DayZ standalone is on the horizon; GAMEBREAKER compiled a list of what we know so far…
We’ve been reporting about DayZ for quite some time now (most recently here), and yet it seems like only yesterday that the game first began infecting the scene. Creator Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall has come such a long way in the 7 months that the popular mod has been in development, it just feels so unprecedented to think it is just that; a mod. Yes, that’s right, for those that have been hidden under a rock the past year, the game that everyone has been raving about is a mod for Bohemia Interactive’s 2009 game, Arma 2.
After beginning to overshadow the game that it was dependent on, it should come as no surprise that in August 2012, Rocket and his small development team announced that a DayZ standalone was in production with a release date slated for the end of the year. Sadly, however, this time frame was pushed back as the team had made the decision to take some “significant risks” that could drastically make or break the future of the games development.
“Put simply, DayZ Standalone isn’t here because we had the chance to go from making a game that was just the mod improved slightly, packaged simply, and sold – to actually redeveloping the engine and making the game the way we all dreamed it could be”
Well, it seems those risks paid off as the development team broke its period of silence and released its latest development update on the progress of the DayZ standalone. “This is the first update when I have sat down and thought “where do I start?””.
GAMBREAKER is here to bring you a list of what we know about the game after this recent update and what we can most likely expect to see from the project
DayZ standalone: Whats in store for us
- Its still the DayZ that you love…just, better! – The DayZ standalone is still going to have everything you love about the game with a ton more along the way. The problem any developer has with sticking with a mod is that there is only so much you can do with the games engine as there are many elements locked away. Going the standalone root and building the game up from scratch means that you can truly refine and tune everything as the engine is laid bare for you to toil with at your own leisure. Expect a ton of stability improvements, fully functioning animations alongside all of the zombie survival action that you fell in love with.
- Changes to server architecture – This was something we’ve known for a while, but this time Hall gave some more details that helped peak many fans attention. The current system is out; Long live the MMO architecture. As any DayZ player is probably all too aware, hackers/cheats are everywhere and they like nothing better to do than ruin everybody’s fun because they ‘can’. Not anymore, says Hall! Although not a perfect system, the number of incidents should be dramatically reduced, as the DayZ standalone is implementing an architecture similar to what MMO’s do. What does this mean? Well instead of a players machine being flooded with information, which can then be exploited, everything is going to be server side. Item and zombie spawns will also end up being server side, meaning people can no longer predict locations of players based on the way spawning works in the current mod
- Character customization - is in! Character customization has always been a sure fire way to allow gamers to make their own personal mark on the avatar that is their own. Although we have no solid information yet on what this is likely to include, Hall does specifically mention personal customization choices such as tattoos and scars being optional, alongside the usual sex and ethnicity. He does go on to mention that context sensitive ‘changes’ will be making an appearance, which will affect your character based on the decisions you make and the items you use. In regards to this, I’m certainly hoping for a system akin to Mass Effects morality system, changing your character depending on if you help our fellow survivors or ruthlessly stab them in the back…but hey, one can hope!
- Inventory/clothing – the inventory and clothing system is getting an overhaul.
Taking elements from traditional RPG games, it seems clothing won’t just be about changing your wardrobe, but clothing itself will have attributes. Fear not, its nothing game breaking, but clothing will now have attributes such as resilience and some clothing pieces may look good, but could hinder you in the long run having been infected with the zombie plague.
- Improved lighting and material graphics – What is a game in this day and age without a rich, lush world full of detailed textures and environments? An indie game normally. Jokes aside; The team are clearly ramping up the detail on all of its models to ensure the game has “the best visuals possible“. Although we’ve only seen comparison screenshots, the detail is a huge improvement over what the ArmA 2 mod offers.
- Base building?!?! – So references to base building have been doing the rounds for quite some time as a feature that Rocket wanted to implement. Apparently, this was in the works at the end of last year, so we should hopefully be seeing it in the finished version. Back when we last heard about it, it was inferred that Bases could potentially be instanced and only seen by players that made them, acting as a storage house for your items. Although a nice concept, I can’t help but feel that it destroys the image that your 5 year old self developed of what a “base” is . A base is your fortress of doom! Think “the walking dead”; Everyone wants to be the Governor, right? A base keeps you alive and all the zombies/bandits out! Think about it, how cool could a fortress in DayZ be? A band of survivors pulling together to build this thing, fighting every one else off, only to have a traitor break down the walls when its least expected. I can dream. Right now, we know base building is in…until the team tears down the the curtain, we’re not sure to what degree!
- Bohemia on board all the way – Bohemian interactive have been extremely forthcoming with their support of the DayZ since its inception. When Rocket announced the DayZ Standalone back in August, he had already confirmed that Bohemia would be helping with the development of the game. It had already been revealed that the two developers that were imprisoned last year, Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar, had been assisting with development of some of the maps to ship with the DayZ standalone. Artists from the company have also been noted as lending to their development, so the DayZ dev team certainly has plenty of resources at its disposal, no doubt ensuring that it maintains all of the flare you’d come to expect from a full retail game.
- Closed testing has begun – Apparently this is currently only internal, however, the development team will be branching this out to specific streamers in the future, no doubt with a large NDA around it. But is this an indication to what a release date will be? Sadly not…
- Release date – We still have no official word on a release date and of course we’ve been given the usual “when its ready” PR line, but when a game is promising as much as the DayZ standalone, I urge them not to rush it.
With all of this coming out of Camp Z – One can only speculate that we’ll have plenty of more to come in the coming days. However, Hall does end his post by emphasizing that he does not want people to overhype the game, which as we all know, can be damaging to any developer on its own.
Of course, credit goes to our friends at Rooster Teeth for the in game footage.