The road has been long for DayZ, a game that was among the first to hit Steam Early Access back in late 2013, but that has still yet to see full release. That should change sooner rather than later, though, with developer Bohemia Interactive calling 2018 "the year of DayZ" as the hardcore zombie survival sim nears completion on PC and looks to make significant progress on Xbox One via the Game Preview program.
Part of that progress is down to a shift to a new game engine, a move that has allowed the devs to iterate much more quickly, sharing content with Early Access playtesters and then tweaking it based on the resulting feedback. That's one of the things we recently discussed with producer Eugen Harton when we caught up with him in Stockholm. There he explained how "it's almost like a reboot of the game" as the studio continues to work to get the project back on track.
"We're going to keep the features the same. The game is the same," Harton told us when we asked about the differences between the console and PC versions during an ID@Xbox event in Sweden. "The only thing that needs to be different is controls, because having the grid inventory and... somethings just take up all the time and shouldn't and take away from the gameplay because they're not adding anything."
Harton mentions aiming, inventory management and UI elements as things they're looking to tweak based on player feedback moving forward.
"The situation is just different, you're playing the game from three meters, it needs to look a bit different, it has to feel a bit different. But it's still DayZ, it's a hardcore game and we're not going to change that at all."
When it comes to the console version, features are going to be turned on over time as they continue to adjust to the new engine. First up there are major traversal changes coming, with jumping and climbing set to impact the way players interact with the world "a big way", with vehicles, helicopters, and base building also set to land before the game hits 1.0.