Ever since Dean Hall and his team were given the opportunity to develop DayZ mod into a standalone game at Bohemia, they’ve turned inwards - hollowing out Chernarus in an effort to make its spaces ever more dense and detailed. That’s meant some new and evocative interiors for previously un-enterable buildings, and long-term plans for underground bases - which Hall hopes will add an element of player-wrought permanence to DayZ familiar to Eve pilots.
“We are big fans of Eve Online, really big fans,” said Hall in a PAX East talk now available on YouTube. “We caught up with CCP, I caught up with them at E3 and at Gamescom. We hung out with them a lot and they were really awesome, gave us a lot of support, a lot of advice.”
The DayZ dev team think underground bases can offer players the equivalent of Eve’s capital ships. Capital ships often take months to build, and their rare destruction can prompt major in-game events.
“Base-building will be our version of capital ships,” said Hall. “We’ve talked about a lot of ideas - we don’t think that base-building above ground would work because there’s not enough space.
“So we’re looking at going underground with it and having it kind of like Skyrim where it’s a separate instance. And we’ve been toying with the idea - and prototyping - of doing it Red Faction-style, digging it out and that kind of stuff.”
Last year, Hall suggested to RPS that base instances would be accessible through portals (“grates in the ground”), and would see players tasked with digging, concreting, developing hydroponics and doing their utmost to avoid cave-ins.
However, in the PAX talk he warned that players shouldn’t expect to see anything of base-building in game until the end of this year.
“So we need to get the alpha out, and we are committed to at least 12 months of development beyond that, doing content for updates,” he said.
In what sort of ways do you envision underground bases changing the landscape of Chernarus - either physically or strategically?