Dean Hall, creator of zombie survival mod-turned-game DayZ, officially unveiled his new studio today, leaving behind his first job in development at Bohemia Interactive. But he promises to continue to help the team finishing up DayZ.
"While my role as project lead officially winds up, my involvement continues as the creator," Hall told Polygon via email when asked if he's officially no longer with Bohemia Interactive. "Bohemia are not only people I've worked with, but they're close friends. We have an ongoing relationship and I'm committed to providing whatever support and assistance that is appropriate and required for the title to continue to succeed. I'm excited by the continued progress of DayZ into a much more streamlined and traditional production development cycle."
According to LinkedIn, Hall left Bohemia as project lead this month and started RocketWerkz as the new studio's chief executive officer. Hall also took to Twitter to announce he was looking for "programmers, artists, etc." for his new studio, with the jobs initially based in Dunedin, New Zealand.
In February, Hall announced that he was stepping down as lead developer on DayZ by the end of the year and planned to leave Bohemia. He said at the time that he planned to start his own independent company in New Zealand where he hoped to start development on a new multiplayer title.
Hall didn't add much about his new studio in talking with Polygon today.
"Not much to really say at the moment, the focus of the studio is to make games that we want to play," he said. "As a consumer I get quite frustrated when movies/games are announced very far in advance. I know why it's done but I don't like it and hopefully I can make games without having to resort to that. So for the moment I'm keeping quiet about what we are doing until I have something worthwhile to say."
He did say that the studio is rolling out multiple projects at multiple locations with very different scopes and genres.
"The aim is to keep the initial budgets small so that teams can take risks with ideas which cannot be done within traditional game development," he said. "I want to explore some very different concepts I have as well as funding some talented people who have very interesting ideas of their own."
Hall added that he's struggling to find the sort of people he needs for his fledgling studio.
"Community involvement is the source of my past success, and is the major factor deciding if anything else I do is successful," he said. "But I need to think about how that process should work, ensure we have the right people, study and reflect on the lessons learnt hard in DayZ, and most importantly — have something worthwhile to say. At that time we will be saying much more."