Public release of the standalone version for DayZ will be rescheduled after a closed testing period set to begin "imminently," according to a post from creator Dean Hall on the DayZ official Tumblr.
"At Eurogamer I said that DayZ had to be out before the end of the year and that's come and gone," Hall wrote. "I still stand by that comment, to achieve what we had originally wanted, we did have to be out by the end of the year — and we've failed to achieve that."
Hall said that the Bohemia Interactive has redeveloped the game's engine and wants to make DayZ "the way [they] all dreamed it would be" rather than an "improved slightly, packaged simply" mod.
DayZ will open an upcoming closed testing phase to approximately 500 to 1000 players. The test will focus exclusively on the game's architecture to ensure it is running smoothly and fix all bugs before rescheduling the full release.
According to Hall, the original Chernarus map's lead architect Ivan Buchta, who is still in prison in Greece on espionage charges, has been able to provide development input on the DayZ map through letters. Hall says his absence, along with that of fellow developer Martin Pezlar, "is a great loss to the team," noting production on the map has not gone as smoothly since their arrest.
"Regardless, the continued imprisonment of him and Martin Pezlar has a significant impact on our ability to redevelop Chernarus," Hall wrote.
Hall also shared a few other changes made to DayZ's item management systems. The inventory system has been completely overhauled, with options to scavenge for items and individual object components now available. Players can also track item properties, such as an item's durability and any lingering disease on items (such as cholera germs on a player's clothing). Additionally, inventory is now managed through dragging-and-dropping 3D models, which also applies to clothing and equipping characters.