In this Status Report, we’ll have Brian (Lead Producer), Peter (Lead Designer), and Viktor (Lead Animator) inform us of the latest work being conducted as we move closer to the 0.60 Update.
Dev Update: B. Hicks
With PAX South behind us – we’re all looking ahead to .60 and the steps towards 1.0 that are taken within it. We’ve discussed our intent to have a .60 build in the hands of the consumers at the end of February, and while that is still our goal – we’ll have to see how bug fixing and implementation go over the coming weeks to see if that means Stable Branch, or Experimental.
As we’ve discussed before – part of the .60 build is our initial implementation of the new renderer (operating off of DirectX 11). Now, while keeping in mind this will be the first build of this in the hands of the Early Access userbase – I’m still cautiously (very) optimistic.
The engine programming team are hard at work squashing a large chunk of visual and optimization related bugs – but even with those said bugs present, we’re seeing some excellent performance gains across Chernarus. While it may not be quite ready for regular gameplay on the consumer branches, internal QA and the Engine Dev team are working hard at polishing the stone, so to speak.
Even with the current internal DX11 client running with AntiAliasing, Alpha Coverage, Edge Smoothing, Clouds, and Post Processing disabled – the improvement of visual fidelity vs the legacy DX 9 client is clearly visible.
- Detailed Terrain Shadows
- Initial Simulweather/True Sky Implementation
- Finalizing Simulweather / Truesky
- Bug Fix, Bug Fix, Bug Fix
Past the work on the new renderer technology – the design and art teams are working on the initial art/skinning for the Main Menu, Server Browser, and Inventory Screen – while the gameplay programming team works on finishing implementation of requested functionality, and bugfixing.
I’m personally excited for changes in the Central Economy coming with .60. As we’ve spent time triaging the root cause of repeated/grouped item spawns, and improper distribution globally (thanks to outstanding help on the feedback tracker ticket from twitch.tv/sacriel and his viewerbase) we’ve greatly improved the global item saturation and drastically dropped occurances of item spawns repeating within a cluster of structures.
As well as the above mentioned changes – the discussed randomization of vehicle part attachments has been iterated upon and the tech passed on to include firearms, and their attachments. What does this mean for the average survivor wandering across Chernarus?
- Each weapon has a chance to spawn with random attachments fitting its configuration
- In addition to its base attachments
- The more varied the weapons potential attachments – the more random the potential configuration
- Eg: An M4A1 with a BUIS sight, OE handguard, 40 round magazine, etc
In addition to this change in how weapons are spawned – magazine initial spawn capacity is now controlled dynamically via the central economy control. This allows the development team to set the initial ammo quantity for magazines to a lower value – thus increasing the global *quantity* of magazines.
But enough about the economy – as we continue to bugfix and optimize the new renderer, and user interface technology in preperation for .60 we’ll keep the information coming on how it is performing, how its looking, and how it is expected to function.
Dev Update: P. Nespesny
Communication is one of the strongest direct player interaction in DayZ. The voice in particular is key to a rich and immersive experience. Volume, intonation, articulation and content of the message creates a wide scale of emotion and open DayZ up to great possibilities for players. With that in mind it’s quite clear that providing more variety in voice communication will add to emergent gameplay.
We can divide voice communication in DayZ into two groups – direct speech, which can be amplified, and indirect speech which can be transmitted via radio transmissions. Direct speech is pretty clear, and with amplification done with the help of megaphone it can be quite fun. However, indirect speech is where all the real fun begins. Unlike traditional and classic DayZ personal radio transmitters with limited range, you can get your hands on portable radio transmitters which can range across the entire map, so survivors can coordinate all operations within Chernarus while remaining safe in a secure or hidden location. More interesting, there will be static radio stations where players can with interfere and hijack frequencies, or transmit crucial message from long distances to allies.
Radio stations will be located more or less in the middle of the map on the top of Altar Hill, so it will be fairly easy to trek to no matter where you are. To go even further, you can use public address systems with amplifiers locally in towns and villages. We are still considering extending radio cassette recorder use past the playback of online radios, perhaps adding an ability to record voice messages on tapes. This would not be an easy task to tackle right now, but we’ll see.
Our aim is to make usage of transceivers as simple as possible. For example, no need for a push-to-talk mechanic; simply ensure the device is on and transmitting on the selected frequency once a battery is attached, or connected to a running power generator. One set of universal frequencies will help survivors keep from getting lost, or find the right one you want to listen to/transmit on. Transmitted signals on the same frequency are simply mixed together via the receiver, so the frequency works much like a conference call. The environment profile and structures won’t block signals, and these signal will propagate without the need for repeaters.
Dev Update: V. Kostik
The animation team is busy with many things related to the new animation system.
Just recently we managed to implement in our animation graph and preview tool arming and disarming of rifles, and two-handed items in a much more detailed way than previously.
As you may know, players have always been able to pull out a gun while moving forward only, and there was an actual full-body animation which had to complete itself once started.
Obviously this led to many situations where one would lose control of their character. This was a big problem if say, you were doing this animation near a building edge or sharp drop.
This was because of limitations in how the whole animation system worked. In our new working prototype, we are now able to arm anything almost any time without the need to complete the full-body animation. For instance, if you are standing and unsling a rifle, you can simultaneously begin moving and vice versa, while moving players can unsling a rifle, stop in your tracks, and the animation will complete itself with the upper body only. No more Wile. E. Coyote moments!
You can even change stance to crouch while taking out your weapon. This is possible due to the recent introduction of additive blending and the ability to override body part animations that aren’t attached to additional animations. That said, although the basic functionality of arming is done on the animation side, we still have small adjustments and fixes to get rid of some unwanted issues. Our next task ahead in this area is also implementing some changes in how ladders work, and focusing on improvement of basic character locomotion by adding responsiveness and enhancing dynamics.