Dean Hall, the developer behind the Day Z mod for ArmA II, says that the core idea for his product was inspired by one of the experiences he went through when he was part of the New Zeeland military forces, which involved a jungle and limited supplies.The developer speaks to Dork Shelf and says that he was part of a special training exercise in Singapore which involved moving through the jungle alone and with limited supplies towards an extraction point where he was supposed to get access to more food and water.
Hall reached the checkpoint but no rations were provided and he had to spend the rest of the exercise fighting off hunger.
He says, “One guy, I don’t know how, but he managed to finish this exercise with some food left over. He gave me a biscuit, and I swear that, at that time, no one had ever done anything that nice to me. I started crying. Because someone gave me a biscuit.”
The experience was distilled to its essence over the following year and after seeing ArmA II and its simulation abilities, Hall thought about creating a mod that would make such experiences entirely virtual.
He adds, “I felt there had to be a better way. Nearly killing your soldiers is not a good way of training them.”
After a while, the developer came to see his mod as a little dry and added zombies, which allowed it to gather players very quickly and become one of the most played mods in the world.
Hall is at the moment working with Bohemia Interactive to create a standalone version of Day Z, which will be launched before the end of the year.
Recently, Bohemia Interactive sought to shut down a gambling mod that paid gamers money based on their kills.