Day Z: A Case Study in Audience Engagement

DayZ is an award winning zombie game that has been designed so your character’s life is valuable - once you die, you lose everything and have to start again. Human interaction, emotions and morals are a big part of DayZ because you know that other players also value their character’s lives, while you fear for your own. Interacting with other survivors and creating your own story plays a larger role in DayZ than just killing zombies. 

The mod, designed by New Zealand game designer, Dean Hall, is an open-world, multiplayer, zombie apocalypse survival simulator - a mod of military simulator game, Arma II. It has developed a large community (1 million players within it’s first 4 months) and has inspired other mods or ‘spin-offs’ already. 

Dean Hall is currently working with Arma II creators, Bohemia Interactive, to develop a DayZ ‘standalone’ game (built from the ground up, as opposed to a mod of Arma).

Dean has been posting progress updates via the DayZ tumblr page, including screenshots, gameplay footage and behind the scenes footage of the motion capture process.

DayZ is a great example of how a mod can grow, develop into a community and inspire more creativity.

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