The journey from survival-themed ArmA II mod to full-on standalone game has been a long and public one for Dean Hall's DayZ. It's been over a full year since developers announced the game was undergoing a major engine change and Hall vocalized the amount of frustration and depression he was experiencing as a result of the project's setbacks.
Delays continued through the start of 2013, but the project is now moving forward and the developers have even shared some gameplay footage of the standalone survival horror game. An upcoming Steam Early Access alpha will give eager fans a chance to join in on the development process, but the creator has a few words of warning before potential players get too excited.
Hall has been straightforward and blunt with the community over the course of the last year about DayZ, so it's no surprise that he's admitting the very real possibility that the alpha could do more harm than good for skeptical consumers. He went on to explain that the Early Access build is "a true-blue alpha" and that massive areas of the engine have been entirely reworked over the last 12 months. Understandably, there are still plenty of bugs to work out.
"Buying early will be a recipe for disappointment, it's a chance for those who want to be part of that whole process. For them, the process is as much as part of the game as the whole experience. For many, this is the opposite of what they want."
The creator's advice, which seems completely logical, is that gamers still on the fence about DayZ hold off for now. Hall recommends reading reviews, watching "let's play" videos, and giving the game some time to prove itself. He's confident that after the game is finished working through its growing pains, consumers can return to the Steam shop and pick up a more polished version.
Referring to a build of his own game as "a recipe for disappointment" may sound like a bad PR move, but Hall's advice seems spot-on. The perks associated with the alpha (access before the general public and a cheaper price than the beta or retail version) are pretty tempting, but come along with lots of bugs and missing content. Die-hard fans of the mod should definitely jump at the opportunity to sign up for the alpha, but casually curious Steam shoppers should probably give the game some time to evolve into a finished product.
Whether fans decide to wait for the retail version or not, DayZ still has no release date in sight. Once the Early Access alpha launches, we should hopefully get a better timeline for the beta and retail releases. If the eventual launch lives up to the legend of the ArmA II mod that outshone the military sim, then console gamers may eventually get a chance to survive the DayZ apocalypse too.
Do you think users can accurately judge a game by playing an alpha or is it always too early to make a call at that point? Sound off in the comments.
A release date for the DayZ Early Access alpha has not been announced.
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Source: DayZ Forums