DayZ

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Only recently been looking into this and Rust but both have a great concept that intrigues me, my laptop wont run either of them I bet but when I get a PC these are the sort of games that will top my list of first purchases. Games like these that have great attention to detail, realism and genuine challenge intrigue me far more than games with flashy GFX and recycled gameplay that seem to be churned out left right and center.



DayZ is only still in Alpha (so still glitchy) and for anyone who doesnt know it is an Arma2 mod which has just recently received a standalone release also but its basically a zombie survival game. Most of you will likely roll your eyes at yet another zombie game but this has a twist, if you die you lose everything and have to create a new character. Players can be robbed of equipment by others and its a constant fight for survival and supplies as you even have to eat, drink and monitor temperature and illnesses.

Example of a one of the more polite robberies that was posted on Kotaku earlier...


 

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Dark Drakan

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For anyone who can't be bothered to sit through the video heres a text explanation of the changes.

Lighting improvements;

We are working on improving in-game lighting, not just from a visual perspective but also from a game play perspective, to improve playing at night.

We have enabled light sources such as flashlights and pistol torches, to emit light during the day as they previously haven’t done. However we still have to do some HDR tweaks

Physics;

This is an area we have wanted to put in for a while. We have added physics middle-ware, which allows us to add throwing items to the game but it also enables us to look at ragdoll and how the characters move within the world.

This is still fairly early days with physics, but we are getting much closer to having something that we can implement into the experimental branch with stability.

Containers;

We want to add world items that are lootable such as refrigerators that can store items, so they can be looted and the items within them can be interacted with.

Bow and arrows;

One of our programmers has been working on bow and arrows, in the video we show a very early work in progress clip of it. So far progress has been fairly quick with good results, so we are looking forward to seeing how this progresses further.

Animations;

Animations team has been working hard on getting new transitions and new methods of wielding melee weapons. This is still a work in progress.

We have moved away from our old way of how the animations were working which caused left handed swings. This restricts how the melee attacks are performed. As the hit detection is done from the item position this allows player to be able to easier work out where they are going to hit. This is still very much a work in progress but we hopeful and we look forward to your feedback.

New map updates;

Our map team has been working with artists to add new buildings into game and fixing collision issues with buildings. We have added police stations and new health center buildings across the map as well as improving preexisting towns.

We are currently working on ensuring that all buildings spawn loot as this is a big issue at the moment.

Weather;

We want it to be almost like an antagonist, we now have rain and weather is properly synced across all clients so all players experience the same weather conditions. Rain will also currently make your clothes damp and then wet, but at the moment this doesn’t really have much effect but in the long term but we definitely want to expand upon that.

Hunting and cooking;

We have dedicated a whole group of artists programmers and designers with experience with hunting games, that are dedicated to working on animals, their behavior and hunting. To maximise the element of survival, our current sprint is focused on cooking and campfires.

DeSync;

One of the big areas people have been reporting is DeSync, we have been working on this directly this is due to the amount of bandwidth DayZ is using because a lot of the messages to do with the inventory are sent via non-guaranteed messages. So if you or someone nearby you has a large amount inventory items, all these messages will be spammed as the server can’t guarantee the client has received them. We have a couple of hot fixes in place but our long term goal for this is to have a guaranteed message system. So the messages are only sent once and not constantly. This will be an ongoing effort.

Zombies;

Zombies are an area of active development, we want to increase the amount of zombies. Tied with this we also want to improve their collision detection indoors. This will be one of the task of the new team will be the hit detection of zombies. We are also actively working on the zombie respawn mechanics, using some of the optimisations that we used with player respawns.

We want zombies to be a good experience so they don’t spawn directly in front of players, this is what is taking the time, as we want to do it properly.

Persistent objects;

We want to have some objects have persistency throughout server respawns, such as backpacks, paper with written notes one and eventually when we bring barricading in, wood and wooden barricades and keeping it’s exact location in so far.

Vehicles;

Once we have achieved these objectives we can then look at vehicles as implementing vehicles too early could very easily upset the balance and impact other game play areas. When we do implement vehicles we are likely to start with slower vehicles such as bicycles. Then we will look at more complex vehicles, where we can have many more degradable parts such as batteries or spark plugs.
 

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Dean Hall has also outlined six upcoming Developments that will change DayZ for the better...

A NEW ENGINE

Originally, Hall thought development of DayZ would be bound by the limitations of the legacy ARMA II engine. Since the game has sold like hotcakes, that is no longer the case. The interest has given the team the impetus to rip out the graphics renderer, which was limited to DirectX 9, and write a new renderer, with support for either DirectX 10 or 11, and even OpenGL for Linux support down the line.

"We lose a lot of time," Hall admits. "But implementing DirectX 10 or 11 will have a dramatic, instant visual difference and quite a significant performance difference."

System performance remains a major issue with the game's current engine. Enterprising players have ported the Chernarus map into ARMA III's DirectX 11 engine and have already seen a massive performance boost, so an official upgrade such as this should be just what the doctor ordered.

It won't just be visual and performance improvements that a new engine will bring. "The big benefit we get is being able to implement dynamic lighting so we can have dynamic shadows," Hall explains. "If you've got a good computer, you'll be able to play with more lights. If there's a lot of people using torches in the distance, you'll be able to see their lights."

New shaders also mean Hall has the ability to look at making DayZ's pitch-black nighttime phase more playable, as it was originally being rendered using the ancient DirectX 7. "It really just gives us options to play with," he elaborates. "Once we've got that, we'll then experiment and say, 'How can we change the lighting at night so that we still achieve that pitch blackness, but at the same time actually allow you to play it?''​


NEW SERVER TECH
Facilitating even more significant gameplay changes is the recent upgrade to a 64-bit server architecture. "It's working and it's great," says Hall. "It allows us to use a lot more RAM, which helps us a great deal with spawning in thousands more items into the world. It means we can have more zombies. It means we can have more loot items." More items and zombies always means a greater hit on server performance, however, so Hall sees the ideal zombie count target being a factor of 10 compared to the game's current undead numbers.
o get to that target, some work still needs to be done to fully support multiple cores on the 64-bit servers, but this is nevertheless a major step at addressing the server issues that Hall sees as the primary bottleneck affecting DayZ's development. "And that's why the vast majority of our efforts have been focused on architecture with the servers," he elaborates. "One of the key reasons for that is to make everything more robust from a hacking standpoint. Hacking was a real problem with the mod. We just wanted to go back to basics. This is stuff that, if you look at most massively multiplayer engines, they're already designed to do this. We had to go back through and do a lot of housekeeping to make sure that would work out."

A NEW EARLY GAME

In the original mod, you would spawn on the south coast of Chernarus and have to make your way north to gather weapons and supplies. A recent update to the stand-alone game moved those spawn points to the east coast instead. "Actually, a lot of that wasn't intentional at all," says Hall, who goes on to explain how the intention was to open up both coasts for spawning, but the ratio has not been balanced yet.

Yet this has had a significant effect on the way new players progress. The southern capital city of Chernogorsk is much further away, so it is no longer crawling with fresh, defenceless survivors. Those players now need to venture westward, instead of north, if they hope to find towns that haven't already been looted. The recent reintroduction of helicopter crash sites, which only appear in the far west and contain powerful weapons, provides further incentive to undertake this cross-country trek.

The new, large towns to the north that have been added to the stand-alone game should increase that temptation, but current problems with the loot spawning system are preventing that.

"Each building type has hundreds of places that items can spawn, and hundreds of different possible items," Hall explains. "The problem is, the system goes through the buildings one by one. When it gets near the end of the list, it can often run out. Unfortunately, the last items in the list are the new areas."

Making that list larger isn't as simple a fix as it would seem. "We increased the item spawn numbers from 15,000 to like 30,000," says Hall. "But that takes away a lot of the server optimisations we gained."

Once the servers fully support multiple cores on the new 64-bit architecture, we should see the team return to this issue with the bandwidth for a more elegant solution--which will give players a more tangible survival arc as they journey inland.​


GLOBAL LOOT RARITY
Once the loot spawning system has been fixed, Hall plans to revolutionise the loot economy itself by making loot persistent across every single server in the entire world. This allows the team to control the rarity of individual items not just per server, but for every single player no matter where they live.

"We'll say there can only be, for example, a hundred night-vision goggles in the whole world across all servers," Hall explains. "Then, once your character dies, or that item gets destroyed, it makes a new one available to spawn on a server."

The rarity of an item will be defined by its function. Specialist military gear, such as night-vision goggles, logically wouldn't be found as often as a can of baked beans. Hall wants players to hear rumours that a particular player on a particular server has found some of this specialist gear, which could lead to a kind of lore and reputation building up around such servers. And if you are the person who has found such an item, you'll start playing differently to hold onto it for as long as possible.

"What we'd see is, particularly when we get into vehicles, or components for helicopters that are very rare and are controlled centrally so there can only be a certain amount of helicopters in every server in the whole world, that would mean that if you hear there's a working helicopter on a particular server, you'll want to go to that server," he adds.

Hall predicts that the team will need to add a new server cluster dedicated to controlling this persistent loot economy. But the introduction of extreme rarity and the reputation surrounding players with such items is an important step toward adding more opportunities for emergent storytelling to take place.

The team also discussed methods of bringing the notion of changing servers into the gameworld itself, such as walking to the edge of the map loading you into a new server on the other side. "But obviously we need to make a lot of maps for that, and it takes many years because they're huge, hand-made maps," says Hall. "We talked about procedural generation, but it was going to be so much effort that, before we looked at that, we needed to do all our architectural work first."​


HERMIT SIMULATOR 2014
Bohemia recently acquired the staff from Cauldron, developer of the Cabela's Big Game Hunter series. Hall is having them prototype an entire subset of hunting mechanics that he eventually wants to have become a crucial part of your daily survival routine. "We're getting them to come up with ideas about having animals migrate to different positions depending upon the time of day, and being more active depending on what type of animal, and looking at having aggressive animals, player companion animals, and neutral animals," he elaborates.

Hall sees these new hunting mechanics as something that will go hand in hand with the introduction of low-tech weapons like crossbows, as well as future refinements to melee weapon mechanics. He is also aware that Cauldron's hunting games appeal to a niche audience, and is confident the team will be able to strike a balance with their work on DayZ.

"I played a lot of the Frostfall mod for Skyrim," Hall adds. "It gave you a reason to go out and hunt the deer. To be honest, hunting deer in Skyrim was just so much fun. You have to get the arrow just right, and you get a cool sense of satisfaction with a kill."

Skyrim's Frostfall mod also added a chance to catch hypothermia if players remained out in the cold for too long. Recent additions to DayZ's dynamic weather system, such as synchronising the weather across the entire server, allow the team to explore more survival mechanics such as this. "At the moment, it means you'll use more calories when it's cold, and you'll use more water when it's hot. But we want to expand that dramatically--hypothermia, and things like that," says Hall. Once body temperature becomes key to survival, it should encourage cooperation due to the significant inventory space required to store elements for things like campfires.

This dynamic weather could also tie back into the hunting mechanics, with animals' migration patterns being affected by the current temperature. Hall does want to see more AI-based dynamic events such as this, "but they require a particular server frame rate that we're still a long way off," he says. Hunting, when combined with the recent addition of the ability to pick berries and fish, should, as Hall hopes, allow players to live off the land entirely if they so choose.


CLUNKY CONTROLS MUST DIE

DayZ's controls are complicated and obtuse, largely due to the holdover use of ARMA II's scrollwheel-based action menu. Hall admits the menu is terrible, and has assigned a design team to go away and research ideas. "We wanted them to just think outside the box," he says. "How could it really look? Go play a lot of good games. Find out what it is, rather than just trying to crowbar a solution in."

Hall thinks that solution could be inspired by Skyrim's Frostfall mod, as well as the simplicity of interactions in Minecraft. "What's cool about Minecraft is it's very visceral," Hall explains. "You walk up to something and you bang it. The Frostfall mod, if you want to light a fire, you place your fireplace, equip a torch to your hand, and then you bash it with your torch. So I think that's where we want to go. We want to have your different stances, and depending on your item, it will do different things." This should make interacting with DayZ's complex systems far simpler, and based more on real-world logic than on scrolling through menus whilst near interactive objects.

A significant and unique aspect of DayZ concerned the way weapons were difficult to handle, which was reflected in the way your crosshair moved independently of your view. But a recent change that locks your crosshair to your viewpoint has been met with criticism by hardcore players who think it feels too much like Counter-Strike. Hall believes the new system is dramatically better, but it's not yet complete, as the team still needs to assign values to each weapon that determine its weight and dispersion.

"We want to introduce these trade-offs with the game and make sure that, if you're equipping an attachment, that the attachments mean something and are not just cosmetic," Hall explains. "If you have a really heavy weapon in real life, sometimes you have a heavy weapon to reduce the recoil. It's not so much that using it might slow you, but if you spin around, it has more momentum, so it can be difficult to stop it."

Hall laments that games have not yet represented the suppressing power of such heavy machine guns. "I'm eternally disappointed that there is no video game that has ever gotten machine-gun mechanics right," he says. "If you fire a GPMG into an enclosed space, it heats up the air so much. We were on an exercise in Thailand, and we were firing at targets, and the targets caught fire." Modelling the heat from rounds flying through the air isn't a priority for DayZ, but tighter controls and logical weapon handling should make the game far more accessible, and far less fiddly, than it currently is.

On top of a new control scheme, DayZ's new server architecture, a smoother and prettier engine, a persistent loot system, and a new early game, along with deep hunting mechanics, all sound like features that will revolutionise how the hardcore zombie survival sim plays. However, most of these changes are still some time away from being introduced into the stable Early Access build. If you weren't sold on the current development state of DayZ, now is still probably not the time to buy in--but, from chatting to Hall, it's clear that time is definitely coming.

SOURCE - GAMESPOT


 

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I really want to play this, but as of right now I don't have the tech. So I'm just gonna wait until I'm living with the American and take advantage of his tech. Cuz.

So for now that leaves me with State Of Decay instead, which I'm okay with. Played the demo, was pretty good.
 

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I really want to play this, but as of right now I don't have the tech. So I'm just gonna wait until I'm living with the American and take advantage of his tech. Cuz.

So for now that leaves me with State Of Decay instead, which I'm okay with. Played the demo, was pretty good.
I really liked State of Decay and might consider getting the XB1 version at some point. Microsoft have been working with the Undead Labs team on a multiplayer Zombie survival game for some time now (after multiplayer didnt make it into original State of Decay due to engine limitations). It has the potential to blow both DayZ and H1Z1 away though as both of those are in early access and will be for some time yet and Class 4 as its been codenamed might launch as a full finished game when it comes (little is known about it currently). If this happens it will beat both DayZ and H1Z1 to the full game retail market on all platforms.

I watch streams and videos of DayZ pretty much every day as the game fascinates me and I really like the concept. Soon as my rig is finished I will purchase it myself, even if its buggy, unfinished and going to be in alpha for some time yet as from the videos I have seen I will enjoy it if I can find some friends to play it with.

In the meantime here is SepticFalcons latest update showcase for Update 0.54 on Stable Branch...

 

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DayZ Standalone: New vehicles, Survivor Camps, Soft skills & More (RTX 2015 Recap/Upcoming Updates)


Whole RTX 2015 DayZ Presentation (1 hour long)

 

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After I won a copy of the game on a Giveaway on Twitter/Facebook here is the very generous person who sent it to me on Steam.


 

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DayZ ~ Status Report Highlight 15 Oct 2015 ~ Vehicle Destruction & New Chernogorsk

 

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One of my favourite DayZ streamers created 2 awesome videos I thought I would share. Goes to show the experiences you can have in the game already even in early alpha.




Really enjoyed these videos so far by TheRunningManZ so thought I would share Part III...


 
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New Military Zones & Animations ~ DayZ Status Report Highlight 22 November 2016

 

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Soft Skills, Stamina & Vehicles Update ~ DayZ Status Report Highlight 20 December 2016


30 Tips for DayZ 0.61

 

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Was recently a really insightful interview with Brian Hicks about the development of DayZ, where the game is currently at and the troubles it has endured over its development cycle.

Brian Hicks Interview Part 1 | Bohemia Interactive DayZ Creative Director


Brian Hicks Interview Part 2 | Bohemia Interactive Creative Director

 

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PC Stable Update 1.02 (patch notes)

The second Platform Update of DayZ is out on Steam (both the game update and server files update). Along with many quality of live improvements, fixes and tweaks, it reintroduces two .308 caliber weapons and what's arguably the most luxurious transport option the post-apocalyptic Chernarus offers: the mighty Olga 24 sedan.

While the 1.02 update does not have a strict theme, a lot of work has been done to streamline the inventory design and functionality (yes, you can move with your inventory open again!). The game design team also put emphasis on promoting stealth gameplay when dealing with the infected, and also went through a couple of iterations on the night time experience.






 

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DAYZ TURNS A CORNER

Its taken some years, an engine overhaul, development hell and plenty of hate from frustrated gamers & fans but it seems that the widely known DayZ Standalone (created from the popular DayZ Mod) has started to turn a corner finally.

Not only have the recent reviews started to turn towards a very positive rating its player base is also on the increase yet again.





As someone who is a fan of the game but was often left frustrated by development decisions & long periods between updates this is welcome news. With mod support in full swing, the new map on the way (Namalsk) and the DayZ Expansion mod coming soon its beginning to look like the game has a bright future ahead of it at last.​
 
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