I'm reliably informed by my spirit guide Ernest 'Don't Call Me Ernie' Ernie Shackleton that, before the age of iPhones and Sat-Nav and asking people for directions, compasses were once THE way to get around. Seeing as how satellites probably wouldn't work in the zombie post-apocalypse, it seems only right that DayZ's survivors are embracing the humble compass once more, as revealed in this new, eight-minute-long video of the upcoming standalone version. Also featured: the lovely new inventory system, and lots and lots of hitting zombies with an axe.
Dean Rocket Hall
DayZ developer Dean "Rocket" Hall took to Reddit on Monday to discuss the current state of the standalone version for the popular Arma 2 mod. The final version, unfortunately, is still a ways off, due to Hall's insistence that the game needs more optimization and bug fixes before he's happy with it.
There's a little bit of everything in the DayZ Standalone's latest video diary, which starts off with a nicely choreographed montage of multiplayer scenes (including a disturbing moment where a guy is made to kneel on the ground and strip everything but his undergarments), before moving on to an update by Rocket on the state of the alpha (it's not ready yet, sadface), and finally some interviews with some of the other developers. You'll find all 17 minutes, and a summary, below.
Rocket may be x-way up a mountain right now, but there's still a team of Bohemians working hard to prepare DayZ Standalone for its eventual alpha release. For this week's development update, that team have published a video of a session from last month's PAX East. An epic hour and a half info-dump, the majority of the video is Q&A about development plans and ideas. But you also get a nice chunk of unbroken shaky-cam game footage, running through the work-in-progress inventory and control scheme changes.
Dean "Rocket" Hall has a mountain to climb. No, not the metaphorical mountain of game development, with the continued creation, testing and reiterating of DayZ Standalone. He's actually climbing a mountain. Everest, to be precise, which according to geography is "quite big". Naturally, he took a quick pit stop at base camp to open up Tumblr and draft a development blog update from 5,400 metres in the sky.
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.
The latest DayZ Standalone update dispenses with the technical round-ups of recent posts, and instead focuses on creator Dean "Rocket" Hall having violent and unnatural spasms. Because he's doing motion capture work for the game. Not because he's possessed or anything. Probably.
The twenty minute video takes you through the mo-capping process, and features select interviews with DayZ's animation team. In it, you can learn Bohemia animator Martin Michalik's favourite mo-capped animation for DayZ. Spoiler: it's "defecation". Wait, what?
If you were ever in any doubt as to how popular DayZ is, just look at the performance of Arma2: Combined Operations. Since the release of Dean Hall's zombie survival mod, its parent game has stubbornly refused to drop from Steam's Top 10. Now, with a standalone version on the way, Bohemia Interactive seem keen to tease out every last potential Arma2 sale. To that end, the DayZ mod has been added to Steam, providing a one-click install for Combined Ops owners present and future.
The latest dev update from Dean "Rocket" Hall and the DayZ Standalone team takes you on a fifteen minute video tour of the game's new content and systems. There are no zombies or combat - many of the game's features have been disabled or obscured - but you do get beans, a swamp and a fashion show. So still a pretty thrilling time, all told.
Dean "Rocket" Hall, creator of zombie survival mod DayZ, recently took part in a Reddit AMA thread, answering questions on the development of the upcoming standalone version of the game. During the Q&A session, he outlined new features and release plans. He also talks frankly about the impact of controversial rival The War Z, saying "I am angry about the WarZ. I'm very angry. I'm quite hurt personally because anyone can see how similar the words are, and while the average gamer knows the difference individual people don't."
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."
"That's right, this is actually happening," reads a tweet from the official DayZ dev twitter feed. "DayZ will be developed as a standalone game." A post on the DayZ site from Dean "Rocket" Hall announces that Bohemia Interactive are developing DayZ as a full game, and he'll be heading up development as lead designer.
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.
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.