People can finally play DayZ's standalone alpha en masse, and so they have. As of Bohemia's last count, the still ultra-buggy alpha had fallen into the ravenous hands of 875,000 players, which totals out to 8,750,000 fingers. Even rockstars who crowdsurf at every show can't boast that. Despite that, the newly reborn undead survivor isn't even close to finished - or out of alpha, for that matter. Keeping in line with the game's appropriately shambly development cycle, DayZ's beta won't even kick off until the end of 2014. Don't expect to see this one in any state resembling "finished" for quite some time yet.
The road ahead is a lengthy one, but Bohemia at least has a map. The developer outlined what's on the docket for DayZ's next year of development in a blog post. Here are the biggest priorities:
- Server performance, stability and security
- Animals & hunting
- Cooking & gathering resources
- Playable user customizable vehicles
- Player created constructions in the environment
- More complex interactions with the environment and crafting options
- Streamlined user actions and interface
- Control and animations expanded and improved for fluidity
- Upgraded graphics and physics engine (including ragdoll, etc.)
- Support of user mods and more flexibility for user hosted servers and game types
In the short term, expect to see crucial issues like bugginess and server stability get the most attention. The rest will come when the game's still rickety framework is ready to support it.
Both Rich and Jim have found what's already in the game to be quite compelling, though also more prone to breakdowns than a fortuitously discovered automobile in a zombie roadtrip movie. How have you been finding your journeys into this melting pot of frightening, heartwarming, utterly human chaos?