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  Arma3 Tactical Guide Digital or Printed Official    



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

  Bohemia Interactive announces finalists in Make Arma Not War contest Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us that today, Bohemia Interactive revealed the 50 finalists in Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest.

After evaluating more than 250 entries, Bohemia Interactive today revealed the 50 finalists in Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest.

In the Singleplayer Game Mode category, the finalists were selected by Arma 3 players, who were able to vote for their favorite entries. In the other categories, the finalists were selected by Bohemia Interactive themselves. The entries that have made it into the next round will be evaluated by the Make Arma Not War jury – consisting of Bohemia Interactive representatives and other industry professionals. The winners will be announced in March 2015.

Singleplayer Game Mode:
• Whole Lotta Altis SP - SaOk
• Resist - Kydoimos
• Pilgrimage - Rydygier
• Hunter Six - Lato
• Deliverance - Sarge Studio
• Under The Eagle's Eye - Descy Sébastien
• Green Draw - Gilles "kibot" Van der Schueren
• Campaign M.E.R.C.S. - IndeedPete
• Pilot Civilian Air Rescue On Missions - RobJ2210
• Operation Aegean Spear - Wiki
• Black Rain - Zapat
• Grand Theft Altis - EpicGoldenWarrior
• Operation Cold Rising - OksmanTV
• Altis Fallout Survival - Brown
• Blitzkrieg Random Mode - kju
• Dying Ember - Undeceived
• Blitzkrieg Scenario - kju
• (SP) Hitman Mission - [FR] Helios
• In Our Time - ted_hou
• Stronghold - Austin(AtSt) Dalziel

Multiplayer Game Mode:
• Airsoft: Bring Your A-Game - zooloo75
• Battle Royale: Ghost Hotel – PLAYERUNKNOWN
•Capture The Flag + 2.0 - Murcielago
•Get Wrecked - Sli
•Hearts And Minds - Giallustio
•Hunting Trip - alleycat
•Island Of Tanks - Biscuits101
• King Of The Hill By Sa-Matra - Sa-Matra
•The Hunt - MasterOfApplience
•Twilight Onslaught - Dorian23Grey

Addon:
• [R3F] Logistics - {R3F} madbull
• Bornholm - Egil Sandfeld
• Bundeswehr Mod - BWMod Team
•F/A-18X Black Wasp - Saul
• iBuild: Modular Construction – NerdMod
• MGI Tactical Glasses V2 - Pierre MGI
•NAS_Wind - nickstarchuk
• Task Force Arrowhead Radio - Nkey
•U.C.S.V. - mp5gosu
•USS Iowa - AusSnipe73

Total Modification:
• ALiVE Mod - ALiVE Mod Team
• Authentic Gameplay Modification - AGM - Team
• Combat Space Enhancement - CSE Development Team
• Epoch - Epoch Mod Team
• Lost Dragons - Brotherhood of Nam
• LOSounds2 - Laxemann & Odium
• MCC Sandbox 4 - shay_gman - TDB
•Reign Of Jurassic - Malakdecaen
• RHS: Escalation - Red Hammer Studios
•VTN - VeteranMOD

"The Arma community rocks! We received a wide variety of quality content, which made it incredibly challenging for us to select our finalists. Fortunately, we had help in the Singleplayer category, where more than 1,500 Arma 3 players voted for their favorite entries. Not to forget, we also discovered more than 20 eligible candidates for the Health Care In Danger Special Award. With the most exciting part in the contest ahead of us, I wish all of the finalists the best of luck, and look forward to announcing the winners in March!", said Ivan Buchta, Creative Director at Bohemia Interactive.

In the Make Arma Not War contest, Arma 3 content creators compete in four different categories: Total Modification, Singleplayer Game Mode, Multiplayer Game Mode, and Addon. The winner of the Total Modification category will take home €200,000, while in the other categories the prize money is divided between 1st place (€50,000), 2nd place (€30,000), and 3rd place (€20,000) winners. In collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Bohemia Interactive will also be handing out the Health Care in Danger Special Award (more info).
More information about the Make Arma Not War contest, the rules, prizes, and categories is available on http://www.makearma.com.





  Yesterday, 17:29 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00091 Official    

On January 27, 2015, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00091 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Road map 2015, 33 things trailer, Weapon SFX
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Quite a bit has happened since last week's report, in a good way, we think! After rolling update 1.38 out the door, Creative Brit Jay Crowe summed up our 2015 plans for Arma 3 in his "Scanning the Horizon" blog. Summarizing it with just: #BIPODS wouldn't do it justice, but that is one major thing to take away from it. Another big reveal was the acknowledgment that work on a 3D scenario editor has started in earnest. Do take the time to read the full blog though. The first half takes a look back at 2014 and the accomplishments of that year. The rest describes more of our efforts for this year: the first Marksmen DLC details, concept art for one of its seven new weapons, weapon handling features, the ability to try vehicles in Virtual Reality Arsenal, other platform updates, a little about the expansion terrain, and more.

INTELLIGENCE

We are proud of Arma 3, and some times we indulge ourselves and boast a little. A new trailer was commissioned to take a look at 33 things that set Arma apart from other games. 33 things which make it unique and particularly impressive. If you are reading this report, chances are you knew all of them already. That's fine; we've aimed it at those people who do not yet know the game, the platform and the community supporting it. Enjoy the return of The Voice!

There is another video (unofficial) we'd like to draw your attention to. Cinema Video Recording produced a stunning piece that showcases the combined arms warfare in Arma 3 brilliantly. Great job to everyone involved!

The 3D scenario editor mentioned in the blog, is being developed by the same dynamic duo that brought you Zeus. As you might have guessed, quite a bit of the foundations for that project, now benefit this editor (camera controls, parts of the interface, etc.). One of these developers is programmer Filip Sádovský. Last week's random photo shows the risk of LAN parties. Filip managed to injure his neck after falling asleep during a 40-hour gaming session. Fret not, he'll be fine and is excited to be working on a prototype for the new editor!

Now for a more serious caution: please be careful when using unofficial and unsupported tweaks to enhance Arma 3's performance. It's natural to want to get the game running as best as possible, but we cannot account for every method that is out there. For example, a particular registry tweak and the use of custom memory allocators, have prevented some users from starting the game after the 1.38 update (until they disabled the tweak). We are not deliberately sabotaging such efforts, and may even look for ways to let them work, but we cannot guarantee that. If you do encounter problems like instabilities, please first check that it's also the case without such changes. Some general tips for increased performance: use up-to-date drivers for your hardware, run the game from SSD if available, defragment non-SSD drives after updates and occasionally run local file verifications via Steam.

OPERATIONS


The audio team has published an overhaul of many weapon sound effects to . Audio Lead Jan Dušek and Audio Designer Kryštof Havel have written an OPREP to go over the details with you. Find out how these changes benefit the game now and how they prepare the soundscape for more changes down the line.

It may be worthwhile to remind everyone how our approach to DLC has been and will be: the features that we are developing for Marksmen DLC, will be free to everyone with Arma 3 (arriving in a platform update). So, weapon stabilization (resting and deployment) will be coming to everyone and can be used on existing weapons. User-made weapons can also be updated to support the technologies for anyone. The new weapons themselves are considered premium and are subject to the notifications and restrictions you have seen on the starter pistol in Karts DLC. We have further developed those systems to better communicate to you which weapons are considered part of what DLC / mod (in your inventory for example). And as a direct result from the responses in our DLC survey, we'll make VR Arsenal a part of the game where everyone (regardless of owning DLC) can try premium content without restrictions. That means using weapons and crewing vehicles as if you own them, in that mode only.

LOGISTICS


Did you miss update 1.38's change log? Have a look at the SPOTREP as well as the TECHREP for Arma 3 Tools. On release day, there were some issues in the free stand-alone Dedicated Server for Linux. The wrong Steam libraries were linked. This was quickly corrected and should now be working for admins. There also is a group of players who have encountered a Steam error 81. We believe this may be related to certain anti-virus packages, and are working with Valve engineers to resolve it.


  January 27th, 2015 - 19:24 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  OPREP: SHOTS FIRED Official    

On January 27, 2015 an OPREP: SHOTS FIRED has been reported by Jan Dušek, Kryštof Havel on the official Arma 3 web site.

UNIT: Jan Dušek, Audio Lead; Kryštof Havel, Junior Designer, Audio Dept.
TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users
OPSUM: Ongoing upgrades to Arma 3 weapon audio.

EVALUATION


For Marksmen DLC, alongside our work creating samples for the new content, we decided to take a closer look at the sound design of our existing weapons and try to make some enhancements. We'd like to share the general goals of our work, describe the changes hitting Dev-Branch soon, and look ahead to our future plans.

Overall, our objectives are to (1) achieve a higher degree of authenticity and 'richer' soundscape, (2) unify the quality and 'clarity' of all samples, (3) unite 'clean'-shot samples with redesigned samples for suppressed shots, (4) prepare the data for future features and (5) reorganise the internal folder structure.


OBJECTIVES





Let's take a brief look at some of the actions we've taken to achieve these goals. One aspect is spectral accuracy (mainly in first person). In reality, the frequency range is much wider than we had in most of the previously used samples. Our new sounds are being designed more precisely using our own new recordings together with various 'sound enhancers', e.g. bass sine-wave kicks.

Another is dynamic range. In many games you can hear almost old-school Hollywood SFX in the term of loudness compared to, let's say, footsteps. In our series, we try to keep as much of a realistic ratio between silent and loud sounds as feasible. For Arma 3, we are carefully tweaking samples to provide a more authentic experience, while adding more 'punch' to the audio.

Also worth mentioning is redesigned sounds for suppressed shooting. New samples are currently prepared per caliber and per type of weapon but, in future, we hope to mix specific samples for each weapon. These new samples are currently based on clean shot sounds, so it will provide a better feeling, like you are using the very same same weapon with a suppressor attached.


UPDATES


You can already try out the results of this work on Dev-Branch! Below, you can hear quick offline preview of the work, with the existing and new state of the Mk20 being fired from the shooter's position

Mk20

OLD
NEW

Mk20 (Suppressed)

OLD
NEW

The following weapons have been updated on Dev-Branch:

  • Katiba
  • MX
  • Mk 20
  • SDAR
  • TRG 20
  • Sting
  • Vermin
  • Mk 200
  • Zafir
  • ACP-C2
  • Zubr


Aside from the shot samples themselves, several other effects were updated to work better together within the specific weapon. These are the action and reloading sounds; volumes, the 'metallic' feeling, frequencies - all of these elements play a big role in the final engine mixdown.

These upgrades samples are only the first public iteration. We don't consider them all to be 100% final and recognise that there is still some room for improvement. There is some time budgeted for further updates and tweaks over the next few weeks. With that being said, we do feel that these updates raise the bar of quality, and we're keen to get them to Dev-Branch!

PLANS


From a technical point of view, there are two things to mention. First up, we are planning new features (always!), so the old samples will not be able to survive for much longer in their current state. These features generally cover better connection to the environment, so the way that the engine will work with new samples will be slightly different (but factors in backward compatibility). The second technical thing is that we are planning to reorganize the data structure of weapon samples. These changes are likely more important for community mods; more details will be announced and described in greater detail later.

Aside from samples themselves, we are also focusing on tweaks of sound propagation distances (audibility), distance attenuation filters, and sound occlusion filters to provide a better and more authentic feeling. There is also one more interesting thing to mention, which is not necessarily an audio improvement in its origin, but which will improve the feeling of a realistic firefight. Simply described, we changed the way that AI characters pull the trigger, so you should hear less of the more robotic, rhythmic bursts of alternating single shots; rather, you will experience a more natural 'human' behavior within the shooting.

These updates (in production for the upcoming Marksmen DLC) are part of our longer term plan to enhance and unify Arma 3's soundscape. Of course, this development is work-in-progress: open to feedback and subject to change! If you have not already, drop by our thread on the forums, or drop one of our team a PM. Thank you very much for support and we all are looking forward to your splendid feedback!



  January 27th, 2015 - 16:50 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  ‘Scanning The Horizon: Arma 3 in 2015’ dev blog Official    

On January 21, 2015 a ‘Scanning The Horizon: Arma 3 in 2015’ dev blog was reported by Jay Crowe , here are some extracts.

...
MARKSMEN DLC

Let's kick off with Arma 3 Marksmen DLC: an opportunity to add interesting new firearms and scenarios, and refine weapon handling more broadly. Looking first at the content, we plan to introduce 7 new weapons: 5 rifles and 2 machine guns. Our goal is to expand the diversity of the sandbox; we've selected weapons with distinctive roles and aesthetics, which we intend to unveil closer to launch. Alongside these, new attachments and ghillie suits form the backbone of the sandbox content. In terms of scenarios, new showcase missions will be supported by additional VR training topics, plus, a brand new MP mode (about which we'll share more information soon™). Furthermore, the Virtual Arsenal will be extended to include vehicles; here, players will be able to try out all (owned and unowned) game content without restrictions or notifications.



Turning our attention to the 'platform updates', we're happy to officially confirm our work on 'Weapon Stabilization'. Previously, we've talked about this in more abstract terms, so - while we plan to offer more concrete details (and Dev-Branch progress!) over the next few months - let's dig into some specifics. We've approached this work in 2 ways: 'resting' and 'deployment'. Weapon Resting describes the 'passive' benefit of a player's weapon above a stable surface. Propped up on a low wall; leaning against the bonnet of a vehicle; lying prone, etc. Building upon that basis, Weapon Deployment describes an 'active' choice. Using attachments like bipods, players create a dynamic pivot point, around which their weapon is aimed and discharged, within an arc of fire.

Of course, we're only scratching the surface of Marksmen's development. Under the sage stewardship of Sandbox Design, there are a number of other features and more content in development, but we'd like to share these once we're more confident that they'll fit into the Marksmen development schedule. In brief, we're looking at making improvements to certain aspects of audio, AI, and the handling of recoil more broadly. Aside from this, our scenario designers are focusing upon basic MP gameplay systems. The goals of this work will be shared in detail along with the aforementioned 'MP mode'; in short, our intention is to experiment with new scripted solutions to common multiplayer needs, such as incapacitation and revival, with a view to building on this work with engine implementation in the long term.

PLATFORM UPDATES


We're set to carry on investing in new features for everyone who owns Arma 3. Progress on one of our goals - improving the discovery, installation and maintenance of user generated content - continues with additional features planned for the game launcher. Our team's focus has turned towards full mod support. That means handling larger packages with multiple files and, looking further ahead, getting into addon 'dependencies'. Improving the experience of identifying and, ultimately, automating the installation of required addons for custom scenarios and servers is a big, complex task. Fortunately, with Task Force JJJ, we've got some Top Men working on it.

Building upon our experience with Zeus, prototyping has officially started on a 3D editor. While it's too early to dig into the specifics, our long-term goal is to - alongside other usability refinements - introduce useful elements of 3D placement and manipulation, while maintaining the relative quickness and simplicity of the existing 2D editor. We know that the editor is where many of our players spend most of their time. We've got to get it right. To this end, our current plan factors in an extended period of public alpha/beta testing. Backwards compatibility, too, is a priority. With the Mother and Father of Zeus driving this important development, we know our baby is in safe hands.

Aside from these larger packages of work, there are some system improvements lined up, too. For example, we're taking aim at overhauling the server browser, in-game interactions and controls, and communications. Some of these changes are already leaking out the sides on Dev-Branch. Others may yet be postponed or even cancelled. The reality of making fundamental changes to core components is that it's a risk. Suffice to say, we know there's room to improve certain aspects of the game, some of which have been with us for 15 years now. Our drive to improve the experience of playing the game remains strong, as does, of course, our commitment to addressing existing issues, including the continued optimization of servers, network traffic, and multi-threading.
...


Read the full ‘Scanning The Horizon: Arma 3 in 2015’ dev blog

  January 23rd, 2015 - 11:09 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  33 Things About Arma 3 Videos    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us about the 33 Things About Arma 3 YouTube trailer release‏.

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday January 22nd 2014

With a very exciting year ahead for its tactical military shooter, Bohemia Interactive today deployed a brand new trailer, highlighting some of the most impressive content and features in Arma 3.

Exploring the game’s core components, such as the 270 km˛ terrain, its selection of weapons and vehicles, and the in-game scenario editor, the video also takes a closer look at the more hidden details, such as the simulation of projectile ballistics, Arma 3’s many character stances, the accurate star map over Altis, and many more.

In addition, Bohemia Interactive posted a new dev blog revealing some of its plans for Arma 3 in 2015. Starting with the release of the Arma 3 Marksmen DLC in April, the studio will be adding new weapons, showcase missions, a new multiplayer mode, and several much anticipated platform features related to weapon handling. Later in the year Bohemia Interactive also aims to deliver a completely new and fresh terrain for Arma 3. More details are available in the ‘Scanning The Horizon: Arma 3 in 2015’ dev blog.




  January 23rd, 2015 - 10:36 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00090 Official    

On January 20, 2015, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00090 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: 1.38 Release Candidates, Report In!, Vanilla or Modded?
PRECEDENCE: Flash<

SITUATION

The Release Candidate for update 1.38 has been on Steam for a few days. We've iterated it with several more fixes related to audio and inventory manipulation. If you'd like to still participate in the final stages of testing, you can switch to the RC branch using access code Arma3Update138RC. So far we're seeing increased stability (battling those PhysX crashes and other elusive instabilities). In terms of performance, our own measurements show it having increased at least slightly, but there are a few reports of dropped singleplayer frame rate. If you can reproduce a measured loss of performance between 1.36 and 1.38, please let us know. Make sure to verify your local files and defragment any non-SSD hard drive first though. It's also important to compare the situation between a vanilla version of the game and one with mods enabled. Larger scale multiplayer testing is even more interesting to us. This is something quite hard to accomplish even with our entire QA army involved. Internal tests and a few public sessions have gone well. We're currently optimistic about the update; the release window opens tomorrow afternoon (Czech Republic).

INTELLIGENCE

It had been a while since the last Report In! developer interview, so let's get back to it! First in line is our Mastering Lead Jan Kyncl, who we had briefly mentioned in a previous report. In his interview, he goes a little more in-depth on what it means to 'master' the game data internally, and what is involved with publishing builds to Steam. You'll also get a peek at what a day in the life of our mastering developers looks like. Having the gaming fate of hundreds of thousands of players in your hands is no trivial matter. All the more satisfying when things run smoothly!

Another look at our development environment drops in via the social channels. We've begun sharing a random weekly photo of the people and offices associated with Arma 3. Last week's photo had quite many things going on: more peripherals than arms, a vertical monitor, a fitness ball, a glimpse of unlicensed 'Arma' action figures and not least of all, QA Developer Ondrej Kužel[/url]. Stand by for this week's photo, which may or may not depict gaming-related bodily harm.

OPERATIONS

Script command
productVersion was recently updated with a new Boolean value to indicate whether the game is running with any mods loaded or not (vanilla). You may have also seen small DLC and mod icons appear in various places, such as the editor's unit lists. These are all part of a larger on-going task that we've summarized as 'vanilla or modded'. The goal of this task is to better communicate to players what components make up their version of the game. Are you running the vanilla game, or are there active mods? If so, which ones and who has made them? Does this vehicle belong to the game, a mod or DLC? Is this an official or community terrain? It's questions like these that the work tries to answer in an intuitive way, while also allowing mod authors to get more visibility for their contributions.

For the sake of these features, we're treating our own DLC and mods the same for the most part. When you are designing a scenario, it may be useful to know whether a certain asset arrived in a premium DLC or an exotic addon. Players will benefit from knowing what's going on in their game, authors get credit for their work, and we can more easily determine whether an issue with the game is for us or for a modder to address. Mostly we're looking ahead to a future where obtaining and installing mods is easier, the library of mods grows even more, and running the game with mods is more likely the norm. The task is coordinated by Senior Designer Borivoj Hlava, who we'll try to persuade to do an OPREP on this topic in the future!

LOGISTICS

we discussed the field of localization. In a reply on Twitter, we were made aware of an open-source community tool to assist with translating scenario and mod projects - cool stuff!


  January 20th, 2015 - 18:27 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00089 Screenshots    

On January 13, 2015, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00089 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Update en-route, Job opportunities, Localization
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

We've begun prep for the first game update of this year: version 1.38. It will mostly be a maintenance update, gathering up all improvements, optimizations and fixes since the last update. However, we're also trying to include two things that can help many of you. Before going over them, we should point out that these are risky low-level changes. We'll be testing them more before making the final call. If they resolve one issue, but cause new ones, we may send them back to the incubator.

First of all, we're updating the PhysX libraries to version 3.2.4. PhysX is used throughout the game for the physical simulation of vehicles, objects and at times, characters. It's a third-party solution, developed by our partner NVIDIA, that we and many other games are using. There are also risks associated with this middleware approach, such as crashes occurring in, what is to us, a blackbox. Our programmers often cannot trace what has caused a crash when it happens in these libraries. We then try to debug with the engineers at NVIDIA, which can result in: us implementing a work-around on our side, them updating the libraries, or the issue not being solvable for a while. Initial tests using the new update have addressed a number of common crashes, so we hope it will help with stability. Note: for now this library update is not available for Linux servers, because some distributions don't support it (but the versions are cross-compatible).

Secondly, we'll reintroduce multiplayer server optimizations that were removed from a previous update. They have the potential to help quite a lot with performance, but in their first implementation were not fully 'thread-safe'. This second iteration looks much better, so we hope to see similar results as to when we first tested it, minus the crashes!

On a musical note: pump up your volume and listed to this cool unofficial metal cover of the Arma 3 main theme by Johari!

INTELLIGENCE

Bohemia Interactive is often searching for new recruits to join its multiple teams and offices. For Arma 3, we are currently on the look-out for (Audio) Programmers, Artists, Animators and a Mastering Developer. If you're interested in contributing to the future of Arma (or our other games), go over the careers page and apply!

OPERATIONS

Localization: the act of preparing a game for the many regions of the world and languages spoken therein. We will not lie: this can be quite a frustrating task for developers. Every piece of text must be stored in a database, rather than just having literal strings in code, script, scenarios, etc. Exports from these databases are then send to translators, who send back translations and those are re-integrated into the game. Of course, if this allows more people to enjoy the game, that's a good thing! For Arma 3, the process is coordinated by Associate Producer Tomáš Bican. He is not directly embedded in the team, but part of a shared Production department and important for every big release.

Our normal process is for the team to add texts to the database whenever they are needed. At some point between the internal Alpha and Beta milestones, we then apply a Localization Lock. From this point, it is expected about 90% of the texts are final and ready for translation. The database is exported for translation, and the real fun begins. Tomáš then has to track the inevitably forgotten and fixed texts and make sure those are translated on time. He'll also need to contact developers to find out more about the context of texts for translators. A single word can mean completely different things when used in different places. Admittedly, this is where things could go better for us. We're aware that there exist, at time hilarious, linguistic errors for some languages. When he's not fixing such errors and going through the standard procedures, Tomáš is searching for better methods, extra translation agencies or investigating non-traditional approaches for the future.

LOGISTICS

The Dev-Branch for Arma 3 Tools has received a small update. You'll find a sample of an extension there as a Visual Studio 2013 project. Extensions are advanced ways of extending the game with code written in languages such as C++ or C#. One common example of their usage is communication with databases for persistent multiplayer game modes. We're also happy to report that Tools Commissar Julien Vida has now joined us on-site as a full-time team member. Bienvenue!


  January 13th, 2015 - 19:03 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00088 Official    

On January 6, 2015, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00088 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Happy New Year, Expansions menu survey, Quality Assurance
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Welcome to the new year! The Arma 3 team has returned from the winter break, and we're ready for another full year of development. While we were recharging, you certainly were not! Many of you made use of the Steam sale discounts and joined our growing ranks. Also cool to see were the huge amount of concurrent players during the holidays. For those who are new, we'll dedicate some paragraphs to introducing our development channels and game versions. Good to have you with us, recruits!

2015 has the makings of another productive year. Just before the break, we concluded all feasibility studies, conceptualization and prototyping for Marksmen DLC and its platform update. Importantly, that meant green-lighting the last of the weapon handling features we're developing for it. You must be getting tired of waiting for the specifics, but we want to be sure of what we can deliver. We think it will be worth the wait. All aspects of the package are now in production, with chunks of it quite far along. Introduction of the content will go similarly to Helicopters DLC, some of the features will likely be staged on Dev-Branch for evaluation starting next month. The bulk of the content will be staged in phases after that, allowing for your feedback to polish it. We hope to be able to start sharing details about the specific new weapons and weapon handling features soon.

In parallel, much work has been done for the larger Expansion. Most notably the new terrain is progressing very well. The environment designers and artists are producing the final models for many of the common structures. Other developers are focusing on the natural aspects, such as the new vegetation and lighting configuration. The terrain team has also selected a specific region together with playable content designers, in order to make it a benchmark site. They will bring this area to standards representative of the final target quality, and trial gameplay there. It's looking awesome, but it will be a while before we can share that with you. Meanwhile, our update cycle will continue to run on a 4 to 6 week interval, with as many optimizations and fixes as possible. And we wouldn't even dare to guess what awesome, impressive, crazy and funny mods and scenarios will be shared by you, the community. Let's make this another fantastic year together!

INTELLIGENCE

It's a little late for the seasonal greetings, but if you've missed Bohemia Interactive's 2014 Year in Review video, check it out!

You are most likely reading this on the Dev Hub (or via the game's launcher). If you're new here, this hub contains the active main branch version number, an overview of and various other useful links. We also share development reports of various kinds:

  • SITREPs: Situation Reports - weekly development updates from the team. Expect news gathered during the past week, hints of future plans, upcoming releases, test requests, surveys and more (usually published on Tuesdays - in the Czech Republic that is).

  • SPOTREPs: Spot Reports - full change logs for our main branch updates, covering data, engine and launcher changes in as much detail as we're able to.

  • TECHREPs: Technical Reports - full change logs for Arma 3 Tools main branch updates.

  • OPREPs: Operation Reports - updates on specific features or technologies, usually in development on Dev-Branch (published on an irregular schedule, when there's a good topic).


  • OPERATIONS


    As part of the effort to better integrate mods with the game, we're taking a look at the Expansions menu and seeing how it might be improved. Specifically, there are a few options in this menu which we believe to be redundant now (and more so in the future). We'd like to hear from you before making changes though. Please read Jirí Zlatohlávek's explanation, complete the brief survey, and help us pick the right way forward.

    Time to shine the spotlight on another developer who usually isn't covered in these reports: Miloslav Cinko, the fearless leader of Quality Assurance. Arma 3 is currently being tested by five full-time embedded specialists. They are supported by a team of varying size (around 30 - 40) in our Prague office, shared by our other projects. There is also the automated aspect, which we're expanding in 2015, with elaborate auto-testing of almost everything. And then, of course, there is an army of loyal players who assist with pre-release testing and reporting of issues. QA can be an ungrateful job, because even with the extremely hard work these people put in, issues will slip by, particularly in a complex dynamic sandbox environment like ours. We are well aware of the number of open issues, even after filtering duplicates, errors in third-party software / hardware, feature requests and similar. The QA team does its best to complete build, asset and feature tests under massive time pressure. Miloslav is a key figure in recommending release timing during the final hours, and will often fight for getting a few last known issues solved. As developers, it's first of all our responsibility to deliver work with as few faults as possible. QA is the safety net, the last line of defense, and they have our respect for fighting the good fight.

    LOGISTICS

    The majority of Arma 3 players need never bother with Steam's additional 'beta' branches for the game. These branches are accessed via the right-click properties of an application. Visit the BETAS tab and select a branch. Some branches require you to fill in an access code before they appear. By default, you unfortunately cannot have multiple branches installed (consider trying the Game Updater utility). Switching will download the difference in data every time. Also be aware that multiplayer may not be compatible between the various branches. Let's list the options available to you:

    • Arma 3: the game's main Steam application

      • NONE - Main branch (default): the one we'd recommend for the majority of players. It receives updates on a 4 to 6 week cycle, and is the most tested and stable.

      • development - Development Build or Dev-Branch : updated daily by our developers as they work. This branch is largely untested, and offered as-is. Changes are logged in this thread, and feedback can be posted here. Expect downloads anywhere between a few MB and 1 GB. We also often use this branch to trial upcoming features, technologies and other changes. In the weeks before a major release, we stage the new content here for testing. However, we still recommend most players to wait for the main branch release.

      • legacy - Legacy Build [access code: Arma3Legacy134 - number changes every update]: a copy of the last main branch version. So if 1.36 is on main branch, this would contain 1.34. This branch can be used to compare changes between major versions, or as a temporary emergency option in case a new main branch build has critical errors that have not yet been hotfixed.

      • manwar - Make Arma Not War Build [access code: makearmanotwar2014]: a copy of main branch 1.32, in order to provide an unchanging platform for Make Arma Not War contestants and jury members.

      • profiling - Performance Profiling Build [access code: CautionSpecialProfilingAndTestingBranchArma3]: a special version of the game with extended diagnostics and optimizations enabled. This version can be used to participate in on-demand testing, but should not be used for regular play.

      • rc - Release Candidate Build [access code changes every time it's used, and is announced via channels like Twitter]: this branch provides what it says, release candidates for updates to main branch. Normally opened in the week(s) leading up to a release, these are the final testing versions. It may get updated with last-minute fixes, but can also be used to effectively pre-load updates.

    • Arma 3 Tools: the free tools suite on Steam

      • NONE - Main branch (default): similar to the game itself, normally updated on the same cycle.

      • development - Development Build: updated on an irregular schedule by our tools developers. Changes are logged in this thread, and feedback can be posted here.

      • licensed_data_packages - Huge Data Packages: a mirror of our Arma sample packages (expect a gigantic download).

    • Arma 3 Server: a free stand-alone Dedicated Server version of the game (both Windows and Linux)
      • NONE - Main branch (default): again similar to the game, and updated right after it.
      • legacy - Legacy Build [access code: Arma3Legacy134 - number changes every update]: similar to the legacy branch above.

      • profiling - Performance Profiling Build [access code: CautionSpecialProfilingAndTestingBranchArma3]: similar to the profiling branch above.


  January 7th, 2015 - 19:52 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Happy New Arma3 Year Community    


  December 31st, 2014 - 23:13 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Bohemia Interactive - 2014 Year In Review Videos    
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Bohemia Interactive 2014 Year In Review video

As one of the most exciting years for our studio comes to a close, we’ve deployed a special dev blog in which various members of the Arma 3, Take On Mars, and DayZ development team recap the past (15th anniversary) year, take a brief look at the near future, and thank everyone for their incredible support!



  December 18th, 2014 - 17:57 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00087 Official    

On December 16, 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00087 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: 2014 recap, Winter break, Happy holidays!
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Welcome to the last Arma 3 SITuation REPort of 2014! After a turbulent release year in 2013, our team was excited to continue supporting the platform and game this year. Let's quickly run through the major developments: we started by completing the campaign with episodes "Adapt" and "Win". That also meant adding 2 fixed-wing CAS aircraft, the Tempest series of trucks and 2 Altis Points of Interest: the ghost hotel and the stadium. We then unleashed the divine powers of Zeus multiplayer, which we've since seen used in many communities and in ways beyond what we had envisioned ourselves.

Then things got a little crazy, with us taking the April Fools parody to an actual DLC: Karts. That first premium package allowed us to trial a new DLC strategy and also resulted in a sizable donation to the Czech Red Cross. Realizing the vanilla game did not yet welcome new Arma players as well as it could, our team released the Bootcamp Update, offering various learning experiences and the Virtual Reality environment. We then hit a couple of rough patches, literally, causing various multiplayer issues. Our attempts to optimize and stabilize the game did not always work out on a large-scale. We've since improved this situation, but there's still work to do in this area. The year drew to a satisfying close with the Helicopters DLC and accompanying platform update.

Given that we've not even discussed many other additions and improvements, like expanded Steam Workshop support, we're looking back at a great year for Arma 3. We'll now be taking a quick winter break, before diving into yet another year of support. Our thanks to all players, our community, mod makers, livestreamers, server administrators, forum / Feedback Tracker / Community Wiki moderators, business partners, and not least of all: everyone at Bohemia Interactive! We wish you happy holidays and a most splendid new year!

INTELLIGENCE


The Arma subreddit has received a nice face-lift, also providing some useful links to official and unofficial resources. You'll find a supportive community, interesting player stories, funny pictures and awesome videos. While this is not an official channel, we have more than a few devs roaming around there.

We have stopped supporting the 'contributor' feature of Steam Workshop for now. Contributed items have been removed from your lists of published items to minimize confusion (no actual items were removed of course). After speaking to Valve, it would appear this feature is not quite well supported and therefore not useful in its current form. If this changes in the future, we'll certainly react to any changes Steam rolls out.

As the time of writing there are a few days left to vote for your favorite Arma 3 mods in the ModDB annual top 100. Four mods made the cut this year, so head on over and show your support!

OPERATIONS

Some of our developers frequently appear in these reports. Others operate in the shadows and yet without them we could not develop the game. Let's shine a light on these people, starting with Mastering Lead Jan Kyncl. Mastering is a set of activities that results in the final, you guessed it, master of the game. This means ensuring the correct and complete data exists in the right place, that meta-data is accurately configured, that the collection of parts brought in by all departments works together as a whole, and many more tasks of this nature. Jan is also responsible for publishing every single change to Steam. Every update of every branch of every Arma 3 application on every day - quite a feat! Kudos to Jan and those who assist him for being the backbone of our team.

Bohemia Interactive will be closed for a winter break from Monday December 22 until Friday January 2 inclusive. That means our regular operations for Arma 3 will be paused for that duration. Dev-Branch updates will likely continue until this Thursday and resume when we get back. There will also not be another SITREP until we open back up.

LOGISTICS

Tools Commissar Julien Vida would like to remind modders that they can switch to the Arma 3 Tools Dev-Branch if they experience issues with the main branch suite. This version can help to address a few issues in Addon Builder and WAVtoWSS.

Find more French unofficial translations of these REPorts via Elements Gaming. Most recently they've published translations for last week's SITREP and the latest OPREP



  December 16th, 2014 - 19:55 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00086 Official    

On December 9, 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00086 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Internal Marksmen prototype, Update 1.36 released, REPception
PRECEDENCE:

SITUATION

As we enter the last month of the year, the team is focused on one more 2014 development milestone: the Marksmen DLC sandbox prototype. This means having a final plan for the exact assets and features that we'll finish during the first quarter of 2015. Said plan is backed up by internally playable prototypes. This could mean the first version of a new weapon's model, a scripted prototype of a gameplay feature, a proof-of-concept for a scenario, etc. The feasibility studies should wrap up soon and we'll have go / no-go moments for some of the tech. Having a solid sandbox foundation will later help the designers to use it effectively while developing playable content. We are trying hard to get some very cool stuff in the DLC and accompanying platform update, and it's looking splendid so far!

INTELLIGENCE

Did you miss the exact change log for update 1.36? Take a look at SPOTREP #00037! Perhaps you've noticed we delayed the release of the update by a day. In fact, this change of plans was so last-minute we had already begun to release the accompanying Arma 3 Tools update. The reason for the delay was the discovery (based on community reports) that one of the multiplayer server optimizations caused a potential instability. We had tested these multi-threading optimizations on special profiling servers for a few weeks with good results. Then we found a thread safety problem in a few freshly submitted crash reports. It was decided to take those optimizations out of 1.36 and continue to develop them via the special profiling branch. Certain other optimizations remained in tact, such as tweaks to the file system.

There are still 2 recurring crashes that we know about, but cannot solve at the moment. One is related to the PhysX libraries and we hope to address it by an update of the libraries in 2015. The other occurs also in our other games and we believe it to be connected to Steam. We are still working with Valve engineers to solve this one.

OPERATIONS

QA Specialist Ondrej Kužel performed a post-flight inspection of the Advanced Flight Model for rotary-wing aircraft, introduced in Helicopters DLC / platform update 1.34. His report follows an earlier look at the integration of third-party middleware RotorLib to support the AFM. It mainly looks back at what we believe was a very productive example of community collaboration. Be sure to expand the hidden bonus section dubbed "Oukej's Frequent Flyer Bonus Miles" for some tips and tricks!

LOGISTICS

Leading the way for update 1.36 was yet another iteration of the Arma 3 Tools suite (available in the Steam library for anyone - filter for "Tools"). The Tools Commissar himself, Julien Vida, does a good job of providing some context to the changes in his status report: changes to existing tools, a new tool and fresh samples. Considering those samples, the previously mentioned PSD source template for Taru liveries is available on the Tools Dev-Branch. An issue causing suspiciously long packing when using Addon Builder is being investigated.


  December 14th, 2014 - 18:48 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Spotrep #00037 - Game Update: 1.36 Official    

On December 4, 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SPOTREP #00037 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
UNIT: Main Branch
ACTIVITY: Game Update: 1.36 (Vortex Ring State, Launcher local mods, Headless Client revamp, CMAA)
SIZE: ~1010 MB / ~611 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.

  • A Legacy Build Steam branch is available for advanced users. It contains the previous significant main branch version (1.34). It can be used to compare specific changes between major releases. The access code for this branch is: Arma3Legacy134

  • A Make Arma Not War Build branch is available for competitors and jury members. It will contain the 1.32 main branch version throughout the rest of the contest. The access code for this branch is: MakeArmaNotWar

  • 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.
    • Physics simulation powered by NVIDIA® PhysX™. NVIDIA® and PhysX™ are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation and are used under license.


Full changelog and SPOTREP



  December 4th, 2014 - 18:21 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00085 Official    

On December 2, 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00085 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Final 1.36 tests, Headless Clients, Workshop Mods
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


We are three Release Candidates into update 1.36 testing and things are looking good. Our programmers are analyzing a few more crash reports, but we hope to be ready for main branch tomorrow (CET). You can join the final stages of testing by opting into the RC branch using access code Arma3Update136RC in the Steam client BETAS tab for Arma 3. This will effectively preload the update ahead of release, even though there may still be more iterations. Be aware that the majority of public servers will not be join-able until they update as well. If you spot a new issue in the RC, please submit it to the Feedback Tracker and clearly mark the version you encountered it in. Thanks!

INTELLIGENCE

Update 1.36 will bring big improvements to Headless Client technology after a solid period of Dev-Branch testing. The new implementation will ...

  • ... see HCs placed as virtual entities in the editor, and then having them automatically assigned to slots in the lobby.

  • ... make HCs only visible to admins.

  • ... support Linux servers.

  • ... not require additional Arma 3 licenses.

If you are already using this advanced scripting tech, please be aware you may need to update existing scenarios. The Community Wiki documentation has been updated to reflect this.

Some categories of the Make Arma Not War contest have been temporarily re-opened for submissions. Unfortunately a sizable number of contestants had not submitted their work properly. This was a tough decision for the MANW committee, but the contest's ultimate goal is to highlight quality content. Take a look at this news article to find out whether your entry is affected or not.

We've introduced a new command-line parameter for multiplayer server admins: -loadMissionToMemory. It should help servers which use a HDD, which restart the same scenario frequently, and which have a relatively small amount of scenarios in their cycle.

OPERATIONS

The next evolution of Workshop support is on the horizon! Valve has rolled out a new Steam SDK, which will allow for several big enhancements. There should no longer be an item size limit, and multiple files per item will be supported. These changes open to door for full mods. The roll-out of these changes will begin on Dev-Branch after 1.36's release, and happen in stages to ensure reliability across the branches. The designer in charge of Workshop-integration, Jirí Zlatohlávek, describes a few automated changes to existing and future items: "With the upcoming mods for Steam Workshop, we will change how files are stored on Workshop, allowing more files to be uploaded for both new and old items. This means the 'Addon' tag will effectively become irrelevant. We will be first updating files tagged with 'Addon' to also include tag 'Mod' to prepare to this change. When the new SDK is implemented, we will be removing the tag 'Addon' and keep only tag 'Mod'. This change should not require anything from you, but if you plan to publish any addons soon, we advise you to already include tag 'Mod' for your files to be visible in Launcher."

Virtual Arsenal caretaker Karel Morický, has incorporated a few nice additions for the mode. Selected weapons show various statistics such as Rate of Fire, effective range, impact and weight. Character equipment shows approximate armor levels, load and weight. No extra configuration is necessary, so community equipment will show these stats as well.

LOGISTICS

Senior Artist Oldrich Kríž has prepared a PSD template for the Huron's texture as part of the Arma 3 Tools update alongside 1.36. This should make it more comfortable to create your own liveries. We'd like to also provide this for the Taru at least.

User Interface designer Vladimír Hynek has added a feature to scenario selection screens that allows scenario designers to display relevant data. We will primarily use this to display the Challenge medal targets and your actual results. Perhaps you can imagine your own usage, so check out the updated documentation (look for overviewScript functionality)!



  December 2nd, 2014 - 19:07 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00084 Official    

On November 25, 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00084 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead<
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Unofficial translations, "Support" documentation, Launcher local mods
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

There are not a lot of development updates to report on this week. Marksmen DLC production proceeds at a good pace. We've also taken the first data snapshot for the 1.36 update, and the programmers are preparing their special EXE branch. Once both are combined, the team's embedded QA devs will begin full build tests. They will be assisted by our shared multi-project QA team in Prague, especially for multiplayer. This includes several large-scale sessions involving 30 or more testers, and simulated 64+ client sessions using Headless Client technology. Besides that, we'll likely be requesting your assistance for even larger stress tests (on the CHIMERA test servers). To this effect, you can expect the usual Steam Release Candidate branch to open soon.

Do you prefer reading these reports in your own language? There are a few kind souls in our community who are translating the weekly SITREPs into French and Russian. It's hard for us to verify what may be lost in translation, so our English original on the Dev Hub is the only official source. However, many thanks to these volunteers for contributing in this way!

INTELLIGENCE


It's time to create your own "Support" MP scenarios! Designer Václav Oliva has posted an excellent step-by-step guide to the Community Wiki with help from mode creator Jirí Wainar. Once you've set up your own scenarios, be sure to share them on Workshop for everyone to enjoy!

Have you unlocked many of Arma 3's Steam achievements yet? It's very interesting to see the global statistics, though these are admittedly a little skewed. The achievements were not there from the start (especially considering the Public Alpha), and new batches of achievements have been added per major release. As for the design behind our achievements, we've deliberately stayed away from things we don't find fitting for Arma. You'll not likely see things like "Killed X enemies with head shots". Rather, we've tried to let the achievements be a guide for content you may have missed. And to challenge you to achieve top results in some areas. Do you have any good ideas for achievements?

On a related note: we plan to make it possible to end Faction Showcases in a more straight forward way in update 1.36. This will be done for the "Showcasing" achievement especially ("Showtime" and "Meet and Greet" only require you to start them, not complete them).

OPERATIONS


Programmer Lukáš Bábícek has in recent weeks been working directly with Intel engineers to find and implement optimization opportunities. This has yielded some results you may not directly notice, such as terrain rendering and shadow improvements. One addition is directly visible however, namely the inclusion of anti-aliasing post processing effect CMAA. This effect is available on Dev Branch in the video options (PPAA drop-down). It should be faster than SMAA while retaining a similar quality level.

LOGISTICS


Support for local mods in the launcher has arrived on Dev Branch. Launcher programmer Jirí Polášek reports: "The launcher has been extended with a long-awaited feature called 'local mods'. It allows for users to add their Arma 3 mod folders directly to the 'Addons' tab instead of using the plain 'Mods' parameter field. These mods are treated same way as Steam addons, and you can easily turn them on and off and include them in presets. To add a mod, press the '+' button in the 'Addons' tab.

Apart from adding local mods manually to the list one by one, there is also an option to continually detect mods in specified folders and automatically include them in the list. Open the launcher options (gear icon at the top right) to set up your monitored folders."



  November 25th, 2014 - 16:03 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

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