DayZ’s 2015 Dev Road Map Begins With A Price Increase

Let’s play a game of good news, bad news.

Good news! DayZ‘s developers have laid out their development roadmap for 2015 and it includes long desired features, and should finally bring parity with and improvements over the original mod. These additions include basic vehicles and better zombie AI in early 2015, and eventually will stretch to construction and base building in late 2015. The game also has a projected final release date sometime in the first half of 2016.

Bad news! The game’s price is going to increase gradually over the remaining development period and to begin with has increased from $30 to $35 and then immediately been discounted by 15% back down to $30 as part of the current Steam sale. Depending on your point of view this is either a nice way to soften the blow of an understandable and inevitable price increase or, in the UK at least, a breach of consumer protection guidelines.

Let’s start with the bad. The UK’s Pricing Practices guide (PDF), helpfully pointed out by Reddit, states that a price used for comparison in a sale should be “your most recent price available for 28 consecutive days or more.” DayZ clearly isn’t doing that.

But rather than something malicious, this seems like a simple attempt at good PR that has turned into very bad PR. Price increases are expected as early access games move gradually towards completion, and DayZ’s developers wisely decided that they wanted to give people a heads-up about the coming cost bump. That’s good! The issue is tying that in with a broader sale, where even with open and honest blog posts sat alongside, the natural presumption is that the discounts are applied to the current cost and not a future cost.

It’s stupid and not evil, is what I’m saying. Here’s what the blog post has to say about both this and future price increases:

Along with the remaining updates this year you can expect a new price point for DayZ, a slight increase to 27.99 EUR/34.99 USD. This is part of a gradual price change as we progress with the development and reach the goals that we along with your help set for the project. We would like to avoid a sudden increase in price once we hit 1.0. Don`t be discouraged by this increase however, the current price of 23.99 EUR/29.99 USD will still be available during the Steam fall sale. If you want to jump into DayZ, now is a good time.

We are all very excited to announce that the first half of 2016 will introduce our final version and release from early access, with our final price point of 39.99 EUR / 49.99 USD.

So let’s end with the good. DayZ has been making steady progress over the past year of its development, quashing bugs and gradually adding new features, but there’s still been some major systems missing from the game as compared to the mod and as compared to the chatter of its excitable designers. It sounds like both those types of things will be coming next year. Here’s the full list:

Q1 2015

  • Basic vehicles
  • Central economy (advanced loot distribution)
  • New renderer
  • New Zombie AI
  • Basic stealth system (zombies, animals, …)
  • Diseases

Q2 2015

  • Advanced vehicles (repair, modifications, …)
  • Advanced animals – life cycle, group behavior
  • Player statistics
  • New UI Stamina / fatigue
  • Dynamic events

Q3 2015

  • Traps
  • Barricading
  • Character life span + soft skills
  • Animal predators + birds
  • Aerial transport
  • Console prototype

Q4 2015

  • BETA version
  • Animal companions (dog, horse)
  • Steam community integration (Achievements, Steamworks modding, etc)
  • Construction (building shelters / walls / …)

Which all sounds splendid and exciting to me. I long for DayZ to have some sort of endgame, and being able to build shelters and form camps with other friendly survivors seems like the best, least sociopathic candidate.

If you’re sad about any of this, mourn instead for Chris Livingston whose DayZ perma-permadeath diary means he’ll never be able to experience these updates or play this game ever again.

49 Comments

  1. kevmscotland says:

    Maybe its because I never got heavily into dayZ but this mostly makes me go “meh”.
    Considering the base game from which it’s born (Arma) had vehicles and wildlife, stamina system, aerial transport etc half this just feels like re-enabling stuff that the engine was already meant to do.

    I’d rather they set about making DayZ 2.0 on a new engine thats specifically built or tailored to the needs of the game.

    • EveryoneIsWrong says:

      But don’t you see? They had to make “a whole new engine from the ground up”. That’s why nothing works. The new engine (that definitely isn’t the Real Virtuality engine at all) is too new and good for features.

      • Universal Quitter says:

        You sure do talk a lot of shit for someone that is so familiar with Bohemia and their proprietary software

        • EveryoneIsWrong says:

          Are you trying to imply it ISN’T a completely new engine?

    • DrGonzo says:

      They essentially are doing that. It’s not from the ground up, but new engines rarely are!

      And yes arma does have a lot of those features, but not in the way dayz is looking to do it.

    • ironman Tetsuo says:

      The problem with ARMA is that it isn’t so much a game as it is a play set. It relies heavily on a community willing to enforce their own rules. Essentially you can tell ARMA “I’m a 30 foot tall soldier that shoots acidic milk from my nipples” and ARMA will be like “ok then”, which is fine if you’re playing with a bunch of like minded individuals but terrible if you’re interacting with Joe Public.

      That’s why the Mod was best in the early days when it was full of people who wanted to play the game Dean envisioned but then fell apart the moment it got popular and attracted the power fantasy type that wanted to dominate using x-ray vision, thunder domes and parachuting cows…

  2. Crusoe says:

    Waited for the Standalone instead of playing the mod.

    Then waited for stability in the Standalone.

    Now I think I’ll just wait for it to be 75% off in 2018.

    There’s other games to play.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Do what I do and just play link to thezombieinfection.com instead! It’s a lot of fun. More deathmatchy than DayZ. But the Arma 3 engine and altis make up for any downsides imho. RPS should really write some articles about this mod!

      • SirMonkeyWrench says:

        Isn’t a lot of the bleakness lost transferring from the perpetual greyness of eastern Europe to a sunny Mediterranean locale?

      • jonahcutter says:

        Thumbs up on Breaking Point. It’s got great mechanics, and it’s in ArmA 3.

      • DarkFenix says:

        More deathmatchy than DayZ? Wow, DayZ is already more deathmatchy than Counterstrike so I can’t imagine how awful that one you linked is.

    • horsemedic says:

      “Now I think I’ll just wait for it to be 75% off done in 2018.”

      FTFY

    • Smoky_the_Bear says:

      Same, the initial statement was “Day-Z standalone will be out by Christmas”. That was 2 years ago, now they are saying the game is still a year away from a BETA state. Sorry but I’ve lost all interest in this at this point.

      • JohnFromSteam says:

        Smoky, then why are the heck are you still here? Why trash a game that isn’t even finished? It WILL get done in 2016 and if you lost interest, then why continue dwelling on the game like an idiot? I swear a lot of you guys are idiots for saying you lost interest but continue to go to everything DayZ. Stupid….

  3. Jimmy says:

    Creatively, this ship sailed long ago… There are any number of clones available, and one can always return to the base mod. Still you might get a companion dog in 2016.

  4. Synesthesia says:

    Jesus, are they still struggling with the zombie AI? What exactly have they done in these last 12 months?

    • Terminal Boy says:

      An excellent question.

    • sinister agent says:

      Have you ever tried to fill a swimming pool with money? It takes ages.

    • Premium User Badge

      Kirrus says:

      The AI hasn’t been the problem. The quantity of zombies under control of the AI, and being rendered, is.

      Basically, they’ve been spending all this time trying to write smarter and faster code, so that they don’t melt your home pc’s brains to death.

      • Malibu Stacey says:

        Basically, they’ve been spending all this time trying to write smarter and faster code, so that they don’t melt your home pc’s brains to death.

        So you’re saying they’re trying to do something which Turtle Rock/VALVe had done for release 6 years ago?

        • sinister agent says:

          I would imagine the zombies in Left (“for” – Ed) Dead aren’t done on an individual basis, as when they’re actually doing anything it tends to be in hordes. They’re either standing around doing nothing or they’re charging directly at you. Dayz is a bit more complicated than that. Although that’s not to say that it has to be, or that it should be taking so long.

          • Synesthesia says:

            The project zomboid mode of horde ai for zombies was pretty cool, and worked for a big map. Maybe something along those lines could work? I dunno, I am no programmer.

            My question still stands though, have they even hinted what they will do or have done with zombie ai? Or is it just a vague “They will probably not run through walls, i think?”

          • EveryoneIsWrong says:

            If the end result of doing zombies on an individual basis is so shit.. then why not just do it the way Left 4 Dead and other zombie games that can handle more than 1-4 zombies at a time have done it? Unless this is some sort of long term master plan that will one day give us the smartest* zombie AI ever… I’m not really sure what the point is.

            *I have trouble understanding why “smart” zombie AI is so difficult as it has the most simple base mechanics ever. Shamble toward things… eat… the end.

        • nasKo says:

          The AI of L4D wouldn’t work well in DayZ. Linear levels versus open world, two states of zombie AI, etc.

          Edit: Yeah, wot sinister agent sed

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          They’re using one of the shittiest game engines around. You can’t expect miracles.

      • Danny252 says:

        What sort of numbers of zombies are they running with? I thought the ArmA engine (which is what they’re basing whatever they’re working with off) was pretty happy up to at least a couple of hundred nearby-ish soldiers/zombies/tanks/whatever at a time.

  5. Clavus says:

    Plenty of other games to play so I’ll jump back into DayZ once it starts shaping up a bit.

    Sadly the gaming community largely doesn’t realize that there are humans making this game and that game development takes time, causing Rocket to delete his Reddit account after trying to communicate with these people and only being met with distrust and cynicism. Sucks hard because I liked reading his discussions on the /r/dayz subreddit, and he’s a good person overall.

    • Premium User Badge

      Kirrus says:

      That’s kinda a more general scourge in the industry right now though. Consumers are too self-centred, to take a thirdparty viewpoint or experience as being of potentially more merit than theirs.

      • Synesthesia says:

        Yep, it’s definitely something that’s happenned. Games as consumer items have finally caught up with us.

      • brokeTM says:

        The general scourge around the industry is devs, and not only indie-devs promising things they can’t deliver.

        How long after it was promised was the stand-alone of DayZ released? Rocket made it appear as if porting to standalone wasn’t going to take long, aka not more than 6 months. It was far more than that, promise not delivered.

        Watch Dogs… Blegh

        Any number of Early Access titles at this moment… bleh.

        Gamers haven’t become more self-centered, they’ve always been that way. Games today are available in an unfinished state of any degree more than ever. Demo’s and not too long ago open-beta versions of games were in a much better state than the majority of today’s early access games.

        Minecraft has started this trend long ago, but most EA devs are failing to iterate as smoothly as Mojang did/does.

        • sinister agent says:

          Gamers are impatient is half the problem. “pre-ordering” was daft enough, but people still do it now, for downloadable games. It’s utterly ridiculous. And now it’s practically an anomaly to wait until a game is even finished before selling it. We’ve made our own bed, to be honest. People will moan if a game takes as long as a game actually takes, because they want it to be done immediately. Allowing them to pay right from the start has just given them a stronger sense of righteousness when demanding it.

          • Smoky_the_Bear says:

            This is a good point. Sadly gaming as the industry we know it now started as very much as an instant gratification product designed for children or more importantly for parents to stick their children in front of and keep them occupied.
            Those kids are now all grown up but it seems those attitudes die hard having been persistent throughout most of our childhoods (I like a lot of others, was not a patient gamer when I was a kid, I wanted the new games NOW and if I had to wait a day or two to play something it was wobbler time).

            Some people seemingly never grew out of this attitude, they have to play things NOW. As gaming has grown the more business minded have gotten involved and have realised they can make money by taking the piss out of these impatient gamers. This first led to pre-order culture and now they have realised they can sell unfinished games. These prevailing attitudes has lead to lots of us being burned and let down too many times though and the level of trust between the people in the industry and the consumer is at an all time low because the industry keeps seeing fit to try and take the piss as much as they humanly can.

            Looking at a game like Day-Z, no it doesn’t seem like they are doing enough, they have been milking this game marketing wise for years now yet it seems like very little progress is being made, certainly compared to the constant promises that have been made, most of which haven’t been fulfilled.
            While I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt that they are taking there time (and I certainly have no problem with a “It’ll be done when it’s done” approach) it seems there are just too many examples of this type of thing turning out badly for the consumer for me to be optimistic about this.

            I refuse to buy early access, I think as a practice it is extremely anti-consumer and removes a lot of the onus on the developer to actually produce a quality product. Therefore I will wait until a proper release and read reviews etc until I go anywhere near this. It just would have been nice if they’d have been a bit more honest about the timeline for the game from the start. There is no way that selling a game on Early Access that you are constantly saying will be released soon(tm), then pushing back the release date over and over can come across as honest, when you look back at their history of press releases it comes across as trying to con people into buying a desperately unfinished game.

          • P.Funk says:

            The instant gratification consumer culture is hardly a an accident. Its very much a deliberate result of intense marketing and research into psychology. What do you think the so called ‘nag’ strategy came from? Advertizers realized they could manipulate adults into buying children’s consumer products by advertizing directly to the children in such a way as to manipulate THEM into nagging their parents. Its brilliant and subversive.

            Its not just about gaming, its not just about developers or consumers, its about our whole culture in general. What the Soviets were doing with the Motherland we’ve been doing with shopping. Gaming is just such a shallow culture that it exhibits a ridiculous proportion of impulsive and uninformed spending versus informed critical review. There are few markets where the consumer can be relied on to spend as impulsively as gaming. The entirety of games selling these days is like the impulse items they stack at registers.

      • Smoky_the_Bear says:

        When the game industry constantly treats the consumer like crap it’s difficult not to take a cynical attitude though. The devs end up caught in the middle, which is a shame but I don’t trust games companies as a whole not to take the “Primary Objective: Maximise Profit, All other objectives insignificant” route whenever a decision is to be made. These decisions are usually made at the expense of the consumer.

  6. Simon_Scott says:

    Might be time to go back to this.

    My initial playing of the game sort of curtailed itself when I found a nice isolated little house in walking distance from a town. Given that the key is to survive, the game basically devolved into heading into town and back for supplies. Maybe I need friends. Or a helicopter to build.

  7. montorsi says:

    You know, they could have just said “hey, we’re raising the price, buy the game now or during the sale for five bucks off, or you’ll have to pay $35 later.” Then they wouldn’t be dumb or evil. But this, this puts me off even considering buying the game, especially given the fact it’s lacking much of what would make the game, a game.

    • JohnFromSteam says:

      Why are you contradicting yourself? They put up the price and they have ALREADY said that they are putting it on sale so this is your last chance to buy it before the price bump is up. That is LITERALLY the best thing to do when a price bump occurs as most people really don’t check ANY messages from the devs about pricing, so they would have just seen dayz go from 30 to 35 usd.

  8. Crafter says:

    I don’t mind seeing them increasing the game price over time, in fact it has already been suggested multiple times in the indie scene as a way to build/reward a fan base and as a saner model than bundles, and I am curious to see how it turns out.
    The whole sales things is just stupid though.

  9. Voqar says:

    If there was a game involved I might be interested but a buggy neverfinished not even glorified deathmatch for griefers who want to bugger each other and steal each others blood and pants isn’t much of a game, and with an escalating price – pay more to get less on top of never getting what you paid for a year ago – seems pretty weak too.

    They’d also said you’d be able to host your own games and I don’t see that on the roadmap. When the only way to host is to pay for expensive 3rd party server hosting that’s pretty weak too.

  10. RaoulDuke says:

    I don’t and have never played the original mod or the standalone game but i’ll say this:

    *blows raspberry*

    These guys live in a fantasy land where people will wait two [2] years for a dog model that slides around behind you and glitches on doors.

  11. danijami23 says:

    So have they fixed the zombies walking through the fucking walls thing yet?

    • herschel says:

      They actually have.

      As they have fixed a gazillion other things. I returned to SA after six month and I was delighted to see how much the game has improved.

      Still a lot of bugs and glitches but it´s very well playable.

  12. ironman Tetsuo says:

    Creative processes cannot “promise” in the same way a manufactured process can, you’re not dealing with machines or commodities rather vision and execution, two variables much harder to predict. Add to that the problem that the more money pumped into a project the more it grows which in turn actually slows the whole process down rather than speeding it up like some mistakenly think. .

    If we’d given Dean Hall £1,000 we’d have had the standalone long ago, it would have been a hack of a hack of a scripted mess and we’d have loved it and probably moved on by now.

    Instead we gave Dean Hall more money than he could ever have dreamt of, millions of the stuff and that raised a massive dilemma. The mod with legs bolted on was no longer good enough as vast amounts of money just increases the level of expectation.

    The solution? This was no longer a job for Dean, he’d given birth to a monster that just continued to grow. Eventually it dawned on them that they only engine capable of realising the dream would need at least a year’s worth of re-writing to be fit for purpose.

    I’m actually pretty impressed with DayZ’s progress considering the ferocious turmoil of it’s conception.

    • mr.coolmeister says:

      they shouldve tried working on it on their own, instead of stealing the ingine map and all scripts from arma 2 lol, they really didnt do jack shit

  13. mr.coolmeister says:

    a dayz price increase for what?? ur little paintable guns and berry picking? you devs slack and have done nothing to prove this game was even worth 30, theres still major game breaking bugs u havent fixed since release a year ago, you devs are just pathetic, miscreated is basically the same as dayz, just build on a much much much much much much better engine with devs that actually know what there doing, AND, wait for it, its cheaper then dayz, dean hall needs to be banned from any productions of any games ever again

  14. racccoon says:

    I got it I can play when ever but this game is a recital to death

  15. Kyle_Katarn says:

    It’s a shame that this game isn’t what it could have been. Instead of being a zombie survival game, it’s a player deathmatch ft. one or two zombies at a time. The engine and gameplay it was based off of is janky as all hell, and the only real threat zombies pose is if they glitch out.

    I guess what I’m really after in terms of games like this is exactly a Project Zomboid clone (in 3D). Zomboid have been really the only dev team who get it in terms of what a zombie survival game. It’s a shame that there’s no game on the market that fills that need from a 3D standpoint.