How DayZ Ruins Your Hopes And Dreams For The Perfect Zombie Game

How DayZ Ruins Your Hopes and Dreams For The Perfect Zombie Game

DayZ is still in alpha, but for many, it already features many key elements necessary for a "perfect" zombie game — or at least, it comes somewhat close. Obviously, the developers have a lot to improve on, but as many of you know, it's the players in particular that ruin/enhance the experience.

Dorkly sums that up nicely in this comic:

How DayZ Ruins Your Hopes and Dreams For The Perfect Zombie Game

You can read more Dorkly comics here.

DayZ-ed and Confused [Dorkly]


Comments

    This always bugged me about the entire concept of DayZ, and while it was a free mod I just didn't care but now he is charging people for this terrible game design.

    I feel sorry for the no doubt hundreds of less aware gamers who have payed for this to only find out it is not the really game that is advertised.

      Or you could, you know, read the alpha disclaimer that it's in alpha... not finished yet... not even in beta... in alpha...

      You know, that part that states it's in alpha.

      That's on Steam, very prominent and even right at the beginning of the game.

      Btw it was never truly 'free'. Thought it was a mod, most people bought Arma 2 just to play it, you still had to buy Arma 2. They even announced Arma 2's sales skyrocketed beyond what they ever were just because of DayZ. If you didn't play Arma 2, then essentially you 'bought' DayZ. Like me. But that's neither here nor there, because it allowed Rocket and co. to get to this point. To me, that's fantastic.

      Last edited 14/01/14 3:45 pm

        DayZ isn't really a zombie survival game, it has never been one through any of its development that I've followed, and I have my doubts it ever will be, alpha or otherwise. Rather, it's an open world free-for-all survival PVP game, and there's nothing wrong with that in itself. So is Rust, but Rust doesn't operate under the pretence of being in a genre that it doesn't really tap into.

        I think your argument on the meaning of 'free' is weak, too. DayZ was free in the same way reading this website is free. Having to own Arma2 first doesn't make it non-free, the same way having to have an internet connection doesn't make this site non-free.

          Im not here to 'argue' about it being free or not, we're dropping that point. It was merely an observation.

          DayZ is a survival game that contains zombies to survive against as well as players. It's not Left 4 Dead, its not Rust (which is honestly at this point a truly weak game but has a lot of potential).

          In DayZ you survive against:

          Players
          Zombies
          Starvation
          Sickness from the elements

          Plus more to come in terms of aggressive animals (allegedly) at some point.

          It's never been solely about the zombies that's true, it's been about everything, the meta experience. Not the single experience. If you wanna hang around Chernogorsk, Balota and Elektro and get capped by idiots who seem to camp there, go ahead, but if you're like me, and explore the whole map from top to bottom constantly, finding new things and places regularly, you'll find much more to it than just a pvp simulator, which you can limit yourself to if you just hang out in the main two cities.

          Last edited 14/01/14 4:42 pm

            How much of the game would you say involves surviving zombies, as opposed to surviving elements that appear in any other survival game, like hostile players, food, water and physical needs (sleep, exercise, etc)?

              I would say in the mod, a fair bit when you approached a town. Running from zombies was a constant. Most didn't dare venture into Chernogorsk at one point due to how hectic it got with zombies due to one patch making them run faster than people. In the alpha at this point, not much as they haven't finished with the zombies yet. Ragdoll physics haven't been put in yet, zombie spawning amounts haven't been finalised etc.

              Like I said, Alpha, which most seem to be forgetting right now.

              Btw this has been up on Steam for full release since its moment of release on Steam:

              What the developers say:
              “DayZ Early Access is your chance to experience DayZ as it evolves throughout its development process. Be aware that our Early Access offer is a representation of our core pillars, and the framework we have created around them. It is a work in progress and therefore contains a variety of bugs. We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means and are interested in participating in the ongoing development cycle.”

              We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means

              It's like... people don't read...

              Then again, I've worked for GE and banks before. People just can't be bothered reading the (not so) fine print.

              Last edited 14/01/14 4:44 pm

                My experience with the mod was the opposite of yours then. Zombies were a non-issue any of the times I played. And that's a complaint a lot of my friends have with the game, both in mod and standalone format, and one I've heard repeated across the web - for a zombie survival game, the zombies are little more than minor environmental hazards and little else. I don't think it's an unfair complaint.

                  It's a fair comparison but most zombies games are like that though, with boss zombies or mutants being the real challenge.

                  But the zombies being essentially just scenery doesn't boot it out of the zombie survival genre. Pretty much all the zombie fans I know seem to put very little thought into the zombie side of a zombie apocalypse.

                  Honestly I think if you make the zombies an actual hazard it sort of ruins the fantasy people have. You sort of flip it from Dead Rising where you'd have to be an idiot to die, and the entire game is about living in the world, to Left 4 Dead where all you do is kill zombies, with not much room in the middle.
                  Personally I'm more of a mechanic so in my mind a zombie survival game is more like The Incredible Machine. A big MMO where everyone gets a house and arms it Home Alone style. =P

                  [Edit: All that said I agree. I can understand feeling like the zombie quantity was low or that your zombie encounter rates don't occur nearly often enough compared to your human encounter rates.]

                  Last edited 14/01/14 5:40 pm

                  I think that's something they'll aim to fine-tune, though. I mean, at the end of the day, it was merely a mod. Now that it's a funded standalone game, there's quite a lot of potential to change drastically over time.

                  Left 4 Dead's roots were in the popularity of Counter-Strike zombie mods, most of which were simply bots running around with knives. Over time they gained models, effects, new animations, noises, and detachable heads. DayZ started off just as simply as any other zombie modification, built into what is essentially just a military sim. In a year's time we probably won't be able to tell the difference between what the standalone game is now, and what it becomes at that stage. By the time the game is officially released (For an Alpha, the potential looks pretty damn decent), I'm sure they'll be able to hit the nail on the head. We're quite far from the finished product, which is what Weresmurf is getting at.

                  In which zombie game aren't they merely environmental hazards? ;)

                  Left 4 Dead - merely cannon fodder between us and the next tank.
                  Dead Rising - I distinctly remember simply brushing through crowds of them in a rather nonviolent manner
                  Dead Island - Rather easy to strategically dismember; even the big blokes (who consequently hit the hardest) could be easily evaded.

                  Games like The Last of Us and Stubbz (I may be cheating there) show us that the real dangers in any zombie apocalypse are the survivors themselves! Have to admit you can't really boot the game out of the 'zombie survival' genre, given that most of the games in the genre fit the criteria of : a) having zombies; and b) presenting said zombies as a threat to player survival, regardless of how great (or little) that threat may be. :P

                  You should check out State of Decay - it definitely fits right into zombie survival horror genre. It's an indie title, so not as polished as a AAA game, but a lot of fun none the less.

            Im not here to 'argue' about it being free or not, we're dropping that point. It was merely an observation.

            I like how you managed to sidestep a valid counter point, and then decreed that subject be dropped without defending your point or making any kind of admission that you may not be right.

            bravo

            Last edited 14/01/14 6:06 pm

              I like how I didn't step aside from it at all, we were busy talking about other things. That argument is for another time and place. But nice attempt at flamebaiting. I respect Zomie Jesus opinion on it, he's always been a good person on here, we talked point and counterpoint and opinions were respected. This post of yours however, is just being really, really pedantic. If you can't see what the primary conversation is and stay on topic, please, by all means don't add your two cents next time.

              'bravo'

              Last edited 14/01/14 6:35 pm

                we were busy talking about other things. That argument is for another time and place. because you decided so. my issue wasn't that you chose to drop the topic. You're right, it wasn't central to the discussion. It was how you forcefully shut it down. That "we're" in particular irritated me.

                But nice attempt at flamebaiting. attempt implies failure.

            "Rust (which is honestly at this point a truly weak game but has a lot of potential)."

            I am really enjoying Rust over DayZ atm. It runs like a dream for me, while DayZ is shocking. I consider everyone an enemy, and there are clearly groups of "bandits" working together. That said, I had an interesting time the other night. After a previous server reset I tried somewhere new. Having located my hiding spot from the previous server (away from the main area and the resources) I build what structure I could. I didn't have enough wood, so there I was sitting exposed with a fire cooking my meat so I wouldn't starve. This would be my fourth or so attempt at getting through the first night on this run.

            Very shortly a player silently arrived and walked up to me and stood there. I knew I was dead, I didn't even bother running. As I accepted my fate, various items began pouring out of him. Resources, clothes, food, a bow and arrow.

            I AM A GREAT AND POWERFUL WIZARD! he announced via text chat before scurrying up the mountain and away. I was able to finish my structure.

              lol awesome. I just mean weak as in very glitchy, very rubber-bandy etc (something DayZ was horrendous for until its last patch, standalone was barely playable before that), but it's got amazing potential. It's quite fun to run around in, I do like the idea that everyones an enemy, absolutely no friends and I had one guy lure me into a 'silence of the lambs' style pit, screaming at me to 'PUT THE LOTION ON OR IT GETS THE HOSE AGAIN'. Apparently this is pretty common. It's funny as hell, but also buggy as hell (Hello DayZ!)

              Both are weak in terms of polish but that doesn't mean they're not fun. I see a *lot* of potential for Rust and so much fun to be had indeed. I think the only thing that bothers me is the open world chat which is constantly filled with twits. Any way to turn that off???

              Edit: Still laughing about that Wizard thing five minutes later to myself. lol.

              Last edited 14/01/14 7:01 pm

        A mod is a mod, and its free, if you bought a game solely to play the mod does not change this fact. At all, not even a little.

        Yes the page quite clearly states it is alpha and early access, and that isn't what my issue is, but no where in that statement say that this game is loosely a zombie survival game but more closely resembles a human survival game. Starbound is early access and you kind of explore planets and build thing, kind of what the page says, I could list many early access game that are the same.

        The DayZ page does not make it clear that you are entering an almost exclusively PvP game, I think its pretty damn misleading, especially since the dev has made it pretty clear he is happy with the direction of the game, and that is great if that was the game he was portraying to the buyer.

        By no means am I saying he SHOULD change the game, if that is what he wants to make then good, and he is making a lot of money from it too. Personally I don't like the type of game he is built but that is my personal preference. But what he SHOULD do is make it a hell of a lot clearer what the buyer is getting into. Beyond the fact that the game is incomplete.

        Last edited 14/01/14 10:39 pm

          It was not made specifically for PVP. The fact that players chose to PVP does not change the intent the developers had when they made the game. Not even a little. Zombies, players, and the environment will kill you. The game is as advertised.

          I have had completely different experiences in the game over the course I have played. I have been robbed, killed, made to dance, and chased by a barber shop quartet. Seriously that last part happened. I have been rescued, given helicopter rides, and entered tense negotiations for a can of beans at gunpoint. Most of those times did not end in a single death. The game is truly what you make it. The game is as advertised.

            No a single instance of surviving against zombies there, zombie survival game delivers as advertised. Case closed people.

        Wait...I'm confused...Is DayZ still in Alpha Weresmurf? I just can't see anywhere that states that info.

        Last edited 15/01/14 12:59 pm

          (Figuring this is actually sarcasm... but anyhow... just incase...)

          Except on Steam the big warning that says:

          WARNING: THIS GAME IS EARLY ACCESS ALPHA. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME AND ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES AND POSSIBLE INTERRUPTIONS OF GAME FUNCTIONING.
          and in the 'about the game' section:

          About the Game
          WARNING: THIS GAME IS EARLY ACCESS ALPHA. PLEASE DO NOT PURCHASE IT UNLESS YOU WANT TO ACTIVELY SUPPORT DEVELOPMENT OF THE GAME AND ARE PREPARED TO HANDLE WITH SERIOUS ISSUES AND POSSIBLE INTERRUPTIONS OF GAME FUNCTIONING.

          But people will choose to see selectively what they want, not what they actually do...

            I'll be sure to include my sarcasm tags next time ;)

            Last edited 16/01/14 12:11 pm

        I love how society has devolved into paying to beta/alpha test a game for someone that is getting free labor whilst screwing themselves over.

        Yeah they need to pay for development and that's great'n'all, but they shouldn't be releasing ANYTHING to the public until the game is actually secure in its core functionality w/o many game-breaking bugs, and let's face it. . . this game is one big game-breaking bug.

        So you can keep spewing this "it's alpha" crud all over the internet if you want to, but that still doesn't excuse what Rocketman and Bohemia have done to screw over their customer base.

        That's really cute, all this time later and the game is still absolute garbage.

        Funny though... I distinctly remember Dean playing around with his butt buddy Sacriel announcing that, "When the game first releases, it will be bug free within 3 months and we will begin working on the bigger aspects of the game!" So happy that all this time later the game is now bug fr- ohhhhh waaaaaaaaaaaaait.

        For anyone interested, find that vlog yourself, i'm sure it's famous by now. Either way this game is running on a broken engine, it will most likely never be fixed: it's just too duct taped together. Has Bohemia EVER fixed their engine in the last 15 years? Nope.

        Dean used the hype and hopes of his fans to drive as many sales as he could and lied and manipulated his way. Hes a scummy little con artist and nobody in the industry respects him~ for a reason. The only people who stand up for the shit bag is his obsessively blind loyal fan base. A sadness.

      I am confused, how is this against what was advertised?

        I guess that like EVE these sorts of encounters are misrepresented compared to how they turn out 99% of the time. These mass free for all PvP games tend to end up in a space where new players, who pay full price for the game/access, are sold out for the more experienced players to pick on. Ten players buy the game and nine of them are sacrificed to entertain the tenth.
        They advertise, and usually it's not the people making the game who advertise it this way, as 'when things go bad you have an adventure' but the reality is the very loosely restricted game mechanics mean usually you just get stomped into the dirt before you can take two steps by someone who equates barging into the tutorial level and killing everyone with success.

        I'm not saying that's I feel about DayZ but I could definitely understand someone paying money for it, playing it and being frustrated that instead of running into all sorts of oddball characters doing whacky things they're just being killed by random faceless players who have no interest in interacting with anyone. In pretty much any other MMO it'd be terrible design.

          While I wouldn't compare it to EVE exactly, EVE at least has a learning curve where you can spend some time in the game enjoying it before getting face stomped repeatedly. But EVE is a lot clearer on what the deal is, the selling point is the PvP experience and they have tailored the game around that.

          DayZ on the other hand represents itself quite differently not clearly portraying the environment the player will experience but then chucking the straight into this potentially extremely frustrating with little to no warning of what is to come. This and the fact the developer hasn't even tried to curb this behaviour by providing distractions to (or at least try to) facilitate player harmony and co-operation makes me question the ethics of the developer to be selling the game like this.

          As for the defense of "its alpha they will add that later", alpha (should) mean that all major mechanics and game play are in the game, working as intended or not. This "its only alpha, they will add it later" thing has become a wide spread symptom of the "early access" program and is a crutch too many games are holding themselves up with.

          Last edited 14/01/14 10:36 pm

            Just to clarify something here, your definition of alpha seems to be pretty much what the commonly accepted definition of beta is. An alpha is almost always an unplayable mess. In an alpha it's not unusual for core functionality to not even be thought about yet. In Mario terms a beta is World 1-1 through 8-4, with a handful of placeholder graphics, more bugs and some stage designs, enemy speeds, etc are not final but it all generally works within a certain tweaking range. An alpha is World 0-0, that consists of a two screen long area to walk on, some bricks, a flagpole, a fire flower and mushroom outside of their box standing still, and the fire flower doesn't actually do anything.
            It sounds like a bit of a pointless difference but you test an alpha build very differently to how you test a beta build.

            Granted all that is precisely why wait until your alpha grows into a beta before doing any sort of public testing. Usually alpha testing is only used for internal debugging, promotional stills and ultra early previews. You don't want players even seeing your alpha in motion because it almost never represents actual game play. It's like watching the raw, unedited footage of a movie halfway through filming.

            Of course there's no elder council of game developers setting strict terms so alpha and beta mean what the people structuring the project feel like. Even the commonly accepted definitions can and do change based on how the public sees it and Green Light seems to steer people into considering it a beta you get to play a lot earlier than the actual beta. In one MMO beta is a legitimate attempt to fix bugs, fine tune everything and stress test, where in another it's just an excuse to turn the cash shop on for an alpha version of a game they know is going to flop. For a shooter it means a totally different thing again.

              I understand alpha isn't usually playable but the point is the core game play should still exist. If it doesn't it is not alpha it is still in development. As I sad they should be in the game working OR not, they shouldn't be completely absent with a promise they will come later, especially if you're selling it already.

              they are slapping the alpha term on a 2 year old game that's now being sold on steam still "alpha" even though it should be at least beta by now don't you think? Or 1.0?

              And i liked your comparison to EVE. which is exactly why as much as I loved the universe and environment etc in the game, I had to quit. I wanted something I could play and discover things in the world around me by myself or with friends, and it turned out after I got a Battleship... i needed to join a corp to do anything interesting. And i just dont have time anymore to sit on the mic with ppl all day so it's either a time sinkhole social gathering or a boring lone wolf experience. I play computer games for playing games, not for social gatherings with a bunch of jump gates and repetitive pirates!

              Last edited 17/01/14 9:38 am

            Like DogMan said -- you gave the definition of Beta. Alpha is the process of working the big major bugs out to have a solid core game. Beta is where they add different things TO that solid functionality.

            BUT, the developers are actually treating what has been released as a Beta. . . why do I say that? Because every patch they release is geared towards CONTENT instead of bug-fixing. Adding content is what ya' do in a Beta -- fixing the malfunction in a game's core is for Alpha.

            So if the devs want us to give them a pass because it's alpha, they need to actually start treating the game as alpha instead of developing it as if it's Beta.

          Ok I understand your point now but I think we have had different experiences with the advertising of this game. I was with the understanding that being killed by some guy i didn't even see was all part of the game and that the oddball events are just the weird enjoyable stories that happen every now and again, depending on how lucky, or unlucky you are

            It wasn't my experience either. I was just exploring the idea trying to pin down where piat's original comment was coming from. =P

      Wow. Uneducated post of the year award contender, right here^^

    Here I was thinking the constant rubber banding and lag even on servers with 14 ping was ruining my dayz experience.

    i've been playing it today.. personally i love the minimalism.. true it's a bit of a grind..

    but today I found a fire extinguisher so i now have a weapon, 7 shotgun shells & some cans of beans.. but damn am i thirsty.

      No shotgun yet, dump the shells lol. Dont bother with the magnum, it doesnt work yet (next patch). Get yourself to balota and server jump to get yourself armed!!!

        The problem with an open world zombie game would be once you get enough gear zombies stop being an issue entirely. Without introducing boss zombies or other monsters the game slowly begins to get to easy, even with a survival mechanic a pure zombie game just wouldnt have the legs to hold the attention long.

        Left 4 Dead works because your are pushed to move forward constantly by zombies, you have a clear objective and you can never easily push zombies aside. DayZ takes what is always the most interesting part of the zombie genre, the people and focuses on them. Yes, everyone kills everyone and the shoot at first sight sucks but that behavior has been adapted by being betrayed at one point in the game. Without true human reaction that mimics real world thought processes a game like DayZ would just be lifeless. What reason would have to go beyond Cherno if everyone was friendly and Zombies were the only threat?

        DayZ uses zombies as the buffer between players, Zombies won't be much of a threat to players but to deal with then consumes time abd resources, which could mean the difference when coming into an engagement with other players. At the same time, it is a risk vs reward style of game where greed can get you killed. It is an interesting game and one thag you get what you put into it.

        Playing with friends makes it better instantly, a lone survivor will live but a group will fourish.

          Perfect explanation. I loved this part:

          DayZ uses zombies as the buffer between players, Zombies won't be much of a threat to players but to deal with then consumes time abd resources,

          Because that's exactly what they are. Well thought out and superb explanation. Very well done. Also agree 1000% it gets so much better when running around with friends, I refuse to play by myself in the game usually, because it gets tedious (and scary! lol, too many bandits!) but with friends, safety in numbers.

            I love lone wolfing. I tend to hang on the outskirts of Elektro and keep the bandit numbers down, also helping new spawns get on their feet.

        awesome. thanks man! i'm there.

          Just a little thing. Magnum does work. Some peoples characters like mine made pre last patch werent working with it. Been killed and started again and it works!

    I dont know why every complains about the PVP in this. Its simple.. dont run around in the open like a stupid noob. Stick to the shadows and play like a pro and this doesnt happen to you. So really what the complainers are really saying is "We totally suck at Day Z and are chucking the shits cause we suck"

    Its a real shame for me about the communities in both Day Z and Rust. I read about them and think "That sounds cool". Day Z is about surviving a zombie apocalypse. Find equipment and so on, sounds great...Oh...Looks like people just go around stealing and shooting one another...boring and frustrating, I'll give that a miss.
    Same with Rust. Sounds really cool. Collect resources, build shelters, gather stuff...sounds great fun...Oh turns out most people go around killing and stealing from other people...Boring and frustrating, I'll give that a miss too.
    I understand people are selfish and if it were a real apocalypse that's pretty much how it would go down, but its not what I'm looking for. Have fun to the people who are though.

      I agree. I had the same experience with some other recent steam games. Fun i guess, but not what I'm looking for. I wanted an amazing team survival across the expanse of the Arma II map... instead, a game that takes way too long to do anything and once you find that shotgun or, dear lord the MAP, you get shot by the other of 5 players in 300km radius somehow.

    The problem I have with DayZ and the reason I never really got in to it is that from what I have seen everybody is a jerk.

      What everyone playing this game is a jerk.....sound like it should be on consoles :D

      I've met some nice people in DayZ, you just have to get away from the coast and airfields. The jerks patrol those areas while friendly people move from town to town.

        Pretty much this. Go up towards Zelegorsk, the north eastern areas of the map etc, you'll meet a lot of good people in those areas.

    *cough* rust is better... *cough*

    I've had a completely opposite experience than everyone else. I played the mod again and I couldn't find anyone, instead I was chased by a zombie for a good 4 minutes.

    just play wasteland for arma2 and 3. same deal minus the zombies!

    I have been playing the dayz mod and the standalone since their releases, usually as a dirty bandit :p

    The standalone at the moment shows huge potential that will be worth the wait, like the old 20 Min waiting times to join the mod servers :p

    My suggestion to those who are looking for a better experience than pvp should take a look at the role play servers for the mod, as they have a no shooting on sight rule, and you can rp into some interesting situations :)

    Personally I am looking forward to base building like dayz epoch, which was more squad v squad based :)

    P.s. Don't server hop for gear, that removes most of the experience of the search and the elation of finding something truly awesome.

      I don't always endorse server hopping, but sometimes you find that occasional server that hasn't bothered setting its server reset time to something reasonable and has been picked clean by the time you get there. It's true it definitely weakens the game if you do it. When we play for 'real', and we do have what we term 'authentic' games where we ban ourselves from doing that, we stick to one server and one server only to see how long we can last.

    Yeah, I want a zombie game. Not a PVP arena with environmental hazards which may occasionally include zombies. All the attention being paid to DayZ probably gets in the way of someone making the perfect zombie game, because everyone keeps fucking wanting to go and do the same fucking thing.

    No. Stop it. Bad devs, no. That whole 'post-apocalyptic zombie/creature survival where your deadliest threat is MAN" thing? It's being done already, and done pretty well. Capture the market which ISN'T being serviced. The people who love Left4Dead and would love a larger, more sprawling, slower, careful version in a persistent(/semi-persistent) online world with drop-in co-op.

    When I heard WarZ was making something nearly identical, I was pretty hopeful... but noop. PVP grief-fest. So then I heard a lot of good things about Nether! Noop. Kill-on-sight grieftastical adventure.
    God fucking dammit, people. Do the one which ISN'T being made!
    (Edit: And I hear most peoples' experience of Rust is getting your head caved in with a rock by naked people. So yeah, no hope there either. Seems like the one thing all sandbox games being made these days have in common is that anywhere you give someone the opportunity to build sandcastles, the very first instinct of the majority of people is to turn into a cunt and kick it down.)

    Last edited 15/01/14 10:14 am

      It's only made worse by the way they always seem to copy the wrong games. They see a game that at face value isn't great, but has that special spark that makes it a hit, and they try to copy it. Meanwhile there are games that are great concepts with average executions because they're limited by low budgets, and nobody copies them. The games that need one or two core refinements to go from meh to excellent don't get copied.
      We've seen so many major studios go 'hell yeah, zombie FPS games are hot right now, lets make another FPS with zombies' when they could instead go 'zombie FPS games are hot right now, and people seem pretty into the zombie apocalypse in general, lets make a zombie community survival RTS'.

        Ooooh, RTS, interesting. I remember Zombie Atom Smasher came out in ultra lo-fi, and was sort of a mash-up of tower defense/arcade shooter/puzzle game (and unfortunately the weaker for the blending, IMO). But haven't seen many other takes. There's the board-game/card type port from Games Workshop, a Commandos-style top-down squad-shooter affair in Trapped Dead (which sadly suffered from 'one true path' syndrome) but was otherwise pretty servicable. Zafehouse Diaries did the whole RPG thing, which took the basic mechanics from a popular safehouse-building flash game (whose name(s) I can't remember) and added a few interesting layers like the relationship mechanics. Project Zomboid looks promising in the top-down tactical/RPG vein, but it's only looked promising for several years now.

        Definitely a lot of room for expansion in the zombie theme.

    While I agree that the very title 'DayZ' can be misleading, surely if you know anything about the development history of the game and you're not interested you would just not play it?

    For what it is, DayZ is a brilliant (albeit flawed) post apocalyptic human interaction simulator. The zombies are just add stress and waste to an already highly volatile situation.

      Well what's the volatile situation? If you run out in the middle of the woods you're nearly unlikely to see any zombies (even though there should be wanderers, another thing they didn't implement). You can sit there, not get cold, in the dark and eat 1 can of beans to survive. Night 1 done! It's only volatile if you go around towns or other people. It takes so long to succumb to the elements, it doesn't feel like the apocalypse so much. There's no pressure. The only pressure is going into a town of 30 buildings, ONE is enterable, has a 10 round pistol in it. You wasted health, and hydration for a gun you don't need to shoot zombies you don't need to shoot because you're not going to die on your own in the wilderness?

      Not to be hostile at all, it is just more of a end of the word themed mod for arma where you shoot people and buy vehicles. sounds like you can play the unmodded arma for that!

    Now they've got 30 million bucks less Valve's cut, (based on a reported one million sales at 30 bucks) one hopes a hefty proportion of this goes into the development... I am happy to wait and see.

    Playing 7 days to die and Nether instead at the moment.

    The issue with these "open world PVP" games is the lack of consequence and a lack of psychological modelling. Killing doesn't come naturally to people. Soldiers are trained to kill, and trained to the point where the action is almost reflex. Normal people (which one assumes is what the game is attempting to simluate) naturally tend to band together and avoid individual conflict - especially in a survival setting.

    Firstly,"Killing" needs to have consequences; In real life this is PTSD or psychosis. Either of which could be modelled into the game - every person you kill adds to a meter. Reach a critical number and start to "hallucinate". In the game mechanics you could make players appear to be zombies, or animals, or even make them invisible. Soon enough your team of bandits can no longer work together, or have killed each-other by mistake. The can of beans you picked up - it was actually a rock. The gun you looted - a stick.
    Scramble their speech - "uh-oh, I think johnny has lost it...he's gibbering."

    Secondly, provide bonuses for those who work together. Things like better loot drops, less Zombie spawns, improved resistance to illness, etc.

    Thirdly, create a "notoriety" system. If you survive/witness an encounter with a bandit/griefer, the next time you see them they get an icon that tells you they are bad news. And, every person that you meet automatically gets that info too, and they share the info they have. It won't take too long before the bandit is "most wanted" - possibly marked for death. (Killing them has no negative impacts).

    I agree with piat. All cornering on the point that it is advertised as a zombie survival game, and regardless of what the creators were attempting, plays like a deathmatch survival game where the object is to avoid zombies long enough to kill other people. While it is a fun game for a time there are many problems that lead to it playing like this besides just player choice.

    It IS alpha, but it has been so for nearly 2 years... first, it lacks structure to the gameplay. I would prefer a zombie game with little rules, however, there need to be more activities to do when not .... running. running from non-enterable house to another. Rare clues to the zombie infection? Old vehicles laying around to liven up the game pace? make the persistence actually matter by giving you things to own and build? The makers just didn't have the resources to make this a reality. It's a dinky mod. Will never be beta, or 1.0.

    Second, they clearly did not want to emphasize team-based play, and I think me and many others were hoping for a scenario where you end up in camps of say 5 or 10 and you can kill each other when you find weapons..., sure, but you learn that 5 crowbars are better than 1. People could take watch and radio down if they see zombies.

    Right now I think at least for me, it will have to be a singleplayer survival experience, because I think it looses the point if you're not trying to survive the zombies... and just playing around them! Unless you have a microphone or you're in a clan there's NO way you're getting any teamplay out of DayZ. It missed it's mark. (or maybe they wanted it to?)

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