Anyone worried that DayZ Standalone might be left to die, when Dean Hall steps down as the game's lead designer next year, but a new presentation from the DayZ creator should help build confidence among those hoping to see Bohemia Interactive continue developmental work on DayZ Standalone for years to come.
Speaking at EGX Rezzed 2014, an extension of the recently rebranded Eurogamer Expo (now EGX London), Hall revealed extensive plans both for the rest of 2014 and for the years that will follow his departure from the DayZ dev team. Most surprisingly, Hall elaborated on recent announcements, regarding the expansion of the DayZ Standalone dev team, by revealing Bohemia Interactive has established a second studio (Bohemia Interactive Slovakia) using former Cauldron staffers, technology and facilities. The new team will work exclusively on DayZ Standalone, effectively doubling the number of Bohemia employees currently dedicated to the project.
Hall then proceeded to lay out a developmental roadmap for DayZ Standalone so ambitious that the game's creator claimed he hadn't actually shared the plans with the rest of his team or the head of Bohemia Interactive. Hall's plans for 2014 include full implementation of DayZ Standalone's cooking and hunting mechanics, with the first of these features set to debut in April's stable patch, and a new system that should keep allow loot to spawn more frequently without making it too easy for farmers/server hoppers to hoard the game's best supplies.
At some point in the next few months, Bohemia Interactive will introduce the game's first six huntable animals, and expand on the weather effects introduced earlier this year. Soon, not only will you have to worry about staying dry when it rains, snow will make hypothermia a much bigger threat than normal and fog will greatly reduce visibiilty when present.
Later in the year, the DayZ Standalone team will introduce the AK47, the first phase of the game's base-building systems and a more diverse array of animals that will even include dogs and horses that can be domesticated/tamed. Eventually, the DayZ team hopes to introduce modding support (via Steam Workshop, of course) -- a complete farming/horticulture system, and Hall apparently even has plans for DayZ Standalone achievements at some point down the line.
In less exciting (but no less impressive) news, Hall also announced the latest sales figures for both DayZ Standalone and the ARMA II bundle needed to run the original DayZ mod. As it turns out, Bohemia Interactive has already managed to sell 1.7 million copies of DayZ Standalone, and more than 2 million ARMA II sales have now been directly attributed to peoples' access in the DayZ mod.
Be sure to check back with iDigitalTimes.com and follow Scott on Twitter for more on DayZ Standalone as we continue to follow developmental progress of Bohemia Interactive's smash hit zombie-survival throughout 2014 and for however long the studio continues to produce new DayZ content.
What do you think of Dean Hall's plans for the future of DayZ Standalone? Disappointed that a particular feature didn't get a mention during the presentation? Still wish Hall was going to be sticking around to work on DayZ Standalone past the end of 2014?
Let us know in the comments section!