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  Bohemia Interactive Arma 3 DLC strategy ... and Arma 3 Karts Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us of the Arma 3 Karts release - the first paid DLC for Arma 3 - and a new entry about Arma 3 DLC Strategy on the Developers Blog.


Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 29th May 2014

A few weeks after the studio shared its 2014-2015 development roadmap for Arma 3 (announcing upcoming DLCs and a major expansion), Bohemia Interactive today posted a new devblog to explain how it aims to prevent a split in the Arma 3 playerbase.

DLC often fractures a game's playerbase, which is most noticeable in the multiplayer environment, where such a split prevents players that do not own DLC from joining friends who do own it. Given the nature of Arma 3 as an open platform, Bohemia Interactive set itself the goal to develop an alternative solution. While the new strategy is somewhat experimental, Bohemia Interactive's plan is to make all Arma 3 downloadable content available to all owners of Arma 3, with reasonable restrictions applied to those who have not purchased them.

Consequently, Bohemia Interactive’s approach will enable those who do and do not own Arma 3 DLC to play together. Furthermore, it provides players with a generous try-before-you-buy system. Players will also be able to purchase the DLC directly from in-game, which will unlock the content immediately without having to download additional data. Alternatively, people can also still buy the DLC out-of-game, directly from the Steam Store. Besides offering advantages to players, the new strategy also benefits the Arma 3 development team, who no longer have to maintain multiple sets of data, and will not need to test every single combination of ownership for every game update. Plus, with regards to future playable content, the development team can, to some degree, rely on all players having access to DLC content and features.

Joris-Jan van 't Land, Project Lead on Arma 3, explains:
"A key component of our new approach is the idea that, while new content is paid, new features are entirely free. This enables us to grow the platform with significant new gameplay updates for everyone who owns Arma 3, while offering up great extra content for those players who want to experience it and support our ongoing development."



To try out the new DLC approach from a player, technical, and business perspective, Bohemia Interactive today released Arma 3 Karts - the first paid DLC for Arma 3. Originally announced as an April Fools' joke via the Splendid Split parody video, the Arma 3 Karts DLC features a 20hp 4-stroke engine go-kart, several kart liveries, playable race driver and marshal game characters, new kart-racing Time Trials and Steam Achievements, plus various race objects to build your own racetracks. As the Karts DLC is considered to be a fun little side-step - and also as a way to trial the new DLC strategy - a portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Arma 3 Karts DLC will be donated to the Czech Red Cross. The total amount raised will be announced on www.bistudio.com in June 2014.



Last but not least, Bohemia Interactive revealed the pricing of their planned DLC packages. While the Arma 3 Karts DLC is available for the exceptional price of 1.49 EUR / 1.99 USD / 1.19 GBP, the Arma 3 Helicopters and Arma 3 Marksmen DLC will be sold separately for 12.99 EUR / 15.99 USD / 10.99 GBP. Those who want the complete Arma 3 experience can save more than 25 by picking up the Arma 3 DLC Bundle for 19.99 EUR / 24.99 USD / 16.99 GBP, which includes Arma 3 Karts, plus the upcoming Arma 3 Helicopters and Arma 3 Marksmen DLC.

The main game Arma 3, which has sold over one million copies to date, is available for purchase from Steam and Store.bistudio.com, where people can pick between the regular edition (44.99 EUR / 39.99 GBP / 59.99 USD) and Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR / 42.99 GBP / 64.99 USD). The Digital Deluxe Edition 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 major high-street retailers.
The entire development blog post can be found on Bohemia Interactive’s website.


  May 29th, 2014 - 16:40 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  BIS and ICRC promote respect for health care in video games Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Bohemia Interactive and International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) promotion campaign about respect for health care in video games.

Prague, Czech Republic, Wednesday 28th May 2014

Bohemia Interactive and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) today shared a new video to raise awareness for the topic of ‘Health Care in Danger’. In the video, Christian Rouffaer - head of the ICRC's international humanitarian law and video games project – discusses his role at the ICRC, the ICRC’s Health Care in Danger campaign, and the connection with Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest.

The ICRC’s Health Care in Danger campaign, which is part of the organization’s many efforts to protect victims of war, aims to address the current violence against the health care sector - ranging from direct attacks to patients, medical staff and health-care facilities and medical transports, to denial of access to and forced entry and looting of health care facilities. The campaign was launched as a response to an uprising of illegal and violent acts that impede or prevent health care delivery.

Aside from developing practical solutions to improve the safety of health care, the ICRC is also committed to raising public awareness for the problem. This led to the unique collaboration with video game developer Bohemia Interactive, who is well-known for its award-winning Arma® military game series. Looking to create a change in virtual reality which can hopefully be carried into the real world, the two parties set up the Health Care in Danger Special Award as part of Bohemia Interactive’s €500,000 content creation contest for Arma 3. Given to the entry which covers the topic of ‘health care in danger’ the best, the winner(s) of the award will go on a one-week trip to an ICRC mission in a foreign country, organized by the ICRC.

We’re looking for game content where medevac procedures are more complex. For example, a game mod where providing first-aid to a wounded enemy would be rewarded - or new hospital, ambulance, medical personnel and equipment models, which other players and mission builders can use to enrich their gameplay. We believe that you can get inspiration from many real-life stories from past and present conflicts”, said Christian Rouffaer, who also represents the ICRC in the Make Arma Not War jury.

The winners of the Make Arma Not War contest, including the winner(s) of the Health Care in Danger Special Award, will be announced on January 15th, 2015. More information about the Make Arma Not War contest, the rules, prizes, and categories is available on www.makearma.com.

A written interview with Christian Rouffaer about the Make Arma Not War contest can be found at http://www.makearma.com/interviews/icrc-hcid. For more information about the ICRC’s Health Care in Danger campaign, please visit www.healthcareindanger.org.




  May 28th, 2014 - 18:13 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00058 Official    

On Tuesday 27th May 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00058 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Update incoming, Netcode, Vehicle camera shake
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Followers of our daily experimental devbranch may have picked up on things slowing down as far as data updates go. That's because we have been on a data lock since last week, in order to prepare a game update. Version 1.20 is set to go later this week if final testing let's it roll out. On the tools side, there will be a new version of Addon Builder. Its primary new features are the ability to binarize data for both Arma 3 and older Arma games. Besides that the User Interface has received a facelift. This may seem unimportant, but it's done to allow bigger changes coming up with regards to Steam Workshop and add-ons.

INTELLIGENCE

In recent months, Real Virtuoso Ondřej Španěl, has been working on changes to the way network messages are send in multiplayer games. This was done for DayZ stand-alone, but in this case can help Arma 3's netcode as well. In basic terms, previously the netcode would send full packets with all information about updated objects (not just static objects like ammo crates, but characters, vehicles, etc.). That has been changed now to only send the difference to the previous state (similar to how Arma 3 updates on Steam only need you to download the changed data). This does not change the amount of data to process after reception, but it does lessen the amount of data to send (lower network traffic). Programmer Vojtěch Hladík has merged the changes to devbranch. This implementation is enabled by default there, but can be disabled using server config entry guaranteedUpdates = false. We'll be testing the approach for some time before we roll it out to main branch.

OPERATIONS


For our Helicopters DLC we've started to work on a few camera shake effects that contribute to the immersion of flying a copter (based on G-forces). Now that the technology exists in the engine, our encoding team will begin setting up good parameters for all stock helicopters. After that we'll also be looking at other vehicle categories, such as airplanes, cars and boats. Initial results should start to appear as we release the data lock next week.

LOGISTICS

One of our recent additions to the programming team, Richard Biely (welcome Richard!), has been fixing up some of the server admin commands:

#kick: the game was checking input only against player nickname and player number (UID wasn't checked). The command also works with strings now (so both #kick sho and #kick "sho" work).
#exec ban: the game only considered a player number as a valid input. In order to make bans work with player UIDs and player nicknames, support for string input needed to be implemented, e.g. #exec ban "crowe" or #exec ban "12345" do the trick now.

Script command addUniform now only works for uniforms of a units' side. If you were using it on uniforms of a different side in your previous projects, please change the command to forceAddUniform to prevent having naked soldiers in your scenarios! You can also use the new isUniformAllowed command to check if it is actually possible to don the uniform.


  May 27th, 2014 - 17:26 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00057 Official    

On Tuesday 20th May 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00057 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Welcome newcomers, Company anniversary, Misc. technology
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Regular players will have seen a wave of newcomers join the frontlines this past weekend. We were hosting a Steam Free Weekend, which meant the game was temporarily available to play for every Steam user. It allowed anyone to get a taste of Arma 3 and pick it up at a sizable discount. We welcome all of the new recruits! Hopefully Arma veterans can show them the ropes and share some of their awesome multiplayer experiences. Since its launch, Arma 3 has made the installation and update procedures much smoother, but there's still ground to cover within the game. We are working on enhancements to better orient new players with the Bootcamp update. The package is close to having all of its content in prototype status. That means the content exists and is playable fully (scenario flow / logic, assets, systems, etc.). The next stage focuses on adding flair: voice acting, MOCAP animations, better-looking UI elements and more.

INTELLIGENCE

We were proud to share our 15th company anniversary with you. Your congratulatory messages meant a lot to us. It was awesome to see so many people who have been with us since the very start. Hopefully the free copy of Arma: Cold War Assault gave you a nice glance at Arma's beginnings. To see the evolution of Arma (and our other games) in motion, check out this anniversary video. And you might like to browse through our new company brochure, to get a better understanding of our history, interests and goals.

A final bit of info for owners of non-Steam versions of Arma 2 (and DLC / expansions): you can now redeem the Steam versionsusing your original CD keys. This will also facilitate multiplayer via Steam for Operation Arrowhead, after GameSpy shuts down at the end of this month.

OPERATIONS

Programming lead Dr. Hladík has deemed the current state of surface friction for vehicles not satisfactory, and thus added a new parameter for surface types that solves many issues. The new surfaceFriction works well with the longitudinal and lateral stiffness parameters of wheels and should provide a distinctive feeling of grip on various surfaces. The technology is work-in-progress now as our QA team is testing the changes under various conditions.

LOGISTICS

Our other programming lead, Ondřej Martinák, reports: "A new command line parameter '-enableHT' has been added which instructs Arma 3 to use all hyper-threaded CPU cores . Use of this parameter may increase the game's performance, especially on Dedicated Servers with high amount of players." It should be noted that we don't expect large improvements this addition, but every little bit helps.


  May 20th, 2014 - 16:31 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Bohemia Interactive celebrates 15th anniversary Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Bohemia Interactive 15th anniversary celebration.

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday May 15th 2014

Bohemia Interactive, the creators of the award-winning Arma® series and DayZ®, are proud to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Founded in May 1999, Bohemia Interactive released its debut title Arma: Cold War Assault (originally released as Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis*) in 2001, and has since then developed more than 15 games and expansions. The studio’s birthday celebration is accompanied by an Arma 3 Free Weekend and a Bohemia Interactive Weekend Sale on Steam, plus a free game for everyone.

From 15th May until 18th May, all Steam users are able to play Arma 3 for free, with access to all content except for the second and third campaign episode. Those who would like to continue playing afterwards can pick up Arma 3 with a massive 40% discount. Bohemia Interactive’s other released games are also on sale – and while the studio does not usually offer discounts on its Early Access games, for its 15th anniversary Bohemia Interactive made a special exception, and has included DayZ and Take On Mars in the sale with a fitting 15% discount. Furthermore, as a birthday gift for everyone, Arma: Cold War Assault – Bohemia Interactive’s debut title – is available for free from now until the end of the weekend, and will stay in people’s Steam Library afterwards - providing them with the opportunity to experience where it all began.

In addition to the free game, Bohemia Interactive today also announced that people who have previously bought a non-Steam version of Arma 2, including the expansions and DLC, are now able to redeem their product on Steam using their original Arma 2 or Arma 2 expansion game’s CD Key (often found inside the box or provided by the reseller via e-mail).

Last but not least, Bohemia Interactive published a brand new video. Looking back at 15 years of making games, the 15th Anniversary video showcases the games which the studio has developed during the past one and a half decade. For the people who are interesting in learning even more about the studio’s background and future direction, Bohemia interactive also deployed a new company brochure.

"I’d like to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to the amazing 15 years at Bohemia Interactive. The journey so far has been exciting, often challenging, sometimes hard - but, ultimately, always rewarding” , said Marek Spanel, CEO and co-founder of Bohemia Interactive. "While the games industry has fundamentally changed since the early years, our community continues to stand at the heart of everything we do, and together we will continue to create incredible games."

For more information about Bohemia Interactive, please visit www.bistudio.com. To keep track of all the latest news, be sure to follow Bohemia Interactive on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.



Bohemia Interactive – Company Brochure (PDF)

*Operation Flashpoint ® is a registered trademark of Codemasters.



  May 15th, 2014 - 21:23 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00056 Official    

On Tuesday 13th May 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00056 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Development update
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

The team is working on a lot of things in parallel. Some devs are focused on near releases and others are doing pre-production on the expansion. Broadly speaking, the programmers are looking at more (multiplayer) optimizations and platform support. Most of them also have a long-term technology assigned, such as sling loading ropes, and they are doing feasibility studies and prototypes for those. They are working together with sandbox designers who typically provide analyses for the features (how should the tech be controlled? What are the functional requirements? Etc.). We would expect such features to be released to devbranch in advance of DLC releases. The RotorLib helicopter flight model for example, would be unleashed for the current fleet of helicopters well ahead of the new DLC helicopters being published.

Meanwhile our artists are producing assets ranging from supporting objects for the Bootcamp Update, to the new heavy transport helicopters, to initial static objects for the expansion terrain. The playable content designers are in full production of the Bootcamp tutorial content. These are not the tutorials you may expect; we've sought forms of content that teach relevant skills, but not just key bindings. They try to explain what Arma offers over more traditional shooters, and also to provide fun to veterans.

INTELLIGENCE

Resident Zeus GM Lukáš Haládik has been tweeting out some of his bits of advice for deity-in-training. Do you have tips for Zeus? Tweet them our way (@Arma3official) using #ZeusTips!

OPERATIONS

40 contestants have submitted their entries for Make Arma Not War so far and it's great to see their concept & promo materials, and even first-playables! In cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross there is a special prize for the entry that covers the theme of 'health care in danger' the best. Have a look at the project's Twitter. They are inviting contestants to contact them for information on the topic. A dedicated feature about this will be released on the MANW website soon!

LOGISTICS

We're going over requests and suggestions related to server administration. A few things have already made it to devbranch. It is now possible to store multiplayer scenarios in sub-folders. Note that these are still listed in the game as a flat list, but later the folder structure is to be represented in-game as well. A security feature makes it possible to whitelist certain file extensions for extensions.

Scenario designers might find it useful to know that an asset's texture randomization script routines can now be terminated by setting variable BIS_enableRandomization to false in the asset's variable space.


  May 13th, 2014 - 13:28 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00055 Official    

On Tuesday 6th May 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00055 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Roadmap blog
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

So, now you know our plans for 2014 and 2015, or at least the major milestones! We hope you're excited for the updates, DLC and ultimately expansion. More specific information will obviously be shared as we approach each of the releases, with the Bootcamp update and Helicopter DLC first in line (not counting regular game updates). But, rather than rehashing the blog here, we recommend you read it and get the full context of what's next for Arma 3. We are now writing a follow-up blog that goes into specifics on how we intend to handle DLC, namely in such as way that avoids fracturing the platform and its player-base wherever we can. You can expect it later this month.

INTELLIGENCE

A message to Supporter Edition owners: since the expansion is revealed to be not stand-alone, it is included in your bundle. All currently announced paid additions are included without extra charge: Arma 3 Helicopters, Arma 3 Marksmen and the expansion. Thank you again for your support since the early days of Alpha.

The entire in-game Field Manual has been exported to the Community Wiki. Tips, explanations, weapon & vehicle info, hidden features, find them all here.

OPERATIONS

Let's take another look at what we said in the roadmap blog: "features are free, content is paid". To elaborate using the example of sling loading, this means everybody who currently owns Arma 3 or will buy it later (regardless of the Arma 3 Helicopters DLC) will be able to sling external loads under helicopters. It also means the rope technology is available for user-generated helicopters, or even completely different applications. What you will gain by purchasing the DLC are, among other things, carefully selected new and high-quality helicopters that are capable of transporting heavy loads.

Another example is the RotorLib flight model for helicopters. We will provide this flight model for all previously released helicopters in Arma 3 whether or not you own the DLC. It should be repeated that this flight model will be an option in the game. It offers distinct benefits for precise control over rotary-wing aircraft, and makes the simulation more authentic (particularly having control over the collective). But those who would want to stick with the Arma 3 flight model can do so. We don't even expect it to be default on the normal difficulty setting. Actually owning the DLC will give you the cool new birds and other content.

LOGISTICS

Find details on the recently released 1.18 game update in its SPOTREP, and a changelog for Arma 3 Tools in the corresponding TECHREP. Today we are deploying a small hotfix for the game, to address multiplayer performance and stability.


  May 6th, 2014 - 20:30 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Bohemia Interactive presents 2014-2015 roadmap for Arma 3 Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us that BIS has released their 2014-2015 development roadmap for Arma 3

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday May 1st 2014

Bohemia Interactive today released their 2014-2015 development roadmap for Arma 3. In a brand new post on Bohemia Interactive’s devblog, Arma 3’s Creative Director Jay Crowe and Project Lead Joris-Jan van ‘t Land explain the studio’s intention to support the game with platform updates, downloadable content, and an expansion.

Platform updates are major enhancements to Arma 3, and will be available to everyone who own the game. Extending the Steam Workshop implementation (currently limited to player-created scenarios) to support mods is a key goal. Another important addition to Arma 3 will be the release of the Bootcamp update. This free package will give newcomers a varied introduction to the game, while veteran players can look forward to refinements of certain vanilla features.

Besides platform updates, Bohemia Interactive will also reinforce Arma 3 with downloadable content (DLC). Each exploring a specific theme, Arma 3 DLC will focus upon new sandbox assets, official scenarios, and features. Bohemia Interactive stipulates that DLC game features will be free to everyone, while DLC content will be paid. The studio is currently working on a plan to prevent a split in the multiplayer player-base, which will be explained in more detail in the next few weeks.

Bohemia Interactive's first planned DLC is Arma 3 Helicopters, which is scheduled for release in the second half of 2014. The Helicopters DLC should feature new transport helicopters, an option to use Take On Helicopter’s RotorLib Flight Dynamics Model (FDM), plus several new game mechanics. The Helicopters DLC will be followed up by the Arma 3 Marksmen DLC, which should include new weapons and a focused overhaul of certain shooting mechanics.

The studio is also developing a major expansion for Arma 3, which is currently penciled in for late 2015. While much of the pre-production work for the expansion is still underway, the intention is to deliver a range of new sandbox content and features alongside a new terrain - which offers a distinctive feeling and gameplay.

Last but not least, the devblog post mentions that work on stability and optimizations, as well as large-scale MP performance, will continue. Together with the scheduled platform updates, downloadable content, the expansion, and the €500,000 Make Arma Not War contest - Bohemia Interactive intends to develop Arma 3 as a long-term platform.

The entire development blog post can be found on Bohemia Interactive’s website.



  May 1st, 2014 - 12:53 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00054 Official    

On Wednesday 30th April 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00054 on the official Arma 3 web site.

TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Update 1.18, Make Arma Not War applications, Roadmap
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

As of yesterday it's possible for Make Arma Not War contestants to apply and even submit their entries already! Solo developers and teams can apply and share all but the add-on category (that one is waiting for add-on support in Steam Workshop). Entries can be browsed at your leisure and there are various options for developers to promote them. As a regular player you can also enjoy the fruits of their labor, as well as support those entries that you like, and vote for entries in the Singleplayer category! Read more about voting and supporting here. After supporting an entry you will get a forums badge to show your participation. The more an entry gets supported, the more it is also covered on various official channels.

We are intending to publish game update 1.18 today if the final tests result in confirmed fixes. If not, it may get bumped to early next week due to Czech national holidays. Besides the game, there will of course be new versions of the stand-alone server packages and tools.

Then there is an announcement of an announcement: we've written a devblog which finally shares details about our Arma 3 plans during 2014 and 2015. It goes over 'platform updates' , 'downloadable content' and more. The further we go into the future, the more vague those plans get (since we're still doing feasibility studies, pre-production and conceptualization), but there are some good tidbits in there! The blog should go live later this week.

INTELLIGENCE

A recent Community Guide episode nicely demonstrates the potential of Zeus. Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck outlines what's possible and highlights the options for multiplayer training, as well as dynamic scenario curation.

Bořivoj Hlava reminds players that it's possible to re-scale and re-position the AV Camera Feed via the Game Options. The default setup may not be ideal for all monitor configurations and this provides some control for UAV operators.

OPERATIONS

Speaking of UAVs, Bořivoj has also written a nice OPREP on the topic of UAVs and the refinements made to their usability. Check out the filtered changelog specific to this feature and a redesigned / more intuitive User Interface. Another section elaborates on improved control over the drones and specifically laser designation. Then the OPREP wraps by looking at several planned enhancements for the future.

LOGISTICS

Karel Mořický continues to enrich Zeus via some welcomed additions. This week he and Filip Sadovský added a list of recently placed entities in the UI, the use of synchronized waypoints for units, and a way of assigning objectives to specific players or groups. Consider following Sandbox Design Lead Lukáš Haládik for his frequent Zeus tips. Lukáš often curates the experience for our in-house Zeus sessions with 'Team Spider', and he orchestrated our official livestream a while ago.


  April 30th, 2014 - 11:17 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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