On 14 August 2012, Rocket announced that DayZ would become a standalone game that does not require Arma II. Development of the standalone version will be headed by Rocket, in conjunction with Bohemia Interactive, the publisher of Arma II. The current mod will continue to be developed by the DayZ team alongside the standalone game.
- Rocket hosted an AMA on reddit about the future of DayZ: Rocket's reddit AMA
- Rocket interview with PCGamer about the standalone: here.
- DayZ Developer Session with Rocket at Eurogamer Expo: here.
- The first look at the DayZ standalone with Dean Hall: here.
- Follow DayZ standalone on Facebook here.
The initial focus will be to redevelop the existing mod as a standalone, rather than immediately adding new features. This will provide a near identical game to begin with, but will provide a solid foundation upon which to later expand. Rocket has described this philosophy as "small steps, big dreams."
The following are some of the features suggested by Rocket:
- In-depth storyline
- Crafting system
- Underground construction
- Destructible environment
- New inventory management
- Improved HUD
- Improved audio and visual cues
- Improved zombie AI/pathing
- Zombie life cycle
- Improved security
- Weapon and gear degradation
- More accessible buildings
- and much more
Rocket announced as part of the September 2013 dev blog update that the Arma 2 AI system currently in place will be replaced, written entirely from scratch to suit DayZ:
- "The proposal I came up with was that zombies will chase players and avoid collision. The zombies will only pathfind for a short distance in front of them, and otherwise, they'll avoid collision."
- — Rocket
Rocket has advised that this new AI will not delay the Standalone release and only be included once finished.
Item and locational damage
Shooting players now runs a high risk of damaging items that the victim is carrying. You will be able to judge the damage taken by the visual appearance of the items (including clothing). It is hoped this will reduce the kill on sight mentality that the majority of DayZ players have.
The inventory system has been reworked and introduced the drag/drop features similar to Arma 3 that allow for easier management of your gear. This system also allows you combine items with ease, or use tools on items (such as using a bayonet to open a can of food).
The Arma 2 engine currently sends updates to all players regarding the state of items, physical objects (doors, vehicles, etc). As the player numbers increase, this introduces a large about of network data being sent and can cause lag/desync issues. As a result, they have starting implementing a 'network bubble'. The aim with this is to only send updates to players in the immediate vicinity of an action occurring, rather than all players regardless of their position. This will reduce the amount of bandwidth needed by the server and increase network performance.
- The end of the beginning - August 2012
- The integration begins - September 2012
- Whatever you say it is it isn't - October 2012
- Dev Report - November 2012
- Where is the standalone release - January 2013
- Where do I start? - January 2013
- DayZ Video - January 2013
- Ivan is back - Feb 15th 2013
- Behind the scenes - Feb 21st 2013
- Quick video - March 2013
- PAX Q&A Panel - April 2013
- Interview Ivan Buchta - April 2013
- DayZ Standalone Video Short - August 2013
- Screenshots from the multiplayer test - August 2013
- September Dev Blog
Release Date and Pricing
Rocket has not announced an exact release date, but had originally indicated the desire to see a release by the end of 2012. Given the fluid movement of the release date, only speculation indicates a 4th quarter release.
Dayz standalone will utilize a Minecraft-like sales model; this will allow players to pay a much lower price for early access to the alpha/beta releases while helping to fund development toward the final product.
An Alpha version of DayZ Standalone was playable on the floor at E3 2013 and allowed attendees their first actual playthrough of the standalone game.
Rocket has indicated interest in developing DayZ for consoles (Xbox/Playstation), but the PC version will be the focus. A console version will be produced if the standalone version is successful.