10 posts tagged video gaming
A very busy couple of weeks for the whole team has just ended. Everyone has been preparing for our next big update, scheduled for sometime this month. Some highlights outlined in this post.
As previously mentioned we want to move from the current situation where the client and server “spam” messages at each other, hoping that some of the messages get through. Because they can’t be sure, the updates have to be sent again and again. This is believed to be the major restriction from breaking the 100 player limit. We anticipate this will be appearing on experimental servers next week, and then onward into the update for this month.
We’re ready now for our final implementation next week of fireplaces and the ability to light flammable objects on fire. Many visual updates and changes to the engine have occurred as part of this and we’re now making the mechanisms for players to decide where and how to make fires and how to light items on fire.
Physics and Throwing
We will be deploying this to experimental next week to gain some more feedback on its implementation. Progress on ragdoll has been steady although this is unlikely to be in experimental next week and will be ongoing for some time. A new animation system and animations have been made that allow you to “power” up your throw, the same system is used to allow you to draw your arrow when firing from the bow.
Player Mouse Control
Many players have outlined how much the mouse acceleration/controls need to be modified. Players head (view) will move instantly with raw 1:1 mouse feedback. Weapons may “lag behind” depending on how heavy and cumbersome the weapon is. For example, players with a pistol will be able to turn around and fire much faster than a player with a M4, or a chainsaw.
This represented a great deal of work and the complete replacement of the old system, therefore some bugs and plenty of tweaking are expected.
These will be deployed to experimental next week for more player feedback.
From the Art Team: Chris Torchia, Lead Artist
We’ve got our team working in so many different areas its hard to write a small summary of all the work.
We’re wrapping up our part with archery and have a nice looking improvised bow and crossbow to release soon. Our animators have been spending time in the mocap studio to get accurate drawing, firing, and reloading animations for them and its looking great.
Our new studio in Bratislava has been hard at work making some of the new food items which were shown by Dean at Rezzed as well as create all new wildlife models and we’re hoping the combination of archery, wildlife, and campfires will create a unique survival hunting experience for our players.
As for firearms, the P1 pistol is complete and configured in game. The same is true for the AKM but we need to spend some time polishing some of the rough edges before adding them to the loot tables and pushing to public. We’re finally going to implement stripper clips with the mosin and sweep through and tweek some of the firearm cfg values. As well, a little project I’ve kept under wraps is nearing completion. The first SMG in DayZ game will soon be ready and I hope you all will like it.
For character art our talented artists have created a couple new player heads for more unique looking characters which we’ll add in soon. As well, we’ve made a Soviet-style officer hat and the tracksuit! Next up, we’ll look at police, EMT, and firefighters.
Lastly, our environment art and map teams have continued to create new, interesting buildings and objects, as well as expanding the number of explorable towns, with the addition of Karmanovka – a town containing over 3000 objects!
This week saw us start our “survival” gameplay focus. This means most of our gameplay development focus is on refining the survival aspects of the game. We detailed some of the initial work for this last week.
Trying to get 0.37 to stable
Our main focus this week was to deploy a new version of the game to stable branch. We have two public “branches” of code, stable and experimental. A deployment to stable branch of the latest version of the game was scheduled for Wednesday, however we were not happy with some of the issues that remained.
Three major code changes have been occurring. We have been changing the way collision works to solve a number of bugs, such as shooting while prone colliding with the world and zombie collisions. Also our new physics system has been implemented, allowing us to have throwing, dragging, ragdoll, and even vehicles. In addition, a new guaranteed network message system has been developed to solve network issues, improve client/server performance, as well as reduce the “desync” issues experienced by many.
A number of bugs came out of these developments, two of which cause situations where players and zombies can become invisible to some clients. We want to solve this issue before we deploy to stable. You can try the current version out for yourself on experimental branch.
Progress continued with the development of several different kinds of fireplaces, and has moved onto creating assets for constructible ovens. These items will be persistent in the world, allowing the player to cook many things. The temperature system developed in the engine has been refined to have correct return from hot or cold to ambient temperature.
A new area of work commenced this week is combat directly supporting survival. This includes throwing items, bows and arrows. We now have a great new animation for throwing, and the system developed for this will allow us to support proper animations for bows (e.g. drawing bow back, awaiting player input to fire).
The next week
Both Survival Combat and Cooking are our gameplay focus for the next few weeks, with our primary goal to get 0.37+ deployed to stable as soon as possible.
We’re also looking ahead further now towards how to best position ourselves to release vehicles, barricading, and advanced physics. It’s exciting times for us all here and we can’t wait to show what’s coming in our next video blog!
Another video devblog. The showcase this time is on usability progress from player feedback at Gamescom, demonstration of the degradation and item damage system, ballistic vests, and even player restraints!
Screenshots from today’s multiplayer test - a teaser for the devblog that is uploading to Youtube right now. Thanks for the forum and reddit moderators and Dyslexi who helped out with the testing.
- All shots are taken during a multiplayer, pre-alpha test
- There is still no set release-date for DayZ Standalone
This is the first of our two part video blog, one from from PAX and the other from GDC. This was lovingly crafted by Bikeman (http://www.youtube.com/BikestMan), who was our camera man for the week.
We have also released some screenshots from our latest “building” - http://goo.gl/sAQoa
Dean “Rocket” Hall during his Puja ceremony today, proceeded by a local lama. Flour is spread on each others faces, hopefully signifying the individual reaches old age. Rocket is completing this devblog from Everest Base Camp during his attempt on the summit of Mt Everest.
Devblog from Everest base camp!
I’ll start with a huge thank you to the DayZ development team who have continued development at a breakneck pace despite me being off living a lifelong dream to climb Mt Everest. Although the timing is poor for my sabatical, it is not something planned on a whim and involves non-refundable costs of up to $100k.
So here I am, at Everest Base Camp, 5400 meters, writing what I am sure is the highest ever devblog from the ground! This is largely able to occur because of Matt Lightfoot, the youngish looking chap who is our tireless Production Assistant. Both him and others have continued to send me progress updates and approvals, which I am accessing via a satellite connection.
Anyway, the important bit is the game. Ivan is now working a great deal directly on the project, and has been picking up the slack for some of the areas I needed to address which has been a huge help. Those from the community who wanted to get involved in writing are keen to get started, but the response is so massive that we are looking to put a structure in place to ensure community written books pass through some kind of editorial process. This community content, together with copyright expired books, will form the basis of hundreds or thousands of books that can be found and read in the world. There are no set timeframes for this, so please be patient.
Ondrej, our lead programmer, continues his work on moving DayZ into a server-client architecture, turing the entire architecture of DayZ into an MMO. Jirka is working on updating some of our steamworks integration, and fixing bugs associated with the massive inventory changes we implemented over the past month.
Bebul is working on our Radio implementation, allowing players to communicate using a basic radio, similar (but more simple) to the popular ACARS radio mod for ArmA2. Players pick up radios, and they can set a frequency and talk/receive text/voice from other players. The microphone or speaker can be turned on or off to allow players to use radios as a listening device. If the player has not crafted a headset onto the radio, then the output is public (either voice or text). The results are fantastic, and Bebul is now ensuring this all works properly in the all special cases during Multiplayer play.
Our team is working their way through the animation backlog, involving new zombie animations for the new skeleton, test melee moves for our new melee system, new animations for the new animals (such as the deer), and then onto player animations for the new skeleton, custom designed to feel more like a civilian rather than the trained soldier of ArmA2.
Mostly they are working on creating the interior data required for the AI zombies to pathfind correctly inside buildings. New road decals have been created by Mario for the roads so it looks like they have a damaged look to them, to give the world more of a feel like “the Road”. One of our big special new buildings is in game, and we will surprise you with some new screenshots of this in the next devblog!
Our team of artists recruited from the community have been hard at work. The new male character mesh is being prepared, in line with the new skeleton, as well as a new template for clothing skinning. The new M4A1 has been committed with proxies that allow our new attachment system to be utilized along with the crafting system. Also being worked on are a Gas Mask, Pilot Helmet, Mauser Rifle, pen/paper, mess tin, can opener - a huge amount of items are being developed while we wait for the programming tasks to be completed heading towards our first public release.
The excitement from the team is tremendous with all these fantastic new items, allowing huge crafting possibilities.
Seven towns have been remade by SenChi, overseen by Ivan, to alter the look and feel better. Bugs are continually being fixed and we have purchased new satellite data to improve the detail of the base map (looks much better in the distance with this new data).
I realize some people are upset at my departure from the project for two months to climb Mt Everest, but hopefully from this you can see the large team Bohemia have assembled behind the development that are continuing to innovate and develop DayZ Standalone in the direction of the game we all want. This is going to take as long as it needs to, we want to release our initial alpha under the architecture it needs to avoid hacking and security issues - this is the only remaining task stopping us from releasing the alpha. But while this task is being completed, we can continue with other activities.
The next devblog will feature some screenshots to demonstrate the progress, captured by Matt, but my satellite connection and tiny laptop cant cope with downloading the current build.
So, this is the devblog I write from Everest Base Camp, at 5400 meters! Tomorrow I am off to the Khumbu Icefall for training in fixed lines and ladders, big thanks to the community for their continued patience, and everyone at Bohemia who is pushing hard towards our DayZ standalone initial release!
We’ve gone for a reasonably quick and dirty video blog this week, mainly because things have been very busy for us.
One of the biggest improvement areas has been the inventory system, now almost ready for a public display. This new inventory system supports crafting, interchangeable clothing, degradation, tracking, weapon customization, and much more. It’s really a revolutionary system for us and we’re extremely proud of the results that Jirka (our programmer assigned to this) has achieved.
Not touched on in the video, but what we will be showing soon is the basics of how users can interact with items in the world - this is the next step in development of our inventory system beyond where it is now. This is not a traditional crafting system, but one that encourages layers to explore the ways in which items can be crafted.
In the video, towards the end, some before and after footage of work on the zombie AI pathfinding. Not only has this changed the role, threat, and speed of the zombies - but it has also yielded performance improvements. The increased accuracy of the zombies movement allows their movement to be slowed down to more sensible values, in line with those of the players themselves. We still have some other avenues to explore in this regard, but we’re very pleased with the results so far.
Mass zombie spawning server side
Now all zombies are spawned directly on the server and their movement is governed directly on the server itself. This has allowed us to provide increased security and hack prevention mechanisms by disabling functionality at the client level. It also means that zombies no longer “pop” in and out of the world, previously used as a mechanism to tell if someone was in the area. It also paves the way for us to allow migrating zombies and zombies traversing open areas in search for their next meal.
We still have some way to go in performance, the initial tests of 4000 zombies spawned reduced the server FPS to 4. After performance optimizations this increased up to 21. We’re now confident we can have the server FPS back up to 30+ with maximum numbers of zombies in the near future.
Expanding health system
Health is extending far beyond just blood, into a system that incorporates health, blood, and consciousness level. How these are all interrelating will be touched on in its own devblog in future. Some of the exciting developments coming include longterm play effects such as poor diet affecting your long term health levels. All this translates into the importance of a longterm plan for survival of your character, and we’re sure the role of medical specialists will become very important - hopefully emphasizing social interaction opportunities.
This continues at a huge pace. The two new villages in expand Cherno and provide it a true city feeling. Also expanding is the top (north) map area and the continued development of our large-scale features being added to the map. More to follow on this! (we can’t wait to show some more of this!)
Finding loot now involves scavenging inside of vehicles, looking for items stuck between furniture, prying open car boots, or strewn in the wasteland itself. Consuming your bounty now results in rubbish, such as empty cans after consuming your beans. This is no mere gimick, because your trash can be used to track you.
There is a great deal more that can be covered, but we’re really deeply in the thick of development at the moment and we just wanted to get something quick and dirty to all those waiting for standalone. We know that you want it released, and we know you want to know when this will be - but we’re 100% committed to making this a great game, and that means we are making sure to do things properly. We’re happy and confident about the progress, so it’s one foot after another and soon we’ll be at the finish line.
This week the format is a bit different, we got behind the scenes and follow Rocket and Matt as they visit the Mocap studio at Bohemia Interactive, and work with the team to develop the new zombie animations for DayZ Standalone.