It has been more than a year since the release of “DayZ,” a zombie horror survival simulation mod developed for “Arma 2” by Dean “Rocket” Hall in the summer of 2012. Since then, Hall, along with his “DayZ” project team at Bohemia Interactive, has been working tirelessly on a full version of the mod. The alpha release on Monday of “DayZ” is the result of their efforts.
The project was put in motion after extremely positive reception by gamers to the original DayZ mod, whose popularity caused a surge of more than 300,000 purchases in two months of “Arma 2,” the 2009 military combat simulation which the “DayZ” mod was originally developed for, according to GamingBlend.
Despite the lengthy rollercoaster of hype, controversy and outrage over the game’s “long” development, which threatened to tear the “DayZ” player community apart, “DayZ” has been greeted with a warm reception from players of its predecessor “DayZ” mod and others who have been eagerly awaiting the full game’s release.
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— Bohemia Interactive (@bohemiainteract) December 17, 2013
Reddit users quickly responded to comment threads about the “DayZ” release with the “It’s happening,” Ron Paul GIF in excitement and then minor frustration because the Bohemia Interactive website was being hammered with traffic from players looking to buy “DayZ.”
One Reddit user was a bit unhappy, though, posting this on a comment thread before the game’s release: “If it comes out tomorrow I’ll buy everyone here a copy of [“DayZ”]. Edit: Oh god, please Rocket not tomorrow.”
Prior to the “DayZ” standalone alpha release, online communities, particularly members of the DayZ subreddit on the social news website Reddit, were constantly speculating on whether the game would be released before the end of 2013, using clues from several sources, including SteamDB, an unofficial database that tracks file packages and database changes in the Steam digital distribution platform.
Ultimately the release for the “DayZ” standalone game arrived on Monday: first, on the Bohemia Interactive website and later in the day on Steam. Unlike its predecessor, “DayZ” mod, “DayZ” has been developed and coded using a modified version of Real Virtuality 3, a proprietary game engine developed by Bohemia Interactive and used in games such as “Arma 2,” “Take On Helicopters” and “Virtual Battlespace 2 (VBS2),” a military sim tailored for customers such as the U.S. Marine Corps.
The biggest changes in DayZ involve the server architecture, which has shifted to something more representative of a massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG.
While the "DayZ" standalone alpha game early access is available for $30 on Steam, does that mean you should buy it right away? Not necessarily. "DayZ" was released on Steam under its Early Access program, which let players contribute to a game and experience the game while it is still under development. In fact, the game’s developers strongly recommend not purchasing the game without fully understanding the implications of what an alpha version of a game entails.
This is what the "DayZ" development team at Bohemia Interactive has to say regarding "DayZ’s" in-development status:
“DayZ Early Access is your chance to experience DayZ as it evolves throughout its development process. Be aware that our Early Access offer is a representation of our core pillars, and the framework we have created around them. It is a work in progress and therefore contains a variety of bugs. We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means and are interested in participating in the ongoing development cycle.”
In addition to the developer note, the DayZ game page on Steam also contains this warning:
“WARNING: THIS GAME IS EARLY ACCESS ALPHA. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME AND ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES AND POSSIBLE INTERRUPTIONS OF GAME FUNCTIONING.”
Take a look at the alpha release of "DayZ" on Steam and the Bohemia Interactive website and let us know what you think about it in the comments.