DayZ gets new studio, outlines 2014 roadmap

DayZ creator Dean 'Rocket' Hall took to the stage at this year's EGX Rezzed event to discuss his zombie survival game. He first revealed that Bohemia Interactive had acquried Slovakian developer Cauldron, which will be rebranded as Bohemia Interactive Slovanika and work on DayZ full time, before going into the game's upcoming 2014 roadmap.

According to Eurogamer, DayZ's next update will arrive before the end of April and introduce cooking. A server-side update will improve messaging and allow for faster delivery of future updates.

"Network optimizations kind of got us in a little bit of trouble with the last update when it didn't work too well," Hall said. "But that's something we think is quite important. Originally, when people were posting about it on the forums, we thought they were a bit crazy. But actually, there is a lot of desync and lag problems. So it's an ongoing thing that we're looking at fixing."

Hall hopes that Q2 2014 will see the debut of a new pistol, improved AI pathfinding for both zombies and animals, 64-bit upgrades, advanced weather effects that will affect the terrain and players alike, new container items, and six new animal types for hunting. He also hopes to employ ragdoll physics, to be used when a character is falling or dragging around dead bodies.

For Q3, Hall is looking to add AK47s, a cropping system, more responsive zombie behaviors, a central loot economy, physics-based barricading, and more animals, both hostile and neutral, including companion animals, like horses and dogs. There are also plans for Steam Workshop integration and Steam achievements.

"We actually already support modding and we could turn it on," Hall added. "We'd just lock it down with how the signatures work, because we need to get the basic architecture to support it all and how we deal with it with hives and all that kind of thing, so we have just one standardized experience and let the community run with it. You look at DayZ the mod, they've just been able to take it to tremendously awesome levels with all the different mods. Some of them even started coming out on Arma 3 with fantastic stuff, so we really want to get in and support that and mix it in with Steamworks."

Hall is also looking to add basic vehicles, like bicycles, motorcycles, and ATVs, but doesn't want to commit to a Q3 window at this time.

"We really want to do vehicles well and now everybody wants them," Hall explained. "But if we just slapped in the vehicles we have with Arma, we wouldn't be able to do all the stuff we have planned, which is having really advanced physics using the 'Bullet' physics SDK and basically treat it a lot like weapons, where we have different attachments we can add, like batteries and all that stuff."

To hear more about what Hall has planned for DayZ in the coming year, his full address can be seen on the EGX Rezzed Twitch channel.