DayZ Interview: Mod Support, Console Versions, Battlegrounds, and More

DayZ, the popular standalone Arma 3 mod, is going into beta so we thought we should have a chat with Bohemia Interactive to discuss some popular topics such as mod support, dedicated servers, and of course, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the title.

SegmentNext: The game has been in early access for over three years, that is a long time. Now when we are heading into BETA soon, exciting times indeed, where do we stand on Mod support for the standalone? It is one of the most discussed topics and now when the game is more stable and relatively closer to the final build in the beta, can the game handle Mods now?

Eugen Harton, Lead Producer of DayZ: We’ve always aimed to offer mod support alongside allowing players to host their own dedicated servers. That plan hasn’t changed. Our reasoning behind the decision to wait is based on the ongoing large and sweeping technology changes that would make all mods made on current versions of DayZ obsolete. Shortly after the first public BETA release, we aim to offer both modding support and dedicated servers.

SegmentNext: Are there any plans to raise the difficulty level for PvE with new zombies? Or by modifying AI behavior?

Eugen Harton: Short answer would be yes. The AI of infected in DayZ is currently being rewritten into our new scripting language, and will be much easier to tweak and modify than when it was largely hard-coded. We expect more iteration down the road to BETA as the infected have to work with all new parts of the engine, while benefiting from new features and systems.

SegmentNext: There is plenty of competition now from H1Z1 and the likes of Battlegrounds’ Battle Royale. There is a lot of variety to what we can play now in the open world survival genres. Why do you think a player would choose DayZ, a game that’s been in Early Access for four years over three years, over H1Z1 and Battlegrounds? I guess what I want to know is that what makes DayZ better and unique?

Eugen Harton: What Battlegrounds and H1Z1 offer is a survival game loop distilled to much shorter blocks of looting and shooting. I understand the appeal of the action packed tension. But I also feel that DayZ is much more of an experience that aims to instill fear, loneliness in a world that’s largely familiar and real.

It does not want to be a game only, but a story of a person that is going through this horrible thing. And if somebody is looking for the PvP experience in DayZ, modding should make that much easier. I don’t think we are going to succeed trying to be a clone of H1Z1 or Battlegrounds for that matter. They are fun games for sure, but there is an untapped potential in a good and real DayZ experience that we want to deliver: slower pace, immersion and blood pumping player interactions with a good base of details that keep you focused.

From a character aching and healing his wounds, to exhaustion after running from a wolf that just almost made you bleed to death. Having a base with friends where you meet every week, trading with strangers, or zombies overhearing your conversations and a horde beating on you.

SegementNext: Most of your resources are focused on DayZ’s PC version but now when the BETA is on its way, do you guys plan to shift focus to consoles to speed things up a little for DayZ fans on consoles?

Eugen Harton: Since we were focused on technology first, we have a good base for our console release coming after PC version. There is still work to do, but there are only a handful of people assigned to keeping PS4 and Xbox builds stable alongside PC version. Once we are sure that PC is in a good place for us to diversify a little bit, we want to deliver them in a timely fashion.

DayZ is now available is available on Steam for $34.99.

Sarmad is our Senior Editor, and is also one of the more refined and cultured among us. He's 25, a finance major, and having the time of his life writing about videogames.