DayZ Standalone: everything we know


I’ve been crunching the numbers and I think it’s statistically possible that there’s still someone out there who isn’t excited about either DayZ, or the announcement that there’s going to be a standalone version.

I don’t know who this person is, or where they might be, but surely not everyone can be a fan. It must be difficult, being that person, just trying to get by out there, having to watch us all shrieking our heads off and rushing around in excitement, and knowing that even the smallest criticism, the tiniest sound of disapproval, will bring a horde of us down upon them. I’ve no idea how they survive.

Anyway, after eating all the brains that we could, here’s a roundup of what has been announced for the standalone version of DayZ.

A release before Christmas:

closer than you might think. Modern games development is a difficult
and often lengthy process, so it’s a pleasant surprise to hear that DayZ
should be with us by Christmas, and may well arrive sooner than that.
Speaking at the Brighton gaming expo Rezzed, creator Dean Hall
originally announced his intention to release it in September, but now
expects a few more months to tick by. We may well be looking at
November, October… maybe even Hallowe’en?

A Minecraft-style release model with incremental updates:

Hall has told Digital Spy
that he wants to follow Minecraft’s release model. While this means the
initial release will be somewhat imperfect and not immediately feature
all the content that’s planned, we can expect new features and assets to
be added as the weeks and months go by, including the aforementioned
tunneling and underground construction. Hall also mentioned charging
around €10 or €15 so, as with Minecraft, you’re likely to get a lot for
your money as the game grows.

A revamped game engine:

ready for a game that looks and feels quite different to the mod we’re
all used to. Hall can make use of a new iteration of Bohemia’s Virtual
Reality game engine and netcode but, as he told Tim at Gamescom,
he’s planning a completely new interface and inventory management, as
well as a new look for the buildings, the terrain and, well, the whole
world. There are also plans to add ragdoll physics and the chance for
players to be true survivalists, growing their own crops and digging
bunkers. “You get your pickaxe and you actually carve out a cavern,” he
told Tim.

Base construction:

ability to carve out these underground bases is going to be a
significant part of the game, but it’s not yet clear how it’s going to
be implemented and the developers are considering a couple of different
approaches. In an interview with RockPaperShotgun,
Hall said he’d been debating whether to let players actually dig out
areas of the game map itself, or whether to use a Skyrim-style mode of
transportation that takes players elsewhere, something where “you walk
up to a dungeon entrance, you look at the door, hit the button, and it
transports you to that instance.”

would present players with more construction options and greatly expand
the potential of the game. “Having the construction occur in a separate
world to the battleground is a good idea because it allows us to be a
lot more creative. You could dig things out, Red Faction style, and
expand that structure over time, maybe build a hydroponics lab, have a
generator, air conditioning, concrete it, have it collapse, those kinds
of things.” Being crushed to death by your own, badly-constructed
underground base is a very real possibility.

New weapons, clothes and equipment:

Of course, there’ll be even more new weapons for you to try out, but not just firearms. In a recent IAmA thread on Reddit,
Hall said he had plans for bows and arrows, allowing players to stalk
silently through the trees with a quiver on their back. He also intends
to include hand hand-to-hand combat in the game, as well as tools for
rudimentary crafting.

players will be happy to hear that they’ll be able to customise their
appearance, with a much wider selection of clothing available. Survivors
will now look quite distinctive and you’ll be able to recognise friends
(or enemies) from a distance.

Canine companions:

the same Reddit thread, there were also promises of “more wildlife,”
including dogs, who can be tamed by feeding them meat and letting them
follow you around. They sound like particularly helpful sidekicks, as
they’ll be able to track other players and will growl to warn you when
something is nearby, and you can watch an early example of a dog in action here on IGN. In response to fan suggestions, Hall also mentioned
that “Horses would be cool,” though he provided no further comment on
his plans for them.

Better environmental effects:

mentioned to both Reddit and RockPaperShotgun that he hoped to address
issues with weather, lighting and environmental effects, though he said
to the latter that these were “on the back burner right now” and aren’t
an immediate priority.

Better cheat protection:

also told RockPaperShotgun that a standalone release of DayZ will be an
excellent opportunity to shut down hackers and cheaters. The enormous
popularity of the mod, with player numbers way beyond anything ever
expected, has made it difficult to monitor or police, but the exploits
that players are using right now won’t work in the new version. “You can
hack the mod fairly easily, but we’ll change that for the standalone.
We’ll turn off options for using any hack exploits at all.”

More maps:

was only hinted at on Reddit, but Hall also said he’d like to see other
maps supported, with the possibility for players to move between them
“e.g. by boat or air.”

It won’t offer mod support (yet):

this has been asked as a joke or not, Hall has taken the question
seriously and said he has no current plans for a mod spinoff to itself
support mods.

It may come to console:

though it’s not yet certain, we may well see a console version of DayZ
too. This isn’t a priority and, of course, we’re at the end of a console
cycle right now, but who knows? When the next generation comes, it
could be packed with zombies.