Update:The DayZ standalone has arrived on Steam.

Original article: Soon the standalone version of multiplayer zombie game DayZ will be available through Steam Early Access. Though it's taken Bohemia Interactive a long time to get the project to this point, there's still a lot of work to be done.

"It's a true-blue alpha," designer Dean "Rocket" Hall said on the game's forums. "Massive areas of the engine were entirely reworked, involving a large team of people over the last 12 months. Much of what these achievements will enable won't be seen for many months - so I really plead for anyone who is on the fence to take a skeptical approach - watch streams, read reviews, watch some let's play and form your opinion."

"You could always come back to the game in three, six months time and buy it then," Hall added.

Over the past year of development, the DayZ team has been focused on the core aspects of the game. More functions are determined by the server in the standalone version rather than the client, in order to reduce hacking. Simply setting up this new architecture has been time-consuming. During a recent test, the development team was able to get 50 players on a server simultaneously without a noticeable dip in performance. They still have a lot of optimization to do, however, so the alpha test won't be a "feature-packed, graphically focused masterpiece."

If you purchase DayZ through Steam Early Access, you'll get your hands on the game before the general public. The alpha build will be cheaper than the beta and retail versions but you'll get all updates for no additional cost. However, you're going to have to deal with a lot of bugs and missing content. It's not for everyone.

"Buying early will be a recipe for disappointment, it's a chance for those who want to be part of that whole process. For them, the process is as much as part of the game as the whole experience. For many, this is the opposite of what they want. To enable a smooth launch, we really are targeting it at a core audience who want to get deeply involved in a very barebones experience that is a platform for future development."

DayZ started out as a popular mod for Arma 2. Players freely explore a Soviet republic crawling with zombies and scavenge food, weapons and other supplies to survive. While some players may opt to team up with you, others might kill you for your gear. The standalone release will feature radio communication, more building interiors, and base creation among other things.

Standalone DayZ will debut on the PC at first. However, Hall has indicated in the past that it could come to consoles as well.

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