Dean Hall shows off DayZ Roadmap – horses, barricades, and clever zombies


Dean Hall showed the development road for DayZ during his talk at Rezzed, going over what’s coming in the immediate, short, medium, and long-term future. That covers everything from crossbows to companion horses, barricade systems, and helicopters. DayZ is till in Early Acess on Steam, but you give our DayZ review a glance to see if it’s worth picking up.

Hall began his presentation joking how the development roadmap’s been almost as anticipated as the game’s release itself, something he first talked about at Rezzed three years ago. “The hilarious thing is you guys are the first to hear it, the team doesn’t know a lot of this stuff and Marek, our CEO, doesn’t either. I met him on Wednesday this week and we were trying to talk about the road map and I was like ‘It’s not finished yet, it’s not finished yet’ and he was like ‘Oh well, I’ll just watch the presentation on Friday.”

He then talked about how Bohemia Interactive are expanding to support DayZ’s development: “One of the big exciting new things for us is that we purchased a whole studio in Slovakia. They were formally called Cauldron Studios located in Bratislava. There’s about 25 people on that team and they’re going to be scaling up to 40 people and they’re dedicated to DayZ.”

He then launched into the immedate goals, things coming in the next update.

“Our immediate goals … are the new crossbow that we’ve been working on and getting in game. The bow and arrow and crossbow’s been a real labour of love. Now when you fire the bolt it actually sticks in its target and moves around with it, you can recover the bolt and the arrow. We think that’s going to be really cool. I think it’s going to become interesting when we get into the hunting and things like that as well.

“Fireplaces – another labour of love. We spent a bit of time getting immersive textures like heat haze, all things we needed to make fire look semi-decent.

“We’re really using the Elder Scrolls a lot as inspiration for those last two things because I really like going around shooting animals, skinning them, and cooking them in Skyrim.”

Other things the team are prioritising are creating a more robust system for testing and delivery of updates, as well as further network optimisations, and removing spawn penalties for rejoining the same server.

Hall plans to have this update out by the end of April. Though there’s a chance, in the best case scenario, that it comes out in the next two weeks.

Hall went into more detail about each of the new features coming in the next update, detailing how fireplaces will be a persistent part of the world after you place them. You can upgrade the fires, too, building them into ovens which you can use to bake bread.

Also, how the game’s loot systems needs more work because currently “When you join a server and the server’s been cleaned out for loot it means that it’s just a really bad experience, so we need to standardise that.” They’ve decided “to look at dividing the world into quadrants and then when a quadrant’s empty for a certain amount of time it will reset. We’re thinking that it will need to reset the doors as well so you can’t tell if someone’s looted it. This is a priority for us for the next update.”

Other changes will be accelerated time. It allows server administrators to speed up or slow down time on their servers. They’ll be able to speed the normal 24-hour cycle by up to 64x.

Throwable items are coming, too. It’s been in development for almost 12 months and when it’s released you’ll see how all an object’s properties are modeled into the physics system – wood will bounce, bullets will roll, metal will do what metal does when you throw it…

He briefly talked about mouse acceleration. This is something which a lot of players are frustrated with. Hall won’t be taking it out of the game “because we do want to model dexterity in DayZ, that is, if you put a whole bunch of attachments on your weapon you’re going to be a whole lot slower moving it round.” However, they’ve brought on a dedicated movement designer to build a “whole new system for doing player controls.” So the feel of the game should be greatly improved.

He also gave an overview of the updates coming in the next few months

  • Ragdoll physics

  • New AI pathfinding

  • 64 bit processing

  • Prototype animals

  • Persistent objects

  • Advanced weather effects

  • World containers, like refrigerators and strong boxes

Medium term

  • Multi-thread/Multi-core processing

  • Advanced animals (wolves and bears! Companion dogs and horses!)

  • New Zombie behaviour

  • Central loot economy – a system to make sure that across all servers there’s a constant level of rarity for all key items

  • Barricading

  • Basic vehicles

  • Modding support

  • Player statistics

  • Horticulture – you’ll be able to grow your own plants. No word on how effective plants are versus zombies

And, in the Long term

  • Advanced vehicles (planes, and helicopters which will have upgradeable components. Because of the central loot economy, you may need to raid other servers to get the parts)

  • More advanced animals

  • Extended barricading

  • Advanced social mechanics (faction identification methods such as arm bands)

For more in-depth discussion on all these updates you should watch the full presentation.