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The standalone version of DayZ still needs a little more time in the grave before it can arise and walk the Earth, but that doesn’t mean that the zombie game’s developer isn’t making progress.
DayZ Standalone project lead Dean Hall just released a new video on his blog that gives fans an update about the title’s current status along with a large dose of gameplay. Hall explains that despite a desire to release the game in an early state, it’s still not ready due to a few issues.
“We were trying to see if we could release an alpha [test] based on the current [build of the game], but the results were [negative],” Hall says in the video. “The build is not ready for release. We’re pushing forward to our next milestone and working on the issues that were presented with what we’ve done so far.”
Hall says the biggest problem right now is something called the “multiplayer network bubble,” which refers to a very specific technology DayZ will use to improve performance and security over the DayZ mod. The original DayZ (not DayZ Standalone) is a user-created add-on for the open-world first-person shooter Arma II from developer Bohemia Interactive. Now that Hall is breaking DayZ away from Arma II, he can change things like how the game interfaces with the server that hosts the game world.
“What [multiplayer network bubble] means is that players only receive updates [from the DayZ server] based on their vicinity,” said Hall. “At the moment, in Arma II [and the DayZ mod] the game receives updates from everything that occurs on the map.”
That works well for Arma II, which is an open-world multiplayer shooter, but it doesn’t work for DayZ. The zombie game has over 100,000 items, thousands of zombies, and hundreds of players on a server. DayZ Standalone doesn’t benefit from updating all of that information for each player. The game’s maps are so gigantic that something changing several in-game miles away won’t have any impact on an individual’s experience.
“As players move around the world [in DayZ Standalone], they’re only receiving updates for things that are close to them,” he said. “This gives us good performance and a lot more security.”
Hackers are common in the DayZ mod. The global nature of the updates enables hackers to get into the code and change everything for everyone simultaneously. Hall is hoping the network bubble will make that a lot more difficult since it limits the data that those hacking programs can access.
The developer wants to fully test this system out before releasing the alpha version of the game, but he’s hoping the team can accomplish that soon.
The DayZ mod is currently available for free but requires Arma II and the Arma II: Combined Operations expansion pack. Following the massive success of the mod, Arma developer Bohemia hired Hall and is helping him develop DayZ Standalone.