Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall lists gameplay and technical improvements on roadmap for survival horror, including suggestions of “helicopters and small aircraft.”
DayZ creator Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall has confirmed upcoming improvements to the popular survival horror game, with development milestones including “hunting, camping, bow and arrow, vehicles.”
“Bases will take longer. Barricades will happen first. I think helicopters and small aircraft will be important. But they should be very complex to maintain.”
As part of a AMA on Reddit, Hall suggested vehicles are an easier addition to the game than player bases or more complex transport such as aircraft.
“Vehicles will be done based on the architecture we are doing for items/weapons now (i.e. attachments). So it’s in progress really. We are replacing the physics system for items (throwing, etc…) and this new middleware will be used for vehicles also.
“Bases will take longer. Barricades will happen first,” he said. “I think helicopters and small aircraft will be important. But they should be very complex to maintain.”
All these new additions will make an already hard game more difficult, according to Hall.
“The plan is to increase the difficulty significantly as new functionality comes online (such as throwing and improvised weapons, hunting, bow and arrow.”
Players need to be patient though, as Hall admitted the game is still a long way from his final vision. “It’s currently about 20% of what I’d want for DayZ.”
Asked whether there are any plans for Oculus Rift support in DayZ, Hall confirmed it’s on the cards, but “we would need to drastically improve client performance first.”
Engine performance is on the cards too, with Dean noting there’s “huge room for improvement” over the current offering.
“It is easier for us to optimize DayZ in some ways, because Dayz’s focus is very narrow. ArmA is an incredible game and ArmA3 is no exception,” he detailed. “It has massive scope and a huge demand on AI and many other things. Many of these things can cause problems for MP gaming, and that’s what I’m all about really. We have reports from Intel, AMD/ATI, and Nvidia. These give us ideas for how to optimize the client. Let’s just say there is huge room for improvement.
Hall said he wants DayZ to feature endgame goals that will require teamwork, and for collaborative gameplay to emerge, as seen in massively multiplayer online worlds like EVE Online.
“This kind of endgame stuff is quite key to what we want to do. However, in order to do this we have to perfect the architecture which is what we are doing now. Certainly I think underground bases and advanced vehicles will allow some of this really exciting and ‘eve’ style play,” he said.
Asked how much money he is making from sales of the alpha build, Hall confirmed he had sold the rights to the game to Bohemia Interactive, and added that on top of that he’s receiving royalties on sales
“Compared to royalty rates for other artists and such I am probably doing very well. Compared to game designers (who mostly don’t get royalties) I’m doing extremely well,” he said. “My royalty rate is not insignificant (it is fairly significant).”
However, despite the financial success, Hall said he plans to keep a level head. “I find that every now and then I reflect on something, look at numbers and dollars and everything and it hits you that this is real. That is a really weird feeling. I find myself saying ‘this is so crazy’ very often, as do the people close to me. It can be very hard to believe I’m not just living in some kind of dream world.”
When the alpha was released Hall told people not to buy the game. That may be considered reverse psychology, but he’s still suggesting new players wait a little longer: “I would recommend you wait for at least a month. The price will not change, but the game will get better. It is a promising concept now, but it is not a good game.”
Addressing similarities to survival game Rust, Hall said he was glad for the success that Facepunch Studios is currently receiving. “I have tried Rust. I think it’s great. I think Garry is fucking talented, deserves all the success he has/is getting. Overall I’m just really proud that something I did inspired a great designer like Garry to do something else. We all win with this situation.”
Read the full AMA here, including Hall’s real-life tactics for a zombie outbreak and why he drank his own piss.