Part Of What Makes DayZ Great Is That It Isn’t Finished

Part Of What Makes DayZ Great Is That It Isn’t Finished

Usually, nothing is worse than playing a game that comes out into the world with random bugs, rough-hewn ideas and a lack of polish. But those same things have arguably made DayZ a chart-topping success story — more than a million copies sold in a month — ever since its standalone alpha version hit Steam a month ago.

Part of the fascination with DayZ over the last two years has been in watching the game learn how to walk. Dean Hall’s creation started as a mod to ultra-realistic military shooter Arma II and eventually became its own self-contained release. Like the Walking Dead comic books and games before it — which themselves follow in a long lineage — DayZ re-works typical zombie genre conventions by drawing tension from humans’ interactions with each other, not the ravenous undead. The most interesting things in the game revolve around how players treat other players.

But the other big reason that DayZ’s found such a zealous userbase is because people want to be inside the house as it’s being built. Hall recently told MCV that players know what they’re getting into:

Being very open with the release helped a great deal. We were as honest as we could be with people about the state of the Alpha so that people could make their own minds up. Our customers are smart, so they are going to figure out the state of the game quickly

Even at this early stage, you can see players on the official DayZ forums asking for some features to be fast-tracked and for others to be fixed or tweaked. There’s a drive to know that — maybe, just maybe — one’s feedback will influence part of the final release.

The minimalist take on zombie apocalypse survival spurs some of the behaviour in question, which people record and share and talk about. That in turn gets more curious people to pick DayZ up, forming a nice little loop that pulls more people into its world’s-end scenario. The developers have said that beta probably won’t happen until the end of 2014 but it’s a safe bet that folks will keep showing up to experience the game whether it’s finished or not.


  • I’m avoiding DayZ like the plague. It’s not what I wish it was: Fun. Everyone’s a bandit. Sure there’s gonna be one or two guys who aren’t but most of the time you’re gonna get sniped and beaten by everyone you meet. And I hate that. Some may say “but that’s just what it’s like in real zombie situations” except I don’t feel that’s correct. XD I don’t feel there’s any tension with meeting players. You know 99% of the time you’re gonna get yourself killed or hurt. haha

    I would love if this game promoted more of a team building mechanic more than a “buy the game with your friends and kill everyone else!” Since I don’t really have that option. Oh well I can dream. 😛

    • I disagree. I frequently go large stretches of time without getting shot at, and I interact with people as much as I can. You get out of this game what you put into it.

      In a zombie apocolypse situation (Or any apoc situation), sticking around the biggest cities is likely to see you shot just the same. Start playing it with sense (or at all, by the sounds of it), and that problem goes away.

    • I’ve played about 20+ hours of DayZ, different lives etc. I’ve run across countless players, the only time I’ve been killed by a player was at an airfield, which is fair game since its where all the military gear is. You run into people in towns, on the roads etc and they’ll either just run on past, sit down, wave to you or just ignore you, most of them didn’t have guns but did have axes and other weapons. And no I don’t play on a special/private server and most of that time was playing solo.

      The few issues I have with the game at the moment would be combat logging, zombies in general and lack of other things to do at the moment. I remember the tonnes of zombies from the mod, then compare to a few zombies per entire large towns that either get stuck in the ground/walls or run through walls/doors to hit you.

    • I got DayZ the other day and I was walking to Cherno. I saw these three guys and surrendered, thinking they were gonna shoot me. They ended up giving me a can of soda.

    • i play with 3 other friends. we are all pretty well equipped. we jacked our first guy yesterday.

      before you judge me though read what its like my side of the fence.

      also to note, my friends and i have three rules we abide by:

      1. killing people is completely off the table, unless they threaten our safety first.

      2. if we take something we need to survive, we must give them something back that will increase their chances of survival.

      3. If we see noobs, give them the basics to help them out. food, drink, and something to open cans with.

    • Rust? screw that. whenever i spawn someone bashes my head in with a rock within 3 minutes. no mater what server i join. people are dicks in it.

      • Have yet to experience such a thing, depends on the server you join i guess and how smart you play.
        tip: as soon as you join a new server you should hide somewhere and get away from the road/s asap, establish yourself in a temp shelter hidden somewhere and you will be set, easy.

        Last time I played DayZ I remember getting constantly pinged off by far away snipers for no reason. At least in Rust 8/10 there usually is a valid reason

        • i run into friendly people all the time in dayz… problem i find with rust is, that even though people can see you’re a fresh spawn and have nothing of value, they STILL kill you.

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