During Gamescom we were lucky enough to meet privately with the Lead Animator for DayZ, Viktor Kostik. We eagerly asked many questions regarding the DayZ Beta and the upcoming improved in-game animations. He explained how most of his time these days is spent between the thousands of animation sessions and hundreds of motion capture recordings that will eventually make it into the game.
An Enormous Improvement to Character Animation
Up until now, DayZ has always been fairly lacklustre with it’s character animations. There was little to no variation or change depending on the state of the character or the situation they were in. Well, things are changing big time with the upcoming Beta. Viktor and his team have been hard at work adding animation after animation to help immerse both old and new players. Now, for example; if your character hurts their leg, there will be a visible limp and their speed will be reduced. Viktor claims that all the new injury animations change how a character walks, crawls and runs. We were also told that extremely injured arms will become unusable till healed.
Other animations for injuries are to be announced closer to the Beta release date. We were impressed by how smoothly the animations ran, especially one after another. We were also told that written cues for your character’s status may be removed in the future, leaving it up to you to listen and look at your character to work out his/her level of health.
A Lot of Work to Be Done
Already there are several thousand animations in DayZ and Viktor’s team are set to add thousands more. They’re even taking the time to rework and replace the existing and outdated animations.
A majority of the recordings are being done with motion capture in an attempt to create movements as realistic and life-like as possible. Each single animation takes at least five attempts, from which three are selected and animated. Afterwards, the team get together and only one is chosen to be the official animation; and the process begins again for thousands more!
In the future we can expect all existing animations to be reworked or revamped. The creation of animations depends on the design team, so as of right now we are unsure whether there will be separate animations for each and every body part. But we have our fingers crossed.