Korneel van 't Land has informed us about the Arma 3 'Alpha anniversary'. To celebrate, BIS released a new update (1.12) featuring the M2A4 Slammer tank alongside other things such as bugfixes, improved multiplayer servers and new optics for MBT's.
In celebration of Arma 3's 'Alpha anniversary' (the Arma 3 Alpha was released on March 5th 2013), Bohemia Interactive has deployed a brand new M2A4 Slammer UP (Urban Purpose) tank variant (screenshot attached). Players have access to the Slammer UP after downloading today's automatic update for Arma 3 on Steam.
The M2A4 Slammer UP is the urban purpose variant of the M2A1 Slammer. Compared to the base version, it features heavier armor with reinforced rear of the tank and a remote-controlled turret. This weight increase had to be compensated somewhere, which is why the M2A4 is fitted with a less powerful 105mm cannon - compared to 120mm of the base Slammer.
Arma 3 pioneered Steam's Early Access form of development with the release of the Arma 3 Alpha one year ago. Working closely together with the community, Arma 3 also became one of the first Early Access games to celebrate its official release. Building further upon the game's solid foundation, Bohemia Interactive is still actively developing new improvements, features and content - among which Arma 3's final campaign episode and the Arma 3 Zeus DLC. The studio has also launched a €500,000 modding competition.
For more information about Arma 3, please visit the official website at www.arma3.com and follow Arma 3 on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The complete changelog of the new update (1.12) can be found here.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Alpha anniversary, Zeus intel PRECEDENCE: Flash
Tomorrow will have been a year since the release of the Arma 3 Alpha. Thanks to your enduring support and the hard work of the development team, Arma 3 has evolved into a cool military package. And it continues to grow and mature. As a small bonus for this mini-anniversary, we're including a new variant of the Slammer MBT in tomorrow's update. The Urban Purpose variant features a commander machine gun turret, a smaller caliber cannon, shorter barrel, and enhanced armor.
The update will also sport improved optics for armored vehicles - giving them more unique and authentic styles. Alongside the game update, we'll of course be bringing the Server packages to the same version. The Arma 3 Tools suite is to receive more samples for various vehicle types, as well as a tool to extract PBO data.
Petr Kolár reports: you may have already noticed that new holders for various objects appeared in the Editor together with the Zeus Beta release to development branch. These are meant to improve mission making by adding a possibility to place weapons on specific spots, and not only for Zeus. It is easier for example to make your own firing drills with a wide variety of weapons on the ground around shooting positions. We have even added an empty one on popular demand, in order to fill it with stuff using initialization scripts. All weapons, inventory items, headgear, vests and uniforms should be available to use (and loaded with respective magazines in case of weapons).
Let's continue last week's look at some of the cool aspects of Zeus:
There is a strong potential for training. Team up with an experienced player and let him or her be a cooperative Zeus who runs you through improvised combat drills, navigation training, tactics, or anything else you can think of. This form of multiplayer training can be very intuitive and powerful.
It is very easy to create custom scenarios which use Zeus technology in some way. Many things are possible, but it starts by simply dropping in a player character and a Game Master module (F7). Check out the documentation to learn more about setting up resource / unlock schemes, using custom add-ons, defining editable objects and areas, and more.
The Zeus tech, especially when broken down to its smaller components and modules, can be used for other projects. Think of other game modes or features like spectating for example.
As we get closer to the release of the 'Win' campaign episode, the work on the new vehicles comes to its end. We are primarily tweaking the jets' flight models and getting the final sounds in place. A few new sound triggers in the engine will be usable for community aircraft as well: landing gear and flap SFX. Ideally we'll be staging the assets on devbranch next week.
Another small Task Force has been mopping up work on drones, based on player feedback and a few internal requests for upcoming scenarios. This forums post sums up what has been fixed / changed over the past few weeks.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: OPREP - Refactoring anims, Patch incoming, Zeus intel PRECEDENCE: Flash
Our offices were recently invaded by a Eurogamer.net Task Force. They chatted with our developers, and recorded an impromptu Let's Play Arma 3 Zeus. The video quality is not great due to their recording setup, but there is a sneak preview of two new vehicles. You'll see the CSAT CAS jet in action with work-in-progress animations and sounds. A vehicle we have not yet spoken about, and which is coming to the 'Win' episode, is the Tempest heavy truck. Further diversifying the factions, this vehicle and the usual variants for ammunition, fuel and repairs, will be added to CSAT (as an additional vehicle, not replacing their fleet of Zamaks; avoiding issues in existing scenarios).
Speaking of, let's repeat a couple of aspects of Arma 3 Zeus to address common questions:
* Zeus can be a physical character on the battlefield, or an almighty virtual presence.
* There can be multiple Zeus in one scenario, not just one. This allows for concepts like Zeus versus Zeus with AI, and for distributing the load of managing the experience across more people.
* Zeus can be both against or with the players or any mixture of that depending on the scenario.
* Zeus powers and abilities can be limited in a scenario (e.g. any 'supernatural' powers can be disabled).
* Starting with a blank canvas in Game Master mode is just one example of using Zeus technology. You can also layer Zeus on top of a fully scripted and pre-designed coop scenario. Perhaps in such case Zeus only influences the patrol routes of existing units.
Animation programmer Šimon Kolciter posted an OPREP titled "Refactoring Anims". He goes over a behind-the-scenes effort to bring some much-needed organization and structure to our web of animations. Not a lot of this work is visible to players right now. Basically it produces the same results but in a better way. It will however allow for a more robust starting point for new animation-related features over the next years.
We are currently recording the voice acting for the 'Win' episode. That also means we'll do two new Radio Protocols (voices). One of these is live on devbranch already, while the second one is to be processed and will appear somewhere between now and the episode's release.
UNIT: Šimon Kolčiter, Programmer, Programming Dept. TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users OPSUM: Untangling the web: improving animations systems in Arma 3. EVALUATION
Over the years - and across a variety of different projects - our underlying system of weapons and stances has been gradually extended to support new weapon types, actions, etc., bringing new gameplay and features to our players. However, it has now grown to the point of being relatively difficult to maintain.
Faced with a complicated 'spaghetti' relationship between game code and animation configs, which greatly increases the risk of potential problems, we've set out to refactor our system. Our objective is to make the process of managing and creating features far more robust. DESIRED CHANGES
To achieve this, we've implemented a one way 'desire-based' system; i.e., the engine decides what stance/weapon is selected and sends the appropriate action to the animation system, which then selects the new animation state. The action represents either the desired weapon category (Rifle, Handgun, Launcher, Binoculars, no weapon), desired stance (Standing, Crouching, Prone) and weapon 'posture', which is determined by current AI state (safe, aware - lowered weapon, combat - raised).
Our goal has been to remove redundant actions that exist mostly to mimic different control settings or are a result of different implementation by different programmers adding different features requested by different designers over the last decade. Although we've managed to resolve most issues for players, making this work for the AI is slightly more challenging - the 'desired' states have to be determined by the engagement situation of a given character.
Before we started with the overhaul, we knew that the relationship between AI and animation states was rather complex. To work around this issue, our plan was to implement a new system gradually - first weapons, then stances, then postures - converting old systems to new step-by-step. However, we quickly discovered that some features rely heavily upon each other, and must be changed all at once; improving and making it work with ten (flawed) others - only to change things again - is simply a waste of time.
Because of the complexity of the work - and our commitment to keeping the game playable - our efforts are currently focused upon making fixes only, avoiding the potentially unstable changes for the AI until after some important milestones have been met. Once the overhaul is complete, cases where the AI seems unresponsive or unable to use some specific poses should be improved. One example of a fix already present is that AI can now use binoculars properly; they'll switch to them promptly when needed. We hope to make more progress in the near future. RISK/REWARD
Although this work isn't without risk - for example, a (now resolved) issue where AI couldn't switch stance after entering combat mode, which unfortunately crept onto Dev Branch - we think it's vital for maintaining and building upon the system in future. It's our priority to make sure the game is always playable, and we apologise for any inconvenience caused when we fall short of that goal!
While the visible benefits right now are fairly modest, we hope to be in a stronger position in future and refine/add new features in a sustainable way!
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Zeus announcement, Zeus Beta release PRECEDENCE: Flash
Last Thursday we unveiled the free Arma 3 Zeus DLC with a trailer to introduce the multiplayer concept. That was followed up with a livestream on Saturday to actually show a full session of it being played and to answer some questions. It was especially satisfying to do a sneaky devbranch release at the end! The whole stream is available online. Now that the Zeus Beta is out, its principle designer Karel Morický and programmer Filip Sádovský will be improving it, fixing reported issues, introducing new features, and bringing it towards the full release in Q2 (after the final campaign episode and the jets).
We would like to repeat our disclaimer for using devbranch: please consider whether you want to opt into it and experience the risks it carries. This is a daily and largely untested experimental build which can even be broken for an entire day. Of course we appreciate your testing and participation, but we believe devbranch is not for everyone. If you prefer a more stable and finished experience, you're better off waiting for the actual release.
"You release a mighty stroke of electrical energy that deals 10d6 points of damage to each player within its area."
A suite of wreck and corpse removal parameters for scenarios was documented on the Community Wiki (corpseXYZ and wreckXYZ).
Project Lead Joris-Jan van 't Land posted his Steam Workshop recommendation: 'Lion Claw' by KingoftheSandbox. His evaluation: "The author of this scenario uses various design tools to create a tense atmosphere: weather, time-of-day, fog and ambient combat or example. By applying the British radio protocols and character emblems, you also get a different experience to the more common American point of view. The scenario does not do something incredibly unique or new, but it nails the basics of Arma gameplay and is a lot of fun. Try egressing with your entire team in tact!"
The most recent area of optimizations is connected to burning wrecks and the damage they do to nearby characters. The way this was distributed in multiplayer and how it was handled far away from actual players was improved. More optimizations are on the way, and all of them together should help to get a more solid experience for everyone.
Since Zeus Beta is only available on devbranch, be aware that players on main branch will not be able to use Zeus-enhanced scenarios from Workshop yet (tagged as Zeus). Even the upcoming patch(es) will not add Zeus technology to main branch.
Zeus documentation is in full swing on the Community Wiki. Keep an eye on its main page and the list of scripting commands. There is a lot this tech can be used for, even beyond Zeus itself!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about first planned DLC for Arma 3: Arma 3 Zeus announcement.
Bohemia Interactive today announce their first planned DLC for Arma 3: Arma 3 Zeus. Made available in the second quarter of this year, the free Zeus DLC delivers a new form of multiplayer, in which players can take on the role of Game Master and curate the online battles of other players. The concept is further introduced in the DLC’s reveal trailer.
Improvisation is the ultimate key to success in Arma 3 Zeus. Inspired by popular tabletop games such as 'Dungeons & Dragons', a limited number of players can assume the role of Game Master, and influence the multiplayer experience of those with boots on the ground. Watching the battlefield from a bird's-eye view, wielding an intuitive real-time editor, Zeus can create, manipulate or expand mission content to generate new stories and a flow of challenges. The result is incredibly dynamic, unscripted combat gameplay - and multiplayer sessions which are filled with unexpected, challenging, and creative events.
The Zeus multiplayer concept works across all familiar multiplayer game types, such as Team Deathmatch and Sector Control, where players can either work with or go up against Zeus. The most distinctive game type in Arma 3 Zeus, however, is ‘Zeus Game Master’. Here, Game Masters are entirely free to create objectives, spawn units, and steer players across Arma 3’s massive Altis and Stratis terrains.
On top of the diverse range of official Zeus scenarios that will be available, Arma 3 Zeus can also be implemented into player-created multiplayer scenarios.
"The best thing about Arma 3 Zeus is how naturally it fits within the game. Dynamic combat, massive islands, and editing features - it was all there. But now we've added an interface which gives players full control over the multiplayer experience", said Zeus’ Design Lead Karel Moricky. "The Zeus system is pretty modular too, so community creators can easily use it in their missions. Or take it apart and turn into something completely different. There are no rules, only those you make yourself.”
While the reveal trailer already gives a taste of what to expect, the Arma 3 development team will also be hosting an official ‘Arma 3 Zeus Gameplay Reveal’ livestream this Saturday, February 15th, at 17:00 UTC. During the livestream, Zeus’ Design Lead Karel Moricky and Arma 3’s Creative Director Jay Crowe, alongside other core members of the Arma development team, will be giving a one-hour demonstration of how it is to play as Zeus and what it’s like to be one of Zeus’ subjects. The session will be streamed live from Bohemia Interactive’s HQ in Prague onto Arma 3’s Twitch.tv channel.
For more information about Arma 3 Zeus, please visit zeus.arma3.com. Also be sure to keep track of the Arma 3 social channels (Facebook, Twitter) and stay up to date of all the latest developments.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: OPREP - Analogue control, Community Wiki upgrade PRECEDENCE: Flash
One of the on-going development tasks to improve the Arma 3 sandbox focuses on controls - specifically analogue vehicle controls in this case. Encoding Lead Petr Kolář has written the second OPREP on this topic. He discusses changes that have been released on devbranch, and which greatly improve control over cars when using analogue peripheral devices such as steering wheels, joysticks or joypads. These controls are in addition to the standard set (catering more for keyboard and mouse), and need to be configured manually for your device. Get behind the wheel and try it out!
Some of you have already noticed that various armored vehicles have had their reticles changed. The change has incidentally 'leaked' into devbranch today and is part of larger effort to enhance the reticles for all armored vehicles. Our Task Force is still working on polishing them, so expect the current leak to disappear until the whole batch is ready soon.
Our web team has upgraded the Community Wiki to a new version. It contains fixes, enhancements and makes registration less painful. An example of information you can already find there is about the Arma 3 asset samples. In the Arma 3 Tools package on Steam you can already find samples of various vehicle types, with more on the way.
UNIT: Petr Kolář, Encoding Lead, Encoding Dept. TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users OPSUM: Re-inventing the (steering) wheel: improving control over driving in Arma 3.
While keyboard and mouse may be the preferred choice for most infantry missions, flying and driving often benefits from specific peripherals. That’s because, unlike keyboards, steering wheels offer 'analogue control': not just the simple left-straight-right, but a much more precise degree of control.
Recently, we've made some small additions that should offer more control over our vehicles. We wanted to improve the experience of driving in Arma 3 – bringing it up to date with what our players have come to expect - and we're still st(d)riving for more!
TAKE THE WHEEL
Up until this point, our implementation didn't take full advantage of analogue control. However, taking inspiration from similar work done by Bohemia Interactive Simulations in VBS, we've now introduced an alternate handling mechanic. Our own programmer, Filip Sádovský, recently implemented an improved way of turning vehicles in our engine.
Keyboard controls themselves stay the same as they were before: pressing turn keys gradually turns the steering wheel, which prevents over-steering the vehicle. The difference is found in using an analogue controller, like a steering wheel. Turning is transmitted to the vehicle in 1:1 ratio, meaning that the rate at which your vehicle switches from a straight line to a full turn depends only on how quickly you turn the wheel. You'll need to configure this in the Controls sub-menu.
Another inherent advantage of analogue control is that you can turn the wheel a little over a long distance, whereas achieving the same effect using a keyboard requires hitting the turn keys repeatedly. A combination of both is most often the best solution: you can drive with your keyboard not being any hindered and still ready for fight, but you may opt for wheel/stick anytime you see fit.
However, there's still more to be done. For example, turning sharply at high speed can sometimes result in unintentional physics effects with the car rolling all over the place. To address this issue each vehicle will require some tweaking, which risks creating some new issues in other areas we may not even think about (i.e., breaking convoy behaviour in some missions).
Comprehensively addressing this issue is a little beyond the scope of this initial improvement. We consider it as having reached a milestone, even according to strict testing and supervision of Senior QA Ninja Ondrej Kužel, and consider the benefits to outweigh the potential problems. For now, we're satisfied to make a small but useful change for a relatively low cost; that being said, we always aim to do better!
There is a lot of potential under the hood - one day we could even see serious races even in Arma 3 - but, as always, it’s a question of balancing our priorities and trying to make the most useful and interesting gains for gameplay and authenticity. We are, as always, eager to hear your feedback on the matter and are grateful for it. Together we may try to make Arma 3 a better game for everyone!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Helicopter-borne air assault new video for Arma 3 release.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 06th February 2014
Bohemia Interactive today kicked off the third season of their official Community Guide video series for Arma 3™. Walking through the preparation, insertion and extraction stages, Andrew Gluck (better known as Dslyecxi) from ShackTactical explains what it takes to conduct a successful helicopter-borne air assault.
Arma 3 is available for purchase on Steam and Store.bistudio.com (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD). There is also a Digital Deluxe Edition available (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD), which includes digital extras such as the Arma 3 soundtrack, maps of Altis and Stratis, a 350-page tactical guide, and a Steam version of the original Arma: Cold War Assault. A boxed version of Arma 3 is sold at many of the major retailers.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Community Guide season 3, OPREP PRECEDENCE: Flash
Later this week we'll be premiering the third season of the Community Guide video series created in cooperation with Mr. ShackTactical himself: Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck. This episode will take a good look at Air Assault movements - inserting and extracting ground-based forces, by helicopters in this case.
In terms of development we are steadfastly progressing on all the tasks we mentioned before: daily and hilariously fun testing sessions of the new multiplayer 'thing', full production of the "Win" closing campaign act, and other new content. Another huge bit of technology that is getting a lot of attention is Steam Workshop for add-ons. Via the Make Arma Not War contest, you may have seen that we're busy working on this. We obviously started with scenarios, but it would be great to get add-ons in as well. It's a complex task, but we do have good progress. When we can be more certain of how things will work (e.g. publication from Addon Builder) and when it will see the light of day, we'll let you know.
Designer Radko Voda has kicked off a new kind of report in the Dev Hub: OPREPs. These reports are meant to share some insight into the goings-on of devbranch: new features / technologies, tweaks and the reasoning for them - behind-the-scenes Intel generally. The first OPREP discusses "Soldier Protection" and how we've tried to make the various forms of protection matter more, what we plan to do in the future, and how the factions differ in their approach to body armor.
In the previous SITREP we mentioned an update of the Make Arma Not War rules. In summary, the "Registration" section was rephrased to emphasize that entries remain the Intellectual Property of those who submit them. And, based on popular request, Community Base Addons were made the only exception allowed to be included as dependent third-party add-on. Take a look at the full rules section here!
UNIT: Radko Voda, Designer, Sandbox Design Dept. TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users OPSUM: Soldier protection in Arma 3: recent changes, future progress and what might save your life.
One of the most significant recent changes in Arma 3 has been the gradual introduction of improvements to Soldier Protection. The goal of the work is quite simple. We wish to bring more meaningful choices to our protective equipment, not only in terms of different weights and capacities, but also protection levels against various threats. However, because changes to this feature can have profound impacts upon the overall gameplay, we want to share our general design objectives, describe the current state and outline plans for future progress.
Common sense would suggest that the term 'Soldier Protection' describes the gear (vests, helmets, etc.) that protects the soldiers from harm. While that's roughly correct, a more precise definition - in the context of our game - would assert that it deals with all parameters responsible for affecting the damage mechanics calculating a soldier's state of health. Essentially, we are not only dealing with equipment, but with changes to soldiers and weapons themselves, affecting both configuration parameters and actual object data.
At the time of full release we dealt with a soldier and his equipment as 'two sides of the same coin'; the protection parameters were set up together for both the soldier of a predefined class and his equipment. In effect, the actual protection of soldiers stemmed from their predefined classes, rather than actual equipment. This approach offered a basic, satisfactory level of gameplay, which was simple to test and build content around.
However, the underlying systems offered greater potential. In the intermediary period between campaign episodes we began to experiment with adding greater depth to Soldier Protection. After few initial missteps, we shifted our focus away from the more radical changes in favor of improving the feature more gradually in a manageable, stable fashion. Over Christmas, for example, we became aware that the state wasn't ideal and we'd like to apologise for any headaches this may have caused!
So far, we've tried to make individual items perform more closely to real life expectations and provide each faction with a more characteristic identity; in effect, creating differences between individual soldiers and across each faction. In addition, differences between various bullet calibers from different distances and angles are also more obvious. The actual effects of firepower now tend to be less generic and more dependent on various, yet nonrandom factors and specific circumstances.
NATO possess the most advanced plate carriers, which offer the best protection levels in-game, but are also the heaviest and only with moderate capacity for equipment. They come in several variants, diverse in their weight, capacity and protection level:
- Tactical Vest offers limited capacity and only the most basic bullet protection, but is quite light. - Light Rig has medium capacity, offers mediocre bullet protection and is moderately heavy. - Rig offers slightly better bullet protection at the cost of lesser capacity and more weight. - GL Rig is grenadier variant with improved explosive protection, but only with mediocre bullet protection, lesser capacity and more weight. - Spec Rig is a heavy variant simulating additional ceramic plates, with even more limited capacity and very high weight, which do offers the best bullet protection available.
CSAT generally sacrifice solid chest protection for lesser weight and thus higher mobility. For protection they rely mostly on more advanced uniforms, which offer better protection to their extremities, such as more advanced helmets.
- Their harnesses provide the best ratio between weight and capacity in-game. - GL variant of harness provides certain degree of protection against explosives, but is quite heavy. - Tactical Vest used by few units offers limited capacity and only the most basic bullet protection, but is quite light and in concordance with their advanced uniforms it actually offers reasonably mediocre protection level.
The AAF's greatest advantage is that their vests offer a balance between protection, weight and capacity. The obvious drawback is that their equipment does not excel in any particular area.
By simulating this aspect more accurately - differences in protection stemming from different gear - we hope to offer players more interesting choices and more authentic gameplay. With the help of the community reporting issues and providing direct feedback, we're trying to address all remaining discrepancies between this design, fluent gameplay and our focus on authenticity. Keeping the game playable and enjoyable is, of course, our first and foremost priority. EXECUTION
Looking ahead, we believe that there is still space left for further improvements in this area; however, such work demands new technologies to further simulate equipment protection and, currently, there are several significant roadblocks - chiefly regarding performance - in our path. Another important - yet somewhat indirect change - will be the gradual introduction of more polished fatigue mechanics. We hope that it will improve the necessity of reasonable decision-making between protection and mobility. We've also identified more complex improvements, but we must first make sure that these will be reasonable to implement properly.
Overall, we hope that these little steps of progress will help polish our infantry gameplay. Thanks for your attention and any further feedback on this topic. It's really much appreciated!
TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Scanning the horizon, Hotfix, Altis changes PRECEDENCE: Flash
Our Creative Brit, Jay Crowe, posted his "Scanning the horizon" blog last Friday. In it, his eagle eye was trained on the upcoming year and how we intent to keep supporting Arma 3. It's too early for specific details on what will be released when, but there's lots in the pipeline spread across all fields of the game, platform, tools and community.
We've discovered an error in the 1.10 version that merits hotfixing just the executable before we do a larger game update. A performance profiling tool meant just for devbranch, has made its way into the main version. Ironically, it can actually cause lower performance in certain situations. The hotfix to the game and Dedicated Servers will likely be released this week.
There will be an update to the Make Arma Not War rules posted later this week. It addresses various community concerns and feedback gathered since its announcement. Keep an eye on the website and newsletter for more information.
Brand & PR Manager, Korneel van 't Land, picked the year's first Workshop recommendation: 'Rookie' by [CZ]Sarge. He had this to say about the refreshing scenario: "This definitely is one of the most atmospheric scenarios I've played so far. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but in a very surprising way, I think it connects perfectly with the authentic nature of Arma 3. From a branding perspective, the name is just excellent - and I love how the launch trailer played with my expectations."
Encoding Lord Petr Kolář and Programming Guru Lukáš Gregor have updated the Community Wiki documentation on car configuration. With kind permission from NVIDIA, it now contains relevant extracts from the PhysX SDK references.
Not a week goes by without some contribution by Bořivoj Hlava. This week he describes a few new particle modules, and enhanced particle functionality on the forums.
Environment Design Lead Martin Pezlar and his team, are preparing Altis for its final changes (due for the "Win" campaign episode). These include two previously announced new areas: the ghost hotel and the stadium, as well as various new objects across the island. Over the next month they will be porting these changes from their internal test version to the main game's version.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Adapt released, Humble Bundle PRECEDENCE: Flash
After staging the "Adapt" episode last week, it was nice to get it fully released yesterday. Have a look at the full changelog in the SPOTREP. Modders, specifically animators, may find an interesting addition to get their work converted for use in Arma 3. Owners of the (Digital) Deluxe Edition will find goodies in the Bonus folder. There are 9 new tracks for the second campaign episode (MP3 and FLAC), as well as translated versions of the digital map for most languages.
The team's focus has now shifted to several things in parallel. Those involved in campaign creation are working on the final episode. Our testers and others focusing on the new multiplayer 'thing' will be spending a lot of time play-testing that. And yes, we are working on finishing those jets we promised you. Their artwork is close to final - including the interiors and weaponry. The many animated parts are being configured and we'll need to implement sound effects.
If for whatever reason you have played the whole "Survive" episode, but have lost your savegames, you may find yourself unable to start "Adapt" immediately. There is a way around this, but we'd like to stress that it's better to finish the first episode before you do. Use of the campaign cheat will apply weapon pool defaults and may cause other persistence issues.
Today is the last day to get in on the Bohemia Interactive Humble Bundle! Pay what you want, get cool games from our catalog, and support charity at the same time. To thank everybody for their support so far (it breached 1 million USD), we've added two more games. Those who purchased the bundle already can claim them on their download page.
Steam has been working on a feature called Family Sharing. We will likely need to disable this for Arma 3 for the time being, while we look at solving multiplayer cheating issues.
Our company's website has been updated with our stance on monetization using Bohemia Interactive content. It details a fair and generous policy with a request to just add a notice to the media's description.
With the "Adapt" episode taking place on Altis, now is a good time to remind you about some tips running the massive island on a 32 bit OS with low amounts of RAM. This post on the forums has a few advanced solutions for those struggling to run it smoothly.
We're aware of a loss of performance in test scenarios with lots of AI spawning simultaneously (e.g. 48 vs 48 and higher). Ironically, this was caused by fixing broken AI path planning. The AI soldiers weren't planning their paths when they should which resulted in higher FPS. Our programmers are investigating ways of optimizing this and AI in general.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Adapt, HDAO, MP optimizations PRECEDENCE: Flash
The time has come to resume normal operations ... welcome to Arma 3's 2014! The team has rapidly geared back up for 'Adapt' release prep, and next Tuesday it's go-time. We would like to stage the episode on devbranch later in the week, but let's see how things go as we are currently testing under data lock. Then we have an exciting multiplayer announcement dropping in February, and we'll be wrapping up the campaign with development on its final episode. Plans beyond that are being outlined with plenty of awesome stuff coming to everyone. Good times ahead!
A new and splendid HDAO post-process effect has been implemented based on a technique by AMD engineer Layla Mah (thanks!). The effect is DirectX 11 only and brings improved visuals and an interesting potential performance boost (1-12% based on settings). Find it on devbranch in the video settings, under AA && PP (AO drop-down). Another example of continued cooperation with various hardware partners for optimizations and new tech, are recent performance improvements to stencil shadows via Intel.
Designer Bořivoj "Druid" Hlava has posted documentation on the so-called Advanced Hints (used in the Field Manual e.g.).
The main website's Community Focus was updated with two new videos, a police modification and a tools installation guide.
There finally is some solid movement on the multiplayer optimization front. Over the past weeks our programmers, David "Dwarden" Foltyn, and several community admins tested the new build quite a bit. They are already reporting significant performance increases, as well as better load-balancing on CPU cores. There has also been a fix to make (dedicated) headless clients function again on passworded servers. These improvements are set to arrive with the next update (version 1.10 - both the main game and servers).
In December we released the first version of the Arma 3 Server for Linux (as well as Windows). Our programmers would like your feedback on using the Linux server specifically in this forums thread. Thanks!
In case you are experiencing difficulties running the Arma 3 Server tool, please try the following two steps:
* Make sure the steam_appid.txt in the installation folder contains value 107410. Unfortunately the Steam client currently automatically changes this to 233780 with every update of the app. We're trying to solve this with Valve. * Add -mod= to your shortcut for running arma3server.exe (to ensure it will load the correct add-ons, i.e. not those from the main game installation).
To also repeat a general tip that may help performance for any Arma 3 player: run file verification in the Steam client for Arma 3, and defragment non-SSD storage.