Bohemia Interactive released a special Arma 3 developer diary video, providing more details on Tanoa - the new terrain featured in the upcoming Arma 3 expansion, which is scheduled for release in the first half of 2016. The new terrain, a 100 km˛ South Pacific archipelago, was originally revealed during the PC Gaming Show at E3 2015.
In the developer diary, Arma 3's Creative Director Jay Crowe and Project Lead Joris-Jan van 't Land discuss how the devteam came to a South Pacific destination, describe some of the key characteristics and points of interest on Tanoa, and reflect on development so far and the roadmap ahead.
Tanoa will be the first South Pacific destination featured in the Arma series. Previous Arma locations included the Mediterranean islands of Altis and Stratis (Arma 3), the Eastern-European country of Chernarus (Arma 2), the Middle-Eastern nation of Takistan (Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead), and various other terrains in the fictional Armaverse.
Besides the new Tanoa terrain, the Arma 3 expansion will include new vehicles, weapons, attachments and gear, characters, playable content, and more. The expansion is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2016 and will be distributed as DLC for the base Arma 3 game.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: 1.48 Hotfixed, Windows 10, Vehicle Steering PRECEDENCE: Flash
With your help and patience, we've finally honed in on the suspected culprit causing severe performance degradation for a group of players. The hotfix released today improves the situation for a lot of people who reported back to us. In another section of this report, we explain in some more technical details what caused the issues. This is not considered the end station of this investigation. We're doing our best to address more issues in this area. There are many factors that lead to problems like these, which probably would make for an interesting Dev Hub post in the future. Ultimately, however, we strive to more effectively prevent such issues from ever reaching you, the player. Our apologies and gratitude for assisting us in finding the first tangible clues that lead to this step forward.
Community Developer Greg Becksted has announced that an upgrade to the forums' back-end software is currently underway. From Tuesday 09:00 CEST until approximately Thursday 11:00 CEST you will not be able to start new threads or reply to existing ones. Part of a plan to facilitate a unified Bohemia Interactive account for all services, we'll go from vBulletin to IPB and a slightly different User Interface and layout.
Greg has also shared a very entertaining Arma 3 ShoutCast of a Team-versus-Team match. This is one episode in a series of "Friday Night Fight" events. MicOne's narration of the VIP Escort in Zargabad gives a cool perspective on the small unit tactics employed during this session without respawns. We look forward to more of these!
Windows 10 is scheduled for release tomorrow on July 29. Arma 3 will of course be running on this version as well. We've tested the game on various preview builds over the past months, and it mostly worked well. However, recent preview updates have revealed some new issues that we may need to work around or fix. Therefore, we recommend to delay your upgrade until at least update 1.50 (Arma 3 / Arma 3 Tools 0.94) has been released. We'll have had some more time to react to the 'final' OS version and learn how it works in the wild. In addition, our research of DirectX 12 is still underway for a future update.
Programming Lead Vojtěch Hladík and Designer Ondřej Kuže have been cooperating on Dev-Branch tweaks to vehicle steering. Ondřej reports: "To make driving more intuitive, fun and also to give individual vehicles more unique characteristics, we've made it possible to adjust the steering sensitivity for each vehicle separately (this applies to digital / keyboard input and ground wheeled vehicles only). Recently we've set up these characteristics for the basic vanilla vehicle types. That includes a neutral, jeep-like configuration of the Car_F base class, which allows mods to benefit from the improved steering from day one. More info about the configuration can be found on the Community Wiki. We're interested in your feedback!".
The premiere SECREP , meaning a main branch anti-cheat update, was published last week. It provides modest BattlEye stability and performance improvements, especially to servers intensely using client-side script scanning. Kicking has been temporarily disabled for scripts.txt scans (instead a warning message is shown on server launch). Admins may have to amend their filters according to what is logged in scripts.log >. Once they are sure that their filters are compatible with the new version, they can re-enable kicking by adding "//new2" into the first line.
Various players who are already using Windows 10, have reported a "Driver Load Error 577" for BattlEye. This was a temporary issue introduced in one of the Windows preview builds (10074), and fixed by them in build 10162 (it also affected other software). BE will be monitoring for more errors of this type. Please contact their support team if it does still happen to you after updating Windows.
Another glitch causing frame rate problems while playing Arma 3, appears to be caused by erroneous continuous downloading of Workshop content by the Steam Client. Valve has been trying to fix this in recent beta versions of their client, but it may not have been resolved for everyone. As a work-around, visit Settings > Downloads, and restrict downloads to a time during which you're not playing.
So what is our current theory on what caused the performance troubles that prompted the hotfix? During March 2015, we introduced an optimization to the way PhysX collision data is loaded (yes, the irony is not lost on us, but most optimizations are a battle between improvements and unwarranted side effects elsewhere). The data was baked into the game-ready model during binarization, so that the game could access it faster while streaming new parts of the terrain and scene. The trade off here was that the memory footprint of those models grew. Over time, more and more game data got re-binarized and for some PCs this clearly pushed the budget over the edge. Specifically in update 1.48, we believe the standard rocks were the biggest problem. The hotfix has optimized how the baked data is stored, which should help in most cases. This is where things get unclear, and further investigation and analysis of data is required. We still cannot reproduce the problems on our company hardware. There also is no clear or obvious common factor between those people who reported the issues. We do know that for some of them, using the default Windows memory allocator prevented the issues. It is slower overall than TBB 4, but also more conservative and it may handle the situation more gracefully. We'll keep hunting and finding alternate avenues to optimize memory usage.
IceBreakr has released the long awaited updated Arma3Isla Duala v3.3 island.
Duala just got updated to 3.3. Yaay!
* added vast new region: Taris Island on North * over 332,000 placed objects * various improvements (satellite texture, coastline) * 90s Afrenian rifleman is now armed * added intro with towns (load island in Editor then return to main menu) * added Kamaz open & covered trucks for both factions * added Leopard 2A4 Evolution to Afrenian Army (Molatia has to rely on Russian RHS tanks for now, heh) * primary weapons made compatible with new bipod function (no more sinking in the ground)
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.48 Released, External 3D Artists PRECEDENCE: Flash
Main branch update 1.48 saw the light of day last Thursday. For the majority of players it works well, and brought some useful additions, tweaks and fixes. Take a look at the for the game and the TECHREP for the tools if you'd like to know all the details. During the last days of testing, we decided to delay inclusion of Remote Script Execution. We found a few issues in complex use cases that we'd like to fix first. Once fully ready for the next update, it should help multiplayer designers to achieve modest optimizations and benefit from security improvements.
The team is aware of two issues affecting a smaller group of players. That doesn't make those issues less important. It does make them very hard to diagnose and solve, since we cannot reproduce them in-house. If you're experiencing such issues, any information you'd be willing to share may help to narrow down the cause(s). Specifically, we're investigating memory corruption crashes and unexplained performance degradation. Even though we know it does not help everyone, we would like to ask people to try the common solutions to problems: defragmenting HDD storage, running Steam file verification, updating hardware drivers, installing OS updates, switching back to the non-Beta Steam Client, and other methods listed here.
Our Creative Director, Jay Crowe, will take on an interesting panel at PAX Dev in Seattle this year. Together with DayZ's Brian Hicks and Paradox Interactive's Shams Jorjani, he will be debating the intricacies of developing and maintaining highly modifiable games, during a panel titled "A Clash of Kings: Vanilla v User-Generated Content".
Achievement Spotlights let us tell you more about features and modes that don't necessarily get the attention they deserve. One such mode is the "4+1 ZGM Bootcamp" multiplayer scenario that was created by Designer Nelson Duarte and introduced in 1.24 Bootcamp Update. Implied in its name, this mode caters to 4 Recruits and 1 Zeus Game Master Instructor. The latter can guide the Recruits through a series of pre-defined training courses, but also set up any dynamic challenge that comes to mind. The narrative context for the mode is NATO personnel training AAF troops at the Altis airport. Several Firing Ranges and Obstacle Courses are pre-build to use. The "Ready for Duty" achievement (0.4% global unlocks) is awarded after you've completed all stages as recruit once.
Receiving training from experienced human Instructors can be very powerful. They can use the Y key to open the Zeus interface and use all of its functionalities (Recruits can use the same key to ping the Instructor). Specifically for Bootcamp, there are 3 modules in the "Training" category that are of great use. "Bootcamp Stage" lets them start the pre-designed training courses. "Hint" triggers any of the game's Field Manual hints to all players. And to have a little bit of fun, they can use "Punishment" to force Recruits into push-ups or squats as a corrective measure. Being an actual character in the session, they can also lead by example and participate in the training. One excellent example of rounding off a session is to build a final live-fire Close Quarters Battle exam for the trainees. Final tip: you can press and hold T to reveal various Points Of Interest.
Senior Designer and drone overlord Borivoj Hlava came across an old but relevant video tutorial about the use of drones in Arma 3. Learn how to use a single Greyhawk to lase and strike a target, or how to make several UAVs work together. The instructions and tips are still accurate, so join us in thanking Oddity for uploading it!
The Art department would like to remind everyone that we're still looking for more external 3D artists for (paid) help with building Tanoa's assets. This is contract work without fixed working hours, so even if you can only contribute part-time, we're interested. Several recent recruits are already producing new buildings for the terrain! Find the details on our careers page.
The most recent update of the Arma 3 Tools Dev-Branch has added Game Updater support for Legacy Build branch. This tool lets you maintain several branches of the game on your hard drive at the same time, something which the Steam client itself does not do. The Legacy Build branch always contains the previous main branch version. It lets users switch to it in case of major issues with a new version, or just to compare the differences. Currently it contains update 1.46 and its access code is Arma3Legacy146.
We'd like to give modders a friendly piece of advise: please check the game's RPT log after running the game with your mod(s) enabled. While trying several popular mods recently, our team found various error messages being spammed. Besides indicating the error itself, this can also cause micro-freezes (unless you use -noLogs). Most of these errors are very simple to fix and involve missing sounds or textures. The RPT and other logs can be found in a folder like C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Arma 3\. Having said that, we'll be the first to admit that there can be such errors in the vanilla game as well. Let's clean things up together!
There is one more addition in 1.48, hidden away in the game's install folder. A new file, arma3_keyboard_layout.pdf, contains a localized control scheme guide for various aspects of the game (for the default and Industry Standard schemes). It's even laid out in a way that allows printing and folding into a convenient cheat sheet next to your PC.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: No File Patching, SECREPs, Community Focus PRECEDENCE: Flash
Our thanks go out to those of you who've helped stress test the 1.48 Release Candidate (Steam access code: Arma3Update148RC) over the past week. The update is looking good, and on track for release this Wednesday. If you've found any major new issues, now is the time to share them with us on the Feedback Tracker. After reading these reports for the past weeks, you might have gotten the impression the entire team is working just on maintenance. However, work on the expansion is in full swing as well. Several community artists have joined the Tanoa art production army, and are producing new structures for the terrain. We'll also be sharing more details on iterations of Fatigue and Personal Protection soon. These are two of the more hotly debated aspects of the game, so our developers have splendid tweaks in progress. Please do keep reading; we're discussing some important security changes in the sections below.
The second Bohemia Interactive Humble Bundle has been live for a couple of days, but you can still grab one! Pay what you want for the majority of our games and support charity at the same time. A portion of your choosing goes to the American Red Cross and Electronic Frontier Foundation. Even if you already own some of these games, you can gift the rest (this does not apply to the $100 Bohemia Interactive Collection, which is 1 key). Act quickly, there's just a little over 2 days left.
The most recent weekly dev photo locks onto Producer Lukáš Veselý behind his desk in the Brno studio. His job is very important to the team and project running smoothly. He connects the developers to the rest of the company and its back office. Making games may appear to be all about programming, designing and producing artwork, but we also need to take care about the budget, legal topics, contracts and similar aspects. Closer to development, he defines workflows for multi-disciplinary teams and sets up pipelines to monitor progress. One example is a clear procedure for getting an asset from concept to release. Keeping track of new expansion vehicles, weapons and characters across all departments, guarding quality and securing a timely end result, is one of the many things Lukáš does to support the team. We thank him for making our lives easier!
Update 1.42 (Marksmen DLC) extended the Virtual Arsenal mode (LEARN > VIRTUAL ARSENAL) with a vehicle section. Clicking the Garage icon at the top of the screen will switch between personal equipment and vehicles. In this mode you can view all official and custom vehicles. A few statistics such as maximum speed and armor are shown for comparison. Holding the right mouse button and dragging will rotate the camera, while doing so using the left mouse button pans it. The mouse wheel controls zoom. With a vehicle selected in the categories on the left, you can do a few special things. The menu on the right lets you insert VR characters into any available crew or passenger positions. Vehicles that support it, will let you show or hide components such as the rear seats of the M-900 helicopter. Some vehicles also support several liveries or camouflage types (the recommended method for modders to set this up is VhC).
Of course just viewing the vehicles is not terribly exciting. Press the TRY button to immediately jump in and try the vehicle yourself. A few infantry and vehicle targets are available to test available weapon systems on. Importantly, Arsenal and Garage both let you try DLC assets without restrictions or ads! Advanced users can find more details about the modes on the Community Wiki. Booting up Garage for the first time is all you need to do for the "Virtual Vehicle Inspection" achievement, which has a global unlock percentage of 4.0% at time of writing.
What has the community been up to? Let us serve up a select few things that caught our eyes. The Binary Orchestra machinima team have released their "REMNANT" science-fiction short film. It's an impressive and creative use of Arma 3, mods and video editing that deserves to be seen.
Modder Heaven have published an article containing their top 10 Arma 3 mods to look forward to in 2015. Check them out and let us know which projects you feel were overlooked.
Speaking of mods, Ian Birnbaum has shared an interesting perspective on Make Arma Not War winner Deliverance via PC Gamer. In it, he explains why he feels it does a better job of telling a story than many other first-person shooters. He praises the custom voice work, cinematics, player freedom, as well as tackling the controversial topic of a racial conflict set on Altis. Peaked your interest? Check it out for yourself and see if you agree with Ian!
Some community groups are so serious about their experience, they create dedicated content and mods to enhance their experience. One such group is the 3 Commando Brigade. And they are not restricting use of their British Armed Forces equipment to their members. Anyone can download their work or apply for a spot in their ranks.
We're planning a significant change in update 1.50 in order to combat a common exploit. The change should not cause many problems, but it can cause confusion. Effectively, we intend to disable 'file patching' by default. File patching is the ability for the engine to load local scripts and other files to override versions in packed addons. Without file patching, the game only loads data from PBO and EBO files. The technique is used by developers and modders to quickly iterate on their work, but also by exploits in multiplayer. So what is our plan?
*Change the default for the whole game from file patching to no file patching (Dev-Branch will probably stay as it is now). * Add command-line parameter -filePatching to manually enable the former state (-noFilePatching already exists now). *Introduce server control to disallow file patching on clients. *Add scripting command filePatching to detect the actual state.
Please let us know whether you see any problems with this approach on the forums.
Together with BattlEye, we've decided to allow for the possibility to update the anti-cheat files on Arma 3's main branch more frequently. The motivation for this is to react more quickly and flexibly to new security threats. We want to do these small updates (only several megabytes) separate from game updates, so that we can rapidly isolate potential issues, and even revert changes if need be (for example if new restrictions affect too many players negatively by combating hacks too aggressively). There will not likely be elaborate change logs for these updates, but we will start a new type of Security Report (SECREP) on channels like Twitter to alert you about them happening.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Report In Tanoa, Holstered Sidearms, Release Candidate 1.48 PRECEDENCE: Flash
The public testing phase of the next main branch update (1.48) has kicked off. It will last the entirety of this week. The result should be a more solid release next week, depending on the test outcomes. The Release Candidate Steam branch has been opened under access code Arma3Update148RC. With that comes the usual caution that you'll not be able to join 1.46 multiplayer servers, and that this branch may receive (daily) updates until release. Besides regular play-testing, several bigger multiplayer stress tests are being organised. Our internal Publishing QA team will invade David "Dwarden" Foltýn's CHIMERA servers this Thursday, and you can join too. We'll share further details via Twitter.
It may be a little cruel to tease you with more Tanoa info before you can visit it yourself, but representatives of the environment department have done a lovely Report In interview. Both Petr Sedlácek and Radim Vítek answer questions about how their team is structured, what their roles are, and how our virtual worlds are created. They then discuss what it's like creating a Pacific terrain like Tanoa and how far along it is in development. Particularly interesting are their accounts of a recent field trip to research the setting more closely. The guys have a lot of work in front of them over the coming months. We have absolute confidence in them delivering a fantastic "green hell" to explore, and the rest of the team will support them along the way!
That's not it either! Last Thursday, we filmed a new Tanoa-themed episode of our dev diaries in the sunny backyard of the Mníšek pod Brdy office. The next day was spent on-location in the Brno office, where the bulk of environment work is done.
Ladies and gentlemen, "Start Your Engines"! A flat 5.0% of worldwide players have tried and finished any official Time Trial since this achievement was introduced. Part of the PLAY > CHALLENGES game mode, these were always meant to just be fun distractions from the main game. They can however train up your skills in certain areas useful in combat, such as vehicle handling and split-second decision making. Basically, you are racing your vehicle through a series of Check Points until you reach the finish. You can try to beat the bronze, silver and gold trophies and improve upon your personal best record. Don't expect to beat gold on your first attempt, unless you're a natural pro of course! Keep replaying the trials, memorize the course, find shortcuts and get better. There are 10 official trials in total, though quite a few require DLC ownership. Without that, TT1: Circuit Training and TT6: Runway Lap can be played by anyone.
What can you do to improve your times?
Don't always move from one Check Point directly to another. Plan a clever path that factors in your inertia and anticipates your orientation towards the next Check Point.
By default, use Left Shift for a small speed boost and try cornering using your handbrake (X).
Don't always fly at maximum speed in the case of helicopters. You may need to burn off speed for some turns.
You'll also want to consider the Advanced Flight Model as it lets you be more maneuverable in the hands of a skilled pilot.
Missing a Check Point will incur a 10 second penalty. There are rare cases where the benefit of skipping outweigh this penalty.
Various mod teams are making great progress. Let's take a look at just two of last week's highlights. Shelestov has been working on his geo-typical Ukraine terrain, Orshanets , and it's looking amazingly detailed and rich. A version of the terrain is available to try, with a limited region brought up to target standards.
When you try version 1.48 for the first time, take a look at your holster. It will finally contain a visualized sidearm ; a popular request for a long time. It obviously looks much better than an empty holster, and it allows you to identify the sidearm on other people (dead or alive). However, this is really only about the visualization of the sidearm and some tricks were used to achieve it. The weapons dynamically scale slightly to fit in the universal holsters. Attachments are also not shown because the clipping issues are too hard to solve. Visit the updated weapon configuration guidelines to see how you can prepare your mods. More changes in this area are not ruled out, but also not expected in the near future.
Encoding Lead Petr Kolár briefs us on one further set of 1.48 tweaks: "There is one more interesting change in the upcoming patch, this time on the vehicle side of the game. We have tweaked the collision durability of most vehicles to make the gameplay smoother, yet still believable. Gone should be the infamous flat wheels after riding through a wobbly fence at low speeds, but hitting something hard should still cause some real damage to the car. Our precious Offroads may now even wander off the road without fears of being disabled when driven with some caution."
With the bulk of the team focused on the game, Tools Commissar Julien Vida is already preparing the next update of the Arma 3 Tools suite. A significantly iterated FSM Editor has been submitted for testing by programmer Marcel Marciš. It contains some very welcome usability enhancements, like the ability to search throughout states and code! There will also be a new tool, DSUtils, which provides an easy-to-use visual interface to all addon signature tools (formerly command-line based only).
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Unusual Process Exit, Remote Script Execution, Leaderboards PRECEDENCE: Flash
The forthcoming 1.48 update will bring further stability improvements and some community-requested script commands to the game. Besides that, we're also wanting to roll out the first proper version of the improved remote script execution tech. Especially scenario designers and server administrators may want to keep reading this report to learn more and to determine whether their concerns have been addressed. We've also included information for those who are experiencing start-up issues with the game. While some of these are caused by the game itself, there are also many investigated cases where the problems lie with the hardware, Operating System, drivers or malware to name a few factors. We have provided various possible detection methods and solutions for those cases. Getting them solved will make it easier for us to identify and fix issues with the game itself, and of course make sure everyone can enjoy Arma 3! Our plan is to prepare the test data for 1.48 at the end of this week, and then enter the usual Release Candidate testing process.
Since you may have encountered the dreaded "Unusual process exit" error, also known as "Arma 3 has quit in an unusual manner". Because this error is often shown on top of the Launcher, many thought it indicated an issue with the Launcher itself. However, the Launcher is merely the messenger in this case. Don't shoot it. It detects the game has been closed incorrectly, such as when the Operating System (OS) is unable to start the game properly, or the game crashes. The exit code is provided by the OS and is not always clear, nor can we be sure what the cause is. We can however provide as much as information as possible, and list a number of potential solutions. Launcher Programmer Jiří Polášek has done a great job of collecting the information we have so far on this page. We'll be updating it when we learn more. It's also planned for the Launcher to incorporate more information and automated corruption detection directly. Meanwhile, you may benefit from tools like the Windows System File Checker to ensure your OS is in good condition.
We should clarify the ownership situation of the future expansion that will contain Tanoa. The only edition or bundle of the game which currently includes the expansion is the Supporter Edition. This was a special version during our public Alpha and Beta, and it's no longer available for purchase. It contained the game, all DLC and all not stand-alone expansions, as well as a mention in the in-game credits. The DLC Bundle does not contain the expansion, neither does the Digital Deluxe Edition. We'll announce the exact distribution options and pricing closer to release.
Arma 3 is a game for creators. The editor is their home. As Arma veterans know, this is where the sandbox nature of the game excels. By combining the gameplay mechanics and simulation of many aspects of the game, you can quickly make something fun. Pick a cool location, insert a few AI squads and give them simple movement waypoints. Then just make yourself the player in control of any of the units and experience the battle. When you are looking to design a more elaborate mission, multiplayer mode, narrative cutscene or mechanic, a powerful high-level scripting language is available. A huge reference guide of commands is being maintained on our Community Wiki by developers and community members, such as Killzone Kid, who also hosts an excellent blog on the topic of advanced scripting. We also recommend this series of video tutorials created by Jester814!
Achievement"Relentless Creator" (1.1%) requires you spend over 100 hours in the game's scenario editor (EDITOR > select a terrain > start creating). It does not matter whether this is time in the actual 2D User Interface, or time previewing a scenario from the editor. If you're used to the editor layout of older Arma games, you can switch between the Streamlined and Traditional interfaces via the menu accessible by Ctrl + L. Clicking the underscore _ in the top-right menu bar hides most of the UI. Several advanced tools can also come in handy. Ctrl + D opens the Debug Console, which you can use to execute script code or to watch the value of variables. The Functions Viewer opens by Ctrl + F and provides in-game documentation of all scripted functions (covering mathematical and other common operations). Finally, Ctrl + G launches the Config Viewer, where you can explore the run-time configuration of almost every aspect of the game. And, any skills you pick up now will quite comfortably carry over to the new 3D scenario editor that is under development!
The engine-supported remote script execution technology has now reached a feature complete state on Dev-Branch. ProgrammerRichard Biely is squashing a few more bugs, but we'd like to roll this out in 1.48. BIS_fnc_MP would not yet use it by default, but the underlying tech could be tested on a large scale. We believe the concerns regarding control and limitation of the feature have been addressed. Please take a good look at the remoteExec, remoteExecCall and CfgRemoteExec documentation. Let us know on the forums whether you believe we've missed potential security holes or there are other problems you have with the implementation.
Another technology that has seen its debut on Dev-Branch recently is support for Steam Leaderboards. The game has been integrated with the Steamworks API for a long time, and that made exposing this feature a reasonably straight-forward proposition for Senior Programmer Lukáš Gregor. To begin with, we've used the technology to add simple leaderboards for official Time Trials. A next logical step will be to port this implementation to Firing Drills. You can actually view the global rankings of every trial here, or filter for your Steam friends instead. Our design philosophy is to focus on comparing your results with your friends first, after that look at results around you, and only then look at the entire world. The open nature of the game makes it very hard to guard fully against exploits, so it may be that the worldwide top results become less-than-believable over time. We should also tell you that it's possible we'll need to reset the boards during the testing phase. We're also considering whether there is a way we can roll out access to custom leaderboards for unofficial mod(e)s. The script commands cannot now be used without hard-coded permissions (similar to Achievements).
Scenario designers beware! Tools Commissar Julien Vida asked us to inform you about 1.48's changes to the randomization of (FIA) headgear and facewear, as well as the method of disabling of Vehicle Customization (VhC). Please check your scenarios for compatibility. Julien will also be writing an OPREP on the topic of VhC in the near future.
A small group of players have reported their game suffers from mini-freezes when clicking or moving. BattlEye has investigated many of these reports, and in all cases so far, the cause has been malware, adware or other Potentially Unwanted Programs. These programs cause certain DLLs to be infinitely reloaded and choke the anti-cheat service. Please use trusted anti-malware software to scan your computer for threats and to repair them.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Tanoa Reveal, First Expansion Details, Naked Eye FoV PRECEDENCE: Flash
Welcome to Tanoa! It was a great joy for us all to finally introduce our next Arma 3 terrain to you. The South Pacific archipelago will be the main component of the game's expansion that is to be released during the first half of 2016. How we intend to release the expansion will be outlined more specifically in a new road map blog over the next few weeks. We can confirm that this expansion is premium, and will follow our DLC strategy (the terrain being a new aspect as you will need to own the expansion for access). Any vehicles, weapons and other content is treated similarly to the try-before-you-buy approach in Helicopters / Marksmen DLC. Features developed alongside are to be free for everyone who owns the game. And, those people who contributed from the beginning by purchasing the Supporter Edition, do indeed already own this expansion (it's not stand-alone). Thank you again for the support during the early Alpha days!
While we were packing our bags to head to Los Angeles and E3, a little leak sprung in our web pipes. This was not deliberate nor a hack of any kind. It was caused by a glitch in account management on the company website, which gave access to our pre-published blog with screenshots. Fortunately for us, the trailer was safe. At the PC Gaming Show we dropped the first moving pictures of Tanoa, which should give you a good impression of the atmosphere, while keeping lots of key areas for you to explore yourselves.
Let's go over some of the things you might have noticed in the trailer and screenshots !
We consider the terrain to be geotypical Fiji, but it's not an exact recreation of that real-world location (it's a mix of various satellite heightmaps, so not geospecific). We'll be further discussing our motivations for this (awesome) setting later.
A new fixed-wing aircraft and a waterscooter will be part of the expansion. But fear not; the focus remains military. We're just not ready to reveal those vehicles, weapons and characters yet.
You can see work-in-progress water reflections, improved shoreline effects and enhanced overall lighting configuration. These technologies and features will arrive to everyone, and to the existing Arma 3 terrains. These are also not all features coming alongside the expansion! We'll discuss more and more as the year goes on.
Most of the audio is not yet from in-game recordings, but it gives an impression of how we want to push the soundscape further, especially in terms of ambient audio. The goal is to deeply immerse you in our "green hell"!
As the opening disclaimer points out: the terrain is still in the middle of production. Many of the objects you see in the distance are early placeholders. We're very happy that it already looks and feels this good now!
The PC Gaming Show itself was a lot of fun to attend. We had originally wanted to reveal Tanoa a little later in the year, but when this opportunity came around, we jumped on it. The team scrambled to work on specific parts of the terrain to show off, and they did a great job under some significant time pressure. As a sponsor, Bohemia Interactive was given two 5 minute slots for our games, so we got one segment for Arma 3 and one for DayZ/Take On Mars. It was high time for a PC-focused event at E3! We're very glad PC Gamer took on the challenge of organizing one. Big thanks to Sean "Day9" Plott as well for doing a great job of hosting the entire 2.5 hour show!
We hope you are as excited as we are to start running operations on Tanoa. Prepare for the war on the horizon!
Dev Branch has received a few useful script commands. In the case of param and params, the idea was to replicate previously scripted behavior and make it faster and more reliable. Senior Designer Karel Mořický elaborates: "This is a command for reading function parameters and making sure they are in the correct format. If it's not the case, the user is warned and a safe default value is used instead. This functionality was until now provided by scripted function BIS_fnc_param, but a dedicated engine command makes it significantly faster."
In his free time, Senior Designer Josef Zemánek has been working on an unofficial multiplayer game mode: Warlords. He describes the mode as a Sector Control / Capture The Island hybrid that supports Team-versus-Team, Player-versus-Player and Cooperative play. Subscribe to the mode directly on Steam Workshop and give it a go. Josef is keen to read about your experiences, so leave him some feedback for future iterations. We would like to reiterate that this work is entirely unofficial, and we do not provide (technical) support for it via official channels.
Our very own Encoding Lead Petr Kolář has made tweaks to the Field of View of the naked eye perspectives: "Users of Dev-Branch may have noticed our effort to make Field of View consistent for all weapons and vehicle positions without optics. This should not only provide players with a consistent experience of default zoom and focused view, but it should also address issues regarding the inconsistent display of optics magnification descriptions. We hope that the changes are going to provide smoother gameplay while changing various weapons and vehicle seats. Feel free to provide feedback in case we have missed something."
Even though it's been almost two weeks, we'd like to provide a few more details about the 1.46 hotfix (see the SPOTREP). Update 1.46 was not a good one initially, and we apologize again for the issues it caused.
The DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_REMOVED crash should have been fixed in the majority of cases. If it does still happen, you may also want to check your display drivers, GPU temperatures and power supply. Our special thanks go out to community member Mickeymen, who provided us with the only reliable repro scenario that allowed our programmers to connect a debugger to affected PCs and trace where the drivers crashed.
A crash observed mostly in Epoch mod was not yet fully fixed, though Dev-Branch should now contain a full fix for that as well.
As discussed previously, we have indeed decided to take the slow route with BattlEye 's white-listing. It does not block extensions for now and only gathers information for a future iteration. The goal here still is a more secure multiplayer environment for everyone.
If you still encounter start-up issues, please first of all try to disable any custom shader mods or registry / memory tweaks. It is also possible your user settings got corrupted and will prevent the game from starting via Steam. As an interim hotfix, you can run a tool via the Arma 3 Tools Dev-Branch or this mirror by Launcher programmer Jiří Polášek.
Linux server administrators may be helped by this comprehensive guide on setting up such server (including DLC and mods). Thanks Eric Grubaugh for updating and sharing it!
From PC Gaming Show, new Arma3 Terrain Exclusive World Premiere video, as a part of the upcoming Expansion coming in 2016.
Take a first look at your next destination in Arma 3: Tanoa – a South Pacific archipelago with a land mass of over 100 km˛, and home to lush tropical vegetation, unique landmarks, a rich history, and imposing man-made feats of modern engineering. www.arma3.com/tanoa
Tanoa will be available as part of an upcoming expansion for Arma 3. The expansion is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2016, and will be distributed as DLC for the base Arma 3 game.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users UNIT: Main Branch ACTIVITY: Hotfix: 1.46 (Display Driver Crashes, Server Crashes, BattlEye White-Listing) SIZE: ~17 MB / ~6 MB
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.
A Legacy Build Steam branch is available for advanced users. It contains the previous significant main branch version (1.44). It can be used to compare specific changes between major releases. The access code for this branch is: Arma3Legacy144
You can find the servers in the Steam library (switch the filter to "Tools") - "Arma 3 Server" (based on your OS, it will download the Windows or Linux version).
Administrators can also use the command-line SteamCMD utility. The app ID is to be 233780.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: E3 PC Gaming Show, Terrain World Premiere, Update 1.46 Released, AI Ammo Usage PRECEDENCE: Flash
Next Tuesday is going to be a long night for members of our team and parts of the community! We've announced our participation in the PC Gaming Show organized by PC Gamer around E3 2015. The event will be held at 18:00 PDT, which puts it in the middle of the night here in Europe. Whether you watch the livestream or a recording the next day, we think you'll be as excited as we are!
Creative Director Jay Crowe and yours truly will be on stage in Los Angeles to bring you the worldwide reveal of our next big terrain! The team has been working on this key component of the Expansion for months. It's great to be able to finally share the setting and first glimpses of key locations. Kudos to our E3 Task Force, headed by Environment Lead Martin Pezlar, whose members have worked extra hard to have something cool to show for you. Join the Facebook event, keep an eye on the countdown (we're loving your theories and speculation based on the clues provided), and monitor our channels for all the specifics.
We are seeking a User eXperience designer for our Arma 3 team in Brno. What does that entail? "As a UX Designer, you will become a part of a dedicated team responsible for both in-game systems and stand-alone applications. Your role in the team will focus on the direction of the development including taking care of the product backlog and feature priorities. Your deliverables will take a form of design analyses and UI mockups. Moreover, you will be a go-to person for stakeholders and players alike, having to process and turn their feedback into a better product." Visit the careers page to apply!
Besides the playable content we deliver with the vanilla game, there is a huge library of user-generated scenarios for you to play. Steam Workshop hosts close to 14000! Sure, not all of them are as awesome, but there are true gems to be found. As a complement to "Contributor", there is the "Subscriber" achievement. It's one of the simplest ones out there, which is why it has reached 17.7% global unlocks so far. All you need to do is subscribe to a Workshop scenario.
The 101 guide will explain how to subscribe if it isn't clear already. You can also do so entirely from within the game. Go to PLAY > SCENARIOS and press the WORKSHOP button. This will open the Steam overlay, where you can press the green + button to subscribe to an item. Steam client will download the scenario in the background. It should appear in the list quickly (you can sort by name, time added and rating). And then you're ready to play. Liked the scenario? Favorite it, leave the author some feedback (be kind to other players and use spoiler tags where appropriate) and submit a rating!
As for the Workshop pages themselves: you can sort by popularity over time, rating, time added and the amount of subscriptions. It's also possible to follow the authors you like, or to view your friends' favorites and published items. The tags for scenarios currently include those for gameplay, type, map (terrain) and DLC. We are however working on revising this to make the Workshop better to navigate and to discover content in. There are also collections of scenarios, such as those for Make Arma Not War. Finally, custom scenarios can be a great way of exploring both official and unofficial (OtherMap tag) terrains. You'll often visit places you haven't seen before. We're already looking forward to your creations on the upcoming Expansion terrain.
Before we present our 2015 / 2016 roadmap for the entire game, Audio Lead Jan Dušek brings you an in-depth look at our future plans for audio. In his OPREP "Audio Roadmap Update", he begins by evaluating the work done for Marksmen DLC. What follows is a detailed list of features and technologies that we are planning to work on for the Expansion. We should state clearly that we cannot promise all of this will happen, but we felt we could at least lay out our vision for audio in Arma 3. If even a fraction of this is accomplished, the game's soundscape should be that much richer and more immersive. Thanks to the community for submitting your questions via Megagoth; they helped to structure both this report and development plans generally
Senior Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski has assumed the role of Drill Sergeant for our Artificial Intelligence soldiers. He's added a new parameter for ammo configuration: AIAmmoUsageFlags. This flag does not force AI behavior, but it let's it know how the ammunition can be used. Our initial motivation for this was to train the AI to throw smoke grenades appropriately to mask their movements while suppressed. This has since led to a broader re-factoring with the help of other developers.
The Encoding department has already set the parameter for most vanilla ammunition types. Modders can start doing so as well. A little more information and values were shared on the forums by Designer Ondřej Kužel. Not all usage flags are currently checked in the engine (only Concealment, Countermeasures and the various Offensive flags are). This is still a work-in-progress. And there's more, as Krzysztof reports: "Along with adding a new parameter, we took the opportunity to clean up some older ones. allowAgainstInfantry will still be read, but internally the engine converts it to the corresponding new flag. The airLock param will not be used for AI decisions anymore, but it still is used to define whether the player has the ability to lock the ammo onto a given type of target (ground or air)."
Update 1.46's release was a difficult one. It should be obvious, but of course we only want to make the game better, smoother and more secure. While the update delivered modest steps forward in those areas for many, there is also a large group of players who are experiencing critical issues. We can try to explain why it's so extremely difficult to update a live moddable game on the open PC platform, but in the end you should not have to worry about it. The game should just work. We're doing everything we can to get to that state quickly. You could consider switching back to Legacy Build 1.44 (access code Arma3Legacy144) meanwhile, but that's not without its limitations. What are the main areas of concern?
We explained the BattlEye (BE) white-listing process last week. It was expected that initially there would be legitimate applications and processes that needed to be approved. BE's team has done that, and some popular applications should already work now. Others actually offer built-in compatibility such as Open Broadcaster Software. Various issues can also be solved by reading through the BE F.A.Q. or contacting their support team if that fails. Having said that, we are considering lowering the level of protection (and strictness of blocking) temporarily to gather more information. This will slow progress towards a more secure public game, but should reduce the amount of issues people are having.
There exists a bad crash of various display drivers. It produces very little information besides a DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_REMOVED message. We also know it happens in some other games, but don't deny that this update has potentially increased the frequency for Arma 3. While we work on a fix, we have spotted some users who claim success by downgrading their drivers.
Another crash is currently quite common in the Epoch mod, but not necessarily limited to it. Again, we're collecting information and with the mod team's cooperation, are trying to isolate the cause.
Thank you for your patience and all the valuable information you've shared to isolate the major issues. To end this report on a positive note, modders should check out the latest TECHREP for Arma 3 Tools 0.90 information, including some cool usability improvements for FSM Editor for example.
It's almost time for one of the most exciting gaming events of the year: E3 - and this year promises to be extra special, with the first ever event dedicated to PC gaming in the history of E3!
Hosted by Sean 'Day' Plott, the PC Gaming Show will take place on Tuesday, June 16, from 18:00 to 20:00 PDT (Wednesday, June 17, 01:00 - 03:00 UTC). In partnership with Twitch, the PC Gaming Show will be streamed live on http://www.twitch.tv/pcgamer/, and feature new game reveals, updates on beloved series, and perspectives from key PC developers.
Starting the countdown today, one of the things you can look forward to will be the much-anticipated exclusive world premiere of Arma 3's new terrain, which will debut as part of a major expansion coming in 2016. In addition, Bohemia Interactive's Early Access titles, DayZ and Take On Mars are also scheduled to appear on the show.
Remember to mark it down in your calendar, and join us for the countdown at www.arma3.com/countdown. See you there!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about PC Gaming Show featuring new Arma3 Terrain Exclusive World Premiere, as a part of the upcoming Expansion coming in 2016.
Bohemia Interactive is excited to announce its participation as official sponsor in the PC Gaming Show (Powered by PC Gamer), the first event dedicated to the PC platform in the history of E3. In celebration of the golden age of PC gaming, the show will include exclusive reveals, as well as fresh industry perspectives from key PC developers.
Starting the countdown today, one of the things people can look forward to is the much-anticipated exclusive world premiere of Arma 3’s new terrain, which will debut as part of a major expansion coming in 2016. With this expansion, the Arma 3 development team aims to deliver a completely fresh experience, featuring a new large-scale terrain, military vehicles, weapons, gear, characters, scenarios, and more. In addition, Bohemia Interactive’s Early Access titles, DayZ - the open-world survival horror hybrid-MMO game created by Dean Hall - and the studio's space exploration game, Take On Mars, are also scheduled to appear on the show.
"Following in the footsteps of Chernarus and Altis, the new Arma 3 terrain is already shaping up to become one of the most compelling destinations in the series, and we can't wait to show it for the very first time at E3", said Bohemia Interactive's CEO Marek Spanel. "Meanwhile, we also have exciting news to share about DayZ and Take On Mars, which - with the great support and patience from our players - are both working towards their next milestone in Early Access development."
The PC Gaming Show will take place on June 16, from 6PM – 8PM PDT (Wednesday, June 17, 01:00 – 03:00 UTC), at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles, and will be livestreamed on Twitch. Find out more at www.pcgamingshow.com.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Meet The MANW Winners, Remote Script Execution, Extension White-Listing PRECEDENCE: Flash
As of last Friday, the Steam branch for the 1.46 Release Candidate is available for testing. If you'd like to join the test, or just pre-load the update, open Arma 3's properties in the Steam Client. Then select the BETAS tab and enter access code Arma3Update146RC. The RC branch will now be available in the drop-down above. Please be aware that you cannot connect to 1.44 main branch servers, and the RC branch may still be updated daily until release. Please submit any issues to the Feedback Tracker with clear indication of the version you're running. Early next week is when we're planning to publish this update to everyone, so there still is a solid week of testing ahead of us. Thank you all for your effort and time!
Get to know the Make Arma Not War winners! We've published a very interesting series of interviews with the winners in all categories (both individuals and team representatives). You'll get overviews straight from the creators, read about the inspiration behind their entries, and catch glimpses of their future plans. Digging deeper, there are some nice behind-the-scenes concepts, fun trivia and insight into the varied development processes. Coming from a broad range of backgrounds, it can be very inspiring to read these stories. If you are an aspiring modder yourself, be sure to check them out!
Alongside Helicopters DLC, in the free 1.34 platform update, we added 4 new Virtual Reality Training courses focusing on ... you guessed it: helicopters. You can get educated about the gameplay mechanics involved with rotary-wing flight by selecting LEARN and VR TRAINING from the main menu. This will boot up the simulation-within-simulation training hub. Select the desired topic by either shooting the 3D marker or walking to it. An unlock scheme guides your progression through the courses, starting with the "Basics". This is what each course will attempt to teach you:
Helicopter - Basics (flight basics, flight, takeoff and landing)
Helicopter - Weapon Systems (guided missiles, door gunner, unguided missiles, auto-cannon, aerial combat)
1.0% of worldwide rotor-heads have actually achieved "Virtual Pilot" thus far, meaning they have completed all 4 courses. Senior Designer Josef Zemánek suggests that sometimes it's better to just restart if you move too far away and lose control of the aircraft. It's possible to return to the hub at any time by pressing 'Esc' and selecting BACK TO HUB. We'd add that it's important to find fixed points of reference, especially in the VR world, where the unclear horizon can make it hard to orient yourself. Still wanting more detailed guides? Go through Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck 's Art of Flight video series!
Summer is coming! Team Bravo in the Brno office organised a well-deserved after-work BBQ. The weekly photo shows them toasting with very special beer kindly provided by fellow Czech game developer Warhorse Studios. Cheers folks!
Discussion of remote script execution last week, caused a bit of a security concern. Let's address the major points that were raised:
These commands will not yet appear in 1.46 main branch. We'll be finishing them on Dev-Branch first.
Unlike some seem to believe, remote script execution is already possible now, via scripted methods. This is now a new concept, and quite many mod(e)s leverage the capability. And yes, so too can those with ill intent.
There are BattlEye hooks that server admins can use to control these commands.
There will be further methods to control, limit and possibly diagnose the use of these commands. We believe this will lead to a more secure environment without restricting the appropriate use of this technology. We'll share our plans soon, so you can evaluate whether they covers all use cases.
Now for some sterner words: while we all benefit greatly from the open development approach, we do believe this only works when there is mutual respect. Alerting us to potential issues, such as the one above, is very much welcomed on our official channels (Feedback Tracker, forums, @Arma3Official, and various others). However, certain community creators organizing aggressive spam campaigns against the personal accounts of our developers, is not helping anyone. It should not be your first method of reaching us when there is ample time to process your feedback in a normal manner. We thank you for understanding.
Since Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead it is possible to expand the game's functionality via custom DLL extensions. These offer powerful features to the creative mod(e) out there, but can also open the game to attack. The enhanced BattlEye protection in 1.46 will require extensions to be white-listed, or their access to the game's processes will be blocked. In order to get your extension white-listed, please contact BattlEye support via its web form or support[at]battleye.com. Be sure to include the file name, a description and possibly a download link. You may also contact Online Services Consultant David Foltýn via his Twitter or the forums to speed things along. We are discussing ways of dealing with fast-moving extension development within communities, as well as a more robust extension framework generally.
On the documentation front, Designer Radko Voda has provided an essay on recoil configuration as implemented in platform update 1.42. Find not only a description of CfgRecoils, but even some tips and tricks on how to set up recoil according to your needs. The samples of weapons in Arma 3 Tools were updated to this new level of technology a while ago already.
Senior Encoder Martin Gregor brings us an explanation of a subtle change that was made a short while ago. On the topic of In-Game User Interface, he says: "Names used to show up near cross-hairs when pointing at objects in the world. In order to limit unimportant information, this is no longer the case for decorative or environmental objects. The Editor and Zeus interfaces still show the display names of the objects to creators."
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users< INFO: Update 1.46 Prep, Remote Script Execution, External 3D Artists PRECEDENCE: Flash
Now that the new BattlEye anti-cheat service has had its infrastructure tested successfully in version 1.44, we're ready for the next stage. On Dev-Branch you can try the game with full protection enabled, meaning the game has its shield up the entire time from launch to exit. You'll find a new page in the Launcher, where you can toggle the service on or off and see status messages. These changes and various multiplayer stability fixes are slated for update 1.46. We'll be taking a build snapshot this week, and aim to open a public Release Candidate branch on Friday or early next week. Stay tuned to our usual channels for details!
Publishing a scenario is easy. Publishing a fun, challenging and engaging scenario is another matter entirely. In addition to the design itself, here are a few tips to present your creation in a good way:
Go over the Mission Presentation documentation. Obviously you are free to use your own style, but there are several useful systems that can elevate your work with little effort. Configure the overview image and text, loading screen, standard cutscenes, in-game notifications and debriefing as you wish.
Avoid tag spam! The editor lets you specify tags that should make it easier for players to discover your work. Don't overdo it by selecting any tag that remotely fits the scenario. All this will do, is make the Workshop harder to search. In fact, we're considering restricting tags in some way in the near future. Pick the key aspects that fit your creation to prevent subscriber confusion. Learn more here.
Define dependencies. You can notify users of Required DLC and / or other Required (Workshop) Items. At the moment these are soft dependencies that are not handled by the game automatically, but this is an area our Launcher team is focusing on now. There is also an issue with not listing all DLC at the moment. It has been reported to Steam.
Occasionally the team has to suffer some patriotic tendencies from its Dutch duo. The weekly photo shows Encoding Lead Petr Kolář having been placed under the spell of some of the finest comfort food from the Netherlands. Our weapons of choice: pindakaas (peanut butter), stroopwafel (caramel syrup waffle) and pepermunt (peppermint). We can confirm they have made several great things happen for Arma 3 thus far!
We're in full production for the new Expansion terrain, and there is an opportunity for some of you to contribute. We want to make this terrain truly special, with lots of great places to explore. Achieving this requires a lot of art assets to be produced. We've decided to ask a few Arma modders for assistance via paid external contract work. More art capacity means more unique locations can be created. Your focus would be on creating buildings and other structures as Producer Lukáš Veselý describes on the forums. Visit the careers page for further information. We look forward to working with you to make this next huge canvas for Arma 3 awesomely detailed.
Sometimes we have opportunities to go on field trips for our games. Last week, a small delegation attended the IDET fair in Brno, Senior Designer Vladimír Hynek among them. In this case we were not researching specific technologies, but rather letting ourselves get inspired for future work on assets, features and games. It helps our designers to spend some time in fully-featured training simulators, to hold weapon systems, to see procedures in action and to speak with the people using defense and security tech in the field.
In the pursuit of optimization, Programmer Richard Biely and Designer Jiří Wainar have been working on engine-supported remote execution of script code. This was already possible via a scripted framework powered by function BIS_fnc_MP. However, using this framework results in a lot of overhead and data transfer. There now exist two new script commands on Dev-Branch : remoteExec and remoteExecCall. These will make it possible to achieve the same functionality via engine code, making it faster, using less traffic, handling Join-In-Progress better, and allowing us to increase security in the future. You can either use these commands on your own, or keep using BIS_fnc_MP. Its parameters and usage will remain the same, but it will use these new commands to do its heavy-lifting.