It’s been almost a year since DayZ was supposed to see its initial standalone release and yet here we are, with not much to see beyond a few developer diaries and showcases of new features. This understandably has those that have been eagerly awaiting its launch wondering when it exactly it will finally hit our hard drives. DayZ creator, Dean “Rocket,” Hall, is still being coy with announcing an expected time of arrival, but he has explained why it’s taking longer to get the game to a point where it can be made available to the public.
While some have suggested that it might be to do with simple stuff like character creation or steam integration, those have been mostly finalised, though there are a few browser based tweaks his team wants to add in order to improve the out-of-game functionality of the client.
A slightly bigger issue is frame rates within cities, which is a bug that’s currently being ironed out. It needs to be fixed however, as a lower frame rate means zombies can glitch through walls, something the original mod was well known for. It would also invalidate much of the work that’s been done on the zombies’ pathfinding, which should be much improved over their original counterparts.
Which leads us to the biggest problem with the game at the moment: optimisation. While the game has basic functionality for 10-20 players, Hall said in his Reddit discussison, that when you bumped that up to 50 or so players, it’s just not doable. Apparently it’s thanks to some “runaway,” systems with the sync code, which checks that everything is the same between each player. Take into account the size of the island – without load screens – the fact that there are over 2,000 zombies at any one time and up to 25,000 loot items. Each client version needs to know where each of those aspects of the game world are and it needs to be simultaneously shared between all players and the server.
“ArmA wasn’t build to handle very large numbers of things so this has been a large area of optimization,” Hall said. His team are currently working on optimising the whole process to help reduce its hang ups.
“We also have a bug where sounds (which are temporary vehicles) are being queued up and sent to all JIP players. This causes us a steady loss of performance on the server,” he continued, suggesting that there’s still some real work to be done.
In the mean time, Hall throws a bone to his fellow zombie survival developers, The Indie Stone and its isometric take on the genre, Project Zomboid.
For more information on DayZ’s status, check the full Reddit thread here.
KitGuru Says: While I’m disappointed at this news, I can confirm that the Project Zomboid is great, though it has been a while since I played it. Anyone know if you can still ‘offer’ your wife a pillow near the start of the game?