Korneel van 't Land has informed us about 15 years Armaversary celebration events.
Bohemia Interactive celebrates 15 years of Arma
Over 10 million sold copies, special Arma sale today Prague, Czech Republic, June 22st 2016
With the release of Arma 3 Apex on the horizon, Bohemia Interactive celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Arma series, which saw its first release on June 22nd 2001 in the form of Arma Cold War Assault (originally titled Operation Flashpoint*: Cold War Crisis). Since then, several Arma installments, alongside expansions and downloadable content, have followed. To date, the Arma series has sold over 10 million copies of games (DLCs not included).
Marek Spanel, CEO and co-founder of Bohemia Interactive:
“When we released our first Arma game in 2001, little could we know that it would start a successful line up of games and spin-off serious simulators. Fifteen years later, Bohemia Interactive continues to provide unique games to our creative communities. A special thanks goes out to all Arma players and content creators. We look forward to the Arma 3 Apex release and everything else that lies ahead in Arma’s future!”
To further celebrate Arma’s 15th birthday, Bohemia Interactive has bundled 15 years of Arma for 15% of their current price (i.e. 85% discount, best deal ever), today only, exclusively on the Bohemia Store. This special package includes:
Arma: Cold War Assault Arma: Gold Edition Arma 2 Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead Arma 2: British Armed Forces Arma 2: Private Military Company Arma 2: Army of the Czech Republic Arma 3 Arma 3 Karts DLC Arma 3 Helicopters DLC Arma 3 Marksmen DLC
The regular price for this bundle of games is 114.39 EUR / 94.59 GBP / 141.89 USD, while today’s exclusive deal massively lowers the price to 17.16 EUR / 14.19 GBP / 21.28 USD.
Known for its authentic combined arms gameplay, stunning large open terrains, as well as its support for content creation and modding, the Arma series has developed into one of the most popular military game franchises on PC. After the hit success of the first Arma in 2001, the studio took on various ambitious new projects, and was involved in establishing a successful spin-off business in serious gaming and simulations with its first game for training: VBS1. In 2005, Bohemia Interactive released its first console game Operation Flashpoint: Elite* for Xbox – followed by Arma in 2007, which marked the studio’s first full independent release without support from a major publisher.
Arma 2 released in 2009, and remained a priority for several years after release, resulting in several DLC packs and the Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead expansion. This also lead into the mod sensation DayZ, created by Dean Hall, which took the entire gaming industry by surprise in 2012 and established a new game category. About half a year later, in 2013, Arma 3 paved the way for Bohemia Interactive’s open method of development, becoming one of the first titles to enter and graduate from the Steam Early Access program and selling 2.5 million copies to date. Arma 3 still continues to enjoy full support in the form of free platform updates and premium downloadable content, including the much-anticipated Arma 3 Apex expansion, which is scheduled for release on July 11th this year.
For more information about Bohemia Interactive and the studio’s portfolio of games, please visit www.bistudio.com – and keep track of all the latest news by following Bohemia Interactive on Facebook and Twitter.
*Operation Flashpoint® is a registered trademark of Codemasters
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Armaversary, Main Menu Overhaul, Vehicle-in-Vehicle Transport, Vehicle Path-Following PRECEDENCE: Flash
The first week of pre-release public testing of the Apex sandbox has proven once again the value of this approach. Combined with our own thorough tests, your feedback has contributed to many tweaks and fixes already. At the small cost of a slightly skewed first impression due to the work-in-progress nature of the content, this will lead to a more solid release on July 11. Note that most changes arrive first to the daily experimental Dev-Branch. We then selectively merge these to the Apex Sneak Preview and RC updated periodically. The update processes are running a little slower than we're used to, because of the large amount of data and increased branch count. It has also been quite remarkable to see a wide range of mods release compatible versions within days, and in some cases hours, of content staging. The hard work of teams like Exile, GetWrecked, various Life incarnations and others will provide players with a great many options come full release. There's still plenty to polish, so we'll get on with it!
Happy birthday Arma! On June 22, it's been 15 years since the series' first entry was released in Europe: Arma Cold War Assault. Since then, over 10 million copies (excluding DLC) have been sold, of which 2.5 million for Arma 3 to date. On behalf of our company and everyone who has worked on Arma, we'd like to thank all players, modders, units, server admins, moderators and all other people who have supported the franchise along the way. To celebrate, we're hosting the best deal ever, with 15 years of Arma at 15% of its current price (special bundle of all released Arma games and DLC) - one day only, exclusively on the Bohemia Store. Cheers to another 15 years!
One of the first things greeting you when starting the game after Apex (1.62), is an overhauled Main Menu. One of the goals was simply to apply a fresh coat of paint, as we've done for the game itself with the Visual Upgrade. After a few years of playing the game, and with more years to go, having a splendid new entry point to gameplay was desired. In addition, several of our designers have taken a look at the User eXperience of the interface and made tweaks to how elements are arranged, presented and interacted with. One part of this was to re-focus on the center of the screen (most other displays were also centralized). This is also where we placed several visually-pleasing spotlight tiles for the content we want to promote (or mods want to promote!).
Another aspect of the Main Menu is the terrain-specific cutscene played in the background. Throughout the Arma series there have been various approaches. Before Apex, our terrains showed a drone-like feed with combat going on in the distance. Now we've gone with a series of static scenes that showcase the environment, and provide more stable performance at the same time. Of course mods can tweak the UI and these scenes. Head over to the Community Wiki for the documentation.
Logistics are essential on the battlefield. After introducing features like Sling Loading for helicopters, we wanted to offer another important capability: carrying vehicles inside larger vehicles. This will open another avenue for commanders to move their assets across large distances, for example between the islands of Tanoa. The first version of Vehicle-in-Vehicle Transport is available on Dev-Branch, where it will be iterated for a little while before taking it to other versions. So far, the new VTOLs have been prepared to load any suitable vehicle in the vanilla sandbox, from the new LSVs to existing light armored vehicles. In some cases you may even load up multiple vehicles. In the future we'd like to prepare our larger pre-Apex aircraft for this as well, but that requires some additional work. Cargo vehicles do not need setting up for the most part, as load capacity is determined based on their actual bounding box dimensions and weight. One very cool aspect of this feature is the ability to eject cargo vehicles mid-flight and have them be parachuted down (depending on altitude and pilot skill!).
In our wildest dreams, we envisioned this feature to also mean you would drive up a vehicle ramp and park the vehicle manually. However, after experimenting with this and similar approaches, we learned it wouldn't be feasible to deliver, given reasonable resources. These attempts caused complex problems with AI, animations and physics. We want our engine-based features to be fully available for: AI, commanding, waypoints, multiplayer, Eden Editor, Zeus, mods, etc. That's why we've decided to implement the feature in a more abstracted way. For technical details and available modding options, check out the Community Wiki documentation (more information coming, including script command references). Give the feature a go yourself, build some simple scenarios around it, and discuss your evaluation on our forums. Programmer-Designer duo Tomáš Nezval and Karel Kališ are monitoring for any reported issues and potential tweaks. We definitely think it will allow for some very cool gameplay and large combined arms operations.
Deep in his secret lair, Senior Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski has been experimenting with significant AI driving enhancements. Before we describe this effort more, we should make it clear that this tech will not be part of the 1.62 update yet. It requires more work and testing of all content. Once finalized, our hope is that especially vehicle path-following will have improved. It should teach AI to navigate through narrow roads and urban areas more effectively. Other AI challenges being looked into are formation holding and convoy driving. There is also a powerful new modding opportunity as it allows a per-vehicle behavior to be configured via a new driving component in vehicle simulation. On top of this it has been a general refactoring and optimization of the code. A first iteration, tweaks and fixes have already gone live on , so let us know how it's working and get more Intel straight from the source!
There will be a brief interruption in our regular activity this Thursday and Friday while all Bohemia Interactive teams meet up for a company-wide event. This will affect Dev-Branch and other branch updates, as well as our interaction on the various communication channels.
Until next week, let's join these Tanoan locals anxiously awaiting your arrival to their homeland.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Apex Release Date, Apex Sneak Preview, Apex Dev Diary PRECEDENCE: Flash
Where do we even begin? Chances are that not many of you will read this week's report due to the massive influx of Apex Intel and goodies over the past days. But perhaps for that reason we actually recommend you do keep on reading! Get a clear overview of what we've revealed: the July 11th 2016 release date, a E3 2016 Teaser Trailer, the full expansion contents, and more.
Soon after last week's staging of Tanoa, we published the Dev Diary we had promised a while back. In this video, Project Lead Petr Kolář and Creative Director Jay Crowe take you on a tour of the setting and content of Arma 3 Apex. Looking beyond centerpiece Tanoa, they discuss the new vehicles, weapons and gear for the various factions. The last segment of the diary takes a first look at the upcoming "Apex Protocol" co-op campaign, without spoiling too much about the narrative. You will also see glimpses of many of our proud developers, working hard in the various studios to get the expansion done on time. Keep it up guys and gals, together with the community we'll get this done!
If you'd like to inspect the contents of the expansion at your own pace, visit our new Apex overview website for all the details. Not only will you learn about the premium content additions, but we've detailed the long list of free platform updates as well. A series of new screenshots has also been shared there, and on the Bohemia Interactive Store and Steam product pages. The full Apex Edition is still definitely the best option for new Arma 3 recruits.
We'd like to also clarify that, unlike some would claim, we have absolutely never advertised the DLC Bundle would contain Apex. It has always been stated to include Karts, Helicopters and Marksmen DLC. Owners of the (retired) Supporter Edition do receive Apex as part of their package.
The team then entered an intense few days of non-stop work to prepare for our appearance on the 2016 PC Gaming Show in Los Angeles. Thanks to Brand & PR Manager Korneel van 't Land's tireless behind-the-scenes coordination and Jay's splendid on-screen presence, we showed off Apex to the massive live audience. Our thanks to the show organizers and host Sean Plott for getting us back on! In case you missed the show, watch its recording here (01:31:17 for the summoning of the Crowe). The audience support in the various chats also did not go unnoticed! Besides premiering the Teaser Trailer, there were two other very significant reveals!
The final release date was confirmed as the 11th of July 2016. Yes, it's 11 days past our intended Q2 release window. But the extra time will allow us to react to several weeks of public feedback, and also let the (modding) community prepare for the release. And to make sure you have something to do, we've staged all Apex sandbox content for you to try!
Making it easier than ever to preview the work-in-progress content ahead of release, we've added a new public branch for Arma 3 and Arma 3 Server. Go to either app's Properties, select the BETAS tab and then pick the Apex Sneak Preview Build from the list. Steam will now download the data and after that you're good to go. There are various things to keep in mind, so let's make this a clear list, shall we?
The Apex Sneak Preview branch will be available all the way up to release, and then you can obviously continue playing on main branch.
We recommend this branch over Dev-Branch for regular players. It's less experimental in nature.
If you suffer bandwidth restrictions, consider waiting for the full release. Large and frequent updates are expected until release.
If you don't want to spoil your own first impressions by this work-in-progress build, consider waiting for the full release.
Feel free to share media and stream from this build, but we'd love it if you could let your audience know this is an unfinished pre-release version.
People love exploring, so please be mindful of obvious spoilers. We've been very impressed with your efforts to warn people so far, especially on the Arma subreddit!
Even if you do not own Apex yet, you can try the assets in the Virtual Arsenal / Garage mode for free! This mode can also be accessed from the game's DLC Content Browser (Shift + P).
Playable Content (e.g. the co-op campaign) is not yet staged, but will be during the weeks before release.
This is and will be the same build as the RC Branch highlighted below (therefore also multiplayer compatible with each other).
We're still tweaking, fixing and polishing the contents of Apex in many areas.Weapon animations and audio will see improvements, some features are yet to be enabled (e.g. Vehicle-in-Vehicle Transport and secondary weapon muzzle deployment), glitches are being addressed, etc. Please report specific issues on the Feedback Tracker with as much data as you can. We'd also love your feedback via our forum threads for vehicles, weapons, gear and props.
The feedback to Tanoa has been amazing, rewarding and motivating! The Environment Design and Art teams are processing all reports and tweaking the terrain across the board. Besides fixing obvious glitches, like misplaced objects, they are also still improving areas like the underwater world as best they can. Other aspects will remain as they are for release, such as the amount of building interiors. This different approach was first discussed during last year's reveal of Tanoa. We are however investigating the handling of model Levels Of Detail. We too observe LODs switching too aggressively, and we are pursuing improvements both in our data and the engine. It should be said that LOD switching will never be completely invisible, simply due to the nature of this method of achieving better performance.
It's cool to see you've noticed our work on making the AI work better in Tanoa's jungles and other locations. This has been an on-going effort on the RoadToApex, with some of the changes reaching Altis & Stratis in the previous platform updates. Further tweaking of this too, is still in progress, by adjusting AI parameters and improving the technical LODs of natural objects for example. Along with features like the extended AI suppression commands, please discuss how you feel AI behavior can be further enhanced on our forums.
Even though we now have the readily available Apex Sneak Preview branch, we still want to also cater to regular Release Candidate testers. A clone / alias of the same build is available as regular1.62 RC via Steam access code Arma3Update162. We intend for these branches to contain the same, multiplayer-compatible, build until release. Find the high-level and evolving change log here. It's up to you which one you prefer to use, but either way is fine!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us that Bohemia Interactive has announced to day, during the PC Gaming Show at E3 2016 that Arma 3 Apex is to be released on July 11th, a Sneak Preview access video is now available.
Prague, Czech Republic, June 13th 2016
Alongside a brand new trailer, which premiered during the PC Gaming Show at E3 2016, Bohemia Interactive today announced the release date for the much-anticipated Arma 3 Apex expansion. Launching worldwide on July 11th this year, Arma 3 Apex will bring players to the 100 km˛ South Pacific archipelago Tanoa, with a new arsenal of weapons and vehicles at their disposal, as well as additional armed forces, a co-op campaign, and more.
Calling all troops to the front lines, Bohemia Interactive also announced that, as of today (almost one month before release), everyone who pre-ordered Arma 3 Apex has Sneak Preview Access to all of the expansion’s content, except for the co-op campaign. To install the Apex Sneak Preview build, you simply need to right-click on Arma 3 in your Steam Library, go to 'Properties', visit the 'BETAS' tab, and use the drop-down menu to select and install the Apex Sneak Preview build. This build represents a work-in-progress version and is not yet fully representative of the final Arma 3 Apex release.
With its distinct geographical features and varied locations, Apex's South Pacific island archipelago of Tanoa introduces fresh opportunities for all types of combat operations. Making use of 13 new weapons (providing a mix of classic and near-future firearms), and 10 new vehicles (including new vehicle classes such as VTOL aircraft and LSVs), players can engage in authentic combat on a massive scale, where movement, shooting, and teamwork truly matter. The new 1-4 player co-op campaign sees players take on the role of NATO CTRG special operators, who are sent to Tanoa in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster, but quickly find themselves facing a far bigger threat than they bargained for.
Arma 3 Apex is now available for pre-order with a 20% discount for 23.99 EUR / 19.99 GBP / 27.99 USD (regular price: 29.99 EUR / 24.99 GBP / 34.99 USD) on Steam and the Bohemia Store. Those who are new to Arma 3, but want to enlist for the complete experience at the best price, can choose to pick up the Arma 3 Apex Edition for 59.99 EUR / 44.99 GBP / 69.99 USD.
For more information about the Apex expansion, please visit the official web page at www.arma3.com/apex – where you find a complete overview of its content and features – and take a look at the latest developer diary video. To keep track of all the latest news and updates, be sure to follow Arma 3 on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Steam.
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about " Arma 3 Apex developer diary video " release.
New Arma 3 Apex developer diary video declassifies setting and content
South Pacific terrain, new armed forces, 13 weapons and 10 vehicles, co-op campaign, and more
Prague, Czech Republic, June 8th 2016
Representing the pinnacle of over 15 years of Arma development, Bohemia Interactive today published a brand new developer diary video about their major upcoming expansion for Arma 3: Arma 3 Apex. In the video, Project Lead Petr Kolář and Creative Director Jay Crowe unveil the expansion's setting and content.
Bringing players to the 100 km˛ South Pacific island archipelago terrain of Tanoa, which was revealed at E3 last year, the Arma 3 Apex expansion features new armed forces (including a brand new local faction of bandits and ex-paramilitaries), 13 new weapons, new uniforms, equipment and gear, 10 new vehicles, a 1-4 player co-op campaign, and more.
On the road to Arma 3 Apex, Bohemia Interactive has also been releasing several major Arma 3 platform updates in the past months. The highlights include the implementation of an audio-visual upgrade, 3D Scenario Editor, new server browser, enhanced mod handling, Quick Play, vehicle-in-vehicle transport, weapon switching, better squad communications, spectator mode, and various other features and user experience improvements.
For more in-depth information about the Apex expansion, and a detailed overview of its content and features, be sure to visit the new web page at www.arma3.com/apex - and take a look at the updated product pages on the Bohemia Store and Steam, which have been reinforced with the new Apex logo and artwork, a new description, and screenshots.
The Arma 3 Apex is now available for pre-order with a 20% discount for 23.99 EUR / 19.99 GBP / 27.99 USD (regular price: 29.99 EUR / 24.99 GBP / 34.99 USD) on Steam and the Bohemia Store. Those who are new to Arma 3, but want to enlist for the complete experience at the best price, can pick up the Arma 3 Apex Edition for 59.99 EUR / 44.99 GBP / 69.99 USD.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Apex Artwork, PC Gaming Show 2016, Tanoa Dev-Branch Status PRECEDENCE: Flash
Things have really kicked off yesterday with the revelation of the official Arma 3 Apex artwork and logo. We hope you're as excited as we are about the setting that's depicted there. It has been a joy to read your discussions about the clues contained within. We're seeing the full package coming together fast now, and soon you'll have all the details yourselves. One particular event to mark in your calendars is the PC Gaming Show 2016 on Monday June 13 at 11:30 PDT / 20:30 CEST. Creative Director Jay Crowe will be on-stage to announce the release date for Apex, and to drop more splendid Intel. The show will be live streamed on various platforms, including a mirror on our Twitch channel. There will no doubt be a recording for on-demand viewing afterwards as well. Be sure to stick around for the after show for more Bohemia Interactive coverage!
Before we look ahead even more, let's take one more peak back at the recent 1.60 update. Besides the Visual Upgrade, shown off brilliantly by CallMehTOMMEH, there were many more cool aspects. To make sure you didn't miss a thing, take a look at our top 10 favorite changes. They weren't necessarily ordered by any parameter, but they stood out to us as useful steps forward. The pretty comparison images and other media should give you a much clearer view on the improvements. Another synopsis is offered by our friends at the ARMAnet podcast in their recent debrief episode.
The plan was to ambush Apex owners by staging the Tanoa terrain to our experimental Dev-Branch. But it turns out some distribution and ownership issues are delaying your hands-on exploration a little longer. We are liaising with our Steam partners to get this resolved quickly, because we know the game build itself works well. For unknown reasons the Steam API is feeding incorrect ownership status to the game, and it's also refusing to download the Tanoa data to you. Know that there is nothing you can do on your side to solve this. We're pursuing a solution as soon as possible. We would also like to remind you of the type of build you're getting by using Dev-Branch. This is not and has never been a final release state. Please take a look at the branch overview of limitations, and consider whether you'd like to jump in or wait for the full release. Of particular note are the expected large daily updates. Due to the EBO (Encrypted PBO) files not being friends with Steam's delta patching, you can easily see hundreds, if not thousands, of MBs getting pushed around. To tide you over, enjoy this sneak preview video by our very own CEO: Marek Španěl.
But let's assume the access issue gets solved soon; then all Apex owners get to explore the entire Tanoa terrain. We're very proud of how it has turned out even given the polish that's yet to be done. It looks great, feels authentic, and provides for a plethora of gameplay possibilities. Please share your feedback with us on the forums, and report glitches on the Feedback Tracker. You'll probably still encounter misplaced objects and similar issues, and your reports will let us solve as many as possible before the full release. Please also allow us to respectfully ask you to mark any media you share with some indication that this is still a work-in-progress version, so that it may be clear for future viewers. Finally, since exploration is such a key part, consider not sharing some of the unique locations too prominently. Let eventual Apex owners be wowed by the locales our environment designers have worked so hard on. But most importantly: have a lot of fun playing around in this new green sandbox!
With parts of Apex coming your way on Dev branch, we should explain how Content Licensing will work with regards to our established DLC strategy. Let's get the easy parts out of the way first: all vehicles, weapons and character gear will work as it did in previous DLC. You will be able to try them freely in VR Arsenal / Garage. When you encounter and use them outside of that mode as non-owner, you will meet various limitations and messages. Various decorative props, as well as all new features and technologies are free to every Arma 3 player out there! This is made possible thanks to the continued awesome support of the full player-base.
The difference is the Tanoa terrain itself. Here you really need to own Apex to gain access, whether in the editor or multiplayer or any other avenue. Not only that, but the Tanoa-specific data, such as environmental objects and structures, is only downloaded to Apex owners. This is a necessary departure from the previous approach where everyone shared the exact same data-set. Practically what this means is that you should carefully consider including such assets in your custom content, because non-owners may struggle to play it. The motivations for doing this are the sheer size and scale of Tanoa, and the investment behind it. We did not find a reasonable way of implementing a try-before-you-buy approach here. In addition, the extra ~6 GB of data was too large for us to force onto every Arma 3 player's installation. We think that once you explore Tanoa, you'll clearly see the years of effort our team has put into it, are worth it!
Shortly after the 1.60 update, there was a small hotfix to address several miscellaneous issues discovered after rolling out the build to everyone. Inspect its SPOTREP for all the details
The folks of the Foxhound International community group have published a very handy reference guide for scripters. It's a single sheet PDF with lots of relevant SQF scripting topics like: syntax, operator precedence, control statements, locality, etc. While you are there, soaking up the knowledge, also go over their other development blogs. Thanks for your contributions!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.60 Released, Feedback Tracker Online, Respawn Screen PRECEDENCE: Flash
Now that the dust is starting to settle from the usual post-release frenzy, we hope you're all enjoying the pretty sights made possible by the Visual Upgrade. We're actively scanning all channels for any priority issues. We'd like to commend the warriors of the mod scene for swiftly releasing compatibility updates to unlock the potential of the new improvements. If you're playing with Exile, Unsung, CUP, ALiVE or many of the other projects out there, you'll find new versions for 1.60 out already.
We're now entering a very exciting time. Our destination is in sight. During June you'll get all the Intel on Apex and its release plans. There will be lots of activity on Dev-Branch while we prepare the game for 1.62 and start staging expansion components. Please be mindful of what Dev-Branch is and is not however. We welcome all your feedback, and really do need it, but if you'd like to experience the final product - consider waiting just a tad longer. The team is entering a stressful and rewarding period. Developers are stepping outside their normal roles and helping each other out where they can. We're working hard to ensure this will be the release Arma 3 and its players deserve.
We know you love mods, and so do we. Mod DB has kicked off another mod appreciation week for 2016. Share your favorite mods and thank your favorite modders simply by posting about them on your channel of choice. Add a download link and #modlove2016 to spread the love. Let's give those awesome developers the pats on the back they deserve!
One example of comprehensive modding efforts has probably not gone unnoticed: the release of Iron Front Lite Preview on Workshop. This may warrant a little history lesson for new recruits. IF is a massive World War 2 project that was also released as stand-alone game based on Arma 2's technology. The impressive full package has been ported to Arma 3 and is being updated to use its new technologies and features. The Lite version is free for everyone and uses lower-quality textures. There is a tonne more pieces of information in this forums thread, ranging from team credits to future plans.
Did you already know that we've expanded our available Bohemia Interactive merchandise a while ago? You'll find a range of T-shirts in our store, with more designs planned in the future. Available also are printed maps, Tactical Guides and unit patches. Display them with pride!
UX Designer Petra Ivašková has shared with us her first OPerations REPort, on the new Respawn Screen that was released with update 1.60. She describes the major changes to the interface, which is now unified into a single panel, and a new approach to role and load-out selection. The report wraps up by mentioning customization options for modders and scenario designers. They will find in-depth documentation on the Community Wiki. Even though this work has been released to main branch, it can still be discussed on our forums!
The full list of changes for Arma 3, Arma 3 Server and Arma 3 Tools can be inspected in the SPOTREP and TECHREP. One of the things many of you immediately spotted were temporary compatibility issues on custom terrains. This was expected and done after a discussion with modders so that they could more effectively leverage the Visual Upgrade for their terrains. It did mean that full backward-compatibility could not be preserved, but a number of popular terrains have already been updated meanwhile. For the technically-minded among us, this means that the CAWorld base configuration class contains the VU parameters so that they can be easily inherited by any terrain. If your sky looks broken, please look for an update or contact the mod's author to request one.
Any issues can now be once again reported to Feedback Tracker. It has been slowly re-launched over the past weeks to make sure things are working well. Former tickets were imported with working re-directs to their new equivalent. If you had an account on the previous version, recover it by requesting a new password. We of course recommend you then configure your own, strong and unique password for access. The Phabricator framework also supports multi-factor authentication, which you should consider for additional security. Let us now get back to using this feedback portal for collaborative development of the Arma 3 platform in a constructive manner. Thank you for your patience while the system was down.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Development Status, Rendering Optimizations, VON Improvements PRECEDENCE: Flash
We would very much like to release the 1.60 update later this week. That would clear the way for the final leg of our journey to Apex. It would allow us to start staging some very interesting components of the package in phases. And of course it would mean everybody gets to enjoy the Visual Upgrade and other improvements. Give the most recent RC branch a go if you can, and alert us to any last-minute issues on the forums. Our developers' work on Apex is meanwhile subject to Strict Data Lock and Localization Lock. For those of you new to our development cycle, this means that all work and changes in data must now be explicitly approved. We do this to consolidate the package, to monitor how all components interact with each other, to stabilize the build, and of course to pester our beloved devs! The second lock means the bulk of texts have been submitted for translation and any further changes need careful coordination. This doesn't mean work has finished, far from it, but we're nearing our destination on the #RoadToApex.
Reality Gaming Task Force is back with an action-packed montage that was compiled from 600 clips during 6 months of gameplay compressed into 6 minutes of video.
The Spanish FFAA mod is no stranger to our reports either, but we simply cannot ignore this gorgeous cinematic!
A few optimization-related entries appeared on the Dev-Branch change logs recently. Now that Tanoa is nearing its final form for release, it allows for more effective and targeted optimization work to be done. Doing this while locations aren't yet populated, or the thousands of placed objects don't yet have final Levels Of Detail, could skew results. A set of rendering optimizations by Senior Programmer Lukáš Bábíček has now come online, covering areas like preparing the scene for rendering in smarter ways, aggregating the terrain grid, drawing distant objects that have become reduced to mere pixels, LOD-handling, calculating terrain shadows, etc. Even though these optimizations were benchmarked on Tanoa, they can definitely help on other terrains. But there are risks also. It may be that one type of scene now works better, while another runs worse. Or various kinds of visual glitching may have become more prominent. We'd like to hear your own observations and measurements. Please note that the Dev-Branch build does have some additional performance impacts compared to main branch (diagnostics e.g.). Also try to rule out external factors, such as corrupted data and defragmented drives.
There has been an overdue and multi-angle effort to improve our native Voice-Over-Network technology. At this stage the goal of this work is to make vanilla VON properly usable, not to match the excellent work of the various radio communications mods out there. At a low-level we have Programmer Dmitro Panasenko looking at the underlying technology. The game now supports the Opus codec next to Speex (use vonCodec = 1 in the server.cfg). There have also been optimizations and fixes to address the stuttering issues. These are hard to verify due to the high number of players needed in a session, so we eagerly await your experiences. Coordinated by Designer Karel Kališ, there are also UX enhancements in the pipeline. Available now is a separation of VON and (text) chat, with control for servers and scenarios. More improvements, such as muting options, are being looked into, but we're not yet sure when we can deliver those. Read more details in this forums write-up on the current state, and feel free to leave your feedback.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Release Candidate 1.60, Limping, Line Drawing, Quick Play PRECEDENCE: Flash
That was quite the weekend for Arma 3! A huge amount of players tried the game for free over the past few days, beating our concurrent player record. Plenty of recruits have also made their enlisting a more permanent career. We'd like to welcome everyone to the Armaverse. You've picked a perhaps slightly turbulent but very definitely exciting time to jump aboard. A new expansion is on the horizon and we're still supporting the platform with a motivated team. Keep an eye on the reports in our Dev Hub, like the one you're reading now, for our Intel on the #RoadToApex. Our last pitstop is the 1.60 update, for which we've just started the public Release Candidate test. Thank you for contributing to the splendid release prep!
Last week's dev photo shows on-going focus tests of the Apex co-op campaign. Design Lead Jaroslav Kašný and Senior Designer Thomas Ryan carefully observe several Prague QA testers as they had their first proper play-through of the missions (on the actual photo they were just preparing for the session in Eden Editor). They took notes on issues, progress, flow, comprehension, challenge, balance, fun and more. All feedback was taken back to the Playable Content lair for use during development iterations. The 1-4 player campaign with ties to "The East Wind" will be one of the last components of Apex to be available to you on Dev-Branch, but we think the multiplayer experience will be worth the wait.
You can now share information on map interfaces a little more conveniently, because we've added a simple ability to draw line map markers (in addition to inserting standard symbol markers). Thanks to Programmer Marcel Marciš and Designer Radko Voda, you can just hold Left Control and draw using the Left Mouse Button. The map interface has also been enhanced by two combo boxes, one to select the marker color and one to change the inserted symbols (the old arrow key selection methods will still work). Any placed markers can be removed by hovering over them and pressing Delete. Visibility of the new line markers is handled the same as for any other type (via active radio channels). We are looking at methods of controlling potential spam. Please let us know your notes on this feature on the forums.
We've long wanted to reflect a character's injured leg restrictions in a more immersive manner. Thanks to an effort coordinated by Animation Encoder Martin Kašpar, and supported by our other animators and MOCAP technicians, characters with leg injuries will now be limping as they try to move. This involved quite a few changes in the animation spider, so if you spot glitches, let us know in this forums thread.
There is one more surprise feature that is to be included in the 1.60 update: Quick Play. Finding a suitable multiplayer server can be quite time-consuming, especially when you're new to Arma 3. There are many things to consider, like custom modes, required mods and servers with special rules. While we've recently added an improved to the Launcher, with powerful filters to find suitable sessions, we also want to cater to those players with little time or awareness of the varied multiplayer scene. The idea behind the new Quick Play display in the game is to get you playing with as little user input as possible. You simply pick a desired game type, maximum ping and searching method - then the game will try to get you into a server automatically. Importantly, this system takes into consideration the mod mix you're using, so it will only connect you to servers that are compatible. To make it very clear: this is not intended to replace the existing browser(s), but to be a companion tool. This also is a first version, and please be aware of limited server availability during RC testing. As with our other improvements, do please visit the forums to leave your notes.
Let's wrap up this week by enjoying a small selection of the great screenshots that have come our way recently. Special kudos go to Lapinaur, who has been relentlessly publishing sweet artwork almost every day. But our thanks go to all war photographers out there - your pics bring little morale boosts to us every time we see them!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Launcher Upgrade, CfgPatches Revamp, Difficulty Overhaul Phase 3, Work Drive PRECEDENCE: Flash
We are presently preparing a snapshot build for the 1.60 update that we'd like to release at the end of this month. We feel that we should point out this is another complex update that affects the game in many areas. Some of those are very prominent, like the Visual Upgrade. Some are more low-level and explained later in this report. As is usual for Arma 3, these changes have been available on Dev-Branch for weeks if not months. We will also soon stage a public Release Candidate for even broader testing. And of course we're doing our own extensive build tests. As we've learned, no matter how hard we all try, there is a risk of errors sneaking in. Please know that we will work hard to mitigate the risks and to address issues should they appear. Ultimately, doing these changes now will pave the #RoadToApex, and hopefully provide a smooth landing on Tanoa.
There is a new Dev Diary coming your way. Focusing on the Apex expansion, a few key developers on the project will share exclusive information and reveal some of the behind-the-scenes processes. This should finally provide a clearer picture of what Apex is going to bring in terms of its setting and sandbox additions. Most of the interviews have already been recorded, and the editing is now starting. As you can see on the weekly dev photo, our Creative Director Jay Crowe was sharing his thoughts so passionately that he drew the attention of a rather unusual audience.
The new Feedback Tracker sent out its first signs of life this week, although it did so a little too intensely. Some of you received large numbers of e-mail notifications (from a >@bistudio.com address) about seemingly random tickets. This was caused by the first attempt to import the old database into the new system. Our web team is trying another approach now, so FT is probably still offline while you're reading this. Our goal is to have the full collection of tickets available with minimal loss of data, including re-directs via the old URLs. We'll let you know when things are fully online and ready for your reports (not just for Arma 3, but other games as well). Meanwhile please keep using the Troubleshooting section on the forums.
The community ARMAnet podcast is still going strong and we can wholeheartedly recommend listening to its fifth episode. They interviewed several members of the Community Upgrade Project: Alwarren, Slatts and Varanon. In a very insightful and stimulating discussion, they went over the history of their mod, their methodology and the team's organization. The guests and hosts also debated the pros and cons of working on an evolving platform such as Arma 3's. Check out this episode and the older ones via PodBean or iTunes!
One of the Launcher team champions, Jiří Polášek, has reported on a significant upgrade that has been staged to Dev-Branch recently. Its 1.5 version brings great new improvements to the Server Browser, such as more robust handling of various types of required (server) mods and DLC detection. It even sports partial support for non-Workshop mods. A list of the specific changes is available here. There is one particular thing to highlight, since it will appease many of you. Until now, due to technical limitations in how Steam handles Workshop content, you'd often have duplicates of mods on your harddrives. The Launcher team has now found a way to utilize mods directly from the Workshop cache. That means the Launcher will also delete the copies it had created in the Arma 3 install folder (those are no longer needed). Jiří adds a warning for advanced users who tried to work around the issue themselves by deleting or otherwise manipulating the cache: "If you had developed the habit of deleting the Workshop cache files, please stop doing so. After this update, you would be effectively be removing the actual mod files. Only the first time Launcher 1.5 is started, it will attempt to restore the Workshop cache with files from the Arma 3 folder. Afterwards, this fix will not be possible without a re-download (verifying integrity of game cache)."
In preparation of new addon identification features (mainly for Eden Editor - we'll have more details for you soon), we are revamping all CfgPatches classes; the part of the game's config which is responsible for the load order of configuration files. We are unifying the way these classes are named, which results in some new classes and some obsolete ones. The obsolete classes will still be available in-game for backwards compatibility, meaning that there shouldn't be any issues in the long term. However, once these changes appear on Dev-Branch, scenarios created in that version of the game might not be compatible with the main version of the game until the next main branch update (1.60).
Having previously reported on phases 1 and 2 of the Difficulty Overhaul, we can now say that the 3rd and final phase is live on Dev-Branch. A simple but useful addition is a set of text descriptions and image previews of the various options. This should finally do away with the sometimes vague labels of the past, and make it clear what you're changing.
Cooperating with the Designer departments, Junior Programmer Rastislav Tisovčík has also implemented a new forcedDifficultyserver.cfg parameter. It allows server administrators to force a particular difficulty preset for all scenarios played on a server. To better communicate this to players, a few User Interface tweaks were made as well. You'll find the details in the relevant forums thread.
Tools Commissar Julien Vida shares with us details on an update to Work Drive - a tool in our suite that handles the working drive (P) and its content. Its new iteration lets modders extract PBO data in a simple and optimized way. Head on over to our forums for a full analysis by Julien himself. We'd like to remind everyone that you should always pay careful attention to any license covering the data you're extracting. Respect each other's hard work and let us all enjoy a productive, collaborative and rewarding User Generated Content scene!
I've managed to fix all the v1.1 reported bugs and added a new smaller island with Mental Asylum for those zombie missions ;) enjoy! See changelog in the archive for more info. If you are experiencing missing grass clutter disable addon Island Panthera A3 (@panthera_a3). I'll release an update for Panthera soon.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Tanoa Sector Tests, Community Guides, 1.58 Re-Released PRECEDENCE: Flash
Seeing how we're very busy to deliver Arma 3 Apex, there isn't a lot to report on this week. You'll be happy to know that this effort includes our Marketing Communications people working on various avenues to shed more light on the expansion. Over the next two months, we'll finally be showing more about the assets, features and the Tanoa crown jewel. At the moment we don't yet have a concrete timeline for staging the components to Dev-Branch (besides what was already released on the#RoadToApex of course!). Our usual approach is to stage Sandbox assets (vehicles, weapons, characters, props, Tanoa) in several phases first and Playable Content (co-op campaign) last. Features sneak in continuously throughout, as they have for the past while. Once we decide on the specifics, we'll be letting you know via our usual channels.
In cooperation with Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck, we've published another entry in the Community Guide video series. The "Reconnaissance" episode deals with methods for conducting recon and why you would benefit from doing it in the first place. Andrew describes it as "looking for the enemy in a low-profile manner", which can be useful regardless of your play style or favorite mode. It will allow you to get an understanding of the tactical situation before you execute a plan of action. Tools of the trade include: binoculars, magnified scopes, remote cameras, UAVs, UGVs, recon helicopters and operators on the ground. A key take-away: always preserve the element of surprise!
If you haven't seen the rest of the Community Guides, view them all in this playlist. You can also access them from within the game, in the LEARN sub-menu. Because the game has evolved a lot since its initial release, we've added a few disclaimers to make it clear using which version each guide was recorded. Some of the Intel presented may be outdated, but the overal knowledge contained within the series is definitely still worth your time.
The splendid environment team, led by Martin Pezlar, still has a lot of work ahead of itself, cutting their way through the 'green hell' of Tanoa. As a sign of good progress, they have recently requested thorough sector testing from our hard-working Quality Assurance testers. The terrain is divided into 8 big sectors, which consist of a total of 32 sub-areas. Many of those are now undergoing rigorous and detailed testing by the ladies and gentlemen in the QA teams, for which we thank them! They are focusing on a broad range of issues so that we can fix them ahead of release. To give you an impression of what they're scanning for: misplaced objects, weeds growing where they shouldn't, missing textures, inconsistent visual appearance, satellite map blending errors, collision problems, AI navigation glitches, road and path network disconnections, terrain mesh irregularities, 2D map topography mistakes, and more. As further sectors are made ready by Martin's team, they too are submitted for testing. At the same time, Tanoa is being set up for its lighting configuration. Situated in a different part of the world, there are noticeable differences compared to Altis and Stratis. Slowly but surely, and with excellent cooperation with our artists and other departments, the archipelago is made ready for your eager exploration.
Hotfixes for update 1.58 and the Arma 3 Tools were published to the respective main branches last Thursday. For the game this should have solved the performance issues connected to the systemmalloc, plus some crashes and a problem related to difficulty settings on Dedicated Servers. Further difficulty issues are under investigation, so that we know exactly whether some behavior may have changed unintentionally for example. We are also still searching for the cause of various server crashes reported by admins.
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about new " Arma 3 video reports on reconnaissance" release.
Prague, Czech Republic, April 29th 2016
With its massive open combat environment, in which unexpected engagements can end an operation in the blink of an eye, reconnaissance is a vital element in Arma 3's gameplay. To help players gain a greater understanding of the tactical situation, Bohemia Interactive today released a brand new episode (watch on YouTube) in the official Community Guide video series on how to conduct reconnaissance in Arma 3.
The new video explores what to look out for when scanning the terrain, as well as the various methods of 'recon' in Arma 3, ranging from infantry using binoculars and magnified scopes, to helicopters with magnified sensor suites, and Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAV) or Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV).