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The day after DayZ: Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall talks survival

Monday, 9th July 2012 15:19 GMT By Sam Clay

Zombie Survival mod, DayZ, has been a worldwide hit for fans of the undead. Dean Hall, creator of the ArmA II mod tells VG247 what’s next.


ArmA II, the military realistic shooter, has recently become known for telling ‘unrealistic’ stories about the rising of the undead. DayZ, a mod created by Dean Hall, one of the game’s developers, has become a worldwide hit. With it recently clocking in with over 400,000 players it’s now time for the team behind it all to think about the future, and more importantly, how to ‘survive’.

In the video above, Hall talks about building underground, the upcoming 1.7.2 update and his own experiences with the game.

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40 Comments

  1. Erthazus

    Make a F2P game please after this mod.

    Excited to play DayZ in ArmA 3 with futuristic weapons and vehicles.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Ireland Michael

    And hilariously, nobody gives a crap about the main game.

    The mod isn’t even that good, yet people are buying a full game to play it. *shakes head in resignation*

    #2 2 years ago
  3. YoungZer0

    @2: I don’t see how that’s hilarious. If anything, it just shows how vitally important mod-support is.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Hirmetrium

    @3: No, I still find it hilarious. Skyrim was popular without mod support. So was BF2. ArmA2 is one of the few games that has been… utter crap, and had a better mod than the game itself.

    And we all know mod support is going down the shitter in this age. “Mod Support” doesn’t really even exist. It’s a bunch of very, very clever people who like a challenge putting cool stuff into a game they love. Look at Dawn of War 2 – no mod support, yet some crazy awesome 40k tabletop mods have come out of it.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    @2,3 “And hilariously, nobody gives a crap about the main game.

    The mod isn’t even that good, yet people are buying a full game to play it. *shakes head in resignation*”

    Hilariously is that you never played ArmA 2 and you won’t play it because you are a casual gamer that knows shit about gameplay.

    and Yes, the main game is very good with the latest expansion packs and there are a lot of players that play the main game.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. YoungZer0

    @5: Naw, this got nothing to do with casual gaming and more about how much bugs and crappy gameplay you can handle.

    ArmA is, since the first game just fucking unplayable. No amount of patches can fix it, the game still looks bad, plays bad and works bad. I hope ArmA 3 delivers a major overhaul, otherwise i’d never buy it. The biggest problems Day Z has can be traced back to the game its modded. From the shooting, to the driving, to the animation, to the horrible, horrible interface. Say what you want about Operation Flashpoint Red River, it was playable.

    I’m not even going to touch the mod again until the mod developer fixes the horrendous running animation of the zombies. Never seen any zombies run Zigzag in a movie. Where they being trained in case they’d run into sniper fire?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Jerykk

    The Arma games have a small but dedicated fanbase. This isn’t surprising, considering that realistic war sims are a niche genre. If nobody was playing Arma 2 before DayZ, then DayZ would not exist because there would have been nobody around to try it out.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. UuBuU

    @4 Arma 2 is utter crap…? WHAT?

    Arma 2 is amazing. Just because it’s not that popular doesn’t mean it’s shit. If anything, the opposite is true with this kind of game. It’s very much a game made for a niche audience… not like all the shitty consolized arcade FPS games out there. Honestly, if Arma 2 itself was widely popular, then Bohemia Interactive would most likely be doing something very wrong (like dumbing the experience down).

    As for Dayz… DayZ is more appealing to the mainstream crowd for two reasons:

    A) Because it has zombies
    B) Because of all the player stories and videos going viral

    In spite of that, it still has a lot of the hardcore elements Arma 2 has. That’s why you have so many casual gamers buying Arma 2 just for the mod then whining that it’s shit because they find it inaccessible and tough to get into.

    …Then of course, you have the morons who can’t quite grasp the fact that THIS IS AN ALPHA MOD and whine about it being unpolished and buggy.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Erthazus

    @6, “ArmA is, since the first game just fucking unplayable.”

    If you have shitty hardware it’s your only problem.
    for me it runs smoothly without any bugs with latest patch.

    “the game still looks bad”

    Depends on the hardware because game looks fantastic on my PC.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. YoungZer0

    @9: No hardware can fix the broken gameplay and the ugly graphics.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. UuBuU

    Ugly graphics? Are you serious?

    Arma 2 is one of the best looking games i’ve played. Chernarus is simply stunning.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. YoungZer0

    @11: Yes, i’m damn serious. There are far superior looking games on the market that demand even less performance.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OwnedWhenStoned

    My 2c worth:

    I like Arma 2.

    Looks great and (now) plays very well too.

    It was buggy as all hell to start with, but then, it’s quite an ambitious game. After it was patched (several times!) it really got good.

    You might not think the graphics are state of the art but ugly? No way.

    Also DayZ: remember it’s in Alpha.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. UuBuU

    @12 Go on then. Name some FPS games you consider better looking.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    @5 “Hilariously is that you never played ArmA 2 and you won’t play it because you are a casual gamer that knows shit about gameplay.”

    Lawl.

    Yeah, that’s totally it. Your observational skills are unsurpassed.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. OrbitMonkey

    Pfft, pc nubs wetting themselves over a Battlefield clone, that’s now ripping off Treyarch’s genius.

    ;-)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Erthazus

    @YoungZer0, “ugly graphics”

    Hardware specs?
    With screenshot obv.

    Because on high settings it is the best looking FPS game period.

    ” the broken gameplay”

    Gameplay is not broken. Gmeplay is by far better than any other consolized FPS have. If you are a shitty player it’s your only problem.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Vastluck

    YoungZero: You’re probably completely unfamiliar with the way Arma franchise works… It sacrifices graphics and all the shiny crap for realism and freedom. You can have A2 so dynamic that it’s far beyond your imiganination. Amazing stuff gets released by Arma community when there’s right amount of people in the right place.

    Please, stop trolling. Your ignorance makes things worst. You know, some DEVS have their PRINCIPLES and they value them. BIS is one of those great independent studios that are producing extraordinary games.

    Only idiots who don’t realize how really gaming industry is rapidly degrading and actually works does not respect such devs.

    To all other “critics”: Troll detected ;)

    #18 2 years ago
  19. YoungZer0

    @14: How about Crysis? Huge draw distance, high textures, fantastic face animation, generally fluid animations. ArmA 2 doesn’t even have a proper physics engine. The only thing in ArmA 2 that i still find fascinating is the sprinting. Your vision gets blurry, now that’s a proper representation of the real thing.

    @17: You’ll never figure out how to have a real conversation, do you?

    @18: Graphics are an important part of realism. If you don’t have proper graphics to back up your game, at least have a good physics engine. And i played some of the mods for ArmA 2. I still get bored. You say dynamic, i say chaotic. Because that’s exactly what happens when you have the AI the game features. ACE can’t fix that.

    Don’t call it trolling, just because i don’t agree with you. I don’t give a fuck about the developers principles, they tried so many things with ArmA 2, yet not a single feature is fleshed out. They should focus on a few things and get those right instead of just adding feature after feature. They can’t always rely on the mod community to fix their games.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. manamana

    I played Chernarus lately and its the most realistic and immensly immersive experience. If not for you than walk on, you don’t need to play it, young0.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. DSB

    @18 Waaah, everyone who disagrees with me is a troll.

    Really guy? Generally I find that the people who have stuck to the series are the most willing to admit just how lacking it is in so many ways.

    Bohemia have consistently been focusing on the graphics instead of the mechanics pretty much ever since OFP.

    I think a lot of the modders who are still around would say that’s part of the fun by now. Bohemia make a fucked up backwards game, and they get to sort it out and make some awesome missions with it anyway.

    Bohemia has principles? You do realize the studio founder basically came out and said they didn’t actually give a fuck when they were making ArmA. It was all about getting it out as fast as possible.

    I like the OFP series as a sandbox, because it lets me do most of the things that I want, but in terms of actual simulation, there just isn’t a lot there. Put 100 soldiers on the map and watch them try to share a brain. It ain’t pretty.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Erthazus

    @YoungZer0,
    “You’ll never figure out how to have a real conversation, do you?”

    I’m still waiting for a screenshot.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. Ireland Michael

    @22 Graphics don’t make a game. *shocker*

    Even the press shots are ugly. The game is ugly.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. absolutezero

    Graphics don’t make a game. *shocker*

    Even the press shots are gorgeous. The game is beautiful.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. GwynbleiddiuM

    @4 Something you don’t like to play is hardly utter crap. You’re just not into ArmA II and what it brings. Is it a perfect game all around, No. But it has many great features and for me it’s fun to play.

    Then there’s your other claim that “Skyrim was popular without mod support. So was BF2.” then you probably don’t know what you’re talking about, because both games you mentioned have very strong modding communities.

    @6 it’s not unplayable, but it is extremely hard. It draws it hardship from realism but it has some serious issues with both ally and enemy AI. And also the fact that it was buggy for a long time. ArmA II can be frustrating at times if you have no idea how to play it, it also can be frustrating for those who know how to play it because of the fact that AI is not tweaked good enough. I still like it a lot and will always play it when I have chance. And it got much batter with patches they released, more stable.

    And to those who say that ArmA II has ugly graphics; Hello, have you guys played Skyrim? And do you have the slightest of idea about the freaking SCALE of ArmA II?! Even when you go with vehicle around the map you have to increase the game speed so it don’t take you forever going from Charlie to Lima. You don’t like realism to the degree of ArmA it’s understandable, it’s not something you find fun to do. You just wanna go out and shoot stuff then yes ArmA series is not the kind of game you’d wanna play, it was never about that to begin with. It’s about tactical approaches, it’s about strategizing, it’s about performing in an acceptable level to accomplish a mission. It was never about killing 300 enemies in 4 minutes and having fun doing it.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. DSB

    “ArmA II can be frustrating at times if you have no idea how to play it, it also can be frustrating for those who know how to play it because of the fact that AI is not tweaked good enough.”

    That’s really the game in a nutshell. Well said. It’s not just the AI though, the fundamental design just doesn’t make sense.

    I guess that’s a double edged sword though. I’m not a programmer, but just by looking at an OFP/ArmA/ArmA2 cpp file, I can quickly figure out how to mod it.

    So I’m not sure whether I’d like it as much if it was actually a high tech game :P

    I think ArmA and ArmA 2 are fairly ugly though, but it’s not just about the tech. The post processing effects are just absolutely terrible, and if anything the game looks better if they’re completely off.

    The animations are better than they ever were, but they still look terribly mechanical, and then you have the artstyle which is basically nonexistent. In a lot of ways, the OFP style was just a lot better. They’ve landed themselves squarely in the uncanny valley.

    They’re trying to be photorealistic, but all they’ve ended up with is these eerie wax figures, and settings that don’t look like any place I know.

    Here’s OFP:

    http://jagy.webz.cz/ofp/photos/lib41_1024_01.jpg

    It had colors!!!

    And then ArmA 2:

    http://www.armedassault.info/ftp/pics/news/pics1/OfpArmaArma2comp3.jpg

    It’s like the whole game is sepia toned. It’s extremely unappealing.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. Ireland Michael

    @26 But DSB! A game is only good if it’s showered in post-processing effect! Otherwise it’s just a shitty Shitbox 360 and PSShit shit game!

    #27 2 years ago
  28. YoungZer0

    @24:

    Not even ‘Dead End Thrills’ could make the game look good, and that pretty much says it all.

    @25:

    “Then there’s your other claim that “Skyrim was popular without mod support. So was BF2.” then you probably don’t know what you’re talking about, because both games you mentioned have very strong modding communities.”

    All he said was that you could play and enjoy those games without the need for a community to fix it.

    But it is unplayable. I recently tried it again, playing the PMC addon. First mission, huge bug around the end, had to get something that wasn’t there. What the hell? How many patches did the game receive and there are still this many bugs?

    Then there is the shooting. You shoot a lying enemy and he reacts 2 seconds later to being shot. It’s like playing softair. “Oh, i guess i’m dead now, i probably should lie down.” How is that realistic? Have you played Medal of Honor 1 on the PSO? That game had better reaction to shooting that ArmA 2.

    And fuck scale! Since when does scale matter when all you have is an empty world, with empty buildings and empty people? All i see is just loveless copy-pasta.

    Skyrim had details, people that would react to your actions, people that have a daily routine, that would speak with you. Everything about ArmA 2 is just undone, unfinished and rough around every edge it has. And don’t tell me about tactics and strategy. Its the games job to make that as enjoyable and fun as possible, even as a simulation. But all that is thrown out of the window with its chaotic and braindead ai and scripting.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. GwynbleiddiuM

    @28 and everyone seem to forget the fact that Bohemia is an independent studio, it runs on limited budget. All things considered Bohemia did great with ArmA II, never liked ArmA but ArmA II was a decent game in my book. And YES it is buggy, almost as buggy as any game including everyone’s favorite game Skyrim, and don’t you ever tell me that Skyrim did not have game breaking bugs cuz it had and it has.

    Yes, Skyrim is supposed to be an RPG game. Take the NPC reaction and interaction away from it and it absolutely has nothing to provide anymore. That is not the case nor the point in ArmA II. Already told ya if you don’t like what ArmA II has to offer it is fine, but don’t call it what it isn’t (utter crap) cuz it isn’t.

    @26 Can’t say I disagree with that and also the fact that game looks as it has a terrible color pallet, there are times that I can fucking identify npcs from terrain. In Arrowhead tho, it’s a lot better.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. DSB

    @29 I don’t know that they’re that poor. They have a Czech studio and an Australian studio, with licenses to another American one.

    I don’t understand how they can make VBS which is apparently much better in Australia, and then ArmA 2 in Czech Republic in which the soldiers can barely move themselves properly.

    It almost seems like a scheme, doesn’t it? Keep the good technology for the military contracts, and then make sure the game itself doesn’t contain any of it. Even though the VBS is built on the games engine.

    Low budget or not, there’s no excuse for releasing stuff that doesn’t work. Bethesda take shit for that too. If the scale is too great for you to do a proper job, why not make it smaller?

    Look at Combat Mission for example. It’s a highly engineered, accurately simulated combat simulation, and it’s done by a very, very small team. The maps are smaller, but the simulation is actually there.

    It’s not like anyone buys ArmA games for the stock content provided by BIS anyway. There’s no reason to have a campaign either. It’s going to be broken on launch anyway.

    One thing Bethesda and Bohemia have in common is that they usually start working on DLC before they’re done actually fixing their games.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. YoungZer0

    @29: “everyone seem to forget the fact that Bohemia is an independent studio, it runs on low budget”

    That’s another reason why they should focus on tweaking certain game elements and abandon others completely. Because that’s something the gaming community can also pull off; include new features.

    Skyrim was pretty buggy at launch (though, i never run into a bug), but at least now it is playable, not only playable but i’ve yet to have a CTD. Always had those with Fallout 3 and NV, but not with Skyrim. They did it right, you know. Focus on the important things first.

    “Yes, Skyrim is supposed to be an RPG game. Take the NPC reaction and interaction away from it and it absolutely has nothing to provide anymore.”

    What stupid argument is that? Take the guns away from ArmA 2 and it has absolutely nothing to provide anymore.

    And … ArmA 2 is utter crap.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. GwynbleiddiuM

    @31 No, the equivalent of NPC interaction would’ve been the same thing in ArmA. You have to interact with NPCs there you know!

    Now taking guns away would be stupid argument, why would you even say that?

    Skyrim is also utter crap then. Cause while you can find 100s of reasons to like it I can even find more to call it crap. But opinion is subjective, I feel you never gave ArmA enough chance, and if it was as crap as you claim it was why would you purchase DLCs for it?

    @DSB, erm I meant limited :P I edited my post. Yes, I’m not claiming that it’s absolutely perfect it certaily has flaws and on top of that design flaws that can easily turn people off, my argument is the fact that ppl are calling it utter crap, which it isn’t. Well for the combat sims they developed for military firms, I’m willing to bet they had access to more resources than they did with ArmA II. But I agree with you man, they should’ve worked on the games issue and fixed them properly. They sorta did that with their massive patches but they still left a lot of things unaddressed.

    #32 2 years ago
  33. YoungZer0

    @32: You call that interaction? Are you kidding? If anything that’s more prove that they should focus on smaller things. Talking to NPCs in Skyrim is essential. It’s important, just like guns in ArmA 2. Talking to people in ArmA 2 is not important at all.

    I bought the Anniversary Edition. It was around 15 Euros or so, with every ArmA 2 Addon. Needless to say that they are all shit.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. DSB

    @32 The way I think about it reminds me of Tom Chicks review of Skyrim, which I thought was the most spot on in the bunch.

    “The minute you start thinking about it as a game, it falls apart”. I think ArmA is like Skyrim in that way. The moment you start to focus on the mechanics, it just starts to look stupid. Before that, it’s a beautiful thing.

    What I always do with ArmA 2 mods is go straight to the weapons configs. Then I set the firing intervals for the AI to something like two seconds, so it feels like they’re actually aiming, and I add a 5-shot burst mode for the machineguns, so it feels like they’re actually doing controlled fire.

    It’s not 100% realistic, really, but it makes the game feel much smarter than it actually is.

    The thing that I’m seriously offended with is the fact that Bohemia never make backwards compatability with their games. People have to spend a lot of time importing mods one by one, and writing new configs. They’ve kinda made a duct tape solution with ArmA 2 and Operation Arrowhead in Combined Operations, but I think it’s a huge slap in the face to modders and users alike.

    The engine changes very little, but for some reason they can’t figure out a way to make their configs work across those games. That’s way more important than a lousy campaign. Again, I’m not a programmer, so I’m not familiar with the challenges, but I DO know that the configs are still using some of the very same commands they did in OFP, because I’ve been messing with them ever since then :P

    It just doesn’t make any sense, and it feels to me like it’s scaring away modders with every release. Mod crews like BAS and CoC aren’t there anymore, and they were making mods for OFP that would blow people away even today.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ENIAb3vmrE

    Instead Bohemia just make the graphics even prettier so it’s harder for people to make models and skin them. And that’s really the biggest reason why it’s pointless to buy an ArmA game within the first one and a half years.

    #34 2 years ago
  35. GwynbleiddiuM

    @DSB Yeah, problem with mods are annoying like hell :D Let’s hope they’ll put more effort in ArmA III. I really hope they learn from their mistakes with ArmA II.

    #35 2 years ago
  36. UuBuU

    @28 Skyrim is shit. It’s a shallow, dumbed down excuse for an RPG set in a squashed together, un-immersive open world where everything revolves around the player too much and nothing you do really matters.

    Even with all the copy/paste towns… I find Chernarus FAR more convincing as an open world than Skyrim. It’s infinitely better looking, much more realistic in scale, and much more immersive.

    #36 2 years ago
  37. YoungZer0

    @36:

    Let’s compare, shall we?

    ArmA2:

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/dayz/1024/onedayatatime.jpg

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/dayz/1024/sleepwalker.jpg

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/dayz/1024/iamthelaw.jpg

    Skyrim:

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/theelderscrollsvskyrim/1024/pointlookout.jpg

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/theelderscrollsvskyrim/1024/odahviing.jpg

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/theelderscrollsvskyrim/1024/azura.jpg

    http://barbarella.deadendthrills.com/imagestore/theelderscrollsvskyrim/1024/theblackcauldron.jpg

    … Yeah, i can definitely see how ArmA 2 looks better and much more immersive than Skyrim.

    #37 2 years ago
  38. Xx-BECK-xX

    It would be awesome if u added a mod that lets u akimbo pistols and throw hatchets like u can grenades just saying.

    #38 2 years ago
  39. UuBuU

    @37 It really does!

    Playing Arma 2 completely ruined Skyrim for me as an open world game.

    #39 2 years ago
  40. harveytherabbit

    YoungZero is right on the money. Arma II is clunky reheated opflash, which I loved to bits, but its just too dated now. Compared to modern FPS’s, the movement is so clumsy it makes players feel like an octopus that’s been stabbed in the guts and dropped on dry land. The collision mesh is abysmal, the graphics look like textures on polygons and the interface is so bad that should be taught in technical colleges as a reverse example. Yeah, its a big world and thats cool but its not enough.

    I think this mod is very interesting that now Stalker 2 has been canned by GSC and the devs have set up Vostok Games to do a MMO zombie apocalypse survival FPS (sound familiar?). Sure would like to see this Kiwi guy hook up with those guys and dump BI.

    Skyrim is a hot mess. Looks totally awesome but just doesn’t make any sense. Bit like my first wife really.

    #40 2 years ago

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