Last month, when a listing for the DayZ standalone release appeared on the Steam Early Access database, you squeed a little, didn’t you? That was about three weeks ago, and there’s still nothing. What gives? Game creator Dean Hall isn’t climbing mountains at the moment, so why is this game not out yet?
A few days ago, Hall took to Reddit to discuss why nothing has appeared on Steam Early Access. While the team at Bohemia Interactive continues to toil tirelessly so that we may one day get to flee the undead in a DayZ that doesn’t require ArmA 2, there are some pesky issues holding things up.
Cutting right to the chase, Hall pointed to optimisation and squashing bugs for dedicated servers as the reason: “This is why we are not out. We need performance.”
At present, Bohemia has set themselves a minimum requirement of 15 FPS in a game that features 50 players, 2,000 zombies and 25,000 loot items. Until they hit that minimum frames per second, DayZ isn’t coming out of hiding.
“Our latest tests have all shown some runaway systems in the code we have to tidy up. The variable synchronization system that was developed for work with the network bubble, is checking the variables very often. We’re optimizing this. Also, there are many string comparisons. These have been refactored so references are used (lookup numbers) to speed up the process. Things like animations etc… are generally recorded as strings – ArmA wasn’t build [sic] to handle very large numbers of things so this has been a large area of optimization.”
Yes, bubbles and synchronisation variables and stuff – I was, I was just about to say that.
Hall’s Reddit post didn’t only highlight the work that the team still has in front of them; he also provided some information on what’s already working well. The new zombie types are behaving themselves when it comes to pathfinding, but the moment a server has a load greater than 20 players, they start spazzing out a little.
“The inventory is a bit of a mixed bag,” Hall continued. “There are some mistakes we have made that, unless we delayed the standalone, we can’t fix until later. But overall, I think it is a huge step up.”
So for now Bohemia will keep optimising the current build until it gets to an acceptable alpha level. It sounds like there’s still quite a bit of work to do, so exactly when we might see this standalone release making an appearance in some playable form is anyone’s guess.