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  Arma 3 Marksmen DLC Exclusive First Look Livestream Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us that an Arma 3 Marksmen DLC Exclusive First Look Livestream will be streamed to the official Arma 3 channel on Twitch

This Saturday March 7th, starting at 17:00 UTC, Bohemia Interactive will be hosting an exclusive First Look Livestream for its upcoming Arma 3 Marksmen DLC.

Straight from Bohemia Interactive HQ in Prague, members of the Arma 3 development team will be showcasing the seven new DLC weapons - alongside much anticipated new features, such as Virtual Garage, weapon resting and bipods, the improved simulation of recoil and suppression, and various enhancements to sound. The session is expected to be about one and a half hour, and will be streamed to the official Arma 3 channel on Twitch.

After many months of hard work, we’re excited to finally present the upcoming Marksmen DLC to Arma 3 fans. There’s a lot to show. We have seven new weapons, new showcase scenarios, a feature called Virtual Garage, a brand new multiplayer mode – and not to forget, major free platform features, such as weapon resting and deployment, which have been on the community wishlist for a long time. We hope to see all of you joining us for the livestream this Saturday!”, said Matt Lightfoot, Associate Producer at Bohemia Interactive.




  Today, 13:23 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00095 Official    

On February 25, 2015, Jay Crowe has reported a SITREP #00095 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Creative Brit
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: 1.40 Inbound, Sounds Good to Me, Workshop Gospel
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

With update 1.40 just around the corner, a 'Release Candidate' was made available over the weekend, which we've recently updated with miscellaneous maintenance and stability tweaks. These 'RCs' use a special 'branch' of data and exes, which helps our team to validate the stability of our updates 'in the wild', before they roll out to everyone. It also enables content creators to ensure the compatibility of their own custom creations with the latest version of Arma 3 ahead of time. If you'd like to participate in the final stages of testing, open the 'BETAS' tab of Arma 3's Steam properties, and enter the access code Arma3Update140RC. Right now, we're primarily focused upon validating some tweaks to MP stability. The update itself is set to bring several interesting Dev-Branch features to all Arma 3 players; let's take a quick look at these now.

Perhaps most notable will be the overhauled personal weapon SFX (outlined in a bit more detail in a recent OPREP). Although further iteration is still planned in the run-up to Marksmen DLC's launch (more details below), we want to introduce these improvements to everyone now. Aside from this, various small features are included. 'Telescopic Turrets' enables raising / lowering the commander's turret of the Strider. 'Firing from Vehicles Inertia' translates the momentum of a vehicle to those in FFV cargo positions, and helps shooters to maintain their aim when their vehicles are turning (within certain limits). New initSpeed enhancements will be enabled, meaning that muzzle velocity can now be defined by the ammo type and weapon. This means, for example, there's a difference in muzzle velocity between regular and carbine variants using the same ammunition.

INTELLIGENCE


Last week, we rolled out Weapon Resting and Overhauled Recoil mechanics to Dev-Branch. We've been monitoring and processing your feedback and, so far, we're happy to see a broadly positive community response. If you'd like to add your voice to the choir, direct your lungs towards two dedicated threads: Recoil Overhaul Feedback and Weapon Resting Feedback. Chiefly, we're still debating the best way to offer feedback to the Rested state - thanks for sharing your ideas and preferences! Meanwhile, dynamic duo, Radko and Simon, outlined some configuration tips, tricks and limitations. Formal documentation is, naturally, (definitely not missing) work-in-progress.

During the pre-production phase of our 7 new weapons, artist Kamil 'Smoke' Prihoda worked with the team to create some wonderful concepts. So, with one eye keenly trained on Marksmen DLC, we've tasked our community to work together, earn the 'Bonus Targets' Steam achievement, and unlock some behind-the-scenes development artwork. You can find all the details over at arma3.com/marksmen-challenge. Top Brit Tip: Course of Fire Red I is the go-to place for bonus target hunting.

OPERATIONS

Some new audio data was recently added to Dev-Branch, raising several inquisitive eyebrows. Given that additional progress is likely to pop up over the next week or so, let's take a quick peek. In simple (i.e., overly simplistic) terms, after the weapons audio samples overhaul (going live with 1.40), the team moved on to decoupling the 'shot' itself from the 'tail': an additional layer audible during and after discharging. For any given weapon, a number of 'tails' can be defined. The goal is to link the tail to environment within which the shot takes place. In effect, the 'tail' in a forest would sound different to that in an open meadow.

Related to this work, we should soon™ see the deployment of an enhancement to distance attenuation. Currently, distant shots are quieter that those close by. Our plan is to complement this with a distance-based frequency attenuation filter. This work slots into our broader focus on Environmental Audio Improvements set to roll out with Marksmen DLC. The goal is to create a richer battlefield sound-scape based on an authentic simulation of real-life factors, where the shooter is more 'connected' to their environment. We hope to be in the position to offer more splendid details next month.

LOGISTICS


Last week, holier-than-thou Arch-Hipster, Jiří Zlatohlávek, adopted the missionary position to spread the good word of the Arma 3 Launcher to the non-believers! His handy-dandy how-to helps hitherto-fore hapless heathens see the light, teaching us how to perform our very own miracles (like downloading/publishing a scenario/mod). Workshop disciples can also find the guide linked via the Arma 3 space itself. Long may his mission continue (and soon may this painfully extended metaphor end).

And, finally, we can report that with Our Dear Leader back in action - but trapped under several feet of administrative snow - these BRITREPs are set to continue for the next fortnight. That's right, 'fortnight'. ColoUr. Rule BIStania! Etc. Cheerio for now!



  February 25th, 2015 - 23:11 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00094 Official    

On February 18, 2015, Jay Crowe has reported a SITREP #00094 on the official Arma 3 web site

FROM: Creative Director
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Resting & Recoil Incoming; AI improvements; Hello from the Environment Dept
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


This week we're hoping to push two splendid (and related) features to Dev-Branch: Weapon Resting and Recoil Overhaul. Although we've dug into a bit more detail over the last week or two, it's probably worth outlining the basics once again. Weapon Resting provides 'passive' benefits to certain aspects of weapon handling, such as reduced sway. This 'rested' state is determined by a real-time algorithm that identifies situations where aiming would reasonably benefit from a stable firing position (e.g., when prone, leaning against a wall, resting on a low wall, etc.). Our Recoil Overhaul aims to make the mechanic more fluent by correcting some existing behaviour and rewarding the intelligent use of stances and movement speeds. Overall, this development contributes to our goal of making firing a weapon simple to do, and rewarding to master.

Since both features are closely related, we'd prefer to release them together to garner more useful / relevant feedback. However, this now depends upon the resolution of a couple of pesky issues related to recoil discovered at the last moment. In short, we define limits to the displacement of the aim point when a weapon is fired (determined by type, calibre, stance, etc.); unfortunately, we discovered that these limits were occasionally ignored (indeed, seemingly at random), resulting in wildly unintuitive (and unintended) movements. This was a bit of a deal breaker, but we hope to have found an adequate solution. Implementation is in progress, and we're now looking to roll out the features towards the end of this week. For the avoidance of doubt, 'Resting' is distinct from 'Deployment' - a feature that we'll continue to tweak and polish over the next couple of weeks ahead of Dev-Branch staging.

INTELLIGENCE

Recently, some subtle changes to the way that weapons are configured were rolled out to Dev-Branch. Rather than squeezing all the juicy details in here, Bounce Master Chief, Pettka, set out the background and goals of this development in a splendid OPREP. If you're looking to update your own weapons, you might like to check out some samples, which we've made available via an update to Arma 3 Tools. In short, these enhancements help bring about a greater diversity of performance between firearms. We hope this - in tandem with other features, such as Weapon Inertia - will translate to more meaningful choices when selecting the best weapon for any given situation. We consider such features to be part of Marksmen DLC's broader focus on improving weapons / firefights, which, of course, will be available to everyone that owns Arma 3.

On a related note, recent changelogs have contained notes relating to the detection of bullets impacting / flying around units. Let's take a quick look at how it all fits together. The first changes (released for a wee while now) were adjustments to pathfinding. If an area is under heavy fire, the AI will now prefer (in direct contradiction to the Kenny Loggins school of thought) to plan around such danger zones. More recently, the detection of bullets passing close by units was enabled. This information is now mapped to the behaviour of a unit reacting to threats. The next step will be to connect this to penalties in AI aiming accuracy. Although we're at an early stage, we can say that our goal is to improve the experience of firefights by refining their lethality and promoting / rewarding the use of legitimate tactics / maneuvers. However, making changes to core mechanics is not without risk. If we're not satisfied with the results, this work may yet not make it into Marksmen DLC.

OPERATIONS

As we mentioned in our Scanning the Horizon blog post, development of a new terrain continues apace. This production is a huge, ongoing effort, so - with respect to our goal of shining a light on the deepest, darkest corners of development - let's take minute to catch up with the noble Environment Department. Headed up by Martin 'Maxell' Pezlar, the team has shifted from a 'pre-production' phase into full on, balls-to-the-wall development. With much of the research, experimentation, and endless wishlists of assets in place (ish), and the basic shape and structure of the environment approved, the true work has begun! The team is now focused upon populating the map with compositions (above and below water!), refining the details of the height map, retouching the satellite texture / mask, and coordinating the production of all the assets.

The team also cooperates closely with other departments, solving issues together with programmers and artists in particular. One of the objectives of our next terrain is to find a more splendid balance between the rich, visually attractive locations, performance, and AI path finding. Creating repros and discussing best practice means that we needn't sacrifice one element for another, but find an agreeable mix that both caters to a number of play styles and creates a unique, authentic world. With much of the rest of the team still working towards Marksmen DLC or supporting the existing content, their hard work can sometimes appear sidelined; however, every now and then there's a real leap forward, and we're soon reminded that a whole new world lies just around the corner!

LOGISTICS

We've seen a number of nifty new script commands pop up on Dev-Branch recently. Programmer Tomáš ' Nesquick' Nezval graciously deigned to acquiesce to requests for new UAV commands. Highlights include enableUAVWaypoints and waypointsEnabledUAV to enable / disable player setting waypoints for UAVs in the AV terminal, while BIS_fnc_liveFeedSetTarget can be called with an optional parameter for smoother camera transitions. Continuing on topic, the new append command adds the useful ability to append one array to another, and - because programmers can Lern2UX, too - a scrollbar for long script examples was added to help dialogues. Fancy that.

Resident Tools Commissar, Julien Vida, politely asks users of the Arma 3 Tools development branch that were having trouble with FSM Editor to update now, now, now! Although we struggled to reproduce an issue related to starting the tool by calling it directly from a file, we hope to have perhaps possibly provided a fix in today's update. Oh, and the Arma 3 Launcher? Nah, you probably haven't heard of it. Never fear, design hipster-in-chief, Jiří Zlatohlávek, is here to tell you all about the Publisher and Launcher with updated documentation across on our community wiki.


  February 18th, 2015 - 18:25 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  OPREP - MUZZLE VELOCITY Official    


On February 12, 2015,Petr Kolář reported an OPREP - MUZZLE VELOCITY on the official Arma 3 web site.

UNIT: Petr Kolář, Encoding Lead, Encoding Dept.
TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users
OPSUM: Introducing new Init Speed parameters.



EVALUATION

What is the decisive configuration value for the muzzle speed of a weapon? Is it the round or the weapon itself? This has been a long-standing question in the Arma series. The answer is clear: both of them! So, with Marksmen DLC on the horizon, we've decided to tackle this issue once and for all.

The result is a modest enhancement of configuration options - both for our own weapons and for our community! We'd like to share a bit of the background about this topic and describe the steps we've taken to arrive at a splendid solution.



INIT, INNIT?


Previously, the initial speed of bullet was determined by the magazine. In effect, using the same magazine across different firearms provided no change to the muzzle speed of the projectile. This meant, for example, there has been next to no difference between standard and carbine versions of weapons (and even less before we implemented handling differences with Weapon Inertia).

We wanted to address this limitation for some specific weapons, where using a different speed of ammo would not make any sense. To achieve that, we've introduced an initSpeed property to weapons themselves, which - if it is defined - overrides values taken from the magazine.

UPDATES

We gathered some responses from our forums about possible improvements on this topic, and we are thankful for all of it. Using this feedback, we have iterated on the solution and added the possibility to use negative values of initSpeed in weapons as a multiplier of the initSpeed value of the magazine.

There are two advantages with this solution, both relating to community-created content. Firstly, setting initSpeed to -1 or 0 (as zero is neither positive nor negative) makes the weapon backwards compatible. In short: it won't break any existing content. Secondly, we provide both a possibility to use a coefficient and a constant as modders deem necessary.

With this change, we've addressed one of the troubling questions that has been in Arma for ages. We hope you are going to like the solution, both as players and as modders. At last, the length of muzzle may provide some meaningful difference and sensible choice for your missions.

The changes are already live on Dev-Branch, and we've updated Arma 3 Tools with a configuration sample. Thanks again for all the feedback; together, we can build an even better game!



  February 17th, 2015 - 12:35 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00093 Official    

On January 27, 2015, Jay Crowe has reported a SITREP #00093 on the official Arma 3 web site

FROM: Creative Director
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Firing from All the Things, Recoil Overhaul, Make Arma Not War Jury
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

With Our Dear Leader indisposed for the next couple of weeks, the honour of REPdating the community with development progress once again falls to a crack team of REPlacements (Pettka and yours truly). The puns only get worse from here on in, so buckle up!

Speaking of which, passengers using their weapons in vehicle cargo positions now face a bumpier ride, following the release of 'Firing from Vehicles Inertia' (FFV Inertia) to Dev-Branch. We outlined the basic goals of this feature last week. Now we're on the lookout for feedback. Two key values are open to tweaking: the magnitude of the sight misalignment (versus vehicle velocity), and the stabilisation of the aim-point (versus vehicle turning).

Sticking with the theme of FFV (not to be confused with a popular JRPG), an Elite Task Force has been working hard on 'Turned Out' cargo positions. This means, for example, Commander positions can use personal weapons (and, if everything goes according to plan, their binoculars) if they 'turn out' of the vehicle. Programmer Krzysztof 'Klamacz' Bielawski hopes to deploy updates later this week. QA Specialist Vojtěch 'Iceman' Kovařič stands ready to crush those dreams.

INTELLIGENCE

Last Friday, we revealed the line-up of judges for the Make Arma Not War content creation contest - and what a handsome bunch of devils they are! We expect to announce the winners at the end of March, which means that the jury members have a lot to look forward to, as they pick from 50 finalists across 4 categories: singleplayer game mode, multiplayer game mode, addon and total modification .

This week's random dev photo teased the work being lead by Nelson Duarte on a small-scale MP mode, which we hope will contribute to Marksmen DLC's free 'platform update' content. While we aren't ready to release too much info, the team's goal is to use this mode as a vehicle for some experimentation. This effort, we hope, will help bring some improvements to multiplayer systems more broadly.

OPERATIONS

As we mentioned in our Scanning the Horizon blog post, there are some changes in store for weapon recoil. Let's take a quick look at what's involved. Overall, our team want to improve the look and feel firing a weapon. The goal is not to make it more difficult; rather, more natural: a mechanic that rewards the intelligent use of stance, movement speeds, and combat behaviour. This involves correcting some existing behaviour, such as the muzzle rise, introducing new configuration options, such as lateral drift, and visualising more fluent kickback.

Although we're adding more depth to the setup of each weapon, we want to make it relatively simple to configure new recoil coefficients across different weapon types and specific firearms. We're quite close to staging the feature to Dev-Branch, but - with a few pesky issues to resolve first - it may slip into next week. Our plan is to package its release this together with Weapon Resting, which we outlined in a bit more detail last week.

LOGISTICS


As promised, our Audio team started to migrate samples to a new structure. In the long term, this will help us to better organise the data in a more logical structure. For now, we'll maintain the existing structure, but we consider it be 'deprecated'. The new addons will be published over the next week or two. In the long term, we plan to remove this (duplicated) data; we'll be sure to announce this action well in advance.

Again, for content creators, there are some updates to report that we hope will make your lives a little easier. In short, previously each weapon required 8 icons to be created, as there needed to be one defined for each combination of having or not having a muzzle / top / side-rail accessory. Now it's only necessary to create one icon and attachments as overlay icons to be set in configs. The documentation is already live, and the implementation is set to be released to Dev-Branch soon™.


  February 11th, 2015 - 16:09 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00092 Official    

On January 27, 2015, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00092 on the official Arma 3 web site

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Dev-Branch activity, Server monetization, Make Arma Not War finalists
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Dev-Branch is starting to receive its early glimpses of Marksmen DLC work. The first wave of features going live for testing and tweaking are Firing From Vehicles Inertia and Turret Elevation. The former is more of an enrichment of a feature from Helicopters DLC of course, but we think it improves the feeling of using personal weapons from cargo spaces. The goal is to better translate the movement of the vehicle onto the shooter. We may yet be fiddling with the precise parameters that control the intensity of the feature, though a first iteration is ready for testing now. The second feature allows players to control the elevation of a turret, in addition to the usual rotation. The specific example here is the Strider armored car, which has a commander periscope that now can be raised and lowered to sneak a peek from behind concealment. Over the next weeks we'll probably be staging more Marksmen features to Dev-Branch, such as the improved Recoil and Weapon Resting.

INTELLIGENCE

Bohemia Interactive has announced a trial for limited Arma 3 server monetization rules that will run for a year. Visit the website for a description of the rules and an overview of approved servers. This overview can also be used to report servers that are exploiting loopholes or otherwise not acting in the best interests of the community. After its announcement, there was some heated discussion about these rules. We realize not everyone likes money getting involved at all, or who have other concerns about this direction. However, some of the discussion was based on incorrect information. For example, under this arrangement, there is no percentage of monetized server income going to us. These rules also do not make it OK to use and monetize content made by third parties without proper permission. We cannot get involved in Intellectual Property disputes between third parties, but we can take away these permissions from a server previously accepted. We ask all of our community members to treat each other with respect. If a piece of content is not distributed under clear license that would allow it to be used, be sure to pursue permission first. That is the only way to achieve a long-term successful community, server or mod. Various questions on the topic have already been asked and answered in this forums thread. We are in the process of gathering more common questions, so that we can publish a F.A.Q. on the topic.

The 50 finalists of the Make Arma Not War contest have been revealed! Check out video overviews for the four categories: singleplayer game mode, multiplayer game mode, addon and total modification. The finalists were selected based on the criteria laid out in the rules. For example, entries that violated copyright, used third-party content without permission, or otherwise could not be selected, had to be dismissed. The remaining entries were evaluated on factors like technical quality, originality, experience and presentation. Now it's up to the jury to pick the winners. We'll be announcing the members of that jury shortly. We'd like to thank everyone for participating, and to congratulate all finalists on making it this far! The rest of us can recognize the finalists on the forums by their unique medal(s).

This week's random dev photo comes to us from the Brno office, occupied by Team Bravo, as we code named them. It shows their 'Weekly Fruit Kick-off'. This is the very first thing they do every Monday morning. Supported by an overdose of healthy vitamins, all developers get together and share their progress and plans. They show each other screenshots of new artwork, short videos of work-in-progress technologies, interesting community efforts, and more.

OPERATIONS

It's not quite ready for Dev-Branch yet, but let's take a quick look at Weapon Deployment and why it's actually a rather complex feature to implement properly. There are several aspects that our programmers have been working on hard, and which are now on the right track. We wanted to find reasonable solutions before we committed to the feature. The first one is an algorithm to detect appropriate deployment spots (and similarly to detect surfaces that Weapon Resting can be used for). We decided early on that a data-driven approach was not acceptable. Such approach would have meant preparing all assets and other surfaces in the game and tell the engine where you can deploy. Imagine adding 3D positions (memory points) to walls or buildings for example. That would take a very long time, and also mean that modders would need to do the same. The benefit could be that there is very precise control over good deployment positions. We opted for a real-time algorithm that can detect positions on official and custom objects alike. The detection still needs work, but we're optimistic we can cover the majority of spots well enough.

Another aspect is the animation system. We needed to solve the player rotating around a fixed pivot point (where the bipods are connected to a surface). This is something we wanted to visualize as best as we can given the animation technology available in Arma 3 (given feasible improvements). One example to imagine the challenge is the player standing behind a wall, with the weapon resting on the wall. If the player now aims the weapon up, we want his posture to change to accommodate (i.e. the player should enter a sort of crouch). Finally, we have backward-compatibility to consider so we cannot do everything the way we'd do in a new project. Old weapons should be made ready for bipods with as little effort as possible, and at the very least not be broken. We're sure there will be an OPREP discussing more details in the near future.

LOGISTICS

Scripters should be aware of changes to the setOwner command taking place on Dev-Branch. This command was intended for static objects; not for individual AI units. It does not fully work when doing so (it only transfers part of the locality, but not the AI brain - except in the case of agents). This is still the case, but using the command in the unintended way will now show an on-screen warning to scripters. New commands setGroupOwner and getGroupOwner were introduced by programmer Richard Biely to manipulate the locality of groups properly.


  February 3rd, 2015 - 19:30 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Bohemia Interactive announces finalists in Make Arma Not War contest Official    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





  January 29th, 2015 - 17:29 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00091 Official    

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

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

SITUATION


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

INTELLIGENCE

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

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

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

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

OPERATIONS


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

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

LOGISTICS


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


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

  OPREP: SHOTS FIRED Official    

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

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

EVALUATION


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

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


OBJECTIVES





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

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

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


UPDATES


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

Mk20

OLD
NEW

Mk20 (Suppressed)

OLD
NEW

The following weapons have been updated on Dev-Branch:

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


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

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

PLANS


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

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

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



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

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

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

...
MARKSMEN DLC

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



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

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

PLATFORM UPDATES


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

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

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


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

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

  SITREP #00090 Official    

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

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

SITUATION

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

INTELLIGENCE

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

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

OPERATIONS

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

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

LOGISTICS

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


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

  SITREP #00088 Official    

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

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

SITUATION

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

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

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

INTELLIGENCE

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

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

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

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

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

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


  • OPERATIONS


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

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

    LOGISTICS

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

    • Arma 3: the game's main Steam application

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • Arma 3 Tools: the free tools suite on Steam

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

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

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

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

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


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

  SITREP #00087 Official    

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

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

SITUATION


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

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

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

INTELLIGENCE


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

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

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

OPERATIONS

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

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

LOGISTICS

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

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



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

  SITREP #00086 Official    

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

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

SITUATION

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

INTELLIGENCE

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

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

OPERATIONS

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

LOGISTICS

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


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

  Spotrep #00037 - Game Update: 1.36 Official    

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

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

  • Consider using the Steam client option to verify the integrity of the local game cache to avoid corrupted data after downloading this update.

  • Consider defragmenting your HDD after downloading large updates.

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

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

  • You can find the servers in the Steam library (switch the filter to "Tools") - "Arma 3 Server" (based on your OS, it will download the Windows or Linux version)
    • Administrators can also use the command-line SteamCMD utility. The app ID is to be 233780.
    • Physics simulation powered by NVIDIA® PhysX™. NVIDIA® and PhysX™ are trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation and are used under license.


Full changelog and SPOTREP



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

  SITREP #00085 Official    

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

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

SITUATION


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

INTELLIGENCE

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

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

  • ... make HCs only visible to admins.

  • ... support Linux servers.

  • ... not require additional Arma 3 licenses.

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

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

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

OPERATIONS

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

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

LOGISTICS

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

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



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

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