"runaway systems in the code" that they're now tidying up as they bug fix and optimise.
They "need performance" before it can release, which will be as a DayZ Standalone Alpha. His team won't let it launch before they achieve a minimum of 15 FPS with 50 players.
That's 50 players in the huge DayZ sandbox with 2,000 zombies and 25,000 lootable items. Arma 2 "wasn't build to handle very large numbers of things" like DayZ.
“This is why we are not out. We need performance," wrote Dean Hall under 'Optimizing/Bugfixing Dedicated server'.
"Our latest tests have all shown some runaway systems in the code we have to tidy up,” he explained. “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.”
Hall and his DayZ team are reluctant to give a release date because of the frustration it would lead to if they didn't meet it and why he doesn't feed the speculation of release. "If I start saying ‘oh it won’t be out then’ people start asking me about the day after, and the day after. So it just encourages people to keep asking me when it is, and the ‘announced date’ would be when I go ‘yeah, it could be out then’," he continued.
Development continues as the game is very much an alpha, with basic functionality working between 10-20 players, as well as additional zombie types with a client prone to framerate hits and a "mixed bag" inventory system.
"Client performance out of the cities is very, very smooth. We still have a bug in the cities that occurs (and shouldn’t) that causes lower framerates. This will eventually be solved, but for now it is noticable when looking at center of cities. Overall, the feedback from the testers is that performance is much smoother than with the mod," he revealed.
"The inventory is a bit of a mixed bag. There are some mistakes we have made that, unless we delayed the standalone, we can’t fix until later. But overall, I think it is a huge step up. Stacked items, wetness, damage, crafting, containers, clothing, weapons, pistol holsters, bags, melee weapons, chainsaws, masks, gloves, boots… you name it."
For now Deal Hall recommends fans check outwhich has just released on Steam - it has a demo.