You may have heard about a mod for Arma 2 called Day Z. It is a zombie apocalypse game where players must struggle to survive against not just the undead, but also against hunger, thirst, and other opportunistic players in a dangerous and deadly persistent world. Like the Arma series, which stresses more on realism than your traditional shooters, Day Z is also more focused on a ‘realistic’, survivalist, zombie apocalypse experience. It has also already captured a fairly sizable fan base.
The mod was created by Dean “Rocket” Hall, who is actually a game designer at Bohemia, the creators of the Arma series. In fact, he is working on the multiplayer for Arma 3 while creating Day Z largely in his spare time. While that might sound like a busy schedule for a game developer to keep, it seems to be working out well. According to the official site, there have been at least five thousand concurrent players online so far and nearly 480 thousand total characters have been created. Of course, only 47 thousand are still alive, which is perhaps not so surprising given the current life expectancy of a player being 30 minutes as of this writing.
That’s pretty impressive for a mod that is still in alpha testing, to say the least. No doubt this is in no small part because this is a game that fills a niche that gamers have been asking for, but have never really received.