Where is standalone DayZ? Not as close as being listed in the Steam database recently suggested.
Creator Dean Hall explained on Reddit (via VG247, MP1st) that server optimisation was holding things up. "This is why we are not out," he wrote. "We need performance." Apparently there's some code that can spiral out of control.
"We don't foresee any delay in release once performance has been achieved."
But...it sounds like it could be weeks away!
"People will read into anything," he countered, as if mind-reading. "And actually, I'm not saying it will definitely be weeks.
"Today it almost looked like we had reached the performance target, but the bug we fixed had a more subtle bug hiding behind it.
"I don't do clues and I never have, if I post a picture take it at face value. It's a picture of three bullets. There's no game in how we release this, we'll just release it."
He added: "As much of a relief and morale booster as the release will be for the team, it also means all hell breaks loose. It means we will become very focused on the low-hanging, obvious bugs. Now we need to ensure the basic core architecture functions correctly - without any dodgy bugs or unexpected behaviour."
Does he have a release date in mind, then?
"Yes I do," he answered, "but I'm not going to share that as it is subject to change and could set up disappointment."
"As much of a relief and morale booster as the release will be for the team..."
Once upon a time, Dean Hall hoped for a Christmas 2012 release for standalone DayZ. Though we're nearly a year on from that, the project itself has become much bigger and the game much more accomplished as a result.
There are, Hall said, roughly 20-to-30 people working full-time on standalone DayZ now, plus some "externals".
"We have now something that provides basic functionality for 10-20 players," Hall wrote - a game client that's roughly 10gb (server 600mb).
The new zombies are in but "they are very much a work in progress". Outside of cities the game runs "very, very smooth", although in cities it can get choppy. "Overall," he wrote, "the feedback from the testers is that performance is much smoother than with the mod.
"The inventory is a bit of a mixed bag," he added. "There are some mistakes we have made that, unless we delayed the standalone, we can't fix until later. But overall, I think it is a huge step up."
The team will keep optimising and suggests that you play Project Zomboid - "a massive design inspiration" - in the meantime. You can buy early access to Project Zomboid on Steam now for Ł9.99. It's still a work in progress, though, so consider trying the demo first.