clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

DayZ creator Dean Hall shows off his next game, a survival simulation called Icarus

The session-based game takes place on a harsh alien world

If you buy something from a Polygon link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

DayZ creator Dean Hall appeared on the PC Gaming Show Saturday to announce his next project, a new survival game called Icarus. The free-to-play game takes place on a strange alien planet, and tasks players with surviving in a harsh environment without a breathable atmosphere. Unlike other survival games, Hall says it can be played in 20-minute chunks.

The announcement was accompanied by a teaser trailer, which we’ve embedded above. It’s also available on YouTube.

Hall left Arma 3 developer Bohemia Interactive in 2014 following the remarkable success of the early version of DayZ, based on the Arma 2 game platform. The zombie-themed survival game, which he developed while he was a contractor on leave from the New Zealand military, formally launched in 2018. At the time, I noted it was “still broken, still beautiful, and still unfinished.” Hall went on to found Rocketwerkz Studio, where he says he’s hired on an experienced team of developers to work on his newest game.

Again, Icarus will be a session-based game, with “drops” that can be just 20 minutes long.

“If you think about your first hour in DayZ, your first hour in Minecraft, our goal is to capture that [gameplay experience],” Hall said “and allow you to do that over a long period of time.”

Players start off in an orbital station, which Hall likens to player apartments in Grand Theft Auto Online. Friends can gather together in the lobby before heading down to the surface of the planet for intense, session-based multiplayer events that can last hours. While other survival sims have a longer-term focus, requiring hours of looting and construction, Hall says Icarus will have a more “medium-term focus.”

The game world will have multiple biomes, including wooded areas and deserts. Scenarios played at night will be extremely challenging. Release is expected by 2021.

“With Icarus, we’ve chosen one failure state,” Dean Hall added. “There are worse fates than death. If you miss your rendezvous with the orbital station, that’s it.”

Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. For more information, see our ethics policy.