DayZ creator Dean Hall seemed stressed. DayZ Standalone missed an end-of-year release window and it feels like he's been apologizing ever since.
Now, however, he sounds happy.
In a new DayZ Standalone update he admitted he was still no closer to a release date but those gambles he took in delaying the project sound like they've paid off.
"We don't know," was Hall's answer to when is it out? "We're going to take our time.
"I feel fantastic about the situation; more than ever I feel like we're doing something really interesting with this development. Now is not the time to rush things, but we do need to ensure our pace is kept up."
"At no point in development have I been as excited as I am right now," he added. "The risks we took with the direction have paid off. The engine and approach of the game is now entirely DayZ's own. It is striking out into it's own territory as a project."
He urged caution, however, as he didn't want to "over hype" the game.
"We know that there are many challenges that we will face from deciding to effectively write a new engine tailored to DayZ. But we are now entirely confident that this decision will prove to have been the best decision we could make," he wrote. "Now we will be able to make the game that we've all always wanted."
Dean Hall revealed that closed testing of DayZ Standalone had begun, albeit without external people. The team is working with Valve to optimise server browsing, and he mentioned that getting fans in to test the game "as soon as possible" was a "key" step for the game.
Hall also gave a brief overview of things the team had been working on.
On art, he said the ArmA 3 artists had been helping to make sure DayZ Standalone "has the best visuals possible". He shared some new screenshots to demonstrate the work being done.
On server architecture, he tried to stress how differently DayZ Standalone will behave. "I can't stress enough just how fundamental this change is," wrote Hall. "DayZ's game servers will function like servers in other MMO style games. That is, the server will control the behaviour and the sending of updates. No longer will your machine receive all the updates allowing their analysis by various cheats."
Another effect of this will be spawning all zombies and items when a server opens, rather than if and when people are near.
Hall explained that the team's biggest focus at the moment was character customisation. Once that's done, it will be vehicle customisation, and then by the end of the year, he hopes, base building.
On character customisation, he name-dropped things like tattoos and health ailments. "When you first create your character the options will be simple," he wrote. "As you go along in the world, your character will change as a result of their interactions with the environment and the decisions you make, through items such as clothing choices."
One thing key to any MMO, and to DayZ Standalone too, is social interaction between players. "We want to support the organic development and operation of groups within the game," outlined Hall, "through the development of their own symbology in game (tattoos, markings on the world, on weapons, etc...)."
When talking about customisable weapons, Hall mentioned that you'll need to load magazines yourself, and that the quality of the magazines and the quantity they can hold will be "particularly important".
How refleshing that all is to hear.