Ah, DayZ. In many respects it's the architect for modern survival gaming, and, in many other respects, we still have no idea what its final form will even be. Neither the Arma 2 mod nor the standalone early access release are in a finished state, and that's led to some concern within its community. Brian Hicks, producer for DayZ, recently addressed these concerns (opens in new tab) in a forum thread titled, "has anyone else lost faith in DayZ?"
Here's what Hicks had to say:
"You are not playing DayZ, you are playing development builds. Early development builds.
"DayZ is 11 months into principle development, on what should be a 3 year standard development cycle. I can't force you to be a fan of DayZ, but I can call this out:
"Defining or judging what DayZ is by a build so early in its development is much a kin to judging a painting within the first few brush strokes. Hell, even Bob Ross's paintings didn't look great for the first few minutes (until you realized what it was he was making).
"I can promise you none of your favorite AAA games played, or even resembled the final product that early in their cycles. (Okay, maybe some of the larger titles that push small incremental updates out every 12 months - but we all know those are special snowflakes.)
"Take a break, and come back in beta or even the full release. The Early Access period of development will have many peaks and low, low valleys. This is the nature of software development. Yes, it is stressful as heck - for all of us, but you get to be part of shaping the DayZ experience."
Later in the thread (opens in new tab) , Hicks clarified his three-year standard development cycle comment.
"I'm always careful with what I say - 3 year standard development cycle, meaning in standard terms this would be a 3 year, closed development cycle. Early Access changes a lot of that, I don't need to tell you. We are still aiming for end of 2014 to hit our beta phase entry. You can be certain the weekly status reports will keep everyone updated on that.
"We're trying to effectively do a 3 year standard cycle in 2 to 2.5 years. It might be a lofty goal, but as long as I have something to say about it - you will all be kept updated as to what is going on."
I have to say, I broadly agree with Hicks's position. DayZ launched into Early Access with an all-caps warning (opens in new tab) that player's shouldn't purchase unless they were willing to deal with issues and interruptions along its development road-map. I have, I'd argue, already wrangled enough fun out of the game to justify that purchase, and, while I'm among the group now holding off for the beta release, I'm hopeful that it'll be worth the wait.