DayZ's Dean Hall answers anything on Reddit
Besides discussing his climb up Everest, DayZ developer Dean Hall shared a bunch of interesting information about his game on a Reddit AMA today. Most important is that Hall thinks that DayZ will be “playable,” meaning more stable and with more features like cars, base building, and more weapons, in about six months. As it is, he thinks DayZ is about 20 percent finished.
Here are the most interesting things he had to say.
About greater goals in the game, fortifying structures, clearing mines, running a power station:
"Yes, this kind of endgame stuff is quite key to what we want to do. However, in order to do this we have to perfect the architecture which is what we are doing now. Certainly I think underground bases and advanced vehicles will allow some of this really exciting and 'Eve' style play."
About improvements to voice functionality:
"Well kind of everything. The quality. Allowing more types (whisper etc...). How zombies react to it. And also particularly the animation and how it plays when your character opens his mouth to speak."
About improving the engine (which relies heavily on the CPU) to use more of the GPU:
"Yes. It is easier for us to optimize DayZ in some ways, because DayZ's focus is very narrow. ArmA is an incredible game and ArmA 3 is no exception. It has massive scope and a huge demand on AI and many other things.
Many of these things can cause problems for MP gaming, and that's what I'm all about really.
We have reports from Intel, AMD/ATI, and Nvidia. These give us ideas for how to optimize the client. Let's just say there is huge room for improvement."
About adding different kinds of shelters:
"We have a plan for camping. Playing that mod for Skyrim (survival mod, forget its name) is GREAT inspiration and I hope we can do everything it has."
(Frostfall is the mod in question.)
About whether the game will have aircrafts:
"Yes. I think helicopters and small aircraft will be important. But they should be very complex to maintain."
About additional content after release:
"Yes. There will be content updates and such for DayZ for a long time, I believe. However that would be up to Bohemia for the most part. I'm not sure I would (not want to) be super involved with that."
About when we’ll see vehicles and bases:
"Vehicles will be done based on the architecture we are doing for items/weapons now (i.e. attachments). So it's in progress really. We are replacing the physics system for items (throwing, etc...) and this new middleware will be used for vehicles also.
Bases will take longer. Barricades will happen first."
"I have tried rust. I think it's great. I think Garry is f[%#@]ing talented, deserves all the success he has/is getting. Overall I'm just really proud that something I did inspired a great designer like Garry to do something else."
About when Bohemia decided to make DayZ standalone:
"I was already working ArmA 3 as a multiplayer designer. I got invited to meet Marek Spanel (CEO) at his house to discuss DayZ when we had about 20,000 players."
A polite but cryptic answer to how much money he makes from DayZ:
"Saying specifics can be tough, I think (but I'm not really sure why, it just seems like it's rude to say how much you earn or bragging or something).
But I get a royalty, and I get paid. I also sold (assigned) the rights for DayZ to Bohemia so I was remunerated there too. Compared to royalty rates for other 'artists' and such I am probably doing very well. Compared to game designers (who mostly don't get royalties) I'm doing extremely well.
My royalty rate is not insignificant (it is fairly significant)."
About features he would like to implement but can’t with the current technology:
“Procedural terrain, limitless environment. I don't think its impossible with current technology but I don't think it's possible within the scope of the project."
About Early Access:
"I think it's great but there are massive icebergs sitting around it waiting to be hit. I think some projects are going to hit those and those issues will need to be addressed. It helps because it gets rid of the publishers dictating what the people find popular. You guys say what concepts are good, not some fat guys driving bugattis."
On games he wants to develop in the future:
"I really have a focus on multiplayer games, that allow the player to choose the groups they form organically with the freedom to do most things. I like games that have a persistent ongoing nature. These are the games I mostly want to focus on. Can't really offer to many more hints because I don't want someone else to make it before I can start!"
And about JayZ:
"Jay-Z's lawyers tried to get us to stop using DayZ and change it to ZDay, actually. We declined. But it did make me laugh."
All of the obvious questions have been answered, but Hall is still replying to users at the moment. You can find the full thread and get your questions in here.