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Status Report - 22 Apr 15

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Greetings Survivors,
 
As expected, work continues on 0.56 stable branch release. This release as mentioned prior will hit in the early weeks of May rather than the standard end-of-the-month update for April. This is mostly due to bugfixing that needs to occur related to the inventory refactorization in order to get the build to a state that can be used by the Early Access audience.  As well, the gameplay programming team are resolving the bugs discovered in the loot spawning system several weeks after the 0.55 stable date.
 
Given that most of the core work these last few weeks has been on such major systems as the inventory, and central loot economy - I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss a few points people have requested hearing information about. First off, I feel the need to reiterate on Early Access, development builds, and what to expect.

A few status reports ago I mentioned the fact that as we move forward through the development of DayZ, people *will* see more things break, more bugs, and so on. Part of getting access to DayZ as early as we've allowed via the Early Access program means that you're seeing the real ups and downs of game development. I've seen people over the last few months on forums, twitter, and so on mention the back and forth stability of builds as if this is an anomaly - an oddity in software or game development.
 
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Early Access is as the fictional character James Kirk once referred to the USS Excelsior - "The Great Experiment". DayZ approached this at its truest form, 3 months into our principle development - and as said development has continued, the scope has expanded to include the development of the next game engine from Bohemia Interactive, Enfusion. It should go without saying, that the development of any large scope video game takes years. A multiplayer only title, that also aims to fully support Steam Workshop modding is no short order. Developing said title, the game engine powering it, and maintaining a steady monthly cadence of updates to the consumer is no short order.

So I ask you, the Early Access user - when you encounter a bug that frustrates you - make sure it is listed in the feedback tracker, make sure you read the Status Reports (although, it seems that if you are reading this you've already completed this step), engage with the development team on the DayZ forums. I've found that when it comes to the Early Access program and your experience with it, we'll all get out of it - what we put into it.
 
Moving past that, many people have asked about the audio side of the Enfusion engine. Obviously fairly early on into the Early Access program, we realized that the existing audio technology interited from the RV engine wasn't going to suit the needs of the project. Problematic (and annoying) audio bugs began to reveal themselves, and resolving those within the legacy technology clearly demonstrated it would be time lost. Thus, work began on a new audio module to be paired with the in-development Enfusion engine. As with any core engine work, this is not a short form task. Obviously the goal for initial deployment is feature parity with the legacy audio technology, it is my personal hope that once this is achieved - we can look to expand the options for enhancing the audio experience in Chernarus, as I firmly believe audio in DayZ is just as critical as any core technology and part of the immersion into the world.
 
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My personal holy grail throughout the development of DayZ has, and will remain the server side performance. Much of what folks attribute to "lag" or "desync" can be traced back to poor server side performance. 85% of which comes from the performance heavy usage of SQF engine script for many gameplay systems. Mentioned in prior status reports, EnScript (the name for Enfusion's engine scripting language) is leaps and bounds ahead of the legacy SQF in terms of performance. This, the portion of the performance budget currently consumed by SQF usage is the largest roadblock between 50 player servers, and 100+ player servers. Moving the title completely away from legacy engine scripting tech, and onto the new engine scripting language for Enfusion is by no means a small task, and will be an ongoing goal for the team (and in my opinion 100% required for DayZ to reach 1.0)
 
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Last on my list for this week is some comments I wanted to make in regards to play styles, difficulty, and exactly how to play DayZ. 
Obviously, as DayZ is an open world sandbox title, nearly anything is technically possible (in regards to play styles). As the initial deployment of the new infected A.I., as well as the central economy ramped up the difficulty within Chernarus, there were people vocalizing how they disliked how difficult DayZ was becoming. Now, obviously I've spoken on this before - but I feel the need to reiterate, and clarify a few things.
 
Surviving in Chernarus is intended to be difficult. I want you to value each bullet, I want discovering a roaming boar in the forest to be a stroke of good luck. However, this does not mean the play styles of "Coastal Chaos" or "Squad play" and so on are not viable playstyles.
 
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You can, and should be able to play DayZ however you want. Be warned however, every choice - every play style should, and will have its own cost. You can choose to spend your time in Elektro, fighting over sniper hill, or pitting your squad against a rival group up at the Northwest Airfield each have their own requirements to maintain, and overall costs (be it in time, health, resources, or life duration). 
 
Lastly, as the text below calls out - Standup notes are not a change log, they are a list of the things the teams have been working on this week, to give you all transparency into the current task priorities. So try not to get upset if you see a task thats being worked on not be in the latest stable branch update, and so on.
See you guys up north,
- Brian Hicks / Lead Producer

Header image credit: [TDay]Spalte
 
Its been a while since I've written so I thought I'd give you a short update. From my perspective, the pace of art creation has really picked up in recent weeks and below is a brief overview of some highlights:

Vehicles
We're working on 3 vehicles currently but I want to set expectations since renders have already been publicly shown for two of them - the extreme level of detail we are placing into the vehicles means they will each take a very significant amount of time to finish. I'm talking a couple months each - and that’s before the animators even touch it. Just because we've posted a render of the high poly exterior, doesn’t mean their release is imminent. Its a studio first that we're modeling not only a high detail interior instrument panel, but also an engine bay which players will have to interact with. We hope you'll agree the added time is worth it in the end.
 
Characters
We've finished 3 new zombie models recently and we hope to get those into Chernarus and scaring the pants off of you by our next stable release. Work continues on even more zombie types - including new female versions, to add more visual variety to the game. Gaspo, the very talented artist who works on zombie bodies and character heads will soon be finishing up with the new female zombie templates and will move back to creating character heads for greater variety. New character clothing is also in progress with a new hunting uniform being added, medical scrubs, and a MARPAT uniform as a nod to the DayZ/ArmA2 lore is in progress. 
 
Weapons
We've finished or have WIP a fairly large number of new weapons or weapon attachments recently. Some may have seen pictures of the Mauser C96 Red 9, Winchester 70, VSS, SVD, IZH18 and UMP45 added to the DayZ Trello but not all of them will be immediately added to the game - some of them still need animations and sounds to be made and we also would like to wait until our loot spawning/central economy system is working as intended before we add the venerable SVD. Also new is an optic for the AK platform called the Kashtan C-1, which is something like an ACOG for AK side-mounts. Last but not least, we have made a hunting scope which will be able to be used on a greater number of rifles than just the Mosin - and speaking of which, the days of "slap the LRS on a Mosin" are numbered.
 
Environment
We have finished a new school building and have populated it with some school-related items in the classrooms. The map team will be able to begin placing them in Cherno soon, after their current tasks, which we hope will serve both as an interesting new location to explore, but also as a landmark for orienteering. We've also created a new Village store, some roadblock objects which might have been placed on major roadways during an evacuation, and we're continuing work on new building interiors. 

- Chris Torchia / Assoc. Art Director
 
Standup Notes for the week of 22 Apr 15
(Note: Standup notes are not a change log - they are a quick high level look at tasks the teams worked on throughout this week)
Art:

  • GAZ Volga
  • Ikarus 260
  • Lada Niva
  • LRS / Scope Attachment 
  • New Zombie Models
  • MARPAT
  • Roadblock Objects

Design:

  • Central Economy
  • Firearms Recoil
  • Tripwire Traps
  • Firearms Noise (AI Related)
  • Drying Food
  • Cooking via Stick
  • Fall Damage mitigation
  • Skeleton Damage bugfixing
  • EnScript/SQF Profiling
  • Object Placement
  • Player / Infected Stamina
  • SVD Configuration

Programming:

  • Inventory refactorization
  • Dynamic Events
  • Vehicle Transmission bugfixing
  • Vehicle wheels simulation improvements
  • Adv. Loot Distro Bugfixing
  • Player Statistics
  • Grenades refactorization
  • Persistence Bugfixing
  • Advanced Loot Distro bugfixing
  • Character Controller
  • Login Que Design
  • New Damage Sys.
  • Crash Fixes
     

Animation:

  • Mauser Red 9 Anims
  • Ladder Anim Redesign
  • Infected crawling state animations
  • Gesture Implementation on new Anim Sys
  • Rifle Aiming implementation on new Anim Sys
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-Drying Food

-Cooking via Stick
 
-Object Placement

These three things are HUGE for me. Glad to see they are being worked on right now :)

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Looks like the standup notes has more than ever. Lots of work getting done.  :)
 
Here is what stands out for me:
 


 
Art:

New Zombie Models
Roadblock Objects

Design:

Firearms Recoil
Firearms Noise (AI Related)
Drying Food
Cooking via Stick
Fall Damage mitigation
Skeleton Damage bugfixing
EnScript/SQF Profiling
Player / Infected Stamina

Programming:

Dynamic Events
Vehicle wheels simulation improvements
Player Statistics
Character Controller
New Damage Sys.

Animation:

Ladder Anim Redesign
Infected crawling state animations
Gesture Implementation on new Anim Sys
Rifle Aiming implementation on new Anim Sys

 

 

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...

 

Yet, another delayed status report... Don't you think it's easier to just move the status report release date to Wednesday, since it mostly gets posted on wednesdays anyways?

Just a thought, because delivering reliably on time leaves a way better impression ;)

 

Nevertheless, I love your status reports! :thumbsup: :beans:

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So when will we see a experimental branch push for .56?

Edited by DURRHUNTER

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Will there be more than one school? I think two is enough, Novodmitrovsk and Chernogorsk

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Authentic Russian vehicle

I'm aware what it is, I'm just happy for its arrival!

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So when will we see a experimental branch push for .56?

I think I read the end of this week, but can't find that article or tweet right now

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thanks for the refreshing read.

 

i think we all need that reality-check from time to time again to get a sense of perspective regarding this whole project, how it started and what the ultimate goals are.

 

i would like to take the chance to ask some questions nevertheless:

 

vehicles:

how can one understand how - from concept to implemented vehicle - the procedure works? why wouldn't it be possible to release for example a vehicle with very "barebone" interior details etc. e.g. and work on these then further on while the vehicle is already in experimental? would there be other (too many) constraints?

 

weapons:

you currently work on many guns and attachments to guns atm. what i somehow miss in this _survival_ scenario are those everyday objects and more makeshift weapons! is this just a coincidence that you work on so many firearms atm and what can we expect regarding makeshift weapons and objects i wouldn't hesitate to use in self-defense.

 

environment:

you speak of "we're continuing work on new building interiors. " Where i live, smaller communities and villages don't necessarily have their own buildings for police forces or post offices. they use mere chambers in existing buildings. I think it would be reasonable to have the one or other police chamber (or post office or doctor's office) with a sign outside in one of the preexisiting row houses instead of these alien-like overdesigned police buildings. if interiors are an ongoing thing this might be worth of consideration.

 

also regarding environment: are interiors planned to be static objects beyond version 1.0? can interiors be potentially "randomized"?

Edited by joe_mcentire

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I think I read the end of this week, but can't find that article or tweet right now

 

It was in the Q&A by Eugen. Someone asked if Experimental would be up on Wednesday, and he replied something like, "More like Friday."

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Nice read. Good on you.

 

Definitely a "Calm down dears." statement for the ignorant/impatient chickenlickens.

 

SQF scripts - the performance hog of many a user made ofp/arma mission. I myself am guilty of this also. :D

Edited by Jim Gun

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 I firmly believe audio in DayZ is just as critical as any core technology and part of the immersion into the world.

 

 

The audio guy you hired is silence personified.  I like the developer interaction a lot with this game. He hasn't even logged into the forum in months after posting a thread to "discuss audio".  It leaves the impression that audio, or at least player discussion about audio is not important.  Its non-existent.  Its very disappointing.

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Oh man, can't wait to get my Lada.

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environment:

you speak of "we're continuing work on new building interiors. " Where i live, smaller communities and villages don't necessarily have their own buildings for police forces or post offices. they use mere chambers in existing buildings. I think it would be reasonable to have the one or other police chamber (or post office or doctor's office) with a sign outside in one of the preexisiting row houses instead of these alien-like overdesigned police buildings. if interiors are an ongoing thing this might be worth of consideration.

 

 

 

Very good point ! Buildings like hospitals, police stations, fire stations and school buildings should be found in the major cities only anyway.  This means Cherno, Elektro, Berezino, Svetlo, Novo and Severo ( having the firestation for Svetlo and Novo placed in Polana does not hurt in this case) , Some of the bigger towns inland like Stary, Krasno or Zeleno could have smaller versions like the wooden clinic building etc. All the smaller towns and villages should have no official buildings but  pharmacies, small police stations, post offices etc inside private buildings or inside local shops like Joe suggested.

This would make this buildings more special and unique and would also force players to travell a lot more to get specific supplies like for example antibiotics. Beside that lowering the number of these buildings would maybe allow to make and look them more unique.

 

:)  we need a map design discussion thread

Edited by Private Evans

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Anyone care to speculate on what that code/script snippet is all about? Looks like a scripted event to me: if you're a white female character and kill 3 zombies you get a flare as a reward :)) what's that supposed to mean?

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Npn9pEB.jpg

 

 

Anyone care to speculate on what that code/script snippet is all about? Looks like a scripted event to me: if you're a white female character and kill 3 zombies you get a flare as a reward :)) what's that supposed to mean?

 

What is this? An IDE for ants?

 

EDIT: It needs to be at least three times bigger.

Edited by tux
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What is this? An IDE for ants?

 

EDIT: It needs to be at least three times bigger.

If you kill all the Zombies you get a flare as reward.

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It was in the Q&A by Eugen. Someone asked if Experimental would be up on Wednesday, and he replied something like, "More like Friday."

Must have been, I read the whole thing

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