If you don’t happen to follow twitter or the forums you may not be aware of the current focus on iterating upon 0.59 experimental. Obviously the team is working hard to resolve the issues with server side performance, as well as pushing several new potential changes to vehicle position sync to QA.
Dev Update: B. Hicks
So the big question everyone wants to know – when will 0.59 move to stable?
- Once we are satisfied with server side performance at maximum player count vs 12 hour uptime
- Vehicle Position Sync is at a marked improvement over 0.58
- High repro (reproducible) server and client crashes are resolved
Past 0.59 – internally we are -hoping- to be able to get another update out prior to Christmas (to experimental at the very least). However, that will depend on the stability of the build post 0.59 stable and the merges done right after that. As mentioned during the PAX Australia “The Road to Beta” presentation – we’ll keep everyone updated on this progress via the official Twitter account, and the Status Reports between then and now.
KEEP IN MIND: THE UPDATE OF 0.59 TO STABLE WILL INCLUDE A FULL HIVE AND SERVER STORAGE RESET. THIS INCLUDES PRIVATE SHARDS OF THE HIVE
Moving past discussion around 0.59 experimental, lets move on to discussing what the current status of some of the major engine side updates are.
Completed within October
- Multiple Cascade Shadow Maps
- Updated Rain Postprocess
- Updated HDR & Glow
- Finalizing postprocesses
- Multithread Optimizations
- Small bodies of water, and Ocean rendering
- True Sky rendering
We have some screenshots from debug that we can discuss in a little more detail as well. (Please take care to understand these are from debug machines – and are thus running lower resolutions/over all configurations and are meant to display technical tests)
Animation System / Player Controller
The animation system and new player controller both are major elements of DayZ’s engine that are in progress. The new actions done in Enforce Script can not enter experimental testing until the animation system fully supports all the necessary functions from the legacy animation system. I know I’ve gone on, and on about the total rewrite of actions in game being a massive change to how DayZ plays – and I hate to sound like a broken record. HOWEVER – I personally cannot state this enough. The change from the clunky old fashioned method used by DayZ, DayZ Mod, Arma 3, Arma 2, and so on to a new and more dynamic system will change a hell of a lot more than how you eat a bag of rice, or pick apples. I genuinely believe this will be one of the most massive changes to DayZ gameplay and completely redefine how the title is experienced.
That said – while we’re all desperate to see this in the hands of consumers before the holiday break – A more reliable estimate (playing it safe and assuming we’ll encounter critical bugs and blockers once this is merged into the main testing branch) would be to expect it early in the beginning of the new year.
Currently in the hands of the gameplay programmers – once this is completed on their end, it will need to be fully configured on the side of the design team. That said – with this we’re looking at a hopeful target of mid to late January before we see it move over to player testable branches.
Between the new damage system, and new player controller (and of course – complete rewrite of player actions within Enforce Script) we’re hoping to squash some of our major gameplay / exploit level issues. (Duping, Spamming action abuse, glitching into structures, changing ammo type to explosions, and so on).
Keep in mind that these will more than likely cause their own issues – which will be addressed as they come up, and into the beta phase of DayZ development.
Lastly for this Status Report – a little sneak peek at some design and art level pieces – We have (some) of the required parts for helicopters.
- Igniter Plug
- Aviation Fuel
- Motor Oil
- Hydraulic Fluid
- Transmission Oil
Dev Update: P. Nespesny
Our new user interface should be part of our beta release with the aim to improve the current user experience. We have added several more features to the UI system recently, which allow us to streamline the process leading to the new user interface and help future modders as well. As well there are some changes for the players which will make life easier – like automatic aspect ratio taken from the current resolution or dynamically repositioning and scaling of interface elements. Also a significant raise of client FPS with new UI system is a thing which shouldn’t be omitted.
Inventory is one of the most important screens, not only because players spent most of their interface time right here, but mainly for managing everyone’s little treasures. This screen should be slick, easy to read and navigate as well as its functional design that shouldn’t interfere with the intentions of game design. You have seen the concept art/mockup of the new inventory screen already and we are currently refining it’s proportions, layout and functionalities to make it best as possible.
From the game mechanics point of view the new inventory is still missing a few things. While a solid foundation of the rewritten inventory system is already in game, now is the time to build upon it and add features which enrich possibilities and gameplay. First, I want to mention a small but unimportant one, which opens doors for others and make them more useful and interesting. A higher granularity of slots, leading to much better scalability of item sizes and cargo sizes. No more precious space used by matchbox, battery, pen and other small items. Combination of smaller and thinner items with bigger ones can lead to a unused gaps in inventory space and that’s the moment when ability of rotating items kicks in and save the day. Hand in hand with rotation and more smaller slots per row cargo sizes can be changed to horizontal orientation to show more rows of inventory which leads to less vertical scrolling while managing it. Now you are probably excited as you started to imagine how many stuff you’ll be able to cram in your backpack (especially guns). For that reason I would like to see dynamic change of item size where factors like numbers of attachments and their sizes define current item size in inventory. In other words you can carry stripped down AK and all it’s attachments in backpack with tradeoff of it’s readiness for combat. As I can tell your excitement is at the maximum level possible I feel it’s a good time to water it down a bit. Damage state of cargo will be projected into ripped unusable slots, which adds the meaning for maintenance and taking care of your backpack and clothes apart from damaged visuals. Also linking slots into groups within one cargo space to create virtual pockets adds a cheery on top of inventory management and underline the hardcore nature of DayZ.
It must be said that our design requirements for new inventory system brought also other features to the game that affect gameplay directly. One of the most annoying limitations of the former inventory system was definitely the hand slot, which acted like mirror of cargo space equipped on character. While you had some inventory it somehow worked, apart from very annoying behavior and tendencies to break and messing with user actions in general. However while you hadn’t any inventory slots which could be mirrored as hand slot to fool player things went down hill. Thus there become to live virtual cargo space with different rules as ‘normal’ cargo spaces as a resolution of this problem. You know the outcome of it, inconsistencies, prone to duping, strange and sometimes unexpected behavior. I’m glad that hands slot is equal to others. I find some of you being a bit restless with such change, but I clearly see from where it comes from. While I admit it was very convenient with old mirrored hands to not care about hand slot in regards of inventory capacity at all it leads to side effects like lowering inventory space by the size of item in hands. Requirement for awareness of how much inventory space you have left and what you are carrying openly in hands provides space for fast decisions making which ensures interesting situations. Of course dropping something from hands needs to be clearly visualized as animation so you don’t realize too late that you left needed item somewhere beyond. (This is a big one one)
Another game changer is ability to simulate items placed in the inventory which wasn’t possible before as items were asleep in such state. Now a flashlight is draining battery if you don’t turn it off, smoke grenade is releasing it’s smoke after activation and frag grenade happily counting down when it was unpinned before. We were also able to modify quickbar behavior as well. Now having better clothes with more inventory space equipped gives you more quickslots to use. This feature in combination with chambering and reloading from quickslots will raise demand for high tier clothes as they will have other practical utilization apart from more inventory space.
Second very important screen is HUD overlay, which as you noticed with latest 0.59 experimental we started to implement. However this is completely different story to tell but I can assure you it will be possible to toggle on demand so it will not occlude your view if you looking for maximum immersion as possible. (We’ll talk about this in upcoming Status Reports)
Dev Update: V. Kostik
The animation team continues working on the player character on the new animations system and has just recently started to work on the injured animations.
The wounded character will have more types of animations. We would like to have visualized an injury like for instance a broken arm or leg. With this type of injury a limited movement set and user actions set will be provided.
In the past we have already started on the implementation that we had to stop because of the limitations of the engine as we were not able to deliver the experience we were aiming for. As the new animations system is closer and is already offering us with some fancy options it is the right time continue on this type of feature. Except the limited usage of different items a limited movement set will be available depending on the injury. We would like to achieve this by using additive animations, blending of multiple animations, using animation sets to easily switch the complete sets of animations inside the animation graph and other sophisticated and cool features of the new animations system.
This is a very important part of the gameplay so we will need a lot of iterating and testing to find out a proper setup so it is challenging and not frustrating at the same time.
DayZ Trello: https://trello.com/b/5yzeFpo2/dayz
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