how-dayz-is-turning-bohemia-into-giantBohemia Interactive Studios had a shock. They did expect some success from their standalone zombie survival game but when the sales started pouring in, it far surpassed all expectations. Initially, it would see the company follow the plan they had in place before this huge influx of cash washed up on the shore. But soon, it became apparent that with a massively engaged audience they would have to shift their plans and look to something that could surpass every other MMO survival game ever created.

Going big would involve a completely different strategy. Bohemia Interactive realised they would need to dramatically increase the size of the team. This resulted in them buying a series of smaller development companies. Each of these studios was assigned a particular task in game. For example: realising hunting and cooking, and therefore allow a larger work force to be focused on every other aspect of the development. It also meant that they could take on other pieces of technology that those companies were developing.

Unexpected Delays

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But with this purchases there were some unexpected developments. They had to manage huge teams of people for a total of 160 employees. Which proved to be quite a challenge, especially for those in other parts of the world. Also, the process of finding studios to acquire would eat up valuable weeks, handling the press relations would have less time allocated and the intense stress on the team management would arguably start to show through comments, interviews, and finally through social media.

With new experts in the team they would obviously want to be doing things their own way, to a certain degree, and they would potentially also spot flaws in the current systems. These management creases needed to be ironed out and decisions have been made as to whether they would completely scratch some key elements of the game engine, and as it turns out, develop it as a new merged engine called “enfusion”.

In a recent interview Dean Hall talks about having to completely strip everything out of the current DayZ Standalone engine so that it will open up more possibilities and allow them to develop a better optimized game. It is apparent that there have been some massive tectonic shifts within the DayZ Standalone setup.

Huge Expectation

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With the game tantalisingly drawing hope out of all participating gamers, DayZ Standalone has generated a huge expectation. Dean Hall says that he is truly beginning to see some of the key problems that comes from early access, which Steam facilitated. This expectation is one of them and he goes on saying that there are risks involved in any early access, but the benefits are mostly fantastic. They could have definitely raised the price for the standalone in the early days because that would have allowed them to limit the type of audience coming into the game, making it a more dedicated group who are willing to pay a higher price. But by committing to a lower price Bohemia Interactive gave access to a much wider audience. It’s also worth noting that they may not have generated the same buzz as now, and at the same time, a potential crashing wave.

Although Bohemia Interactive had, and still has, a huge success with ARMA. They are now becoming more recognized thanks to DayZ Standalone. This zombie game has beaten off competitors, such as Rust who has taken the zombie element out of the game, and now stands square on and faces up to Sony Entertainment’s H1Z1 zombie game which will be released to Alpha soon. Sony have thought it necessary to enter into this particular market because they can see how popular DayZ Standalone is and how it has weathered criticism that would have sunk many other games. Anyways, there is still a huge engagement with DayZ Standalone despite the recent security issues and problems with hackers.

A Monster is Born

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It is without a doubt a fact that DayZ Standalone has turned Bohemia Interactive into something more than just an indie developer of video games. Currently Bohemia Interactive is a privately owned company, but is it only a matter of time before it floats on the stock exchange, especially if DayZ become the game that everybody is dreaming of. We may soon be able to invest, not only our emotional engagement with this company’s products, but also our money in physical shares of this lurching monster of a development company.

Considering this, there is huge pressure on where Bohemia Interactive goes from this moment onwards. They need to fix DayZ Standalone and allow it to expand, otherwise the value of those emotional, and potentially physical, shares will plummet and their now huge workforce may well face redundancies. During the past three months, the development team has taken time over their decisions, it seems to make sense because they do need to be the right ones.
 

By Pitstop Head: Gamer and Commentator on a number of PC Games.

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  • This game is the best there is, but needs 2 things. 1. A in game statistics keeper, so that players have goals, such as playing hours alive. This will allow players to see how long they can survive. It’s a survival game, no? Also much tougher game rivals like the zombies, but rabid dogs maybe, that are much faster and can give you rabies. 2. A way to make hunting better and not just for survival, just add animal weight and antler, and or tusk size. This way we can compare who shot the biggest deer or boar. With fishing, just add rare fish and different sizes. There are just no goals to achieve at the moment and this makes the game boring. How am I supposed to brag with my friends?

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  • Profile photo of MrJoeButtamafuco

    Yeah but this is a very thin rope they are walking on…There is always a risk of not meeting everyones expectations and not everyone has the patience to wait several months for a simple sound bug fix. And let’ s not forget the competitors who might see the demandments for a survival game like dayz by the gaming community.

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    • I agree. I have high hopes for dayz but the biggest issue I think the game has currently is its fans. Yea, I know that sounds weird but these guys are so fickle. When I bought dayz I read on the steam page that the game was in alpha, that it would still be in development for a while and by buying the game I was agreeing to basically help alpha test the game. I understood that, however it seems a large amount of the player base haven’t. Sure there are quite a few supporters out there of the game but there are also plenty of nay sayers from your average player to to youtube channels like machinima that tell people not to buy the game. Fine don’t buy it, but don’t nock it whiles its in alpha. We have all seen the games out there that are just a big money grab with great promises, rust is a perfect example of that. That being said Dayz may not be, and doesn’t have to be. Bohemia Interactive has been supporting this game through and through before it was even a game, they are invested in it. To put it simply everything they have built up till now wont matter until they complete the standalone. Their future as a development company is riding on dayz, and really given their track record I dont think they are going to give up now.

      TLDR Long story short, I have high hopes for Dayz, and encourage people to ignore the nay sayers and try the game themselves. Also for those that currently play it, just remember the game is still in alpha testing Its fine to have criticism but all out opposition to the game at this point is just foolish. In short if we cant have faith in a developer like Bohemia Interactive than we shouldn’t have faith in any other developer.

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    • “demandments”… demands?

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    • Profile photo of Pitstop Head

      You’re right but they have realized that they need to make the basics work before blowing us away with planes, trains and automobiles….

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  • I’ve had my 20 quids worth of fun out of DayZ already, the game is buggy and some stuff doesn’t work and at the moment it crashes without fail every time it try to shut it down. For all it’s frustrations, this is a smart and engaging game which is starting to show slow improvement. The thrill involved in player interaction remains the high point, but there need to be reasons for those players to work together, not just shoot at each other. I know a lot of people are frustrated, but there was always a going to be a wait. There are other games to play while you wait for DayZ to be completed.

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  • Profile photo of Domonos

    they have come a long way from the mod:)

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  • Concerning the new additions to the team and their progress:
    Obviously it takes a little while to get everyone up to speed, but it seems to be progressing fairly fast now. Patch 0.45 was a massive update (hunting/fishing, cooking/crafting). Now that we have 0.46 on stable and 0.47 on experimental things seem to be moving fast. After they are done with optimization and server upgrades things will move even faster, so all in all I’m pleased with the progress.

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  • The game has/had high aspirations. I didn’t even know they had increased their staff to 160 employees. It makes me even more disappointed now in the progress or lack thereof with the game. You can say it’s alpha all you want but as noted in the article, some really obvious bugs have been there since before the acquisitions. Hopefully they’ll ramp up sooner then later.

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    • One thing people need to understand that recruiting new people into a development team is not the same as hiring more people to dig a trench. There is a huge overhead involved in giving people the domain knowledge of the specific product, the build system and so on, the original developers with this knowledge will need to make time to teach all this stuff, which lowers their output tremendously. So hiring a lot of new people actually costs a lot of development time the first months, then, when they are up to speed, you get the gains.

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    • What you don’t understand that with new employees there is training that needs to be done… What you think that you can hop in a nascar and begin to drive around a track going 200 mph? No you can’t you will need to learn the car and all its functions except we are talking about a game that has been running it’s own engine and it takes a while to learn. Going from not having barely 80 employees to double as much will take a little while to learn the basics and I believe that here near in the future we will see awesome results… stop wining!

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  • The real problem with Standalone is that its hardly standalone. Since day 1 of the mod, we loved the game, the dynamics. What we didnt enjoy was the clunkiness of the Arma engine. We always talked about how amazing it would be if Dayz had its own engine, with a smooth game play, and a real inventory system. We thought thats what we were getting, What we got was the same clunky Arma base engine, with some enhanced graphics, a slightly better interface, and over complicated mechanics. Standalone doesnt offer many of us anything over the mods, game play or performance wise. Going to be interesting with H1Z1 on the horizon.

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  • 160 members where did you get that? They’re at 65 atm arent they?

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  • Profile photo of MrJoeButtamafuco

    It says it in the second column Unexpected Delays

    “They had to manage huge teams of people for a total of 160 employees. ”

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  • I have been playing standalone since January of 2014 and I must say it has grown and became a beautiful game to look at. It wouldn’t surprise me if they shut down the central server for a month when they implement the new game engine and I have heard it will be DX11 so better lighting and optimization. When I first started playing I was playing Ultra/Very high on a gtx 770 with 20-30fps and now I get a constant 60fps so they are making progress and I fall more in love each update. I’ll see you all in DayZ

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