DayZ designer Dean "Rocket" Hall was quoted last year as saying the standalone version of the popular zombie survival mod for ARMA II will be out before the end of 2012. That obviously hasn't panned out, and today Rocket took to the DayZ development tumblr blog to reveal exactly why the game hasn't been released, show off some textures in screenshots, and tease players with what they can expect in the future. From the post:
Put simply, DayZ Standalone isn’t here because we had the chance to go from making a game that was just the mod improved slightly, packaged simply, and sold - to actually redeveloping the engine and making the game the way we all dreamed it could be. This blew any initial plans we had dictated to pieces.
Rocket goes on to say that a closed test for around 500 to 1,000 people will be released "imminently." After getting the architecture debugged the developers will have a better idea of when the title will be released.
As for changes from the mod, fans will be very happy to know that the inventory system has gotten a complete overhaul, which Rocket said will "fundamentally change the DayZ experience." He states that the developers were inspired by Minecraft to "make the UI simple and effective, rather than flashy and complex." In addition, items can now be damaged:
You scavenge for items now, as individual parts, picking up pieces rather than piles, looking for cans on shelves or under beds. The new system opens the door for durability of items, disease tracking (cholera lingering on clothes a player wears…), batteries, addon components, and much more. If you shoot a player in the head to take his night vision, you will damage the night vision. The changes to this inventory system are huge.
Progress on the art assets is coming along and can be seen in the photos that accompany the post. Progress on the revised Chernarus map, however, is being slowed by the fact that the lead designer of the map is currently in a Greek prison on espionage charges.
Despite all of the delays, it's a given that fans would rather have a complete game than a rushed one. The implosion of WarZ demonstrated that customer service, honesty, and quality are all more important for developers than shoving a game out as quickly as possible.