So, an update from Brian, Peter, and Viktor in regards to user actions and animations, the new launcher, and of course the current status going towards 0.61 as well as blockers are in this week's status report.
Contents This Week
Development Board Spotlight
I know a good deal of you are reading this hoping to see somewhere in big bold letters that 0.61 is hitting experimental/unstable branch *right now!*. Well, let me derail that train right away. We're not quite there yet. Fortunately in this Status Report I'll do my best to fill you guys in on what the dang hold up is, and our progress against getting it onto experimental/unstable branch since the last Status Report. In addition, Peter will be talking briefly about our designs for the DayZ Launcher, and Viktor will be talking about some of the animation teams work towards the implementation of the new animation system. As well, the Trello should have some new renders of the CR 550 and its magazines, as well as an updated image of the current look of the server browser.
Over the last two weeks the team has been doing almost daily all-hands multiplayer tests in an effort to isolate the remaining blocking issues getting us to experimental/unstable. Those issues specifically are fundamental to the base gameplay of DayZ. Namely server side performance, and player-to-player synchronization. I'm sure some of you are wondering why we're currently fighting new issues related to synchronization of players, as one of the milestone goals for .61 is just that - improving and reducing the chance for client/server desynchronization.
The work Miroslav, and the gameplay programming team have been doing in this area has made massive changes to the communication process between client and server for DayZ - and it has most definitely changed how a lot of the behaviour is manifested client side. While the improvements in client/server synchronization have been outstanding (and lets hold our breath until the larger testing pool gets ahold of them to be safe) they have (not unexpectedly mind you) caused new issues. Thanks to the frequent all hands MP sessions we've had over the last few weeks, we have isolated repro steps and proper bug data on all of the ones we have encountered.
As we get closer to .61 hitting experimental/unstable and look at the road beyond .61, towards massive engine and gameplay changes such as the new animation system, player controller, user actions, and so on we have to be very aware of the fact that huge changes like that are going to take time to get ready for Steam, and thus we have to make sure that the build that you'll all be playing while we work on that is as enjoyable and functional as we can make it. We're all very aware that the journey we've all taken together in Early Access has not been the easiest, and can be massively frustrating at times. However, speaking for myself I think we've opted for the harder road in the short term, but the road that leads to the best final product - and always keeps the focus on 1.0 being the best DayZ it can be, first and foremost.
Enough rambling from me though, lets dig into exactly what our blocking issues are for .61 (and keep in mind, these are Must-Fix for Stable branch, not all of these are must fix for Experimental/Unstable)
- Player SFX significantly quieter than others: (Fix for this is in testing now)
- Network: Players can become severely out of sync with each other: (Gameplay Programming team working on a fix for this currently)
- Client crash when exiting title
- Player position hitching when navigating collision
- Magazine ammo count quantity reporting incorrectly
- Items can be stuck in hands under certain cancel action situations
- Dynamic Infected spawning without player trigger
- Some infected not responding to triggers (Fix in test currently)
Before I sign off for this Status Report - I'd like to encourage you all to visit, and participate in our official forums. I do my best to jump into as many discussions as possible, and as we move closer to the major systems dependencies that are holding back large gameplay systems changes and updates such as soft skills, weapon customization, base building and so on I would love to see the discussion around those mechanics and systems start to open up more. If you're interested - you'll find me at forums.dayz.com
0.61 Milestone Goals:
- Server Login Queue
- Merge of New Audio Technology from Arma 3 Eden Update.
- Update of Weapon Sounds for New Audio Technology.
- Dynamic Spawning of Infected.
- Predators (Wolves)
- Dynamic Shadows
- Network Synchronization Improvements
- New Server Browser
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
In the upcoming 0.61 version of DayZ you will be able to try out the brand new Server Browser which doesn't bog fps down like the old one, and it's a breeze to use with all these filter options (mind that per character filter won’t be part of 0.61 release as it's not yet fully implemented). Alongside the new server browser I hinted at the external launcher a few status reports ago, so why not uncover a bit of information about it now.
The most important function of a launcher is obviously to run modded DayZ. Without mods there would be hardly any launcher at all. Actually it's possible to have mods support even without the launcher but that will lead to unpleasant yet necessary restarts of the game as different addons should be loaded at start, unless you are launching them from command line. However, both cases aren't very user friendly. In the launcher you can easily manage installed mods and overview their current state and additional information like description, author, source and others.
Apart from the game section for mod selection, there are also two other separated sections dedicated for tools and servers with central economy including their startup parameters and launch buttons for additional value which offers easy discovery of options of DayZ as a platform to users that aren't aware of them. Last but not least, the launcher will also serve as the official DayZ communication channel aggregating news, status reports, change logs of releases, Q&A videos, WIP showcase and hands on videos, maintenance and community spotlight.
The launcher is currently being implemented with all requirements mentioned above with the aim to be well arranged and simple to use and while it might not see daylight publicly in 0.61 it will be released once DayZ is ready to be open for modding community.
See you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
As I have mentioned in last status report the animation team is busy with many tasks related to player character. We are doing polishing pass for unarmed and rifle locomotions. That includes work on animations and graph as well. The animations are being adjusted so they blend nicely and feel more natural which has to be on a par with the player graph where blendtimes between animations need to feel right and fluent.
There is also ongoing work on user actions. Since these are already in the player graph now we need to connect them with the designers scripts so the animations are played when some actions happen. This is a big task as it includes drinking, eating, all the medical action, as well as any item usage and even gestures.
We have some progress regarding the combat as well. We do have few prototypes now like combat stances for unarmed, one handed item and two handed item and some simple attack animations. This week we will have a meetng and more discussions about the combat itself and the animations style.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Keeping in trend with highlighting some of the awesome DayZ communities, we'd really like to put focus on one of the largest community sites out there (currently +4 million hits/month.) There's a good chance have already crossed paths with this one which is simply known as: DayZTV!
DayZTV has been around basically since forever, and they have a really nice site that provides a lot of options and info for users via the many sections on their site. As an example; if you're looking for other players to team up with for a session, or a more permanent group to team up with, you should be able to find plenty via the Broadcast tab in the Forum section, and if you feel like setting up an event for yourself and others, you can do so via the Community --> Community Server selection. For this, DayZTV have also been helpful for users by setting up a Discord server where you can reach other players.
What is also relly nice about DayZTV is that via the Live section you will find a selection of live Twitch streams from users playing DayZ, and outside of that, there is a boatload of helpful info for users stowed away under other sections such as Guides for example. We can only imagine how much work and effort it must take to run and develop the site, and we really appreciate the massive support that DayZTV has provided for so long in regards to promoting DayZ as well as DayZ related news while it is in development!
As always, in case you are part of a community that you would like to see highlighted, or if you are a contect creator looking to share your stories and footage, just send us some info at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be happy to have a look!
Header image credit: HunterKiller
- SMoss / Community Manager