DayZ Still Potentially Many Dayz Away

By Graham Smith on November 11th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Cool dog. He got in DayZ early,  now he's a trendsetter. (Which is not like an Irish setter...)

Did you play DayZ before it was cool? I did. I spent two hours getting it to work and a further six hours wandering around aimlessly before it clicked and I had fun, because that’s the kind of trendsetting cool guy that I am. But I understand if you’re waiting for the standalone release, that maybe makes it more functional and accessible. We can’t all be a cool person like me.

Unfortunately you might still have a while to wait, as lead developer Dean Hall outlines the remaining progress required on the game before you can get your bandwagon-jumping not-a-cool-person sticky fingers on it.

DayZ was spotted in the Steam database two weeks ago, sparking rumours that it was going to appear in Early Access imminently. Hall took to Reddit to address their progress, and it seems optimization is the big challenge for the team.

Optimizing/Bugfixing Dedicated server.
This is why we are not out. We need performance

We think we need a minimum of 15 FPS will 50 players, 2000 zombies, and 25000 loot items. Our latest tests have all shown some runaway systems in the code we have to tidy up. The variable synchronization system that was developed for work with the network bubble, is checking the variables very often. We’re optimizing this. Also, there are many string comparisons. These have been refactored so references are used (lookup numbers) to speed up the process. things like animations etc… are generally recorded as strings – ArmA wasn’t build to handle very large numbers of things so this has been a large area of optimization.

Which still, to my mind, makes it sound as if they’re on the last, long straight towards getting a version of the game out. In the meantime, why not go back and read cool guy Jim’s tales of survival in the original mod?

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40 Comments »

  1. Correa says:

    Dog Mounts confirmed!

    Every time I see that pic that is the first thing that runs through my mind.

    • Anthile says:

      I have been pushing Dog Riders of Chernarus for years now but to no avail. Maybe it’s time for a kickstarter.

    • strangeloup says:

      Came here to say that, ninja’d.

      Why are there few, if any, games with canine cavalry? It’s sad.

  2. Spinoza says:

    I wonder how cool I am if I never played it and never will.

    • Atrocious says:

      You just read an article about it. That makes you a lot less cool.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      About as cool as me, which is not very cool at all unfortunately.

      • Spinoza says:

        Thanks. It confirms what my mirror been telling me too.

        • tigerfort says:

          Maybe the three of us could form our own special gang, as the only people in the world to have never played it. Would that be cool?

  3. max pain says:

    So it turns out that the engine they were using before going stand-alone was not just a sack full of limitations, but a robust framework with optimized rendering, physics and game logic? Who’d see that coming, really..

    • Mctittles says:

      They are still using the same engine for this, and from the sound of it they just suck at coding for it.

      • Mad Hamish says:

        The man who wrote the engine is one the people that’s coding it. It’s almost as if making a game takes time.

        • Discopanda says:

          Don’t be silly. GOOD game designers are magical beings. Rocket just has no idea how Game Design Magic works.

  4. ShaunOfTheFuzz says:

    I think they’ve completely missed the boat on this one. They needed to have something out while DayZ was the next big thing.

    • laijka says:

      I agree with this.

      With all the DayZ-likes that has come out the last year good or bad(mostly bad) DayZ just isn’t that special unique thing anymore.

      • varangian says:

        I played the original DayZ for a short while, liked the idea, hated the experience. Now I find my needs for a hide, scavenge and fight game are pretty much met by Sir, You Are Being Hunted. JR and chums have done a fine job with the robot AI, they’re almost as big a bunch of arseholes as human players in DayZ were/are. But at least they’re amusing, pipe-smoking arseholes who show suitable appreciation for quality English drizzle so it’s almost a pleasure to be shot in the back by them. DayZ had its chance to take the lead in this type of game but pretty much blew it and I doubt that they’ll be able to pull off anything special with the reboot.

    • sPOONz says:

      No way. Duke Nukem Forever didn’t flop despite it taking a billion years to be completed, plus it was utter crap when it finally was. That War Z or whatever its called now seems to be selling ok also despite its appalling media coverage. People love to be good consumers! And more so it seems when the product features zombies.

    • BAshment says:

      Not really, arma 2 co was in the steam top seller list for a long while and Bohemia interactive got massive exposure, All of this before stand alone was even announced. The game still has a die hard fans and has been able to support several separate mods and still have a large player base. not to mention several new games heavily inspired by dayz.

    • jonahcutter says:

      It might not be as ginormous as it could of been if they’d released a quick version. But I think it will be plenty successful. And a quick version would of been a buggy, hacked mess. They would of then been criticized cash-grabbing and having rushed it out the door, and that they missed their opportunity to do it right.

      It’s looked at as an innovative multiplayer experience that defined the zombie genre in gaming. I largely disagree with both those points (particularly the former), but cannot deny it appealed to a great many people.

      If they pull off a decently-performing, non-buggy, non-hackable version, it’ll could still develop a large playerbase.

  5. walt_ua says:

    Actually, on r/dayz it is general opinion that DayZ SA will be out in next 2 weeks.

    The most important thing to point out, that you forgot^ it’s gonna be Alpha version. Lacking vehicles, base building and lots of other things, not to mention bugs.

    Still, patiently waiting.

    • laijka says:

      So released but with significantly less features than the mod we currently have?

      That won’t go down well with people, Alpha version or not.

    • BillMurray says:

      I’ve heard ‘It’s 2 weeks away’ on r/dayz for the past 6 months.

  6. herschel says:

    The hype has been over for a long time now. Hall and his minions missed the opportunity to create a unique, relevant experience for the gaming community. The mod was/is still great and opened a huge window into the sandbox-gaming philosophy for the average gamer and this is what he should get merits for.

    I´m hosting a dedicated server with 4 DayZ instances (www.dayzjarhead.de… shameless, as I am) and they are populated very low with peaks here and now. The orginal idea of DayZ was wiped away by mods of the mods dumbing down the game to a really mind boggling level, like Overwatch or Breakingpoint did. Some devs even took the idea of DayZ and streamlined it into their own mods, being closed in into their own server-infratructure. The orginal DayZ is dwindling…

    I personally enjoy playing some hardcore DayZ on my own server, ephasis on survival, with no weapon to be found under every single rock and a repaired car sitting around every corner. We play together as a group of 3-4 people and when the occasional visitor logs on the our server, we all go red alert and get spooked our by every movement in the woods. Thats what makes it unique.

    • laijka says:

      That’s one of the main reasons why I stopped playing the mod. It’s damn difficult to find a place where you isn’t decked out to the max with guns, ammo and food to last you ten lifetimes. And that’s at spawn. You find a shitload more as soon as you enter the first building.

      • BAshment says:

        i would recommend playing the day zero mod, the loot is a lot more scarce. If you can get over the annoying fog they added to (i assume) improve performance it is a struggle to stay alive.

        • herschel says:

          Thats one of the mods, that the devs only host on their own servers… which makes me suspicious about what their intentions are. I played DayZero quite a while and still I got shot in the face for nothing, having zero gear, because a stupid douche was playing deathmatch. Repeatedly.

          Which is of cause not the dev´s fault… but it´s the reason why I enjoy playing on our own private hives with only 5 players on the server.

  7. Viroso says:

    I feel kinda silly to actually have thought about how uncool I’ll be for waiting the standalone version instead of having played it when I first heard about it and no video game site was talking about it. My fear is that I’ll hop online and there’ll be these rugged veterans leaving me out of all the cool stuff coz I’m a standaloner (that’s how they’ll call people who started playing the new version) and thus a n00b, the worst thing anyone can be.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      We were all DayZ n00bs once. Then we survived a night in almost complete darkness (well complete darkness but you learn to appreciate the outlines in the distance and the few visible stars in cloudy conditions, if nothing else about nighttime in DayZ).

      Oh no I’ve just realised I will play this game with Oculus Rift some time. I think I might just pass on that particular experience, although… no, must resist urge to put self through that, I’ve already experienced actual trembling during regular DayZ.

      Although…

  8. trooperwally says:

    So does this mean that Hall and co are optimising the Arma 3 engine? If so, would they perhaps mind releasing this to the current Arma 3 build?

    Arma 3 doesn’t seem to handle large numbers of AI very well at all which is a pity because it is so excellently featured with tanks, helicopters, artillery and infantry to provide a full scale warfare simulator. Just the only times I’ve tried that in editor the framerate tanks long before I get to the number of units I’d want for such a battle.

    As for missing the boat on this, I’m wondering: “Has DayZ made more than 50% of the money it will ever make?”. It evidently made a lot of money because Hall climbed Everest earlier this year and one presumably doesn’t afford that on the average netcode developer wage (I think it costs in the tens of thousands of USD depending on which guiding company and how many tanks of oxygen you get). So Bohemia Interactive must have loved their game selling bucket loads more than originally expected, plus boosting the community with people like me who’ve gotten into Arma 3 following positive experiences with DayZ and Arma 2. I’m glad to see that they seem to have done the fair thing and shared a portion of that windfall with the man who enabled it.

    I reckon DayZ SA will still sell well, because the original was set in Chernarus. This South African zombie mod wil presumably be quite refreshing, I’m expecting lions. (/joke).

    • herschel says:

      AFAIK the DayZ SA will not be running the Arma3 engine. It´s a pimped up Arma2 engine. But maybe my knowledge is a little out of date here.

      I don´t know why Standalone is basicly still sporting the Arma2 engine. It aged quite nice, but another 2-3 years won’t suit her well..

      • Artist says:

        Well, maybe news to you but Arma3 is just a PIMPED up Arma2 engine… Still running on its 1.5 cores max downwards with backwind..

  9. Mctittles says:

    It’s pretty disconcerting that their target frame rate is 15fps. What would Carmack do if he saw that?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      I doubt Carmack would care at all. He’s referring to server frames (or ‘ticks’ as people seem to call them these days) not client display frames (or FPS as you probably know it).

    • et3rnal says:

      This is Server FPS, as in the number of updates per second the server makes. Minecraft runs at 20 FPS serverside, and 15 is actually quite high for an MMO.

  10. et3rnal says:

    People, this is Server FPS, as in the number of updates per second the server makes. Minecraft runs at 20 FPS serverside, and 15 is actually quite high for an MMO. The display frames will be about 60+ by rig. PC Gamer just shot themselves in the foot for taking this exact statement out context.