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  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)  

  OPREP: Drone Refinements Official    

An OPREP: Drone Refinements has been reported by by Bořivoj Hlava on Friday 25th April 2014.

UNIT: Bořivoj Hlava, Senior Designer, Sandbox Design Dept.
TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users
OPSUM: Autonomous Updates: recent changes & planned features




EVALUATION

During Arma 3's development, UAVs (Unmanned Autonomous Vehicles) took some big steps forward. Arma 2's purely scripted system was transformed into a robust, engine-implemented core feature for release. However, some ‘rough edges’ still remained; particularly, in terms of user experience and more advanced control.

Since January – in part based on community feedback – we've invested time into updates and fixes. Below, we summarise this progress and share our plans for upcoming new features.

IN WITH THE NEW

Recently finished UI tweaks and functionality changes for the UAV Terminal should create a more intuitive user experience. Aside from UI redesign, we've also added new control elements. It’s now possible to create markers on the map directly from the terminal by double clicking LMB. You now also have the ability to disable autonomous behaviour. Basically, although drones have AI to scan automatically for enemies, plan its path, etc., it's now possible to disable this feature and transform any UAV into an 'ordinary vehicle'. This benefits situations like reconnaissance where you want to be sure that your UGV won't do anything stupid!

Another useful feature is the 'AV Camera' – a live feed from your drone – that can be viewed without opening the terminal. It enables you to use various modes (e.g. thermal and night vision) and see what’s happening around the vehicle (or your own squad), which can be particularly useful during combat.



IN CONTROL

We also received feedback regarding improved and additional control over UAVs. For example, you're now able to control the movement of UGVs while in the gunner position (avoiding the need to switch between gunner/driver every few moments). Furthermore, connecting into UGVs has been tweaked; there are now separate options for entering as driver or gunner via the terminal, bypassing the need to enter first then switch. In terms of weapons systems, authority over firing missiles on fixed-wing UAVs has moved to the gunner position.

Additionally, the functionality of laser designation has been tweaked. Previously, you had to mark a target and wait for the AI to fire. However, sometimes it would first alter course. Given that UAV missiles and bombs are guided (a drone only needs to fly in the approximate direction of a target), this sometimes caused unneccesary headaches! Now, drones will stay on their path (defined by waypoints and commands issued via the AV Terminal). You may simply send a fixed-wing UAV to a given position, designate the target, and fire manually.



IN FUTURE

So, what's next? Well, aside from fixing and polishing, there are also some more complex features which we'd like to implement in the near future. 'Camera locking' – enabling drone operators to lock the camera on a given position and keep it once UAV controls are released – is one of these additions, which we hope will make the 'live feed' an even more powerful tool. Stealing enemy drones, too, was a feature raised in community feedback. Although several simple proposals have so far been considered, we've ran into some drawbacks for certain types of game modes. But, fear not, we've looked into other options and we hope to deliver some sort of stealing mechanic soon™.

Overall, given the increasing role that drones play on the modern battlefield, we hope that the UAV systems presented in Arma 3 are more user-friendly and that drones will feature more often as a regular part of missions. If you have any further feedback to UAV system, let us know and help us create even better game!

Change-log items related to UAV systems implemented so far this year:

* Darter doesn't have FAKs anymore
* Fixed: UGV_01 has different texture for body and turret
* Fixed: UGV will not progress to next waypoint when controlling turret
* Fixed: Commanding is not accessible in direct control of UAV
* Fixed: Radio is not accessible in direct control of UAV
* Fixed: [UAV] Being renegade after crashing Greyhawk
* New parameter killFriendlyExpCoef set. Player shouldn't be killed by friendly units after destruction of one UAV when controlling it.
* Fixed: Darter has been adjusted to withstand assembly even inside houses
* Airplane does not takeOff just because player took control (UAV)
* RscAVCamera is able to display UAV camera feed
* Added possibility for only one PiP in UAV view (primary from gunner position)
* Darter is able to rotate better on spot (configured backRotorForceCoef)
* AV Camera - Can't be invoked after releasing AV controls as a gunner
* Fixed: Problem when calling CreateVehicleCrew on Linux
* PIP mode (VIS, NV, TI) is the same as mode in AVs optics (could be changed by player while in control of AV)
* Fixed: Problems with skinned instancing when PiP is used
* Added: script command connectTerminalToUAV accepts objNull for UAV disconnection
* Added: script command showUAVFeed
* Added: script command shownUAVFeed
* Support of UAV feed in description.ext (showUAVFeed with the same functionality as https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/description.ext#showGPS)
* Fixed: Splendid camera didn't work well with UAVs and remotely controlled units
* UAV Terminal map interaction has been enhanced
* Redesigned: AV Terminal UI interface
* Greyhawk/Ababil UAVs have missiles/bombs controlled by the gunner
* Fixed: Camera of Greyhawk / Ababil CAS variants
* Possibility to set radius of loiter waypoint (in UAV Terminal)
* Fixed: auto-closing of GPS, watches, UAV PIP, compass when user switches to optics mode
* Added: UAV follow task - you can set it by clicking on a player and selecting “Follow me”
* Fixed: Drawing of icons on UAVs controlled by players


  April 26th, 2014 - 08:06 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Arma 3 - Zeus DLC Video Guide Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Arma 3 Zeus DLC Video Guide release.

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 24th April 2014

Bohemia Interactive today deployed a brand new episode in official Community Guide video series for Arma 3™. Taking a closer look at the recently released Arma 3 Zeus DLC, Andrew Gluck (better known as Dslyecxi) from Shack Tactical provides some practical tips for both Game Masters and players.

In Arma 3 Zeus, which is now available as free DLC for Arma 3, players can take on the role of Game Master, and curate the multiplayer experience of other players – much similar to the concept of popular tabletop games such as ‘Dungeons & Dragons’. The new Community Guide explores Arma 3 Zeus’ potential, while highlighting some of the core capabilities of a Game Master, and alternative uses for the Zeus module.

"Zeus represents a significant step forward in the Arma series' development. By making it possible for any player - even those without previous mission-making experience - to design and evolve a scenario in real-time through a robust 3D editor, Zeus lays the tremendous sandbox potential of the game out in easy reach, ready to be used as a tool to craft dynamic, engaging, and memorable experiences for all involved", said Andrew Gluck, former servicemember and leader of the popular Arma community group Shack Tactical.

Launching together with the Arma 3 Alpha last year, the Community Guide video series aims to explain some of the basics of Arma 3 - featuring topics such as MP Teamwork, Guerrilla Warfare, Air Assault, and more. The complete Community Guide playlist is available on Arma 3’s official YouTube Channel.

Community Guide: Arma 3 Zeus DLC




The Arma 3 Regular Edition (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) and the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) are now available for purchase from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version of Arma 3 is sold at many major high-street retailers.



  April 24th, 2014 - 15:48 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00053 Official    

On Wednesday 23rd April 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00053 on the official Arma 3 web site.

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

SITUATION

The next main branch update is being prepared (1.18). This is mainly a maintenance update, with a focus on multiplayer server stability and performance. Some recently introduced optimizations will be enabled, while work on others continues. The plan is to generate the internal snapshot at the end of this week, and to stage it on the semi-public Release Candidate branch. That branch is not very useful for the majority of players, but it can help server admins and even large mod / mode teams to prepare for the update. The actual release should then take place next week, depending on testing.

INTELLIGENCE

The Make Arma Not War contest will finally accept submissions starting April 29th. This applies to all categories except for single add-ons. For those we are preparing the game and tools for Workshop support. That work has been going on behind the scenes for a while now, and we hope to release the first version of the publish / subscribe cycle in May.

OPERATIONS

Based on popular demand, we decided to adjust the randomization scripts for changing colors of our vehicles. Scenario creators are now able to set the init of the vehicle to 'this setVariable ["color",X];' where X is a number ranging from 0 to the number of color variants minus one. This sets the color of the vehicle directly. There are some additional safety checks causing numbers out of range to make the color randomized again. A safe way to disable randomization is to add 'this setVariable ["color",0];' to the init of each vehicle. We may yet possibly improve this system based on further community feedback.

LOGISTICS

The Zeus interface now shows player squad insignia instead of their normal player icon (if defined). This should make it easier to keep squads apart and to generally promote your squad's presence. Another useful Zeus feature is a wider range of waypoint types , including LAND and FIRE MISSION. Zeus improvements keep coming while its small team trawls through the feedback.


  April 23rd, 2014 - 15:28 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00052 Official    

On Tuesday 15th April 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00052 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Zeus released, Zeus livestream
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


To celebrate last week's release of Zeus, we hosted a launch livestream on Saturday. Game Master Lukáš Haládik (call signs Sunray & Unicorn) created a High Value Target extraction scenario from scratch. The highlight for many was the GM remote controlling a civilian who refused to share his knowledge of the HVT position with the AAF players, and what subsequently happened ... The various hosts also demonstrated the new features added since the Zeus reveal and tried to answer a bunch of questions from the chat. We'd like to thank the three community fire teams who participated and did a great job of showing how Arma MP can benefit from solid teamwork. Kudos to Comrades in Arms, VOLCBAT and Shack Tactical for joining us!

Re-live the stream from different points of view:



INTELLIGENCE

Bohemia Interactive has shared a page with clarifications on the making and sharing of screenshots, videos, gameplay footage and music created using our games. We are and always have been quite generous when it comes to these topics, and this page merely helps to explain the exact rules in an open and honest way. The Frequently Asked Questions and answers should help to remove any doubts.

OPERATIONS

There has been quite a lot of constructive feedback about the flight model of our fixed-wing aircraft. Programming Lead Vojtěch Hladík himself has added new parameters to adjust the behavior of said planes. It is now possible to adjust the curve of sensitivity for elevators, rudder and ailerons. Encoder Martin Gregor has set these new parameters for the new CAS planes and the overall feedback seems like it has been a step in right direction.

LOGISTICS

Owners of the (Digital) Deluxe Edition will find two new Zeus music tracks (MP3 + FLAC) in the Bonus folder of the game.

Check out the most-recent TECHREP for several minor updates to the tools in the suite.

Zeus designer Karel Mořický has published several Zeus scenarios to Steam Workshop that will offer the standard modes on old Arma terrains (e.g. Chernarus and Takistan). There exist several mods which add those terrains to Arma 3, but neither the mods nor these scenarios are officially supported. This may at least get you to enjoy Zeus in a different setting!


  April 15th, 2014 - 17:23 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Arma 3 Zeus DLC now available Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Arma 3 Zeus DLC release.

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday April 10th 2014

Bohemia Interactive today released the free Arma 3 Zeus DLC for Arma 3™. Announced two months ago, Arma 3 Zeus lets people assume the role of Game Master and curate the multiplayer experience of other players.

As a Game Master, you can view the battlefield from bird’s-eye perspective, and create, manipulate or expand a multiplayer scenario in real-time. An easy-to-use editor enables you to spawn units, set objectives, change the weather conditions, start music, and much more. The result is incredibly dynamic online combat - in which players have to rely on their ability to improvise and adapt.



Become Zeus
Assume the role of Game Master and curate the experience of other Arma 3 players. Wielding an intuitive real-time editor, you can manipulate or expand multiplayer scenarios on-the-fly, and create a surprising flow of challenges for the soldiers on the ground.

Enroll As Players
Form a squad, head into battle, and engage in truly dynamic combat. As one of Zeus' subjects, you need to react to varied objectives, and adapt to unscripted events on a constantly-evolving battlefield. Improvisation is your key to success.

MP Modes
Play Arma 3 Zeus across its distinctive 'Game Master' game type scenarios, where you start out with a blank canvas. Or visit familiar modes like 'Coop', 'Team Death Match', and 'Sector Control' in a completely new way. Zeus multiplayer also works with custom player-created scenarios.

The Arma 3 Zeus DLC has been added automatically to the Steam Library of all owners of Arma 3.

To celebrate its release, the Arma 3 development team will be hosting an official Arma 3 Zeus Launch Party Livestream this Saturday, April 12th. Starting at 17:00 UTC, they will present an hour-long Zeus MP session in which the developers take on the role of Game Master, while various members from the Arma community will fight as soldiers on the ground. The session will be streamed live from Bohemia Interactive’s HQ in Prague onto Arma 3’s Twitch.tv channel.

For more information 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.




  April 10th, 2014 - 17:53 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00051 Official    

On Tuesday 8th April 2014, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00051 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Zeus release, Steam browser
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Zeus is finally unleashed on everyone this Thursday! We're keen to see how you will use it, and are looking forward to cool streams and play-through videos to share. Our own testing sessions have been quite role-play heavy, with Game Masters guiding groups of players through a myriad of unique, unplanned and constantly changing scenarios. But there are many other ways of using the tech - surprise us! Zeus will be 'packaged' as a DLC inside the game, and also on Steam. However, there is no need for any manual installation. Just like other updates, the data is downloaded automatically via Steam and plugged into your game (version 1.16).

We're planning to do a Zeus 'Launch' livestream event this Saturday - more details to follow if it goes ahead. And for a bit more background on Zeus' abilities and controls, take a look at the exported Field Manual records.

INTELLIGENCE


Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski shared with us his Steam Workshop recommendation: 'Operation Cold Rising' by OksmanTV. In his words: "It's a lengthy, story-driven, enjoyable scenario. I was impressed by the incredibly well-designed flow of tasks, the team communication, scripting, planning, and realization. A big thumbs up to everyone involved - playing this mission was a blast (and a fine opportunity to debug AI behaviours)."

OPERATIONS

Work on the Steam server browser progresses rapidly by the work of programmer Lukáš Gregor. Many of the initial limitations in the devbranch implementation were addressed.

  • Mod hashes: servers once again send a hash of each expansion / mod used, so clients can compare it to their own data and mark servers as incompatible (shown as an orange icon).

  • Mod filter: allows the browser to show only servers that use a subset of installed client mods. This was detected by the name of the mod before. Since we now know the hash of each mod, it's detected by that (so it can detect a different version of the mod or a mod with the same name but with different content).

  • Mod list: now shows up to 256 characters instead of 128 previously.

  • Signatures: servers send the list of data signatures that are required to play on the server. Similar to mod hashes, the browser shows incompatible signatures using the icon.

  • Keywords: we have filter options to show only servers using a specific string in the server or scenario name. With GameSpy we could pass that string and it would return only servers that match it. With Steam there isn't any technology like that, so the client had to download a list of all servers and drop those which didn't match the filter. This could take a while. Now the server creates a list of keywords (taken from the server and scenario names) and then the Steam query uses this so only servers that match the given words are returned. The issue is that it matches whole words only; you can't search for the "Headhunters" scenario by typing just "Head".

  • Steam is now configured as the default server browser on devbranch.


Multiplayer optimization attempts are looking optimistic. The server-side algorithm that determines what messages to resend and to which clients, has been optimized and rewritten to use additional CPU cores. Together with a client-side optimization of network message computations, these changes should provide a noticeable boost to framerates in multiplayer sessions. The changes have to be carefully tested but they should be ready for the update after Zeus (1.18). You can already try them out on devbranch.

LOGISTICS

Tools Commissar Petr Kolář released a small update to Arma 3 Tools just in time for the weekend. Mainly it corrected a few issues in Terrain Builder, notably to let it support binarized P3D model data. Terrain builders can now use objects from the game's add-ons for example. Programmer Jan Mareček is working on further fixes and improvements.


  April 9th, 2014 - 07:57 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  TECHREP #00006 Official    

On Friday 4th April 2014, Petr Kolář - Tools Commissar - has reported a TECHREP #00006 on the official Arma3 web site.

FROM: Tools Commissar
TO: Arma 3 Modders
MATERIEL CATEGORY: Tools
CIRCUMSTANCES: Version 0.60 (Terrain Builder fixes, P-Drive update)
SIZE: ~3 MB

CHANGELOG

NOTES

    • You can find the tools package in the Steam library (switch the filter to "Tools") - "Arma 3 Tools"

    • You will probably need to start Addon Builder (primary tool) once to add all needed registry entries for the rest of tools.



  April 4th, 2014 - 14:10 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00050 Official    

On Wednesday 2nd April 2014 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00050 on the official Arma 3 web site.


FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Zeus release date, GameSpy, Official Zeus Servers
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION

Zeus launch prep continues with fixes and a few usability enhancements being deployed to devbranch. Zeus can now control unit stance  for an entire group, and when lifting a Respawn Module into the air, it becomes a parachute respawn. We're also happy to reveal that we will be hosting 10 official Dedicated Servers with Zeus (maybe more later). They will be physically located in both the United States and Europe, and run a mix of Zeus game modes - from Game Master to Sector Control. The servers will use the main branch of the game once Zeus is launched (those up already are on devbranch  "[OFFICIAL] Arma 3 Zeus #01 (EU-NL) by Bohemia Interactive". Besides setting up a virtual meeting ground with our devs, we also want to continue performance profiling there. By gathering more information, we are trying to optimize for larger amounts of players.

Oh, and welcome to the 50th SITuation REPort! In celebration of this milestone, here is the official release date for Arma 3 ZeusThursday April 10 (free).

INTELLIGENCE

GameSpy has announced it is fully shutting down its multiplayer technologies on May 31 2014. Why does this affect us and you? The simplest explanation is that they provided the licensed middleware we have used for the Arma series to handle the server indexing and browsing. For Arma 3 we will solve this by making the full switch to Steam for this functionality. If you're on devbranch, you can already toggle between GameSpy and Steam in the server browser (top-right button). Our other games (including previous Armas) are being investigated, and our company will announce more detailed approaches once they are confirmed. For a little bit more information, check this forum post.

There are some upsides and some downsides to the change for Arma 3. We can list more servers in the browser (as opposed to the limit of 500 before). There are also more features we can try to implement: listing servers with friends on them, showing a server history, etc. However, at the moment the Steam-implementation does not support the player list and there is a limited mod listing. This is caused by less space being available for custom meta-data in the API. We have some ideas for work-arounds, so that may only be temporarily. Steam also requires several ports to be forwarded properly (27016 and 2303 for Steam services and the game by default). Generally, this implementation might be less capable at punching through complex NAT situations (i.e. finding all servers).

A fresh round of http://www.arma3.com/community-focus presents several community videos and one new player community: Point Fire. Their motto: "Arma 3 - played harder. played right."

Should you have somehow missed it, take a look at the most recent Community Guide episode - covering guerilla warfare!

OPERATIONS

QA specialist Ondřej Kužel was next in line to submit an OPREP titled "AI Configuration". The in-depth report outlines on-going work dealing with the configuration of Artificial Intelligence from both the player and scenario designer perspectives. An example is the recent introduction of three fixed AI difficulty levels (and one custom one for experimentation).

LOGISTICS

A forum post by programmer Šimon Kolčiter requests your feedback on the desired approach concerning an animation fix. It has to do with the timing of switching to a new weapon while reloading the current one.


  April 2nd, 2014 - 17:05 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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