|Born||14 May 1981|
|Alma mater||University of Otago|
|Occupation||Video game designer|
Dean "Rocket" Hall (born 14 May 1981) is a New Zealand video game designer. He is best known for creating zombie apocalypse PC game DayZ, which began as a mod, and was later developed into its own game under the same title. Hall left the DayZ development team in 2014 to found his own studio, Rocketwerkz.
Hall grew up in Oamaru, New Zealand, and attended Waitaki Boys' High School. He played role-playing games with fellow New Zealander Chris Butcher, who later became the Technical Director at Bungie working on Halo and Destiny. Hall started video game development on an Amiga personal computer that his parents purchased him as a child.
|Service/||Royal New Zealand Air Force, New Zealand Army|
|Years of service||2000 – 2005|
|Unit||Royal New Zealand Corps of Signals|
Hall served as a commissioned officer in the Royal New Zealand Air Force for five years, completing a degree at the University of Otago under a Defense Scholarship. In 2009 Hall re-enlisted in the New Zealand Army and was posted on an exchange program with the Singapore Armed Forces. Hall was inspired by his efforts on survival training and in using video games as a method to train soldiers in the emotional reactions they may face, including him pitching the concept to leadership within the Army. When interest was not shown, Hall stated he decided to add zombies and release it publicly.
Hall was posted to the Singapore Armed Forces on an exchange program during which he completed his survival training in Brunei. His experiences on this trip formed the basis for his ideas with the development of the mod. Hall was not used to the diet during his period of deployment, and this became a further problem as the training progressed. He ran out of food during the survival component, eventually resorting to trying to eat rotten fish and ferns. By the end of his training, Hall weighed 25 kilograms less and required surgery to repair his injuries.
After leaving the Air Force, Hall was employed as a producer at Sidhe Interactive in Wellington, New Zealand, and worked on Speed Racer: The Videogame. Hall briefly left the industry to return to the army before returning for a contract at Bohemia Interactive to work on Arma 3. During this time, Hall created DayZ, a zombie survival horror mod for the Arma 2. After the success of the mod Hall started work at Bohemia in the position of Project Lead of the standalone version of DayZ. DayZ mod was nominated for the Online Innovation Award at the GDC Online Awards 2012.
In November 2014, Hall left Bohemia Interactive to found New Zealand game studio, RocketWerkz, and announced the debut title Ion at E3 2015. Development of Ion was later cancelled. Hall announced Stationeers at EGX Rezzed 2017. The game was released on Steam in early access on 12 December 2017. The game draws inspiration from Space Station 13.
In 2012, Hall stated that the seventh generation of game consoles were at the end of their lives, and that this had resulted in the PC providing more innovative games for the market. Hall believed this would result in the next generation of consoles competing for the ability to cater to this desire for innovation as seen on the PC. Hall has also been critical of the traditional publishing model for video games, turning down many offers to publish DayZ and asking what value publishers provide in a modern context. Hall suggested that publishers are becoming "irrelevant", citing Minecraft as an example of this.
In 2014 Hall left Bohemia Interactive and the development of DayZ. He indicated that he wanted to found his own studio, Rocketwerkz. Hall received some criticism[who?] as the game was still in early access, a funding model in video games where the game is offered for sale while it is still being developed. Hall defends his decision to leave Bohemia by saying he was only obliged to work for a short period on his contract. Hall also indicated to customers that while in early access, DayZ would be unstable. In December 2018, DayZ came out of Early Access.
Hall later deleted his Reddit account after receiving pricing and release complaints for the game, tweeting that he was "never coming back" to Reddit.
Hall is an accomplished mountaineer, having climbed Mount Cook in New Zealand. In May 2013, he summitted Mount Everest, making him the 42nd New Zealander to do so. He has stated that his experiences mountaineering have also formed part of the inspiration for his game design work.
|Speed Racer: The Videogame||2008||Producer; Developed by Sidhe Interactive|
|DayZ (mod)||2012 (official release: Feb. 2013)|
|DayZ||Dec. 2013 early access (official release: Dec. 2018)||Project Lead; Developed by Bohemia Interactive|
|Ion (Cancelled)||N/A||Developed by RocketWerkz and Improbable|
|Out of Ammo||15 September 2016||Developed by RocketWerkz|
|Out of Ammo: Death Drive||17 August 2017||Developed by RocketWerkz|
|Stationeers||12 December 2017||Developed by RocketWerkz|
|Icarus||Unknown||Developed by RocketWerkz|