Day Z

The Early Access report: DayZ, Rust and 7 Days to Die

Craig Pearson at

Welcome to the early access report, a regular round-up looking at the most interesting early access games. Here we try new alphas and revisit old ones to separate the promising gems from the bug-ravaged time wasters. This week Craig goes full Bear Grylls, and throws himself into three different sandbox survival games, DayZ, Rust and 7 Days to Die.

DayZ's arrival on Steam Early Access was the most prominent and most talked about of the people-vs-people-vs-environment releases, but it wasn't the first. Just a week before it came out, Facepunch (of Garry's Mod fame and fortune) released Rust, a DayZish game focusing on crafting yourself up from a sort of pre-industrial spawnee to a land-camping hermit. And just a few days before that, 7 Days To Die landed, bringing with it all the technical panache of an animated gif of a PS1 game. I've spent lots of time scrounging for survival in all three, but are any worth supporting on Early Access?

Diary: one hour in DayZ's Christmas ceasefire

Tom Senior at

Last week DayZ players on Reddit proposed a Christmas ceasefire to promote harmony and good will in this cheerful season of giving and eating until you explode. How's that going, then? I dipped into DayZ for an hour to see if the festive spirit has softened the relentlessly brutal survivalist nightmare of DayZ. Will I have a super happy rainbow fun time with a mob of new friends, or get horribly axe murdered by a stranger? I think we all probably already know the answer to that one.

DayZ creator Dean Hall answers a slew of questions, from suicide to safe zones

Ian Birnbaum at

DayZ creator and lead designer Dean Hall sat down and answered questions submitted and voted on by the r/DayZ community. Reddit user DrBigMoney compiled the questions and sent them around to media outlets, and VG24/7 managed to get Hall on camera to answer.

The best games of E3 2013 so far

PC Gamer at

We're gearing up for the biggest E3 in years next week. There's going to be a lot of chat about the next console generation, but on the show floor there will be games. Exciting, intriguing, shiny PC games of all shapes and sizes. We've picked out a few that we're super excited about, and highlighted a few more besides. If you think there'll be nothing for PC in LA, read on and think again. And these are just the games we know about.

Let us know which games you're most looking forward to in the comments. You can keep track of all the latest from E3 via our E3 2013 channel, We're on Twitter and Facebook, too, if you're into that sort of thing. If you enjoy a bit of video, the US team took to the Couch of Truth for a chat about all the intriguing titles headed our way.

GDC 2013: all the stories in one place

PC Gamer at

The annual Game Developers Conference is underway in San Francisco. What can we expect? Candid retrospectives? Shock reveals? Will David Cage's Giant Floating Man Face do battle with Nvidia's Giant Floating Man Face above a flaming pit?

We'll be bringing you all the latest from the frontlines and keeping this page updated with all the stories so far.

Do not adjust your gamma: The 5 scariest PC games of all time

Craig Pearson at

[sound of coffin opening] Welcome! I am your (g)host, Craig FEARSOME, beckoning you in to this eldritch gathering of... LOOK BEHIND YOU! [sound of special effects budget being cut] Yes, there is NOTHING there. The very absence of fear is perhaps the greatest fear of all. No? But I used Caps Lock and italics! WhAt aBOut NOwWow? [sound of awkward silence] Fine, you are unafraid of typography. How about a list of the scariBOOest PC games? Hah. I saw you flinch! Now you are atmospherically prepared, ensure there are neither babies nor pets between yourself and the nearest toilet, lest your bowels react unfavourably to this mildly cursed list of possibly evil games, aka The five Scariest PC Games of alllllllll timmmmmme*. [sound of coffin closing][sound of Craig snoring]

Day Z screenshots show new areas and revamped interiors

Tom Senior at

A few more screenshots of the standalone version of Day Z have appeared on the Day Z blog, along with some words from Dean "Rocket" Hall on how the team are expanding Chernarus. "The first shot is a sneak peak at an entirely new area created on the map by Ivan and Martin, the two developers at Bohemia who are currently being held in Greece," he writes, "the usable area of the map is actually extended by their work."

PC Gamer US Podcast #325 - Quest for Story

PC Gamer at

Tyler, Evan, and T.J. form a crack team of talk to discuss DayZ's stand-alone future, Skyrim's Dawnguard vamp-spansion, Steam's upcoming inclusion of non-game software, our upcoming PAX panel, and the future of storytelling in games. All of that, plus more news, Truthiness or Falsity, and a puzzling conclusion in...

PC Gamer US Podcast 325: Quest for Story

What does Day Z's creator think of The War Z?

Evan Lahti at

Copycatting isn't a crime. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Good artists copy, great artists steal. I did a bit of a double-take when I first heard about The War Z, a zombie survival MMO-shooter with deep similarities to Day Z, the almost 700,000-strong Arma 2 mod.

But how does the creator of Day Z feel about the sudden appearance of a game that talks and walks (hobbles?) like his Frankenstein of permadeath and open-world survival? I asked Dean "Rocket" Hall.

The War Z announced: zombie survival shooter-MMO with strong parallels to Day Z

Evan Lahti at

Well, that didn’t take long. Someone’s announced a persistent survival shooter-MMO set in a zombie apocalypse. It has permadeath (as an optional “Hardcore Mode”). It has PvP and PvZ folded into the same experience. It has a hunger mechanic. It has a dude in a baseball cap. The War Z is undeniably inspired by Day Z, one of the best things to happen on the PC this year. But before you load your cynicism guns with copycat bullets, I wonder: is that really a bad thing?

More game details and screenshots within.

New Arma 3 screenshots

Evan Lahti at

Handed to us exclusively, here's another look at Limnos, the Arma 3ification of the actual (and not Iranian-occupied) Greek isle of Lemnos. A three-shot burst of new screenshots are inside. Fall back to my recent Arma 3 preview when you're done, if you'd like.

Tomorrow: Day Z livestream with creator Dean "Rocket" Hall and the Arma 3 team

Evan Lahti at

When you're conducting an interview, it's important that the venue be comfortable. You don't want your interview subject bothered by commotion, bad lighting, gunfire, or shambling, predatory corpses.

Thursday morning I'll be playing Day Z with its creator and a few members of the Arma 3 team. Between our tense teamwork, I'll ask them questions about the state and future of Day Z. Come catch the livestream on the PC Gamer channel.

When: Thursday, June 28 @ 9 AM PST (noon EST, and 4 PM GMT)
How long: 2-3 hours

Day Z + Arma 3 interview -- on Left 4 Dead, Skyrim, player emotion, and in-game disease

Evan Lahti at

Dean Hall is all enthusiasm. He lacks any of the jaded demeanor you sometimes associate with experienced developers. He doesn’t caveat his development promises. Every other sentence he speaks is a solution to another issue in Day Z or the Arma engine itself: to the respawn system, to server architecture, to shadow distances, to VON, to pesky survivor groups that aren't dying.

The creator of Day Z has ordered the carbonara. We've walked to an Italian restaurant down the street from E3—Hall's first—and our table is circled by variously-famished Arma royalty: both of Bohemia Interactive’s Creative Directors, Jay Crowe (lasagna) and Ivan Buchta (pizza) are here. So is community star Dslyecxi (a calzone), who wrote the book on pro Arma. Hall's wearing white DC sneakers, beat-up jeans, and a black t-shirt that asks “Anyone in Cherno?” in homemade, screen-printed letters.

For the next two hours, we talk about Day Z and Arma. This is the most exciting time in the history of both games. As thousands of new players surge into a spin-off of the sim, Bohemia is preparing Arma 3. There’s too much to talk about.

PC Gamer US Podcast #320 – Bananas and Bananas

PC Gamer at

This week, Tyler and Evan share a detailed verdict on Max Payne 3, look forward to Guild Wars 2, reflect on T.J.'s Celtic adventures in Civ 5: Gods 'n Kings, report on the state of the Diablo III real money auction house, and think about what we'd do to improve modern MMO design. We end with another episode of Day Z Storytime from Evan.

PC Gamer US Podcast 320: Bananas and Bananas

Day Z Video Diary -- Emotional Rollercoaster

Evan Lahti at

Day Z does something novel and counter-intuitive that I love: it makes being victimized exciting. You feel a lot when you're face-to-face with permadeath—when you're being bandited, zombied, starved, or dehydrated.

I had an incredible session in Day Z last night during an impromptu livestream. In 15 minutes of action, I felt a greater spectrum of feelings than I have in a month worth of gaming. Come behold my tornado of terror, guilt, joy, and cowardice.

Day Z Photo Diary 2 -- Murder Mystery Castle

Evan Lahti at

He was a survivor with one life to live. His backpack: filled with beans. His world: filled with zombies. These are his tales, and the tales of his inconsistently-brave friends. And the tales of the woman played by a man who loved him.

Day Z is the Citizen Kane of unfinished zombie survival mods of military simulations, and I'm playing it a lot. In my second Day Z scrapbook, my friends and I explore the Terrifying Northwest Airfield, eat some hamburgers, throw a grenade, and solve a murder mystery.

Buy a paper map of Day Z's horrifying world, Chernarus, for $15

Evan Lahti at

Day Z is played on Arma 2's main map, Chernarus. It's a 225 km² foresty facsimile of the Czech Republic, and it's easy to get lost in (literally and figuratively). You don't spawn with a map or a compass, so you're left to use landmarks and road signs to orient yourself.

There's already a handy virtual Day Z map online, but Bohemia has put a wall-worthy paper map of Chernarus up for sale. Also included are hard copies of Operation Arrowhead areas Sahrani, Takistan, Shapur and Proving Grounds and eight Arma 2 postcards. Click over here to buy a Chernarus map.

I've been using mine (Bohemia was handing them out at E3 2011) throughout my Day Z diary. It beats asking bandits for directions.

DayZ update adds hatchets, firewood, women

Tom Senior at

With the cold, wet slap of a slab of dead meat hitting the asphalt, another DayZ update landed yesterday. It adds hatchets, firewood and the missing half of the human race to this punishing and incredibly tense zombie survival mod for ARMA 2. In the latest version, every game key gets ONE SINGLE CHANCE to change their player gender. Once you've used it, that's it. Hatchets can now be used to chop firewood and heat packs have been added when you really need to heat up fast.

We've been enjoying DayZ a lot, if you hadn't guessed. Check out Evan's DayZ photo diary and Craig's DayZ account for some DayZ adventuring. If you fancy trying it, take a look at our DayZ installation guide, too. Here are this update's patch notes from the DayZ forums.

Day Z photo diary

Evan Lahti at

I spent eight consecutive hours in Day Z on Saturday. What began as a screenshot of a goat (that we were about to shoot) became, as it often does in Day Z, an afternoon worth documenting. We hiked. We crawled. We looted abandoned convenience stores. We looked and listened. We ran screaming from undead priests. We got lost. We ate beans.

Follow along at home with this colorful Arma 2 map of Chernarus.

Comrades:Keenan, Andrew, Ben, Guillaume, and other friends-of-friends.

Reality imitating realism: Day Z IRL video

Evan Lahti at

In Day Z, we have a special name for the beach that new players begin the game on: "The Bean Coast." Escaping this zone is the first trial that newborn players overcome. Those that don't come to populate the shore/graveyard as corpses, bodies that tend to retain default equipment, including cans of beans.

We don't typically go out of our way to share machinima and similar video, but it's rare that a YouTube troupe really expresses the essence of a gaming experience. Creators Chicken Fried Comedy reenact the early moments of fear, trust, and gear gathering. And hey, it's Friday. None of us are wearing pants over here. You should play Tribes with us later.