Shared by SepticFalcon on June 3, 2015

Greetings Survivors,

As the team continues iterating and testing on experimental while moving towards the upcoming stable update, We’ll hear Lead Producer Brian Hicks discuss a bit of the methodology behind dynamic events and vehicle positions versus player spawn locations. As well, Lead Designer Peter Nespesny discusses ongoing testing work over on the experimental branch related to player data updates, and scheduling.

As well, we’ve tossed in some links to the Development Board entry for Hermit Playstyle enhancements, and their accompanying discussion thread on the Developer forums. Check the end of the Status Report for some heart pounding Player Vs Vehicle action outside the Veresnik Military Base.

Development Spotlight: Brian Hicks

I’m frequently asked about player spawns, vehicle spawns, and the mentality behind where and why they are placed. I thought I would take the opportunity this week to discuss exactly that.

For those aware of how DayZ Mod’s gameplay flow operated – it was fairly simple. Players started along the coast – from Kamenka to as far as Berezino. Players progressed (for the most part) from the South – to the North. (For the most part, the North West) This gameplay required very little design side control to influence it. Natively the original Chernarus had very few buildings, and thus very few potential item spawn points (compared to say – Chernarus +). One of the initial goals of DayZ was to decentralize the flow of high value or required resources. Think medical centers, military installations, and so on.

When approaching player spawns – early on my approach was to try and replicate the familiarity of player spawns in the earlier versions of DayZ Mod. (DayZ Mod circa Summer 2012 was used as a touch stone) We quickly learned that this approach did not work with the massively altered layout of Chernarus. Not to mention some of the changes to key coastal areas. The next experiment we ran with player spawns was to flip the map of Chernarus, and look at the player progression as East > West. From a design perspective this approach seemed the most logical in how we wanted to layout the world, and seemed on paper like it should find strong success.

Never let it be said that nostalgia and familiarity has no merit.

Players were very vocal in their longing for the familiar DayZ spawn points, Chernogorsk and Elektrozavodsk especially. Internally we were very reluctant to change this up as the early loot spawning system did not allow us any region control, and the design of Chernarus was heavily leaning towards letting us use any building model we wanted, where it made sense. (Think Military Police buildings in Chernogorsk, Balota Barracks, etc) However, as early prototyping on a more robust control over where region-wise certain items spawned, the idea of spawning in some of those core DayZ Mod areas was revisited. Obviously some small changes would need to occur to the layout of the world, as the system would take a good deal of time to develop – so Balota and the Northeast Airfield both got a redesign – and spawns from Kamyshovo to West Chernogorsk were reintroduced.

As Dynamic Events, and Vehicles entered the equation their spawn placements were heavily influenced by where the existing player spawns lay, and how we wanted the flow of players across the map to operate. Obviously Dynamic Event types used to prototype the system were also used as a control point for “Very Rare” items – with the desired intent to ensure that in the final product, players could not farm one location across many servers to quickly gain an item the design team intended to be incredibly hard to find. (See: SVD)

Vehicles themselves followed a similar principle, as the prototype vehicle was a heavy vehicle designed to carry large amounts of both gear and players – the spawn positions for this were placed at the highest concentration in West / Northwest. As smaller, more civilian vehicles begin to be implemented we’ll see more spawn types for them a bit closer to where player spawns are located.

I hope this brief look into the thought process behind these areas helps you to understand how they evolve a bit better.

See you all in Chernarus!

Development Spotlight: Peter Nespesny

Hey survivors! Long time no hear and as usual there are plenty of interesting things going on in the design department of our DayZ development team. Let’s talk about some of them at least.

First off I would like to clarify what the cause was for the accelerated consumption of energy and water which raised many eyebrows during the last weekend. In our crusade to increase the server side performance, we implemented simple scheduler to ensure that backbone character’s scripts ticks only for one character per frame. Previously there were situations in which more characters were handled during one frame which caused unnecessary drops in server performance. Apart from other things, these scripts also maintain the consumption rate of energy and water. With the very first iteration of scheduler implementation, our intention was to see the gain we can get in the live environment, as internally there was quite a difference in performance, even despite the known issue that ticks scheduling is not independent from server performance causing faster character updates in some cases compared to former tick rate to which all consumptions were balanced.

So if you experienced higher consumption rates it was due to really good performance on the given server which translates into less desync issues and better responsiveness. Now the possibility of faster consumption is solved and you shouldn’t worry about dying at unreasonable rates. Advanced scheduler is currently being worked on and at the end it will be completely independent from server performance.

Many of you noticed ongoing changes to the camera FOV (field of view) recently. Along with caping the FOV slider in settings to the new limits, the most important thing is that now the FOV values in iron sights and scopes are independent from FOV value in settings, so there will be no way to abuse the scope zooms by changing the FOV value in settings. We will elaborate more on FOV and 3PP camera later.

From the gameplay features perspective there are two new traps nearly ready to be tested. The tripwire trap has the possibility of having cans attached to it in order to turn it into a perimeter alarm, or grenades to stun or damage any intruders. Fishermen will be pleased to see a new fish trap made from the netting which allows players to catch fish bigger than sardines. There is also progress on cooking in the built-in fireplaces which I hope will breathe life into these sad and abandoned houses. Other long awaited features like vehicle parts or base building are shaping up nicely and I will talk about them next time.

Get used to watch your steps… see you in Chernarus folks!

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