What Is The Creator Of The DayZ Mod More Afraid Of Than Zombies?

Day Z, the apocalyptic survival mod developed for Arma II, has taken the world by storm. Over half a million players have downloaded it, it's causing sales of a reasonably obscure three-year-old game to skyrocket, and some folks are calling it the best zombie game ever made. And while half the best experiences and stories come from player behavior, the mod itself is the work of one man, Dean Hall.

Speaking with Edge, Hall explained that he's actually "terrified" of making changes to DayZ, because of the loyal and passionate fan base that has sprung up. Musing on the mixed blessing and curse of popularity, Hall said:

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.

It's scary and it's also fun at the same time. 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.

For Hall, in some ways it's a good problem to have. When people care about your game, you're clearly on to something, and have made a product worth caring about. But, he observes, the community is in some ways entirely at odds with itself, showing both sides of the coin at all times. "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."

DayZ, in that sense, finds itself in familiar territory. As controversy over Mass Effect 3 this year has demonstrated, fan goodwill is hard to chase and harder to hold onto. Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime spoke earlier this year about the never-satisfied gamer and how hard it is to find the sweet spot to please insatiable fans. It's easy to understand why Hall feels so worried. Gaming communities and terrifying undead are not always as dissimilar as we might hope.

DayZ dev 'terrified' of upsetting community with changes [Edge]

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Comments

    terrified of upsetting the community? He does this already with his constant changes to zombie AI.

      This would be inexcusable if it was a complete game perhaps, but it is an ALPHA, AI behaviour will change, that's how things go when they're still in development.

      People need to accept that and stop treating DayZ like a fully complete game.

      Don't whine so much. Be grateful that's he's doing this.

        I'm not whining. Just pointing out the how he's upsetting the community.

    Dean knows what he's doing. I have faith in any changes he makes. Dayz is a dynamic beast, it's the changes that make it. Bring on the underground bases I say!

    This isn't a console game. Any changes you make can either be updated to be better or removed until it is better.

    I just hope he sticks to his original vision, some of the suggestions that turn up on the forum are ridiculous.

    As a "zombie" game, it's probably one of the worst. But as a fresh take on PVP FPS/sandbox games, it can be rather interesting.

    What I am most curious about is whether this guy would contemplate a kick starter. The ARMA 2 enigine is so unfriendly and while it adds to the atmosphere somewhat, an engine build from the ground up for this game should make the updating and incompatibly issues lessen. Half of my time with this game had been spent just trying to get it running properly.

      I think I read somewhere that he was hired by Bohemia because he is making them a significant amount of money.

    This is one of those times when "the community" should shut up and let the man work. As DayZ is in its alpha stages the zombie AI is terrible, the zombies themselves are laggy and a chore to kill, and the controls are abysmal. Since DayZ is free people should let go of their overweening sense of entitlement and just be satisfied with whatever changes are made.

    I'm hoping it turns out more like L4D, with ragdoll animations and dynamically spawning zombies that are actually fun to kill. Seriously, the way the zombies are now is just terrible. Also someone needs to overhaul the entire map, because there are just way too many unenterable buildings.

    Sten, your first paragraph was completely contradicted in your second paragraph.

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