Experimental Branch saw many changes in 0.44, which have been released on stable. Two very important changes were improvements to multiplayer netcode and an entirely new mouse control system that removed the previous one based on mouse acceleration.
We’re now continuing our work optimizing and bug fixing, while others in the studio work towards new functionality for hunting and survival.
Respawning Loot Experiments
We have been gathering a huge amount of metrics around loot spawn and distribution from the experimental servers, culminating in a test of an engine based loot respawn system last night on experimental. Out of this we identified some very significant optimizations we can make to how loot is managed, and also identified how we can make loot respawn.
These changes will flow in over time as we are planning to do this in iterations. Most important for us is to allow loot to respawn, even just at a basic level. Once this is done we will focus on persistent items (backpacks, tents, potentially even all or most items). Finally we will focus on globally managed loot.
Graphics Optimization and the Renderer
Work has commenced on disconnecting the renderer directly from the simulation. This would then free us to change (or even replace) the renderer much easier, allowing greater optimization and new functionality such as better particle effects. We have no timeframe for this completion no any specific goals beyond preparing it for future goals, but it’s exciting for us to start this work.
This work will offer us the potential for future very significant client FPS optimizations, such as better scene management, to solve issues people experience such as low FPS in cities.
Network out-of-sync problems
We are also looking at various out-of-sync bugs and other issues posted in the dev tracker. A great deal of progress was made on some issues with the 0.44 patch, so we encourage those having serious network problems to try out the game now with the new update. Many of the remaining issues (such as rubberbanding) are related to low server FPS that will be fixed with performance optimizations.
This is now fully compiling and ready for test deployment. We are currently scheduled to test this deployment on experimental next week. While it is unlikely to improve performance of the server, it will remove memory limit problems we previously experienced (particularly with the growth of ragdoll and physics in general on the server). It’s also a huge milestone for us in other areas of work focused on making the dedicated server environment much more robust.
From the Lead Artist, Chris Torchia
I’m really happy with the direction of the artwork in DayZ and have to point to my great team of artists who make it happen. Its been another busy week for us and I can’t wait for you guys to see all the new content on the way.
We just finished a basic police uniform inspired by some combination of Russian DPS and our local Mestská policie (affectionately known as the Hicks Unit for their enthusiasm with issuing tickets to our own Brian Hicks). We’re starting to play with OMON-inspired riot police uniforms but its a bit too early to show anything. We’re also working on a GORKA-E uniform in multiple patterns and we’re hoping to pick up the pace in this department as we welcome a new full-time character artist to the team.
The team would like to focus now on some signature objects to spice up the vast environment and make the new explorable areas more unique. We’ve just finished a new office building and will start an ornate municipal building which will serve as a land mark in a new large city being constructed by the map design team. This city, called Novodmitrovsk, will have an industrial zone and is very close in size to Cherno or Electro but located in the north of our terrain. We’ve also created a ‘graveyard set’ of various objects so the map designers can enhance the gloomy atmosphere.
Our Bratislava studio is wrapping up the first batch of animals requested by the game designers. The studio’s own animators and programmers will soon begin work on animal AI and animations to deliver an authentic experience for our players. We’re also working on a prototype fish model and an improvised fishing pole as requested by the designers. As an ourdoorsman myself, I’m really looking forward to seeing these survival features develop.
The venerable AKM is nearing completion I don’t want to be held to a specific date for when it will be released to experimental but it won’t be long. I just tested out the PSO1 scope with a 75 round mag dump. What have I done? I’ve created a monster! Also, we’ve completed a pistol that I think will give players some new gameplay options. It fires a .30 cal rifle cartridge and comes with a long eye relief scope. We’ve simply taking to calling it the Longhorn.
Viktor, our animation lead reports that his team was focused mainly on bug fixing in the past week. Many new hand poses were added for items so the player is holding them properly. They’ve also been working on reload animations for the P1 and Longhorn pistols, and AKM. At the same time, the programmers did a great job for allowing synchronization of animations between the bowstring and character hand. It will also sync across the network since we feel its important for other players to know when the bow is drawn and when its at rest. It’s been a pleasure to see this develop over time and its only going to get better.