Developer Session At EuroGamer Expo – DayZ Stand Alone

Developer Session At EuroGamer Expo - DayZ Stand Alone

The developer session for DayZ at the London based EuroGamer Expo finished today and there’s been a ton of juicy information on the upcoming stand alone version of the hugely popular Arma II mod.

DayZ has captured the hearts of over a million gamers with its unique take on the zombie apocalypse genre, having a heavy emphasis on survival and player interaction, over that of your typical mindless zombie slaying. Fans queued for over an hour with the hopes of hearing plenty of exclusive information regarding the new stand-alone version of DayZ and Dean Hall of Bohemia Interactive did not disappoint.

Dean Hall spoke about various aspects of the upcoming DayZ stand alone title, which will be referred to a DayZ for the remainder of this article. Drawing on the skills and expertise of the talented developer crew over at Bohemia Interactive, Dean hopes to recreate his vision of the original DayZ in a full title that builds on every aspect of the hugely popular mod. He spoke about how Bohemia are using their skills and expertise from a variety of their published games to polish the Arma II engine to offer a far more streamlined survival experience.

Dean also went on to talk about some of the biggest concerns with the new DayZ title, quite often referring to the abundant amount of hackers and bugs. Although the mod used a successful anti-piracy technique based on a unique ID system, an alarming amount of players still cheat, severely harming the experience of other survivors. The new approach that will be used in DayZ will be using a three pillar system where Bohemia will log every action and activity a player does, following the audit trail to locate and eradicate bugs and hacks.

Another concern for a lot of players is the current poor optimization that fills the game at the moment. Even the strongest of rigs, those that can handle Arma II perfectly fine, struggle to play the mod and those with average computers have almost no chance. Dean spoke about how optimization is another large focus of DayZ and he touched briefly on the techniques they’ll use to better optimize the new game. The main focus of optimizations lay with the zombies. Currently the standard zombie model uses 5 zones, each of which has to be loaded individually, the new zombies will only feature 1 zone, drastically increasing FPS for a variety of machine setups. Other areas of the Arma II engine will be tweaked to increase further optimization as they’re just not needed. For example, the Arma II engine recognizes that each finger on a character has 3 bones, an unnecessary usage on machines.

Another focus for DayZ will be to increase the authentic feeling of terror, one of the main reasons that the mod has been so successful. Several new features will be added to make this possible, such as a variety of new fractures and a highly appealing disease system. So as well as the current feature in the mod, players can expect to fracture ribs and other bones depending on where the player takes damage. Diseases will add a new element to the game where players are able to catch a variety of deadly diseases, some of which can be transferred to other players. Dean hinted on the possibility of masses of players excreting in a small area to be a home for disease, which could possibly create new PvP hotspots on a regular basis as players move to escape the spread of disease.

Another area of realism will be the new realistic items and effects. Currently the Arma II weapons are rendered as guns, but DayZ will feature weapons that are registered in game as objects. This means that players will be able to jam their weapons, as well as taking damage on tools and other equipment due to durability. Plans for a crafting system and household weapons are also in place, allowing players to create more realistic weaponry such as bows and arrows. New medical features will also be included in the new crafting system, offering splints and other makeshift medical devices. They’re also going to be adding a whole new tree of animations for injured players, creating a unique system where friends will have to learn what animations are connected to which diseases and illnesses, in order to successful heal them.

The new in-game map, ChernarusPLUS, is already complete and features a lot more interactive buildings, as well as more balanced water fountains and other features. The end goals it to make almost every building in the major towns explorable, creating a far more interactive experience than is currently available in the mod. There are also plans to completely remove the UI and replace it with on-screen cues. This concerned some hearing and visually impaired players but systems will be in place so that those players are still able to enjoy the full DayZ experience.

DayZ will definitely be releases before Christmas and there’s a good amount of content planned for January and February. A new deployment system will also allow the developers to update the game with a push of the button, removing massive downtimes and patches.

Dean Hall then closed out with a Q&A. The questions an answers can be seen below.

Questions & Answers

DayZ Questions And Answers
Please note: The following Q&A are not word for word, Dean went into a lot of detail for each answer but I’ve highlighted the finer points for ease of reading.

Q.
Do you enjoy working with valve
A.
Yes. While working at Pax I got chance to chat with Chett. Valve are really supportive.

Q.
A lot of groups end up in car chases that can only reach a conclusion due to a crash or mistake. Are there any plans to implement firing from vehicles?
A.
The Arma II community have already made mods to make this possible. It’s something we’ll look into when we take a look at the vehicle system after launch, but it won’t be in straight away.

Q.
Will the new DayZ support community made maps?
A.
The community have helped the mod become what it is today. We’d rather use their high quality creations that try to sell maps in a DLC form. Details haven’t been finalized but we hope to support community maps at some point.

Q.
Will there ever be a console ?
A.
It’s a possibility. Depending on the sales figures and success of DayZ.

Q.
Any plans to stop alt f4ing?
A.
We consider Alt+F4 as an exploit or bug. It’s not a top priority as hacking actually ruins a survivors experience, where as a player that Alt+F4′s doesn’t kill you or take your stuff. However, we do have plans to implement a system so that players will have to sit down for several seconds after quitting the game.

Q.
Will DayZ feature new player models or weapon and character customization?
A.
Clothing will be added at some point and it won’t just be a vanity thing. Players will want to search for camo/dark gear to avoid being seen, but as in real life, brightly colored clothes and jackets will be more readily available. This will also coincide with the new disease system as players won’t be able to afford to stay in the rain for too long without a jacket.

Q.
Do you plan to increase server support for community admins?
A.
The only people more abuse than the dedicated forum mods are the server admins. We’re aware it’s frustrating when a hacker ruins your server and we’re working closely with server providers to give admins more options in DayZ.

Q.
Will there be any group or party systems in DayZ?
A.
We’re working on a few prototypes but nothing is concrete yet. We may test it out in the current mod but we’re trying to avoid anything like group spawns as we want people to fear permadeath.

Q.
Are there any plans to introduce something to give us more information on the disease and story?
A.
We would like to include some hint of history but want to avoid any large narrative. The community does an amazing job at creating fan stories and content, we need to get a community hub going for this kind of art.

Q.
How do you feel about the recent imprisonment of Ivan and Maxel during their holiday in Greece.
A.
(Brief disclaimer) We just want to see them home.

Q.
How much will the new optimization techniques help?
A.
We will remove a number of features in the Arma II engine that we won’t need. For example, the multiple areas of a model on a zombie as well as the amount of bones rendered in each finger.

That wraps up the DayZ developer sessions at the EuroGamer Expo. I was already excited about the game beforehand, but listening to the passion and dedication from Dean Hall has increased my excitement even further. The release can’t come soon enough.

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  • http://www.gamersheroes.com Kenneth

    Hallo,

    I have a major request, PLEASE remove any form for alternation in the game, There are so many people cheating due to scripting etc. Why don’t you completely remove the possibility of being able to launch these cheats. It sucks so hard when you have finally have been finding alot of good items, then to be TELEPORTED! some place else on the map, for then to find yourself being shot when spawning this new place, loosing all your items……