Day Z creator Dean Hall has a real sense of urgency when it comes to getting a standalone version of his popular ArmA II mod into players’ hands.
Speaking duing a panel at Eurogamer Expo, Hall revealed that it isn’t a question of wanting to get the game into players hands this year, it’s needing to get it to them before any major momentum is lost.
"It has to be out before the end of the year," Hall said. "Not just because we’ve committed to it but in order to achieve what we have to do. It has to be. There’s no ‘we hope it is’; it has to be. And it’s going to be cheap. We’ve decided that we don’t need to sell a heap of units in order for us to be OK with where it’s going. The more units we sell of it the more ambitious we get, because the project has the better resources.
"I like to think we’re taking cautious and sensible steps at the moment. I don’t really like cautious and sensible. DayZ as a mod wasn’t cautious and sensible. But our first few steps have to be that. And if we can achieve that in December, then in January and February we can start to do all the cool stuff, move to more ambitious features."
When questioned specifically about similar titles, such as The War Z, Hall declined the offer to bash away instead focusing on what his team needs to do to deliver a successful product.
"Obviously you feel lots of things, and a lot of your feelings aren’t legitimate. I feel like eating ice-cream all the time; it doesn’t mean that I’m going to eat ice-cream all the time. So maybe it’s natural to get upset, jealous, scared – those kind of things. I definitely think all of those things.
"Maybe they will make a better game – I don’t know. Maybe what they’re doing is not cool to me, but the way I look at it is what are my options? What could I do? I could stand up here and be very critical of anyone who does a clone copy of the game. What would that actually achieve other than making me look like a dick? It’s not going to result in a better game.
Should I sue anyone who ever mentions something to do with zombie horror – will that make a better game? And the whole premise of of DayZ, and the whole premise of our development is we’re going to make an awesome game. That’s what we’re selling. We’re going to price it low and lots of people are going to play it. If we compromise on that, we’re screwed."
A low price tag and a playable alpha version out in less than three months’ time; why that’s so crazy it just might work.
Day Z is currently available as a freely downloadable mod for owners of ArmA II: Combined Operations.