Brian, Viktor, Miroslav, and Raist give us an update on current development in this Status Report. Subjects covered by the guys are blocker issues, network code, the new AI spawner, and the new animation system.
Contents This Week
It’s that time again - biweekly Status Report time. In addition to my update, we have some interesting reads from Miroslav our Lead Gameplay Programmer, Viktor our Lead Animator, and Raist the Senior Programmer responsible for DayZ's Central Economy. That aside, let’s look at what our current critical issues are for the release of .60 to experimental branch.
- Loot Distribution: Current internal builds have an issue we're chasing down that drops globally spawned quantities of items to about 3,000 in certain situations/server states. This is around 17,000 to 18,000 less than the acceptable minimal operating value. This issue is one of the top priorities for the designers currently, as it effectively makes the title near unplayable.
- "Stuck" Magazines: The gameplay programming team are working on an issue that causes magazines during the reload process to become "stuck" within the players inventory, thus causing several cascading failures with players inventories requiring them to disconnect and reconnect to resolve the issue.
- Sliding Players: The QA Team encountered a 100% repro rate series of steps to cause players to become stuck in a sliding state - regardless of laying, prone, or erect. These steps have been provided to the gameplay programming team - and they are working on resolving the issue.
- Playability of New UI Inventory: The design and gameplay programming teams are wrapping up the last of the playability issues moving to the new UI, as functional support for the legacy UI won't be possible moving forward with the new Enfusion renderer.
Since the last Status Report the team has nailed down the last blocking bugs on the renderer side, squashed some nasty virtual machine server exception issues, resolved blocking issues with navmesh generation, infected AI behavior, several critical client crash bugs, a new nasty issue with the desync of player positions, and rolled out the support for configuring all the initial required graphical options within the options menu for the new renderer release.
Looking at what the Engine Programming team have taken on and ahead of them for the Enfusion Renderer:
- MSAA Implementation
- Alpha to Coverage Implementation
- Resolved all issues flagged as "Must Fix" or "Blocker" for .60
Current Focus is on:
- New UI and Renderer Major & Minor severity level issues
Aside from the current issues I've mentioned above, personally I'm a bit concerned of the network state of vehicles. With the team focused on the milestone goals for .60 we haven't been able to give the attention to iterating on network synchronization, performance, and physics on our current group of vehicles. I think they're far from where I'd like them to be - but we'll more than likely have to put off improving their state to somewhere more enjoyable for the Early Access playerbase to future builds.
Each day moves us closer to having a build we're confident and able to move to experimental branch, and no one group of people want it out there more than us, the developers. Lastly, before I sign off for this Status Report - I know I've said it before - but I can't say it enough, keep in mind this is just our first public iteration of this portion of Enfusion engine. In addition to iteration and progression from feedback and bug reports from the Early Access player base we'll also be working with GPU manufacturers to figure out how best to use their technologies to the maximum effect, and get DayZ optimized for use in future drivers from said manufacturers.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
In my last status report, I mentioned that we are rewriting some important parts of network code. Well, the work is finished and first testing showed improvements on server performance and server response time. So, these changes will be available in experimental build from start and if nothing goes wrong, they will hit the stable release too.
Two weeks ago, we started revisiting another important part of networking. The login process. Now, it's possible that you are present on server before you can actually play, so you can be attacked by AIs and players and you don't have an opportunity to defend (not common for this to occur, but possible in some edge cases). This will be fixed, but not in 0.60. These changes will allow us also implementation of login queue, which will help us to control server performance in case when a lot of concurrent players are connecting and waiting queue will be available too.
Last time, I also mentioned changes in AI spawner. Here you have a few words from our programmer Frantisek Bidlo a.k.a Raist, who's responsible for Central Loot Economy implementation:
Lots of new and horribly ugly looking infected are going to be swarming Chernarus. We have almost finished the new system and tools on area/ spawn rules/ group types definition in order to create believable distribution, doctors will haunt hospitals, police will be most probably found in the stations surrounding areas.
Different infected types may by stronger and faster than others, every city and village will get various combination depending on it's size, position and importance.
We're still not sure, if new AI spawner will hit 0.60 (or at least experimental), but we will try our best. Here are a few screenshots from the spawner testing, but please keep in mind that these are form testing and it's possible, that there won't be so high AI counts in release.
- Miroslav / Lead Gameplay Programmer
When thinking about what happened in last two weeks in animation team I have realized there is so many different animations being worked on. I have decided to put together a quick compilation of some of them that have been done just recently. There are new reload anims for M4, for Red9 and CR527. Except weapons guys have been busy with adding missing animations for vehicles, opening and closing doors and hoods with tons of variations to cover all vehicles.
We have started to create a new graph for infected for upcoming animation system. Because of that we came back to idea to bring variations for infected locomotions where there will be multiple different idles, walks, runs and sprints so they look a bit different when moving around. Also some extra anims are in progress, like attacking doors. This week there will be already mentioned mocap session so we will get loads of new data for us to work on.
Make sure to check the video out and remember it is all work in progress as always, it may change, but mainly this are animations that have been finished in past week or two so they are still far from implementing. Moreover we still need to have new animation system in first.
- Viktor / Lead Animator
Good stuff, I should have caught on to Astros Legacy a bit earlier. I always do like me some nice DayZ cinematics, and when I came across the Astros Legacy channel, I was not disappointed when I found this:
Also, it's been out for a while, but in case you did not see it yet, concept artist Simon Weaner did the following matte painting of the shipwreck at Rify:
If you have some footage, artwork, or screenshots you'd like to share, you can always swing by the DayZ forums and post it in the Gallery section.
Header image credit: [LGNR] s.hartman
- Michael aka SMoss / Community Manager