As most of you may know by now, 0.53 released to stable branch with build 126384. After daily iterative updates to experimental branch, we were able to resolve the branch update preventing bugs, we moved forward with work on the next stable branch update 0.54.
0.53 has some outstanding new content, but for me personally the focus of this months stable update was taking a more aggressive stance on exploiting, and cheating within the development period of DayZ. As I've mentioned before, security in competitive multiplayer gaming is an ongoing battle for the industry. Add into this the fact that DayZ is still early in its development, with extensive changes to the engine ongoing, as well as existing vulnerabilities in legacy portions of the technology, and we have an uphill battle to deal with. The positive side of this coin however is very clear. Being vigilant in monitoring, investigating, and preventing exploits and vulnerabilities during DayZ's development period will make for a stronger game at release.
As our work with BattlEye on 0.53 continues to evolve, there are several fronts we can utilize to increase our awareness and speed at which we can identify and address vulnerabilities with each stable branch update.
- If you discover any exploit or bug you believe to be unknown - file a bug on the DayZ feedback tracker. feedback.dayzgame.com
- Follow up to this with an email to email@example.com and include the link to your tracker issue in the body of your email.
- Previously mentioned, integrating our work with BattlEye on a closer level with the Valve Anti-Cheat system and team
- Providing an in-game option for players to report suspected cheaters
- Expanding upon the existing internal security team as we grow closer to 1.0
Enough about cheating though, lets talk about a few key points that everyone wants to know about as 2015 kicks off.
Infected/Animal AI: Like many systems that involve large changes to the engine, the development of this system occurs in its own branch, outside the main trunk of DayZ development. This is not just because of limited functionality, development of core systems like this can frequently cause stability issues in the base game as they are worked on. Once their functionality is present at a base level, they are merged into the main game and pushed to stable branch in that months stable update. For those that were able to get a glimpse of this system early on in 0.53 experimental, you saw some outstanding changes to the way the A.I. for animals functioned. Beyond the animal side of the A.I. changes, infected A.I. redesign is aimed at introducing proper stealth gameplay and evasion in order to survive against the infected, and especially within urban environments.
Renderer: As with the A.I. redesign, work on this is done outside the main trunk of DayZ development. A large part of the core engine teams' work, detaching the renderer from the engine side simulation is and has been a massive task that takes a significant amount of man hours. As we begin to see the fruits of the work done on this portion of the tech merged over into the stable branch of DayZ in the coming months, this will allow the engine team to start work on bringing newer Direct X support into DayZ.
Audio: Some of the most irritating and pesky issues affecting gameplay within development builds can be traced to the audio side of our base engine. Redesigning the existing technology into a more robust solution is a must. Work on this, much like the above systems is ongoing, and when ready for the merge into stable branch will allow the team to begin addressing and resolving issues such as global sounds, and the proper messaging of all interaction and engine based sound sources.
Beyond the above mentioned core technology changes, the coming months will have us begin to see changes that update or expand upon existing systems such as animation, loot spawning, persistence, and so much more.
In addition to these, once vehicle inventory support makes its way to stable branch we will begin to be able to see multiple configurations of the V3S, and their potential cargo spawning across Chernarus. Pair these changes with the ever changing face of Chernarus and the experience that is DayZ, and I see 2015 being an exciting year that I cannot wait to share with you all.
See you all in Chernarus, and be careful when visiting the prison.
Brian Hicks / Lead Producer