One big milestone DayZ [official site] has headed for on its hike through the boglands of Early Access has been a new renderer [the bit of a game engine which turns numbers into pictures -'Technical' ed.]. Developers Bohemia Interactive have been working on a new DirectX 11 renderer which should bring far better performance to the open-world survival game, and maybe tart it up a little too. This has, of course, taken far longer than they'd planned (and said), but it is coming along. Check out this new video showing off the DX11 renderer and some dangerously heavy rain.
DayZ lead producer Brian Hick fired up his VCR to record this video comparing the DX9 and DX11 renderers, saying that the new version is running 30-40% faster:
The perpetual rain is caused by a bug with their new weather system, by the way, but it's impressive it's still that much faster. I do also like how distant zombies are indistinct lumps cloaked by sheets of rain. Have fun picking players out in that! The rain does look a bit weird and glassy, but it's compressed down to a YouTube video so I suspect it'll look different in the game itself.
This is still a "very early work-in-progress" version, mind, and there's no firm date for when the new renderer will hit even the opt-in 'experimental' branch of DayZ, let alone the main version. The plan was to start by making the new renderer look the same as the old, simply running faster, before moving onto additions like new particle effects and improved lighting. With the new weather, it seems DayZ's already surpassing the old version.