Dean Hall has a dream - to lose his head in a good book, only to have it shot off by a fellow survivor. But first, he needs writers to fill the pages.
Hall put out the call via Twitter earlier this afternoon, writing: “Budding writer? Demo your work in DayZ? We thinking of putting books findable in game (eg fallout/skyrim).”
Bohemia are looking for short stories from the DayZ community to embed as lootable “minibooks” in the upcoming standalone game. What’s more, they can be in “any language at all”.
The consequences of this seemingly small design decision, it seems to me, could be exponential. Could DayZ’s implied origin point - a presumed Dawn of the Dead apocalypse so deeply embedded in pop culture that most players likely never give it a second thought - be written into being? Will we find out what happened to Chernarus? Will there be DayZ lore? Story wikis?
Better to take another approach, I think, and cover the island with journals, recipes and works of fiction which embellish the trees without revealing the forest.
It looks like Rocket gets that. While many of the submissions are destined to be harrowing written accounts of zombie attacks, it seems that Bohemia are looking to populate the world with plenty of pre-apocalypse, non-Z books too.
“No set structure to the story book system but think like elder scrolls and fallout etc... of that nature,” tweeted Hall. “Normal short stories any genre.”
After subjecting himself to a few swamped hours of Twitter clarification, Hall announced that he would be working out formal guidelines for submissions in the near future. More on those when they come.