DayZ 2017 mod aims to make the zombie apocalypse less military, more hobo

Evan Lahti at

Bohemia is hustling on the standalone version of DayZ, hoping to have an initial version of the game out by the end of the year. In the meanwhile, modders continue to tinker with the DayZ mod code, either by adding new maps, questionable gambling metagames, or wholesale mods within the mod. This practice of modception, for the record, is something we endorse.

DayZ 2017 is one of these, a work-in-progress from modder "shinkicker," aka Luke Hinds. Hinds hopes to reintroduce the feeling of item scarcity to the mod by eliminating military equipment, in a setting a half-decade after DayZ. "I went for ragged and worn, hobo-like survivors," says Hinds.

Arma 2 custom map Celle will be the setting for DayZ 2017. It's 100km², landlocked, and full of open roads that connect about 35 towns.

Hinds says the goal of the project is to go "back to basics." He says he "noted a consensus that the abundance of military equipment, plentiful loot and vehicles were taking away from the ethos that made Rocket's mod so great to start with; that being the scarcity principle plus the sociological implications that arise from such conditions." In loose canon terms, DayZ 2017 will take place five years after DayZ, when (presumably) all that fancy military equipment has been used up.

Hinds wants to populate the mod--set on a different, existing Arma 2 map called Celle--with more rugged, "The Road" or "The Book of Eli"-style survivors. "Instead of the clean looking baseball cap wearing survivors, I went for ragged and worn, hobo-like survivors--think plastic grocery bags for socks. I had quite a few attempts at modeling without much real luck and then found some old abandoned Arma units, did some tweaks, and got them running in DayZ. It all took shape from there."

When I asked Hinds what features he'd add to the game through DayZ 2017, his response was an interesting one. "I suppose it will take away as much as it will add," he said. "Sometimes less is more. My hope is the immersion is notched up and the social aspects take a more prominent position again. Going on my own early experiences with the mod, I remember literally having to stop playing and pace the room as the adrenaline dumps were too much to deal with (and that was just from scrambling out of Cherno with a can of beans and a watch). If I can get it close to that again, then it's 'mission accomplished.' The main changes will be taking out most loot and making whats left very rare." Hinds says that more features are planned, which he'll reveal once he gets the foundation of the mod up and running.

DayZ 2017 isn't available for download yet, but Hinds hopes to release something before Christmas. Keep an eye on the mod at Luke Hinds' blog, Zombie Treats, or on opendayz.net.