Dean 'Rocket' Hall, project lead on Bohemia's ground-breaking zombie survival sim, has taken to Tumblr to explain both why the standalone version of the game didn't manage to hit its pre-Christmas release and what the team are currently working on.
It's that second reason that explains the first, they're redeveloping the engine and its core systems, no longer just "making a game that was just the mod improved slightly, packaged simply, and sold".
Check out what that entails below.
For one, "the inventory and item management system was completely removed and rewritten" to allow players to scavenge for individual items instead of looking through piles. Previously found items like ammo and food were located in these weird incongruous piles that were intermittently generated. It was a game-shattering flaw or anything but coming across four piles at once, all sharing the same 3D model did seem a little unrealistic. Now, when you see a can of food on a shelf that model represents a single can of food, you take it and the model is removed from the world.
According to Hall this "new system opens the door for durability of items, disease tracking (cholera lingering on clothes a player wears…), batteries, addon components, and much more. If you shoot a player in the head to take his night vision, you will damage the night vision. The changes to this inventory system are huge."
One of the most wished for changes between the DayZ mod and its standalone redesign is for changes to ArmA 2's complicated UI. Apparently "the UI is being designed to be straightforward and functional just like in Minecraft". However, unfortunately, Hall doesn't provide any images for use to compare the two iterations.
Work on rebuilding the Chernarus world map continues with all the building interiors now complete. And even though the lead architect on the map, Ivan Buchta, is currently imprisoned in Greece on charges of espionage, "through letters, Ivan is able to provide some input and insight into the development".
While still not ready for release, Hall says they "will be releasing a closed test imminently".