In early February, Dean “Rocket” Hall and Matt Lightfoot of Bohemia Interactive’s DayZ standalone game dev team, shared the first 15 minutes of DayZ gameplay, highlighting some of the core features they’re building into the game, from a greater focus on player customization to new gameplay mechanics.

Last week the first gameplay video since then was released in the form of another DayZ video blog and this one brings a few community members onto the test server to explore the new and improved Chernarus.

The most exciting news – outside of the fact that a popular mod is becoming its own full game – is that the DayZ team is holding lots of exciting features back for unveilings in the near future, notably at PAX East (March 22-24). For now, here’s what this video covers and highlights:

  • Large city with detailed interiors – based on real-life location of same scale.
  • Looting cars, with doors/trunks that can be opened and closed.
  • Moving/working as a group.
  • Not hotbar and inventory (no images yet)
  • Re-designed zombie AI – they now move in directions that make sense instead of chasing old pathways. Zombies can also traverse multiple levels of buildings properly.
  • New zombie types, including “skeletons.”
  • Fleshed our health/armor system (i.e. bike helmets serve an important purpose).

DayZ video blog

Players will note bugs being worked out, from sliding characters, clipping animations, and popping textures, but DayZ is still in pre-alpha and the devs are intentionally releasing a limited amount of information. From the official blog on what’s coming next:

Inventory System

One of the biggest improvement areas has been the inventory system, now almost ready for a public display. This new inventory system supports crafting, interchangeable clothing, degradation, tracking, weapon customization, and much more. It’s really a revolutionary system for us and we’re extremely proud of the results that Jirka (our programmer assigned to this) has achieved.


Not touched on in the video, but what we will be showing soon is the basics of how users can interact with items in the world – this is the next step in development of our inventory system beyond where it is now. This is not a traditional crafting system, but one that encourages  layers to explore the ways in which items can be crafted.

A more detailed post-apocalyptic open-world overrun with zombies is something fans are clamoring for, especially if it improves upon the better elements of the DayZ ARMA II mod and The War Z, among others. Just don’t get held up on release dates.

Head to the official DayZ blog for more detailed updates.

DayZ will release for PC at some point in the future. If it’s a hit, it could eventually hit consoles since it won’t be supporting mods at launch.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.