DayZ: a game born out of starvation and desperation in Singapore and Brunei

DayZ, the Arma 2 mod that just became a standalone game, is all about the experience of surviving, starting with nothing. And while DayZ creator Dean “Rocket” Hall may not have been born in Singapore, his much-lauded game arguably was.

Before he was a developer, Hall was a member of the New Zealand armed forces. In fact he had joined the air force, and then left and moved into game development, but he grew disenfranchised with the games industry and rejoined the military, enlisting in the army. In 2009 he was selected for an exchange program with Singapore’s armed forces, and it was during this exchange that he took part in a training exercise that became the inspiration for DayZ.

The goal of the exercise was for participants to survive in the wild in Brunei, finding their way to a preset extraction point through the jungle and then camping there until the exercise concluded. But Hall misunderstood or was misled about the directions during the training phase, and was under the mistaken impression that when he reached the campsite, there would be additional food provided. He ate all of his rations while marching to the campsite, and when he reached it, there was no food. He now faced the prospect of surviving for the better part of a month without food.

A campsite in the original DayZ mod.

A campsite in the original DayZ mod.

He nearly starved to death. He lost 44 pounds. What little food he could find he couldn’t keep down, and he spent most of his time lying in camp, not moving or speaking, sometimes plotting raids on his fellow soldiers’ camps to steal their food. At the end of the exercise when the group linked back up and a fellow soldier gave Hall a biscuit, he started crying. The experience also destroyed his digestive system, which eventually required surgery.

But the experience also showed him how emotional survival can be, and he was inspired to get back into game development so he could work on a survival sim. In a hotel room in Singapore, he started tinkering with Bohemia Interactive’s Arma 2, and the rest, as they say, is history! (But actually, if you want to know the rest of the story, check out this excellent feature on Hall on Dorkshelf.)

(via Dorkshelf, Wired, etc.)

The post DayZ: a game born out of starvation and desperation in Singapore and Brunei appeared first on Games in Asia.


The post DayZ: a game born out of starvation and desperation in Singapore and Brunei appeared first on Games in Asia.
  • 2015 Dodge Charger goes under the knife 1 hour 7 minutes ago
    2015 Dodge Charger goes under the knife

    Over the past decade, Chrysler's rear-wheel-drive sedans have managed to survive a bankruptcy and three different corporate overlords. Thanks to the original stoutness of the Mercedes-assisted chassis, and the periodic updates that keep them from seeming like 21st-century versions of the Ford Crown Victoria, the Chrysler 300 and Dodge Charger combo still draw in fans. Today, Dodge revealed yet another redesign for the 2015 Charger — and for an old car, it's quite the change.

  • Thursday #sgroundup: Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers 1 hour 7 minutes ago
    Thursday #sgroundup: Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Here are the top trending stories of today in case you missed them:

  • 2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd 15 hours ago
    2015 Nissan Murano aims for the style-forward crowd

    Nissan says its 2015 Murano crossover, only the second major revamp of the car since it debuted in 2003, draws its design cues from the “age of future space flight.” That’s probably taking it a little far, but the new Murano, based off the 2013 Resonance concept vehicle, is an exceptionally lovely machine, all fluid, curved metal on the outside, and flowing, soft-touch materials on the inside. Certain kinds of comfort and charms that were unheard-of outside of premium vehicles five years ago have definitely trickled down, and reached a kind of design apotheosis with this car.

  • ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says
    ‘Huge’ Hindu, Buddhist statues against Islam, ex-judge says

    KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — The “huge” statues at a Hindu temple in Batu Caves and Buddhist temple in Penang are an affront to Islam as the religion forbids idolatry, a retired Court of Appeals judge...

  • Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes
    Over 280 missing after South Korean ferry capsizes

    By Narae Kim JINDO South Korea (Reuters) - More than 280 people, many of them students from the same high school, were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years. It was not immediately clear why the Sewol ferry listed heavily on to its side and capsized in apparently calm conditions off South Korea's southwest coast, but some survivors spoke of a loud noise prior to the disaster.

  • StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends
    StarHub 4G users to be charged from June as promo ends

    Are you on the 4G or LTE mobile data network under StarHub? If so, you’ll have to start paying for the service.