For many people, Dean Hall is synonymous with 2012’s free zombie mod, DayZ, which he created for Bohemia Interactive’s ARMA 2 while serving in the armed forces. The startling popularity of that mod led to it being officially acquired by Bohemia and to Hall himself working at the Czech Republic-based development studio on the standalone version of DayZ for two years, before leaving to found his own company in his native New Zealand.
RocketWerkz has since released Out of Ammo, co-developed abandoned title, Ion, and is now working on numerous other projects, including space-station simulation, Stationeers. Known for his outspoken and candid approach to discussing his work, his history and his experiences in the games industry, Dean Hall is also a keen mountaineer who has climbed Mount Cook and Mount Everest.
Here, he talks about drawing on his life experiences to help inform his design philosophy, his undiminished desire to tinker with other people’s games and how forums and bulletin boards can sometimes offer surprisingly profound revelations.