Baty Alquawen

Status Report - 16 May 2017

66 posts in this topic

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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:

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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.

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Abadoned cowsheds:

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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.

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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.

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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

 

DannyDog, scriptfactory, GaryWalnuts and 17 others gave beans to this

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Wow i scroll fast down, and see many pictures.  Thx .. now i take time and read.

Arthur Dubrovka gave beans to this

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Its 6am, havent slept and after reading this status report i dont think ill be able to now :). I am so freaking hyped rn im all about the immersion. I can already imagine how good the forests are going to sound just by looking at those pictutes.

WOLFGEIST gave beans to this

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Real life looks better ! lol

Great status reports !

looks like 0.62 is gonna be out in experimental very soon !

Keep up the great works !

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really exciting news on this SR. Can't wait to see .62 hit exp. Literally can't wait, so do it! I know there are issues with it, but you guys fixed the crash, let us help finding the trees where people get stuck or the area where the frames drop a little bit because there are too many bushes. We want new content but we also want to help!

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of radios and how excellent of a tool they are, I'm curious if we will see in game terrain ever have an impact on the quality of radio transmissions and reception. If I'm down in the valley town of Nadezhdino, is my radio tx/rx going to be inhibited? If I'm up on the roof of the Altar Radio station, will my little handheld reach farther than it would if I was broadcasting down in Gorka? Can we expect to hear more static or broken up transmissions from distant or bad location players trying to talk over the radios?

Edited by Zahj
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I didnt even realize radios worked lol. Good stuff and a very juice SR! Give .62!

Influence_X gave beans to this

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Hi Baty and BI staff. First off, I must apologize for my overreaction to the "heli tweet".. my heart was in it too much, and I stepped too far. Im sorry.

 

Aside from my lesson learned, I had a question:

New SR makes me feel like we might be hopeful to see 0.62 sometime here soon? I had thought at best June, are you feeling like it could still be a little ways out, or is it really close? Close would be amazing, and a huge surprise. 

Thanks again for all of your hard work (not ass kissing, they actually deserve a big thanks from the community for caring). 

- Jake

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22 minutes ago, exwoll said:

PS. Pls no radios -.-

I lol'd after coming here from reddit. :D

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1 hour ago, exwoll said:

Woohoo hype!!! :D

PS. Pls no radios -.-

Plz yes radios, if you dont want to talk, just drop the radio. 

odin_lowe and ScipioII gave beans to this

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Posted (edited)

I don't really put much effort into ingesting SR's, I have to apologize for that in some ways but also be truthful.. I have always tended to find them rather repetative, like a sort of groundhog day come roundabout kinda experience, beating around the bush stuff.. filler to keep people playing and hoping, but for some reason this one seems to have rang some bells, even got me a little excited! Must be the pictures? or more like the honesty I took from it. Oh and this little nugget..

"Instead of focusing on systems and technology, we are finally making a game."

I just may be starting to see some light in this extra long tunnel. I never thought I'd say that! So Thanks! Gotta say too.. it's got me rather looking forward to the next one now ;)

Edited by [Gen]Adzic
to add the nugget bit

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Posted (edited)

I totally agree with Brian Hicks that radios should be starting gear, at least in alpha/beta phase of dayZ as a form of alternative, opt in, side chat. I always carry one, but I tend to play on a chosen, local, public server and I've never once had any radio contact aside from friends I knew were on the server already, and I could of joined in teamspeak.

Walkie talkies will allow an optional side chat, which also allows players to communicate about server specific issues ("hey, is this server lagging bad for anyone else? Did the admin just abuse banning privileges?")

I personally believe that a global side chat does not belong in dayZ, and the kill count definately does not belong. But that's just IMO.

Edited by Influence_X
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Great Status Report.  It sounds like things are really coming together.

I have noticed that batteries area big issue for the radio, which create an unnecessary need to fiddle with turning it on and off again frequently; always wondering if something was missed.

This week's community spotlight just rubbed more salt in the wounds from seeing Baty's twitter feed earlier this week.  (It's okay to downplay your job satisfaction maybe a little bit)  Just kidding  : )  Definitely a bucket list item to see it for myself.   +1 for great weather  

Speaking of which, my local weather is set to improve towards the end of the week, so I'll go ahead and flippantly forecast a Friday release of .62.  Because, you know, Murphy is watching...

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Theyve tested a variety of spawn gear, a dollar says they start randomizing the kit you spawn with. Id like to say that spawning with a chemlight would be disadvantageous compaired to the flare. 

Arthur Dubrovka gave beans to this

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I always carry a radio and spare batteries, and have been doing so for a long time. (Although I've only encountered other users on DayZ Underground...) 

Can't wait to hear the new sound effects, and feel the new forests and vegetation!!  Very nice status report!! Keep it up!! The Beta road looks promising!

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Ahhh, all of this looks so great :D I can't wait to try out .62 and try all this stuff! Here's hoping that server performance is bombtastic.

As for radios, I think that's not too bad of an idea! If everyone started with one, I'm pretty sure most people would turn it on and give it a try. . Or scan and listen for other's locations. . ;D 

All for that ^_^

So. . We looking at Friday? Eh? Eh?

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6 hours ago, Influence_X said:

Plz yes radios, if you dont want to talk, just drop the radio. 

Thats a quite douchy move.

Would rather have an optional side-chat  that I can chose to turn on or not, than just not picking up any radio and killing the immersion of talking with someone after taking all the work to get one. 

Everyone happy that way :)

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Quote

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.

That's awesome.

Quote

So I encourage you all to utilize them more, so I can convince Peter that they should totally be player starting gear.

DayZ is, perhaps, the loneliest multiplayer game I own. DayZ needs to create more opportunities for player interaction, not less.

If you want to increase communication via VOIP just make using walkies as simple as possible. Add walkies as starting equipment or a permanent fixture in-game. Remove the battery requirement. A little suspension of reality is OK in this situation. The vast majority of players are using Discord and Teamspeak to talk with teammates anyway.

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First i thought that radios would bring more interactions but...60players with radios?...starting items should stay at 2.maybe there would be 5 items where you choose your starting kit....but i like how is it now....when i play,i always find radios and batteries...sometimes i search those and its kind of mission or task in game

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      There will be tons of players trying to get in, and we will try and accommodate as many players as possible, because I do strongly believe it will be very hard to go back to 0.62 after this huge change happens.
      Now once that goes through all of the parts that need proper testing, and you are happy with the stability of the experience, we will start preparing for the Stable launch of 0.63 - the DayZ BETA. At that point in time, it is our intention to make DayZ server files available to anyone for free on Steam, meaning that you will be able to host your own servers. As far as platforms go, we aim to have these for both Linux and Windows.
      Following that, I know a lot of people will start digging into the data itself and have fun modifying it. It's going to be interesting to see what you guys come up with. However, you might be a bit limited during the initial release, as the current state of things suggests that the modding toolset might be behind schedule, and will be released shortly after BETA comes online. The toolset will be running the new Enfusion tools that you might have seen on different pictures from the office, and will again be available to all our players.
      But since lot of the data is compatible in some way, I think a lot of models will find their way into the game quickly, and people will start researching the new script as they test it out. Since almost everything you see in game will be written in script, you will have some amazing opportunities to change and bend the game in any way you want.
      Together with the DayZ server release, we want to provide our back-end technology that we internally call the Srvlet. This is basically our hive implementation in its entirety. With this strong tool, you will be able to set up your own hive, and do anything you might have ever imagined with your servers. Because this is actually quite complex, our intention is to provide decent documentation for the technologies recommended to run this platform.
      After the toolset gets out, we will look into opening the workshop on Steam, so that you guys can start sharing your creations freely. It's something we are especially excited about!
      There is more to it of course, like having a DayZ Launcher as a central piece to access all that, and I will try and space out this information and go into more detail as we get closer. With what features we exactly have in mind, what content you should expect and how these things will be handled.
      Hopefully this has helped you to understand how serious we are about this important milestone in DayZ development.
      - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
       
      Dev Update/Peter
      Alongside crucial improvements which affect core parts of DayZ such as movement, ranged or melee combat we often mentioned, there is also other parts which are very important for delivering the best overall experience.
      You could already see the dynamic target selection in one of the previous Status Reports, and some of you could try it out in action with showcase of DEMO build at Gamescom. For me, together with whole HUD and new user actions, it’s an important part of the game which underlines all these great changes which separate old (0.62 and previous versions) and new DayZ (upcoming 0.63 AKA Beta).
      From our internal playtests and feedback from players at Gamescom, we decided to improve the HUD part of dynamic target selection and user actions a bit further. Now there is more options related to user actions, usually performed on some kind of target in world, shown directly in the floating widget of dynamic target selection, which makes it more readable for the player. These were previously located in bottom left corner, and they were quite easily overlooked when they became possible to perform (remember new user actions are contextual). In bottom left corner, there are now only actions which are applied directly to your character for now.

      Another improvement to the bottom left corner of HUD that we've currently made is the addition of item in hands. Its name, actual condition and its quantity or stack is now shown in the bottom left too, above actions. This offers constantly consistent overview of information related to equipped item and items around the character without the need to over-use inventory screen to find out such basic info.

      While shuffling parts of HUD around, we ended with dynamic cross hair, also. It changes form contextually when needed, to indicate some possibilities or states. Good example is a time progression of currently performed continuous action. Of course, HUD visuals are nowhere near final by any means. For those players who want to be immersed as much as possible in the world of DayZ, there is an option to turn off HUD completely on demand (of course independently from quick-bar).

      To mention melee combat as well, its state is very rough and basically still in a state of prototype. We wanted to proof the concept out with new system of targeting and full body attack animations which are locking character movement, alongside with hit impacts which can take controls of character completely. Now when we've laid the basics and seen the potential it has, it is the way to go for us, unless something unexpected happens.
      As we definitely want to add some player skill to melee combat, we need to extend it with possibilities. Currently we are prototyping blocks, which reduce received damaged and influence hit impacts from attack, as well as evades, which helps to get out from line of attack. Next up is adding melee attacks with ranged weapons, like stabbing with bayonets, hitting with butt stock or pistol whips, as there is no worse feeling of helplessness when you are armed and someone successfully locks you into series of impacts and you need to throw gun down to be able to fight. 
      Planned next are advanced moves such as knock-downs, finishing attacks on opponent on the ground or kicks/pushes. Anyway it’s really important for us to make solid foundation first because without it, melee combat won’t work as a whole, and it won’t matter how much depth and added layers will be there.
      As far as new camera implementation I mentioned in last Status Report goes, it’s from great part done. We just need to promote some functionality to the script, so we can set specific FOV in iron sights and optics. Also we will be able to start toying with naked eye zoom again. Apart from that we are dealing with 3PP camera position in space in different modes like raised, melee combat or sprint.
      With form following function... see you in Chernarus folks!
      - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
       
      Dev Update/Mirek
      Some time has passed since I last wrote my Status Report. One of the reasons is that we're now working on longer term tasks and it's quite hard to write a Status Report without repeating myself. Another reason is that we're mostly working on things which aren't immediately visible. Today, I will summarise what we have done over the last two months.
      During August, major part of the team worked on delivering features that ended up being part of the DEMO version for Gamescom. It was quite stressful, because time was passing very fast and we had to stabilise the DEMO build and fix the most visible issues. Anyway, I believe that we were successful and we could return to our unfinished work with a good feeling of accomplishment.
      Now, we are mostly focused on improving character's movement and combat mechanics, because the entire development team is still not very satisfied with what we have presented at Gamescom. This is a very important part of the DayZ experience and we want to have the best possible implementation before we hit BETA. It's also important for fighting against the infected, because it's almost impossible to tweak and polish AI behaviour without having the player movement finalised - and so this is the reason why work on AI is also a bit on hold for now.
      One of the major things which were in progress before Gamescom is the game entity hierarchy (which is how the scene is represented for the game - so it is a system you won't be able to see). DayZ has been using an Arma legacy "proxy object hierarchy" - and this technology was limiting us to do some of the more exciting stuff from the DayZ feature list.
      We decided to switch this scene representation technology to the new one provided by our in-house Enfusion Engine. This will allow us to do things better and in a more optimised manner, allowing us to add more visual effects easily and for example create much better animations for weapons handling.
      Another thing we're now working on is the re-implementation of vehicles using the new systems. I have to admit that we're still working mostly on the physics part, and the character part is still not ready - but we hope that we will start working on character representation in vehicles soon (probably right after movement and combat mechanics).
      The entire system around vehicles has changed a lot. They are now composed of several configurable components, we're supporting generic number of axes (not only two like in 0.62 and before), handling is much more responsive and vehicles have a new suspension model, which will help players driver over smaller obstacles. Things which still are not finished are better tires friction model and simulation of some gearbox extreme limits.
      I wasn't sure if I should show you the following teaser (like I said, the character representation in vehicles isn't ready yet), but here it is. This is how we're testing vehicle physics for now - please welcome Fred Flintstone as a DayZ survivor, testing the new suspension system:

      (Please note: these are not final values for suspension and current values are serving for demonstration of new suspension model)
      Also, there are things which I would like to write about the topic of modding and what we are doing for supporting this feature, but it would be a lot of text for now, so I will write about it in next status reports (at least I'll have some ammunition for next time!).
      - Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
       
      Dev Update/Martin
      Hello survivors! As I shared in the last Status Report, creating videos of a game in development is not always an easy task for us. It takes a lot of time from our regular schedules, and the closer we are to major releases of DayZ, the less time we have for recording gameplay. After experiencing the production of the 0.63 Dev Log, evaluating our options, and looking at the upcoming BETA/1.0 releases, we've made the decision that now is the right time to invest into our video production some more.
      Just yesterday, we've put up a job opening for what we at Bohemia call a Game Capture Artist. Ultimately, we're looking for a content creator that will work alongside me, Baty and Eugen, and spend most of his/her time capturing DayZ gameplay, as well as coming up with concepts of DayZ videos (and, eventually, trailers).
      It's a job that provides a perfect opportunity for making the hire directly from our community of players and content creators, and we'd be the happiest people on Earth to actually hire a DayZ fan, so please do apply if the job ad sounds like something you'd like to do for a living! 
      I'll just add a personal warning: don't be misguided into thinking that this job is just playing 0.63 all day! It's also a lot of planning and documentation, and you really need to understand the technical aspects of video production as well.
      That said, we don't need years of professional experience, but a creative, organised and communicative person who's going to drive our video production to a very high standard. We also need you to work directly with us in Prague or Bratislava, but Bohemia Interactive will help you relocate should you feel a bit on the edge about that!
      Send them CVs in - and come live closer to the real Chernarus!
      - Martin Čulák / Brand Manager
       
      Community Spotlight
      Hey Survivors! 
      These two weeks have passed really quickly! So, let's see what's happening in the community. 
      I need to start with a letter sent to our forum. It is from our big supporter to the Dev Team. Her name is Baroness, she is an amazing content creator and her message made me cry. She met her husband in DayZ! What an amazing story! Thank you, Baroness, we love you!
       
      Hello. You don’t really know me. Well, maybe Baty does, a bit, in a way. I’m just a regular player.
      When the standalone came out, I was coerced by my brother into buying this game and play with him. I had never gamed on PC ever, had only ever slightly gamed on console when I was 12-13 (I am 34 now). Everything was very new to me. He told me it looked promising, explained what alpha was, and off we went on adventures as I spawned in Kamyshovo for the first time.
      Being on the creative side I have always enjoyed documenting my travels inside Chernarus. When I had gathered enough friends, we made clans, we built communities, alliances and harbored hate with other groups, as these things usually go. Some are still ongoing friendships that are on a deeper level, and this is amazing to me.
      About 2 years ago, some friends and I disbanded our group and decided to join a roleplaying community. It was fairly small at the time, and being the creative and helpful person I am, both of the leaders decided to include me on staff, where I developed some community management skills, learned to deal with all the kinds of hate that you guys are getting right now. I mean, I’ve been called Cersei more times than I can count on 2 hands.
      I’ve sowed many seeds of rapport, friendship, kindness and warmth, and I’ve been able to reap affinities, loyal friends, loving bonds, and even love.
      I met my husband in this last community, it was called ChernarusRP. My now husband (then-gamer-friend) and I joined forces and nurtured this incredible fellowship of like-minded survivalists with a penchant for roleplaying. All 700 of them. Us working together, entertaining complimentary notions of unity, respect and healthy dialogue,  got us thinking; we very quickly found out that, through working so closely together for a long period of time, we just ‘clicked’, and it just ‘worked’.
      Within the year, our relationship grew steadily towards a goal that we felt was right for the both of us; he moved from Texas to be with me in Québec (Canada).
      We have been together ever since. It was because of your game and everything that is has to offer, that I was able to meet the man of my dreams, the love of my life, my missing puzzle piece. My everything, really.
      Why am I writing this to you? Because I’ve noticed lately all the hate that you are getting. Spaggie and I had a long and interesting conversation about everything that you guys do behind the scenes that go completely unnoticed.  He told me that he sometimes writes little thank you notes and encouragement in the bug tracker, just for you guys to see that all that you do is greatly appreciated. In my opinion, more people should do this, every day.
      And had I not installed this game and kept at it, I would not be with this incredible man who I am with today.
      And I have you guys to thank for that.
      So thank you. For everything. BETA will be a blast I’m sure. I am following closely. We all are. And screw the haters. You got such a loving fan base and we’re all behind you and cheering you on. We might not tell you every day, but trust me, we all root for you and this wonderful game.
      Thank you for reading.
      Baroness <3
       
      And thank you all for all your support, like in this thread. It means a world to us. Thank you! 
       
      Let's see a new chapter of the Humans of Chernarus series. If you don't know it, it is a collection of thoughts of fictional people living across Chernarus. A people who are facing this post-apocalyptic world and try to survive to the next day. You can find the whole collection here. 

      "Good luck is a funny thing. It always seems like it belongs to someone else. Bad luck, on the other hand, we all have it. We harbour it to convince ourselves that our problems and misdoings are not our own... However, there in truth I’ve learned one thing during my stay on this shitty Earth. There is no such thing as luck, good or bad. There are only those who are prepared, and those who are not.”
      -Symon, of the Gomorrah Casino 
       
      I love weddings! And I hope you do as well, because this one happened in DayZ. It may not have been the most romantic one, but it surely was entertaining.  Dr. Von Hauer married his wife in Novodmitrovsk church. They said their vows and lived happily until their deaths. Which could not have been too long, as it is DayZ after all. I myself almost got married in DayZ, so I envy the bride for making it all the way. The highlight of the video for me is the flower boy, who throws pieces of ghillie on the ground.

       
      Let's check out some art now. 
      Valdark2 posted his newest picture to Reddit and it is pretty cool, what do you think? 

       
      If you need some large wallpapers, just tell NeuroticEUROtic, he is a specialist. It is sometimes hard to find a really good wallpaper for three monitors but this guy can sort you out.  
      Here is Skalisty Panorama 5760 x 1080 by him and it is beautiful. I have it on my background already :) 
       
      The last thing that I was looking forward to showing you today is a riddle again! 
      In the last Status Report, it was West Lopatino Evacuation Camp. You sent me a lot of correct answers last time and you said it was toooooo easy. Okey! Here is a challenge for you. Where can you find this deer stand? Send me your answers to our official Twitter account. And thank you for all your answers!

       
      That is all from me today guys. Have a nice day and play DayZ! 
      Header picture: WilliamFilms
      - Baty / Community Manager
    • By Baty Alquawen

      With Brian missing this week (no worries, he will be back at full force next time!), Eugen and Peter reflect upon the new features and content presented at Gamescom. Eugen is finally sharing our full 0.63 Dev Log video with 16 minutes of Gamescom DEMO gameplay in Full HD, Peter is reacting to some of the community feedback regarding the missing naked eye zoom and new key binds for firearms, and Martin and Baty share some of the good vibes from our community (both the one at EGX, where they travelled last week, and online!). Let's do some reading and watching folks, it's a juicy Status Report once again!
      Contents This Week
      Dev Update/Eugen Dev Update/Peter Dev Update/Martin Community Spotlight  
      Dev Update/Eugen
      The last two weeks had us focused on different issues in the base and core features of DayZ. As previously mentioned, these are tackled through smaller scrum teams that are dedicated to these topics. Currently, we are running ranged combat team with focus on weapons and another one focused on melee combat. More are expected to be set up from vehicles to Central Economy or the infected. These should enable much faster iteration that can deliver on their goals as the technology requires less changes under the hood.
      This means that we are no longer tied to larger technology changes and can focus on the stuff that’s important to us and players alike: things that tackle immediate concerns that have troubled the game for a very long time. The approach we chose is based around priorities that carry through to other features, so we spend less time going back and redoing stuff over and over.
      Current priorities started with base movement of the character, which defines a lot of the work that is going to happen in both melee and ranged combat. Once we nail down the details, we can quickly implement and iterate things like player speed changing with rotation or rotation limits in order to cut on the erratic movement that is usually described as "zig-zagging".
      There are tons of things like these that community cares very deeply about. We take this feedback very seriously. Lot of these things have driven community interaction over these years. Bugs that we didn’t fix, features that didn’t have consistency or detail or were missing entirely. There is a reason behind everything. We spend a lot of time on figuring these out and once we are happy with our solutions we are going to get the discussion going. The process, however, requires you to test them in-game and that is where we go from prototype to full fledged feature.
      The thing is you try, and go for functionality first before the visuals get polished. It usually does not matter if it looks good if you’re developing the game. But it’s also the reason we don’t show many of these things that are in their early implementation. because they are just functional enough for us to iterate, but not polished enough to present ourselves with. That brings me to the next important thing.
      Imagine all these great things created with placeholders or skeletons of functionality that we look into and keep iterating on.
      Ideas are just ideas and they usually change for the better as development moves forward. What seems fun and good on paper though sometimes does not translate well in-game. If the technology used is layered enough to let designers test their ideas, we know we can differentiate the bad from the good. I don’t believe that we always come up with best solutions on the first iteration, and so that's why we listen to your feedback.
      Even when I look at our 0.63 Dev Log video below, I know (and see) tons of issues that just irritate me. But I’m not alone and this team is the best I had the chance to work with, and I have no doubt we can solve the issues. BETA can not come soon enough!
      That said, we would like to focus on covering these hot topics and how we solved them in the current iteration, because we bleed passion for what DayZ should be.
      Thanks for reading and enjoy the video!

      - Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
       
      Dev Update/Peter
      After DEMO showcase at Gamescom, many of you expressed concerns about missing zoom with naked eye as well as toggling to aim down the sights.
      First off all, I want to underline that absence of naked eye zoom was intentional as we run into technical problems due interference with switching to iron sights, witch was key-binded to middle mouse button. Time was running out and instead of fixing the old camera behaviour, we decided to cut it completely, so that we can start implementing a new camera from scratch to allow us to have more control over it (which is being worked on right now).
      Anyway, now when that dynamic zoom is currently missing, we can start asking questions: is it really needed? How does it contribute to gameplay? What are the pros and cons? Eye zoom is kind of a long-term trademark of Bohemia Interactive games, the same way as the free look being independent on character movement. Simulation of mid to long range engagement wouldn’t be possible without such feature, as fluid, on demand changing of field of view from wide to correct perspective is needed there, typically for observing your surroundings and during gunfights. Without it, characters are just small group of pixels in distance, and probably no-one enjoys pixel hunting.
      On the other hand, we know that in the case we gave the player character some supernatural abilities, we would lower the importance of items which should be used in such situations, like binoculars or scopes (which can be used even while not mounted on a weapon). Currently, these have very limited use among players, as naked eye zoom (or focus if you want to call it like that) is enough for them to observe environment.
      Also, there is a bit of a problem with continuous switching of object LODs and textures, which puts additional pressure on the CPU/GPU. While this would still be the case with binos and scopes as well, these changes to FOV are instant and not continuous. Missing eye zoom will lead to bringing player engagements to much closer distances - and that’s the most important thing in DayZ - player interactions.
      Final decision hasn't been made yet - personally, I’m inclined to keeping this feature in the game, but even in the worse case scenario, aiming down sights will maintain correct perspective (with a bit of added zoom while holding breath to simulate focus), to avoid aforementioned pixel hunting during gunfights.
      I mentioned aiming down sights and we are aware that current keybind (middle mouse button click while raised) is far from ideal as it feels clunky - exactly opposite to real life, where aiming down sights is as simple as just moving your head and aligning the eye with sights. What is really important to me is the fact that there shouldn’t be any toggle into the aimed stance (raised nor iron sights/scopes). Which means character should go ideally to an idle pose when all controls are released. Toggle-able aggressive stance can unintentionally fiddle with character’s body language, which disrupts gameplay and the experience players have during their interactions.
      Currently, we are experimenting with different approaches of switching to iron sights while raised. Key-bind on keyboard can work, but I’m not a fan of it as it destroys the basic firearm controls between mouse and keyboard.
      On standard mouse, there is only two buttons which come as possible candidates to use - middle mouse button, and right mouse button. Scrolling up with the mouse wheel to aim down sights is much better than precisely clicking the wheel, also it’s meant for switching between iron sights and scope in case the given firearm allows it (think AKs and other guns from the eastern block, or additional sights mounted on RIS from the side of a weapon) and for cycling through scope zoom levels (for example hunting scope).
      Personally, I prefer a simple double click and holding right mouse button (basically double click without releasing the button after the second click of button) as a shortcut to switch directly from lowered arms to iron sights. To switch back from aiming down sights (ADS), just release the right button, click and hold it again (same for toggling from raise to ADS). These two methods are far better and we will most likely keep both.
      Last but not least, we've recently implemented turns to the movement itself (until now in 0.63, turns was only in idle) which is a game changer. It simply prevents zigzagging (which is used for dodging bullets) by limiting character rotation speed and adding rotation radius to turns while the player is moving. It’s scaled with character speed - the faster the movement, the bigger the radius is. There are still some issues that we are know need to be ironed out (in reality, nobody can see their back while doing 180 degree turns) and there is a bunch of missing features which will make it better and more visually pleasing (like tilting the character while making turns).

      Sprint Turns GIF (I don't know why I can't embed it here...)


      This solution differs from full-fledged inertia system, which can lead to players feeling like they are driving a tank with all that acceleration, deceleration and stopping after sharp turns. We want to thoroughly test it now, to feel how it plays and if it’s capable enough to achieve our goal of having smooth navigation through environment - as we definitely would like to maintain the hardly earned responsiveness and smoothness of the new character.
      Without zigzagging... see you in Chernarus folks!
      - Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
       
      Dev Update/Martin
      Survivors! After a vicious editing battle that took waaaay longer than we all had planned, we were finally able to deliver the 0.63 Dev Log today. It's taking a quick (well, relatively quick, it's some 16 minutes of gameplay!) look at the key things that we presented at Gamescom last month.
      Let me just quickly give credits to Baty and our QA Engineer Dan Fialka for their tireless work on the actual gameplay capture - as I have said in the previous Status Report, it's not always an easy work tinkering with the internal build. I hope you'll all appreciate the early look at 0.63 at least in this format - it's certainly not the same as experiencing the new animation system and player controller first hand, but it's the best we can do now. 
      Suffice to say, this Dev Log was a good learning experience and it made us rethink the way we produce video content for DayZ. Going forward, we want to streamline the creative process behind making development videos, and hopefully find a good, effective workflow for gameplay capture in 0.63.
      Last week, me and Baty also visited EGX in Birmingham, and boy: did we meet a lot of awesome people! Originally, our visit was really planned as a last-minute trip, as we just wanted to meet a couple of DayZ content creators at EGX - there was no booth involved like at Gamescom, and we only packed a bunch of DayZ lanyards just in case.
      Somehow, we ended up meeting with some 30 fellow survivors at once, occupying half of the EGX business lounge and demoing 0.63 to everybody (thanks to Matthew and the rest of the EGX organisers for not kicking us out!). 
      Blue and Queenie, M1ndr, SepticFalcon and Dzoana all had their mods and friends there, we've also finally met the Twitter super-spammer Spaggie (and his friend @EssexRockerz!)... well I would like to name everybody we met, but it would make for a really long list. Thanks everyone for coming and chatting with us (and thanks Baty for talking me into the trip!), you all make the best, most dedicated community out there.
      We'll definitely be back to EGX next year, hopefully with a more official presence and a proper booth! Here's a couple of photos (credits to N-Reid!) and Tweets from the event:



      - Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager
       
      Community Spotlight
      Hey Survivors!
      I hope you had amazing two weeks. As Martin mentioned, we were at EXG and it was epic, thanks everyone for coming. It was nice to meet you all!
      Let's start with the Real Chernarus by BrenUno, who‘s been there and took some amazing pictures for the community. Can you recognize all these places?  



      Streamer DeadlySlob did an amazing and very funny role-play video, where he acts as a drug addicted person. Other players were really surprised by his behaviour. We love it!

      Let's check out some art. I chose three guys from community today, who are amazing artists and did nice job on their artworks. They have really similar style and we really like this.
       
      The first one is Will. He did two artworks inspired by Chernarus.


       
      And the second one is by Squad_Crow, who did his view of Novodmitrovsk and Lopatino Castle.


       
      AFX was on Rose City Comic Con in Portland as a survivor from DayZ. She had everything that the true survivor needs - duck tape, military boots and a long stick with an apple! I don't know if she killed any infected on her trip but she is definitely ready for it!


       
      French server Team Onu is preparing an event again. It is called Manhunt - Dark Walk and it will be tomorrow and you can see more info after you log in to their web pages. Here is a little teaser for it.


      If you prepare any event for your community, just let me know on my Twitter and someone from our team can be there too.
       
      And I have a riddle for you today. Can you recognize this place? Tweet it to the official DayZ Twitter, I want to know how many players we have, who know the map very well!
      I know it is easy for hardcore players, but I will do a harder one next time.

       
      I am so happy to see all your content guys, no kidding. I try to watch all your videos, pictures and everything you post to our social networks or Reddit. Thank you for that and for your support, because we need it. We really appreciate to know that YOU CARE about DayZ. Because DayZ is love, DayZ is life for us.
      Header image by Sahindi.
        - Baty / Community Manager