DayZ is an Early Access sensation so Dean Hall decided to take time out to answer questions from the swelling DayZ fanbase in a Reddit AMA.
What did we learn about the game’s development and progress? Quite a few bits of and pieces including the fact that it will take another six months to get most features in. We also learned that Dean finds developing DayZ harder than climbing Everest. Just look a the pressure you guys are putting him under.
As Reddit is such a damn nightmare to find and follow anything, we’ve picked through the comments to get the juicy answers.
On item throwing:
Yes. Throwing items (including grenades) is working on our internal build. I will be releasing some cool videos of this soon.
Will there be character wipes?
There will be a number of character wipes during development. Definitely one for 1.0
On weapon spawning.
Once improvised weapons, bow and arrow, throwing items is in – we will dramatically turn down military style weapons spawn rate. They will be incredibly rare.
What about the Deer?
Deer is complete but needs animations fixed.
Why not start with the Arma 3 engine?
ArmA3 engine was a work in progress, especially for multiplayer. We needed a very basic system that was known, complete, that we could use as a foundation. I wish we could have started with A3 but we would have had to delay the project 2 or 3 years before starting.
On price increase of the game
yes, it will increase eventually
Features they would like to see if the tech was available
Procedural terrain, limitless environment. I don’t think its impossible with current technology but I don’t think it’s possible within the scope of the project.
Was DayZ always the first name choice?
There was some latin “city of the dead” that I used for a mod I started making for ArmA when it first came out. It was my first mod, ever. I never finished it but me and a few friends played it. I shelved it as too hard but the basic idea grew into DayZ much later.
How much does Dean see of the sales?
Saying specifics can be tough, I think (but I’m not really sure why, it just seems like it’s rude to say how much you earn or bragging or something). But I get a royalty, and I get paid. I also sold (assigned) the rights for DayZ to Bohemia so I was remunerated there too. Compared to royalty rates for other “artists” and such I am probably doing very well. Compared to game designers (who mostly don’t get royalties) I’m doing extremely well.
My royalty rate is not insignificant (it is fairly significant).
What about teamwork type missions and objectives?
Yes, this kind of endgame stuff is quite key to what we want to do. However, in order to do this we have to perfect the architecture which is what we are doing now. Certainly I think underground bases and advanced vehicles will allow some of this really exciting and “eve” style play.
What milestones have been added to the development map?
hunting, camping, bow and arrow, vehicles
What are the dev team doing to improve the ARMA engine performance?
Yes. It is easier for us to optimize DayZ in some ways, because dayz’s focus is very narrow. ArmA is an incredible game and ArmA3 is no exception. It has massive scope and a huge demand on AI and many other things.
Many of these things can cause problems for MP gaming, and that’s what I’m all about really. We have reports from Intel, AMD/ATI, and Nvidia. These give us ideas for how to optimize the client. Let’s just say there is huge room for improvement.
What about VOIP improvements?
Well kind of everything. The quality. Allowing more types (whisper etc…). How zombies react to it. And also particularly the animation and how it plays when your character opens his mouth to speak.
When are we getting vehicles and bases?
Vehicles will be done based on the architecture we are doing for items/weapons now (i.e. attachments). So it’s in progress really. We are replacing the physics system for items (throwing, etc…) and this new middleware will be used for vehicles also. Bases will take longer. Barricades will happen first.
Is it worth buying now?
I would recommend you wait for at least a month. The price will not change, but the game will get better. It is a promising concept now, but it is not a good game. In a month, watch some livestreams and look for good/bad reviews. Read both, make your own mind up, and choose to buy it if it really looks good.
What about aircraft in the game?
Yes. I think helicopters and small aircraft will be important. But they should be very complex to maintain.
New content after release?
“Yes. There will be content updates and such for DayZ for a long time, I believe. However that would be up to Bohemia for the most part. I’m not sure I would (not want to) be super involved with that.”
When did Bohemia get involved with Dayz?
I was already working ArmA 3 as a multiplayer designer. I got invited to meet Marek Spanel (CEO) at his house to discuss DayZ when we had about 20,000 players.
What do you think of Early Access?
I think it’s great but there are massive icebergs sitting around it waiting to be hit. I think some projects are going to hit those and those issues will need to be addressed. It helps because it gets rid of the publishers dictating what the people find popular. You guys say what concepts are good, not some fat guys driving bugattis.
Are we getting Ragdoll physics?
Ragdoll is confirmed. We already have it working in our internal version.
Are you addressing server hopping to stop gearing up?
Being worked on today, we already committed the first changes for this. I expect it to be on the experimental branch early next week. Stable branch within a few weeks.
When do you think the game will be playable with nearly all features
Related to this article
About six months
Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.