Hello everyone! As Eugen is traveling this week, it's my turn to contribute to the Status Report (after quite some time), and provide some summary of the past two weeks in the DayZ Dev Team. With February in full swing, we're approaching the moment where with each week, the 0.63 experimental release is becoming more and more likely. We're about to start team-wide play-tests to get our internal servers as full as possible in order to get proper data on server synchronization and performance. With that said, there are still elementary parts (like swimming and vaulting) of the game that are very much work in progress, and for that reason, we are still not feeling very comfortable talking about any potential 0.63 Experimental release dates publicly.
Considering some feedback we got under the last Status Report on Twitter, we've been looking at ways how to still communicate the state of things more clearly, potentially as a progressively updated online task list. Together with Eugen and Baty, we've compiled a to-do list of sorts (basically our Experimental goals from the BETA Status Report) where we want to provide a simple overview of the current state of each key part of the 0.63 update. We'll check if and how we can publish it (we still need to work out some specifics with our team leads, also during the play-tests I mentioned), but suffice to say - there is a lot of work in progress, and less things that we would already be able to tick off as "ready for Experimental".
While we don't want to give in to some unnecessary rush, there is also the other side of things that kind of makes us want to progress towards the 0.63 Experimental PC release as fast as possible. Our release schedule for this year is pretty tight. The main goal is to have the PC BETA and 1.0 all happen in 2018, and we're also getting much closer to bringing DayZ to console players. Our good relationship with both Sony and Microsoft opens interesting opportunities for cooperation, and since we've always had our focus aimed at the existing PC community of players first and foremost, it's in our own best interest to bring you solid PC releases ASAP so that we can also satisfy the large audience waiting for DayZ on consoles.
Despite the not-so-huge amount of work going into our console builds of the game, we're basically able to run our regular PC 0.63 builds on both consoles with no major issues in gameplay or performance, and so the progress towards PC releases of 0.63 Experimental and Stable is critical also from this point of view - not only we really want you to have something to play already, we also want to grow our community further.
Let's see how that works - we'll keep you posted! Meanwhile, see you in Chernarus! (Or on the forums, social media channels, and Reddit!)
- Martin Čulák / Brand & PR Manager
Our first working implementation of the new melee combat looked great, especially with predefined combos chained by attacks flying through the air. However, after applying a rule set to it and passing some internal play-tests, we have confirmed that it would be really hard to wrap our intentions of melee combat around these predefined combo attacks.
As gameplay is the most important thing in DayZ, I don’t want to compromise on possibilities. Ideally, players should be always able to choose which attack option at hand they can use. Considering that predefined combo chains were composed of different attack types, players were not able to choose between light and heavy attack types. Since their order was firmly determined, it made melee combat feel like something that's a bit out of your hands, which made it less interesting in the end.
We have decided to try one more prototype, in which the player is able to freely choose which attack to perform - a light or a heavy one. Immediately after the first play-test run, it was clear that’s the right direction to make the melee combat more "controllable". We will continue to iterate and improve the melee so that we finally arrive at the final implementation. It's safe to say that despite the shift from predefined combos, the new melee combat will still maintain visual variety in terms of movement, as there are still attack variations from both the left and the right side, and for both light and heavy attack types. These variants are seamlessly blended together, creating a continuous flow of attacks that simply looks nice.
The infected AI that you know well from 0.62 and older versions of DayZ was kind of always limited, and it never met our expectations, nor came close to the behaviours we defined in the design team. Currently, the infected AI is being heavily re-worked, incorporating the new animation system. We are cooperating closely with our programming team to achieve all the intended features.
The primary goal is to make the infected feel better on every level you can imagine. May it be more clever use of sensors to strengthen stealth, luring and aggro, adding search behaviour around the last known position of their target, or simply much improved readability of infected AI, utilising transitions like lost interest, target confirmed or target lost between their states. There are some significant changes coming to their melee combat as well, with jumping attacks making a comeback.
Don't end up feeding yourself to the infected... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter Nespesny / Lead Designer
Hi everyone. The entire team is still really busy implementing the remaining parts of our animation system overhaul, so today, I would like to at least quickly share with you a couple of fresh GIFs from the development. After receiving the implementation of the new ladder climbing from our programmers, we are currently applying some final touches to ladder animations and behaviour. We're finally able to enter/exit the ladders in a rather smooth way, and also climb and even slide down the ladder. There's still some polish and fine-tuning to do before we can make ladders experimental ready, but we're getting there! The team is also busy with weapons, player turn animations and unconscious animations:
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
In this Status Report, I would like to talk about another map feature of the upcoming 0.63 update - Tourist Trails. The Chernarussian Tourist Club (also known short as КЧТ) is responsible for a wide network of the tourist trails in the Republic of Chernarus. In South Zagoria (province of Chernarus that we have in DayZ), they maintain roughly 200 kilometers of tourist trails. From the northern border mountains, through the central fields to the important destinations in coastal towns. Connecting many of the historic and natural landmarks, but also showing perhaps not often visited places in South Zagoria. All that to make your travels easier and safer.
The idea of having the tourist trails on Chernarus has been floating around since early Arma 2 days. It was brought up again at the start of DayZ development with more details fleshed out. But given the rapid iterations on Chernarus+ map, it was not really feasible to start with the actual implementation until the map was in a more stable state. With the release of the update 0.62 (which introduced a total vegetation overhaul along with the western border rework), we felt that the map has finally reached a somewhat stable state that would allow us to finally return to the idea of tourist trails.
We have re-visited the original plans, made several improvements and re-designed the planned trail network to support all the map changes that happened over past couple of years. A result of this task is an overwhelming, 200 kilometer long trail network - so what helped us getting there?
• 4 Different Color Markings to Mark the Trails
- you will find these on trees, rocks, poles,...
in real life, you would also find arrow versions of these markings, but to avoid too much duplication in data, we had to design every hard turn of the trail without the arrow markings.
• 93 Custom Directional Crossroad Signs
- tailored for each trail crossroad, any important place (stops), and for the start/end of each trail
- crossroad signs contain the local name and mark the crossroad's elevation above sea level (in meters)
- individual plates cover every possible direction you can take, along with the travel distance (in kilometers) to three following crossroad/directional/trail signs
- same as traffic directional signs and settlements signs, everything on these plates is written in Russian (Cyrillic)
• 2 Types of the Actual Path Models for the Trails
- we use these models when the trail goes through the meadows, fields, and forests
roughly 60% of the whole trail network is covered by these models - because as in real life, trails are also using the existing road network (excluding major roads so tourists are not in a danger of a serious car accident)
• 2 Types of Tourist Shelters
- to make bigger trail crossroads more interesting and believable
brand new assets that serve as shelter for players during rainy weather, or when you just want to get a bit of a rest before continuing your journey
In addition to these, we also have one other supporting asset that may or may not make it into 0.63:
• Map stands
- in real life, these are present mostly on major trail crossroads in order to help tourists to get a bigger picture and plan their trip
- we've got several prototypes so far, but still ironing out the best shape, size and the map coverage (if it will be the entire map or, for example, quarters)
- there will be a "you are here" sign on the map to help you pinpoint your current location
Overall, tourist trails gave us a nice opportunity to improve our landscape - many improvements were done to it while the network itself was worked on. Additionally, it also gave us an opportunity to revisit all the locations names and make them actually visible directly within the environment.
We hope that they will prove to be a useful feature when navigating through our 225 square kilometers of environment, and that you will have great encounters with other like-minded survivors there. We certainly enjoyed building the network and we hope that we will meet some of you there when this feature hits the live servers!
- Adam Franců / Map Designer
Over the course of the past two weeks, we continued our work on footsteps and cloth rustle sounds. It's kind of a tedious work because we have to implement these sounds into all animations - and the number of animations in DayZ is pretty overwhelming :).
Another big task ahead of us is represented by an update of ambient sounds. We intend to create a more dynamic and realistic soundscape than before. We do not want to relate only upon flat 2D ambient sounds, but rather want to use as many positional sounds as the audio engine will allow us to have. Within the next couple of weeks, we will see how far we can push it!
- Filip Čenžák / Sound Designer
I would like to start a new tradition - answering some of the community's most asked questions in every Status Report and post it to a special thread on our official forums.
So, let's check out what you want to know:
Will DayZ be released on consoles?
Yes, Xbox One version will be out this year in the Xbox Game Preview program. We are also working on a PlayStation 4 version and want to provide more details about that soon!
Can you give us some modding tools already, goddamnit?!
Not right now, we can't. There are ultimately two main reasons for that: we're simply not ready to legitimately support modding until we have a solid foundation in what is a game functional on an elementary level. We also need that game to be in YOUR hands and we need you to be able to run your own servers. That will not happen before 0.63 hits Stable. In addition to that, we're also still evaluating how far along will DayZ be moddable, and how we can best support modders with all the necessary modding tools.
How long do we need to wait for the 0.63 Experimental? We want to play it so bad!
I know, we want to let you play it too! Right now though, it just really needs more love from the DayZ Dev Team. It's not fun to play yet. All the teams are working like devils now, trust me - I am sitting right next to them in the office, I can see it all happening and I want to play it with the community as bad as everyone. But 0.63 still needs more time!
Yes, the base building is also not ready yet but we know how much you are looking forward to trying it. An example is Axel, who made this cool base building concept.