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DayZ standalone beta pushed back

The standalone version of surprise smash hit DayZ has pretty clearly missed its 2012 window, but Dean "Rocket" Hall says that's only because he realized its potential. Hall took to theproject's blog to explain the delay, and to detail a few of the changes players can expect when they backpack across the new and improved Chernarus.

"Put simply, DayZ Standalone isn’t here because we had the chance to go from making a game that was just the mod improved slightly, packaged simply, and sold--to actually redeveloping the engine and making the game the way we all dreamed it could be," Hall said. "This blew any initial plans we had dictated to pieces."

A closed beta coming up "imminently" will be very closed indeed, with only 500 to 1,000 invites. Hall said this run will focus solely on the game's underlying architecture, with ample design tests to follow.

One of the most significant design changes so far is the standalone version's inventory, Hall said. It's gone from a rather byzantine gear/pack/nearby system, which relied on various 2D thumbnails in an assortment of containers, to a much more user friendly paper-doll style equipment screen.

Players will be able to pick up individual items across the environment with much greater ease, and will find many of Chernarus' formerly impenetrable buildings decked out with suitably ravaged interiors.

Work continues on redeveloping DayZ's massive map, although it's been slowed by the Greek imprisonment of lead architect Ivan Buchta.

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.