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  Arma3 Tactical Guide Digital or Printed Official    



  December 11th, 2013 - 22:28 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  OPREP - FIRING FROM VEHICLES Official    

On September 22, 2014 , Krzysztof Bielawski has reported an OPREP - Firing from Vehicles on the official Arma 3 web site.

UNIT: Krzysztof Bielawski, Senior Programmer, Programming Dept., Petr Kolár, Encoding Lead, Encoding Dept.
TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users
OPSUM: Along for the Ride: Firing from Vehicles in Arma 3.



EVALUATION


Firing from vehicles. Three simple words that have echoed through the walls of Castle Bohemia across the ages. There have been different variations - Cargo Marksman, Person Turret, Shooting from vehicles - but the meaning stays the same: players (community and developers) simply want to use their personal weapons and equipment while seated in a vehicle.

Sitting on the bench of Littlebird - holding the gun idly in your hands while enemies attack your chopper - we have seen that for far too long. The time for change has finally arrived! We'd like to share a quick overview of this new feature, discuss what it means for our mod-making community, and look ahead to what's next.

FIRE-STARTER


There have always been proposals to make Firing from Vehicles (FFV); however, there have also always been many 'buts'! We have seen several scripted solutions - and done several for ourselves as proofs of concept - yet, still we lacked the perfect solution. There are several factors that we had to take into account and compromises to make in order to bring this feature to its current state in terms of the available vehicle cargo positions and the player's capabilities.

From a player's perspective, controlling a character in an enabled position is very similar to hitching a ride in a standard cargo position. Of course, everything changes when you raise your weapon; you are now able to use optics and attachments, throw grenades, switch zeroing and aiming types and, last but not least, shoot! Actually, you may find yourself shooting quite a bit, as your precision may suffer due to the movement of the vehicle.

As for the vehicles, preparing each and every position takes a lot of time, so we have had to decide which vehicles to do first and which to leave behind. To begin with, we wanted to provide a mix of land, sea and air options. While it would have been great if we could make all positions FFV-friendly, there are still some limitations; mainly, the lack of space to manipulate weapons. Although (as a good passenger with fastened safety belts) you are still unable to move around, you are not alone: other players - and even our AI - have been properly trained to handle firing from vehicles.

WILD-FIRE

We've struggled hard to not only add something new but, with the same importance, sought not to not break anything that we have delivered before. We might possibly have missed something, but we are standing ready to solve possible issues if needed. During FFV's development, we ourselves have broken our campaigns (thrice actually) in the progress; furthermore, the wide variety of community scenarios may yet throw us some curve-balls.

Naturally, we have not forgotten our dearest modding community. To prepare some surprises for their players, scripters may use new command enablePersonTurret, together with adjusted moveInCargo and assignAsCargo. Creating a new vehicle or adjusting an existing one to include FFV capability should be rather easy to achieve. Our sample models are going to be updated with new parameters, while there is just a few of them to make all configuration easier.

Modders accustomed to turret creation can simply add isPersonTurret and showAsCargo parameters, which should do the trick for most situations. Advanced modders may even try to play with some dynamicViewLimits parameters to simulate a tighter space when someone is sitting next to you.

FIRE-AT-WILL

We have had a lot of fun testing the new features in our team, and have some plans for future updates up our sleeves already, some of them well hidden for the new helicopters in the upcoming DLC, others held by lack of time to implement them properly.

However, with the release of the feature to dev-branch, we're now focused upon your feedback; there is a lot done and possibly the same amount of stuff to be done in the future. We are also sure that our community will be able to use the new technology in the ways we didn't even imagine so, go on, enjoy the feature and surprise us!



  Yesterday, 16:40 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00074 Official    

On September 16, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00074 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Anniversary, Update en-route, Firing from Vehicles
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Last Friday, September 12th 2014, was Arma 3's one year anniversary (casually ignoring the public Alpha and Beta phases)! As a modest celebration, we hosted another livestream session. Producer Matthew Lightfoot had prepared a military operation for various volunteer community players and groups to tackle. Designer Nelson Duarte assumed the role of Zeus and curated the experience. And there was cake! Once again we would like to express our appreciation for everybody playing Arma 3. It's been a good year, the game is doing well and together we're improving it - with official additions and user-made mods.

One such addition, coming in Arma 3 Helicopters, was first teased at the end of the livestream: the CH-67 Huron twin-engine tandem rotor heavy-lift helicopter. It will cater to large aerial troop movements as well as heavier external cargo transport. Special cargo containers also broaden support and logistics opportunities, by quickly bringing ammunition, fuel, repair and medical resupplies across large distances. We would not ourselves classify the design as 'stealth'. While advances in engineering bring improved rotor blades, reduced heat signatures and some radar-defeating shapes - this beast is certainly too large and loud to hide effectively.

The continued multiplayer investigation has finally yielded some promising results. Our programmers have gone through detailed logs from internal and community sessions on special profiling servers, and identified several problems. A 1.30 hotfix containing fixes and optimizations is being tested, and will also be available on the Steam Release Candidate branch soon (no access code will be required). If broader testing proves this version does indeed work better, we'll push it to main branch.

INTELLIGENCE

Community member .kju [PvPscene] has posted a collection of references on tweaking the Advanced Flight Model for helicopters. Please do note that we will be updating to a newer RotorLib version ahead of release, which will require some changes. When Arma 3 Helicopters is released, all stock official helicopters will be configured for this model, as will the new helicopters. User-made helicopters will need to be configured as this is not be done automatically (it's too complex). The official helicopters should cover a broad range of aircraft and provide a good starting point for modders.

Another great guide was submitted by KingScuba. It appears to still be a work-in-progress, but already covers some useful tips and tactics for attack helicopter pilots.

OPERATIONS

The third big feature we're focusing on during development of Arma 3 Helicopters is, of course, Firing from Vehicles. We are getting very close to having a version ready for Dev-Branch. Hopefully by the end of this week, you'll be able to try the feature for an initial batch of prepared vehicles (e.g. the MH-9 with benches and the offroad car). This is a feature that will require specific configuration and animation work per vehicle, so we cannot just enable it for all vehicles. We're doing our best to deliver backwards compatibility. If you had been using one of these vehicles in your scenarios, they should not break because a standard passenger seat has been upgraded to one that allows for firing of personal weapons. In the first version there will be a couple of known issues that we're working on, but it will be good to get the technology in the game for feedback.

LOGISTICS

Our website now contains a troubleshooting page with information about the Arma 3 Launcher. There are several third-party distributables that the application requires. Steam should install these automatically, but in case it does not, this is where you can find them. Some people also experience other compatibility issues between their OS, hardware and the launcher. Several work-arounds and diagnostic modes are presented on the page. We're interested in finding out exactly what PC set-ups cause these issues, so please post details to Feedback Tracker if you're affected.

Check out this unofficial guide on tweaking performance of the game. Player Terminus goes over several categories of tweaks to try to make the game run better on your own computer. As the author indicates, please be careful with some of the more advanced tips (e.g. overclocking) as they may cause damage.


  September 16th, 2014 - 19:18 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  One Year of Arma 3 Livestream Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us that Bohemia Interactive is going to celebrate Arma 3’s first anniversary with a special anniversary livestream on Arma 3’s official Twitch channel

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday September 11th 2014

Celebrating Arma 3’s official release on September 12 last year, Bohemia Interactive announce a special anniversary livestream on Arma 3’s official Twitch channel this Friday. The livestream, which will be led by Associate Producer Matt Lightfoot and Designer Nelson Duarte, will kick off tomorrow (September 12) at 10:30 AM Zulu/GMT/UTC – and is expected to run for about 3 hours.

During the ‘One Year of Arma 3’ livestream, various Arma 3 developers and community members will
co-operate in an Arma 3 Zeus multiplayer session. For those who don’t know Arma 3 Zeus, this free DLC for Arma 3 enables players to take on the role of a game master, and influence a multiplayer session from a birds-eye perspective - creating a unique experience for the players on the ground. Since a birthday is not complete without gifts, Bohemia Interactive will also be giving away several copies of the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition, as well as Arma 3 merchandise sets, to those attending the livestream. And... there will be cake!

Arma 3 was officially released on September 12th 2013 after extensive Alpha and Beta testing – pioneering Steam’s Early Access program. Since then, Bohemia Interactive has continued supporting the game with a steady flow of updates, which included the singleplayer campaign, new weapons, vehicles, objects,the Zeus and Karts DLC, plus various platform refinements. Later this year, the studio will release its Helicopters DLC, followed by the Arma 3 Marksmen DLC in the beginning of 2015. A major expansion for Arma 3, featuring a brand new terrain, is also in development.

To enlist for Arma 3 service, people can purchase the regular edition of Arma 3 (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) and the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) - which includes the Arma 3 soundtrack, tactical maps of Altis and Stratis, a tactical guide containing more than 350 pages, and Bohemia Interactive’s debut game Arma: Cold War Assault - from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version of Arma 3 is sold at many major high-street retailers.

For more information, please visit http://www.arma3.com and/or follow Arma 3 on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.


  September 11th, 2014 - 21:50 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00073 Official    

On September 9, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00073 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Sling Loading Dev-Branch, Multiplayer progress, Livestreams
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Let's start this week with some nice news: a first public version of Sling Loading is finally out on Dev-Branch. That means the underlying rope technology is enabled and being used by the helicopter ability to transport externally slung loads. We'll likely go in-depth in a future OPREP, but for the time being you can give it a go and share your feedback in this forums thread. The team will continue to test, tweak, iterate and fix this aspect as we have been doing with the RotorLib flight model. We're also curious to see what crazy stuff you'll be doing with the ropes!

And now back to the multiplayer situation and the desync issues. This is still our main focus, and there has been some progress, but we're not out of the woods yet. You may wonder how this can be so complicated. Unfortunately the likely suspects (such as the new guaranteed networking messaging), were not the sole cause. After undoing these changes, reports of desync continued. The situations are extremely random, involve large player counts. They are a frustrating problem for our programmers to reproduce while their eager debuggers are attached. The client crashes occuring since last week, were tracked down to BattlEye anti-cheat and fixed on their end (not requiring a game update). We'd like to thank our community server admins for helping us find a solid reproduction method for this crash (kudos to people like Alex Grosse). That also means our latest hotfix was effectively pointless; the change made there was ultimately not to blame.

What is planned next? We have added extensive network traffic diagnostics to Dev-Branch (command-line -networkDiagInterval=X, where X is the report interval in seconds). These will soon also be added to a new version on our performance profiling branch. With the data collected from this, we hope to narrow down what's going wrong (it's likely a combination of various things, rather than one source problem). We'll keep you updated on further progress and resulting game updates.

INTELLIGENCE

A variety of Bohemia Interactive games are on sale this week on Steam - find massive discounts up to 80%!

Associate Producer Matthew Lightfoot kicked off more regular official livestreaming last Friday. Joined by Designer Thomas Ryan, he played through the "Survive" episode of the campaign (spoilers) ... or at least made a good effort! Check out the full recording on our Twitch channel, and stay tuned for more livestream events coming up shortly.

The September newsletter for Make Arma Not War was mailed out recently. It describes an alternative submission method for people in the Multiplayer and Addon categories, when struggling to get entries up on Workshop. Another section takes a first glimpse at how entries will be judged once the submission deadline is passed (October 26). In related news, we've seen several contestants who are unable to submit their campaign to Workshop. You can only do this by making your campaign an add-on, as opposed to the older style of campaign PBOs. Our next Arma 3 Tools update will contain a sample of such campaign add-on from Thomas Ryan (already out on its dev-branch). He has also updated the relevant Community Wiki documentation. Finally, there have been questions as to how to deal with updates to the game itself, and changes potentially affecting entries after the deadline. We will maintain a special Steam branch with a locked version that will be used for judging - more details on that soon.

OPERATIONS

Audio Lead Jan Dušek has published his first OPREP, taking a look forward at audio in Arma 3. We've finally had the opportunity to reorganize and reinforce our audio team, and outlined what they will be doing to give the game the soundscape it deserves. Read the full report to learn more about some of the technologies in development, as well as instructions on who to directly and politely contact with specific feedback!

LOGISTICS

While working on the Helicopters DLC, we've decided to improve our HMD technology a bit. Senior programmer Dan Doležel has investigated various possibilities, some of which have been already added before (like the stall indicator for planes). One of the main improvements is the possibility to have separate elements aiming in a fixed direction. That means a lot for players who tend to look around the cockpit (e.g. by using TrackIR) since the crosshair stays in the correct orientation while useful information moves with their view. Encoding Velociraptor Martin Gregor has set all the current helicopters to use the new system where it should be used. We aim to continue improving the HMDs with more features in the near future.



  September 9th, 2014 - 22:53 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  NEW F3 Web Tools - F3 Briefing Generator Editing    

fer has informed us about F3 Briefing Generator release

If you find editing the faction-specific briefing files fiddly or confusing, there's now a web tool that will help you generate the correct code. Check it out here:

http://www.ferstaberinde.com/f3/f3webtools/index.php

Remember, to make it even easier to start using F3, our fully illustrated online tutorials for making adversarial and coop missions can help you build your first F3 mission in 1-2 hours.


Discuss F3 at:
- BI Forums
- Folk ARPS Forums



  September 8th, 2014 - 17:05 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  OPREP - AUDIO ROADMAP Official    

On September 8, 2014 , Jan Dušek has reported a OPREP - AUDIO ROADMAP on the official Arma 3 web site.


UNIT: Jan Dušek, Audio Lead, Audio Dept.
TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users
OPSUM: Outlining the current & future goals of Arma 3's Audio Department.


EVALUATION

Over the past few months, Arma 3's Audio Department was reorganized, reinforced and refocused upon the job of making Arma 3 sound great. Now it's the ideal time to update you with a summary of recent developments in our team, outline further changes we have planned and, let's say, share a sense of the future progress of Arma 3's sound in general. Overall, our goal is to bring a richer, more complete audio experience, starting with new samples, through redesigning/fixing existing features and implementing brand new audio features, which we all miss the most.



Sound Map: This tool shows the density of certain environment types, which is used to generate the final mix of ambient SFX. In future we hope to extend this feature to enrich the soundscape further.



Radio Protocol FSM: This tool enables us to visually edit the links between words and logic to generate dynamic sentences for our re-worked radio protocol.



Helicopter Field Recording: Here we're recording an EC135 Helicopter from 3 different positions; it's just one of many sounds we use to fully recreate the sound of a vehicle in game

FEEDBACK

First of all, though, we'd like to thank to everyone for their splendid feedback over the last few weeks, months, and years! Recently, we've set up new workflows with a bigger emphasis upon your feedback, because what makes sound great is the listener who appreciates it! We've been browsing around every corner where people who love Arma games were constructively commenting upon our soundscape, suggesting new features, reporting bugs or describing new solutions, and we've found many great ideas that could improve or enhance your audio experience.
Also, we must admit that - compared to other departments - the audio team hasn't been quite so responsive and communicative. We want to improve that, and try to be much more synchronized with players. If you want to contact us directly, feel free to do so via our forum accounts (or Feedback Tracker). The main Arma 3 audio team is currently composed of myself (doosh - audio lead), grichard and krystof. We also closely cooperate with other sound designers working on other projects, like DayZ.

FIX, ENHANCE, IMPROVE

Right now, we are focused upon improving the most neglected aspects of sounds in our game. Of course, our resources are still fairly limited, but our overall effort could be described in 3 words: fix, enhance, improve. This means finding a specific feature, analyzing what's wrong with it, thinking about what could be better, and finding new ideas, too. Simultaneously, we will be 'filling in the gaps': there are existing features which have never been utilized to their full potential and, in general, there is also lot of room for improving samples. As an example of new feature, I could mention the recent implementation of sounds for Animation Sources. That means map-placed objects that can animate (like doors) can now handle sounds in quite complex ways.
Another example is the behavior of sounds played in first person. Now, for instance, there won’t be any issues with panning of sound for footsteps or animations, all those sounds are now played as 2D samples (with stereo support), so now we can even mix new stereo sounds for animations to improve the audio experience. By the way, the usage of stereo samples is great example of one of the underestimated aspects of A3 audio in the past, so now we are adding this support into more features, like vehicle interior sounds, for instance.

THE FUTURE IS NOW

Looking to the future, we of course want to avoid making promises we are not sure about, but there are some significant features and fixes we are planning to get into the game. We can mention the planned improvements to frequency attenuation for distant samples, we’ll try to solve the fire handler global issue, there will be new system for character Foley sounds based on actual equipment, radio filters distance-dependency, plus many more small features that will, all together, push sound in Arma even further. From a long term plan I could even mention environmental effects or directional map ambient sounds.
Overall, thanks to all the feedback, we are now hunting down the most obvious audio issues. Together with those fixes, you can look forward to many new features and refinements and - to be honest - there are already many splendid audio engine possibilities that were not squeezed out enough - so let's do it! We love the game as much as you do so, with our reinforced team and your cooperation, we will use all our effort to provide the best sound experience we can!
Stay tuned!


  September 8th, 2014 - 16:59 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SPOTREP #00032 Official    

On September 3, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SPOTREP #00032 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users<
UNIT: Main Branch
ACTIVITY: Hotfix: 1.28 (Multiplayer stability improvements)
SIZE: ~17 MB / ~7 MB<

NOTES

  • While we continue to work hard to fully fix the multiplayer problem(s), we are releasing this hotfix now to try to reduce client crashes as much as possible. Read more about this situation in SITREP #00071 and SITREP #00072

  • Consider using the Steam client option to verify the integrity of the local game cache to avoid corrupted data after downloading this update.

  • Legacy Build Steam branch is available for advanced users. It contains the previous significant main branch version (1.24). It can be used to compare specific changes between major releases. The access code for this branch is: Arma3Legacy124

CHANGELOG


ENGINE:

  • Fix attempt: Multiplayer clients causing the BattlEye anti-cheat engine to crash.


  September 4th, 2014 - 00:02 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00072 : Reinforcement needed! Official    

On September 2, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00072 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Multiplayer progress, DLC survey, Publisher update
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

The fight against multiplayer issues continues. On Friday we published the 1.28 hotfix (the version had to be increased because of removing the new network messaging). In terms of technology, this brings the netcode back to the 1.24 state. We'll continue to search for clues as to why the changes cause issues with desync and increased bandwidth use (where actually they should do the opposite, and do so in repeated tests). There are many mixed reports across the versions, making confirmation of fixes extra challenging. On top of things, the 1.28 version caused an incompatibility with the BattlEye anti-cheat client. A fix candidate for this is being tested on Steam's RC branch (access code: Hotfix128Arma3), and it will reach main branch as soon as we get confirmation it works. Our first priority now is restoring multiplayer to 1.24 performance. Then we'll attempt to thoroughly review the new networking tech, solve any issues, organize more varied external tests (different servers, modes and mod mixes) and hopefully roll out the results.

INTELLIGENCE

We're looking for reinforcements to the Arma 3 animation team - and various other positions across Bohemia Interactive! Take a look at the 3D Animator and Junior Technical Designer roles, and if you're interested, send us a mail with your application. You'd be working on integrating new animation-related features into the game, processing MOtion CAPture data, configuring the animation graphs, and generally taking the movement of characters and animals to the next level.

Killzone Kid continues to enlighten the community with his documentation of our new event handlers and script commands. This week, he's also posted a nice little tutorial on the use of 3D User Interface objects in Arma 3 (similar to the compass on the map). If there are any other people out there with useful tutorials, do let us know @Arma3Official!



OPERATIONS

Several SITREPs ago, designer Jirí Zlatohlávek posted a request to provide feedback on our DLC strategy in an online survey. Many thanks for your contributions! We have collected over 750 responses and were very happy with the quality of the feedback. The relevant developers have already incorporated some of the suggested tweaks into the plans for Arma 3 Helicopters and beyond. We'll share more specifics on that in a future OPREP.

LOGISTICS

An update to the Arma 3 Tools suite was just released. Its highlight is the new iteration of Publisher. This Workshop publication tool has had a lot of its core code improved and it received a new skin, making it consistent with Launcher and Addon Builder. The latter has had a critical fix applied - to prevent the loss of source data in some cases. Cooperation with Valve's engineers had brought us even more good stuff: you are now finally able to run Buldozer in Object Builder and Terrain Builder even when running the application directly from Steam. Read all about the update in TECHREP #00014.


  September 2nd, 2014 - 17:19 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SPOTREP #00031 - Hotfix: 1.28 Official    

On August 29, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SPOTREP #00031 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead

TO: Arma 3 Users
UNIT: Main Branch
ACTIVITY: Hotfix: 1.28 (Multiplayer desync improvements)
SIZE: ~17 MB / ~7 MB

NOTES
  • This hotfix does not yet fully correct multiplayer issues introduced in 1.26. It is an interim improvement, while we continue to find the source problem(s). Read more about this situation in the most recent SITREP.

  • Consider using the Steam client option to verify the integrity of the local game cache to avoid corrupted data after downloading this update.

  • A Legacy Build Steam branch is available for advanced users. It contains the previous significant main branch version (1.24). It can be used to compare specific changes between major releases. The access code for this branch is: Arma3Legacy124

CHANGELOG

ENGINE:

  • Removed: Guaranteed networking messaging (not just disabled). This may just be temporary while we address issues with this low-level networking feature.

  • Fixed: Stack overflow crash

  • Fixed: Missing console logging on servers


  August 29th, 2014 - 16:46 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00071 Official    

On August 27, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00071 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Multiplayer situation, Default launcher
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Last week we deployed version 1.26. Sadly, this was not a good update due to multiplayer desynchronization issues it has introduced for too many players. The irony is that the update was an attempt to optimize multiplayer via the guaranteed network messaging. As it turns out, this low-level change is not yet robust enough to bring the benefits it was intended for (although on some servers it did work well). Our apologies to those whose multiplayer fun was interrupted by this. We need to further improve our large-scale multiplayer stability testing (with and without mods & custom game modes).

We're working on a hotfix, which can be tested already on Steam's RC branch via access code: Hotfix126Arma3. Only the executable is different, so switching between it and the default branch is quick. Our thanks to those communities who have been helping us to fill large public test servers already. As soon as we have a more stable version, we'll release it on main branch. It was our intention to stage a first version of Sling Loading on Dev-Branch yesterday. However, in part because the relevant programmers now focus on finding and fixing the desync issues, this will be delayed a while longer.

INTELLIGENCE

Community scripter Killzone Kid has kindly documented an enhanced system for automated vehicle wreck and corpse removal in scenarios. Such functionality can help to keep large and long scenarios run smoothly over time.

OPERATIONS

"Bigger ain't always better: Weapon Inertia in Arma 3" reads the summary for the latest OPREP written by Radko Voda. This feature was recently staged on Dev-Branch, where it's gathering feedback and is being tweaked before we roll it onto main branch. Radko begins by discussing why it can be very challenging to simulate a real-world thing on a platform with clear limitations such as input controls. He then describes how we've implemented Weapon Inertia, and the depth of the system (i.e. how it relates to other gameplay systems such as fatigue and damage). After reading, give it a go in-game and leave your feedback here.

LOGISTICS

With 1.26 we also tried to use the launcher as the default Steam launch option. i.e. When you double-click Arma 3, it starts the launcher. Previously it would show an option dialogue to choose between playing, playing windowed and starting the launcher. Because the option dialogue is then removed, the amount of steps to get into the game is the same, and you can benefit from the launcher's functionality if you want to. After making this change, we quickly found problems - both in the launcher and with Steam. We decided the make the launcher optional for the time being, and will try again later. The issues we were facing and are solving:


  • New third-party redistributables are required (Visual C++ 2010 & 2012 and .NET 4.5). Steam has options that allow us to install these whenever you first run Arma 3. Unfortunately it takes a while for everyone to restart their Steam client (otherwise the install may not be triggered). People without the correct redistributables installed could not start the launcher and therefore the game. In a few weeks time, most players should have been updated.
  • The launcher did not transfer command-line parameters to the game in advanced use cases. A fix to this is already being tested.
  • Some people insist on not starting the launcher. They will be able to use a -noLauncher parameter to directly start the game directly instead.

Steam client sometimes appears to get stuck while updating the game. The only work-around we know about is to delete the local content via the client and install it again. We have contacted Valve to see if they can fix this on their side.

Even considering the issues in 1.26, there still were lots of cool fixes and additions. Take a look at the 1.26 SPOTREP and the latest TECHREP. The latter now also contains a more human-readable summary of the changes to Arma 3 Tools courtesy of Julien Vida.


  August 27th, 2014 - 20:15 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SPOTREP #00030 : Game Update: 1.26 Official    

On August 20, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SPOTREP #00030 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
UNIT: Main Branch
ACTIVITY: Game Update: 1.26 (Guaranteed network messaging, Sharpen filter, Launcher presets, Launcher newsfeed)
SIZE: ~846 MB

NOTE

  • Consider using the Steam client option to verify the integrity of the local game cache to avoid corrupted data after downloading this update.
  • Consider defragmenting your HDD after downloading large updates.
  • We've enabled Steam-based redistrutables for Visual C++, .NET and DirectX, which may run one time if they had not been installed previously.
  • The Launcher is now the default and only Steam launch option for Arma 3. Windowed mode can be engaged from the basic parameter page. You can still run the game without Launcher by starting the executable directly.
  • A new Steam branch is now available for advanced users: Legacy Build (1.24). As its name implies, it contains the previous main branch version. It can be used to compare specific changes between major releases. The access code for this branch is: Arma3Legacy124


Full changelog and SPOTREP

  August 20th, 2014 - 15:24 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00070 : Update delayed Official    

On August 19, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00070 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Update delay, Weapon Inertia, Sling Loading
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

There has been a small delay in getting the final 1.26 update Release Candidate approved and released. QA Lead Miloslav Cinko and his team uncovered a potential for desynchronized game states under some multiplayer conditions, and rightly insisted we hunt & kill that problem first. As of today the source has been found, the problem has hopefully been fixed and the new build is in testing. Also, several collateral optimizations were made as a result of the thorough investigation. We'll continue to update the Steam RC branch until the update is released proper. Whether that is tomorrow or a little later, depends on test results.

Meanwhile on Dev-Branch, we're getting ready to stage Weapon Inertia. As it's not part of 1.26, there is a decent size window for feedback and tweaks before this feature hits main branch. There will be an OPREP to accompany its Dev-Branch debut to explain our motivation for this feature, its benefits and how it affects / is affected by other gameplay aspects.

INTELLIGENCE

Tools Engineer Julien Vida has submitted a guide to the Community Wiki on Buldozer, the viewer used to visualize assets in tools like Object Builder and Terrain Builder. Buldozer is not actually a separate tool, but a sub-component of the game itself (triggered via command-line parameter). The guide covers preparing your modding environment, installing Buldozer and connecting it to the other tools.

The current state of Steam Workshop addons and the accompanying Launcher has been reported on in the latest OPREP by Jiří Zlatohlávek and Jiří Dočkal. Read up on how the Launcher matured from concept to initial release, what it's able to help you with now, and some of what we're working on next. Your developer Twitter scanners may have also picked up on a preview of the skinned Publisher tool on the other end of the addon publication loop.

The Make Arma Not War contest now has over 100 entries in its database. Take a look at the submissions in various categories, try out already-released content and support your favorites. We'd also like to remind aspiring modders that the submission phase will close in late October, so don't wait too long!

OPERATIONS

Sling Loading is ready to be staged on Dev-Branch. We're getting Weapon Inertia out first, but then it's time to start trying under-slung external loads for helicopters (and the rope technology at its core). We've configured the stock helicopters and suitable objects, so that the default sandbox is ready to support this means of transport. The feature is multiplayer-compatible as well of course. Some parts are still undergoing significant tweaking and finishing until Arma 3 Helicopters release. We're yet to set up the sound effect triggers in the audio engine, and the User Interface elements are being iterated.

LOGISTICS

A new set of scripting commands has been added to Dev-Branch, dealing with objects and their actual render position as opposed to their simulation position. That sounds a little vague, but it should help in cases where smoothness is key, such as drawing 3D icons via script. Community scripter Killzone Kid has documented the collection for you.


  August 19th, 2014 - 17:54 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00069 Official    

On August 13, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00069 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Update 1.26 coming, RotorLib tweaking
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

In the midst of the summer holidays and heat, the team has pushed on full steam with their work on Arma 3 Helicopters and more. A release candidate for the 1.26 update has been mastered and is close to release. As has become usual, we're staging the update on Steam's hidden RC branch. Keen server admins, modders and players can try it using access code Update126Arma3Splendid in the BETAS tab of the Steam client. The central feature of the update is the roll out of the so-called guaranteed network messages. See the LOGISTICS section for a bit more on this multiplayer optimization. Another, more trivial addition, is the set of sounds for opening / closing doors of various materials (and therefore technology to add sounds to other objects with animation sources). This update does not include the RotorLib flight model yet! The final version of that technology is to be released in a game update alongside Arma 3 Helicopters. We'd like to remind players to consider running a Steam local verification and defragmentation on HDDs after updating to solve potential file corruption issues and to improve performance.

INTELLIGENCE

We're reminded by Bořivoj Hlava that you can use keyboard combination Left Ctrl + / to copy basic information about your game version to your clipboard. You can then proceed to paste this info into any report you post to Feedback Tracker, which will help us identify your exact version.

Community member Clawhammer asks on the forums how much Arma people have actually played so far. There are some staggering numbers being presented there. We're also interested in seeing where you spend your time, be it singleplayer content, multiplayer, the editor, user-generated content, ... the video options?!

It's motivational to see Polygon re-review Arma 3 based on its current state, after the campaign episodes, Zeus, Bootcamp and everything else. They have raised the score from 6.5 to 8.0, which tells us we're on the right track. There's room for improvement and we'll continue to work hard on making the Arma 3 platform all it can and should be.

OPERATIONS

As an addendum to his OPREP, designer Karel Kališ reports on the progress on RotorLib since its release on Dev-Branch: "The advanced helicopter FDM is available in dev-branch for some time now and we're gathering your feedback on this new functionality. Some issues were already solved. For example, collective and pedals in all helicopters should be fully animated and responding to your inputs. Transmission in some helicopters wasn't properly configured so rough handling with the Stress Damage setting enabled wasn't penalized. These days are over and now you can severely damage your helicopter when torque rises over the limits - keep your eyes on the TRQindicator!

We've also fixed some of the problems related to landing gear. Wheels should properly roll while taxiing and the behavior of ground contacts was tweaked. You can now land at higher speeds without damaging your helicopter. Speaking of damage – this is one of the most mentioned concerns on the forums. We're afraid a full overhaul is a huge task which would need to be resolved taking in consideration all vehicles, not just helicopters. We can't promise we'll be able to tackle this in the foreseeable future. We are however committed to improve the various aspects of helicopters and will bring a lot of new fixes, Sling Loading and tweaks to flight models, instruments and the rest. Stay tuned and please keep providing us with valuable feedback.
"

LOGISTICS

The BattlEye anti-cheat engine now handles bans across Arma 3, DayZ and also new SteamID-based bans issued in Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead. So, for example, a ban in Arma 3 will also apply to Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead and conversely.

Previously described in SITREP #00058, the coming 1.26 update enables the use of a new method of sending multiplayer network messages. Brought in from DayZ stand-alone, the aim is to send less data over the network by sending only the difference compared to the previous state of such messages. While the same amount of messages need to be processed, the reduced traffic may help servers with large player numbers. After a good period of testing on dev-branch and our special profiling servers (splendidly administrated by David Foltýn), we're now ready to get this into the main game.


  August 13th, 2014 - 13:53 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00068 Official    

On July 22, 2014 , Jay Crowe has reported a SITREP #00068 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Creative Director
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Advanced Helicopter FDM Deployed
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

It's been an exciting time on Arma 3's development branch as - alongside our usual line-up of tweaks, fixes and additions - we've just rolled out the first version of the advanced helicopter flight model! Rotorhead-in-chief, Karel Kališ, found the time to put together a splendid OPREP, which outlines the changes to helicopter flight, customisation options, controls and GUI elements! Together with Lukáš Miláček and Vojtěch Hladík, we're keenly awaiting your feedback on our official forums!

Looking ahead, we'll aim to deploy our Sling Loading and Firing from Vehicles features once we're ready for your feedback. And, speaking of future updates, work has continued apace on Weapon Inertia. Programmer (and part-time animation exorcist), Šimon Kolčiter, has continued his close cooperation with Sandbox Designer, Radko Voda; together, they've made some good progress on 'sight misalignment' (a key part of the feeling of inertia) and - with the help of the rest of the team - we're evaluating a version that we hope to deploy to the dev-branch soon™!

INTELLIGENCE

Next week, a motley crew of Bohemia's Top Men will descend upon GDCE in Cologne. Proud citizens of Westphalia, hide your beers and your gaming-folk! If you'll be in the area, give us a tweet or - if you get the chance - yours truly will be presenting an overview of our team's experience with the (relatively new) Early-Access model of development.

In other news - for those that like to dig a little deeper - social-media scan-bot, Borivoj Hlava, uncovered a detailed guide to getting the most out of Arma 3's many configuration options, while long-time/suffering community member, NouberNou, presented 'Carma', an object-oriented programming extension to SQF. Splendid stuff!

OPERATIONS

As we teased last week, Tools Commissar (and temporary Project Lead), pettka of House Bounce, shared some additions to the Arma 3 Tools development branch yesterday: Game Updater, Bulldozer Configurator, fixed Addon Builder + cfgConvert. On a semi-related note, if you strive for documentation of Doors, you may find it rather soon in Arma 3 Samples on the dev-branch of Arma 3 Tools.

Yesterday's dev update also brought word of a fix to 'speed of sound' simulation. It's a relatively complex under-the-hood change to the ordering of samples, which caused an issue where some samples were played in 2D, rather than 3D with attenuation. One useful example of what's changed is an issue where you could hear reloading across the island after the shooting, but the shooting sound came later than reloading sound. This problem should now be addressed. As promised last week, more updates should emerge from the re-purposed Audio department in the near future!

LOGISTICS

As we mentioned previously, localisation of the Launcher has been in progress! We should now support Czech, German, Spanish, French, Italiano, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and British English*. Should you encounter any unsightly errors, please do share your feedback (aside from the inclusion of extra vowels in words like 'colour'. I'll just force people ignore those**).

Last but not least, we can thankfully report that Arma 3 Project Lead - and all-round Dutch Dreamboat - Joris-Jan Van 't Land should return next week, no doubt refreshed and infused with vigour and vim (after the jet-lag wears off)! It has been a pleasure to temporarily sit as Guardian of the REPs and the Splendid Men, Lord of the Iron Throne of Mnisek, Royalty of the Exiled, Changer of Logs and Breaker of Games; yet, normal service shall soon™ be resumed!

* Disclaimer: it's actually En-US; aka, English (simplified)
** Disclaimer: I don't have this kind of power. Yet.


  August 7th, 2014 - 07:42 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00067 Official    

On July 22, 2014 , Jay Crowe has reported a SITREP #00067 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Creative Director
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: DLC Survey, Launcher Updates, Splendid sounds
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Development on our forthcoming Helicopters DLC has picked up some pace and, alongside it, our goal to bring RotorLib's flight dynamics to Arma 3's development branch draws closer, too. Although we've recently experienced some hiccups that have prevented us from publishing the very latest dev-branch executables, we're still on course to deploy the new flight model at the beginning of August.

All of our 'vanilla' helicopters should be ready to fly soon™, and we're keen to give all players the time to try them out and and offer up their feedback. Unleashing this new feature early will, we trust, provide enough time for mod makers to prepare their own precious assets, too. The configuration of the flight model XMLs should be mostly the same as it was for Take On Helicopters, and custom-created assets should work fine in Arma 3.

INTELLIGENCE

Back in May we released Arma 3 Karts DLC with the intention of testing out our new approach to Downloadable Content. Since then, we've received a variety of feedback and now we're ready for even more! Eager to know your views on this important tech, Platform guru, Jiří Zlatohlávek has put together a splendid questionnaire regarding our DLC strategy: http://arma3.com/survey. We'd really appreciate your continued feedback!

Next up, we can report further progress on the Arma 3 Launcher, which now supports a news service. You should be able to find this SITREP directly in its feed (or, indeed, you may be even reading it there right now, hello!). We hope this will further help players to stay in touch with improvements, adjustments and additional features. Of course, the Launcher itself remains work-in-progress; currently, we're progressing with localisation and, in the near future, we hope you'll find it in your own game language .

OPERATIONS

Last week, we managed to add sounds to opening and closing doors in game. The work is still in progress - all doors currently have the same sound - but we're looking to add different samples for distinctive types of door. Although it's a fairly minor feature, it's something that's been omitted for many years. Furthermore, this (relatively) safe/simple work has been a good learning experience for our new audio designers, who are still getting to grips with the engine. With this in mind, Audio Lead Jan Dušek has started work on a blog that outlines the recent changes in his department and communicates his vision of the future of audio development in Arma 3.

Aside from that, for your video-configuration-variety pleasure, our programmers have also added the 'sharpen' post process as a separate option. However, please note, due to some potential conflicts with older configurations, if the game suddenly appears too blurry, the sharpen setting may need to be changed to a different value.

LOGISTICS

Some more updates are on the way to the Arma 3 Tools development branch. Tools engineer Julien Vida is working on a new tool called Game Updater, which aims to improve the experience of switching between branches of the game by avoiding the fuss of additional downloads every time you change. Artists may use another tool - Bulldozer Configurator - which enables users to configure the Bulldozer viewer for Object Builder. We plan to release the new version of Arma 3 Tools at roughly the same time as we deploy RotorLib integration to the development branch.

Last but not least, Senior Designer Karel Mořický continues on his tireless crusade to improve Arma 3's documentation for the community. This time, he's taken aim at the script functions and broadened the documentation for all of them.


  July 29th, 2014 - 16:11 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

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