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Here is our latest Dev blog created on the 24th February 2014.

So what’s in the Dev Blog?

Lighting improvements;

We are working on improving in-game lighting, not just from a visual perspective but also from a game play perspective, to improve playing at night.

We have enabled light sources such as flashlights and pistol torches, to emit light during the day as they previously haven’t done. However we still have to do some HDR tweaks

Physics;

This is an area we have wanted to put in for a while. We have added physics middle-ware, which allows us to add throwing items to the game but it also enables us to look at ragdoll and how the characters move within the world.

This is still fairly early days with physics, but we are getting much closer to having something that we can implement into the experimental branch with stability.

Containers;

We want to add world items that are lootable such as refrigerators that can store items, so they can be looted and the items within them can be interacted with.

Bow and arrows;

One of our programmers has been working on bow and arrows, in the video we show a very early work in progress clip of it. So far progress has been fairly quick with good results, so we are looking forward to seeing how this progresses further.

Animations;

Animations team has been working hard on getting new transitions and new methods of wielding melee weapons. This is still a work in progress.

We have moved away from our old way of how the animations were working which caused left handed swings. This restricts how the melee attacks are performed. As the hit detection is done from the item position this allows player to be able to easier work out where they are going to hit. This is still very much a work in progress but we hopeful and we look forward to your feedback.

New map updates;

Our map team has been working with artists to add new buildings into game and fixing collision issues with buildings. We have added police stations and new health center buildings across the map as well as improving preexisting towns. 

We are currently working on ensuring that all buildings spawn loot as this is a big issue at the moment.

Weather;

We want it to be almost like an antagonist, we now have rain and weather is properly synced across all clients so all players experience the same weather conditions. Rain will also currently make your clothes damp and then wet, but at the moment this doesn’t really have much effect but in the long term but we definitely want to expand upon that.

Hunting and cooking;

We have dedicated a whole group of artists programmers and designers with experience with hunting games, that are dedicated to working on animals, their behavior and hunting. To maximise the element of survival, our current sprint is focused on cooking and campfires.

DeSync;

One of the big areas people have been reporting is DeSync, we have been working on this directly this is due to the amount of bandwidth DayZ is using because a lot of the messages to do with the inventory are sent via non-guaranteed messages. So if you or someone nearby you has a large amount inventory items, all these messages will be spammed as the server can’t guarantee the client has received them. We have a couple of hot fixes in place but our long term goal for this is to have a guaranteed message system. So the messages are only sent once and not constantly. This will be an ongoing effort.

Zombies;

Zombies are an area of active development, we want to increase the amount of zombies. Tied with this we also want to improve their collision detection indoors. This will be one of the task of the new team will be the hit detection of zombies. We are also actively working on the zombie respawn mechanics, using some of the optimisations that we used with player respawns. 

We want zombies to be a good experience so they don’t spawn directly in front of players, this is what is taking the time, as we want to do it properly.

Persistent objects;

We want to have some objects have persistency throughout server respawns, such as backpacks, paper with written notes one and eventually when we bring barricading in, wood and wooden barricades and keeping it’s exact location in so far.

Vehicles;

Once we have achieved these objectives we can then look at vehicles as implementing vehicles too early could very easily upset the balance and impact other game play areas. When we do implement vehicles we are likely to start with slower vehicles such as  bicycles. Then we will look at more complex vehicles, where we can have many more degradable parts such as batteries or spark plugs.

10 Mistakes I've Made as a Young Writer (that we can all learn from)

Being a writer is a tough job. Writing, as a profession, has plenty of traps in which we could all get caught in. Here are ten writing mistakes I’ve made in my writing career that I hope we can all avoid and learn from.

1. Submitting a work for publication without revising it several times. Whenever I finish a poem or an essay and feel completely satisfied with what I’ve written, I end up submitting the poem or the essay right away without giving myself several chances to revise the work. Of course, submitting a first draft may result in rejection, but it hurts more if an editor decides to accept the work for publication. If the sloppy work gets published and someone else reads it, you’ll end up dampening your reputation as writer.

2. Not following up on payments. When I was in college, I was completely lenient regarding payments. I would submit to publications even though they would not offer any payment. I would also not care if a publication pays me or not for work I know should get paid for. Now that I’m a professional writer, I realized that allowing publications to publish my work without paying me is actually a form of abuse that kills the writing industry. In order to support writing as a profession, we should all stop allowing publications to use our work without paying the amount that is due to us.

3. Working without a contract. I used to contribute to publications or blogs even without having a contract. I had a terrible experience with one client who stopped responding to me after I sent all the work she assigned. After that, I swore that I would only contribute only if there’s a signed contract in place.

4. Not dedicating enough time to writing. Sitting on your chair and actually writing is half the battle. This means that you actually have to make time to write, no matter how busy your schedule is. Protect your writing hours at all costs. Do not let distractions get to you. This is what I do (or fail to do) every single day.

5. Taking the time to write, but not reading. I used to be a prolific writer without being a voracious reader. However, now that I’m older and a little bit more mature, I realized that reading not only satisfies and entertains me, it also teaches me how to write well. Any writer who does not read has no respect for the craft and the tradition of literature. Remember, “If you do not read, you do not have tools to write.”

6. Not reading local literature. In the Philippines, most of the literature we read is American literature. Later on, I realized that because I do not read the works of local writers, I did not have the tools I needed in order to express my experience as a Filipino woman. I did not know how to write in such a way that showed who I was as a Filipino.

7. Not maintaining contact with mentors. One of the mistakes I’ve made as a writer is not staying in touch with my writing professors in college. I realize now that I still have more to learn from them, and if I had continued to interact with them, I would have more chances to learn.

8. Not promoting myself. When I was younger, I used to get published without letting anyone know about where my work appeared in and where they could get a copy. I realized that this was highly detrimental to my career because as an aspiring author, I need to find ways to promote my art in order to establish my readership. Now that I know better, I make efforts to stay in touch with readers and “get my name out there.”

9. Dwelling on a submission. One of the things you have to remember as a writer is that publications will take a long time to respond to your submission. Some of them can take as long as half a year to tell you if your work is accepted or rejected. Use this time to work on other projects that you can submit to other publications. I used to submit poems to publications and actually -wait- for responses without doing anything else. Big mistake.

10. Allowing others to affect me when they told me that I sucked. I’ve been criticized for my work more than any of you can imagine. I actually arrived at the point in which I thought that writing wasn’t for me. But then I fought back. I said to myself, writing is my passion, and I will not quit until I succeed. If you’re a writer, the world will punch you in the gut and slap you in the face all the time. You have to learn to be resilient. Remember, “the professional is the amateur that didn’t quit.”