When DayZ was added to Steam in 2013, it was the zombie era. Zombie projects poured in from everywhere, as they decided to rethink this topic in terms of realistic survival and human relationships after the zombie apocalypse. Not that this was not the case before, but then this topic just became trending. Largely thanks to the launch of The Walking Dead series. The trend passed, but DayZ remained. This long-term construction crawled towards release for years, was a kind of icon, but when it came out, it turned out to be of no use to anyone.
It's no secret that DayZ was a common modification of Arma 2. The mod was full of bugs, with cheaters and the complexity of the original game. But this is precisely what the people got into. For the first time, we could spend hours collecting supplies, and then fall through the texture of the floor, fall to the first floor and die.
Gamers won over the fact that the game was a sandbox with free spaces for playing the role of a survivor. There are few cartridges, it's easy to die, to give out your position is a piece of cake. A typical game scenario of that time: you wander into an abandoned complex of houses and you see a person [the server is full of other people], and it is not clear whether he is friendly or not. Since both of you do not understand what to expect from each other - the shooting begins, zombies run up to the sounds, the cartridges are out and everyone is dead.
Also came to gamers and Chernorussia, where the events of DayZ took place. For Western players, such an entourage was new and attractive, while domestic players felt a genuine lust for the post-Soviet environment where everything looked familiar.
Surprisingly, the origins of the fashion were not some SNG team of modders, but New Zealander Dean Hall. After he retired from the army, he helped create Star Wars The Clone Wars. The game was a failure. Dean, it seems, decided that the everyday life of the military is much more pleasant than the life of a developer and again went into the army. However, he had to undergo retraining. He got into an experience exchange program with Singapore and participated in a 20-day military exercise. The squad was thrown into the jungle of Singapore with a minimum supply of food. Dean almost lost his mind as supplies quickly ran out and he was exhausted. He even began to steal food from others. One of his friends graduated early and shared with Dean the rest of the cookies, which moved him.
After returning home, Dean realized that game development is still a more pleasant environment. He decided to apply for a job at Bohemia Interactive, and the studio hired him as they were interested in an employee with military experience. Dean himself began to study the architecture of the engine and make his own mod with survival elements based on memories. But the idea did not get to the authorities. Taking inspiration from the Walking Dead comic, he decided to add zombies there.
He asked the Arma 2 community to test the mod and in three months it was played by millions. Bohemia Interactive gave Hall the post of project director, an improved version of the second Arma engine and mod turned into a separate project.
And while the full-fledged game DayZ Stand Alone [released into early access on Steam] was just being made, clones began to appear, shamelessly copying it. These are War Z, Rust and H1Z1, which went to the public, but not to specialized gaming publications. In any case, the projects were financially successful and also launched a new trend for games with an emphasis on survival. Although they could not surpass the original.
I bribed DayZ with room for imagination. The game did not have a clear plot, which allowed players to fantasize about what happened. There is a fact - infected Chernarus, where the apocalypse took place, but the reason is unknown. At times, players would catch strange radio signals on the walkie-talkie that sent them to military targets, and gamers would write stories about the army's role in the apocalypse. There was also a legend about a local serial killer after one player heard the terrifying phrase “I see you” coming out of nowhere.
At this time, the full version of DayZ Stand Alone looked ambitious. We were promised a zombie life cycle, normal physics, construction and a bunch of interactive items. Dean also decided to expand the lore of the game and, together with his brother, a virologist, wrote as many as 20 pages of text about how the virus infects the brain of the infected. The rest was left to the players.
Developing the wrong game
The first version of Stand Alone, released in early access, offered not only a modified map of Chernarus, but also a meager inventory and the same loot. They soon added the ability to wear clothes. The game was promised to be transferred to the beta version by the end of 2014, but, alas. Many of the mechanics that were conceived just didn't work on the Arma engine, and the physics was terrifying. As a result, they decided to change the engine, and while they were doing this, users lost interest in the game.
Dean Hall left the project and founded his studio in New Zealand, and the DayZ team began the long process of implementing the new engine. For the next three years, almost nothing happened. The patches were fixing minor bugs, while the loot generation was never fixed. You could find a whole arsenal, but it’s hard to dig up a jar of beans. Transport was introduced into the game, and was soon removed. Bohemia Interactive also bought a hunting simulation studio. People from it were transferred to DayZ to create a hunt, as an alternative to finding canned food. As a result, the players were constantly attacked by wolves, and the chickens ran madly all over the map.
At this time, players modified the original DayZ mod beyond recognition: construction, physics, new maps and vehicles. He also had offshoots that offered sleep to restore health, an adequate change of day and night, the construction of cars, etc.
Mods like DayZ 2017 showed us the apocalypse many years later and gave us the opportunity to find ourselves a tank. DayZ Epoch introduced economics and commerce to gameplay. In short, there were a lot of mods on the mod. The players were divided into those who play mods and those who persisted in waiting for changes in the version of Stand Alone.
Boom 2018 and Pshik 2019
Unexpectedly, in 2018, the developer studio began to actively fulfill all its past promises, introducing new mechanics and animations. The new engine worked fine, game designers began to look at the levels in a new way, and most importantly, they made a normal collection of loot.
The game has changed the control, and gave it dynamism. Zombies gained variety, began to stray into flocks, and as a pleasant bonus, supplies or bandages could often be removed from corpses. But this is not the end, the interface has become more intuitive, the graphics are better, the battles are more interesting, a single mode has appeared and in general the game on Xbox One came out, and OH MY GOD, went into beta!
However, the field of this all calmed down again, and the project was abandoned to the mercy of fate. Gradually, after the rapid development, a complete lull came, the game no longer interested anyone. She became just the personification of all the bad things that were in the early access Steam. It seemed DayZ would not come out at all, when suddenly in 2019 it crawled to release. Although it was difficult to call it a release. The beta version received patch 1.0 and was thrown to the public to be devoured. There was nothing new in it, but there were bugs from the beta version, freezes, lags and the unfortunate 15-20fps. Remarkably, the optimization of the game was normal in the beta version, but after patch 1.0 it just crashed.
Why is that? Most likely, the studio was tired of early access and decided to release the game in order to transfer some of the employees to a higher priority project. It was Vigor. We wrote about this project in detail here.
What's the bottom line? Probably, we shouldn't expect that the game will become the ideal project that we have been promised for years. The community already has much more to offer you than the developer, so we will choose the very game for ourselves. Such was the story of DayZ, which missed its own trend and is unlikely to be able to generate interest.
The Topic of Article: How did DayZ fail?.