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  SITREP #00045 Official    

On Tuesday 25th February 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00045 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: OPREP - Refactoring anims, Patch incoming, Zeus intel
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

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).

The rest of the video focuses on Zeus, showcasing more of its features and being mean to innocent goats. Zeus development itself continues rapidly. A few new features are available on devbranch already: load-outs for ammo containers & remote control of AI units.

Finally, we're preparing a main branch update which should hit next week. This update precedes the release of the 'Win' closing act, still targeted for late March.

INTELLIGENCE

The Community Focus got refreshed with a diverse range of highlighted projects. Have a look at a promising dinosaur mod, as well as the Tactical Battlefield PvP project. Next is a salute to another Russian community and we wrap things up with a playthrough of Zeus.

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.

OPERATIONS

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.

LOGISTICS

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.




  February 26th, 2014 - 02:52 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  OPREP: Refactoring Animations Official    

An OPREP: Refactoring Animations has been reported by Šimon Kolčiter on Tuesday 18th February 2014.

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.

COMPLICATED RELATIONSHIP

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!


  February 19th, 2014 - 22:41 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00044 Official    

On Tuesday 18th February 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00044 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Zeus announcement, Zeus Beta release
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

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."

INTELLIGENCE

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!"

OPERATIONS

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.

LOGISTICS

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!

New sub-forums were added to share your cool Zeus stories and discuss editing with Zeus tech. On the Feedback Tracker please mark related issues with the relevant Zeus - XYZ categories. Cheers!



  February 18th, 2014 - 16:20 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Arma 3 Livestream - Zeus DLC Gameplay Reveal Videos    
Live from Bohemia Interactive HQ in Prague, the Arma 3 devteam welcomes you to their 'Zeus Gameplay Reveal' hangout. Take a first look at the upcoming free multiplayer DLC, with commentary from Arma 3 Zeus' Design Lead Karel Moricky and Creative Director Jay Crowe.



Arma 3™ Zeus will be available at the start of Q2 2014 as free DLC for Arma 3. For more information, please visit http://zeus.arma3.com/.

*The original recording of this livestream can be found on http://www.twitch.tv/arma3official/.

  February 16th, 2014 - 00:29 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Free DLC ARMA 3 ZEUS revealed Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us about first planned DLC for Arma 3: Arma 3 Zeus announcement.


LATEST NEWS

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.



  February 13th, 2014 - 17:24 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00043 Official    

On Tuesday 11th February 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00043 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: OPREP - Analogue control, Community Wiki upgrade
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

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!

INTELLIGENCE

Head on over to the main Arma 3 website to check out a fresh batch of highlighted community projects. There are two videos, a promising custom terrain and a shout-out to a Spanish community.

OPERATIONS

The Make Arma Not War website was updated with an additional set of Frequently Asked Questions, and the corresponding answers! Collected from many different channels, the answers try to provide more general information for participants, but also Intel on distinct topics such as third-party content, licenses and data packs.

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.

LOGISTICS

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.


  February 11th, 2014 - 16:25 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  NATO SF and Russian Spetsnaz weapons by Massi Addon release    

Massi has informed us about NATO SF and Russian Spetsnaz weapons v1.2 updated pack release on our Forums.

I’ve updated my weapon pack in the few spare time I’ve got.

First of all I’d like to thanks BI for releasing their great A2/OA MLODs wich made possible to include in this update new weapons such as A-A launchers, A-T launchers, Bizon, FN FAL, shotguns, and also Vilas again for a compete new family of Ak74M and Ak74M GL with rails for Special Forces.

I tried to fix few issues reported by users, work is still slowly proceeding, the addon is still under development and I’ll work in spare time to complete the pack (for now future plans include adding SCAR family rifles in near future to equip my US Rangers).


v 1.2 date 02/FEB/2014
- Added A-T launchers : M136, MAAWS, RPG 7, RPG 18
- Added A-A launchers : Stinger, Strela
- Added AK74M and AK74M GL Special forces RAILs version black and camo
- Added FN FAL, FN FAL M203
- Added BIZON
- Added M1014 Benelli and SAIGA 12 shotguns
- Added ANPEQ15 on M4s/416/417
- Added ASDG Joint Rails OPTIONAL CONFIG (updated Robalo's optional config)
- Fixed: aimpoint glass color
- Fixed: small models\textures corrections
- Updated: config





  February 9th, 2014 - 18:42 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  OPREP: ANALOGUE CONTROL Official    

On Friday 7th February 2014 , Petr Kolář has reported an OPREP: ANALOGUE CONTROL on the official Arma 3 web site.

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.

EVALUATION

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.

TURNING POINT

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!





  February 8th, 2014 - 07:57 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Helicopter-borne air assault Arma 3 video Official    

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.


Previous Community Guides explored topics such as infantry combat, multiplayer teamwork, helicopters, sniper- and launcher teams, and combined arms warfare - with the goal of introducing people to some of the basics of Arma 3. The complete Community Guide playlist is available on Arma 3’s official YouTube Channel.

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.


  February 6th, 2014 - 17:43 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00042 Official    

On Wednesday 5th February 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00042 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Community Guide season 3, OPREP
PRECEDENCE: Flash


SITUATION

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.

INTELLIGENCE

A few new scripting commands have been documented on the forums, in part by Killzone Kid. Thanks!

OPERATIONS

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.

LOGISTICS

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!


  February 5th, 2014 - 13:46 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

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