“DayZ” launched its standalone alpha last December, and though the zombie survival horror has received a number of updates for the title during the past six months, developer Bohemia Interactive is in the process of launching some major gameplay improvements soon.
“DayZ” creator Dean Hall recently spoke to Gamespot to discuss some of “DayZ’s” changes, which include a new engine, new server technology and a new early game.
The new engine will implement DirectX10 or 11.
"We lose a lot of time," Hall told GameSpot. "But implementing DirectX 10 or 11 will have a dramatic, instant visual difference and quite a significant performance difference."
This improvement will go beyond enhancing visual performance features in the game.
“The big benefit we get is being able to implement dynamic lighting so we can have dynamic shadows," Hall said. "If you've got a good computer, you'll be able to play with more lights. If there's a lot of people using torches in the distance, you'll be able to see their lights."
“DayZ” also recently upgraded to a 64-bit server architecture.
"It allows us to use a lot more RAM, which helps us a great deal with spawning in thousands more items into the world. It means we can have more zombies. It means we can have more loot items,” Hall explained.
The start of the game is also different. In the original “DayZ” mod, players would spawn on the south shore of fictional post-Soviet country Chernaurus and travel north to collect supplies and weapons. In the new update, players begin their game on the east coast.
Hall claimed this wasn’t intentional, and that both coasts will eventually have the same number of players starting their missions there.
“DayZ” launched on Dec. 17 on Steam Early Access in an alpha release. After one hour, the game had recruited 19,000 users. During the first 12 hours, the title drew 88,000 players. After 24 hours, “DayZ” had been downloaded 172,500 times. The open-world multiplayer title was created by New Zealand game designer Dean Hall and developed by Bohemia Interactive. “DayZ” is a standalone version of the award-winning mod of the same name.
On Dec. 18, Bohemia Interactive CEO Maruk Spanel wrote a blog post about the game’s progress, saying “First day of ‘DayZ’ (Alpha). Hours passed: 24. Copies sold: 172,500. Survivors online: 142,403. Bugs discovered: many. Work ahead: hard.”
“DayZ” is a basic survival horror game, where players take on tasks to gather food, supplies, medicine, clothing and water in a 225-square-kilometer setting. Items can be collected in random places such as abandoned vehicles, homes and barns. Players can also pick up weapons that serve as protection from other players or the undead.
The “DayZ” standalone game began development in August 2012 following the success of the original mod. Dean Hall joined forces with Bohemia Interactive and took over as project lead. Three months later, he posted an unedited video clip of the game’s multiplayer mode to YouTube, saying that the footage “makes no effort to mask the variety of bugs.” Hall has talked about moving the game to next-gen consoles like the PS4 or Xbox One, although no specific date has been set for either system. Though the game has experienced a number of bugs, its popularity has continued to increase, with more than 2 million users currently playing.