This week we, unfortunately, didn't give Brian much space to remember anything from the good old days of DayZ - and that's because we've got quite a lot of things that are happening in the present! We did our best to provide plenty of information about our progress and also detailed some design decisions regarding our damage system and ladders. Adam is also teasing some of the lighting updates he's working on, and to support all that, we've got a decent portion of visual materials this time - including videos! Let's get to it, Survivors!
As the iteration speed on many of our features increases, we are seeing some good results coming in - both in terms of features and stability. In the last two weeks, we have been focusing on and finished the below-mentioned functionality, and as of now, we are closing more issues than are coming in, which is a good sign.
Mentioned before a million times, but it's finally working and ladders are done on the player side. We're converting data for all buildings and working on sounds for ladders.
Again, something that has been missing from the basic movements of the new character for a long time, and it's merged in and done now. As is the case with ladders, sounds are the last thing being added at the moment.
We are currently at the beginning of the polishing phase of all the animations and data and looking into connecting the state with character representation and shock values.
Damage System (bleeding, penetration, ballistics)
After merging in our first working implementation of the new damage system, we're finally working on tweaking the damage values and states, penetration and ballistics. Looking to polish it for experimental release. Bleeding has been connected to the system as well and is working already. We are fighting issues with particles and blood and trying to find a good visual solution.
Since swimming and ladders are working technology-wise, we have moved onto the proposed jump and climb mechanic. Jump is going to get in first, and climbing - as it is quite complex - is definitely going to require a lot more polish.
The QA team just got back to work on the build stability. Our stability has been pretty bad recently, with all the large features getting in, so most of our team is focusing on bug fixing and it has paid off already. We're definitely not done and there is still tons of crashes to fix, but the stability has increased by a factor of 30 in just the last two weeks. And I look forward to a normal play session on 0.63 Experimental RC (Release Candidate build).
Because everything you do in-game is working through user actions, we are getting the proper animations in, making sure that the base survival mechanics work, and that there is a loop to follow when you get into the game. It makes the gameplay much smoother.
Work on weapons has slowed down because some of our team members were traveling, and also because we wanted to get in more of the melee combat animations, with the last changes in heavy and light attacks. The guys from the animations team in are in general working on making sure both one handed and two-handed attacks are polished and ready for use.
We're looking into what's next for all the amazing features that the new animation system has brought us and polishing them, trying to fix both functional and visual issues that arise from the fancy and cool prone combat.
4K UI and bug fixing
As we're working on expanding the usability of UI in different resolutions (including 4K), we have tons of bugfixes for inventory actions and visuals for icons, actions and a lot more. Making sure things work reliably with the UI is key now.
Refactor of Infected
Since a lot of the work on the player is getting done, our Lead Programmer Mirek is heavily focusing on a refactor of the infected, both in terms of stealth and combat. We don't want to promise anything, but we should hopefully be seeing the results soon, and build advanced features for the infected in quick succession after the basics of that work are merged in and working reliably.
Not much has changed here since the last Status Report. There is a huge pass on all objects in the game in terms of collisions for both gameplay reasons, camera, and much more. And since there are hundreds if not thousands of objects, depending on how you count some, this is definitely a long-term task.
I'm very happy with the progress we're seeing and can't wait to play with you sooner than you think (wink wink).
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
In the last Status Report of December, I was mentioning ladders. Now you can check them in all their glory in the presented video (thanks to Adam!). You can see the animations for climbing up and down with normal speed, as well as quick scale up and fast slide down. Also note that climbing the ladder is being shown on one long, continuous, seamless ladder, with the possibility to exit and re-enter the ladder on accessible levels in the middle of the tower.
Let’s jump to the ongoing work being done on the new damage system and ballistics. In the dark past, the old damage system used the so-called hit points (basically plain points positioned on a body, where the distance between them and the hit impact was compared in order to determine to which hit points the relative damage should be dealt). Now, in the new damage system, we are using hit zones, which are defined by meshes. That allows us to properly depict shapes of every desired component, leading to accurate hit detection and allowing us to incorporate terminal ballistics of projectiles to calculate the proper damage that should be applied.
DayZ is an authentic game, and I’m convinced that range combat should definitely underline this direction. Hit zones obviously correspond with basic individual parts of character's body such feet, legs, hands, arms, torso, and head. There are also additional hit zones for vital organs - brain, heart, spine, lungs, and liver to deepen the representation of the character body.
In real life, damage dealt by projectiles to the human body is very complicated and it’s fairly impossible to simulate it in game, so some necessary simplification is in place. Each hit zone has its own health which may or may not affect the global health of the character, as well as optional vital attributes.
A player character cannot directly die just by shooting its limbs - our goal here is to avoid unreliable situations like shooting the character 10 times to its feet in order for it to get killed. However, as projectiles' penetration leads to bleeding wounds, the character will die indirectly by bleeding out without a treatment. Also, limbs can be fractured if their health falls down to zero, leading to restriction in character movement unless treated by attaching a splint to the fractured limb, which will heal it over time.
On the other hand, damage the torso and head can lead to direct death (global health at zero), as well as indirect death by bleeding out. Vital organs have relatively low health, and destroying them leads basically to instant direct death, which opens a way to encouraging shot placement in combination with ammunition used, depending on current situation.
For determining terminal ballistics, we have a complex set of parameters in place. Projectile speed and energy now depend on barrel length, which allows us to differentiate between different firearms using the same type of ammunition. Of course, speed and energy decrease over time with the distance traveled. Penetration also depends on the caliber of a given projectile, and obviously on the type and thickness of the material used. There will be a coefficient that takes into account how projectiles behave while penetrating materials, which will help us mimic such behaviors as tumbling, or expansion, of different projectile types. From all these parameters, impact depth and damage applied is calculated to be as close as possible.
Now, to emphasize, I fully understand, that all of this can seemingly be perceived as somewhat mysterious behaviour, and could look like random or even buggy to observers, especially those who are accustomed to primitive damage systems where X hits from Y gun definitely leads to character's death. However, even with that risk, I want to give it a spin. Sure, it will be hard to balance and get it as right as possible, but hopefully, you will bear with us and at the end, you will appreciate the possibilities it opens. In worst case scenario, we will be forced, for the good of the game experience, to change it to a more streamlined approach, which will be more cleaner and understandable by yielding more predictable results.
No mercy for what we are doing... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
This time, my contribution will be rather short. With the 0.62 update, we have introduced many changes to the world lighting configuration. With the upcoming 0.63 update, we have made additional changes to address:
- overall brightness during daytime
- dawn and dusk transition brightness issues
- improve nighttime and star read-ability
Please note that following comparison pictures (0.62 vs 0.63 light config) are work-in-progress and do not represent the final state. It should also be noted that both pictures were taken on 0.63, which, compared to 0.63, also contains a number of colour improvements to environment assets (grass, vegetation, artificial objects).
- Adam Franců / Map Designer
For the last couple of weeks, we have been busy with ambient sounds. Though we're not finished yet, we've made some progress. Ambient sounds are more dynamic now and react to weather changes and location changes. We've also made progress with positional environmental sounds. Now you can hear birds and insect coming from trees and bushes, rustle of tree leaves in the wind above your head, metal squeaks and creaks coming from old building's roofs and much more. Here's a small teaser (please be aware that everything is very work in progress):
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer
Hello everyone, let's start with answers to some of your frequently asked questions:
Q: Will the cost of DayZ servers be reduced with the BETA release?
A: Yes. In future, anyone will be able to host their own servers on their own terms, as we want to release the DayZ Server Files with BETA. Maybe not right with the first BETA build, but definitely during BETA.
Additionally, we want to provide a Linux version of the DayZ Server Files, and that should further cut the costs of running a DayZ server. While we don't have direct control over the pricing offered by our selected server providers at the moment, the Linux Server Files should also lead to noticeable cost reductions with these providers.
Q: Will the performance of the game be better in BETA or in the future?
A: Optimizations of performance in DayZ are a continuous process, but we can definitely say that the game performance in BETA will be better than the current performance in 0.62 Stable. How much better depends on specific hardware. Besides optimizations of the rendering pipeline, we have rewritten multiple systems to utilize more CPU cores, we've implemented double buffering for rendering and changed some of the synchronous operations to asynchronous (which allowed further parallelization of those operations). All of these changes have a positive impact on the framerate in the game, especially client-side framerate.
Q: Do you have any plans for new buildings?
A: Yes, we already have some new buildings on the Northwest Airfield in 0.63 and more buildings are planned.
I would like to tell you an interesting thing that happened already a few months ago, but some members of the community still ask about it today. We've got in touch with the creators of a Norwegian political thriller TV series named Okkupert (Occupied) based on an original idea by Jo Nesbø in 2016. A lot of you already saw the episode September (second series) which had DayZ in it. In the episode, the Norwegian Police Security Service is using DayZ to infiltrate a resistance group and to gather some information. You can see them playing on PlayStation 4, however, it wasn't for real. At that time, it was still not possible and a lot of you were confused. Let's check out some screenshots I've made:
We know how hard can the current situation be for server admins and how hard can it be to keep your communities active. A lot of good servers died and we can't do anything for them now, but we believe (and hope!) they will be back after the BETA update. As I wrote earlier, with Linux servers, the rent should be cheaper, although we don't control pricing of the servers directly (that's up to server providers of course). I just want to thank all admins for being so passionate and for caring about the communities of their servers. Better times are coming!
Artwork by Eightarmedpet.
I found out some of you don't trust us about the Xbox version build. But yes, we are really working on the console version, on both of them - Xbox One and PlayStation 4 too. Here's a small teaser - hopefully, we'll be able to show them in action soon, as both versions actually run pretty smooth!
I have not seen such a well-done video for a long time. Uncuepa is talking about his vision of humanity in DayZ. He has a lot of interesting thoughts. What do you think about this system, do you like it?
This video has improved my day. I don't know if the participants were forced to sing, but this is kind of a "Chernarus got talent" episode. I love it, thank you for your work DuckyFTW!
Creator of regular DayZ Spotlights Boydy interviewed our map designer Adam "Sumrak" Franců. You can find a small video sneak-peak of Namalsk inside and some info about modding and map changes. Enjoy!
No cinematic video this week.
Plonker made this cute Cartoony DayZ Turntable and showed it to us on Steam. And I am showing it now to you. :)
And as the last thing, we have the riddle again.
Who won last time?
- Johny K
This time is it a location from Adam again. So, do you know where is this house located?
Tweet it to us on our official Twitter account.
My part is so long again, but I am not sorry for it because it is from you and I love your work so much!
- Baty / Community Manager
Header image by Krush.
Also: did we just win or what?