The DayZ dev team recently took on a new map designer, and drove them the 100km to real-life Chernarus on what sounds like part-research trip, part-initiation ritual. Once they got back, map design consultant Ivan Buchta recorded a short devblog video about map design, Chernarus, and why they were there.
“The purpose of the trip was to introduce our new map designer to the real life thing, to show him around,” said Buchta. “And we were also sculpting possible expansions or improvements of the map on the spot.”
Buchta believes that field trips like these are a crucial part of Bohemia’s developmental process, as they can “give you insight you’ll never get from a map, or photos, or even videos”.
“Sometimes it can be dangerous, but the experience you have helps you to create a landscape that is better structured, more logically [developed], which is more continuous and based in deeper understanding. Compared to just, ‘Okay, let’s see some pictures on the internet and make something’.
“Landscape is a key value both for the Arma series and for DayZ, so I think the attention is wholly appropriate,” he concluded.
You can browse 17 pages of Bohemia's photos in Chernarus here. If the name Ivan Buchta seems at all familiar, it’s probably because he spent 129 days in a Greek prison alongside colleague Martin Pezlar after photographing military installations on a research trip to Lemnos.
What we didn’t know until now is that Buchta sent Bohemia an 11 page letter from prison, full of suggested improvements to the Chenarus map for DayZ’s standalone version.
Welcome home, Ivan.