In case anyone has missed the past couple of weeks' news on the DayZ front, here's a quick and dirty recap:
In just under a month, Bohemia Interactive has moved almost 900,000 copies of DayZ and raked in an astonishing $12,000,000...yes, that's million, dollars to really help the team kick the development of the game into high gear. It has to be remembered too that DayZ is clearly and absolutely being marketed at this time as in alpha testing only. Those folks who were ready to pony up about $30.00 for the game were clearly given fair notice:
“DayZ Early Access is your chance to experience DayZ as it evolves throughout its development process. Be aware that our Early Access offer is a representation of our core pillars, and the framework we have created around them. It is a work in progress and therefore contains a variety of bugs. We strongly advise you not to buy and play the game at this stage unless you clearly understand what Early Access means and are interested in participating in the ongoing development cycle.”
This notice is posted, not once but twice, on the DayZ Steam page. It's clear that the developers want players and potential Early Adopters to know exactly what they're getting into before they shell out hard earned cash.
In today's news, the official DayZ blog was updated with a reminder about the game's alpha phase and the fact that the team has no plans to hurry the process. In fact, they are looking at the end of 2014 for the start of the beta phase, with release obviously coming after the turn of the year to 2015.
In these days of "beta as sales tools", it's refreshing to see a development team that is willing to host a true alpha and beta testing cycle. It wasn't all that long ago that all games did such things but, of late, it seems that betas are often such in name only.
This isn't to say, of course, that the game will be sitting in stasis and the developers off on Hawaiian vacations as a result of the huge influx of cash to the cause. Rather, the blog indicates that there is an aggressive plan for action throughout 2014 that will be based solely on the feedback of the game's testers.
In the short term, we’re going to focus on the most critical problems you’re experiencing atm and at the same time we’re going to work on the road to the DayZ Beta. We’re going to re-evaluate the roadmap plans in the second half of January but here is a list of the existing top priorities on our to-do list to make DayZ really meet or hopefully exceed your expectations:
Server performance, stability and security
Animals & hunting
Cooking & gathering resources
Playable user customizable vehicles
Player created constructions in the environment
More complex interactions with the environment and crafting options
Streamlined user actions and interface
Control and animations expanded and improved for fluidity
Upgraded graphics and physics engine (including ragdoll, etc.)
Support of user mods and more flexibility for user hosted servers and game types
That's right: I said testers instead of players since that is precisely what is needed to make the game, already one with a fantastic foundation and addictive game play, a great one and one that is truly ready for release.
Are you a tester? What do you think of Bohemia's philosophy about the alpha and beta testing cycles? Let us know in the comments.