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.
"We need more performance," Hall writes in the Reddit thread. In particular, his team has been working on server-side optimizations. "We think we need a minimum of 15 FPS [server-side with] 50 players, 2000 zombies, and 25000 loot items. Our latest tests have all shown some runaway systems in the code we have to tidy up." Hall also notes that the Arma engine wasn't originally built to handle the complexities of a zombie outbreak, with lots of items and undead roaming in the game world, so more custom work for the engine is necessary.
That said, Hall writes that client performance is actually quite smooth outside of cities, and notes that the game currently supports "10-20" players at basic functionality, with improved path finding for zombies.
So when will DayZ Standalone be available? That's the $64,000 question, and Hall is hesitant to give an answer at this point. "If I start saying 'oh it won't be out then' people start asking me about the day after, and the day after," he writes. "So it just encourages people to keep asking me when it is, and the 'announced date' would be when I go 'yeah, it could be out then.'"
Disappointment about the lack of a firm release date aside, Rocket's transparency on the current state of the game is refreshing. The videogame industry has long been known for secrecy on upcoming projects, a trend Hall and Bohemia are avoiding. By communicating directly with DayZ's community on Reddit, he's providing a level of access not seen since .plan files back in the '90s. With any luck, that level of communication will make the standalone version of DayZ exactly what its rabid community wants it to be.
[Editor's Note: A previous version of this story ran on Monday, Nov. 11 with numerous errors. The original story has updated to reflect those issues.]