This week a lot of the guys are off for GamesCom, so our Creative Director gives us some good info on subjects such as upcoming updates for audio, dynamic shadows, desync, as well as an update on the 0.61 milestone goals.
Dev Update: B. Hicks
We don’t have too much new and exciting or flashy news for this Status Report, and most of the usual SR participants are either attending Gamescom or on holiday. However, we do have updates on the progress of development towards .61 experimental, and thus Stable. In addition I’ll go over the recent .61 Dev Log video that hit our Youtube channel yesterday, talk a bit about some of what was featured in it – and close with a few comments on the economy (of course – its not a Status Report without talking about the CLE).
- Server Login Queue
Functional testing is complete internally – just waiting to push it to experimental and see if it breaks!
- Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update.
Technology successfully merged into DayZ branch. Ready for further testing on experimental branch.
- Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology.
Down to three firearms left to be configured and mastered – effectively ready for larger testing pool on experimental branch.
- Dynamic Spawning of Infected.
Bulk spawning in areas defined through the zone generation tool is done. As demonstrated at the end of the last Dev Log video for .61. Work is still continuing on plugging in animal spawning to this system as well. Per-player infected spawning configuration (eg: 1 player entering a village can spawn X number, additional players spawn more) and support is being worked on by gameplay programming team.
- Predators (Wolves)
Some strong progress has been made in regards to making wolves sync and move better in multiplayer – there are still several glaring issues with animation, and position syncronization up close that just don’t make them very rewarding in their current state. That said, the programmers responsible for this area have several potential positive areas they are working on to improve this. As it sits right now, they are not functionally ready for a larger testing base. That said – we will be looking very seriously at the possibility of branching all the other main milestone goals off for testing on experimental branch while work continues on wolves. We’ll keep people up to date on this via the official forums as this moves forward.
Past the stated milestone goals for .61 – several other fantastic improvements have been made internally during the development of .61 build. As you may have seen in the latest Dev Log video – dynamic shadows coming from point source lights are finally a thing for us. We’re currently tracking down several issues with this new functionality, but just having it functioning at a base level has been a huge source of excitement in the office.
Bohemia Interactive engines have always had amazing strengths, but like any technology – they have their short comings. The dreaded “light going through walls” is one of the oldest, and for DayZ players (Flashlights going through buildings and telling everyone where you are at night!) one of the most irritating.
In addition to this – Our gameplay programming team, led by Mirek Manena has made some strong improvements tackling desync of player position within DayZ. Now, keep in mind poor network conditions, and poor server performance can still cause bad behavior here – but addressing more fluid handling of this at a server level has been something that has been worked on, iterated on, and thought about a lot internally here. We’re excited to see how the latest changes will shape up when under heavy player load – as a smooth experience and removing those pesky random leg breaks and inability to pick up items at times is pretty dang important for us.
As mentioned, we recently uploaded a new .61 Dev Log video to the official DayZ Dev Team youtube channel. In it we show some work in progress examples of assault rifles, and some pistols using the new audio technology DayZ now has thanks to cooperation from the fantastic Arma dev team. As well as some examples of general group dynamic infected spawning in both Vybor, and Elektro. Now, our intended functionality with dynamic spawning of infected is to allow each player entering the area to cause more, and more infected to spawn – thus potentially creating a very large threat in the presence of a large amount of players. (Think of the infected mentality as always moving towards something that gets their attention.)
In addition to allowing for a “restock” or “respawn” timer – giving players the ability to potentially temporarily clean an area out and make it safe. Currently, we’re not quite there – but we do have general dynamic spawning of infected when any player enters an area.
Lastly – in regards to the Central Economy. I’ve kept an eye on forum posts, youtube videos, and livestreams and I’ve noticed some folks starting to question the availability of food. The slow reduction of non-perishable food is entirely intended. Peter and myself have been working with the design team to slowly reduce the amount of available non-perishable food every two or three days to a level that we’re somewhat comfortable with.
Keep in mind, finding supplies like that shouldn’t be too easy – players need to be at a position where considering picking berries and apples, killing animals, planting crops, or harvesting meat through… other methods.. is viable. Rest assured however, given that the economy is entirely dynamic – if things get too hard they can be easily changed without any update required to servers and clients.