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  Marek Spanel Talks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun Community    

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has published a long Marek Spanel interview on rockpapershotgun.com site. Here some extracts :

...
RPS: Arma 3 is a little different in one important way, though, which is that it is set in the future. Why is that?

Spanel: Well, I can say this from experience with our previous games also, you do not always have a clear vision. So a game is sometimes less about one vision and more about evolution, it’s organic. Operation Flashpoint was originally supposed to be a post-nuclear apocalypse game where you are the last two carrier ships of US and Soviet Union, and you fight over the last place on the Earth where you can live, and that ended up being Cold War era conflict. So the same was true of Arma 3, we didn’t say “it has to be a near future setting”, instead we looked at Arma and saw what’s best for it. We changed that as we worked out what that was.

And so firstly: we haven’t done a near future setting yet, and it’s boring to do the same thing all the time, so we needed a change, but also there are not too many options to make this kind of game in. Back in 2003 we were planning on making a Vietnam game – never before done in games! let’s do it and do it right – and then of course along came many Vietnam games. So back to Arma 3, we choose the location on the Greek island, and that is completely new, right now. Mediterranean setting is rare in games, and so combine that with the near-future, and you have something unique for our setting. It’s not that near in time, really, like 2035, but that gives us the advantage that we can use current equipment, modified equipment, and non-existent equipment. We have someone coming up with cool new stealth helicopters, taking trends in helicopter design to make one ultimate Russian helicopter. And we think you can see the trends in what technology is evolving into, but at the same time you can still see today’s military using fifty year old technology. So down the road you will certainly have new gadgets, new toys, but the principles remain the same, many of the weapons, too, remain the same.


RPS: How do you decide what goes in, then?

Spanel: Well the process is collaborative, free, even unorganized. We give our team a lot of freedom to do what they like to explore what they are interested in, and then I myself work hard to make sure that what we get feels like it fits with Arma. Other than that, it’s really down to the team down to what they create, and how to fit that into the game.

RPS: In terms of the actual game technology, you are obviously building on Arma 2, but how do you decide what technology you need to put time into?

Spanel: It’s not always easy. What most influences the decision-making is asking “what can WE do?” Like, you might see things you would like to do, but are unable to do, so you don’t do it! But you need to figure that out. We see what fits the game, too. For example, underwater combat was not touched by the series before, and we want the game to feel exciting and new. Keeping it all on the ground is not new, so we try to do something really different that is also a natural fit for the series. Arma 3 is also set on an Greek isle, so it make sense, because using boats and diving is logical when you are on an island. Extend that to combat, and you can see that there are not actually any underwater battles in real warfare, so we are looking at our futuristic setting and saying that perhaps some of the research that is happening now will evolve into underwater weapons, like rifles that can be used underwater. So that’s an interesting thing to learn.

But also we want to have better physical simulation in the game, so there will be a better ragdoll and physics to make the gameplay more authentic. Then there are considerations for the low level tech, such as the move to DirectX 11. That was really obvious for us because DirectX 9 is no longer dominant, our users already have Windows 7 and Windows Vista. There are more advantages in moving to a more advanced API, and really DirectX 11 for us is not about fancy graphical effects, but about stability. That’s what matters on PC. That’s why DirectX 11, because the fancy things can be added later once that stability is in there. We do not see the visual advance as so important. Tesselation might be cool, but it does not really improve the overall nature of the game, and certainly does not improve the fundamental gameplay. The DirectX 11 API is now better supported by things like drivers, so by moving to that is logical. A very small number of our users now use XP, according to our data.


RPS: What do you really want to fix this time?

Spanel: Well, the lighting. We’ve been doing eye accommodation and HDR since our game on Xbox 1, but one of the frequent complaints of Arma 2 was that the eye accommodation did not feel right. So we have done some fundamental changes to do that, to try and make it fully realistic, but also comfortable for the player. That’s a difficult problem, because the dynamic range in real life is huge. The human eye can see under artificial light, but then daylight is a hundred thousand times more intense. That is a huge scale of light conditions to simulate. But we want to make that more natural to the human eye, and I think getting that right will make the game immediately much better for players.

RPS: Are you changing the mission editor for Arma 3?

Spanel: You know, this editor is really twelve years in development. Within the company, even before Operation Flashpoint game out, we were saying “this is what want: a complete community editor in the game”, and we did that over time, and it’s really great. We are not really changing much of it, but we do hope that some of the new systems will make it easier for people to publish maps and mods, and for players to find maps and mods. We hope that with Arma 3 it will be like one click, and you get all you need. So what is important here is not really changes to the SDK or the tools, but more how the mod is delivered to the end user. We feel that’s the biggest opportunity to improve the experience. There are some great community sites and updaters already, but there are so many great add ons you might never find – cool missions, cool units, cool terrain – and I want to make it easier for you to get those things in your game. More visibility for the mod makers makes modding more fun: seeing users playing in your mods is a huge reward.

...

Read the full Marek Spanel interview on rockpapershotgun.com site

  August 26th, 2012 - 09:11 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Gamescom 2012 : Interview with Marek Spanel Community    
Marek Spanel ,CEO of Bohemia Interactive, has been interviewed by the http://www.thegamejar.com during the Gamecom 2012. He is sharing his view on many subjects, not only DayZ and Arma3 but also on PC and console gaming.

[i]http://www.thegamejar.com talks to Marek Spanel CEO of Bohemia Interactive about everything from Operation Flashpoint to DayZ. Along the way we get Marek's thoughts on everything from the future of PC gaming, Windows 8 his companies history and more.




  August 26th, 2012 - 08:44 By Old Bear   Comment (1)  

  Back from the Gamescom 2012 Community    
So, I am back from the Gamescom 2012 in Cologne . I went there on Sunday 19, the last day then. I have been in touch with Bohemia Interactive and I was welcomed by Ivan Buchta himself. I went there with a recorder, but due to the literally deafening environmental conditions on Bohemia Interactive booth, it was proved impossible.




What you will find here is the story of my "hands on" experience on the Arma3 Alpha build Gamescom . I have nothing to add -from pictures or videos- to what you have seen in pictures and video already published.

So my first try of the game is with the "showcase underwater." Small disappointment, no sub here , just a scenario of diving. For me, who have done a lot of snorkeling as a kid, I can say that a major effort was made to make real the feeling to be under the water, on the wrong side two or three times, I have been stuck in anims near obstacles, that part need some tweaking.

Second test with the "showcase with guns", there is no miracle, I was as bad a gunner here as in Arma2, I have not seen a significant difference in the movements and gestures. Playing as it was set, the textures were extremely detailed and the view distance was up, the game was very fluid.

From what I feel, the rigs behind it were high end PCs ... to be confirmed.

Lynx, the sniper rifle Hungarian is having a very high recoil ... quite fine to shoot, but I can tell nothing about the sound, despite the speakers and the subwoofer, I've never been able to judge the sound quality of weapons because of noise around. The inventory is very different but not too surprising for a player OFP / Arma.

Third test with the "showcase vehicle driving." There I felt the most important differences, the vehicle does not react in the same manner as Arma2, you can get the difference on obstacle climbing and also in relation to gravity, in the downhill, taking speed is very realistic.

After this first contact, my impression is that the game environment, the island of Stratis, the placement of objects, ground textures, the clutters, but also the effects of light are well developed, but that there are still work in progress for some parts ...


Playing with a screen up high enough before the eyes was quite tiring for me, so I left my slot and went to talk with Ivan.

On the question of "AI cheating with grass," Ivan told me that at the moment nothing had changed, they had tried several solutions without success, until now the solutions penalized too much the IA operations, and at the present time, rather than setting up a complex set of AI tweaks with multiple cursors in lieu of single "skill" cursor, BIS is moving towards a system limiting detection modes/perception by AI.

Regarding the 3D editor, there is no progress there because BIS does not have the means for it. All scripters being mobilized for the implementation of PhysX 3, for the animations, the AI and the GUI ... and especially for the integration of all these elements.

In fact, if I understood correctly, BIS made lots of tests that work more or less well. Ivan told me that for example in VBS, they found a way to include objects underground to tunnels, passages ... and it works in VBS, but in Arma3 environment , AI perceives the object hidden in the ground as a barrier and tends to avoid it... which is not the goal .... Furthermore, the IA refuse to engage in tunnels created. So for the moment, no underground objects in Arma3.

I went back playing again, for once again I have been allowed to do so ...

For this second contact, I tried again diving to be sure of what I felt the first time and I can confirm ... movements underwater do need tweaking. Then I returned to the small wheeled vehicle ... I took the opportunity to leave the track and see what we usually do not see ... the land is beautiful, the vegetation -I have a particular weakness for these superb oleanders-, the buildings, the environment is quite good , shadows and lighting effects are superb.
Then I tried moving infantry in the valley, nothing to say but a special preview of a great new anim for obstacle clearance. I ended up killing the hostile hidden in the tin shack by shooting him in the foot ... no big change here then.

Then Ivan came to show me things in development, the bounding mines, claymores and the wire traps. I have been able to disarm the jumping mine and the tripwire and re-used them afterward. I have also been able to detonate the jumping mine in the distance with a rifle shot. And then Ivan showed me the artillery, MLRS and howitzer ... shooting in the night, this was beautiful, I was also entitled to a demo rather successful CAS support by RAH-66.



I again left my place to go discussing while drinking a Czech beer offered by Ivan ...

If I understood well, the Community Alpha should be delayed until this Autumn or this Winter. Basically the Community Alpha should be only Solo, but as it has been postponed a bit and at the same time the work is done on the multi-player mode, nobody can say at the moment what it will really contain ... this is an info ... !

In the Campaign, you should play different characters, often alone for FS type missions, sometimes as a specialist, as a helicopter pilot or tank for example.

There should be a system of injury derived from the existing one, each soldier should have a first aid kit with a limited number of actions.

There will be no fast-rope in the game even if with PhysX, there could be a string realistic physics. Admittedly, this is an attractive component for the game but said Ivan, all the soldiers I met think in reality it is a source of problem solution in a real fight ... and the initial state of BlackHawk Down is related to the use of fast-ropping.

Work on the GUI is going to change the actions on objects, the idea of ​​having to use the mouse wheel to select an action, then click to run but to use a function key to get the action after selecting the action with the mouse.

Frankly, I have not been disappointed with the home folks at BIS, Ivan Buchta took me in hand and took the time to talk with me at length. For what I have seen some things are in working order and other need some work, but BIS have done a tremendous job and I am ready to wait a bit for a top Alpha Community .

Note: I hope you will soon be able to communicate the characteristics of machines that were running the game at Gamescom.
I also hope to share with you the spectacle of night shooting of the MLRS on Stratis, I need a little patience.

Edit: Gamescom PCs were high end machines : i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz, Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 (4 GB VRAM), 8 GB RAM

  August 22nd, 2012 - 12:59 By Old Bear   Comments (5)  

  Arma 3 Gameplay GamesCom 2012 by EndlessStd Videos    
EndlessStd has released 2 videos on YouTube : Arma 3 Gameplay GamesCom 2012 [Part one&two].

A long session of Arma III in company with game designer Karel Mořický, in which we had the opportunity to test out a preview of the peculiarities of Bohemia war simulator.






  August 17th, 2012 - 13:01 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Gamescom 2012: ARMA III Developer Walkthrough [cam] Videos    
TheGameJar. has released a YouTube ARMA III Developer Walkthrough from the Gamescom 2012.

http://www.thegamejar.com presents a developer walkthrough of ARMA III. Sorry about the shakey cam footage, hopefully its not too bad.



  August 16th, 2012 - 18:08 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  ARMA 3 - Gamescom : Screenshots by GameStar Screenshots    
GameStar has released new Gamescom-Screenshots on the Arma3 pages :




  August 15th, 2012 - 15:46 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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