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.
Of the areas the team are now working on, it's the in-game radios that sound the most promising. Players can find the walkie-talkies out in the world, and set a frequency that lets them talk and type to anyone on the same channel. You'll also be able to disable the speaker, potentially letting you listen in to another group's conversation.
Furthermore, players will need to craft headsets that attach to the radio if they don't want its output noise to be broadcast in a radius around the set. So while the feature is being teased as a simplified version of Arma 2's ACARS radio mod, it sounds like there's more than enough flexibility and consequences to flesh out DayZ's grouping and PvP planning.
Elsewhere, the team have been implementing more natural animations - including player movements that feels less militarised, tightening up zombie pathfinding in buildings, improving the towns and implementing the new art assets.
While there's still no news about an alpha release date, Rocket finishes by saying: "we want to release our initial alpha under the architecture it needs to avoid hacking and security issues - this is the only remaining task stopping us from releasing the alpha." Well, presumably that and the mountain.