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  SITREP #00179 Official    

On October 25, 2016, Vojtěch Kovařič has reported a SITREP #00179 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Roadmap 2016-17, Improved Lightmaps, SITREP Frequency
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Coming in at the end of last week, we unveiled the 2016-17 roadmap for Arma 3. Meanwhile, the development team has started brainstorming, pre-production, and in some cases already production itself on the newly announced packages. We'll talk a bit more about the roadmap later in this SITREP, but one thing is clear: Arma 3 has a splendid future ahead of itself!

INTELLIGENCE


We always love to see community groups organizing competitions and events for their members. One of these units, 3 Commando Brigade, recently started a "Screenshot of the Month" contest. The winners for September have been announced. Congratulations, and we hope to see more splendid screenshots in the upcoming months!




Armachinima-maker GAMmovies released a cool machinima video, capturing the fate of an American tank crew during WWII. Together with some well-picked and edited music and voice-overs, the video shows what can be achieved in terms of creating atmosphere. Kudos to GAMmovies for the video, and the people behind the mods that we see making an appearance!



OPERATIONS


As we briefly touched upon at the start of this SITREP, last Friday Creative Director Jay Crowe shared our long awaited Roadmap 2016-17. In the new blog, he provided a high-level outline of the planned premium packages and free platform improvements for Arma 3 in the upcoming year. We're thrilled to see the positive reception on various channels, and have been monitoring the suggestions and speculations with great interest. While some of the packages are already more strongly defined (e.g. Jets), the Tanks DLC is awaiting your suggestions on the forums (kudos to Damian90 for starting the thread). We're planning to kick off the pre-production phase of Tanks DLC in the upcoming week, and we're keen to see your thoughts on the topic!




LOGISTICS


Dev-Branch users can now use high quality lightmap textures containing ambient shadow data. Design Lead Julien Vida explains how it works, describes conditions for using the technology (such as the _adshq suffix), and finally provides a visual example in a tweet below (look for the reduction of banding artifacts). Also, ImageToPAA (part of Arma 3 Tools package) has received an update on the Tools Dev-Branch to support these textures as well.




With our plans for the future now out in the open, Arma 3 is set to continue to grow in size and complexity. As you can imagine, supporting a platform with this many variables is not easy. For instance, you may have noticed that instead of every 4 to 6 weeks, Main Branch updates now occur approximately every 10 to 12 weeks. This enables us to stabilize the platform to the benefit of modding teams, while on our side, testing and supporting Arma 3 simply requires a growing amount of time (to illustrate, the 'build checklist' assembled by our Quality Assurance heroes, which we run through before every update, takes approximately three weeks). In addition, it takes into account that some of our Top Men are now also supporting the development of future Bohemia technologies and projects. As a consequence, we've also decided to change the frequency of our SITREPs. These will now appear every other week, and will hopefully contain more juicy bits of Intel. All in all, we're proud to be able to actively support Arma 3 for already more than 3 years since its original launch. This is something which has only been possible thanks to the daily cooperation with our community. We look forward to another excell... who are we kidding: splendid™ year!


  October 26th, 2016 - 20:54 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  ARMA 3 ROADMAP 2016-17 Official    


Korneel van 't Land has informed us that Bohemia Interactive had announced today its development plans for Arma 3 in the upcoming year. Introduced via a new post on the Arma 3 developer’s blog, the 2016-17 roadmap reveals a variety of planned DLC content, as well as post-release support in the form of free platform updates.

Launching Arma 3 Apex was a big moment in our project; July’s expansion was the most significant milestone since our original release, in 2013. In the months that have followed, we've been thrilled to see our players exploring and expanding upon the new content, features, and - of course - splendid new terrain, Tanoa. Meanwhile, our team has been busy.

Focusing upon both post-release support and looking ahead to the next stage of development, there’s been much evaluation, discussion, and - ultimately - the formation of a high-level plan. Now, we’d like to share our goals, highlight key updates, and talk a bit about how we’ll continue to support a mature platform in the context of planning for the future.

VISION


Infantry gameplay has long been at the heart of our development. Although it remains the backbone of our sandbox, we also recognise that there are several other avenues to explore. By expanding upon combined-arms content and features, we aim to create fascinating new opportunities for our community, and attract new players looking for a gateway to a massive military experience.

We're also looking to make longer-term investments (significant free updates, for everyone) that, we hope, help Arma 3 to continue to serve as platform for our community for years to come. To balance this effort - plainly speaking: to fund our project - we've prepared a number of premium packages and free updates, which translate our vision into real development.

GOALS

JETS DLC

Next year, air superiority jets will fight for control over our simulated skies. More details are forthcoming but, for now, we can confirm this package will be supported by a free platform update, with radar / sensor improvements as its stand-out feature. By adding more depth to threat detection and tracking, we aim to improve gameplay across the entire sandbox.

'ORANGE' DLC

This year, we opened a new studio in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. With the goal of gradually building up experience, work has started on a small project, codenamed 'Orange'. While the exact direction isn't final, we're very much interested in exploring an interesting and unique perspective on the battlefield. It’s shaping up to be a valuable, innovative addition to the platform!

MALDEN FREE DLC

June 22nd, 2017, will be Arma’s 16th anniversary. We plan to mark the occasion with a free DLC, featuring an island familiar to veterans of our series: Malden. Starting out as a small passion project, Malden 2035 re-uses many vanilla structures, vegetation, etc., to recreate this classic terrain. There’ll be an announcement related to this work in the coming weeks.

TAC-OPS DLC

Later next year, we aim to present players with a package of playable content: 'tactical operations' that focus upon challenging, replayable and authentic military gameplay, which makes the best use of our sandbox. This development is an opportunity for us to learn how to continue to support the platform, fund our project, and offer valuable new experiences for our players.

TANKS DLC

We round off this roadmap with an ambitious goal: overhauling the experience of armoured combat in Arma 3. This package will follow our well-established model: a set of premium assets, which bring something new to the sandbox, supported by platform improvements and additions for everyone, for free. We encourage our community to share their own wishes on the topic, too!

PLATFORM

Traditionally, instalments in the Arma series enjoy a long tail of support and, in turn, sustain an active player-base. Arma 3 stays true to this vision. Aside from the major releases outlined above, we're also assembling a robust tools roadmap to better serve our content creators. Furthermore, we've identified several new ‘platform’ improvements not yet associated with specific updates.

To provide a few examples: later this year, we'll publish 64-bit executables to Dev-Branch; work on a full singleplayer conversion of the 'Apex Protocol' co-op campaign starts soon; Tanoa structures will gradually receive additional ruins / interiors - and its splendid audio fidelity will be extended to all terrains. Naturally, we’ll discuss these things (and more!) in greater detail soon™.

Associated development is planned, too. We’ll continue to provide / expand public samples and documentation. The Arma 3 Units service will enjoy some modest UX improvements. Work with our partners on experimental ports is set to continue, too. Although this roadmap seeks only to provide a high-level outline for now, we hope you’ll agree, there’s much to look forward to!

FUTURE




This is now our third post-release roadmap. Along the way, we've gained a lot of experience about what works well, and what doesn't. For example, we know that developing across multiple studios is tough! In part, multiple packages help us to manage that risk, grow experience in autonomous teams, and, ultimately, add value to the platform in a sustainable way.

We’re also looking beyond Arma 3. Indeed, some of the team have already moved onto new projects in support of the development of our next engine, 'Enfusion'. We aim to find a way to both invest in the future, and serve the diverse needs and passions of our existing community. With this roadmap, we hope to strike that delicate balance.


Jay Crowe (RiE)
Creative Director, Arma 3





  October 21st, 2016 - 15:12 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00178 Official    

On October 18, 2016, Vojtěch Kovařič has reported a SITREP #00178 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Community Focus, Open Job Positions
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


The development team is polishing existing features, tackling some inconsistencies in the sandbox, and preparing for the future of Arma 3. We look forward to unveiling all of the platform improvements and content additions we have planned, and while our 2016-2017 roadmap blog is currently receiving its final touches, we intend on sharing this Intel with you in the upcoming week.

INTELLIGENCE


Fans of the first half of the 20th century and its military may appreciate the CSA38 mod made by a Czech duo Ondřej Branžovský (who has meanwhile joined our ranks as a Junior Environment Designer) and Petr Tlach. Their creation focuses on the Czechoslovak army from the year 1938 (up until the Munich Agreement). Unique uniforms, weapons, vehicles (tanks included) and a terrain based on a real location; a bundle of content a fan of modern history simply cannot refuse. While they are still adding new assets to the package and polishing the existing ones, it already makes a very solid impression and provides tons of gameplay opportunities. Keep up the good work!




We're sharing quite an extraordinary video today: Real American Gamer narrating his campaign playthrough of Arma 3. Playing through The East Wind Death Valley scenario accompanied by his commentary makes it quite a unique experience, even for seasoned Arma players. Watch at your own risk, as the footage contains major campaign story spoilers and some colorful language. You can find more videos of this variety on Real Gamer's YouTube



OPERATIONS


Update 1.64 received a small hotfix last week to tackle some issues related to controller settings, vehicle driving, and others. Head over to the Dev Hub to read the full changelog. We recommend to verify the game's cache via Steam every time the game is updated.




Last week, we asked our players to test an updated memory allocator, which we hoped would help solve sudden performance drops. Thanks to you, we already have some community test results. Sadly, the newly introduced memory allocator does not solve the issue for all players. We've collected reports of all sorts: some claiming that the FPS drop disappeared completely, and some stating that their game runs much slower than with the regular memory allocator. Thanks everyone for your reports! We'll of course keep investigating the issue.

LOGISTICS


With so many talented people in our community, we'd like to highlight two of our current job openings: Game Capture Artist and Technical Artist - Encoder. Let us provide a few more details regarding both positions:



  October 18th, 2016 - 18:40 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00177 Official    

On October 11, 2016, Vojtech Kovaric has reported a SITREP #00177 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Roadmap Incoming, Memory Allocator Changes, Visual Upgrade Documentation
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


We're approaching another important step in the post-release support of Arma 3 and the finalization of the roadmap for the upcoming year. The development team has been busy outlining the future products, starting the pre-production phases, and brainstorming within the departments. Aside from that, a hotfix to the game is in the works; we hope to release it very soon if things go well. While progress on Arma 3 might not always be visible to public eyes, plenty of new exciting things are happening behind the curtains. We can't wait to start sharing bits of Intel in the upcoming weeks.

INTELLIGENCE


Community contributor (and author of the Community Guide Videos) Dslyecxi shows off his video recording and editing skills in spectacular footage he shared over on Twitter. Observing an operation from the spectator's point of view, both organizational and fighting skills of the hardened ShackTac Unit members are tested. They proceed to withdraw from an Area of Operation on Tanoa swamped by enemy soldiers controlled by AI. A glorious firefight during a pitch-black night reminds us how atmospheric Arma can be. Good luck on the next deployment, soldiers!





We always love to see unexpected and original additions to Arma 3. Operation: Trebuchet, a modification to Arma 3 inspired by a famous game series, has its first public version available on the Steam Workshop. Focusing on the perspective of a human vs human clash (no aliens here!) and introducing several assets inspired by the original games, the mod developers explained their further motivations in a dedicated reddit thread. Furthermore, a splendid trailer video was released on YouTube. Congratulations on the release and keep up the good work!



OPERATIONS


The latest Weekly Photo captures the Council of Leads before a long and (as you can tell from the faces) very serious meeting. As we have the plans for the game's future narrowed down, the department and project leads gathered to incorporate some last minute iterations and adjusted the plan before presenting it to our community. Also, we've discussed our cooperation on a company level (e.g. timing with other projects), something which proved necessary in a fast-growing company like ours.




One of the recent Dev-Branch changelog entries informs the players about the removal of certain memory allocators. After a broader discussion within the programming team, we have decided to discontinue support of several memory allocators from the game distribution on Steam. These (TCMalloc_bi, NedMalloc_bi, JEMalloc_bi, tbb3malloc_bi) were not loaded to the game by default; players needed to use a special start-up parameter (-malloc=). The reason we decided for this approach is rather pragmatic: we simply could not support all of the allocators properly and guarantee Arma 3's stability on other than the default allocators (tbb4malloc_bi, JEMalloc_bi). While the game is still able to load any allocator it is commanded to via the start-up parameter, the clarity of what we officially support and what is an experimental (and potentially unstable) solution will hopefully prove beneficial both for player experience on the one side and issue solving by the developers on the other side.

One optimistic piece of news is the potential progress in our investigation of the infamous "3FPS Drop" issue. Some players who were experiencing drastic performance drops, and were forced to restart their game, are now reporting that the issue was resolved for them by using the newest memory allocator distributed in the Profiling Branch of the game. This is why we would like to ask you, the community, to help us confirm the fix is actually working and no side issues are present. Those experiencing the issue and willing to participate on the test, please visit the dedicated forums thread created by Yours Truly and follow the instructions given within the post. It's crucial for us to have the fix confirmed by more people, so we can decide to release it in the form of a hotfix afterwards.




LOGISTICS





  October 11th, 2016 - 16:53 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00176 Official    

On October 4, 2016, Vojtech Kovaric has reported a SITREP #00176 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Aspect Ratio Settings Removal, Security Feedback Tracker Project, Tools Hotfix
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


The development team is currently evaluating reports from players who have experienced issues after the release of Update 1.64. To address the most problematic issues, we're preparing a small hotfix to the game. However, since some of the planned changes require thorough multiplayer testing, we will not yet be able to release the hotfix this week.

INTELLIGENCE


Arma 3 Units celebrated an important milestone last week. One of its groups, Hostile Takeover, now has more than 1000 members! As it is the first Arma 3 Unit to reach such a high number, we send our congratulations and hope to see another thousand soon. There are plenty of Units already; be sure to check the page and search for a Unit suited just to you!




Gaming magazine PC Gamer shared an article mapping their most favorite game expansions. To our delight, Arma 3's recently released Apex expansion is listed as well (along with a short description). We're proud to be present among such PC game legends!




It looks like Apex is also quite popular among streamers and their viewers. TwitchCon has shared a tweet uncovering the top ten list of most streamed 2016 releases. Arma 3 Apex is present there on the sixth place. We're really happy to see Apex doing very well and we're highly motivated to continue improving the game and work on new content. Thanks for the splendid support!




OPERATIONS


In one of the recent Dev-Branch updates, we've removed the possibility to set the aspect ratio of the User Interface of the game. Senior Designer Bořivoj Hlava explains some motivations behind this decision: "The 'Aspect Ratio' setting helped users to run the game on non-standard resolution monitors in the past. These days, however, there is no need for this setting and it can even be misleading for some people. In fact, our Analytics data show that more than 10 % of our players have their aspect ratio set incorrectly which can significantly impact their experience of the game. Therefore, we decided to make things easier to understand by implementing a fully automatic aspect ratio detection into the game."

Users of the official Feedback Tracker may have noticed some recent additions to the bug reporting site. Our QA heroes have now added two new projects: Arma 3 Security and DayZ Security. Naturally, we'll cover the part related to our project. Arma 3 Security is a new space used to report security issues (such as hacks, exploits and vulnerabilities) by our players directly to the developers. We're keen to hear about any exploits, potential security issues, memory hacks and others. Having a dedicated place for such reports on the Feedback Tracker can serve this purpose well and speeds up the process of tackling game-breaking issues and exploits. Be sure to check the initial description before submitting a ticket. There are some cases we're not able to influence and those should be reported to our partners (such as bans issued by BattlEye) or the standard Feedback Tracker section. The members of the Quality Assurance department are looking forward to the reports!

LOGISTICS


The Tools package received a small hotfix due to an issue with the Publisher. You can inspect the full TECHREP on the Dev-Hub and provide your feedback to the forums or on the Feedback Tracker.




Last but not least, the Bohemia Store is running a sale, with massive discounts on several Bohemia titles - including 50% off our beloved Arma 3, and the Arma 3 Karts, Helicopters, and Marksmen DLC (or even a combination of these three in the Arma 3 DLC Bundle). Grab your desired titles while the offer lasts!




  October 4th, 2016 - 18:44 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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