The DayZ standalone release missed its end-of-2012 release date, but this is a zombie game — so it won’t stop.

DayZ lead designer Dean “Rocket” Hall, who originally developed it as a mod for first-person shooter Arma II, updated his blog with new info about the status of the standalone release and why it is late.

“Put simply, DayZ standalone isn’t here because we had the chance to go from making a game that was the mod improved slightly, packaged simply, and sold — to actually redeveloping the engine and making the game the way we all dreamed it could be,” Hall wrote. “The plan from here is straightforward. We will be releasing a closed test imminently, during which approximately 500 [to] 1,000 people will assist in  ensuring our architecture is correctly functioning.”

The test is only to test the online infrastructure. Hall will use the information it gathers from the test to help determine a new release date.

Hall then listed some of the major changes his small studio implemented in this new version of the popular DayZ. His team completely removed the existing (and confusing) inventory system and built a new one.

“You scavenge for items now, as individual parts, picking up pieces rather than piles, looking for cans on shelves or under beds,” wrote Hall. “The new system opens the door for durability of items, disease tracking, batteries, add-on components, and much more.”

The blog gave an example of a player shooting another player with night-vision goggles in the head, damaging the head-mounted device.

Other changes include improvements to the user interface, the art, and the world map.