Game designer Dean Hall will still be involved in the ongoing development of DayZ in creative or leadership roles, depending on what studio Bohemia Interactive might require, the New Zealander told Polygon today.
As the man behind the wildly successful zombie project, Hall has committed to continuing to lead the team until the remainder of the year, after which he will still be available for the remaining developers "as long as is needed, in whatever form that needs to be," he says.
Earlier today, Hall revealed his plans to leave both DayZ and the Czech studio that develops its stand-alone release following earlier statements on Reddit suggesting the designer was ready to work on new projects. Hall tells us he is homesick after spending a number of years away from his family due to his career, both in games development and the military.
"Ultimately, it's more about me wanting to return home and back to my family," Hall explains. "I've been away for many years now, between my time in the military and this project. It's always been my intention to return home and I've been continually extending the date I would do that."
Despite plans to begin anew, he acknowledges to us that New Zealand isn't an epicenter for games development. Likewise, no concrete plans have been made to ensure this will be viable. Other New Zealand-based developers include Auckland-based studio Ninja Kiwi, best know for mobile release Bloons, and Path of Exile developer Grinding Gear Games.
"Setting up for myself in New Zealand is currently just an intention, I've got no real tangible plans around it," he tells us. "When I do move to New Zealand, I don't plan on working for an existing studio there (aren't that many!) - so that means I will need to do my own thing."
"I haven't given it a great deal of thought aside from the plan to return home eventually," he said of his transition to new projects. "I get up, I go to work on DayZ until I sleep. Hasn't left a great deal of time to think about anything else, really!"
Hall adds that while he does has flexibility in his schedule at Bohemia Interactive, "I really want to be back in New Zealand in 2015."
Bohemia Interactive tells Polygon the studio was already aware of Dean's plans, which "did not come as a surprise."
"Under the guidance of Dean, DayZ's development will continue to move full steam ahead," writes a studio representative, "and we're expecting to make a lot of progress this year (and in the year(s) after that of course)."