We’ve been waiting a while for the latest developer’s blog for DayZ to get an idea of the progress being made with the standalone, but that wait is over. The new devblog is out and has some good evidence of progress.
The first feature they show off in the video is the inclusion of actual zombies in the game using their new server-side spawning. While they still use the original DayZ mod’s models and animations, not having completed the new ones yet, it’s an impressive display. The game spawns 3,000 zombies with the server itself and the testing hasn’t shown a meaningful slowdown as a result of having so many shamblers from the beginning, which is very promising.
They move on to display further refinements to the item spawning system by showing cans of beans spawned in various places around a building. Beans on shelves, beans in cupboards, beans tucked away hidden under beds, beans all over. The emphasis is clearly on rewarding a player for actually exploring and taking their time scouring a locale clean rather than simply poking their head inside to look around.
Moving on to actual test footage with a few testers from Reddit shows those same beans spawning in wrecked vehicles, in trunks and passenger compartments. This bit of footage also gives a glimpse at some of the visuals of eating and moving around, including vaulting over fences and garbage.
Also mentioned is a new item hotkey system reminiscent of Minecraft’s where items can be assigned to numbers for rapid use.
A short moment is taken to discuss zombie pathing issues. The previous pathfinding on the undead had them attempting to match the player’s path, resulting in making them largely nonthreatening as zig-zagging meant the zombies would follow the exact same zig-zag path. As Dean mentions in the video, they would often even do so in a comical conga line.
Yeah, that happened.
The original solution was to make the zombies incredibly fast, but that wasn’t good enough. They use the devblog to show off where their new pathfinding makes the zombies significantly more intelligent in their movements.
The blog itself touches on a few things not actually shown in the video. Crafting is still being worked on and is likely to make an appearance in a video developer blog soon. They have also been working on expanding their health system to be more complex than simply blood. The new system will get its own devblog in the future, but is mentioned to include health, blood, and consciousness level, all of which sound like interesting aspects to a survival game.
The development team for DayZ apologized both before and after the video, explaining that they could actually explain a great deal more than they have. The reasons given for not doing so are having been too busy to take their time making a devblog of all the work they’ve been doing and the devblog video itself having been made late Friday night while they were already tired. It’s still a good showing of progress leaving me, as always, looking forward to more.