Dean Hall

Rocket: No DayZ standalone alpha release until at least June

Omri Petitte at

The last update for creator Dean "Rocket" Hall's standalone DayZ dug a lengthy gameplay video out from underneath a pile of bean cans, motorcycle helmets, and a lot of zeds. There are enough goodies in the fledgling survival title for an alpha, but Rocket's holding it back for at least three more months to polish up client-server performance.

DayZ dev video shows us 20 minutes of footage from the standalone

Tom Sykes at

Rocket and Lightfoot. It sounds like the name of a new cartoon animal duo, but thankfully for us it's referring to the DayZ standalone's project lead Dean "Rocket" Hall and production assistant Matt "Lightfoot" Lightfoot, who have teamed up to narrate this 20-minute slice of the impending zombocalypse. It's the first time we've seen the game in motion, and it seems to be coming along quite niceZ.

DayZ standalone gets new screenshots and progress report: "everything has been redone"

Tom Senior at

Development on the standalone version of the DayZ mod has snowballed into more intense territory than anticipated. DayZ creator Dean Hall has posted an update on the DayZ blog to say that "The experience will be entirely new. There is virtually nothing that has been directly ported from the mod, everything has been redone. This wasn’t our original intention (hence the December deadline) - but it has evolved this way. We’re all glad it has!" Read on to find out what the team's been tinkering with.

DayZ patch adds new weapons, bloodborne infection, bacon

Evan Lahti at

When the Patch Notes Fairy visits, she often provides precious accidental humor. The Sims 3 has consistently delivered this (version 1.4, from 2009: “Sims can no longer 'Try for Baby' with the Grim Reaper”), but today’s DayZ patch notes produced a few incidental laughs at the PC Gamer office. In addition to adding complexity to DayZ’s infection system, includes gems like “Cutting down trees now attracts zeds,” a change that may endanger the livelihoods of apocalyptic lumberjacks everywhere.

Really, though, this is a great-looking and fairly comprehensive update. There’s new content, new or modified mechanics in play, and fixes to long-standing issues. All of these only affect the mod version of the game, but some of the improvements made may creep into the retail version.

Dean Hall on DayZ Origins mod: "There are some awesome ideas"

Omri Petitte at

DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has shared his reaction with Eurogamer over the DayZ Origins mod for Arma 2 and its "inspiration" from Rocket's original zombie-survival creation. Though calling the naming similarities between the two mods "a bit problematic," he commended the GamersPlatoon community for "some awesome ideas."

DayZ Standalone update: improved lighting, anti-hack measures, and closed testing

Phil Savage at

Dean "Rocket" Hall has posted another development update on the status of the DayZ Standalone release, and by the sound of things, the team have been busy. "This is the first update when I have sat down and thought “where do I start?” There has been so much going on with the development this month that it is hard to fit it all in a post here."

DayZ Standalone delay explained, engine improvements detailed

Phil Savage at

The standalone release of DayZ was supposed to be out before the end of 2012. With 2013 now upon us, and no sight of the open-world survival horror, you'd be forgiven for thinking that zombies had pounced on it while it was trying to vault over the ArmA 2 engine. Not so, according to Dean "Rocket" Hall, who has updated the DayZ development blog with info on the status of the project.

DayZ creator Dean Hall on The War Z fiasco

Omri Petitte at

The War Z's abrupt launch and subsequent removal on Steam prompted a strong reaction from the community over the Foundation Release's strange name, missing features, and misleading Steam description. (The War Z is still buyable on Hammerpoint's website.) Executive Producer Sergey Titov gave us his response to the ordeal, but DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall (save for this tweet) was quiet. Breaking his silence more directly in a Reddit post yesterday, Hall described his feelings on the issue.

DayZ creator Dean Hall hopes he implements "a lot of bad ideas" in the standalone version

Tyler Wilde at

In an exchange on the DayZ subreddit, mod creator Dean "Rocket" Hall responded to concern over the idea of infections and defecation in the upcoming standalone version of DayZ by defending bad ideas. "I hope I implement alot of bad ideas," wrote Hall. "So that then, we know they are bad. Then we can remove them and move on."

DayZ standalone screenshots show interior building decor, loud tablecloth

Omri Petitte at

When the zombie apocalypse inevitably heaves into sight, it'll sweep through the structures of civilization with remarkable gentleness. That might explain why the quaint abodes in the latest batch of screenshots from DayZ's standalone metamorphosis appear largely unscathed, including the fully explorable interiors. Wait, houses with actual stuff inside of them?!

DayZ's Rocket wants standalone alpha in November

Omri Petitte at

DayZ mastermind Dean "Rocket" Hall already pledged his intention of releasing the standalone version of his hit open-world zombie-em-up "before the end of the year," but in an interview with VG247, he revealed his timeframe slimmed down to a potential November launch for the alpha.

DayZ standalone will be out this year, "and it's going to be cheap"

Tom Senior at

DayZ developer Dean "Rocket" Hall has been going over his plans for DayZ at the Eurogamer Expo. "It has to be out before the end of the year," he said. "Not just because we've committed to it but in order to achieve what we have to do. It has to be. There's no 'we hope it is'; it has to be.

"And it's going to be cheap. We've decided that we don't need to sell a heap of units in order for us to be OK with where it's going. The more units we sell of it the more ambitious we get, because the project has the better resources."

Watch the PC Gamer PAX panel featuring Minecraft, DayZ, The Walking Dead, Bastion, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown

Evan Lahti at

It took us a while to figure out what sort of panel we wanted to put on at PAX. We knew we wanted to do more than a live version of our podcast (we do that every week)! We settled on storytelling as a topic because it's a particularly interesting moment in gaming for stories and storytellers. BioWare released the first fully-voiced MMO, and it responded to fan feedback about Mass Effect 3. "Choice" as a concept is leaking into every genre it can. Story generators like DayZ are innovating with systems rather than scriptwriting. But wait—conventional storytellers like Telltale are finding novel ways of humanizing characters.

Watch the PC Gamer PAX Megapanel livestream here at 2:30 pm PDT!

PC Gamer at

Join us live at PAX Prime in Seattle today for the PC Gamer Megapanel, featuring a discussion on "The Incredible, Uncertain Future of Storytelling" with the super-creative minds of Jake Solomon (XCOM: Enemy Unknown), Dean "Rocket" Hall (DayZ), Greg Kasavin (Bastion), Sean Vanaman (The Walking Dead), and Markus "Notch" Persson (Minecraft).

The panel starts at 2:30 pm PDT (4:30 CDT, 5:30 EDT, 9:30 GMT) - if you're at PAX, come see it at the Kraken Theater, but if not: don't worry! You can watch it all live on the official PAX livestream inside.

DayZ dogs detailed in new video

Tom Senior at

DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has been showing IGN his plans to bring dogs to DayZ. They'll act as faithful companions that can track down animals and, eventually, will defend you from zombie attacks. The German Shepherd can be given orders, but the extent to which he'll follow them depends on how experienced he is. A young dog will wander around trying to find you after 30 seconds if he's not well trained.

Of course, owning a dog brings with it the possibility of losing your chum to the zombie hordes. That's a harrowing thought. I love dogs, even virtual ones that sit so still it looks as though they've died and been replaced by a stiff taxidermy replica. Their addition to DayZ will surely make the entire experience that much more fraught. See an early build of the dog update in action in this very video.

Day Z + Arma 3 interview -- optimization, map design, radios, porting Day Z into Arma 3

Evan Lahti at

I interviewed the creators of Arma 3 and Day Z at E3. This is a continuation of that conversation (read part one of the interview over here), with discussion ranging from engine optimization and what hardware you'll need to run Arma 3 to the possibility of baby monitors appearing in Day Z as usable radios.

PCG: Whenever we post an Arma 3 article, we get comments like, "I can hear my graphics card crying." I noticed that you guys recently announced some revised system specs.