An outbreak of Gamescom plague caused chaos in our schedules and organisation, but most of the team is back in business now. Brian sets a perspective on how to balance excitement and expectations now when we're approaching an important milestone in DayZ development. Eugen sums up our immediate internal development goals that will eventually lead us to that BETA milestone, and how they add up to the big picture of DayZ 1.0. We're welcoming back Viktor, who's found some time to reflect upon the new animation changes presented at Gamescom, and there's also Martin's update on the status of a promised 0.63 Dev Log video. As usual, Baty is closing of with awesome community content, and invites everyone to Birmingham's EGX next week! Let's get ready for some reading!
Contents This Week
Y'know, I've seen a lot of folks talking about 0.63 like it will solve world hunger - which is something I've seen associated with other pending builds before. Be it the new renderer, changes to sound, adjustments to economy, or even the introduction of the V3S. Typically people get pissy with me when I have to try and bring things down to earth, but I'm alright with being the bad guy in this case.
Anytime you change the technology powering a piece of software, hell anytime you change the software itself in any way, you come up against risk. The degree of risk is the factor that fluctuates, and its up to the developers creating said software to weigh the risk of a change, versus the pay off. For us as a team, and for DayZ as a product the pay off is well worth the risk. For years now we've been internally prototyping, be it in documentation, in script, or in intermediate technologies built to serve the gap between what is functioning on the consumer Steam branch, and what is functioning internally on the main trunk.
I've had the pleasure of previewing, discussing, and in some cases "teasing" these prototypes, and documentation for years. Eager to share our intent with you, but often blocked from actually sharing the experience with you due to technical limitations. The .63/Beta update is the first major step towards the technology finally being able to bring this vision forward. It is not the end of the road, but it is most certainly the most important lap we have made
I did not overstate it when I said that the change to animation system, player controller, and scripting language would begin to alter how you interact with the world itself. This is fundamentally a huge change, both internally and externally for you, the consumer. I'm neither trying to charge up the hype train, nor am I trying to crush anyone's hopes and dreams. It's rare that a title gets the support from a company to spend the time working on improving the core technology to better meet the needs of design. Typically, technology limitations inform design within a few small exceptions from time to time. Its been a long road, and bumpy as hell ,but we're finally within sight of being able to finally share with all of you the things we've all worked on for so long.
And we couldn't have done it without all of you.
- Brian Hicks / Creative Director
Hello survivors! Post-gamescom rush has ended quickly with a lot people getting sick, feverish from Gamescom plague. With people missing we were trying to get through the feedback in our internal post-mortem and follow up it up in the plan for following months and weeks before BETA becomes available. I have to say that the road does not end there, and we still are dedicated to polish the experience further before we leave Early Access. What BETA means is that most if not all features promised will be implemented in the new technology, and iterated upon further as we move to leave out of Early Access with 1.0 version. I believe that feedback will be critical in this phase where all the issues need to get ironed out.
In the meantime, we focused on issues either seen during Gamescom or general plans that have been set out. Special attention has been put on critical issues of camera that was still up for refactor. As it is nowhere near the level that we want from the game, nor has the feature set needed. From the clipping issues to twitchy movement and abuse, there is lot of ground to cover.
And there is a lot more as the whole Gamescom experience worked as an amazing focus test on large scale. We had the chance to see how people work around the new stuff available and observe to see the flaws in the whole system. Which was an amazing opportunity, and I can`t wait to have the same experience with other people online, so that we can make this game the best it can be together.
The next step for us, is to finish up more advanced features for melee and ranged combat, additional camera technology to support all the new gameplay, and finalizing the character movement and variation, before we move heavily into area of infected, where some heavy work needs to be done.
Once the base loop feels really good, we will move onto rest of the game to polish all these things in the new technology. We will survive!
- Eugen Harton / Lead Producer
Hi everyone. It has been a while since the last time I contributed to the Status Report. The past weeks were a bit hectic with the animation things related to the Gamescom build. I think animators did a great job adding all the content which everyone was able to play for couple of days. We were very pleased by the positive feedback to the new player controller, injured animations, heavy items animations, combat and everything else that was presented.
The version available to play was not final by any means. We are still aiming for significant improvements in many areas of player character and infected as well. The presented wounded character was a first draft in fact. In the upcoming days, weeks and months we will continue on animation improvements and reworks.
Currently, we are also working on some new death animations. We are adding directional deaths for all item types and all stances. Initially, the character will play the pre-recorded animation only but later, we will start with directional death animation and in the middle of the animation, we will switch to ragdoll so that the characters would fall and align with environment nicely.
Another big part of the game that is being worked on are poses for different items. There are hundreds of various food items, weapons or tools that need a proper pose. From the very beginning of the DayZ, we have decided to have a nice holding for each of these items. At the moment, all these poses are being made and added to the game.
- Viktor Kostik / Lead Animator
Survivors, I just want to briefly update you on the status of the 0.63 Dev Log that we teased and promised to deliver after Gamescom. Unfortunately, a sizeable portion of the team (including Baty, Eugen and me) got hit by an outbreak of some sneaky virus that we most likely brought with us back from Gamescom.
Since we have a very small marketing/community team here, this further delayed the production of the Dev Log video, but we're back in business now, and we've also managed to get some additional help from our QA Engineer Dan Fialka (who's been with us at Gamescom as well). He's recording some of the gameplay clips as we speak, so hopefully we'll be able to speed things up a notch now.
Recording a couple of gameplay clips from an internal build may sound like an an easy task, but if they are supposed to be done according to a script, and connected with a developer voice over, it suddenly becomes a complicated undertaking - especially when the internal build of DayZ just decides to behave weirdly, and randomly throws crashes and glitches your way. Of course, we want to avoid showing these things in official content as much as possible, as the intent is to present the best of what the current build can offer.
If anything, it also shows that the build is simply not ready to be played beyond a very controlled and structured environment that was the Gamescom booth, and that our decision to not release it on a Steam branch was very well reasoned. We'll let you know on our forums and social media channels the moment the video is ready - for now, please hold tight end enjoy some of the community content from Gamescom that we shared in the last Status Report!
- Martin Čulák/ Brand Manager
The Gamescom epidemic hit a lot of us and I wasn't an exception. But I am ready for a new event! You might know there is a show called EGX in Birmingham, England. I and my colleague, brand manager Martin Čulák, will be there on Friday and we want to meet everyone from DayZ community, who is also planning to attend this gaming event. Watch our Twitter for more information.
Barely Infected came with an amazing idea. He organized a group of survivors and built a camp named "DayZ Village" where all the good people can live together and help each other in this cruel time of apocalypse. This project had great success and The Village is nowadays still pretty crowded. You can find it on Spaggie's server at 126.96.36.199:2402 and The Village is located on the Zub castle. I spent some time there and it was awesome. People are nice, they care about each other and try to protect The Village together. The Village was planned for just one week, but with this success, Barely Infected decided to prolong it.
Barely Infected has documentation of every day on the server.
You can find a lot of content from creators on Youtube and make your own impression of what is going on on the server. For example from these guys: Gaming Junkie, CitizenZ, CamCANTRUN, Raig Prime, Kerbo, FriendlyNikolai, 2dogsgaming, RageBruh or HandZ.
Here is a funny prank from M1NDR, he pranked the whole village.
And one last thing about this event - artwork of DayZ Village by Dominik Figlhuber.
Everyone is looking forward to the 0.63 update. But not as much as this guy. KaskadianRepublik's body is ready. But since 0.63 is still not ready for public, you will need to wait until it's done.
I want to show you one video. It is about love between a dog and a human. Fluffy cute wolf who wants to eat everyone around him. But Whoopsie DayZ falls in love with him and wants to have him as a pet. How this can end? I laughed a lot, you need to see it.
Have a nice time guys and see you in two weeks!
Header image by Vernon Price.
- Baty / Community Manager