DayZ Creator: Updating Our Game Is "Terrifying"

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DayZ Creator: Updating Our Game Is "Terrifying"

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Dean "Rocket" Hall isn't quite sure how to handle his mod's runaway success.

Having begun life as a small zombie mod for ArmA II, DayZ has outstripped industry expectations at every turn. It now boasts a fanbase of 550,000 gamers, with up to 22,000 of them playing simultaneously at peak times. The numbers are so large and unexpected that the designers often have trouble distinguishing between DDoS attacks and traffic sent their way from scary-lookin' YouTube videos. Another problem concerns the mod's players more directly: DayZ's lead designer, Dean "Rocket" Hall, is "terrified" of irritating them.

In a recent interview with Edge, Hall outlined the troubles that accompany running an unexpectedly popular mod. "It's gone from being a little experiment in a lab to being in some particle collider in Europe somewhere. It's taken on a life of its own, which has impacted on the ability to do anything," he said.

"It's scary and it's also fun at the same time," Hall continued. "In a way, the project is basically about two or three hours away from complete disaster at any time. Every time we do an update it's just terrifying. And a lot of people get very frustrated when things go wrong."

DayZ owes a lot to its fans, whose loyalty kept the mod afloat even after its servers were hacked earlier this year. Their overwhelming appreciation for the game recently took years-old ArmA II to the top of the Steam charts, a vital piece of validation that has led DayZ's designers to consider the possibility of launching their mod as a standalone game.

Hall keeps a close eye on DayZ's community via its forums and associated blogs. "There are almost two sides [to the community]," he said. "There's the side that will just support anything that happens in the project, and then there's the side that's very critical of things that happen but continues playing...And I think that's very important, because otherwise it'll lose direction and ego will come into it."

"For me, the importance is that the right community is involved in it, because if we don't have that then we can't push the experiment of having players create the world," concluded Hall.

DayZ is available to download for free right here, but you'll need a copy of ArmA II: Combined Operations to play it.

Source: Edge

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Yeah, I think some of the changes haven't been smart. Looking at Youtube videos from earlier in the year, I think they made the game less accessible to new players and those respawned, which makes being shot by a sniper you never even saw all the more frustrating.
That said, it's still an amazing experience and although grueling at times, at others it has been an absolute blast. And if it ever does become a standalone game a lot of the issues will be hammered out.

Looks like "Rocket" is ready to move onto stage 2.

Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.

And make me start with a gun again, cause I have never found a weapon.

therandombear:
Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.

And make me start with a gun again, cause I have never found a weapon.

Harden up
If you got killed you did something wrong.
And finding weapons is easy just look in the right places.

rolfwesselius:
If you got killed you did something wrong.

Like playing DayZ, for instance. :o

Seriously though, every story I've heard from everyone I know who's played this, whether they liked it or not, sounds about the same: "I was looking around for anything at all to stay alive, then a zombie saw me through a wall even though I was crawling and I died." Possible substitutes for "a zombie saw me through a wall" include "a zombie saw me from the horizon," "I got sniped out of nowhere" and "I broke my legs and bled to death." Therefore, I can only assume that DayZ is, in actuality, a testing program to measure the degree of masochism expressed in its players.

Tangentially related: yay Criken channel updates.

It's a sick mod and will be an even sicker standalone game. The devs are gamers first and foremost so that's a plus. It doesn't hold your hand so carebears need not apply.

CRIKEN!

Yea, I still need to buy arma 2.

At this point, all they need to do is fix the bugs and make it run smoother on crap PCs.

He could start by modding out all the cockwads that think it's Arma 2 deathmatch mode, except sometimes people don't shoot at them initially.

Clear out the bugs and it'd be pretty sweet, been enjoying it quite a bit myself.

I only started playing recently, and despite the bugs I'm having a lot of fun when it actually does run well. Sneaking around looking for anything that might keep me alive was a very intense experience the first time, though once you realize a little zig-zaggin makes you almost unhittable by zombies and that they can only walk when they're indoors they stop being scary.

I do get annoyed by players sniping you out of nowhere, but once you obtain a decent set of gear zombies stop being a threat and you can either help other players, which may very well result in them backstabbing you, cause your gear is a lot better than theirs, or kill them.

Mod has a long way to go. But I agree, it's just a very time consuming deathmatch at the moment. Where a death that happened without you even knowing it was coming in 1/8th a second can nullify hours or days, or if you're extremely lucky, weeks of play.

It has great promise, but you'll spend 90% of your time playing the opening hours of the game where you have little or nothing and are looking for better, over and over. It takes so very long to get anything worthwhile and when it's all lost in a second due to some random glitch, a cheater, or lag (even when you ping shows *19*) it's just so frustrating.

Ringo_Plumen:
Clear out the bugs and it'd be pretty sweet, been enjoying it quite a bit myself.

I only started playing recently, and despite the bugs I'm having a lot of fun when it actually does run well. Sneaking around looking for anything that might keep me alive was a very intense experience the first time, though once you realize a little zig-zaggin makes you almost unhittable by zombies and that they can only walk when they're indoors they stop being scary.

I do get annoyed by players sniping you out of nowhere, but once you obtain a decent set of gear zombies stop being a threat and you can either help other players, which may very well result in them backstabbing you, cause your gear is a lot better than theirs, or kill them.

In my personal experience 9 out of 10 players will kill you the first instant they get, no matter how much or little you appear to have, or even if you just saved their life with a blood infusion.

It's too profitable and easy to be an asshole. Virtually nothing to gain by being nice.

I remember a story I read where someone traveled for an hour to reach someone who was severely wounded. Gave them a morphine injection, a blood infusion, and some ammo for their pistol. Only to get shot the moment they turned their back on the person they just saved.

If you can't trust other players, then you're left with only deathmatch as a viable way to play.

I dont think they should consider this a problem, just keep a good line of communication with the fans and they will understand, not all of them of course but at least most.

Its normal to mess up from now and then, these guys are not gods after all, just game devs that are working with a genre that was never truly explored to begin with.

BoogieManFL:

It's too profitable and easy to be an asshole. Virtually nothing to gain by being nice.

I remember a story I read where someone traveled for an hour to reach someone who was severely wounded. Gave them a morphine injection, a blood infusion, and some ammo for their pistol. Only to get shot the moment they turned their back on the person they just saved.

If you can't trust other players, then you're left with only deathmatch as a viable way to play.

Sounds like a real disaster.

The key is to find those groups who will work together, I run with about 5 people when I get on.

When you are running with a group, you will find bandits start to avoid you. They may want to be assholes and kill everything they see, but they also know they wont win against 6 heavily armed people and they dont want to die.

So yeah, as in real life, there will be those that add to the chaos (the majority) and those who seek to bring order and work together (minority)

I remember seeing a vid for this somewhere, so thought I'd give it a try since it looked pretty novel. I spent an hour or 2 on it and decided to recommend it to a friend, knowing how much he loves zombies.

I've not spent much time on, I've maybe clocked up between 8-10 hours so far. Died a lot.

He's spent roughly every waking moment on it. He seems a lot more into it than I am.

On a side note;

rolfwesselius:

therandombear:
Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.

And make me start with a gun again, cause I have never found a weapon.

Harden up
If you got killed you did something wrong.
And finding weapons is easy just look in the right places.

I wish I could be a hardcore gamer like you xoxo

Welcome to gamer fans. Your biggest fans are the guys who are constantly threatening to quit the game over some minor issue!

I hope everything goes well for them. Games are an industry where things can boom and bust unexpectedly with the whim of popular opinion so here's hoping their game lives for a good long time.

FelixG:

BoogieManFL:

It's too profitable and easy to be an asshole. Virtually nothing to gain by being nice.

I remember a story I read where someone traveled for an hour to reach someone who was severely wounded. Gave them a morphine injection, a blood infusion, and some ammo for their pistol. Only to get shot the moment they turned their back on the person they just saved.

If you can't trust other players, then you're left with only deathmatch as a viable way to play.

Sounds like a real disaster.

The key is to find those groups who will work together, I run with about 5 people when I get on.

When you are running with a group, you will find bandits start to avoid you. They may want to be assholes and kill everything they see, but they also know they wont win against 6 heavily armed people and they dont want to die.

So yeah, as in real life, there will be those that add to the chaos (the majority) and those who seek to bring order and work together (minority)

Then you get the ones who hack the game and don't give a shit because they can be fully stocked up and rearmed in 5 minutes. Go ask ProJared from Screwattack about that.

That's the problem. To easy to be a cheating asshole and no repercussions for it.

therandombear:
Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.

And make me start with a gun again, cause I have never found a weapon.

That would violate one of the core philosophies behind the conception of the mod. Firstly, the game will never do anything about bandits because they're part of the risk to survival. As Rocket himself has said, even the best AI will get outsmarted by a player who knows how it operates. The human element is unknown, though, so while you can master sneaking around zombies (which I have), you can never know if that player you just spotted is going to be friendly or hostile; in the latter case, you never know if he'll be a better player. So bandits are just part of the game. Deal with it, or wait for the inevitable "Like Day Z, but single-player/co-op only" clone that's going to pop-up eventually.

As for that guy just sitting in the bushes killing everyone, rally-up a group of people dedicated to patrolling the busier areas of a map to look for "that guy"; or just bandits in general. If you spot someone attacking another person, gun him down. Eventually the server will just know that your group is there and they'll be forced to be more careful about where and when they attack others. If forming your own group sounds like too much hassle, check Day Z's Survivor HQ forum and see if maybe one is already forming (or formed) that you can join.

In any case, there are already fixes in the game to your problems. It's just a matter of you fixing them. The only time the developers need to help fix your problems is when it's an error in the coding. If you have a problem with another player, that's your job to fix. That's a big part of what Day Z is about.

rolfwesselius:
If you got killed you did something wrong.

When what's "right" is to crawl around for an hour after spawning to avoid one douche with a rifle, that not so much "hardening up" as it is wasting your time. (Disclaimer, played lots of the mod and enjoyed it, but I'm just sayin')

I wonder how many think it's a complete mod when it's really still in goddamn alpha.

I do think spawning just on the beach is a mistake though, as then everyone know where to look for people who don't have anything to defend themselves with.
I hope he tries making the spawning more randomly spread across the island as an experiment.
I don't know, I haven't played it yet, but wouldn't that make it harder for people to find you when you spawn?

therandombear:
Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.

And make me start with a gun again, cause I have never found a weapon.

Rocket purposefully made it harder to keep attitude like this away from the game. He doesn't want all the Deathmatch kiddies that came from famous youtube celebrities. Yogscast is the biggest offender.
Sometimes killing is necessary, I sure as hell am not trusting anyone with my AS50 and thermal weapon on me.

Just picked up the mod yesterday. My initial experience equates to roughly ten minutes of running from a pack of zombies before breaking my legs from a ten-foot drop and getting eaten alive.

I have to say, it's hard to get a handle of. I lucked out and found two guys who had apparently killed each other in melee and got some gear, but I'm paranoid about getting shot in the head now. I wouldn't recommend playing on a server with too many people.

I have a friend I want to play with, but the two times we attempted to rendezvous, he spawned in some far-off area and ended up getting killed. Chances are I'm next, someway or the other.

Lipton:
It's a sick mod and will be an even sicker standalone game. The devs are gamers first and foremost so that's a plus. It doesn't hold your hand so carebears need not apply.

Where to begin?

1. It will never be standalone; Dean has specifically stated it would take 18 months to make an entirely new game with 0 effort going into the current game, and that it would be a financially retarded decision to release it separate with the ArmA 3 engine.

2. A carebear is someone who complains about tackling when they're playing rugby, not someone who complains about sand being kicked in their face when they're in a sandbox.

3. So many morons and trolls are ruining the game and turning it into a cheaper version of EVE Online where they can express their dysfunctional childhood upon others to empower themselves.

you know I really do enjoy this mod, even with the arse ended controls haha, my only issue has been with battleye kicking me off every bloody server!.
but yeah I go to the forums enough, people need to understand that the game is still in alpha and isn't going to be some flawless gem

therandombear:
Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.

And make me start with a gun again, cause I have never found a weapon.

But this system is what makes the game so damn awesome you can do what you want and the devs don't make it easier for kids who cry about how hard it is.
Personally I'm back to the start I had a kick ass car and several good weapons until a guy I saved shot me in the back.
But that's what makes the game so intense even after all I had death was still as frightening.
As for heli's there's nothing as intense as hiding hoping your aren't seen.
As for updates all I really hope for is more servers, bug fixes and interface fixes the game play could use more melee.
and maybe allow for the admins to decide the time i really only have time to play at night would like a choice to play a little in the day my connection can't get a really good connection to servers in other countries but aside from that i can't think of anything.
If I were then I would be bloody terrified as well I just hope that they don't do what this guy is suggesting it would just ruin an awesome experience

Ps I'm looking for a clan if anyone is interested and in Aussie send me a message

Farther than stars:
Yeah, I think some of the changes haven't been smart. Looking at Youtube videos from earlier in the year, I think they made the game less accessible to new players and those respawned, which makes being shot by a sniper you never even saw all the more frustrating.
That said, it's still an amazing experience and although grueling at times, at others it has been an absolute blast. And if it ever does become a standalone game a lot of the issues will be hammered out.

I disagree, I think the absolute terror an necessity of finding food, fluids, and weapons right from the start to be a massive push to action.

Right off the bat you're forced to use some of the less prevalent mechanics that you need to use when you're out of ammo.

Picking up and throwing cans and whiskey bottles to distract zombies out of buildings so that you can loot them was a redundant mechanic when you started with a weapon. And you could run from one corner of the map to the opposite when you started with food and water.

The only change I'd like is being able to drink directly from water sources. It's super frustrating when your character is dying of thirst and you can't drink from the well you've found because you don't have a canteen.

Though perhaps drinking directly from a lake should have a percentage chance of becoming ill (Like being cold but with more vomiting.) and that should be countered by boiling water or using water treatment tablets.

Do something with "bandits" and the whole "assholes lying in the bushes killing everyone they see" thing.
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DayZ is a game that if you have the patience you will play over and over again because of how infuriating it is. I guess that's what makes the game fun, gathering materials only for some asshole to shoot you from nowhere and you go right back to the start. I've been lucky to come across a player who didn't shoot me the instant he saw me, just rather walked around and let me take the food I desperately needed to survive. Then you have the asshole bandits who shoot unarmed people even if they don't have beans on them. So, once you get killed enough times by bandits you start to develop a distrust for every player you encounter and become a bandit yourself. The game is much more fun to play with a couple of friends or maybe a whole posse who camp in the wilderness, telling stories of how they shot people with decent loot. It makes gathering loot much easier as you have people who will defend you and you can trust to not shoot you in the back. Sometimes you can be REALLY lucky and find your corpse with all the loot you had still intact like I have done a couple of times now. The game is flawed enough to make you rage quit from complete BS like a zombie spawning behind you and chewing your buttocks off or a hacker who absorbs the two clips of AK you unloaded in his face and nails you with merely a pistol, but you will eventually come back because in the end, everyone goes through this experience because nobody lives forever in this game.

Pretty much every 'unarmed' person I haven't killed straight away when walking around the loot hotspots (cherno/elektro/stary) has ended up finding a gun, then looting the same building as me, freaking out and trying to kill me. The breaking point was yesterday when I decided not to shoot some new spawner- about 40 minutes later the guy brings a train of about 50 zombies into a firestation I was looting, then shoots me. Luckily we managed to kill each other at the same time somehow, so I managed to get all my stuff back.

TLDR: If you meet an unarmed person in town your options are basically either to leave the town or to shoot him, cos you'll probably run into him again 20 minutes later when the nub has a revolver and a twitchy trigger finger

This game would work much better if you could communicate via headsets ... but also if whatever you say emanates from your toon, so talking loudly would attract zombies.

Shjade:

rolfwesselius:
If you got killed you did something wrong.

Like playing DayZ, for instance. :o

Seriously though, every story I've heard from everyone I know who's played this, whether they liked it or not, sounds about the same: "I was looking around for anything at all to stay alive, then a zombie saw me through a wall even though I was crawling and I died." Possible substitutes for "a zombie saw me through a wall" include "a zombie saw me from the horizon," "I got sniped out of nowhere" and "I broke my legs and bled to death." Therefore, I can only assume that DayZ is, in actuality, a testing program to measure the degree of masochism expressed in its players.

Tangentially related: yay Criken channel updates.

The glitches I heard are pretty limited to arma 2. But everything else is true.

Nonetheless it looks absolutely bitchin' to me. I wanna kit out my laptop just to play it. Seems like more and more people keep forming groups with their friends, and that kinda adds more and at the same time takes away from it.

TAdamson:
Picking up and throwing cans and whiskey bottles to distract zombies out of buildings so that you can loot them was a redundant mechanic when you started with a weapon.

I didn't actually know about that. That's going to make respawning a little less taxing, but my main problem with spawning without a weapon isn't that the zombies are more of a threat, but players with guns are. At the moment, if you don't have a weapon and you encounter a group, you're pretty much a sitting duck. I think there should be more incentives for cooperation.

Risu3:
If you meet an unarmed person in town your options are basically either to leave the town or to shoot him, cos you'll probably run into him again 20 minutes later when the nub has a revolver and a twitchy trigger finger

Thing is though, if you shoot him first, aren't you the one with the twitchy trigger finger?

Been playing for a week. I've only been killed once by another player, this morning. Balota Air tower, I got disconnected near there, when I got back in I ran around to the back side of the fence. I was like "sweet no Zombies have spawn yet", went inside and hey there another player...

Respawned near Elektro, ran inside the fire station near the church and hit the jackpot. Map, compass, knife, hatchet, matches, waterbottle, binocs, three cans of soda, three cans of food, and a AKM(no ammo). I hit up the hospital for meds and high tailed it out of there. All I have to do is hit a couple deer stands and I'm golden.

FelixG:
So yeah, as in real life, there will be those that add to the chaos (the majority) and those who seek to bring order and work together (minority)

I disagree. In real life the majority of people work together with other people, i.e. a society. When you see a random person in the street you tend not to punch him, mostly out of moral/ethical notions, but in a video game such notions don't exist, or are at least very weak, so most people will gun each other down on sight. There needs to be some sort of disincentive to stop that, just like there is in real life.

Farther than stars:

FelixG:
So yeah, as in real life, there will be those that add to the chaos (the majority) and those who seek to bring order and work together (minority)

I disagree. In real life the majority of people work together with other people, i.e. a society. When you see a random person in the street you tend not to punch him, mostly out of moral/ethical notions, but in a video game such notions don't exist, or are at least very weak, so most people will gun each other down on sight. There needs to be some sort of disincentive to stop that, just like there is in real life.

How about a "justice" system where after X amount of player kills, the player responsible gains notoriety. Word spreads among survivors or your misgivings and people informally place a bounty on you in order to assure survival for the majority. You can give small incentives to players who kill other "notorious" players as well as have hostile non zombie NPC's spawn for the sole purpose of killing said player.

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