Brian, Peter, and Viktor give us the lowdown this week on the current blocker issues, as well as let us in on upcoming work from the design and animation teams.
Contents This Week
Now that PAX is over lets take a quick look at what we're doing to tackle the last Status Report’s listed blockers, and what issues are between us and .60 hitting experimental (so you're all in the know).
- Loot Distribution: The QA, Design, and Gameplay Programming teams have isolated the cause of the issue, specifically tied to stalling of item respawn - while initial server spawn, and server cleanup are functioning properly. The Gameplay Programmers responsible for this are hard at work nailing down a fix to this issue, and a possible solution has been handed to QA - we will run it through the QA department for verification.
- "Stuck Magazines": This issue has been resolved, and the QA Team are no longer able to reproduce it. Strike one more issue from the list.
- Sliding Players: All of the reproducible methods for causing this issue have been flagged and resolved by the gameplay programming team, and have been verified by QA.
- Playability of New UI Inventory - The team has finished all remaining changes needed to be ready for .60 experimental - once the build is in the hands of the experimental userbase, we'll be able to make any required adjustments or improvements based upon how they interact with it.
In addition to these previous issues, the engine and gameplay programming teams are currently working on resolving two issues we'd like to see solved prior to hitting experimental:
- FPS Drop / Clouds: Internal Testing discovered a 100% reproducible frame drop to single digit factors on limited hardware configurations. While the issue only appeared on 2 out of 30+ PCs, we're taking it very seriously. That said, the engine programming team has committed a fix and QA are verifying it as of the time of this report.
- Server Crash: We've encountered an issue with unconscious players reconnecting / logging in to a fresh server sometimes causing the server to suffer an unexpected crash. Obviously we'll need to get this resolved before pushing to a large userbase because no one likes playing on servers that are consistently crashing - and we all know there will be plenty of unconscious survivors throughout Chernarus. That said, the gameplay programming team have a solid repro, and all the crashdumps and server logs they could want, and are tracking this issue down as I write this.
As you can see, we're knocking issues down one by one, and each day brings us closer to pushing the first .60 experimental build to Steam. Keep in mind, this will be just like every other experimental upload and will have issues. So lets all chip in and make sure to submit good bug data when encountering them - Quality Assurance Lead Ondrej Klima gave some excellent pointers in how to submit the best bug data possible in our last Dev Q&A video on the official Youtube Channel (youtube.com/dayzdevteam).
All of us here at the DayZ dev team cannot wait get .60 on to experimental branch. The excitement and support at PAX East was overwhelming, and there are still so many more improvements to the technology powering DayZ to come!
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
I would like to talk about base building in this issue of Status Report a bit as it didn't get much attention in SRs from me yet, thus the community was naturally left with many questions which needs to be answered. It's known that we are using base building as a common name for a broad set of activities that leads to creation of your very own base of your operations made from different facilities which can provide you or your team shelter, storage, food, water, fortification, outlook or even an electricity grid.
Alongside pitching the stock tents which can be found or improvised ones made by crafting when needed and other features like barrels, fireplaces and such it's the sturdy made structures which turn a basic campsite into a base, may it be the barriers to secure the perimeter of a base or a watchtower to get a better overview of the surroundings. Structures are again divided into premade and crafted ones. Ready to go mesh containers which may be found at military bases are an easy and fast way to form desired barriers as they can be transported to site, placed and filled with soil and eventually emptied in order to reorganize the barrier or to take them to a different location. On the other hand you can made your own walls, sheds or watchtowers with proper tools, materials and a bit of dedication. Because I'm not a huge fan of premade whole objects when it comes to building mechanics in sandbox games I wanted to allow as much options as possible within the scope of our game to allow players to create varied results. Construction of non-portable structures starts with placing of their basic elements so as to form their foundation. Characters can interact with this foundation to extend it into a desired state. Walls have split lower and upper halves and it's up to you whether to mount wooden planks or metal sheets with connecting materials like nails to fill them or optionally leave one or both halves without any filling. To gather wooden planks or metal sheets you will have to look for pallets which will be spawned as a dynamic event similar to helicopters or police cars although with admittedly higher chances. After you run out of material for filling, don't worry that your construction urge will be halted as there is the possibility of crafting planks from chopped trees at several sawmills across Chernarus. However, it needs to be said that metal sheets give your walls more protection than wooden planks. I admit that plain walls could be quite bland after some time so you will be able to enhance them with some goodies like camo netting for added camouflage or light chains when you wish to achieve something completely opposite, may it be a trading post, a trap or just to add some cozy atmosphere in a harsh world. Tents can be also equipped with both of them. Anyway, there are more things to do to improve the functionality of any given wall. Improvised hinges turns a wall into a gate broad enough that even a V3S can pass through, or the addition of barbwire fence helps protect close proximity of the wall itself as, don't forget it, even a wall can be disassembled with proper tools like a crowbar. To step even further, barbwire can be plugged into an electricity grid maintained by a power generator turning it effectively into an electric fence so you will think twice before taking it down with pliers.
I'm excited to see how players will use this feature to build all the variations of bases to mark their presence in the persistent environment of Chernarus. It must be said that even if we have working prototypes and final implementation in process of construction of non-portable structures and precise object placement (yes, it was postponed), it will not see public release until the arrival of the new character, which consists of the new animation system, new rewritten scripts in Enforce, new controller, new damage system, new controls and other supportive components.
Unleash your inner survivalist architect... see you in Chernarus folks!
- Peter / Lead Designer
I will continue where I left in previous status report. Last week there was a mocap session. We have captured many missing animations for wounded character and also some weapon specific animations. Once the data are processed the animators can start working on wounded crouched locomotions for player. In general most of basic anims for injured player are already done. However we need to implement it all at once and of course after the new animation system is fully in.
In recent stream you might have noticed some special moves for infected where they were going over some obstacles. Currently there are four different animations for getting over obstacles depending on the height. You should be able to see it in action with the next update. Please keep in mind this is very first implementation of such a feature and we will be working on many improvements to it but I think it works pretty well already and infected are now scary as s.... well have fun!
- Viktor / Lead Animator
A short while ago I was contacted by one of our forum users HugoStiglitz. He sent a couple of links to videos that his friend CamCANTRUN had made, and it was some pretty good stuff. Especially the "Friendship" series was a good watch. Cam meets a random player Kyle who had a bit of trouble in real life it seems, and it was nice to see how Cam tries to pick up Kyle and take his mind off of things while doing a bit of adventuring through Chernarus. We should all be so lucky as to have a friend like CamCANTRUN.
If you also 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: Uga
- SMoss / Community Manager