Open world zombie modification Day Z is fast approaching the 1 million player mark, despite the fact that it’s “just” a mod for a game that at this point is three years old.
VG247 has been speaking with creator of the mod, Dean “Rocket” Hall, who said that ARMA II was a great fit for the game, since it was originally said to be far too barren. Having it as a post apocalyptic world though, made much more sense – especially when you adds zombies. Despite its current popularity though, Hall said that it was just a standard mod release at one point: he put the game out there, added a download link and by word of mouth and the coverage of the press its grown into the hulking mod community it is today.
Now though it’s closing in on the million player mark, with new survivors signing up every day. “To be honest, I’m surprised that there’s so much replayability from what is just the core husk of the design,” Hall says. “The fact that it’s built on an older engine and has no in-game narrative; the fact that it really is just bare bones design at this stage, means that there’s nothing to hide behind, but I guess that’s why the design has been able to be refined the way that it is.”
It’s the open world nature of the game that allows the stories of survival and death to be told, which is ultimately what gamers love to do almost as much as playing them – telling other people about them.
What’s the future of DayZ? At this point Hall wants to turn it into a standalone game using the Minecraft model. However for that to work, he needs almost everyone that pays to contribute – suggesting a hefty production budget. While he’s had plenty of job offers from developers to turn DayZ into a full game, so far he’s turned them down.
How the mod progresses once its hits the million player milestone will be very interesting indeed.