FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Roadmap 2016-17, Improved Lightmaps, SITREP Frequency PRECEDENCE: Flash
Coming in at the end of last week, we unveiled the 2016-17 roadmap for Arma 3. Meanwhile, the development team has started brainstorming, pre-production, and in some cases already production itself on the newly announced packages. We'll talk a bit more about the roadmap later in this SITREP, but one thing is clear: Arma 3 has a splendid future ahead of itself!
We always love to see community groups organizing competitions and events for their members. One of these units, 3 Commando Brigade, recently started a "Screenshot of the Month" contest. The winners for September have been announced. Congratulations, and we hope to see more splendid screenshots in the upcoming months!
Armachinima-maker GAMmovies released a cool machinima video, capturing the fate of an American tank crew during WWII. Together with some well-picked and edited music and voice-overs, the video shows what can be achieved in terms of creating atmosphere. Kudos to GAMmovies for the video, and the people behind the mods that we see making an appearance!
As we briefly touched upon at the start of this SITREP, last Friday Creative Director Jay Croweshared our long awaited Roadmap 2016-17. In the new blog, he provided a high-level outline of the planned premium packages and free platform improvements for Arma 3 in the upcoming year. We're thrilled to see the positive reception on various channels, and have been monitoring the suggestions and speculations with great interest. While some of the packages are already more strongly defined (e.g. Jets), the Tanks DLC is awaitingyour suggestions on the forums (kudos to Damian90 for starting the thread). We're planning to kick off the pre-production phase of Tanks DLC in the upcoming week, and we're keen to see your thoughts on the topic!
To fund our projects, the announced DLC packages, aside from the Malden Free DLC, will be premium. However, the exact pricing of every individual product will be shared closer to their release. As before, in addition to each DLC, we expect to release accompanying platform updates, which will be free for everyone. The lucky few who purchased the Arma 3 Supporter Edition in 2013 (which was exclusively available on the Bohemia Store during the Arma 3 Alpha/Beta) will also receive all these DLCs for free, as a thanks for their trust and support. We're still considering whether we'll make a new DLC Bundle available.
Dev-Branch users can now use high quality lightmap textures containing ambient shadow data. Design Lead Julien Vidaexplains how it works, describes conditions for using the technology (such as the _adshq suffix), and finally provides a visual example in a tweet below (look for the reduction of banding artifacts). Also, ImageToPAA (part of Arma 3 Tools package) has received an update on the Tools Dev-Branch to support these textures as well.
With our plans for the future now out in the open, Arma 3 is set to continue to grow in size and complexity. As you can imagine, supporting a platform with this many variables is not easy. For instance, you may have noticed that instead of every 4 to 6 weeks, Main Branch updates now occur approximately every 10 to 12 weeks. This enables us to stabilize the platform to the benefit of modding teams, while on our side, testing and supporting Arma 3 simply requires a growing amount of time (to illustrate, the 'build checklist' assembled by our Quality Assurance heroes, which we run through before every update, takes approximately three weeks). In addition, it takes into account that some of our Top Men are now also supporting the development of future Bohemia technologies and projects. As a consequence, we've also decided to change the frequency of our SITREPs. These will now appear every other week, and will hopefully contain more juicy bits of Intel. All in all, we're proud to be able to actively support Arma 3 for already more than 3 years since its original launch. This is something which has only been possible thanks to the daily cooperation with our community. We look forward to another excell... who are we kidding: splendid™ year!