This week, Eugen is uncovering some more details about the 0.63 Experimental release, Viktor teases a video with some of the updates to player movement based on Gamescom feedback, Mirek Talks about the future of DayZ modding and our Audio Designer Andrej has some exciting audio updates for you (including a video!). To top it all of, Baty is celebrating Halloween with a screenshot contest and an announcement of an official DayZ Halloween Event! Sit back and enjoy the ride, you're in for a treat this week.
Contents This Week
Dear players! Since we have dipped into the topic of what BETA is the last time, I wanted to continue exactly in that regard with more information on our intentions.
I have covered the process of how the server files and modding will be handled briefly in the last Status Report, and I want to talk about the process of getting from the Experimental update to Stable update in greater detail.
There are tons of changes coming, since its basically a whole new game. But the core of what DayZ makes so special is never gonna change. The unpredictable human behaviour in large open world environment, where we want to see you go through both the hero moments, bandit life, or just being a Bambi lost in the vast of Chernarus. There are so many friendships I've seen happen in this game unlike anything I have experienced before. Stories that you remember for years, or action that gets your blood pumping like nothing else.
But back to the topic at hand. Our goal with first experimental is to provide a meaningful experience. We will all let you know before it happens, and prepare accordingly with enough resources to handle the possibility of a large amount of people getting in. If need be, we will utilise Stable branch servers to offer the experience to the largest amount of people possible.
The first Experimental build is expected to focus on some of the core systems of the game, which will include most of the gameplay that has been talked about. During this experimental period, we will monitor the player actions, gather feedback and iterate quickly on the state of the game. As said, not all BETA features are expected to hit the first experimental release and most will be introduced gradually before the version hits Stable servers.
We are taking a safer aproach to scale the gameplay, and we will focus heavily on polish during this period. So turning on a feature, gathering feedback, polishing it up, rinse and repeat with the next thing. The features from our main features list that are rather risky for the BETA release include:
- shooting from vehicles
- bow combat
All are quite complex and have lots of trickle down effects on all sorts of systems, from persistence, to performance. We want you to keep that in mind for the first release, as we already know that we will be playing it safe to keep the experience intact. I'll keep you updated if anything changes. However, there is no change as to our intent of bringing these into the game eventually.
Another part of road to BETA is content (that means weapons, for example), and as you might know, we have tons of unused content and things that we planned to add to DayZ over time. There is a selected set of content for BETA and I'll try and talk about the exact details in a Status Report as we have the content lists finalised. Rest assured, any content that we've teased at places like our Trello board will eventually be available in the base game, and it's our intention to release that content gradually utilising larger content packs.
Backing up, we want you to know that we haven't forgotten about our live game (the 0.62 Stable branch), even if it has been sidelined to bring you this amazing new experience. We are still monitoring larger issues, and trying to keep things intact until BETA arrives.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
As I promised the last time, today I would like to write about the background of modding possibilities in 0.63. I don't want to write about tools, which we will release, but more about what can be done with scripting.
If you remember my Q&A video, I was talking about how the game is programmed on three levels - the engine (low level), gameplay systems (middle level) and scripts (high level):
So ultimately, we can say that modding possibilities depend on what engine and gameplay systems we expose for scripting. And this (exposing systems for modification) is the major part of modding, which we're currently working on.
With the power of Enforce script, which syntax is very similar to C# or Java, we would like to give modders the ability to not only create variations of DayZ, but to create some different game genreswithin the DayZ universe (with the basic premise of it still being an MMO) - that means things like a Fallout style RPG, isometric action game, or even a point & click adventure for ecample.
As an example, we've added the support to create a game mode in which the standard DayZ player instance is not available. You can imagine yourself how this can be usable - to provide one example, we are using this mode in our internal scene editor, which is completely made by scripts.
Of course, that's not quite simple and we have to think twice about exposing any systems due to security reasons. We know that when we release modding support, it's possible that some of the tech features required to accomplish the goal of making a completely new genre will be missing, so we're counting on the option to extend scripting interfaces even after 1.0 release.
So this is it. Our goal is not only to create a moddable game, it's to create a platform where we provide as much as we can for all the creative modders out there.
- Miroslav Maněna / Lead Gameplay Progammer
Hi everyone! Today, I would like to show and talk a bit about progress in the animation team. We have put together a very short video showcasing some of the recent changes and new animations. Please happily ignore the sounds - we are working on that and our Audio Designer Andrej shares more on audio later in the Status Report.
Let's take a look at the video. In the first part, we can see various animations for weapons. The weapons team is now moving gun by gun, gradually implementing our BETA list of weapons into the 0.63 build. This includes, of course, some work on the animation side of things, since animations and also animation graphs need to be updated to make sure everything is played correctly.
Each individual weapon has many detailed animations for all the situations that can happen. For instance, the FNX now has 28 individual animations. The most recent guns implemented on 0.63 include CR 75, Makarov, and the team is currently finishing the UMP 45.
Another part of the animation team is focused on player locomotion. We are working closely with the programmers and designers to make sure player moves nicely and is fully responsive at the same time. The video can not really show how the controls feel, but compared to the old system, this is already a huge improvement (as some of you could test personally at Gamescom).
We are trying to expand on the positive feedback we have received. We are adding player inertia and also bringing some visual improvements. One thing that is in progress at the moment is how the player character turns. We have come to a working prototype that everyone seems to be happy about and now we will implement it for every stance and item.
Another change to the locomotion is related to how player walks and runs in different directions. We have reworked some parts of the graph and replaced it with different animations when going to the left or right. This allows us to have better control when players switch legs while changing direction. Thanks to that, there will be less or almost no clipping of the legs with each other.
In the last part of the video, you can see some falling animations. These have been updated recently. We have adjusted each of the fall animation so it better blends and is more visible if you fall from big heights. In the next step, we will also update the actual landing on the ground. Landing from small falls will be rather a procedural animation in the hips and spines so that we don't take any control from the player. Landing from higher falls will be an actual full body animation.
That's all from me today. I hope you liked it and I'll show you some more next time. Cheers!
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Hey survivors! It's been awhile since you've had an update form our audio department so here it is! Over the couple of last months, we have mostly been working on an entire new set of player sounds.
With the introduction of a new player controller in 0.63, we decided to give our player character a massive audio overhaul. One of the things we are working on right now are the foley sounds. Just last week, we've visited our studio in Mnisek and recorded many types of clothing and various materials, which we want to use (after proper editing and processing) for different types of in-game clothes and gear audio.
It will be a fairly complex system with separate sounds for different types of footwear, top and bottom clothing, but also backpacks and weapons. We are sure that more detailed and diversified foley audio willenhance the immersion and overall experience. You can watch a sneak-peak of our day in the studio in the video below:
A major part of player audio also consists of the vocal sounds. This week, we will be recording a completely new set of voices for our characters, with more than 20 actors scheduled to participate. Together with the recording of character sounds, we're also going to record some new sounds for the infected. We have been planning it for so long, and now it's finally time to do it!
It took us a lot of time to synchronise our ideas with the gameplay design department, and as always, it was quite challenging to get support form the already busy programmers/scripters, so that we can achieve the best possible results. Luckily, we've been successful at that and the recording session can take place in our Mnisek studio, spanning over a couple of days and altogether involving almost 30 different people.
We will surely produce massive amounts of raw audio material, which we will than process, mix and implement into our game. We will do some comparative videos so that you guys can see how we practically transform the voices of our perfectly healthy actors into the bloodlust infected inhabitants of Chernarus.
There have been some questions as to why do we have some 0.61 sounds in our latest Dev Log video. Simply put, it was because our Gamescom build was internally on a separate branch, so ambient sounds were not merged there. The 0.62 changes will not be reverted for the 0.63 version, but they will eventually be improved with new sounds and a completely new overall audio mix - including new player and infected sounds, new combat sounds (ranged and melee) and also with a completely reworked vehicle sound system that is being written now.
We will share more in the upcoming Status Reports - until then, stay tuned and see you in Chernarus!
- Andrej Sinkević / Sound Designer
It is my favourite season of the year - The Halloween time! In Czech Rep, we don't celebrate Halloween - we celebrate All Souls' day, which is not about costumes and pumpkins, and I am glad that we have Halloween at least in DayZ with the latest update! You can grow Jack-o'-lantern by yourself and it is easy! If you don't have any experience with growing vegetables in DayZ, just check out this video by Gaming Junkie and you will know how to do it:
You've sent me so many amazing screenshots of your Jack-o'-lanterns and I need to show some to all of you!
This one is by our lovely streamer TheRunningManZ.
MrsTLB is sharing pumpkins with her friend.
Fozzie made this screenshot. It is spooky!
And the last one is Halloween at Gvozdno cemetery by ZomboCZ.
Since we are talking about pumpkins and screenshots, we have something special for you this time - a screenshot contest!
Just follow us on our official Twitter account and send us your Halloween-themed screenshots via Twitter with #dayzhalloween hashtag. You can win some nice prizes. Check all the rules here.
And there is more in this Halloween time. I am preparing the next event for the 31 October at 17:00 (CEST).
Are you ready for The Big Pumpkin Hunt? It will be a special mission for four teams on a small location around Staroye village. You don't need to travel anywhere and all your equipment will be provided by us. If you want to participate, just sign up here and if you get selected, I will contact you on your email.
Enough of Halloween for now. Let's check out more content from the community.
Si Holland of a DayZ Facebook community had a birthday a few weeks ago. Check out this awesome cake he got!
DannyDog68 shared a clip with us of Lada in rain. And it is beautiful. I love rain, it is so relaxing.
If you have more than 1000+ hours in DayZ you can sometimes think about how to entertain yourself in some other way. Thing_On_Your_Shelf made this little challenge game and it looks like fun! I need to try it too.
Do you know MC Quakes and his Man's Not Hot? Voyager Yt did a DayZ parody of this rap song. And it is golden. You need to see it. I love it!
Videogames are art and an exhibition in Slovakia is about this kind of art. Exhibition is called Phases and concepts / Homo Ludio Artifex - art designs in digital games and you can find a concept of Coyote backpack from DayZ designed by Boris Joanovič there. The exhibition ends on 29th October so if you live near city of Košice, you can visit the Alfa gallery.
At the end, I have a challenge picture for you again! In the last status report it was a deer stand on the Veresnik hill and I had a lot of correct answers from you! Little wall of fame for the fastest ones:
And here is the riddle for today. Send me a picture of the building with this inscription to our official Twitter account and you can be on the next Wall of Fame:
That's all from me Survivors, these two weeks were really juicy in the community, thank you all for your content and see you next time!
Header image by Gaming Junkie.
- Baty / Community Manager