Hello and welcome survivors! If it hasn't been obvious to you, we've been on a bit of a hiatus here at DayZ HQ. But things will be changing soon since we are just entering what I'd like to call the pre-season. For those of you that haven't been following DayZ news, we are in the middle of an important time in the Standalone's development. You see, Dean "Rocket" Hall, creator and lead developer for DayZ over at Bohemia Interactive, has alluded that the DayZ Standalone is on the precipice of open Alpha. I know what you are all thinking - ABOUT TIME! Now before we cash in our work sick days, let's take a second and look at the facts. Rocket has thus far only given vague timeframes regarding open Alpha and there still happens to be much speculation regarding a firm announcement date.
The team has just released the first batch of in-progress screenshots, showcasing the structures in the game. They appear to have the same aesthetic as the current DayZ mod, which makes sense as the setting is still Chernarus.
Dean "Rocket" Hall did an AMA (ask me anything) on /r/dayz, and is being quite open about a lot of the planned DayZ standalone features. Below I'll be piecing together the confirmed* information in a concise format. I recommend reading the full AMA for context and extra tidbits of information.
Please remember that a lot of this information is paraphrased, and obviously nothing is set in stone. A lot of the AMA is casual discussion, so keep that in mind.
Target for release is by the end of the 2012 working year.
The release will be for the public alpha version, i.e. not the stable release.
The standalone will provide the dev team with absolute freedom, and they will utilize many aspects of the Real Virtuality engine, not limited to the ArmA 3 version. It will be their own branch of the engine.
Alpha will be heavily discounted, and the end product will never be a fully priced retail product. Rocket mentions that he can't picture a price over 25 euro (30 USD) for the final.
No pre-ordering, but there will be a premium/collector's edition available with swag like art prints and concept work.
The game mechanics will stay as they are now.
Focus will be on re-developing game architecture first, and then development of new features.
There will be no "endgame", but rather continued gameplay decided by the individual player. Kind of like Minecraft before The End was introduced.
A new map, "Chernarus Plus".
Chernarus Plus will have more interactive (enter-able) buildings. Non-interactive buildings will be easier to spot.
Hand combat, in addition to the melee weapons we already have.
Dogs can be a survivor's companion. "Expect them to track, to warn you of danger, and to follow you. And then get shot. And then you QQ."
There will be no safe areas on the map.
A quiver for crossbow bolts.
Weapon and gear degradation.
A diary system, allowing other players to see notes left by you when you're offline, not around, or dead.
A robust web interface, as previewed at Rezzed earlier this summer.
Narrative that will describe the virus background.
Improvements over the mod
More weapons. Many of which are custom, "find at home" style weaponry. Cricket bat, anyone?
Zombies will not switch to walking when indoors (once pathing for zambies is fixed and their lifecycle is implemented).
More clothing and player customization, including colors and face.
The humanity system will be fine tuned.
More robust weather system, redesigned from scratch.
Zombies will be much more frightening.
Improved broken limb system.
And entirely new hive syncing system.
Improved anti-cheat measures.
Improved player UI. The inventory is being reworked from scratch.
The female character will be feature complete.
Better performance, including faster loading.
More islands other than Chernarus, created by either the dev team or the community. Players will travel to them by boat or air.
Increase max player count. 100-200 would be easily achievable, but any more would require a larger map.
More wildlife. "Horses would be cool too."
Animations will be improved.
There are vague mentions of a revised server hosting scheme.
Add "methods that allow players to create their own systems for things, so if they wanted to create such a system they could". So perhaps think about Garry's Mod and how players can program in aspects that affect their own gameplay. Not sure on this one.
Underground "bases" and other construction, but Rocket mentions that it's a pretty ambitious endeavor to develop.
Group play and faction support.
Current DayZ mod version
The current mod version of DayZ will continue to be updated, and will become more open.
Dogs will be coming to the mod (in the next update, v1.7.3) before the standalone.
The possibility of private hive servers.
Lingor Island may be coming to the mod.
It looks like Rocket is going to continue using the mod as a way to test new features before they're thrown into the standalone build. He also mentions that they already have an internal build of the standalone going around, which includes that Chernarus Plus map.
* Confirmed in the sense that Rocket is talking openly about the features. Anything and everything is subject to change.
Tucked away in yesterday's 188.8.131.52 was a perk just for players that like helping others. If you are wearing civilian clothing and have over 5,000 humanity points, your character will be wearing a blue, plaid shirt under his vest. It's not great for camouflage, but hopefully it'll be an effective way to sight friendly players from a distance.
It's the announcement we've all been waiting for, and it comes as no surprise - Rocket has been talking about a standalone version of DayZ for quite a while. The new standalone version will continue to be spearheaded by Rocket but is now officially backed by Bohemia Interactive.
No word yet as to pricing, although Rocket says that he's fond of the Minecraft model - users pay for the development version of the game and then receive the full version it's deemed complete. The current ArmA II mod will continue to be supported while the standalone is developed.
That’s right, this is actually happening - DayZ will be developed as a standalone game, with me as project lead, by Bohemia Interactive. This is the fairy-tale outcome for a mod that many would have said impossible four months ago.
Development and updates of the mod will continue in parallel with the development of the game, so anyone who is playing the mod now will be able to continue to do so. The project will follow the Minecraft development model; fast iterations with the community alpha available for a heavily discounted price.
I realize people will have many, many questions - but we wanted to let everyone know the announcement now. Over the coming weeks, these questions will be answered. The game will have it’s own site, www.dayzgame.com and the mod will continue at it’s present link.
This site has been in the works for the past two months. Our goal has been to develop new and unique ways to share user-submitted content within a community of people who enjoy DayZ.
We've shown this in our map, where we opted to go for a user-friendly way of displaying building types and landmarks rather than places to find loot. We believe the fun in the game is the adventure, and analyzing the game and turning it into a loot-finding simulator flies in the face of that. Now we're trying do the same thing for the new site.
Stories, videos, and discussion are what make the community unique. We intend to promote that. Thanks for checking DayZ HQ out and please keep in touch!
We love reading the stories the DayZ community puts out. Chance encounters, blood-pumping firefights, comical breaks in the tension, and even stories of humanity (if you can believe it). All of this comes together to make for an enthralling reading experience, even if you don't play the mod.
That's exactly why we put together the journals repository.
To kick off the launch of DayZ HQ, we're holding a contest that will reward the best storytellers with their pick from this stack of Steam games:
If you've been playing DayZ for a while, you know how hard updating the mod used to be. Just as hard was picking through the ArmA II server browser for the best DayZ server — little details like time offsets, mod versions, and other criteria were just too hard to spot.
Then came the Six Launcher. It made updating DayZ easy, in addition to allowing the perusal of servers running the mod while outside of ArmA. But it hasn't been without a few faults. The interface is clunky, key information is hard to see, and servers don't appear until every server has been queried for information (which can take a while).
Redditor dotjosh has just released the first version of a DayZ server browser that gives the bulky Six Launcher a run for its money. It's faster, simpler, and easier to use — and although the launcher is still in infant stages, it shows potential to become a strong alternative.
Our goal is to be the most efficient, feature-driven, content-filled, and visually appealing DayZ fan site on the World Wide Web and collective consciousness of the game's burgeoning community. With great effort, and help from the users, we can and will aggregate everything from the most indespensible game mechanic down to the most meager fun fact.