More DayZ Than You Can Shake An Axe Into The Skull Of

By Nathan Grayson on November 16th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

This is my mighty axe. Taste its blade! No, seriously, taste it. Go on. You know you want to.

HELLLLOOOOOOOOOOO RPS. I’m shouting as though far away or shrunken down and trapped in some kind of tiny snowglobe prison or something because it’s the weekend, and I am now in the far off land of not having every lobe of my brain consumed by videogames – for two whole days! You, though – you’ve arrived here poor and in need of something to play/pine longingly for/discuss, and thus I bring you a spot of light weekend viewing. How does eight-and-a-half minutes of uninterrupted, un-blathered-over DayZ footage sound? There are many axe murderings, and I know how much you all love those.

That axe sure did make those zombies trip all over themselves and die. How embarrassing, right? They do still seem pretty braindead, though. Meanwhile, the video also offered a glimpse of DayZ’s inventory menu, which looks super cluttered and kind of awkward to use. Maybe it makes more sense when you’re playing, but I feel like the number of steps it takes to simply eat or drink something could be significantly shortened without too much hassle. But then, I’m no game dev. Also, this is just a pre-alpha build.

Speaking of, DayZ’s long-awaited alpha still has no specific date, but the team has dialed in on multiplayer server performance in an effort to get something out as soon as possible. So it probably won’t be long now. Unless it is.

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83 Comments »

  1. guygodbois00 says:

    “…And my axe!” Looks top notch; especially loved the breathing visuals and sounds, adds atmosphere.

  2. Wurstwaffel says:

    I expected the melee system to look a little less glitchy by now to be honest.

    • Talksintext says:

      Yeah, but now you can open and close the lid on the compass. So there’s that.

      The fact that “close lid” now displays in the center of your screen whenever you use the compass doesn’t completely negate whatever minimal immersion value added by having this new lid system, no not at all.

      • Talksintext says:

        Yes, but you forgot that they updated the axe sounds. It used to sound like swinging a whiffle bat, but now it sounds like swinging a wet foam noodle. So there’s that. I can really feel the punch of that weapon now.

        Also, you can rotate objects in your inventory. This is useful. Somehow. It was definitely worth the 20-50 hours of work it took to implement. That time couldn’t possibly have been spent better, or just not spent and the game be out sooner.

        And the zombies might still be stuck clumsily attacking your position 5 seconds ago, but GOD RAYS, man, God Rays!

        • Danny252 says:

          What I really love about the whole ArmA (and OFP) franchise is that you must stand completely still to move any item into or out of your hands. “I am running from zombies and my pistol is still in its holster! Hopefully they will be kind and stop running at me whilst I fumble around for fifteen seconds, having discovered that my weapon has somehow become glued to my leg.”

  3. herschel says:

    Well, this is exactly what I expected.

    Melee still looks quirky. I want to dig my axe in a zombie-head and pull it out with force… maybe a sideswing, dunno. Not much progress in this department, but hey it´s alpha. ;)

    The big time featured vintage compass needs more inertia. It instantly follows the movement of the player. Some delay and swinging would be nice.

    I liked it.

    • gamma says:

      “Maybe a sideswing” Exacly!

      Those vertical swings are the opposite of what one would supposedly do instinctively, they lower the chances of hiting a vertical target and increase the chances of hiting oneself (by inertia of movement impressed on the axe – chopping one’s legs off).

      Just looking at the many misses i’m hurting badly here: “do it sideways god dammit!” (actually a diagonal swing)

      At this point i don’t even care about the vertical animation, just get the effect of a sideswing and deal with the animation later.

      Sideswings for the win!

      Further into the video, i’m reminded that, if not mistaken, the mellee is emulated with virtual bullets. An actual swing could be represented by several virtual bullets on the plane of the swing.

      • Max Planck says:

        It’s actually a ray cast down the shaft of the axe. This makes it possible to ‘swing’ it by turning your guy. Still a bit clunky though.

      • Mctittles says:

        And even as a different game Arma never changes. Melee weapons still have bullets, and horns on cars are still have an ammo count because they are actually a turret. Cows have first and last names because they are actually soldiers. Bees and butterflies have shadows (since Arma 1) because they are soldiers too.

        I would love to get on that team and be like “hey, we can program these melee and animal and insect things as new separate code you know?”. “Also it wouldn’t hurt to use an overlay for perception of your body movements instead of a camera showing actual avatar crappy mo-cap.”

        • Askeladd says:

          Let’s hope they consider all of this when they create their next engine whenever that may be. Arma has a lot of performance issues because the game got so big and the engine can’t really keep up with it anymore.

        • Max Planck says:

          Melee weapons do not have bullets anymore…
          “It’s actually a ray cast down the shaft of the axe. This makes it possible to ‘swing’ it by turning your guy. Still a bit clunky though.”
          Ray. Continuous. No bullets.

  4. Velko says:

    Careful with that axe, Eugene!

    Also, this is going to be too little, too late. The zombie fad is already passing. The engine is old. DayZ is no longer the talk of the town. Don’t get me wrong; the game might turn out to be awesome. It’s just that in marketing sense, the mark has been missed already, and the outcome is going to be quite sad.

    • shagohad says:

      really its passing? what is that based on….

      Honestly I think you will be doing yourself a disservice if you never play dayz, the mod and the SA Alpha should maybe be skipped by a newcomer but I really think you should give the game a chance.

      I started playing the mod in May of 2012 after reading a few articles on RPS and man, what a blast that game has been, the zombies are not really the main attraction, so regardless if this is the end of the zombie fad the game is about so much more than that :)

      • Drake Sigar says:

        It sure was something. I was most impressed by Dean Hall’s dedication to the project (for the first couple of weeks he was patching multiple times a day and barely slept), but I have to wonder where all the time has gone into this standalone Day Z. From the videos I’ve seen, I’m just not seeing why it’s been in production so long.

        • shagohad says:

          well at risk of being a fanboy and a bit too defensive I will say that its only been a year or so, and I think the team working on it started rather small.

      • Velko says:

        Oh I’ve played the mod, it was an interesting experiment and definitely a cool concept, but ultimately I felt it didn’t go in the right direction (ie. it turned out to be a free-for-all deathmatch with added hackers).

    • Talksintext says:

      No. It still has a massive online community.

      http://arma2.swec.se/game/statistics

      7,670,472 hours played in the last month, with about 10,000 online at any time. It dwarfs the normal Arma playerbase by a good margin still.

  5. Mr. International says:

    You’d think the animations would look decent in the standalone..

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Mmmm, and a few more NPC skins wouldn’t go amiss.

      I have a horrible feeling this is all going to be a massive waste of time for Dean and the team.

    • Talksintext says:

      You’d think they’d actually HAVE animations for common activities. Like drinking. Or eating.

  6. ZIGS says:

    Oh god, that motion blur…

    • shagohad says:

      the post processing and bluriness in ARMA is the first thing to turn off, then the head shake, otherwise the game makes you feel instantly unwell

      • Velko says:

        True words!

      • Synesthesia says:

        DONT TALK SH IT BOUT MY POST PROCESS

        i do hate the motion blur though. I love the softening! Looks great on night missions. Seeing a blackhawk kicking dust on a night raid is always beautiful.

        • Askeladd says:

          If I’m not mistaken there are several sliders to adjust radial and motion blur in Arma 3. So no worries there, okay?

    • fish99 says:

      Yeah it’s horrible. Not a huge fan of the massive lens flares either.

      • ZIGS says:

        And don’t forget the latest trend in obnoxious effects, dirty camera lens! (not related to Arma since I don’t think it has it but worth mentioning anyway)

      • gamma says:

        If you mean the light effect ~45secs in, that is volumetric lighting, and you don’t need lens to see it. I wouldn’t equate that with obsession with effects, actually it lends density to the atmosphere and is, imo, very welcome.

        You do have lens effects, but arma engine does distinguish if you’re 1st person or 3rd person to activate them.

        Agree on motion blur. Always have it off.

        • shagohad says:

          the sun seems a bit OP at the moment though, but once again alpha and stuff

        • fish99 says:

          Point taken, but whatever effect it is, it’s a bit overdone. I guess it only happens when the sun is coming up though.

    • Clavus says:

      On reddit, Rocket said he likes playing with motion blur on. Obviously we’ll be able to turn it off.

  7. Perkelnik says:

    The warning :D

  8. The Random One says:

    It took some staring to realize the article picture had a blonde lady zombie in it. I thought they had added Cousin It as an enemy.

  9. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Miley Cyrus licking sledge-hammers, and now Nathan forcing his axe on unsuspecting taste buds.

    World’s gone big tool mad.

  10. Sp4rkR4t says:

    Looks more promising than I was expecting.

    • Masterpwny says:

      Agreed, there is potential here.

      • EveryoneIsWrong says:

        I can’t tell if you two are trolling or not because I can’t figure out what pre-conditions would’ve led this video to be more than what was expected… If you played DayZ I would assume you would expect more.. and if you hadn’t… I would expect you would assume WAY WAY WAY more.

  11. Flippyot says:

    Did he wander into Mormon compound, or a lax Nunnery? What’s up with all the female zombies?

    Even though they are undead and need to be killed (maybe), I don’t know how I feel about the zombie-females-only direction this game is taking. That’s my biggest complaint so far. Everything else looked neat.

    • jkz says:

      Not sure if trolling… If not, maybe the other models aren’t done yet coz alpha.

  12. Myrdinn says:

    Having played DayZ for a couple of months, I’m really wondering what is different in this version? It looks like a 100% carbon copy. Here’s hope he adds some defining features like good PvP mechanics.

    • Siimon says:

      Agreed. All I see is motion blur, wonkyness, and dayz Mod-copy.

      • Talksintext says:

        They already had motion blur. But you missed the god rays somehow!

    • shagohad says:

      a good deal of the work as I understand it may not be immediately apparent if you never played the mod and or haven’t read through various rocket postings hidden across the internet (the lack of a cohesive media section for this game bugs me lol)

      some of the major changes have been engine side (not just graphics which have been upped slightly, ie. nicer lighting, weather) but more significantly the way objects work in arma. For example in the base engine they started with if you wear a uniform it changes youre entire character, you cannot take off a hat or a shirt, its a single entity. The same with weapons and all other objects. The new system allows for item degradation at an individual object scale, weapon attachments, object crafting ect. For example you will be able to craft small IEDs and other things.

      I think it is a mistake to say that would be an easy fix, a lot of thier time has gone to that overhaul as well as changing the server architecture to allow more zombies, more items, more players on map. Those changes will also affect scripters ability to ruin the game and hopefully curtail “hacking”

      as well the map is being changed, all building are enterable, new items, all the clothing and stuff. The mod had an idea and some objects from arma, almost everything you are seeing here has been completely re-done in some way from character animation to textures and all

      im posting so much in this thread because dayZ is probably the best game Ive ever played, no other game has given me the kind of adrenline rush as a fearful encounter in daisy does vs another player or group.

      that said take everything I say with a grain of salt, im a fanboy

      • PopeRatzo says:

        So, if you never tried to play on a pile of dirt with a rock and a stone you would never know how much better DayZ is than playing on a pile of dirt with a rock and a stone.

        Please. They could have build the Hoover Dam in as long as it’s taken them to make DayZ.

      • Synesthesia says:

        Hey! Honest question:
        As a fan, what do you think about the shoot on sight degradation of gameplay that happenned since the mod released?

        • shagohad says:

          I think its an issue with player perspective. I don’t do it on the coast because its pointless and I have made lots of lasting gamer friends in dayz from not shooting. Inland things change a bit, you have generally come a lot farther and things are more dangerous.

          Unfortunately vanilla dayz is incredibly easy. Playing on some 3rd person server with cross hairs, sniper rifles or assault rifles everywhere makes the game very boring. If you don’t have to spend some time developing its easy to get bored and just kill everyone cuz why the fuck not. This was compounded by duping and other issues where there would always be some dude on a hill outside of a city with a .50 caliber sniper rifle, because when you have 10 of them why not.

          with that being said I left vanilla because of all that bullshit and played on a mod of Dayz called DayZ Redux for a while. Loot was much harder to find, snipers and ARs were much rarer, and generally survival was a bit tougher. These small changes were enough to make people play differently and I think there was less KoS.

          Ultimately the server evolved into an intense rivalry between 3 or 4 factions to control resources like vehicles and rare weaponry. That was some of the most fun I had with huge pitched battles and ambushes, it was great, so the pvp is definitely needed.

          From what I’ve heard the survivalbility in standalone will be more difficult so I think that alone may be enough. Ultimately though it comes down to what makes the game so great. Its a player run world, if you dont like people killing you on sight dont do it. I try not and usually its way more interesting than if I had. Of course occasionally you die but thats part of it I guess.

          sorry for the long winded response

          • herschel says:

            Yeah, the community changed a lot from “wow… let´s try to survive this together!” to “BAM! HAT-SHOT, BIACH!!!”

            I run a dedicated server http://www.dayzjarhead.de and what I see in the logs is someone loggin in, spawing at the coast, asking for a lift, asking again after 30 seconds, and then log off after getting no response to try on the next server. There is really just a few dedicated hardcore players who are willing to invest time and skill in gearing up.

            Sadface.

      • Talksintext says:

        Pretty sure you can craft in current DayZ, and that it’s not something hard to do in Arma, just a matter of getting a proper UI set up for it.

        Item degredation is alos something you can add into DayZ without excessive hassle.

        The new uniform system is just taken from the Arma 3 improvements (as are a few other things).

        Unfortunately, the map really isn’t being changed, because it’s still the same damned map I’ve tread all over for infinity hours already. Adding more buildings and a few new towns doesn’t get me over the fact that it’s still that same place. I’m sick of Chernarus after like 5 years of playing games on it.

        I am really scratching my head to look for serious improvements or additions… BI should be throwing talent at this, but it seems like they’ve just got 4 guys working on it with Arma 3 taking all the talent pool, despite DayZ probably being an equal money-maker (if they invest in it).

        • jonahcutter says:

          Perhaps it’s that as a studio they’re more interested in making Arma3. They appear to be doing fine financially with the core game.

          They likely don’t mind the bonus income from developing a zombie mod for their older game. But their interest lay in improving their mil sim. If so, I say good for them. Staying focused on what they’re really passionate about, and not shifting to cashing in should be applauded.

          • Talksintext says:

            Oh, I applaud them for their work on A3, most definitely, but they seem to have done all of that by totally starving DayZ of its needed brains in the process.

        • shagohad says:

          crafting and object items could not be added “with little hassle”

          either that is wrong or their entire development process has been a lie….

          • Talksintext says:

            I suppose I may not fully understand the new crafting system, and certainly I haven’t been closely watching this dev process. However, as I understand it generally, it amounts to taking a few items, performing some action on them (perhaps with access to additional tools/resources) and producing a new object. Now, if this new object is dynamically created (chainsaw RPGs or something), then it’s a huge difference. But if they’re prebaked objects, then I believe various DayZ modmods have had this ability since late 2012 (Epoch, etc).

            I hope to be surprised on this, but given how little headway this modgame has made in the course of 1+ years of development, I do not assume much and am basing my comments on such low expectations.

  13. MultiVaC says:

    The melee attacks could definitely use a lot of work in animation and hit detection, but I’m glad to see they are finally making some progress in fixing the glitchy warp-zombies. They still seem be a little weird at pathfinding when they are close to the player, but it’s really nice to see them obeying the laws of physics now.

    • Elmarby says:

      As far as I can tell the player is still “firing” an axe shaped pistol with a +/- 2m range. Mount and Blade it is not!

  14. Scumbag says:

    I think this looks like it is about to fail. The objects in the game were floating above the ground and the enemies were all the same, like they were a placeholder or something. Project is doomed. The people playing this should go and play Payday 2 or something with their friends rather then this WarZ rippoff.

  15. Conehead The Barbarian says:

    I hope there will be a way to turn off the breathing sound, gets quite annoying after a while.

    • EveryoneIsWrong says:

      I’d rather they change the sound you make when you move around… you just hear that same soundloop forever when you play DayZ…

      Chokchokchokchokchok… Chokchokchok

    • Stevostin says:

      He’s not using it a lot but there is a “walk” key. Sure doing a good job at enticing me to take my time =)

  16. boats says:

    I like how the axe still makes the sound of a ricocheting bullet. I hope they never change that.

    I also like the way the character runs with the compass in third person view. It looks like he’s frantically trying to apply makeup while avoiding zombies.

  17. shotgunwizard says:

    A lot of people here are saying “Looks like the mod, not much improvent”. Most of the improvement, from what I’ve read, is on the server side of things. Day Z mod turned into a hack fest due to the way Arma handles network code. For SA they had to rewrite the Arma2 engine to behave like an MMO server, whatever that means. Also, loot position have been randomized and the way zombies behave and appear to individual players has been overhauled. Something about network bubbles or some jazz. From what I understand, there can now be a lot more zombies. Oh, and diseases. You’ll be able to catch diseases from other players because, due to that MMO type of server structure, every item is logged in a centralized database along with it’s properties as far as wear and tear and what disease it’s currently carrying.

    Looks good in my opinion. But I am a fan boy of the genre.

  18. Skyrant says:

    So Melee weapons still shoot invisible bullets instead of being, you know, melee weapons. You can see the effect @6:00 when he chops the wall, incl. the bullet ricochet sound. Yepp, this is pre-Alpha!

    • Metalfish says:

      Aside from sound and smoke effects, this is exactly how melee works in a great many shootybang games, the mighty TF2 included.

      • EveryoneIsWrong says:

        I can’t prove you wrong.. but I am fairly certain most games do NOT use ballistics based melee attacks…

  19. PopeRatzo says:

    Talk about a game that’s missed its window of opportunity…

    Oh, and “Q4, 2014″. Because every article about a game that any might possibly want to play needs to have the words, “Q4, 2014″ in it. Even a game based on the most tired device of the 21st century: zombies.

  20. Donjo says:

    Still one of the handful of games I’m actually looking forward to. I dunno about all this missing window talk, good games is good games and there aren’t many that seem like they’re going to be as interesting as this.

  21. vahnn says:

    As much as I love the idea of this game, and despite how many hours I’ve put into DayZ mod, I have to say:

    This looks awful.

    There’s still a mountain of progress to be climbed before this game can “make it.”

  22. redd says:

    So they’ve done practically nothing then.

    • Talksintext says:

      You missed the fact you can now rotate objects in your inventory. That’s huge.

  23. laijka says:

    I almost hate myself for thinking it but.. is that it? I can’t really get my head around what it is taking so long for them. I realize of course that they’ve made changes “under the hood” but it’s still disheartening to see what essentially looks like DayZ the mod but not as ugly.

    I am quickly losing interest in this project and it’s going from a must have to something i might pick up. And it’s not only that it taking them a while but that every delay makes me question the ability of the devs working on this. Can they handle patching and fixing this in a timely manner after release?

    All in all, I think this game missed the hype train it itself sat in motion.

  24. sabrage says:

    You had me at “un-blathered over,” Nathan.

  25. Meneldil says:

    Okay. Once again I am reminded that the ARMA/Operation Flashpoint engine is clunky as hell.

    I didn’t expect the intensity of say, Left 4 Dead 2, but this? You have no idea if you actually hit your target or not, and it looks like you’re playing a robot, and not, I don’t know, a human being?

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      Looks substandard, and I don’t expect the final product to look any less so by the time the damn game actually comes out. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

      Did Rocket ever consider using a more reliable engine for Standalone? If so, I wonder how much “incentive” Bohemia gave him to stick with the Arma engine. I also have to wonder if he’d be finished by now if he had gone with something more developer-friendly.

      EDIT: Oops, meant this as a standalone post. Ha, standalone.

  26. ironman Tetsuo says:

    The video isn’t a press release, I’m not even sure it’s news worthy, a quick glimpse Dean threw out during a testing session to appease the die hard fans which you’d have to be in order to understand any of it.

    Melee is now more like mount and blade and much more advanced than in any of the mods, the bullet hole in the wall and ricochet sfx undermine that but the mechanics behind it are totally renovated. The hits are now ray cast, you can see in the video he occasionally misses a strike with the axe but during the swing he turns his character and still kills a zombie, if the axe was just firing a short range bullet he couldn’t have done that.

    Imagine the game is a tree. The engine is the trunk, the branches are the systems and the leaves are what the player experiences. Now with DayZ they’ve replaced 90% of the trunk and have pruned all the redundant branches whilst adding new ones but all the leaves are still hanging in their original positions so from the outside to the casual onlooker the tree still looks exactly like the old one.

    Now you could spend all day attaching the leaves back to the branches but the rest of the team are still tweaking the new ones whilst creating others, you’d just be making a mess. Alpha should signify a point in development when the trunk and branches are set in stone and then from that point on you work on the leaves, the animations and sound effects etc. DayZ isn’t in Alpha yet, that’s what we’re still waiting for.

    So yeah, I totally understand how it still looks like the same old janky willow to a casual observer but that doesn’t affect me or my excitement, I can’t wait to visit Chernarus+

    • shagohad says:

      thanks for this, way more concise then I ever could have said it hehe

  27. Beelzebud says:

    I eagerly await the Greenlit, Crowdfunded, Early Access, 1/3rd of a game that they’ll inevitably release on Steam.

  28. denizsi says:

    Why is it so damn hard for BI to hire proper animators who know what they are doing? I swear, ArmA series have some of the clunkiest, most unconvincing and annoying animations in the industry.

    AND why do the zombies still “attack” you? It looks ridiculous. They are supposed to be trying to *eat* you, *bite* you, not play high-fives.

  29. Mabswer says:

    You Feel like Taking a Crap. Still not quite there yet :/

    • Ungenious says:

      Yes, making shit takes a while.

      In general though, I’m not really sure I understand everyone’s complaints. Are people arguing that the development team is being lazy? Or incompetent? Or understaffed? Or all of the above?

      I’m a DayZ fan, but if the game ends up being horrible, I think they’ve done their job of showing that there’s a big multiplayer-survival-horror market. Similarly, I liked L4D2 on its own, but I liked it more for getting publishers to start pumping out 4-player coop games.