DayZ creator talks about the studio’s upcoming plans as they prepare for the impending release of the game’s standalone version.
Speaking to Gamasturtra, Dean “Rocket” Hall reveals that DayZ Standalone will adopt a Minecraft-like model when it comes to pricing. “So what we’re doing at the moment is, we gave free keys as a gift to the forum moderators, the Reddit moderators, people who helped out with DayZ development, and stuff like that,” said Hall. “I guess there’s about 30-100 people involved with that.”
“From here, once we’ve finished our server/client architecture — because we’re moving it an MMO model — we’re reviewing the situation of that in June, and then we do an alpha, just like Minecraft. People pay X amount of dollars and they get early, cheap access to it, and then once it’s beta, price goes up, maybe, say, $10, and once it goes retail, the price goes up $10.”
When asked about Alpha testing and when it will actually commence, Hall mentioned that testers are “…already in. They’re already playing it. It’s good… We’re only running one server. We are doing content updates all the time.”
He expressed gratitude toward Valve and their involvement in the testing process. “The Steam model is really working well for us,” he explained.” Valve approached us and they said, ‘What do you guys want, to make things easier?’ and we said, ‘Well, we want delta patching.’ Luckily they were just about to bring that out. That’s where, instead of downloading the whole file when it updates, it just downloads the part [that has changed.]
“And it’s already built into our build process. So the artists, they download the game via Steam, and our internal development process uses Steam to patch their stuff. So when people join the alpha, we have a little dropdown box, which is two builds — this is once we go paying — you can choose the stable, or the experimental. The experimental one is literally what is on the developer’s desktop. And so people will be able to choose which one they want to play on. If they want to see what the developers were working on today, they can choose the experimental build.
“We don’t necessarily know how it’s going to go. A lot of this is an experiment. But I think it’s a cool experiment, and we’re lucky that we can do that, because of the success of DayZ and the sales of Arma 2, it’s kind of given us carte blanche to experiment. And we’re going to make a lot of mistakes, and we do, but I think that’s good. It’s good for the title and it’s good for us to do.”