Creative process needs driving 'Steve Jobs' figure, says Dean Hall

DayZ creator: Development needs singular vision

Arma 2 mod DayZ found success because it followed a singular vision, says creator Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall.

A veteran of the modding community, Hall says many projects that never saw the light of day because they were simply too collaborative and lacked the glue to bind them together.

"The most important thing – and this also applies to big projects – is that the biggest problem is a lack of single vision," Hall told VG24/7. "You need someone like Apple.

"As much as people like to rip on what Steve Jobs did, and how he could be a bit of a dick sometimes, he knew what was needed. Sometimes I’m like that. I’m sure if you talk to some of the team, they would say I’m not always a nice person to be around."

For Hall, this is one of the side effects of his success and fame; as the hype around the coming DayZ standalone grows and the pressure increases, he’s found himself more driven to succeed, but is not sure it’s entirely a good thing.

"You only really realise it when you look back, so when I think about it, and about how you’ve changed – how you think and react differently – some of it’s not positive," he explained.

"I think sometimes I’m much less inclined to accept, say, a team member submitting poor quality work. I’m probably less patient and things like that. So some of it’s quite negative, and I think it’s because of all the pressure and things like that."

Fortunately for Hall, he’s not alone on the path of gaming stardom, and plenty of developers have helped him keep going.

"It’s really hard to keep a sense of perspective and the vision as well," he said.

"That’s why it’s been really good to talk to people like Notch, Valve or the guys from CCP. They helped me by saying, ‘nope, you’re on the right track, keep doing this or that.’ So it’s been really useful to have that, but I haven’t really reflected on the – as you say – fame side of it."

It may not be easy to live up to the pressure, but Hall is adamant the responsibility for success is on him and him alone.

"There are games by committee, and I think those games depend on marketing," he said.

"You need one person going, ‘this is what we’re doing’."

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