This week, the Status Report fully focuses on recapping our Gamescom experience. We've been presenting the 0.63 playable DEMO in Cologne, Germany the entire past week, and met literally hundreds of players who tried the DEMO live at our booth as we watched them play. We've gathered a lot of important feedback, which both Eugen and Peter cover in their texts. There are also VoDs of Gamescom live streams, some exciting Gamescom gameplay from our community, and more! Let's get to it.
Contents This Week
Gamescom DEMO has been an amazing experience for all of us. Being able to finally get direct feedback on 0.63 and talk to our old school players, or see the new ones playing it for the first time has made me more than a little happy. After getting this DayZ potential ready tech wise, we had a game to share, and talk about. It was exciting and exhausting. We are looking forward to sharing more.
At the same time, I have some less exciting news for you. As the build we brought to Gamescom would still take weeks to get ready for public testing, we will not be releasing the DEMO for Steam. We really wanted to, but it just no longer makes sense to spend time polishing a very small part of the whole BETA experience. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive on the floor, and I do believe we are hitting the right notes on what BETA should feel like. Rather than releasing a DEMO, our goal is to get the BETA/0.63 update out as soon as possible in its entirety on Experimental branch when ready. That does not mean it's going to be rushed. We do believe that the only way out of this hellhole is a really good game that all of us want to play.
We are going to focus on the combat a little while longer to incorporate some of the good feedback that we got, as well as features missing from the DEMO that were cut before it was used on the show floor. There is still a lot of details to implement, or content to convert in that regard. Since we have only returned from Gamescom floor on Sunday late night, we plan to have an internal post-mortem first and get the team together to plan out the next month in detail.
However, as you may know, the scope of BETA is huge, and even though we have developed a lot of these features during the same time as technology, now it is time to put it all together. It’s a painful process, but the game is finally there. We are going to need a lot of balancing runs, polishing and bug fixing before we are happy to put it out. We will be reading the feedback on the details available and try and share with you more as we recover from the trip.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Gamescom 2017 has ended, so let my write down my impressions. At first, knowing all that stuff which was completely missing from the DEMO, or just in early prototype state, and all the remaining limitations we still needs to figure out, I was feeling a bit insecure about the quality of the DEMO build that we brought for showcase at the Gamescom booth. I'm a person who likes to have things in order, and as polished as possible, which leads to situations where I’m just not pleased enough with the current state of the game. So naturally, I was very curious how it's all going to turn out in the end.
To quickly recap what was presented in demo:
- New rocks, roads and their decals with parallax mapping.
- New characters with better body proportions and heads with lifespan, containing growing shaveable beards, washable bloody hands from skinning bodies
- New character controller and animation system with very responsive and fluent character movement, coupled with new physics for better collisions, allowing for smooth traversing through environment (yes even running down/up the hill!)
- New movement sets for turning, injured, falling character as well as carrying heavy items around in hands
- New gestures with the ability to move while using them
- New stamina system, differentiating character movement speed depending on their load
- New melee combat system with attack and hit impacts animations
- New ranged combat with extended weapon handling and aiming with new sway and recoil
- New intuitive way to perform actions with items in hands even while moving, crafting new ones even directly from world and interactions with environment without pixel hunting
- New HUD and inventory with clear layout and resized cargo and item sizes
- New voice communication including personal radio, megaphone and public address system
- New advanced placing which will be used for precise placement of specific items
- New electricity system with cable reels to reach far places
- And much more...
There were thousands of gamers and content creators looking forward to get their hands on the first iteration of what DayZ will become in BETA. It was an interesting mixture of people that never played DayZ before, ones who put it down waiting patiently for BETA, and those who still play DayZ regularly and spent from hundreds to thousands of hours in-game. I've spent a great amount of time observing how people play the game, and discussed with them about what they like on the new DayZ, what would they still like to see improved, and why.
With this approach, I gained a ton of feedback. It was very positive to see and hear that we are actually on the right track, and people do like what they see, and especially how it plays. Bear in mind nothing is set in stone yet, and everything could be changed, especially after valuable feedback we received. It will allow us to refine the design a bit more, so in it’s final form, DayZ could unleash its full potential, and allow people to enjoy what DayZ is so well known for - an emergent gameplay full of interactions, which creates stories filled with unique experience and leaving strong memories in atmospheric world.
After meeting you at Gamescom 2017... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
As both Eugen and Peter mentioned, Gamescom was a really positive experience for us. The very stressful couple of weeks before we left the office and travelled to Cologne were definitely worth it in the end, as we've been met with a very warm welcome at Gamescom, and also fulfilled our mission: to gather preliminary feedback on an early 0.63 build.
As Baty will share in her part of the Status Report, we did our best to provide some meaningful coverage for those of you not visiting Gamescom. The couple of live streams we organized with Twitch and GameStar.de were quite full of interesting news, so do check them out below, along with content from M1ndr, Barely Infected or Merlin from DayZ Underground.
It's a bit unfortunate that we were not able to capture a better gameplay clip for both live streams in time (due to both time constraints and last minute fixes to the playable DEMO build), so the presented footage was a bit bare bones and glitchy at times, but as promised, we will deliver a good amount of quality 1080p/60FPS footage in the following days. The footage will take the form of a Dev Log video similar to those made for 0.62, and you can expect around 10 minutes of new content with Eugen's developer narration.
Also, since we decided not to make the DEMO available on Steam, we'll see if we can at least organise a live stream where you can see live gameplay, and ask us questions. Our pre-gamescom live stream was a bit of a technical failure, so we need to spend some more time planning the live stream, but we have a decent combat plan to make it all happen.
That's it from me this week. Thanks everyone who visited us at Gamescom, you were awesome! Now, let's see some of the community content from our booth.
- Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager
Gamescom is over, we are back in Prague, and work on BETA continues.
It was something new to us and some people in the team have never been to a big event like Gamescom before. It was exhausting, but it was worth it, because your feedback is what we really needed. And we are really happy we got a lot of very positive feedback from you!
It was a total of 6 of us from the DayZ team, and for five days, you were able to meet us in the booth and play DayZ on 18 PCs. You could play a short PvP demo, try some features from the upcoming 0.63 build and grab some nice little presents along the way. You've surely seen videos that appeared mostly on Twitter and Reddit from people who have already tried the demo. Unfortunately, as Martin explained, we do not have an official video ready yet, but we will catch up this week and if everything goes according to our plan, the video commented by our Lead Producer Eugen Harton will be released by the end of the week. Before it's out, you can look at the impressions of M1ndr and Rene (Barely Infected) who also visited us to try the DEMO:
There were two live streams during Gamescom where our Lead Producer Eugen was talking about the Gamescom DEMO and BETA. First one on the line was the GameStar.de live stream, and the second one was a Twitch official Gamescom live stream (watch the VOD here, you need to move to time 8:10:55).
We also hosted a community meetup at Gamescom, where we met ten of you and barely fit into our small meeting room. For almost two hours, we talked about DayZ and what you can expect from the BETA. And you got some special gifts we prepared for this event. I would like to thank you very much for coming to see us and I hope you enjoyed the meeting as much as we did!
Before Gamescom, we organized an event on Skalisty Island where players became knights and fought in teams to capture the Skalisty castle. Except for a bit of a waiting waiting, everything went well and all players were quite happy.
There were some content creators who were streaming or recording their gameplay which they then placed on YouTube, so those of you who were not there can see it too. Blue team won the battle of the castle, but the greys fought bravely too. I want to thank everyone for their patience and the fact that they have arrived. You can look forward to another event soon!
Just for clarification, the recording of the developer stream that accompanied the event was removed due to technical issues during the stream. Unfortunately, we did not correctly estimate the demands of the stream on the hardware and therefore the stream was flawed by unpleasant lags. We learned our lesson and it will be better next time.
I've created a list of YouTube recordings for you, so you can see what was happening through the eyes of several players. If I forgot to include someone just tweet me at @batyalquawen and I'm going to add you to the playlist.
And in the end, I want to show you a funny bug we found yesterday. Adam Franců sent it to me with this description:
While working on the tourist trails north of Svetloyarsk, we have discovered this massive structure that reesembles the shape of a lunch table. The exact origin and purpose of it is yet to be known. We have sent scout to investigate, reports suggest that this structure pose serious threat to the survivors and we have managed to take it down in a quick map editing action.
Thanks again to everyone who came to play the Gamescom demo and to everyone who gave us any feedback. We really appreciate it. See you in two weeks guys and have a nice start of a new school year!
Header image by MAMAD_NZR.
- Baty / Community Manager