Exclusive Interview with the Creators of DayZ – “I’D KILL FOR SOME BEANS” Day01

 

Xtian Bretz and Alik Griffin are the directors of the cult hits DayZ – “I’D KILL FOR SOME BEANS” Day01 and My First Experience Playing DayZ – Live Action. They also star in the very cool short films along with other actors. In between shoots for this DayZ project, and other work for their D Day Hollywood Youtube channel the survivors took the time to answer some of my questions about what got them started in film and what the heck is so inspiring about DayZ.

 

DayZPvP – What have you done in film before you caught the DayZ infection?

Xtian – I got my start in online video in 2004 when I released the viral video “how to be: emo” on my own website. From that, CAA sent me out on meetings where I met Damon Berger (now the executive producer of What’s Trending). Over the following years Damon and I worked together on several projects, at the same time I was doing freelance editing/visual effects for tv and film. Then in 2010, Damon Berger, Shira Lazar and I started Partners Project together. Partners Project is like the Inside the Actor’s Studio of YouTube. After meeting many of the key figures in the YouTube space (Corridor Digital, FreddieW), I was inspired to start my own channel “DDay Hollywood” with Alik Griffin. I really wanted to get back to my roots of making movies and having fun with my friends.

 

Xtian Bretz - Lover of Beans

Xtian Bretz – Lover of Beans

 

Alik  – I’ve been editing and shooting since I graduated filmschool at UCSD in 2005. I moved to Los Angeles in 2007 where I was shooting freelance and cutting network promos until I landed a gig G-Net Agency where I’ve been cutting Game Trailers since. Chris and I have been working with each other doing various videos since about 2006 and in 2011 we joined together on our own Youtube channel DdayHollywood which has been a blast.

 

DayZPvP – Moving on to the DayZ videos what roles do you play? Who shoots the video and who writes the script?

The actors are typically our friends, roommates or other YouTubers. We live in Hollywood so pretty much everyone is an actor. I think our pizza delivery guy is an actor.

We both direct the videos together and switch off shooting depending on who’s in the scene at the time. Then we both share the post production process, for instance one of us will do the initial edit while the other does the visual effects or visa verse.

As far as the scripts go, we’ll usually toss ideas around on the phone, pick one then write it and shoot it!

 

Please click read the rest of this entry below to read Part 2 of the interview.

 

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Rocket Interview with Machinima

 

This is another long interview with Rocket, but it is an important one as they ask some good questions. Not everyone has the time to watch it all, so I am going to attempt to transcribe some of it. I don’t intend to do this for every interview that comes out, but every once in a while we need to hear from the man himself.

One of the first things he mentions is that his brother is a virologist, and has influenced the style of zombies. Don’t forget that Rockets zombies are “infected”, not dead. He says he doesn’t care what “type” of zombies are in the game as long as they feel “authentic”. The odd behavior of the zombies is meant to be both a threat, and unpredictable. The risk/reward balanced is brought up, zombies should be challenging and not just a headache. Rocket goes on to talk about his military time and how he had to complete a survival course. He got in to the idea that a survival game would bring in a psychological aspect, and he thought it could be a good training tool.

 

The Sun Shines on Everyone's Ass at Some Point

The Sun Shines on Everyone’s Ass at Some Point

 

Rocket mentions that he is a “carebear” and he has only killed one person in-game. He said it really changed him, seems he did not like it. Seems strange huh? Yet kind of cool. Rocket would rather group up with friends and do the co-op thing.

Rocket says the success has had a huge impact on the development of the game, he says it has slowed it down a lot. Him and Matt (and other friends) used to just jump in a server and play, Rocket would make some changes and then reboot the server to try them out. Now he wants to push for “performance optimizations and improvements”. Right now they are going for fixes, later they will add new content.

Long term Rocket says the mod has “outgrown” itself at 400,000 players, now it’s over double that. He says a DayZ standalone is “an abject certainty”. I just love those $5 words. He says there are no announcements made yet, but he says a standalone game is inevitable, weather by him or “by someone else“.

For future plans, one thing we might see is tweaks to loot spawns including possibly some dynamic buildings that “move around a little bit each time the server is reloaded”. Sounds like the helo crashes to me. One of the better suggestions I have read is to add in a few “downed pilots” into the game. They would spawn randomly in the forest (helo’s only spawn in the open) and you could loot their packs for some descent military gear. More things like this would be welcomed. He says that kind of thing is what this experiment is all about, finding out what works and what doesn’t. Some things will not be fixed in the mod, but in the standalone.

 

 

Click read more below to read the rest of the article or watch the video yourself.

 

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DayZ Creator Dean Hall Rezzed Session

This is the full video of Rocket’s presentation at Rezzed 2012. At this point there was 420,000 people that has played DayZ and over 22,000 peak concurrent users. Rocket starts off talking a bit about himself including his military experience and as a designer with Sidhe Interactive, he says he got sick of making crappy console games. He goes on to describe more about the game and the history of how he has been developing it. The challenges with such rapid growth include security and server issues, transitioning from “mod” to “game” and keeping his vision with regards to what he wants to finally achieve.

There are a lot of good screenshots (mock-ups really) in this presentation. One of my favorites shows a “noob” that looks like a young guy, he’s clean shaven and his clothes are new. Next to that we see the “veteran”. The vet is grizzled and older with a beard, longer hair, and dirty ripped up clothing. The clothing is definitely civilian, no military gear on those guys. Rocket wants to see a players face change if he becomes a bandit includinng maybe scars or a scowling face.

 

Video on next page.

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DayZ Dean ‘Rocket’ Hall Interview at Rezzed 2012

Interview of Rocket at Rezzed.

Not the best quality, but some good info here. Rocket says that they wanted to manage the servers themselves, but it didn’t work out so they gave the power to the admins. Rocket mentions an “underground base concept“. I would love to hear more info about that!

Rocket says that 1.7.2 runs much better, he says segments of code have already been re-written to improve server performance. He says the mod is a “hack on top of a hack at the moment“.

 

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