FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: AAF Reinforcements, Dedicated Servers, Winter holidays PRECEDENCE: Flash
Welcome to the last SITuation REPort in 2013. We'll be out of comms for a few weeks during the holiday period, returning on 14.01.2014 with our weekly updates and many awesome things. Wrapping up the year, tomorrow sees the release of the 1.08 game update - including the AAF Reinforcements Pack. But that's not all! We can finally bring you the free and stand-alone Dedicated Server package on Steam - for Windows and Linux. The tools suite will be updated with a few fixes as well.
2014 is going to be an amazing year for Arma 3. Things are only just getting started, and we are all committed to continued support. Thank you for your contributions to making 2013 a spectacular ride. Have a fantastic winter holiday period, and see you all soon!
Devbranch will not be updated from 16.12.2013 to 03.01.2014 (it will resume on Monday 06.01.2014). The branch will be slightly ahead of 1.08 during that time, and have the MP performance diagnostics enabled. It is also likely to have the experimental tweaking of character protection incorporated to gather feedback, unlike the 1.08 main branch.
Development on the 'Adapt' campaign episode is wrapping fully this week. It will then enter final testing under data lock until its release on 21.01.2014.
Make Arma Not War - by now you will have seen our company's announcement of this huge €500,000 modding contest. Part of an effort to take modding to the next level, we are looking forward to seeing the creative and unique results! We also hope this will be a great thing not just for content creators, but for all players out there - being able to play work-in-progress and final entries throughout the year.
There was one release that may have slipped by unnoticed due to the contest announcement. Last week we published new content licenses to support creatives working with Bohemia Interactive titles. The framework will hopefully clear up what is and what is not allowed, and make things generally more transparent. Visit the Q&A thread for more information and to ask any questions you're left with.
Together with the licenses, we have released a huge set of licensed data packages (samples, game data, models, textures, animation files, etc.). They can be used to learn from and to derive other content from - just keep in mind the specific license for each package. They are available via torrent (recommended due to bandwidth stress), FTP and also as a special 'Beta' branch for the Arma 3 Tools Steam app (licensed_data_packages). Caution: this branch will download more than 22 GB of data!
The previously mentioned Dedicated Servers can be downloaded via the standard Steam client (Arma 3 Server in library filter: Tools). Administrators can also use the command-line SteamCMD utility. The app ID is to be 233780. We should also point out that both servers have been tested on a limited scale and there may be unforeseen issues to solve in 2014 (especially for the Linux variant). We are releasing them now to gather feedback from a broader range of network situations and distributions than we are able to simulate in-house.
Last week we mentioned compatibility issues between BattlEye and real-time ESET scanners. The latter partner has begun targeting this on their end, and they have a solution which they are testing. Future updates to their software should therefore work with the anti-cheat technology much smoother.
Our programmers have fixed an old issue in triggers. There is a much-reduced update delay after triggers are created (not yet in 1.08). We highlight this because scripters may want to check their timings and execution orders are not affected by this.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 5th December 2013
Bohemia Interactive, creators of the critically acclaimed Arma series and the standalone version of DAYZ, today announce the €500,000 Make Arma Not War content creation contest for Arma 3. With cash prizes ranging from €20,000 to €200,000, spread across four different categories, Bohemia Interactive challenges people to deliver their best work yet - and potentially move onto the radar of hundreds of thousands of Arma 3 players.
Using the game as their platform, people can compete in four different categories: Total Modification, Singleplayer Game Mode, Multiplayer Game Mode, and Addon. The headline prize will be awarded to the winner of the Total Modification category, where the sole victor will be taking home €200,000. In the other categories, prize money is divided between 1st place (€50,000), 2nd place (€30,000), and 3rd place (€20,000). Projects which show a lot of potential might also be offered a contract by Bohemia Interactive, whether they have won the contest or not.
“We’re delighted to be running a contest of such an incredible scope. The Make Arma Not War contest was brought to life to support our dedicated community of content creators, and stimulate the exciting culture of creativity that has formed over the years”, said Ivan Buchta, Creative Director at Bohemia Interactive, and one of the contest organizers. “Of course, with the stakes being this high, we’re expecting people to raise the bar – and we hope Arma 3 players will be there with us, to boost morale, and enjoy the fruits of the contestants’ hard labor.”
In addition to the €500,000 in cash prizes, Bohemia Interactive is also proud to announce a unique collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), who will be handing out the Health Care in Danger Special Award. Given to the entry which covers the topic of ‘health care in danger’ the best, the winner(s) will go on a one-week trip to an ICRC mission in a foreign country, organized by the ICRC.
While the application period is scheduled to open in 2014, people are already welcome to start working on their project. The closing date for submissions is October 28, 2014, after which a jury of Bohemia Interactive representatives and other industry professionals will begin to evaluate the finalists in each category (10 in the Total Modification/Multiplayer Game Mode/Addon categories, 20 in the Singleplayer Game Mode category). The winners will be announced on January 15, 2015. More details, including how people can cast their vote and support their favorite projects, are to be announced at a later date.
“With the launch of the first Arma game in 2001, we’ve laid the foundation for our series’ long-standing history in user-content and modifications. It has led us to enjoy many amazing creations, among which is the popular DAYZ mod”, said Bohemia Interactive’s CEO Marek Spanel. “Support for mod-making has always been a priority, and with Arma 3, our goal is to take it to the next level. The Make Arma Not War contest, as well as Arma 3’s integration of the Steam Workshop, the updated EULAs, and our refreshed Arma 3 tool suite, is all part of this effort. We can’t wait to see what comes from it!”
The rules for the contest, which also includes information on dates, prizes, and categories, can be found on www.makearmanotwar.com. The Make Arma Not War website will be updated regularly, starting with additional instructions on how to apply in the beginning of next year.
Last but not least, to stay up to date with the latest developments, people can sign up for the Make Arma Not War newsletter. Important announcements regarding the contest will also be communicated via the official Arma 3 social channels (Facebook, Twitter).
Korneel van 't Land has informed us that "Adapt", Arma 3's second campaign episode will be available on January 21st, 2014.
Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday 4th December 2013
Bohemia Interactive today announced the release date of the second campaign episode for Arma 3. Picking up from where the first episode left off, the campaign is set to continue with the release of the ‘Adapt’ episode on Tuesday January 21st, 2014.
The official campaign for Arma 3, named ‘The East Wind’, unfolds over three episodes: 'Survive', 'Adapt', 'Win'. In the first episode, players were introduced to Ben Kerry, a regular soldier who’s part of a NATO-peacekeeping mission in the Mediterranean. After a botched withdrawal trapped Kerry’s unit on the island of Stratis, in the midst of a flashpoint, they attempt an escape to the neighboring island of Altis.
"While the first part of the campaign focused on the basics of infantry combat, this second ‘Adapt’ episode plays with the other cool features of Arma 3’s sandbox”, said Jaroslav Kasny, Playable Content Lead for Arma 3. "Players will find more open and unorthodox scenarios, and with the help of guerrilla warfare, set out to defeat a much stronger enemy."
Before the upcoming holidays, ahead of the second episode’s launch, Bohemia Interactive will already be releasing the episode’s new sandbox content. Included in this (free) package are 3 additional vehicles for the Altis Armed Forces faction. The Wy-55 Hellcat helicopter has previously seen action with the British Armed Forces, and now provides a maneuverable and armed aerial reconnaissance platform for the AAF. The FV-720 Mora is a tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle best employed in combined arms warfare. Last but not certainly least, we find the fully new MBT-52 tank, brought in to the round out the faction's war fighting options. The vehicles, plus other new content such as black versions of the MX rifle family, infra-red grenades and the LRPS sniper scope, will be made available on Wednesday December 11th via an automatic update on Steam.
On top of the official campaign, Arma 3 features the massive islands of Altis (270 km˛) and Stratis (20 km˛), singleplayer showcases, factions showcases, multiplayer scenarios, firing drill challenges, more than 20 vehicles and 40 weapons, 5 factions, an in-game scenario editor, and modding support.
People can purchase the Arma 3 (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) or the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version is also available at many of the major retailers.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Asset library, Announcing announcements PRECEDENCE: Flash
This week's report will be a little dry. We are going to be announcing several things later this week or generally soon™. One such announcement is to provide a specific date for the deployment of the 'Adapt' campaign episode. As the designers iterate the more open and free scenarios of this stage, other developers have jumped back into the voice recording studio this week. The briefing performance capture was recorded a while ago, but now it's time to do the final scenario conversations for all actors - as well as some new radio protocols (one of which by our own designer Nelson Duarte as an Altian local speaking English). Meanwhile Audio Lead Jan Dušek is mastering the last of five new music tracks added as a score for the episode. INTELLIGENCE
One of multiple factors that may affect multiplayer performance are various real-time security applications interfering with BattlEye anti-cheat. We are trying to look into this with companies such as ESET, but meanwhile there are configuration tips that may help you. Our programmers are also still trying to tackle the larger topic of performance in multiplayer compared to singleplayer.
The week's Workshop dev favorite is presented by QA Developer, Ondřej Kužel. His pick: 'Close Air Support' by StrongHarm, and here's what he had to say about it: "This mission, even though there are some bugs, really shows how an aerial mission should look like. It feels authentic with its implementation of military procedures, but it still strikes a fine balance between simulation and game elements. Also the voice-acting is excellent, and overall there are just plenty of details which add to an incredibly rich atmosphere. This mission definitely belongs to my all-time favorites!"
"Where are my jets?!" Don't worry, the NATO and CSAT Close Air Support jets are still under development. These are fully new and detailed models (exterior and interior), with lots of moving parts, so they need a bit more time to become ready for service. And besides these fixed-wing aircraft there are more assets under development to be patched into the game.
Senior designer Karel Mořický has taken to the Community Wiki and spammed it with a huge and complete Arma 3 asset library - with pictures! The library can be sorted by various categories and gives you useful technical details, such as class names, weapon load-outs and descriptions. This export is automated on our end, so we intend to iterate it with every major update of the game. It should be a nice reference guide for scenario designers and modders.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: AAF vehicles, Licensed data PRECEDENCE: Flash
Last week was packed with reports; after the usual SITREP, we followed up with a SPOTREP for the 1.06 patch release. On the same day there was the premier TECHREP, to keep track of the release and updates to the Arma 3 Tools suite. Initially we'll be updating the tools on the same cycle as the main game, but we'll see how that goes. Keep reading for some hints of useful additions to the package coming up soon!
Another thing in the pipelines for imminent staging on devbranch: three more vehicles and a sniper scope! These will be part of the next game update. Find some more details below.
With the 1.08 update we'll be releasing the following AAF faction reinforcements (and more sandbox content):
- MBT-52 Kuma - Main Battle Tank for the AAF - FV-720 Mora - the AAF's versatile Infantry Fighting Vehicle - WY-55 Hellcat - maneuverable air transport and fire support for the AAF
The tank is entirely new and made from scratch by our artists. The IFV has seen action in BAF, but was vastly improved and given lots more detail. The copter was also passed on from the BAF, got new armament, skids and a fresh lick of paint.
A fresh rotation of the Community Focus widget takes a look at machinima, an Arma gaming community, custom soundtrack work and a whole bunch of scripting tutorials.
We'd like to give you some idea of what we're working on adding to the tools suite. There are still some secondary tools to add, such as the FSM editor and TexView. Further away, but in the works, is Steam Workshop integration. This is more complex than scenarios have been, but we consider it an important effort. Terrain creators among you are wondering why there is no Visitor release yet. This is unfortunately not quite so easy. Visitor 4 is based on licensed technology and we are not allowed simply to release it. We need to find consent of the licencor first before we can make it available to the community. We'll keep you updated.
Together with a crack team of Top Men, Ondrej Kužel (Oukej) has started some work on AI configuration. The goal is to: define how individual AI config params affect AI behavior, document and refine these settings; provide the common player more meaningful control over the difficulty of the AI; enable mission designers more useful control over AI configuration. If you'd like to keep track of this work or contribute some ideas, check out this forum thread.
Ready your broadband connections, because we stand on the verge of releasing lots of data for modders. Barring any showstoppers, we will next week be releasing data from pretty much all Arma 2 content. This will be done under new licenses, that make it possible to use the data to release within Arma games. It will no longer require case-by-case requests to use Arma 2 models and textures for Arma 3 mods for example. Things should be clear and accessible for anyone!
You can find the tools package in the Steam library (switch the filter to "Tools") - "Arma 3 Tools" You will probably need to start Addon Builder (primary tool) once to add all needed registry entries for the rest of tools See SITREP #00035 for more intel about this initial release
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.06, Tools release PRECEDENCE: Flash
While we are working on the 'Adapt' episode, let's focus this week's report on the other kinds of Arma 3 support! The next main branch update (1.06) is in final testing at the moment. Assuming this goes well, we'll update the game later this week. The update is primarily focused on miscellaneous fixes and on-going maintenance. One important aspect is the fix of surround sound character dialogue, during the campaign especially.
Another release now in final testing: the Arma 3 Tools package on Steam. Modders will finally receive the first iteration of this suite, focusing on building add-ons. It makes it easier to prepare their new models for the game (Binarize, Oxygen, CfgConvert, etc.). Included as well are special 'render worlds', which are basically single color backdrops for e.g. chroma key machinima work. A collection of Arma 3 sample models and configuration files provide clues as to creating your own characters, cars, tanks, weapons and buildings. In no way is this a one-time final release. As with the game, we will be updating and iterating the package. Later iterations will go beyond add-on building, providing additional and improved tools and samples. When will all this start? It should drop together with the aforementioned game update! After release, you'll find it in the Steam library's Tools section - ready for a quick install.
Andrew 'Dslyecxi' Gluck has put up a video explaining the various versions of his Tactical Guide available. The guide has grown and matured over eight years, taking all the experiences from playing the Arma games and beyond. The TTP3 edition targets Arma 3, but looks at the whole series, tactics & procedures in general, and community efforts. Recently, a free online version was published. There's also an e-book edition that can be purchased from Store.bistudio.com, a grayscale print version, and coming up: a full-color print edition. Stay tuned to our online store for that one.
Senior QA team member Bořivoj Klíma, who also does a lot of the coordination on Feedback Tracker, has shared his personal Workshop dev favorite. His motivation to select 'Convoy Escort' by Tim: "It's a short and simple mission, where you follow the daily routine of an AH-9 Pawnee pilot. Especially the start of the mission at the base is very convincing, and overall, I just really appreciate the realism and atmosphere."
A recent Tweet by one of our designers reminded us of a great page on the Community Wiki, all about script optimizations. It's a good read and reminds even our developers of good practices, better algorithms and the way our Real Virtuality engine handles threading. In closing, there's a method for measuring your own script's performance: BIS_fnc_codePerformance.
The recent work on fatigue and personal protection (body armors and such) on devbranch, has been temporarily disabled. Why? Both need more time for tweaking and testing, and we want to release a main branch update this week. After this patch is out, work in these areas on devbranch will resume.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Campaign episode 2, Fatigue PRECEDENCE: Flash SITUATION
The second campaign episode is currently undergoing its most busy development period. The playable content team is evaluating the scenarios, gathering internal feedback and starting final iterations of the flow and logic. Meanwhile the texts (briefings, hints and dialogues) are all being fleshed out to prepare for this episode's final voice acting and MOCAP work. And, there's still a significant new multiplayer feature coming to Arma 3. We look forward to finally speak about its specifics soon™.
Scenario designer Thomas Ryan sat down with our embedded Report In! crew to speak more about his work on, among many things, the campaign. He does drop in some 'Survive' spoilers, so be careful if you haven't played it yet.
Devbranch has received its first iterations of on-going fatigue tweaks by designer Radko Voda, also involving weapon sway. Today the initial version was updated with tweaks based directly on feedback. There may still be animations which are incorrectly slowed down, but they are being systematically hunted down.
Another topic for which feedback is actively being sought is UAVs. Designer druid Bořivoj Hlava has opened a thread to collect outstanding issues, priorities and general
A new Report in! featuring Designer Thomas Ryan, one of the campaign creators, has been published on the official Arma 3 website . Here are some extracts :
The campaign is being released across 3 episodes. What did or does this mean for your work; did anything change in terms of story or missions? [possible spoilers] I believe the episodic approach is allowing us to provide a much more polished experience on launch than we have in the past, as I believe the reception to Survive has proven. That’s not to say it’s been perfect, of course; work is still on-going to improve certain aspects of the individual missions, and fix issues that players have run into. We’ve learned a lot from the release of just Survive alone, the results of which I hope you’ll see in the coming episodes.
In terms of a direct impact on the story or missions, here’s another piece of trivia: the ending sequence to Survive was actually originally the opening to Adapt, with Survive ending as the survivors sailed away from the shores of Stratis. However, when we decided to go with the episodic approach, we believed this scene was better suited to end Survive and leave the players wanting more, thus we made it so. Throughout Survive, though, we made careful considerations as to what we wanted to reveal, or keep secret until the following episodes. We’re only at the beginning, after all.
The episodes are called Survive, Adapt, and Win. The first episode ‘Survive’ has just been released. Can you tell us how the theme of ‘surviving’ is incorporated? [possible spoilers] The global situation in Arma 3 pits NATO pretty much on the losing end, with an ever-growing competitor looming in the east; the Canton Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty, or CSAT for short. We wanted things to go badly for Kerry and, by extension, the player. We wanted to test how they would react when faced with such situations. The AAF, whom NATO considered a (reluctant) ally, turns on them as they are pulling out, motives uncertain (for now), and decimates the majority of NATO forces left behind, leaving only the player and a few survivors to, well, survive. Stratis is a small place, and the survivors have very little time to put together a plan of action. Needless to say, not everything goes according to plan.
When thinking about what gameplay we wanted, we wanted the player to be on the receiving end of hell on a lot of occasions. We wanted him under-equipped and outnumbered though, sometimes, pulling through. However, most of their victories end up being partial. But Kerry, and the player, has to put a lot of faith in his superiors, and he only recognizes a few of them, if he knows them at all. Not, perhaps, the situation most soldiers want to find themselves in when faced with such odds.
Stories typically contain an introduction, body, and conclusion. Should we consider Survive as the introduction? How do you introduce a setting, story, and characters?
Survive is definitely the introduction. Adapt and Win will take what you learn here and push you harder, giving you more freedom and autonomy as you progress, as well as introducing you to the more complex aspects of Arma 3. Here, we wanted to teach you the basics; essentially, how to survive.
Apart from its technical purpose, its narrative purpose is to set the scene. We wanted to introduce the player to our world, to the characters he’ll see throughout the remaining episodes, and to start him off on the story we want to tell. We give the player a brief lesson on the global situation at the time. We then introduce him to certain characters and their motivations, though a lot is deliberately left unclear. Finally, we knew that the survivors had to get off Stratis by the end of Survive, and we set the wheels in motion, with all roads eventually leading the player to Altis.
The first campaign episode also seems a good place to start for newcomers. However, it’s not really like there are specific tutorials. What are you doing to ease these players into Arma 3?
Survive is definitely the starting point, intending to teach newcomers the fundamentals. Moving up through the tiers as the episode progresses, you start off with basic combat, before moving on to basic squad combat, and then some wildcards get thrown into the mix, such as mortars, underwater, and night-time operations. These really are the basic of basics in Arma 3, and you will need to be familiar with them to progress in the coming episodes.
Outside of our "learning through play" approach, we have also introduced a new, key mechanic in Survive: the Instructor Figure. An optional game setting, which you can easily opt-out of, the Instructor Figure is a system that gives the player context-appropriate assistance in missions where we deemed it necessary, presented in the form of in-universe conversations involving campaign characters. The idea was to provide tips that could help the player in some of the more complex situations, many of which we determined during our phases of focus testing. The idea was not to draw the player out of the experience by throwing him into some cutscene or presenting him with a book to read. Rather, we treat it as if it's almost a story event, which helps to keep the player immersed while also pointing them in the right direction. ... Can you already give us a few hints on what to expect in the next episode(s)? [possible spoilers] Well, without giving too much away, I will say that all is not as it seems. A lot of the questions you have been asking after playing Survive are there for a reason, and many will be answered as early as Adapt. As I said before, we are only at the beginning.
… is Arma 3 going to be playable on my Athlon II x2 250 / GTS 450 DDR3 ?
I read that kind of question again and again well before Arma3 Alpha release, and that kind of question is asked not only by people have extra low end configurations but also by people having high-end rigs.
Minimum OS : Windows Vista SP2 /Windows 7 SP1 CPU : Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz / AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz GPU : Nvidia GeForce 8800GT / ATI Radeon HD 3830 / Intel HD Graphics 4000 - 512 MB DirectX® : 10 RAM : 2 GB
A rig for the test :
It happens that I own a PC having more or less this configuration. It has been built to host my work in progress as a Map-Maker as well as a repository for backups. Based upon an Athlon II x2 250 / 4 Go de DDR3, a 500 Go HDD for the OS and a pair of 2 To HDD for data. Later a GTS 450 /1 Go DDR3 had been added so I could watch series while my main rig was dealing with Visitor3.
The release of the first episode of the ArmA 3 campaign : “Survive”; was the signal I needed to start making some tests on Arma3 with this rig. So I got a spare old Intel 80 Go SSD inside in order to host Steam files and there we go !
Some settings, some tests and results :
1° Playing Singleplayer : I have played in SP : Missions I created in the Editor, Showcases, “Survive” and Arma3Mark Stratis unofficial Benchmark.
I did many attempts with various tweaks and settings but I started the tests playing with the settings given by the Autodetect function.
Autodetect set all options on “Low” in the video quality section, set global “Visibility” at 1000 m and totally disabled the AA&PP section. On the GUI the FPS rate jumped to 50.
In game, I was getting a stable 30 FPS, and Arma3Mark was around 32/34 FPS. It was playable but without grass or clutters on the ground, trees looking like candyfloss, buildings blank textured; no other words for it : the game was ugly. However the superb lights effects were there helping me to bear the overall ugliness.
So, as I was finishing the tests, playing some mission out of Camp Maxwell, I couldn't stand it anymore. So I decided to change the settings in order to find a better balance between playability and visual quality and after some tweaking I made the choice to set all the “Quality“ parameters on “Standard”. All the following pictures and the benching results in the SP part were done with those settings.
ArmA3Mark : of course, with these settings the bench results were a bit lower, around 23/27 FPS. Starting at a low 17 FPS but with a nice finish at 23 FPS !
Showcase Infantry : good start and ending around 30 FPS. Slight slips under 20 FPS during the fight in Girna. In the same place, low quality for mid-range building textures but quite playable and enjoyable.
Campaign : Camp Maxwell - Mission Blackfoot : good visual quality in the forest, the FPS frame rate falls down a bit to 18 FPS during Miller briefing but overall it's playable and enjoyable.
2° Playing Multi-Player : I have done many tests on various servers having a low ping and playing well built missions.
On a heavy populated server with a ping of 45 in “Low” with 900 m global visibility I have been getting 8/15FPS = it's ugly AND unplayable. Quite a shame, really.
On a un-populated server with a ping of 35 in “Standard” with 2000 m global visibility I have been getting 10/15FPS = again, quite unplayable with an image quality which appeared less good than in SP.
So we are getting at a quick conclusion : At the moment, it's not possible to play in MultiPlayer with such a config. But the weirdest thing is that I have been getting lower visual quality ingame and at the same time a very low GPU load (around 30% for the test on the 1st server and around 50% for the test on the 2nd one.)
Before I conclude this 1st tests row, I will say I can see the limits in them : the subjective side and some bias. - Limits : I'm not a specialist, just a dedicated Arma veteran player. - Subjective side : I have done a “choice” by throwing aside playable but ugly settings in order to play a visually better game at the price of some FPS drop in Single Player. - Bias : the main one being I had to connect 2 screens on the GPU in order to get hardware result while playing getting a large 2704x1050 total screen. But in fact I am getting a 100% CPU load on GUI only, as soon as I am in-game, the GPU load is falling! On the other side, I have tested the game with only the 1680x1050 gaming screen connected and it shows no difference FPS wise.
So to conclude, I can tell that Arma3 is quite playable and enjoyable in Single player in Missions and Campaign as well on a configuration nearing the “Minimum” official specs. But at the moment, I'll repeat myself but only to make it clear : this configuration does not allow playing in Multi-Player. From my point of view, the “Recommended” official specs configuration seems to be in fact the minimum configuration to play and enjoy MultiPlayer.
In the future, I will have a look at what can be done from my side to enhance performances, dealing with better RAM, better GPU ... so, to be continued !
Note1 : I am quite fond of ArmA3Mark, you can find it here. Note 2 : were used in these tests HWiNFO64, TechPowerUp GPU-Z, Drives Meter, Fraps. Note 3 : most of my interrogations about the minimum specs concern were raised while answering questions on JV.com French forums here. (Careful : French Language - Click at your own risks) Note 4 : I have used GamerCentral.de server as a test base too often, thanks guys !
FROM: Project Lead FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Tools PRECEDENCE: Flash
SITUATION The positive reception of "Survive" has boosted team morale and excitement to make the "Adapt" episode a fitting continuation. Asset producers are finalizing the new sandbox content, for which we can finally share more teasers soon - including 3 added vehicles. That is not to say "Survive" came with just the campaign episode. Have a look at the full SPOTREP, and go in-depth with the cool blog written up by Creative Director Jay Crowe. Besides the second episode, what else are we working on at the moment? Coming up is the Arma 3 Tools release (read on for more) and a more traditional update of main branch later this month. INTELLIGENCE
In certain cases of multiplayer performance issues, the problem may be security software interfering with BattlEye's anti-cheat engine. The BE systems are designed to run alongside the game and should not cause significant performance drops. If you experience these issues please consider checking if tweaking security software settings helps. Or look for other programs that your OS may be running in the background and which can interfere (specifically memory scanners).
Some people struggled to work out how to start the campaign. We've hotfixed 1.04 to improve this a little by making double-clicking expand the campaign menu tree structure (besides pressing the arrow next to the campaign). Restoration of more obvious button methods is forthcoming. The main page had its Italian player community and a South African military equipment mod.
Petr Kolář has the following update on Arma 3's tools: "There have been many questions regarding releasing of the Arma 3 Tools package on our forums. We are still working on the package - mainly testing the stability at the moment - and it should be available as soon as possible. We have decided to take an approach similar to the release of the game - continuous staging of finished parts and enhancing the experience with later additions. The first batch will contain the basic tools with slightly enhanced functionality, but we feel that work on tools is a never-ending process. Some of you may have already found a new category in Feedback Tracker to report issues, and we've been asking around for wanted improvements on current tools. A general tools category has been added to the forums.
Primarily included in this first iteration are new versions of packing tools (new binarization for all the PhysX LODs e.g. / new config conversion with the new method of using arrays and all the current functionality). There also will be a new version of Oxygen 2, supporting PhysX and buoyancy LODs, together with some nice samples of models with commented configs. Visitor will not yet be added."
Before the release of "Survive", we mentioned intent to work on fatigue. This is about to kick off on devbranch. Designer Radko Voda will start publishing tweaks in the next few days, as well as to detail and discuss them on the forums. The goals are still to introduce better calculations and enhance authenticity of equipment affecting performance.
A commonly reported issue relates to surround sound audio setups. We are specifically looking into problems with center speaker volume during conversations in 3D space.
There have been a few changes to event handler handleDamage (and various others) - making it more easy to work with them. Designer Bořivoj Hlava explains the details in this thread.
On Friday 1st November 2013, Jay Crowe - Creative Director-Arma 3 - has reported this "A war on all fronts : Arma3 - Episode 1_" entry on the official Arma 3 web site.
Releasing the first part of Arma 3's campaign, The East Wind, represents much more than new gameplay alone: the launch is a splendid package of content and features. While the whole team has contributed to the ongoing support of the game - by way of a multitude of post-release fixes and tweaks - there are some stand-out additions that we'd particularly like to share.
Below, we'll cover a few in greater detail and talk a little about the basic ideas behind our first episode; be sure to check out our SPOTREP for the comprehensive run-down of all the changes and additions.
Episode 1: Survive
The first chunk of the campaign sets the stage and seeks to introduce some of Arma 3's gameplay basics without overwhelming new players or patronising veterans. Taking on simple subordinate roles in a variety of situations, players have the opportunity to develop their skills and familiarise themselves with some of Arma's unique controls and concepts. Along the way, those starting on lower difficulties will, by default, be offered extra guidance to help them complete their objectives by way of hints and advice.
We hope that 'Survive' finds a balance between throwing new players in at the deep end and supporting them to think about how to complete tasks within certain constraints. By 'surviving' the first episode, we hope you'll be prepared to 'adapt' to the more open and challenging gameplay that's in store for Episode 2, where the player is offered gradually more autonomy and authority.
Progress, Splendid Progress
Alongside Episode 1, some splendid new features have made their way into the game, which contribute to the overall feeling of the campaign. Light Shafts (a.k.a., 'Crespecular Rays') have enhanced the feeling of being in strong sunlight and dusty conditions. The first chunk of campaign gameplay in particular has really benefited from this graphical enhancement, which - to some degree - has helped to make a play-through feel fresh and new on a terrain with which many players will be very familiar.
The way we visualise rain has also undergone a modest overhaul. Rather than the old 2D texture technique, each raindrop is now created as simple geometry, which means they're correctly occluded by things like tree canopies, roofs, etc., and are illuminated by global light, which means they become more visible/coloured around things like street lamps and vehicle headlights. Together with the new SFX, it's a good step forward and helps us to create a new feeling in missions where it's raining. We look forward to making more refinements in future.
Of course, this release isn't just about our own story; rather, it represents another opportunity to provide yet more building blocks for the platform - new weapons, animations, 3D objects, scripted modules, etc. - each designed to grant content creators even greater freedom to produce and share their own work.
*Weapons & Optics In terms of weapons, the Rahim DMR is a 7.62 bullpup-type rifle, which offers new long-range punch to the CSAT faction. Alongside that, two new 'heavy' pistols were added - the 4-Five for NATO and the Zubr for CSAT. These add a little more variety to infantry side arms and also feature rails upon which accessories can be mounted.
Our new accessories take the form of optics and sights specially designed for these weapons. The designated marksman scope has a 6x/12x (2-step) zoom and features a top-mounted collimator for more effective closer quarters combat. The new handguns feature the MRD (NATO) and Yorris (CSAT) pistol collimator sights.
*Objects & Compositions A variety of new editor items have been added. These include larger objects, such as the decommissioned Hunter MRAP and cargo boxes, which were included to reinforce the feeling of the NATO withdrawal - tearing down bases and scrapping vehicles ahead of pulling out - and to provide more options for populating bases, etc.
Around 30 smaller items have been added, too, partly in splendid cooperation with the DayZ standalone team. Items like laptops, documents and medical supplies are now available, which really help mission designers to create the small details in richer scenes.
*Animations & Briefings More than 100 new animations are part of the Episode 1 package. Many of these are 'ambient', such as soldiers at ease around a base (patrolling, chatting, sitting on barriers, etc.), medics attending to the wounded, and so on. Together with the new objects/compositions, these help to create more believable and dynamic compositions, bringing quite static scenes to life.
The new briefing animations take two forms. Some are performance-captured scenes that can be carefully engineered (read: mercilessly hacked) to suit a variety of situations. Others are more generic moves that blend with a units default idle state, which can be played when needed during a mission briefing to emphasise a point and sustain visual interest.
*Characters & Protocol Episode 1 introduces players to a number of new characters. You can meet these guys in the campaign, or fire up the editor and explore the 'Story' section of each faction to find these new models. Highlights include the player, 'Ben Kerry', who has a unique head mesh and set of facial textures, 'Scott Miller' and his UK Special Forces team members, plus a few more besides.
The new British characters sport a new uniform and have their own En-GB protocol. When you place these characters, you'll find there are 3 new voice types from our actors, and one special Jayholder protocol (angry and splendid)! Despite, er, rumours to the contrary, all of the actors are indeed GBR nationals with accents from various parts of the UK. Apparently, there's something about the British accent which confuses players – "Australian!", "South African!", "Faaaaaaake!", etc. Just one of the costs of running an empire, I suppose.
*Music & Audio Some great new music has been composed to support the creation of distinctive moments in the campaign. Owners of the Digital Deluxe Edition will find 7 new tracks in their Steam Bonus-folder from the "Survive" campaign episode. In game, the music is deployed as 'Lead', 'Ambient and 'Event' tracks.
Aside from these, the data also includes a number of potentially useful audio effects, such as the background noises of vehicle decommissioning, ambient 'base' SFX of soldiers chatting, and subtle 'forest' sounds. These simple effects help to enrich scenes and establish a particular kind of feeling/tone, working alongside other elements like animations and objects.
*Modules & Functions Wherever possible, we try to build the campaign on reusable and extensible systems. Examples of useful modules include: the 'ORBAT' viewer (visualising the Order of Battle of military forces - great for establishing that 'big picture' feeling), 'Zone Restriction' (useful for creating no-go zones where it's appropriate), 'Instructor Figure' (our system of providing extra guidance on the battlefield) and 'Friendly Fire' (a configurable system that handles players killing civilians and friendlies).
There are also a bunch of interesting new functions - useful chunks of script that are centrally maintained. Some great examples include: 'BIS_fnc_buildingPositions' (returns the available positions of a given structure), 'BIS_fnc_isBuildingEnterable' (checks if a structure is enterable) and 'BIS_fnc_cinemaBorder' (creates cinema borders and handles disabling certain actions like opening the map, using the action menu, etc).
The documentation of these - and many, many more - modules and functions is an ongoing effort, and we hope to improve the process of making our internal documentation external. For now, it's worth remembering that the Functions Viewer (accessible from the pause menu in the editor) is a great tool for browsing these scripts. Much of the documentation can be found in the headers, which describe how to use them, what the parameters are, etc.
Plan of Attack
Before we unleashed Episode 1 into the wild, we first released it to the development branch. We'd like to thank all those who played early and provided feedback. This process helped us to make our final release more stable. While we couldn't include all of the feedback (a lot of which we would have liked to if we had time), we were able to fix a few really key problems that would have detracted from the player's experience. Thank you all for helping to make the release of this episode one of the most stable, polished launches in our series' history.
Looking forward to the forthcoming episodes, we’re set to continue to expand Arma 3’s sandbox with additions such as new vehicles and aircraft. In the meantime, other parts of our team are hard at work on creating an updated tools package, which we'll release more information about soon™. Central to our philosophy is improving and extending the sandbox - creating systems and features that are reusable or that establish best practise - but we're also passionate about telling our own story. With the release of 'Survive' we've sought to strike a splendid balance, and look forward to continuing this effort.
We hope you enjoy Episode 1 and our future instalments, and we're looking forward to playing the community campaigns in the near future, too! After all, the majority of our very own campaign team are community veterans themselves!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Arma 3 "Survive" trailer release.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 31st October 2013
To reinforce the launch of the Survive campaign episode, Bohemia Interactive has released a brand new trailer for Arma 3. The first campaign episode – which introduces the conflict between the NATO, CSAT, and AAF factions – is now available as an automatic update on Steam.
In Arma 3’s campaign, players take on the role of Ben Kerry, a soldier who is a part of the NATO peacekeeping operation in the Mediterranean. Five years after the bloody civil war in the Republic of Altis & Stratis came to an end, NATO has started to withdraw its forces from the region - unknowingly creating the conditions for a Mediterranean flashpoint. Kerry's unit, 'Task Force Aegis' - together with a clandestine group of UKSF operators - is soon caught up in a situation beyond their control, and trapped in a fight for survival.
Besides new playable content, the first campaign episode also provides extra building blocks for Arma 3 content creators. These come in the form of new weapons, animations, 3D objects, and scripted modules. More free content, including new vehicles, is expected to be released together with the next campaign episodes. The exact release dates of the second (Adapt) and third (Win) campaign episodes will be announced later.
Arma 3 features the large open terrains of ‘Altis’ (270 km˛) and ‘Stratis’ (20 km˛), 12 singleplayer showcases, 3 factions showcases, 9 multiplayer scenarios, 10 firing drill challenges, more than 20 vehicles and 40 weapons, 5 factions, the scenario editor and modding support. The singleplayer campaign is deployed across 3 campaign episodes.
People can purchase the regular Arma 3 (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) or the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version of Arma 3 is also available at many of the major retailers.