Brian Hicks: Producer
Last week the 0.54 update rolled out to stable branch. As noted on the official DayZ forums – a percentage of the active user base are experiencing abnormal behaviour with this update. That said, work progresses internally on a hotfix for 0.54 aimed at addressing:
- Crash to Desktop
- Low-Poly Textures
- Low FPS in game
- Constant “Receiving” loading screens during gameplay
While the programming and QA team members assigned to this hotfix push their work to experimental branch for testing, the rest of the team continues on with work on 0.55. The 0.55 update should be a fantastic one for the users of stable branch – with work focusing on things ranging from:
- Animal A.I. iteration
- Horticulture expansions
- Cooking expansions
- Operational Fluids for vehicles
- Traps/Snare expansions
- Testing of Central Economy controls
- And so much more..
Work continues on larger engine based tasks such as replacing the renderer, work on the new player controller, new audio engine module, and related tasks. On an exciting note, as we look forward to what will be required to support Steam Workshop modding for DayZ teams have begun analysis work on both requirements for new content to be created, and legacy DayZ Mod content to be supported. On the legacy side – we’ve worked closely with Sumrak, the author of the Namalsk map for Arma 2 / DayZ Mod and have completed a basic analysis and test multiplayer session on Namalsk in DayZ. The road to supporting a proper ecosystem on Steam Workshop will take time – but our goal is to have a strong set of tools, documentation, and examples by the time DayZ hits 1.0 and leaves Early Access. We’ll be reaching out to more DayZ Mod content creators over the coming months to gather feedback, and discuss exactly what modding DayZ will look like.
As always – head over to the official DayZ forums – Developers are present to discuss ideas, take feedback, and interact with the community.
Peter Nespesny: Lead Designer
Back in the days when I was trying to survive and figure out how everything worked in the DayZ mod and apart from many other things I was also amazed with this simple one – during the idleness, infected were choosing their destinations on the fly. At first seemingly irrelevant mechanic makes out for me the dynamic stealth game which is authentic in any case. I cannot count how many times it makes my heart race when infected suddenly changed their direction while I was trying to sneak around them or how I was waiting for ages hidden nearby just to pick point the moment when to move to my desired location just to realize that more infected were coming to that area. This unpredictable behavior made me fear them, trying to minimize my appearance to become successful – to survive in a hostile environment and luckily find and get what I needed.
Fast forward to the present, from the DayZ release infected was one of our main issue and we were very aware of it. Many of you have been disappointed how they work and lack of the visible progress. Hopefully we will revive your faith for proper working infected soon. With the most of the new AI, sensors and animation systems now being in their place we can finally begin to transform infected to the real menace as they always meant to be.
Of course initial implementation based on the new systems will resemble the current state at first as we need to settle things down, catch and solve the most annoying issues and make proper foundation. So please don’t expect instant switch to infectsomenauts. I can see you are getting afraid again, but hey we are still deep in the development and you can experience these changes hands on which is part of fun being involved in the early access to the game. I want to assure you that more advanced things will be rolled out continuously later as we progress with their implementation alongside with further development of AI, sensors, pathfinding and animation system.
So what to expect from the new infected in general? At first which is very important is clearly the performance which allows us to add more of them in the environment. Very first test showed us that server performance is pretty solid even with 1500 infected on the map which is 5x more then it’s usual on the stable these days.
The infected are designed to be a threat for the survivors as their senses are more sensitive, they are moving fast on short distances and can be lethal in the close combat. You can encounter them mostly in the residential areas, the larger the area – the more infected are present. Areas can be purged which encourages to barricade structures and establish bases. After some time infected will be approaching the area again. As we want to promote stealth approach to encounters you can minimize chance of being seen or heard by wearing darker or camo clothes and light shoes, slowing down your movement, lowering your profile in crouch or prone, avoiding usage of lights and making noise and so on. Fortunately you can also distract them when they are wandering to unwanted destination with throwing the items witch makes noise, light or are somewhat attractive to them. You must be aware in such situation as they are quite interested what’s going on around them. When you are focused they will try to hunt you down with no mercy while easily forming packs down the road. Even the doors or barricades cannot be trusted once they want to feed on you. They have fast acceleration but can slow down overtime or lost interest if you get too far after they eventually stumbled. In combat they are using different types of attack, based on distance and force, which makes the combat with them more interesting.
To wrap up brand new infected they will also have new visual and audio appearance which will be released gradually and will replace old models, textures and sound effects. We get together 50 different types of males and females infected, and they will be dressed in clothes you can find around so they will no longer look inconsistent with survivors. Some of them will be generic citizens, villagers but you can also look forward to different workers, clerks, policemans, soldiers, firefighters, paramedics, prisoners, patients, journalist, survivors.. and plenty of others. Soon we will be doing rehearsal with adepts for infected voiceactors and I’m quite happy where sfx direction is heading as it will delivers some shivers and goosebumps.
The dawn is around the corner… see you in Chernarus folks!
Standup Notes for the week of 3 Mar 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)
- Infected Attack Animations
- V3S Animations
- Gestures bugfixing
- Support for new Player Controller
- Support for new Infected Systems
- Plant Pests
- Barrel configs & scripts
- Support for new infected systems
- Trigger systems
- Manual Transmission
- Central economy
- Inventory refactorization
- Loot distribution per buildings
- Zombie/Animal AI
- Character controller (animations & physics)
- Vehicles – Manual transmission and bugfixing
- Flaregun Improvements
- Security Bugfixes
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