A lot of times publishers are constantly whining about budgets, manpower, expenses and quality as if it's some unbearable burden they must bear for the sake of profit. Reading about suit-and-tie wearing thieves clamoring about a business they have no business being in can be a real drag, whether you're a gamer or a game designer. Thankfully, the indie scene is bustling and doing things very differently, and it makes everyone involved in this creatively driven media entertainment hobby feel proud.
Dean “Rocket” Hall recently updated the DayZ tumblr, and he unleashed some a little bit of the design progress while scaling Mount Everest. A lot of the progress for the game is mostly cosmetic as the team's lead coders setup the server architecture for DayZ: Standalone to withstand hack attacks and security breaches.
Some of the new updates includes props, weapons and meshes put together by the DayZ community. Yes, gamers themselves are contributing a great deal of work to the project to help speed along the production process, reading about this really can lift the spirits because it's such a great thing to read about the community and the developers working together to overcome obstacles instead of hearing about budget concerns and a lack of manpower. If I had enough spare time I would probably toss together a few meshes myself.
Additionally, the team is also working on finishing up the implementation of the new radio communication feature, that enables players to use in-game closed or open communication with a headset. Even if you don't have a mic you can still use the radio to switch channels to listen in on conversations or keep in contact with a group. This is a perfect feature for groups carrying out clandestine missions or attempting to bandit their way through the apocalypse.
Last but not least, DayZ's environmental aesthetic is being reworked to better suit the atmosphere and quality present in a film like John Hillcoat's The Road. This should be especially pleasing to those who really want to roleplay their experience in the standalone version of DayZ. Additional interiors for buildings have also been added, along with interior pathfinding for zombies.
There's still no word yet on when the next phase of testing will commence but as soon as the client/server architecture is up, in place and secure, gamers will be allowed to participate in future testing phases. We'll keep you posted on additional updates for the game.