A consistent criticism of DayZ has been the zombie AI. In the mod the zombies did the job but betrayed that Arma 2 hadn’t been built with the undead in mind. They’d run in straight lines correcting their course on spot changes. It looked far too mechanical. This hang up had carried over into the standalone release of DayZ, too. Because Bohemia were working with the AI developed for Arma 2, even with significant changes, it wasn’t making the zombies seem more organic.
Dean Hall has decided to scrap the year’s work on the zombie AI system and, instead, write a new one.
The new system has the zombies chase the player and avoid collisions. It sounds simple but what it means is that the zombies are not trying to plot long paths ahead of them, they’re making course changes on the fly based on the player’s current location. If there are any obstacles between them and the player then they’ll attempt to avoid them.
It should give chasing zombies a more fluid look to their movement.
Hall claims that the new system won’t delay the launch of the alpha because they can launch the game with the old system and switch it out with the new one when it’s ready.
The change was announced in a new dev blog where Hall also showed off item degradation, changes to the inventory, animation transitions, and how items in your pockets can be damaged by being shot.
He also shows how you can restrain another player with handcuffs. That should be fun.
The alpha still has no release date but the final feature that needs to be implemented before they can go are the changes to network architecture. Something we covered recently.