Zombie Game Downloaded a Million times One Year Before Launch

New Zealand-born game designer Dean Hall’s online zombie thriller DayZ has been downloaded one million times, barely a month after its “alpha” launch on PC gaming service Steam, Guardian games blogger Keith Stuart writes in a review of DayZ.

“Hall has become the latest independent developer to release a new project before it is finished, allowing gamers to contribute toward its completion.

“Originally written by Hall as a ‘mod’ – or unofficial add-on – for the popular military shooter ArmA II, DayZ places gamers into the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Surrounded by unfamiliar landscape and with no tools to survive, they have to ransack houses to find guns and food, while avoiding the ravenous undead. The important part is that the game is online and there are up to 40 other players in the world with you – you’ll either have to compete for resources, usually with deadly force, or team up to form clans of survivors.

“Brilliantly, the game supports in-game chat via headsets and microphones, so players are able to communicate with each other, plotting their fraught hit-and-run missions on other gangs.

“The interesting thing about DayZ’s success is that this is such an uncompromising experience. It is not a nice welcoming simulation title, it is a raw, bleak and almost entirely emergent survival horror game. The community is the experience. And with a million players, the lesson it appears to be teaching is – provide a compelling universe and let participants build from there. Is this the future of traditional game design, or the end of it?”

Hall, 32, grew up in Oamaru. He was nominated for the Online Innovation Award at the GDC Online Awards 2012. DayZ was inspired by Hall’s survival training in Brunei as a member of the New Zealand Army.

Original article by Keith Stuart, The Guardian, January 14, 2014.

Tags: ArmA II  Brunei  DayZ  Dean Hall  GDC Online Awards 2012  New Zealand Army  Online Innovation Award  PC gaming service Steam  

Emilia Wickstead Helping Airline Make an Impression

Emilia Wickstead Helping Airline Make an Impression

Around the globe, airlines and hotels are collaborating with top fashion houses to reshape brand narratives, like Air New Zealand and their partnership with London-based Emilia Wickstead. Condé Nast Traveler’s Caitlin…