We have a juicy Status Report for you again! Victor presents a video full of new animations, Adam is talking about military base changes and Baty is showcasing all the cool wolves footage from our community creators.
Contents This Week
- Dev Update/Hicks
- Dev Update/Peter
- Dev Update/Mirek
- Dev Update/Fido
- Dev Update/Viktor
- Dev Update/Adam
- Community Spotlight
So as many may know, it has been a pretty busy few weeks. We've had a good deal of experimental updates go out. For those that don't follow our posts on the official forums I'll try and give you all some perspective on what those updates have been aimed towards, and what our current priorities are for 0.61.
Server side performance is one of our major goals for improvement on 0.61 experimental. Aside from stability (server side crashes), this has the largest impact on the actual effectiveness of the major changes gameplay wise for 0.61. When server performance drops below the acceptable line on these servers, it will reduce and impede the functionality of these areas. To give you guys an example, server performance can cause issues such as (but not limited to):
- Modifier/Damage Application can be stuck or delayed
- AI Reactions and Speed can be reduced (Infected, Wolves, Wild Animals)
- Door States can be reported incorrectly
Obviously, as you can see the above issues are critical to have reduced as much as possible for 0.61 Stable. In addition to that we're looking into issues related to:
- Infected vocalizations being too quiet
- Infected response to firearm types being uniform (Suppressed/Lower db ammo not having proper effect)
- Infected able to push characters through/into model geometry (potentially causing characters to be stuck/die)
- VOIP Volume too loud / Adjustment not functioning
Today we pushed an additional update for Exp/Unstable branch addressing previous issues caused by the latest update. Characters displaying as nude in some situations, some gunshot sounds not being played for all players, a new server crash, and some adjustment to predator AI behavior.
We'll continue our march forward to getting 0.61 to Stable branch, and I think I speak for the whole team when I say we're all very excited to see the .61 changes in the hands of the larger stable branch update. This of course is not where we want DayZ to be yet, but it is a great step forward to that experience.
Don't forget to grab a raincoat, don't waste those bullets, and head over to the official DayZ forums at forums.dayz.com to participate in the ongoing discussion!
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
With the recent addition of dynamic shadows casted from point lights and spot lights, you can notice that they are quite dark due high intensities of lights in general. Overpowered lights are also causing unpleasant effect with camera exposure in new renderer as it tries to clamp and scale down huge differences in scene luminancy for display output, resulting in pitch black surroundings outside the reach of lights.
Power of lights was intentionally set higher in the past as they were compensating former pitch black nights in the old RV engine renderer. In the new renderer, we approached the night time differently so there shouldn't be a need to change your gamma settings to see at least something when you play fair, of course those who don't we prevent any unfair gamma abuse, but it's currently very low on the priority list.
What's on the top of the list regarding lights is for sure a first balance pass of their intensities, which should bring lights to reasonable values for new renderer and its camera. You can expect to see these changes soon in 0.61 experimental releases. In future, for 0.62 version, we would like to tackle day time and night time lighting to pull out more potential from the new renderer combined visual updates for environment.
Another troublesome behavior in 0.61 experimental releases you witnessed is infected and their movement and attacking. Actually it's quite a problem as currently both player character and infected are using different physics, which doesn't like each other. However, we are doing our best to fight these issues for 0.61 release via changes to configuration of AI, which are the only weapons available for us now.
With new player character, the old physics will be ditched and we gain more freedom in implementation of infected as well. One more thing I would like to mention: alongside new synchronization for players, vehicles are being worked on too. Count in they are getting so much love implementation wise, so I hope we will be able to get some of these changes in 0.61 to make vehicles much more reliable and pleasant to drive.
In the moonlight... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Just a small update today: we've merged server performance improvements into experimental branch, which introduced some new bugs, like gear despawning for remote players (that's also the reason why you can't hear some gunshots - because remote players don't have a weapon in their hands).
Anyway, we fixed this issue and it should be available in the next experimental update. New server performance improvements won't be enabled, as we have to deal with some new server crashes. When these are resolved, we will enable these improvements.
Another big task is finishing vehicle synchronization - it's our No. 1 priority now, as we want to bring vehicles back as soon as possible. There are two blockers now: client side correction and bad simulation, when two or more players are inside the vehicle.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
We’ve implemented terrain light reflection, variable coloring of trees (to add a bit more of the autumn feeling to Chernarus) and managed to progress with implementation of the new SimulWeather/TrueSky technology that we use for rendering the sky and clouds. These are merely some experimental visual effects, adding a little bit of “drama” to the world.
- Filip Doksanský / Lead Engine Programmer
Today I would like to share with you a short video that demonstrates some of the new player character features. We still have a lot to do to make all transitions work perfectly and we are also in the process of refining the animations. There are a couple of interesting things in the video however. I would like to describe them for you in more detail.
First of all you will notice new camera and movement. The animations have been polished so they feel more natural and fluent. The camera system has been redone and now we finally are able to adjust the camera to our needs. The version you see is still WIP and we are constantly working on it. But in short, new camera options allow us to adjust camera per stance or even per animation if needed.
One of the most visible changes in the character movement is the possibility to interrupt almost any animation. This gives players greater control over the character. We have talked about this in previous status reports a few times already but it is a really big change compared to the old system.
The way characters look around now is also different. Now we have the ability to use poses for looking at things or aiming. By creating aim-spaces, we are able to adjust character poses properly to certain angles, which gives us perfect control over how the animations look in the game.
Gestures, actions and other animations now are divided in two groups. Some are full body animations and some are upper body or other body part animations. This had to be done to allow movement while eating, drinking, greeting and many other situations. It's important, however, that all of them are interruptible as you can see in the video, with the LYING DOWN gesture. Most of these actions are made of three parts - IN, LOOP and OUT. We play the IN animation at the beginning, then the character starts doing actions like chopping trees, and when players release the mouse button, OUT is activated.
Hopefully you enjoyed this small video preview. I am pretty sure we will put together some more. For the next couple of weeks we will be focused on implementing animations for weapons, new combat and of course, continue improving the player character.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
If you were playing .61 experimental over past few weeks, you may have noticed that we have added little military location on Sosnovka pass. Many of you were probably wondering why something like that was added, well, wonder no more. In this status report, I will cover major additions and changes to the military locations on Chernarus! Please bear with me, this may be a bit longer, but I feel that such thing needs to be explained in greater detail so we avoid any misinformation.
The overall aim is to start finalizing important pieces of the map prior beta so there is a solid ground for associated Central Economy tweaks. To achieve that, we have been looking with designers into options on how to deal with the current situation of military loot locations, which is without doubt one of the main drivers behind the survivor movement on Chernarus. While we are quite satisfied with the way concrete military buildings are distributed as of now, the distribution of improvised military objects (mainly tents) is something we need to tackle. To get rid of military loot saturation within Myshkino and North West Airfield tent camps, we have decided to significantly reduce tent count in these locations and use newly created "buffer of tents" to either add to existing or create completely new military locations on Chernarus. So let me now go over the existing locations to see what was exactly changed including pictures (for some locations, keep in mind that they are work-in-progress).
Previously positioned on the coast south of Balota airfield, this military camp is one of the biggest military locations (as of .60, both in terms average loot availability and size). With this change, this camp has been stripped to 1/4 of its previous size. It has been built more or less from the scratch (so it will spice up the game-play for a while), but the general location still stays the same. For now - as I mentioned in October status report, we plan to change this area significantly as it is part of much bigger plan that is aimed to a complete re-design of western border of Chernarus (more on that in later status report/s).
North West Airfield
One of the most famous locations on Chernarus and well known since early days of DayZ Mod. Again, focus was on the military camp. This camp has been reduced to half and completely re-designed from scratch. I also did some minor modifications to its surroundings to - hopefully - offer some new tactical possibilities. Now I should mention that in no way you should consider this change to be permanent. We will soon formalize internally a clear plan for a complete re-design of North West Airfield. NWA is one of the few locations on Chernarus that basically still look like it did in Arma 2 version of Chernarus (and it looks completely out of place compared to other areas of Chernarus+). Even after the change within northern tents, we expect this area to be still very active and we will do our best to make sure that the airfield and its surroundings will look and play just as good. We will of course keep you updated as we progress towards this goal in future status report/s.
Kamensk military base
Fairly a new military location, which was however changed quite a lot over time (someone remembers pit of death?). It has received a slight face-lift along with its surroundings (and will receive more once new forests will arrive). This base utilized "tent buffer" and received number of military tents scattered among the ruins. This change along with other (smaller) additions to northern highway should hopefully increase traffic in this part of the map.
Tisy military base
One of the newest additions on Chernarus - concluding the northern expansion - is slowly crawling to be the location of first choice for all survivors, who seek top tier military equipment. Located in North West corner of the map, players need to venture through the whole Chernarus to reach it. To properly reward them for taking risks of doing so, large military camp was added into the perimeter of the base. This camp should give you an idea that it has been built in there to stay for a longer period of time - assuming its inhabitants would survive long enough. I should mention (the usual) disclaimer - Tisy military base is still not yet considered to be done and this military will change in the future.
The new stuff!
9 military locations were added (with one already present on .61 experimental) on Chernarus. They are represented either through a military roadblocks of different sizes or through a smaller military camps (similar to the one in Stary Sobor). If you are looking for a list of new locations along with pictures, you wont find them here. I think we need to keep some things as a surprise, so I will let you figure it out once this hits public (experimental) branches.
As you can see, Chernarus just got even more interesting to explore. And we are definitely not stopping there. Our aim is to have more locations that would resemble humanity's struggle to tackle day zero situation. But again, more on that in later status reports.
We understand, that this particular change could easily be one of the most significant changes on Chernarus during its development and so - once it will hit consumer branches - we will be actively looking into our data and feedback from you to see how this change performs in the live environment and implemented tweaks if necessary. But of course feel free to discuss this already and let us know what you think!
And given the progress that has been made in this particular task for the past few weeks, we are actively discussing the possibilities of testing these changes within .61 update (if not, then .62). So stay tuned!
- Adam Franců / Map Designer
Wolves are the new thing for the 0.61 update, and we had amazing feedback from your side on our social networks and forums. You have sent us a ton of screenshots and videos from your first contacts with wolves. We are as excited as you are because we love to watch your reactions when you meet them for the first time.
For the first time you are scared, you are running for your life, someone fights, someone dies. It is not easy to survive encounters with wolves. Look at this great reaction by John Connor who met these predators face-to-face.
Check out this amazing performance with wolves by CamCANTRUN. His touchingly sad story should affect everyone. In my case, he's definitely succeeded.
When Man Becomes Prey
When Man Becomes Prey II
Player jakon72 dealt with the wolf in his own way, He killed it and made a dinner from it when the wolf attacked.
If you did not meet any wolves yet, you can try to find them on our Experimental/Unstable servers. Check the map of wolf locations by DAYZTV here.
I hope you enjoy 0.61, and if you have something you'd like to share, send it to out official Twitter account.
Header image by: Sweetest_Kill
- Baty / Community Manager