Dean "Rocket" Hall, the developer of the popular zombie apocalypse mod DayZ has announced the game will be getting a standalone version. Hall announced on the DayZ Tumblr blog that he has been named project lead on the development of the DayZ game. The title will be developed by Bohemia Interactive, the developers of ARMA II engine, which the DayZ mod currently runs on.
For those that just bought ARMA 2 through the Steam Summer Sale, worry not. Hall stated that development of the ARMA 2 mod will continue alongside development of the standalone version of DayZ.
Hall also revealed that the DayZ standalone title will be adopting the Minecraft development model. Very early versions of the game will be available for a discounted price.
The news of a standalone version of DayZ is not surprising, considering the popularity of the mod. For some time now, fans of the game have been speculating that today's news might come before the end of the year.
The popularity of DayZ is something of a Cinderella story in gaming. The game is a mod for the military simulation game ARMA 2. Players are spawned on the beach of a game world large enough to cover many square miles. They must find food and water to survive while avoiding or shooting the zombies that inhabit the terrain. More dangerous than the zombies, however, are the other players in the game. At this time, up to 50 players can play together in a single instance of the game. Resources are scarce and many players have adopted a "shoot first" policy with regards to other players, who, if trusted too much, might shoot them in the back for a can of beans.
Part of the mod's popularity comes from the fact that the game, while tedious to play for some, is interspersed with exciting confrontations between players, zombie, and other players. This, and the open, sandbox nature of the game makes it nearly as fun to watch clips of gameplay on YouTube as it is to play the game. Over the summer, DayZ became one of the most popular games that viewers watched streaming through Twitch.tv. This is all with the mod still in an "alpha" state, never even reaching full beta.