DayZ has been in the early Alpha testing phase since December 2013 so it’s safe to say that development for the game is progressing rather slowly. Sure, Bohemia Interactive has released plenty of updates since launch and a bunch of interesting features have been already added, with more promised to arrive soon. So what’s taking so long? Gamespot recently caught up with Dean “Rocket” Hall, project lead and creator of the original DayZ mod for Arma 2 and asked about future plans for the game. Hall revealed that development is taking so long because the team has encountered some technical difficulties while implementing the new features.
The first goal for Bohemia is a new engine with support for either DirectX 10 or DirectX 11. DayZ currently runs on DirectX 9, which has limited capabilities when it comes to graphics rendering. “We lose a lot of time,” Hall said. “But implementing DirectX 10 or 11 will have a dramatic, instant visual difference and quite a significant performance difference.” We all like good looking games so I guess the wait will be worth while. A DirectX 11 engine will come with many benefits including better lighting effects.
“The big benefit we get is being able to implement dynamic lighting so we can have dynamic shadows,” Hall explained. “If you’ve got a good computer, you’ll be able to play with more lights. If there’s a lot of people using torches in the distance, you’ll be able to see their lights.” DayZ’s nighttime phase was originally rendered using DirectX 7, which results in it being incredibly dark and barely playable. DirectX 11 offers the option of keeping the pitch black darkness while also making the game playable during the night. “It really just gives us options to play with. “Once we’ve got that, we’ll then experiment and say, ‘How can we change the lighting at night so that we still achieve that pitch blackness, but at the same time actually allow you to play it?'”
Bohemia also has other plans for DayZ besides a new and improved engine. The company is currently working on implementing new server technology, a new loot system, new hunting mechanics, and a redesigned control scheme. That all sounds very good in my book so let’s hope we get to see these features sooner rather than later. DayZ has already sold over 2 million copies since its alpha release and it doesn’t look to be slowing down any time soon. The game will enter the beta phase sometime during Q4 of this year according to the devs. Stay tuned for more news and updates.