Image by Sp1kerZ
Let's talk about the hot topics first. The content patch -while delayed- is shaping up nicely. During the extra weeks spent on the stabilization of its features, we have solved quite a large number of issues, while the main three that were blocking the release are confirmed to be fixed as well.
Three main reasons that the patch has not been released sooner are :
1. Client Freezes (Happening in random intervals causing 10+ seconds of no response whatsoever)
The issue manifested itself in specific situations and actions of multiple players in a single bubble. We have found the cause and were able to confirm last week that it's no longer happening.
2. Stability issues (Crashes, VME and Asserts on the Branch)
While important, these are definitely considered less damaging on the whole gameplay experience. However, we should be good to go!
During the implementation we have come across a large number of issues from animations, clipping, shaking and more that needed to be solved.
Now that we have talked about these, I wanted to confirm that the content patch is getting released on the Stress Test branch tomorrow and that it will be focused on Player vs Player interaction. During this period we might try to raise the player numbers per shard and see where the additional optimizations can take us. After the Stress Test period is over, we will port the patch over to Experimental and enable the switch to do the same for server owners. I'm looking forward to the vanilla experience as there is so much more to explore with these new features.
While all this was happening the team was working on the BETA features. We're running several work groups focused on important parts of DayZ, specifically weapons, infected, vehicles and actions. As of now, the general production is running two weeks behind and we are ready to get back on track.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Survivors! I've got a couple of great news to share with you all! There's something with DayZ on Xbox that caused some surprises and confusions, so let me start with that!
DayZ on Xbox - The road to Xbox Game Preview begins!
The rumors are right! Our guys in Bratislava and Prague have managed to get the first series of builds through the Xbox certification process, and have already made them available for preliminary testing to a closed group of players enlisted in the Xbox Insider Program (basically a community of super hardcore Xbox One players and fans, as well as Xbox employees). While this is truly a smaller-scale test with only a handful of servers running, it's hard to hide our own excitement, as this is the first time we've let anyone outside of the office play the "full" DayZ experience on a console!
For obvious reasons, this also translated into a lot of excitement (and outrage) in the DayZ community, so it's time to share some update on where we are with DayZ on Xbox.
Current State of DayZ on Xbox
The first important thing to say is that the build that some of the Xbox Insiders are playing is pretty much on par with our current 0.63 build for PC, and shares the same features and content. The way our development pipelines are set allows for most of the progress with PC development to beimmediately used in the Xbox build, and since we've recently done quite a lot on that front, the Xbox version is already well playable. This will only get better as soon as the 0.63 content patch goes out on the Stress Test Branch. Of course, if it was all sunshine and roses, we'd probably just release the thing already, so unsurprisingly, there's a catch. A few of them, actually:
- • we're still applying some minor changes to the controls scheme
• we're getting our server infrastructure ready
• we're awaiting fixes for some Xbox specific issues (UI, some user actions missing etc.)
Despite these issues, the progress with PC builds, and some platform specific optimisations already bring a good enough gameplay to Xbox, along with a generally very good client and server performance, so as soon as we get ahead of the listed issues (and as long as there aren't new ones appearing), we will proceed to the next step!
If you've been following our friends from the Vigor team (they have released Vigor into Game Preview just yesterday, go check that out!), you'll get a decent idea about what that next step is going to be for DayZ - a Closed Preview. Ultimately, that's where we'll get together a bunch of the most excited Xbox Survivors among you, and give you a chance to secure access to pre-release builds of DayZ.
In return, we'll ask you to provide us with feedback on your experience, and we'll also use the traffic created on our servers to further evaluate the performance there.
Even in the Closed Preview phase, we're probably not going to be ready for any large scale testing, so we'll pick our first bunch of Survivors very carefully, and try to involve some content creators at Mixer and Twitch to spread the excitement for others waiting to get their hands on DayZ.
We should get to that part rather quickly though, so be prepared! For Xbox fans around you, also one more clarification: we're currently not planning on expanding the Xbox Insider build to further rings, so the Closed Preview will be your only chance to get some early hands-on time with DayZ!
We're probably a bit further away from the last step - releasing DayZ for everyone in the "Xbox Early Access program", the Xbox Game Preview. As we've been saying at press events over the past months, we'd like to bring DayZ to Xbox Game Preview at the end of this summer, and currently, it looks like we should be able to deliver. For the final confirmation though, we still need things to settle down a bit more, so your best bet is to wait for Gamescom (starting August 21, more on that below!) - by then, things should be more clear, and it's also a good opportunity for any release date announcements, so please cross your fingers that everything works out just fine!
As with any Game Preview title on Xbox, there will be a trial version available that'll help you decide whether DayZ is already a fun game to you in its current state. We're considering the trial to be limited to one hour of gameplay.
I'd like to clarify one important thing - the general timing of the Xbox One release. Up until now, we've been counting on releasing the Xbox Game Preview shortly after DayZ hits BETA on PC. Since we're able to come up with Xbox version of our PC content rather quickly, and we're also enjoying tremendous support from Microsoft, we'll probably take a turn on that position. If things keep going well, we may see an Xbox Game Preview release happening before the PC BETA.
And as a last bit: I know some of you are worried about this entire console thing slowing down the PC development. We've already said that on a couple of occasions, but let me repeat this again - our primary development, where most of the work is happening on daily basis, is the PC version, and that's where any progress with Xbox builds always comes from. While we have certainly grown beyond just having 2 programmers working on things related to Xbox releases, our primary focus is, and will remain on developing the PC builds. I may let Peter expand on that, but also the overall game design vision of DayZ has never been changed or strongly influenced by the fact that DayZ will eventually be released on consoles.
Even in Game Preview, and later on on PS4, DayZ will remain a hardcore, authentic survival game.
We're going to Gamescom (and maybe, just maybe to PAX West and Australia)
Brief update on upcoming events: we'll be at Gamescom again, yay! Gamescom is taking place between August 21 - 25, and we're bringing a much bigger team this year, with all the usual suspects (Baty, Eugen, Peter, Dan), and a very welcome addition of our Senior Map Designer Adam! Altogether, there will be 11 DayZ developers at the event (including our new Community Managers - Tim and Bestius), ready to meet you all and show you the game on all three platforms - PC, Xbox One AND PlayStation 4 (yes, that would be a premiere!).
We're also doing our best to answer the many invitations (yes, that's you too, Boydy! (big grin)) and arrange at least a brief visit of PAX West in Seattle, and PAX Australia in Melbourne. We'll keep you updated!
That's all for today - see you at Gamescom, Survivors!
- Martin Čulák / Brand Manager
As mentioned in our last Status Report, when it comes to firearms we are focused mainly on the scopes right now. In the following GIF you can see the new PSO 1 scope in action together with the new post processes. Aiming down the sights uses depth of field to blur the firearm while keeping the front sight focused. The scoped-in view is using a circular mask to blur the surroundings and creates spherical distortion to make the magnification effect more prominent.
The next GIF shows how the combination of ADS and scope is operated in a case where such possibility of firearm and scope allows it. The last mode used for precise aiming (sights or scope) is remembered and the next time the aiming action is called it switches right into it.
Regarding point shooting (not precise aiming, in other words hipfire from raise), there was sway applied from the very first implementation. However, it used the same strength as in ADS which isn’t enough for such a situation. It lead to the belief that the projectiles are always landing in the exact center of the screen. Now, we have a multiplier for sway implemented, to make it harder to hit targets further away. On the screenshot below, the left target was fired at with point shooting, the right target was fired at with ADS, both using a pistol at 25 meters. You see the results displayed by the trajectory lines and their bullet impacts.
By the way, due to the controversy revolving around "Aimgate", it’s also a common belief now, that the projectile direction when fired while point shooting is drastically bend, which isn’t the case. The angle is getting smaller with larger distances. You can see two lines on the following screenshot, the white line is the direction from the camera, the orange line shows the actual direction at which the projectile was fired. Using the 3PP camera, which has the largest offset from the axis of the weapon barrel and with the target in a distance of 10 meters, the angle between the direction of the gun barrel and the fired projectile is around 2 degrees. And to display even this minimal change in projectile direction to the players, we plan to have the weapon visually realigned towards the center of the screen.
Last but not least, alongside with the implementation of the pump-action shotgun in the new weapon system, we found what was wrong with buckshots all the time. After a rewrite, buckshots are now spawning the set amount of independent projectiles which are getting dispersed with distance and can penetrate materials.
I’m excited this change will make shotguns finally valuable and deadly - exactly how you would expect.
Come get some... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
In the past two weeks our animators have been working on:
- • Vehicles: steering wheel poses so the character can steer the wheel nicely. This includes animations like starting the vehicle, adjustments of enter/exit animations and idles.
Please be aware that everything you see here is still WIP and subject to change:
Getting into V3S
Jumping out of the vehicle / Getting back in
- • surrender/restrained: implementation and missing animations
• hit reactions for crouch and prone for when player character gets hit
• bugfixing related to firearms
- Viktor Kostík / Lead Animator
Dev Update/Filip Čenžák
Just a very brief update from the audio team:
- • new reload sounds for the MP133
• new sounds for falling trees and bushes (after hack tree and bush action)
• shooting controller for ambient sounds. Birds and insects go quiet for a while after • shooting
Coast ambience is positional now. You hear the ambience from the direction where the coast is.
Sound Occlusion for gun shots. Gun shots are attenuated if there is any obstacle (like wall or structure) between the shooter and listener
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer