This week our Creative Director gives a status update on work being conducted on the CLE and the 0.61 milestone goals, while Lead Designer Peter and Lead Animator Viktor fill is in on subjects such as the server browser and work on animations.
Dev Update: B. Hicks
Since the last Status Report we’ve been mostly focused on .61 – and getting it ready for experimental. That said, there are a few things I’d like to cover before we talk about the current status of each of the .61 milestone goals.
Over the last two weeks, Peter and I have spent a good amount of time discussing two areas of DayZ. Dynamic changes to the economy, and the external DayZ launcher. Peter will be talking about the launcher in his portion of this status report, so I’ll talk a bit about the dynamic changes to the economy.
- The minimum, and nominal operating values of each item.
- The frequency it can respawn.
- The region of Chernarus it can spawn in.
- In the case of items such as magazines, and piles of ammo – it can dictate the minimum and maximum ranges for how much of that items capacity it spawns with.
The reason I bring this up is because the design team routinely will adjust these levels based upon data and behaviour observed on stable branch, and these changes can be effective within an hour of the change occurring. Over the last few weeks quite a few adjustments have been made on everything from the availability of certain ammo types, to the available quantity of non perishable canned goods. Thus, it makes it even more valuable for those observing bugs or general issues with this system to be specific in their reports on the feedback tracker. Make sure to detail exactly what you observed, when you observed it, and most important – what server it occurred on.
To give you an example of exactly how important this data is, we’ve been trying internally to track down behaviour in regards to certain items spawning in piles (specifically in this case firearms) despite the fact that the restock timer should prevent such behaviour. It has been a nasty issue that has seemed to occur on the stable branch significantly easier than we have been able to reproduce it internally. That said, thanks to several dedicated feedback tracker users – we were able to isolate the issue on stable branch – and have identified the cause of it. (Much to the satisfaction of both Peter and I) We’ll now be able to resolve the issue discovered with .61.
In addition to this, today the design team will be introducing changes to firearm and ammunition tiering and nominal values. Like all things, we’ll need to wait and observe over the coming week to see the impact as existing availability within the economy (on players, in camps) can and will impact how this behaves. As these changes become effective in the stable branch wide economy, it is vital that if you notice an issue, you file a feedback tracker issue with as much information as possible.
Enough about the economy though – lets take a look at where we are with .61 development goals:
0.61 Milestone Goals:
- Server Login Queue:
- Feature implemented, system under review with internal QA teams.
- Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update:
- Tech implemented fully into DayZ. Existing sounds and configs from legacy system functioning properly. (Backwards compatibility with legacy sound technology).
- Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology:
- 21 weapons ready, work continues on remaining firearms. Youtube channel dev log preview upcoming!
- Glock 19
- Red 9
- Dynamic Spawning of Infected:
- Feature implemented into internal branch. QA teams are doing initial passes and providing programmers with initial issues.
- Predators (Wolves)
- The team are currently working on several key issues with predators (wolves). Specifically being addressed currently are:
- Issues with navigation in urban / dense areas.
- Overall physics related issues.
- Damage application against non player targets.
- AI Targeting priority.
It’s no secret that as far as DayZ and .61 goals go, predator AI is a big addition to gameplay, and clearly the largest at risk area for milestone goal slippage. That said, we’re still very confident in our progress on the feature and the pace at which it is moving forward. We’ll continue to update you all as to the status of this milestone goal with Status Reports.
Dev Update: P. Nespesny
As many parts of the game are still under active development, the main menu with such crucial parts as the server browser are no exceptions either. We all love the character presence in the environment at the main menu giving you a nice feeling and it’s the point where immersion starts to kick in, but why not to take it more further and personal? Everything in DayZ is revolving around your character, and the main menu with the server browser should follow the same formula.
At the main menu you will be able to thoroughly list all your available characters across all shards. Coupled with additional information like visualization of character and his gear, name and actual stats helps you to select the character you want to play with. The selected character at the main menu then acts as a filter in the optional next step which is the server browser. The new server browser will filter out only the available servers from that shard where the selected character belongs to. This added layer of filtration eliminates the need of memorizing what character you have where, as well as any possible confusion after logging on to a server just to find out that it isn’t the character you wanted to play with.
The new server browser also comes with other useful changes and functions to provide a better and uncluttered user experience. There will be only three tabs used for high level and clear differentiation between official servers, community servers and servers on LAN as other unnecessary tabs for favorites, friends, history and remote will be removed and become filters instead. Filters are now part of the server browser screen directly so they are always visible and at hand to easier check what’s being filtered. Filter parameters have 3 different states – include, exclude and ignore so their setting can be handcrafted to exactly what you want to see. Columns in the server list were also reduced to a bare minimum as most of their information were doubled in server details. You can see and sort filtered servers according to their name, time of day, population and ping. Similar to filters, server details is no longer a separate pop up dialog window as every row in the server list is independently expandable to unveil additional server details like description, public/private, mode, version, IP and others so it’s easy to compare two or more servers.
Above all of that, the external launcher will behave as a master filter which means that the game server browser will show only the servers related to the mod which DayZ was launched with. However, I don’t want to go over the external launcher right now as it’s another topic we will be talking about in the future.
Dev Update: V. Kostik
Animations usually take a lot of time but on the other hand when we finish a batch there is usually many new things. Fortunately in the past weeks there were couple of finished animation batches. So this time there is a bit more of news.
New animations and graph for drawing a bow have been added. With advantages of upcoming system drawing will be available while walking as well. The jamming/unjamming for pistols has been created and there is already ongoing work on bolt action rifles.
Last week I was going through process of reviewing and updating poses. Since the character can put almost anything in his hands we have at the moment poses for clothes, small items, large items, firearms, weapons and many more. That makes in total over 800 animation poses. I have updated some and polished to give them more natural look.
And last but not least there is always some more polishing for the animation graph of the new player character. More about some recent changes from Adam our Technical Animator responsible for most parts of the player graph.
Dev Update: A. Oresten
These past weeks I have been heavily focused on making the movement system feel more natural, for such a simple term it is quite the complex task. I started reviewing the stance-system from the player’s viewpoint and I think I’ve got a quite nice iteration for the stance changes.
For example, you’re lying down in the grass near the airfield’s tents and you thought you saw movement in the distance. You start to stand up but realize that it was in fact another player, and any time during that animation you can decide to go back to prone, finish standing up, or to go crouch instead and aim your weapon (at the same time). If you then realize that the bandits noticed you, you start to run (still in crouch) and stand up while moving and leg it (and ultimately get picked off by their SVDs).
While it is a small change, it has added a whole new dimension of feel, and I can’t wait to put it in your hands!