Rocketwerkz: How zombies and an idea in Brunei brought a New Zealand gaming studio to life

The founder and CEO of one New Zealand's game developer studios says its birth was "kind of like a supervillain's" origin story.

Dean Hall, the boss of Rocketwerkz, told AM roving presenter William Waiirua the company was set up after he "had the idea for a game when I was in the jungles of Brunei" while he was in the army.

"I thought about it [the video] for training soldiers, but I ended up adding zombies. It was a game called DayZ, [I] sold it to a company in Europe and then set up a game studio here."

DayZ is an "unforgiving, authentic, open-world sandbox online game" where each one of 60 players on a server attempts to survive for as long as possible. It was released to critical acclaim in 2013.

Hall said while they started off small in Dunedin, they soon became bigger and relocated to Auckland.

"We started out in Dunedin, made use of a lot of Otago students. We specialise in survival games, Icarus is our latest game and it's a lot of hard work done by a lot of Kiwis."

However, Hall told AM viewers the main thing driving so many of their staff was the fact they're "hardcore gamers".

Watch the video from AM above.