"I look at the 'real' and then I try to find a solution that mirrors the same emotional/thought processes. This is then the authentic solution, and that's the one I go for."- DayZ creator Dean Hall on the boundary between realism and game design in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. The DayZ alpha has already hit 1 million sales on Steam Early Access, and project lead Dean Hall is not shy about sharing his opinions. In a new Ask Me Anything on Reddit, he was open about a lot of topics, but most interesting to developers, perhaps, are his thoughts on game development. DayZ is renowned for its realism -- in that it's a simulation of a zombie apocalypse rather than a pure game experience. When a user asked about realism in games, Hall responded with the above quote, adding, "I also ask people around me for their viewpoints -- and try and consider alternate opinions (especially for anything views I hold with strong convictions)." Hall made headlines for climbing Mount Everest last year, but he says that developing DayZ is "much, much harder" than climbing mountains. "Probably because the buck stops with me. When climbing, I wasn't the leader. When something goes wrong with DayZ, I'm the one person who can't avoid the issue or pass it on to someone else. While I certainly don't do everything, I'm totally personally responsible for everything that happens. That makes me work very hard at it," Hall says.
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DayZ's Hall on balancing realism and game design
DayZ is a simulation of a zombie apocalypse -- but gamers find it engrossing. What's the boundary between realism and game design?