In this day and age it only takes one good idea to get your indie title or mod noticed by the gaming community at large. It needs to be something that the big studios aren’t doing but everyone clamors for. The team behind the Arma 2 mod Day Z managed to find their zeitgeist by transforming Arma 2’s 225 km squared landscape into an open-world zombie survival sandbox. When the world is covered by zombies and you’re struggling to survive, the gloves come off and that’s exactly what this mod encapsulates.
Players live an average of four hours, just to give you an idea of how tough it is to survive out there. You start off with meager supplies and you need to keep yourself fed, watered and breathing all while contending not only with hordes of roaming undead but also other players. It’s safe to assume in Day Z that everyone is out for themselves and the game features a humanity meter to chart your interactions with other survivors. Malevolent players can earn a “Bandit” ranking that changes their outward appearance and makes them a target for frontier justice. There are a ton of player guides to help you out, but the true genius of Day Z is the moment to moment gameplay and what emerges out of that.
A video chronicling some of what happens in Day Z by YouTube user SideStrafe.
Day Z requires both Arma 2 and its expansion Operation Arrowhead, and the Combined Operations package has cracked the top five sales on Steam, surpassing The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Here’s a handy installation guide for Day Z to get you started on your journey, including some tips for living longer than a few minutes.
Since Day Z has taken off in such a huge way, we decided to get in touch with the developers behind the mod and ask them a few questions. Dean “Rocket” Hall was kind enough to provide us with some answers about how the mod came about, what sort of reaction they’ve seen from Bohemia Interactive, and what’s next for Day Z. Continue reading Emergent Gameplay and Persistent Worlds: The Day Z Interview