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Quick update for 4 December 2013


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#1 rocket

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:12 PM

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Important note: Unless otherwise stated FPS refers to server FPS.

 

As most will know, we achieved quite a milestone with over 50 players on the server recently. While this is pretty normal for the mod, it's a big deal for the standalone as the architecture is entirely different and so much has been moved onto the server. So what does this mean?

 

The Situation

 

DayZ handles a minimum of 15000 dynamic objects. This is a huge amount of things to synchronize, in a MP environment. We implemented an entire rewrite of how objects are managed, linked with the "network bubble". Our chosen system was to implement an R-Tree approach and we have seen some success with this. Our aim was to reduce the massive FPS burden that all these dynamic objects bought, grinding the server to a halt. The main problem appeared to be scaling, in that the more players the worse it got.

 

Some details about server FPS:

  • Not strictly "frames per second" on a client more akin to "simulation cycles"
  • Max is 50 FPS
  • Max simulation of player is 25 times per second
  • Max simulation of zombie is 10 times per second

That means below 10 FPS, zombie behavior could be noticeably affected.

 

The Good news

 

We are no longer player number bound. It appears the server loses about 3 FPS per 40 players. We have only tested to 52 players currently. At that time, it was our first efforts with this number and we immediately found some missed areas of optimization, so with our next mass test we expect better results. The more players we threw at the server, its FPS numbers didn't change.

 

The Not-so-Good news

 

I was initially quite surprised because we still had a very high starting frame usage. 15000 loot items were using 1 FPS, that's right - just 1! But for some reason, 1000 zombies (despite all but 10 being at rest) were using a whopping 35 FPS. It didn't make sense and we've been going through this, optimizing and looking for the reason.

 

The Feedback from those involved

 

Overall, despite the performance concerns, with the server running around 8-12 FPS when under its heaviest load, the server was "reasonably responsive". Some people experienced inventory actions being a little bit slow occasionally, but generally it seemed things went okay.

 

Progress since the test

 

Since the test, we isolated two major crashes (resulting in server soak with constant players with no stability issue, no increase in RAM, and no decrease in FPS). We also optimized some areas. We're also busy hiding some areas and functions that are incomplete, as they either break or cause problems that we don't have the time to resolve before the Alpha's release. Perhaps one of the most serious gameplay issues we have at the moment is a very long time the player spends unconscious. It causes a problem for testing, so it's something we will be fixing before the release of the alpha.

 

Overall, the mood on development is quite upbeat. We're all pretty tired, as it has been very late and long working days. We had a new programmer and new designer start this week, and some assistance from the ArmA3 team to prepare the creation of our own audio team. We're looking forward to getting the Alpha out into Early-Access. I think that while some might be disappointed that this is not some feature-packed, graphically focused, masterpiece - we've been focused on addressing the major architectural issues and it's represented a massive body of work over the last 12 months.

 

We need a little more out of the server in terms of framerate. Just a little bit more, to ensure the inventory stays reasonably responsive. The remaining time will be spent tidying up remaining issues to try and give a more solid experience when we kick into the early access.

 

It really is an Alpha

 

I really can't emphasize enough - this is going to be an early access project on steam. It's a true-blue alpha. Massive areas of the engine were entirely reworked, involving a large team of people over the last 12 months. Much of what these achievements will enable won't be seen for many months - so I really plead for anyone who is on the fence to take a skeptical approach - watch streams, read reviews, watch some let's play and form your opinion. You could always come back to the game in three, six months time and buy it then.

 

Buying early will be a recipe for disappointment, it's a chance for those who want to be part of that whole process. For them, the process is as much as part of the game as the whole experience. For many, this is the opposite of what they want. To enable a smooth launch, we really are targeting it at a core audience who want to get deeply involved in a very barebones experience that is a platform for future development.


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#2 Henryllex~

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

Finally we hear from you again rocket! good news!

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Edited by Henryllex~, 04 December 2013 - 10:08 PM.

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#3 Steak and Potatoes

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:18 PM

Good news, keep up all the good work guys.  


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#4 TIC321

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:19 PM

Rocket, I must say that you're very thorough with everything about the Standalone and it's greatly appreciated to see that from a video game developer and I don't normally say this but as of now, I wouldn't worry too much about the state of the game. It's about confidence on the project and commitment to resolving issues and providing feedback in which you guys are doing a great job of. In example of Project Zomboid, it's much easier for them since it's a single player game and DayZ will be entirely multiplayer is what this must be taken note of in case others haven't noticed :)

 

I only have one question; how many testers(In total, could be an estimate and anonymous) are participating in the pre-alpha testing builds?


Edited by TIC321, 04 December 2013 - 09:23 PM.

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#5 zfleming12

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:22 PM

Sounds awesome! I really wish I could something more to say in response but...I can't think of anything so have a bean! :)


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#6 rocket

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:25 PM

I only have one question; how many testers(In total, could be an estimate and anonymous) are participating in the pre-alpha testing builds?

 

Brian or Matt would have the exact numbers, but the numbers dramatically increased after we succeeded in hitting 50 players. I would say, at a guess, over +150.


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#7 BioHaze

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:25 PM

Thanks it really all sounds like good news to me!

 

I appreciate the update greatly!

 

 

*snip*

Overall, the mood on development is quite upbeat. We're all pretty tired, as it has been very late and long working days. We had a new programmer and new designer start this week, and some assistance from the ArmA3 team to prepare the creation of our own audio team. We're looking forward to getting the Alpha out into Early-Access.

*snip*

 

*choo choo*


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#8 TIC321

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:26 PM

Brian or Matt would have the exact numbers, but the numbers dramatically increased after we succeeded in hitting 50 players. I would say, at a guess, over +150.

 

Appreciate the quick answer. Thanks! :)


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#9 zfleming12

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:30 PM

Are you going to take a nice break after this Rocket once alpha is out? :)


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#10 NyanRyan

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:30 PM

Thanks for the update, Rocket. It's good to hear from you, confirmation that you are in-fact, alive!

As a long-term fan of DayZ, I'll definitely be a part of the early-release community! 

 

Most of what we're asking has been answered in this, which is always nice. Two questions, however:

 

When will cars be implemented and what type of cars are you bringing in? Elaborating on this further, are you going the polished-military route or rusted and broken look like in DayZ Origins?

Finally, the question you hate the most, but I'm asking it anyway. when can we expect the Alpha release?


Edited by NyanRyan, 04 December 2013 - 09:32 PM.


#11 Korsbaek

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

Yes! Thank you Rocket!


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#12 Hosty

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

Since when is the URL called dayzgame and not dayzmod? (I never noticed)

 

Also, keep up the good news rocket, hope that you will find a fix for the zombies.


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#13 TIC321

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:31 PM

Are you going to take a nice break after this Rocket once alpha is out? :)

 

This calls for a second round of climbing Mt. Everest ;)


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#14 rocket

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

This calls for a second round of climbing Mt. Everest ;)

 

South pole next, maybe K2 after that


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#15 zfleming12

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:34 PM

South pole next, maybe K2 after that

Sounds like Fun :)


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#16 Dienark7

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:35 PM

Rocket does make a very good point, this is going to be a very bare bones game on launch with lots of issues, those that really just want to enjoy a smooth experience and not have to complain should defiantly wait till the full launch of this title, don't kill the game for yourself while it has its bugs and then not want to return when its finished because of the experience you have had in the past.

 

nice work rocket and team, mammoth task ahead that you are making short work off. *tips hat*


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#17 zfleming12

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:36 PM

Rocket does make a very good point, this is going to be a very bare bones game on launch with lots of issues, those that really just want to enjoy a smooth experience and not have to complain should defiantly wait till the full launch of this title, don't kill the game for yourself while it has its bugs and then not want to return when its finished because of the experience you have had in the past.

 

nice work rocket and team, mammoth task ahead that you are making short work off. *tips hat*

This man speaks truth, it is wise to listen to him.

 

also Hai Se7en! <3


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#18 Rossco

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:36 PM

South pole next, maybe K2 after that

 

Pffft K2? You need to climb some real mountains Dean! Come to Scotland and I'll take you up Ben Nevis. ;)


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#19 wigglywap

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:40 PM

15000 loot items were using 1 FPS, that's right - just 1!

 

"oh sweet why is this bad news?"

 

 

But for some reason, 1000 zombies (despite all but 10 being at rest) were using a whopping 35 FPS.

 

"damn"


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#20 TIC321

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 09:43 PM

South pole next, maybe K2 after that

 

You better take this with you.

 

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