP and we are constantly working on it. But in short, new camera options allow us to adjust camera per stance or even per animation if needed. One of the most visible changes in the character movement is the possibility to interrupt almost any animation. This gives players greater control over the character. We have talked about this in previous status reports a few times already but it is a really big change compared to the old system. The way character look around is also different. Now we have the ability to use poses for look at things or aiming. By creating aim-spaces we are able to adjust character poses properly to certain angles which gives us perfect control over how the animations look in the game. Gestures, actions and other animations now are divided in two groups. Some are full body animations and some are upper body or other body part animations. This had to be done to allow movement while eating, drinking, greeting and many other situations. It's important however that all of them are interruptible as you can see in the video, with the LYING DOWN gesture. Most of these actions are made of three parts - IN, LOOP and OUT. We play IN animation at the beginning, then the character starts doing actions like chopping trees, and when players release the mouse button, OUT is activated. Hopefully you enjoyed this small video preview. I am pretty sure we will put together some more. For the next couple of weeks we will be focused on implementing animations for weapons, new combat and of course, continue improving the player character. - Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator Dev Update/Adam If you were playing .61 experimental over past few weeks, you may have noticed that we have added little military location on Sosnovka pass. Many of you were probably wondering why something like that was added, well, wonder no more. In this status report, I will cover major additions and changes to the military locations on Chernarus! Please bear with me, this may be a bit longer, but I feel that such thing needs to be explained in greater detail so we avoid any misinformation. The overall aim is to start finalizing important pieces of the map prior beta so there is a solid ground for associated Central Economy tweaks. To achieve that, we have been looking with designers into options on how to deal with the current situation of military loot locations, which is without doubt one of the main drivers behind the survivor movement on Chernarus. While we are quite satisfied with the way concrete military buildings are distributed as of now, the distribution of improvised military objects (mainly tents) is something we need to tackle. To get rid of military loot saturation within Myshkino and North West Airfield tent camps, we have decided to significantly reduce tent count in these locations and use newly created "buffer of tents" to either add to existing or create completely new military locations on Chernarus. So let me now go over the existing locations to see what was exactly changed including pictures (for some locations, keep in mind that they are work-in-progress). Myshkino tents Previously positioned on the coast south of Balota airfield, this military camp is one of the biggest military locations (as of .60, both in terms average loot availability and size). With this change, this camp has been stripped to 1/4 of its previous size. It has been built more or less from the scratch (so it will spice up the game-play for a while), but the general location still stays the same. For now - as I mentioned in October status report, we plan to change this area significantly as it is part of much bigger plan that is aimed to a complete re-design of western border of Chernarus (more on that in later status report/s). North West Airfield One of the most famous locations on Chernarus and well known since early days of DayZ Mod. Again, focus was on the military camp. This camp has been reduced to half and completely re-designed from scratch. I also did some minor modifications to its surroundings to - hopefully - offer some new tactical possibilities. Now I should mention that in no way you should consider this change to be permanent. We will soon formalize internally a clear plan for a complete re-design of North West Airfield. NWA is one of the few locations on Chernarus that basically still look like it did in Arma 2 version of Chernarus (and it looks completely out of place compared to other areas of Chernarus+). Even after the change within northern tents, we expect this area to be still very active and we will do our best to make sure that the airfield and its surroundings will look and play just as good. We will of course keep you updated as we progress towards this goal in future status report/s. Kamensk military base Fairly a new military location, which was however changed quite a lot over time (someone remembers pit of death?). It has received a slight face-lift along with its surroundings (and will receive more once new forests will arrive). This base utilized "tent buffer" and received number of military tents scattered among the ruins. This change along with other (smaller) additions to northern highway should hopefully increase traffic in this part of the map. Tisy military base One of the newest additions on Chernarus - concluding the northern expansion - is slowly crawling to be the location of first choice for all survivors, who seek top tier military equipment. Located in North West corner of the map, players need to venture through the whole Chernarus to reach it. To properly reward them for taking risks of doing so, large military camp was added into the perimeter of the base. This camp should give you an idea that it has been built in there to stay for a longer period of time - assuming its inhabitants would survive long enough. I should mention (the usual) disclaimer - Tisy military base is still not yet considered to be done and this military will change in the future. The new stuff! 9 military locations were added (with one already present on .61 experimental) on Chernarus. They are represented either through a military roadblocks of different sizes or through a smaller military camps (similar to the one in Stary Sobor). If you are looking for a list of new locations along with pictures, you wont find them here. I think we need to keep some things as a surprise, so I will let you figure it out once this hits public (experimental) branches. As you can see, Chernarus just got even more interesting to explore. And we are definitely not stopping there. Our aim is to have more locations that would resemble humanity's struggle to tackle day zero situation. But again, more on that in later status reports. We understand, that this particular change could easily be one of the most significant changes on Chernarus during its development and so - once it will hit consumer branches - we will be actively looking into our data and feedback from you to see how this change performs in the live environment and implemented tweaks if necessary. But of course feel free to discuss this already and let us know what you think! And given the progress that has been made in this particular task for the past few weeks, we are actively discussing the possibilities of testing these changes within .61 update (if not, then .62). So stay tuned! - Adam Franců / Map Designer Community Spotlight Wolves are the new thing for the 0.61 update, and we had amazing feedback from your side on our social networks and forums. You have sent us a lot of amazing screenshots and videos from your first contact with wolves. We are as excited as you are because we love to watch your reactions when you meet them for the first time. For the first time you are scared, you are running for your life, someone fights, someone dies. It is not easy to survive encounters with wolves. Look at this great reaction by John Connor who met these predators face-to-face. Check out this amazing performance with wolves by CamCANTRUN. His touchingly sad story should affect everyone. In my case, he's definitely succeeded. When Man Becomes Prey When Man Becomes Prey II Player jakon72 dealt with the wolf in his own way, He killed it and made a dinner from it when the wolf attacked him. If you did not meet any wolves yet, you can try to find them on our Experimental/Unstable servers. Check the map of wolf locations by DAYZTV here. I hope you enjoy 0.61, and if you have something you'd like to share, send it to out official Twitter account . Header image by: Sweetest_Kill - Baty / Community Manager
  19. We will soon have moaning: "I cant find anybody for PVP, coast is empty, NWAF is empty, Mishkino is empty kmeeeeeeeeee, game sucks, kmeeeeeee, not fun kmeeeeeee" I like how these changes will slow down game and move towards "campaign" type of gameplay. People wont spawn and run to Mishkino for PVP 3 or 4 times in one evening. If all these new camps would be filled with zombies, or well hidden in woods (like somer camps where no one goes), it will take you few days to travel across entire map and get really good military gear. Edit: Id also like to see more abandoned equipment in new camps, like: rusty tanks, trucks (other then old Arma 2 model), crashed helis (maybe new model for soviet crash site and spread old Mi-8 as stationary).
  20. Afternoon Survivors, We have an update from Brian, Mirek and Dustin for you. They'll be sharing the latest about the 0.62 presentation at PAX Australia, 0.61 Experimental public testing, and some details about what's going on here at the DayZ offices. Contents This Week Dev Update/Hicks Dev Update/Mirek Dev Update/Dustin Community Spotligh Dev Update/Hicks Greetings Survivors, It has been a pretty exciting (and potentially stressful at times) two weeks for development on DayZ, both in the .61 development and the discussion on moving forward beyond that. This Status Report I'll go over what we're currently focusing addressing on 0.61 experimental, and then I'm going to summarize the main points from the 0.62 and Beyond talk at PAX Australia. As many of you may know, we've gone through several iterations on Experimental/Unstable branch for 0.61. With our principle focus being on server stability, and performance. The gameplay programming team has been experimenting with several possible options in improving our server side performance, which you as survivors will directly see as improved infected responsivity and speed, faster user actions, and general overall improved responsivity to your interactions with the world. While we've made some strong improvements in regards to stability, we're not quite where we'd like to be with server performance. As I've mentioned many times before - server performance is and will continue to be an ongoing area of focus for us throughout development and into the beta phase. That said, it is especially important to the 0.61 experience, given that at a gameplay level the dynamic spawning of infected is such a corner stone. I won't spend too much time talking about this, as Mirek is going to elaborate a bit on some of the different changes his team has been working on in this area further in to the SR. Enough rambling, lets take a look at what critical issues we have on 0.61 Exp/Unstable. VOIP Icon missing when using VOIP Server Performance can dip below acceptable line Character deformation when entering structure under high ping Character model twitching when standing on bodies Client side crashes (Several) VOIP Volume balancing Character sounds balancing Characters hands stuck raised in some situations Server side crashes tied to specific item Character roll backs during some server crashes Reconnecting / Manipulating weapon magazine can prevent magazine use Keep in mind this is just a list of critical fixes for 0.61 Stable - and is fluid based on the feedback and data we get back from 0.61 Experimental/Unstable builds. If you've encountered other critical issues, please let us know about it via our feedback tracker or on our official forums. As mentioned earlier, I was at PAX Australia in Melbourne this last weekend and had the opportunity to talk about where we are headed after 0.61 hits stable with the Australian and New Zealand community. For those that would rather not read my rambling wall of texts, I will be re-recording the audio along with the presentation slides. However, for those that *don't* mind reading - I'm going to summarize the presentation in this Status Report. (We'll jump past the start of the presentation that talks about .61, as if you are reading a Status Report this is probably redundant information) Now that .61 is on Experimental/Unstable - lets take a look at what our plans internally are for development beyond .61 hitting Stable branch on Steam. Once this occurs, the primary bulk of the DayZ development team will be switching their focus to the "Beta" milestone for DayZ. Beta for us is a major point in our development, and it goes without saying that it has its own challenge and hurdles. This milestone is focused on the following areas: New Animation System New Player Controller New User Actions Improved Vehicle Physical Simulation And that big ol' feature/content backlog (that is dependant on these technologies) Now what do I mean when I say "Backlog"? Well, as many of you may be aware - there are a good deal of gameplay systems, mechanics, items, and more that we have talked about in previous Status Reports, presentations, and are sitting in the "In Progress" column on our Trello. Nearly every single one of them are dependant upon the technologies listed above, either through technical limitation, or having just been written from the ground up on Enforce script and designed with the new tech specifically in mind. At the presentation in Australia I gave the following examples: Base Building Improvements Electrical System items Character Lifespan New Vehicles New Items & Weapons Now, one of the key points I tried to point out during this presentation was how critical this milestone is to the progress towards the final version of DayZ. Work on not only the technologies that power this milestone, but all the content and mechanics that we hope to hit with it, has been an ongoing task throughout DayZ's development. Artists, Designers, Animators, and Programmers have been working for quite some time on changes to DayZ that can't hit the Early Access userbase until these changes to DayZ's engine are ready to be merged into the main trunk of our development. This won't be a simple task, either. The work described is very similar to the change to DayZ's rendering technology in its risk and complexity. I've likened these milestone goals to a changing of the spine of DayZ, at least at a gameplay level. So, as mentioned before - once we get 0.61 to Stable branch - the primary bulk of DayZ's development team shifts all its focus on this goal. Exactly how much of that feature backlog we will be able to get into this milestone will be discussed in more detail in future Status Reports, once we can properly gauge any potential risk - but make no mistake, this is both an exciting time for us on the development team, but also a major task. While the primary bulk of the team is focused on this, our beta milestone - a small 5 man team (Comprised mostly of artists, environment designers, and support from one programmer) will be branching off to work on a 0.62 update to DayZ Early Access focused on a much needed overhaul of Chernarus's visual fidelity. What exactly do we mean by that? Well - lets take a look. Road Surfaces Damaged Roadways Dirt Roads Forest Density & Fidelity Forest Undergrowth and Clutter Now, in addition to to the obvious goal of bringing the visual of appearance of Chernarus + to a more modern level, the massive improvement in making our forests not only look more *real*, but to allow users to more believably create hidden camps and stashes in forests that more closely resemble the forests you might find in the Czech Republic is obvious. It merits mentioning that these images we are sharing with you here are initial tests. There is still a good deal of work, and analysis required to see how dense and believable we can make these forests, fields, and so on without compromising client side performance. However, we're all excited by what we've achieved so far - and as we get closer to this interim 0.62 milestone that the small team dedicated to it is working on, we'll be sharing more - both visually, and input on where we are with these goals. So lets recap what we've covered in this: 0.61 hits Stable branch Principle DayZ team starts work on our Beta milestone This is a massive overhaul of our core gameplay Focus on New Animation Sys, Player Controller, Enforce Script transition, New User Actions We start hitting that content/feature backlog we have This is a massive task for us, both technically and gameplay wise While this is ongoing, a splinter team of 5 developers approx will start work on an interim 0.62 Visual Overhaul of Chernarus hanks for making it through that wall of text, and for those that would prefer the audio/visual narration, I'll have that on our Youtube as soon as possible! I hope you're all excited as I am for the dayz/days ahead (heh heh heh) and now that we've got this Status Report out and I'm back in the office - I'm going to get some time in on the latest 0.61 Experimental Update. - Brian Hicks / Creative Director Dev Update/Mirek I will split this status report on two parts - work related to 0.61 and work related to later versions. Starting with 0.61. The last two weeks we were dealing mostly with issues blocking experimental release and after that with stability of servers. We found and fixed that ugly crash, which was related to shooting and damaging world entities, disabled infected's loot was a side effect of commit related to networking optimizations - we have a fix for this, so infected's loot will be back today or tomorrow. Also, the new server browser has gotten some fixes (there was a client crash related to server browser) and improvements (you can see slot counts and also server browser will show you how many player's are waiting in login queue). Now we have to deal with other client/server crashes (there are still too much of them), some synchronization issues (we have reports that client side correction doesn't work well sometimes) and we also prepared some server side performance optimizations, which are not merged to experimental branch yet. A lot of people were also complaining about low FPS/movement jittering. This issue is not connected to renderer, it's a game side issue and it's related to new player's synchronization logic. Player is now simulated by fixed time step, before it was every render frame. That means player is simulated by the same number of steps on every computer, no one has an advantage with better hardware and every computer is sending the same amount of input messages to the server. The issue there is that interpolation between these simulation steps isn't done, currently we're working on fixing this. Another big issue, character saving when server performance is low. This fix is ready for release. And another improvement is ready for release, as we disabled AI freezing when the nearest player is farther than 500 meters. But first, we have to test this on experimental servers to see if it negatively affects server performance. The rest of the gameplay programmers are still working on new features for the damage system, infected's AI, vehicle physics and central loot economy. We're not still sure if we will merge something into 0.61 or if it will be available in later version, but here is a short list of what has been done so far. infected AI - improved target selection vehicled physics - improved wheels friction vehicles physics - collisions with small items (bow arrows too :) ) infected spawning together with dynamic events (like helicrash) - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer Dev Update/Dustin Greetings all, I don't do too many updates (that would be zero until today), but we have some stuff going on here at the BI offices I wanted to share. First, if you've not gotten an opportunity to check out our latest DayZ Q&A with Enfusion Engine architect Filip Doksanský, check out Part I and Part II by clicking the links. It's a great interview and solid insight into just how hard this development team has worked over the last year to fully realize the vision of DayZ. We have also opened up the latest round of question submissions for our next Q&A with Lead Gameplay Programmer Miroslav Maněna. We're accepting questions on Twitter (hashtag them with #GameProgZ so we can easily find 'em) and the official DayZ forums until the 14th of November. And on that, you might have noticed a significant uptick in quality in our in-house DayZ-related videos. We're stoked to have a solid videographer and editor named Filip working with us now to produce high quality video content at a much swifter pace than we were able to accomplish before he came to us. With his help, you should get a much clearer picture of what development of DayZ is really like, and what it takes to build every aspect of DayZ's world. I'm quite excited about what's coming down the pipe related to video content, and I think you will be too. And remember, the best way to learn even more about what we do is to participate in the official forums. It's a direct conduit from you to us to engage in conversation about your questions, concerns and general inquiries. We hope to see more of you make accounts and join in the discussion. Finally, we've been getting asked for new BI Store apparel for a long while, and I'm happy to announce we've added faction t-shirts that are available now. You can represent the 27th MEU, ChDKZ and CDF factions, with a slight delay on the NAPA faction t-shirt. We'll drop a mention on Twitter as soon as it's in the store as well. And if you haven't visited in a while, our faction patches are available in the store too. Click here to give the store a visit. There is a lot coming up in the coming months I'm excited to share with you all as DayZ gets closer and closer to beta and beyond. Until then, stay hydrated, and try not to get chewed on by an Infected. They have super gross oral hygiene. Cheers, -Dustin, PR & Brand Manager Community Spotlight Hello Survivors, I want to dedicate this portion of the Status Report to the most beautiful daytime periods in Chernarus - sunset and sunrise. Everyone who plays DayZ should stop and watch a stunning sunrise or sunset over a city, the sea or forest. It is beautiful moment of peace and lots of players share these moments with the DayZ community on Steam. Here are some of our favorite captures from the game from our players. Breathtaking view over Chernogorsk by PrimalCrescent: Joulik with his friend watching a beautiful sunrise from a sunken ship: Dawn in the industrial zone by TikTac'tical: Lucy's amazing screenshot of a village view sunset: And finally, check out this video by Harold Palmer. He is showcases a time-lapse of some incredible locations in 0.61 Chernarus. Great job Harold! 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'll be happy to have a look! Header image by: Sumptuous Dust - Baty / Community Manager