This week, we have Brian remembering the struggles he experienced during his modding days - and looking forward to how the DayZ Standalone modding will make things a lot easier. Eugen is providing a thorough recap of our recent progress, we're introducing our scripter Boris Vacula and his work on particle effects, and Baty is announcing the winners of our wee Halloween screenshot contest! Let's dig into it, Survivors!
Contents This Week
As we approach the entry into the BETA phase of DayZ's development, I am reminded of how things were back in 2012 as we worked on the original Survivor GameZ. Working with Dean to get us early access to upcoming builds of DayZ Mod, and trying to modify the script codebase to match the projects needs. Much like many mod authors back in the day, it was a frustrating experience, trying to create our experience within a framework (Arma 2 scripting code/commands) that was simply not designed for the type of experience we were trying to create.
It is experiences like this that specifically has me so excited for what we'll be able to offer mod authors with DayZ. The project benefits so much from being developed in house by Bohemia Interactive - doing this on in house technology is such a rare opportunity in the grand scheme of things. For both us as developers, mod authors, and you all as passionate advocates of survival in a post apocalyptic world it means a technology base that is designed nearly from the ground up to provide the tools needed to create the experience we've all had our eyes on from day one.
From a more modern and robust animation system offering true layered animations (being able to move and perform an action at the same time, yay!), to a renderer better designed for the large distances and huge amounts of enterable structures and objects drawn at one time, to a more robust and performance conscious scripting language. Making sure that when DayZ leaves principle development and the Early Access program that it provides people in the tradition of all Bohemia titles with tools to tell their own stories is 100% key.
Another thing I wanted to discuss briefly was DayZ's survival mechanics - both in gameplay systems, and in the economy values. I've often received shouts of dismay from both sides of the fence. Things being too easy, and being too hard. Looking at the mechanics we have on the survival side, something we've struggled with often as developers is providing an immersive (sometimes punishingly so) sandbox that has systems that don't frustrate. Paying attention to feedback has been critical, and I don't quite think we've hit the mark just yet with this.
Far too often, players are forced to manage survival simulation mechanics while trying to engage in the true draw of DayZ, the player interactions. Rather than the survival mechanics serving as a method to drive, and give agency to the player interaction.
In addition to this, the idea of an economy of scarcity should give said agency to players engaging and interacting with each other, but far too frequently, it ends up being a drive to either completely avoid players - or to just destroy them on sight.
I truly hope that as we move into BETA, and begin to see mechanics that give players more of an option and feel of having an impact on the world, that we see the core game loop expand past loot-shoot-survive. As my most memorable experiences in gaming all come from those types of interactions with DayZ, and DayZ Mod.
To achieve this however, we need more than passionate developers. We need to hear from you all. Constructive, and engaging feedback on the systems and mechanics of DayZ that either drive, or hinder player interaction is key - and I hope you all will engage in this more often as we move into BETA. Utilize our official forums, open tickets in the feedback tracker - hell, even post on Reddit and tag Baty. This is as much your game as it is ours.
In closing, I was asked by my partner once: "If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, what would it be?" - and I'll be honest I thought pretty damn hard on this one, but I am proud to say that my answer was a confident "DayZ" - and I hope to still be playing DayZ years from now. Allowing people to tell their own stories, and paint the world with their own brush will help make this a reality.
Much like how development is far more of an orchestra, than one mans solo performance - a strong community is one that gives a voice to the ideas and vision of its members.
Stay safe out there survivors, and remember: mo mic, no life!
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
I'm going to change things up before we continue on our intentions and goals for release. We want to prepare detailed information in a digestible format as far as content and features go that will be available from the get go in the first 0.63 Experimental and BETA. I'm excited about how we can communicate with you in the future.
Today I will focus on things we are currently dealing with, as far as the internal version goes, and its recent development. I do believe it's important to share the steps we are taking to complete this amazing gameplay experience that is so specific to DayZ as a game. Details are crucial in getting things right. And as I said multiple times already, there is only one way out of this: having a good game.
Before we get into the summary, I'd like to point out we have released a security update on our 0.62 experimental branch. I know it might not seems like that important to test, but on the contrary: it's very much so. To increase the incentive on playing experimental servers, we have been discussing the possibility of making some small changes to how the game behaves, making it more interesting to switch between the branches and find a little bit of relief before the release of BETA. All ideas are welcome and I'll be happy to look into any feedback provided.
From a gameplay standpoint, our focus is still on the player features that you might have seen on the DayZ Player Diagram a couple of Status Reports ago. The main issue we are still very much focused on is the fix for rapid zig-zag movement in PvP combat. We want to have a solution that is both visually appealing and on point when it comes to gameplay. Additional, we are looking into more tweaks regarding how the player camera behaves, and experimentation with its new features.
Besides that, that are two major things coming to internal client that haven't been available in the Gamescom demo, just this month. One being prone ranged combat with proper turning on the back, as you move around with your weapon, and second the expansion on melee combat in the form of evades and blocking mechanics. Be aware that things can always change, but we are happy to start working with these as they get play-tested properly. I'm hopeful we can show some early prototypes soon and share the progress on these specific features as we progress further with their implementation.
From a content standpoint, there has been a couple of sound recordings done and more work on the polish of the data gathered, as well as implementation of specific features that will enable us to fill the game with cues and sounds in right situations. Its an crucial stepping stone for bringing atmosphere and tension into moments and stories you'll experience in the world of Chernarus.
Sound is not the only content we are working heavily on, as our firearms team continues to implement one firearm from our list roughly every two weeks. The list of BETA weapons should be covering various firearms across weapon types, their specific uses, their overall quality and more. We expect some changes to the pace of implementation as we add in more complicated firearm mechanics, but we are very happy with how things are going right now, and we will feel comfortable finalizing and sharing the list with you pretty soon.
In the meantime, artists are looking into all the old assets used in-game, and reworking them into a condition that is fit for year 2017, and also fit for the options that we now have regarding the new renderer. Bringing the visual appeal of Chernarus into this century is the main goal here, as DayZ, while still pretty good-looking overall, is certainly lacking some more up to date finesse in certain places. Speaking of Chernarus, work on tourist trails is ongoing, and I can't be more excited after seeing the first internal results. It adds tons of flavor to an already interesting world. Adam will share more as we get closer to some final-ish state of things.
Last but not least, as always, our concern is performance and stability, and we are going through bugs as they get introduced with new content or features. Its not something we take lightly. As you can see, we are trying to cover a lot of things that this game needs in order to introduce the critical changes all of us want to see.
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Greetings survivors! This is my first Status Report so let me quickly write something about myself. I've joined the DayZ dev team as a member of the Bratislava studio 3 years ago. Since then, I work as a scripter / designer and I wrote various systems (both on SQF and Enforce tech). Today, I would like to show you what I am currently working on in regards to firearms mechanics.
Thanks to the new Enfusion technology, scripters now have better ways to handle particle effects. One of the features that heavily relies on this system are weapon muzzle flashes. In DayZ 0.63 and onward, all firearms will shoot unique particle effects depending on various parameters, such as ammo type fired, weapon type used, muzzle attachments used (suppressors, compensators, muzzle brakes or flash hiders) and the damage state of any of these components.
In addition to that, particles can now be generated coming from multiple parts of the weapon. So for example, in addition to seeing typical muzzle flash coming from the rifle's muzzle, you will also see a patch of smoke escaping from the ejector. Or, if some specific muzzle brake is present, the flash will form a star-shape.
Internally, we're currently at the beginning of creating particle effects for each weapon type and muzzle attachment configuration. This will be a long-term continuous process that will require a lot of tweaking to get right. However, we already have a few rough prototypes that we can show:
This system will be fully moddable and with a few simple tweaks, content creators will be able to achieve quite wild results:
- Boris Vacula / Scripter
Hello everyone in our lovely community!
We are back after two weeks and you have created plenty of awesome community content again!
If you read the latest Status Report, you had two chances to participate in some of our official community activities.
The first thing was an event - The Big Pumpkin Hunt. 50 players split into 4 groups and were tasked to find as many pumpkins as possible in Chernogorsk. The only permitted way to fight was with bare hands and additionally to all that, there were creepy devs running around, scaring and killing the players. The event was quite successful and I am so proud everything was ready in time. I wanted to show you the kill log, but it has more than 5000 lines and I didn't have enough time for it. It should be ready this week though!
The winning PINK team collected 80 pumpkins. Congratulations again!
Fun fact for you - we have placed more than 200 pumpkins around all Chernogorsk in-game, all done by hand. The placement was not scripted at all!
We had several content creators there and they have some screenshots and videos for you.
But if you want to see everything without any cuts, here is a Twitch VOD by McBaiin.
And we need some screenshots of course. These are by Baroness from the Yellow team:
I really enjoyed the event and I am planning another one, so stay tuned and read the Status Reports for more information.
DayZ Noob has a community event for you, it will be a fist fight in Kamy and it sounds awesome, so check it out!
If you have an event coming up as well in the future, just let us know via our DayZ Twitter or Twitter and we'll help to spread the word.
The second thing you could have participated in was a Halloween screenshot competition. And you sent us tons of really amazing screenshots! I was sad we can only choose three winners. I collected 63 votes around the team and we made a decision. So…. The winners are:
Devs chose DrDeSync's screenshot because of the story behind this picture. Group of survivors are resting peacefully around a fire, but there is a creepy killer hiding behind a tree, waiting for the right time to attack.
I want to thank you all for your nice screenshots, I love all of them. Thank you!
I will contact the winners this week
Now - time for more videos from you!
This one is really great. TiKTac'tical made an amazing cinematic video. You need to see it. Really. Here:
Another video is by Axel Hjelmqvist and it will cost you only 1 minute of your time to see it. It is about morning routine of just about every survivor. Wake up, eat some food, drink some water, choose a weapon, kill some zombies and try to survive.
And here is an experiment!
Rustycaddy made probably the biggest farm in DayZ ever! 10 random people helped him on a public server, which is amazing! Good people still exist.
Do you know Boydy? He is a YouTuber from Australia and he makes interviews with DayZ content creators. This time, it was my turn. Maybe you will be interested. And thank you again Boydy!
Here comes the riddle time again!
First, the wall of fame from the last Status Reports riddle, good job:
- THE MAX BRAND
- Harold Palmer
The next riddle:
Do you know the name of this camp?
Answer on our Twitter profile and you can be on the wall of fame next time
And that is all from me, I am looking forward to see you in two weeks!
Header image by proxy.
- Baty / Community Manager