Zombie survival MMO DayZ is undergoing big changes to its server setup, lighting system and player customization options, and a round of internal testing has begun within developer Bohemia Interactive, creator Dean Hall wrote in a post to the game's official Tumblr today.
According to Hall, Bohemia has been working with Valve to make sure its new server system will work with Steam, and will ensure it is fully integrated and operational before launching a public beta test. In response to criticism that DayZ would launch on servers without "anti-hack mechanisms," Hall states that the game's servers will control the flow of updates between the server and client, and players will no longer receive all information straight to their computers, opening the opportunity to use cheats.
"We are exploring spawning all zombies and loot at the start of server initialization, again a huge departure from the previous mechanism," Hall wrote. "This solves many design and technical issues with the spawning and respawning of equipment, such as being able to metagame by telling whether players are in a village by seeing zombie's [sic] have spawned."
Bohemia has also made changes to the game's lighting system in an effort to improve overall visuals and make the look more "striking." A new volumetric cloud system has also been put in place, which will scatter slow-floating clouds across the world's skies.
Over the next few months, Hall says the design team will focus on creating detailed character customization options before moving on to vehicle customization and lastly base building before the end of the year. Hall plans to have characters start DayZ as clean slates, and change over time through interaction with the environment and decision-making.
"At no point in development, have I been as excited as I am right now," wrote Hall. "The risks we took with the direction have paid off. The engine and approach of the game is now entirely DayZ's own, it is striking out into it's own territory as a project."