In June this year, Dean Hall promised an alpha release of the Zombie-centric ARMA 2 mod DayZ. It’s nearly the end of 2013, and that’s still not happened. Where the hell is DayZ standalone, and why is it taking so long? In a discussion on Reddit (via Mp1st), Hall explained why it’s taking so long. Mostly, it’s all about bugs.
While all the basic stuff is done and the game is working, it’s jus not working as well as it should.
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.
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.
The synchronized variables are also checked for each player, this is inefficient and we are refactoring that. It is our biggest obstacle to releasing the alpha right now. We know what needs to be done with it so we’re working on that, then we will again reassess the performance.
Zombies are also just not working properly.
We have now something that provides basic functionality for 10-20 players. The new zombies are in, they provide excellent pathfinding outdoors, and improved pathing indoors. They are capable of breadcrumb navigation or line of sight. At low server FPS they will start to rubberband and glitch through walls much more often. They are very much a work in progress.
I’ve been very interested in giving DayZ a go, but I’ve been waiting for the standalone, mostly because I’m a lazy sod and installing the DayZ mod on top of Arma 2 and the necessary expansions just seems too much like hard work.
Last Updated: November 11, 2013