DayZ creator Dean Hall is an interesting guy. We already knew he climbed Mt. Everest, but did you know he drank his own urine, hates Windows 8, and plans to re-enlist in the New Zealand Army reserve? These are just some of the highlights from the Ask Me Anything (AMA) session he held on Reddit this week. Here are the 16 fascinating things we learned about Hall, who goes by the name "Rocket2Guns."
He Hates Windows 8
DH: Microsoft's Windows 8 drives me f***ing crazy as a desktop OS. I watched my dad trying to use it on his new laptop and it convinced me that it is the most unintuitive thing I've ever seen. More poor dad spent many years slowly figuring out the basics of using a windows computer... and Microsoft sucker-punched him. So I refuse to use it.
One of Jay-Z's 99 Problems Was DayZ
DH: Jay-Z's lawyers tried to get us to stop using DayZ and change it to ZDay, actually. We declined. But it did make me laugh.
DayZ Has Already Made Him A Bunch of Money
DH: I get a royalty, and I get paid. I also sold (assigned) the rights for DayZ to Bohemia so I was remunerated there too. Compared to royalty rates for other "artists" and such I am probably doing very well. Compared to game designers (who mostly don't get royalties) I'm doing extremely well. My royalty rate is not insignificant (it is fairly significant).
The Current State of DayZ represents just a fraction of his vision for the game
DH: It's currently about 20% of what I'd want for DayZ.
If He Ever Has a Son, He Might Name Him Tom
DH: I like short names, like Tom. But I'm also fairly self absorbed so I would probably name him Dean Jnr. I do that with my preferred successors in CK2.
He's Already Climbed Mt. Everest And is Eyeing K2 Next
DH: I'd like to get back into my climbing properly. I'd really like to do some more expedition type stuff, like I want to visit the North/South poles on foot (whole way). I'd like to return to do some climbing in New Zealand (Mount Aspiring, Mount Tasman, "the grand traverse"). One day I'd like to take a crack at K2.
You Want to Be Friends With Him Because He Has A Plan to Save Your Life In The Event Of A Zombie Outbreak
DH: My first goal would be to get out of metropolitan areas. I'd try and find some camping equipment, a pistol (hard), and break into an aircraft at a small airstrip. Try and use the aircraft to get somewhere remote with friends. My flying isn't great but I'm fine with a small single prop.
When He Climbed Mt. Everest, He Had A Terrifying Dream…
DH: I had a recurring dream where we were on our summit attempt, and I needed to pee. It was very cold and when I started to pee, my pee hit the ground and it started to freeze. The freezing ran up my pee as it was coming out and into my penis. I would always wake up just as it hit me.
I was so concerned about it, I told the expedition doctor and we all had a good laugh :)
He Plans To Re-Enlist in the New Zealand Army Reserves
DH: In the Air Force I was a ground officer, but I graduated top of my class which was actually the first time a ground officer had beaten all the aircrew candidates. So that was cool. I worked as a contract relationship manager, with a secondary appointment as the NZ Police liaison. Was a cool job did all sorts of crazy police training for search and rescue. Lots of jumping out of helicopters!
Then in the NZ Army I was trained as an infantry officer with the Singapore Army. Got to do lots of cool stuff. Survival training. Demolitions training (even got to set off all my charges cause I got a good score in my tests!). Urban ops. Lots of stuff. But my corps was actually Signals. This is why I wasn't promoted, because I wasn't technically qualified and I couldn't be bothered to do my corps training because it was really shit. So I've been a Second Lieutenant for a very long time.
I was discharged as I am overseas. I intend to apply for the reserves when I return, though.
He Once Drank His Own Urine By Accident
DH: I used to pee in bottles in the army. While developing DayZ in my barrack room, at Waiouru on ex Thunder Warrior, I accidentally grabbed the wrong bottle. It was really gross.
He Really Likes Steam Early Access
DH: I think it's great but there are massive icebergs sitting around it waiting to be hit. I think some projects are going to hit those and those issues will need to be addressed. It helps because it gets rid of the publishers dictating what the people find popular. You guys say what concepts are good, not some fat guys driving Bugattis.
He Wants You To Learn More About The World Around You
DH: Learn everything you can about the world. Never miss an opportunity to learn more. The universe is so fascinating it blows my mind every day, and I feel so lucky to have the ability to learn about it.
In the army everything was often very boring, and I struggled to stay awake. So I used to intensely focus on anything said or trained, ask massive amounts of questions. Not only did this keep me awake, but I found how fascinating even the most boring thing can be when you really try and understand it.
Climbing Mt. Everest Helped Him Re-Focus His Life
DH: I think Everest helped get me back on track. It was my survival experience in Singapore (and my whole time attached in Singapore) that completely changed my life outlook. I got a bit lost with everything when DayZ took off, but Everest helped me get back to what mattered and what I wanted to do, to hell with everything else.
If He Played Rugby, He'd Be a Winger
DH: I can run fast, but I could never catch very well. I played some touch rugby in the Army. If I could get the ball, I was really awesome. I played wing - but like I say,... the hard part was getting me the ball.
After He's Done With DayZ, He Wants To Open His Own Studio
DH: In my new studio I really want to create this vision for a great internship/graduate program. I fund their projects, provide a incubator environment, then get the pick of the litter. I can't wait to set that up!
He Has Never Met or Spoken With Valve Boss Gabe Newell
DH: Maybe one day! I hope so! I have a huge amount of respect for him, I'd love his advice on setting up my own studio.
DayZ has sold over 1 million copies through Steam Early Access so far and is one of the most played titles on Steam. You can download the game today for $30.