Being an avid fan of both gratuitous zombie games and also fan built mods for existing games, the idea behind DayZ instantly gabbed my attention!

DayZ is a custom mod for the Bohemia Interactive Studios army shooter, ARMA II – it was conceived by Dean Hall while he was a soldier in the New Zealand Army; as a suggestion for training soldiers through exposure to situations provoking emotion and relevant thought processes

Not only is this mod responsible for putting the three year old game into the top seller charts on Steam for over seven weeks but it’s probably one of the most important things to happen to PC gaming this year.

DayZ places the player on the beach in the fictional post-soviet state of Chernarus, where a zombie virus has turned the general population into zombies. As a survivor with limited supplies, the player must search the world for supplies such as food, water, weapons and medicine, while killing or avoiding both zombies and other players in an effort to survive the zombie apocalypse.

DayZ also attempts to portray an authentic scenario, with the environment having many different effects on the player. The player can receive fractures, die from shock, receive infections, and faint from low blood pressure. The player must eat and drink regularly, with body temperature playing a part in the character’s survival.

Hall has stated he was inspired by experiences during jungle training while on exchange with the Singapore Armed Forces in Brunei, where he was badly injured in a survival exercise. Hall has stated that his experiences in the New Zealand Army directly affected the development of the DayZ mod, and the creation of immersion through forcing the player to experience emotion and tension as part of gameplay.

Below are some screenshots and a (rather excellent) fan-made trailer for DayZ

More information for DayZ can be found here