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  SITREP #00124 Official    

On September 23, 2015 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00124 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Dev-Branch Activity, Eden Editor Live Stream, Autumn Sale<
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


There will be lots of interesting Dev-Branch activity over the next couple of weeks. Last Friday we staged the first version of improved Personal Protective Equipment tech, enhanced Firing From Vehicles limits are live, and yesterday evening we ambushed you with the Public Beta release of Eden 3D Editor. Next up probably is the Visual Update package, which tunes the lighting configuration of Stratis and Altis, but also adds improved (underwater) fog and water reflections. Some time after that we'll share the Fatigue iteration. And there are many more smaller things being prepared for your feedback. Please note that most of these are expected to evolve over the weeks based on your comments. The first versions are not likely the final target states, so there is some time to get things right. We'll also try to communicate and document the changes clearly via OPREP, Community Wiki and our forums. In short, there are a lot of cool moving parts headed your way. Some are bound to have rough spots initially, but that's what Dev Branch is there for. We're keen to see your reactions!

INTELLIGENCE


Bohemia Interactive is hosting an Autumn Sale on its store, with great deals on titles like Arma 3, DayZ and Take On Mars! At a 50% discount, the Arma 3 Extended Edition is an especially good option for newcomers. It includes the Digital Deluxe Edition and all presently released DLC. Even though most games are shipped as Steam product codes, this is not a Steam sale in itself. By buying games directly via our store, you support us even more directly. Dekujeme vám!




Senior Artist Martin Valášek displays his game development fuel in weekly dev photo #27. Martin is a highly skilled technical artist who often serves as the connection between art and the game. He prepares models for the engine, provides feedback to colleagues, and coordinates outsourced art efforts. And let's not forget it was his go-kart model prototype that ultimately led to the Karts DLC. Like most of the art department, he is currently focused on delivering high quality assets for the Tanoa terrain.




Marksmen DLC was released with the surprisingly named Showcase Marksmen (PLAY > SHOWCASES). As a CSAT marksmen, call sign Viper-Black, your objective during this counter-insurgency operation against the FIA is to sweep clean a local H.Q. compound. The mission is a showcase of the new Cyrus 9.3 mm rifle fitted with Kahlia scope, as well as the weapon resting and deployment features. If you should manage to complete the mission without having an injury inflicted upon you, the "Dodge This" achievement is unlocked. At time of writing its global unlock percentage is 0.5%. Showcase designer [i]Václav Oliva recommends you carefully observe the patrols, and take them down when they are out-of-sight using your suppressed weapon. The other guards should not notice this. You will want to pick your position wisely and also prioritize targets such as automatic riflemen and other marksmen. Finally, it is recommended to lower your weapon (2 x LCtrl) while trekking to another objective, in order to preserve stamina.




OPERATIONS


Welcome to Eden 3D Editor! During its reveal live stream last night, Eden Designer Karel Morický and Eden Programmer Filip Sádovský[/i] were joined by host Jay Crowe to provide a good first look at the new scenario editor. They went over some of the major improvements this 3D editor brings, while Designer Nelson Duarte quickly threw together an iconic 'Steal the Car' scenario. During the next segment, they were joined by Community Developer Greg Becksted, who fired a bunch of collected questions at the hosts. And then ... they pressed the big red button. Right there and then, the Public Beta of Eden Editor was staged to Dev-Branch for everyone to experiment with. Check the full recording here (or this unofficial French dubbed version). Cheers for tuning in and we'd also like to thank the rest of the behind-the-scenes stream support crew for their great job!




The current Dev-Branch Beta is a first basic version that brings the functionality of the old editor with some huge steps forward. We are very much interested in your feedback in the forums and on Feedback Tracker (category Eden Editor). There is plenty of time until the main release in early 2016, so we expect lots of tweaks and some major extra features. Stay tuned for an OPREP with more details very soon. Documentation will also start to grow. On the other hand we also are curious to learn what you find out intuitively and what aspects need to be made clearer. You should keep in mind that we cannot be 100% sure that scenarios you create now are forward-compatible with the main release. We will try to achieve such compatibility, but you may want to wait before you use Eden for your major projects (they will also not be playable on main branch during Beta). Eden Editor will arrive as a free platform update for everyone with Arma 3. Enjoy!




Besides details on our development of the vanilla game, there are many mod teams who also provide updates of their work. Take for example, this ACEREP #00002, which details the major changes in the 3.3.1 version release of the ACE3 mod. Or enjoy some SITREPception via this report by Blue Harvest Interactive about their progress on the Imperial Assault mod. Closing this week's random look at mods, we had previously missed this cool video update about the French R3F Armes 3.4 release. Keep 'em coming!






LOGISTICS


The release of update 1.52 is pushed back even further. We are aware players and several mods are eagerly awaiting the changes, but we're still not satisfied that some of the complex multiplayer fixes were tested thoroughly enough. The best place to stay up-to-date is the Release Candidate announcements thread.

Does your brain implode when trying to fathom all the available Steam branches? We've added a overview for all main Arma 3-related apps on the Community Wiki. Read up on how they work, what their purpose is and how you may access them.


  September 23rd, 2015 - 13:11 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00123 - Second Armaversary Official    

On September 15, 2015 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00123 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Second Armaversary
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION



Last Saturday marked the start of the third year of Arma 3's life, following its main release on September 12th 2013. The development team is incredibly proud to still be working on making the game and its platform better. But this has very definitely been a cooperative effort with the tireless community. You've kept playing the game, you've hosted servers, you've created custom scenarios for others and you've developed a massive library of amazing mods. Together we have the potential to make this third year the best one yet. Soon you'll start seeing the fruits of our labor appear on Dev-Branch as we start laying out the first segments of our 2015 / 2016 road map. Meanwhile, we're looking forward to the big mod releases that are already being teased online. Cheers to a splendid future!




INTELLIGENCE


Every Monday we hold team meetings in both primary offices. On weekly dev photo #26 you can see yours truly opening the proceedings for Team Mike. We update each other on what has happened the week before and share what we will (or should) be doing the next week. Most interesting are the quick presentations, demonstrations, videos and images of our work. They make it much easier to see what's going on, especially since we don't all have time to constantly check every aspect of the game ourselves. If any cool community media caught our attention, we share those too! However, let's face it, the main reason our devs show up are the delicious snacks provided by our dear Office Manager, Jitka Čížková.




Freelance writer Ian Birnbaum did an interesting piece for Vice Motherboard . He went through rather extreme lengths to re-create a real-life sniper shot that is registered as the world's longest sniper kill . Teaming up with Arma player Handel Humphrey, he used a mod mix consisting of ACE3, CUP and Kunduz to simulate conditions as they would have likely been (given the huge difference of being behind a PC and not in a war zone). He also touches on the ethical topic of creating games about war. Read the rest in his article and also watch the video of their shooting session (which we were glad to see used an artificial target).




Continuing our look at community milsim operations, this week our very own Community Developer Greg Becksted shared "Veiled Threat". Aussie group Foxhound International edited together a (failed) session with an especially eerie ending. The video sets itself apart by using many different camera angles besides the typical first and third person views.



OPERATIONS


We've decided to delay update 1.52 . We don't expect many changes to the current Release Candidate, but there is a particularly low-level fix that we'd like to attempt. It has the potential to solve a collection of crashes, but requires more testing. It's likely that this will push the main branch release to next week.

In October last year, our former Senior Designer Jiří Zlatohlávek held a presentation during the Central & Eastern European Game Studies 2014 conference on the topic of Arma 3's DLC strategy. The organization has now uploaded the video recording for anyone interested. Mind you, this evaluation dates back to a time before Helicopters DLC and most of the discussed future plans were indeed executed since then. Read up on these changes in the more recent OPREP about Content Licensing.



LOGISTICS


Learn more about FIA headgear and facewear randomization in documentation courtesy of Tools Commissar Julien Vida. You might find it useful for your own scenarios or mods.

Say what?




  September 20th, 2015 - 18:23 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Arma 3 Eden Editor Sneak Preview Live Stream‏ Official    

Korneel van 't Land has informed us that an Arma 3 Eden Editor Sneak Preview Live will be streamed to the official Arma 3 channel on Twitch. Arma 3 is to receive a 3D scenario editor in an upcoming free platform update.

Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday September 17th 2015

This Tuesday September 22th, starting at 18:00 UTC, Bohemia Interactive will be hosting a special sneak preview live stream for the upcoming brand new Eden 3D Editor for Arma 3. The session is expected to be about one hour and will be streamed to the official Arma 3 channel on Twitch.

During the live stream, Eden Editor Designer Karel Mořický and Arma 3's Creative Director Jay Crowe – supported by other members from the Arma 3 devteam – will provide a first look at the new editor, demonstrate its features and improvements over Arma 3's original 2D editor, and discuss some of the key design decisions. The only thing that's changed is everything.

With its long-standing focus on user-created content and modding, the classic 2D scenario editor has always been a major staple of the Arma series. Taking a massive leap forward, the powerful new Eden 3D Editor for Arma 3 will give players far more control over their creations than ever before. Users will now be able to directly create or edit entities, such as characters, vehicles, buildings and other objects, within the 3D game environment. They can also set mission objectives, define waypoints, control time of day and weather, and make use of all other functionality previously available in the classic 2D editor.

All of these capabilities can be accessed via Eden Editor's easy-to-use interface. It enables even the beginning user to create a basic single- or multiplayer scenario in a matter of minutes. The more advanced scenario creators, on the other hand, can continue to make use of the extensive library of custom scripts. Plus their previously created scenarios made in the original 2D editor will be backwards-compatible. In addition, modders can extend the editor's functionality via custom plugins. As such, the Eden Editor will form the go-to destination for playing around in Arma 3's rich military sandbox platform, featuring detailed simulation, large-scale terrains, and a wide variety of soldiers, weaponry, vehicles, and other objects.

Last but not least, due to the seamless integration of the Arma 3 Steam Workshop into the Eden Editor, sharing your scenario, and downloading the scenarios made by others, has never been more easy. With more than 16.000 scenarios, addons, and mods published to the Steam Workshop at present, Arma 3 players already have access to thousands of hours of additional gameplay – and this number is expected to grow significantly with the anticipated introduction of the new editor.

The new editor will be made available to all Arma 3 players for free as part of a future platform update. More details will be provided during the sneak preview live stream. The Eden Editor's release date will be shared at a later date.




  September 18th, 2015 - 07:03 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00122 Official    

On September 8, 2015 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00122 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Maintenance Update, Disabling Remote Sensors
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


Our normal update cycle is between four and six weeks for the main branch of the game. With update 1.52, we've elected to push it out a little quicker. We realize that main branch updates cause some overhead for server administrators and modders especially, but we feel the changes contained within will benefit players and the sooner we get them out, the better. You might consider this a special maintenance update. It will contain crash fixes for rare situations, an update of the default memory allocator (that may help with some of the memory errors), and a potential multiplayer optimization that we'll describe in another section. Release Candidate testing has begun and we are planning the actual release for early next week. The Steam access code follows the usual pattern: Arma3Update152RC for both Arma 3 and Arma 3 Server.

INTELLIGENCE


Where to even begin with the 25th weekly dev photo? We see Art & Animation Consultant Zdenek Vespalec having a jolly good time with Brno's Operations Manager Martin Horák over a fresh cup of tea. Creative Brit Jay Crowe had this to say about the authenticity of the animation: "Decent overall form, with bonus points for consistent deployment of national dress". Zdenek has done a lot of technical art work on Arma 3 during its primary development. More recently, he has coordinated several art outsourcing operations and he has provided support to the DayZ team. Martin is one of the key people keeping Team Bravo happy in the Brno offices. He oversees a wide range of things, from the facility itself to liaising with back office departments like Human Resources, Legal and Accounting.




The Volunteer Combat Battalion (VOLCBAT) has shared an older but no less interesting video of one of their British Armed Forces operations. Take a look at how they handle convoy driving, while dealing with IEDs and combat dismounts, as well as lots of "chatting to civvies and goats". As we saw in previously highlighted videos, their Rules of Engagement in urban areas show some of the complexities of war. A particular decision made during this patrol is even being openly questioned by the troops. We wonder what their debriefing and After Action Review concluded!



OPERATIONS


We've covered various bits and pieces of the Vehicle Customization (VhC) system in the past, but Tools Commissar Julien Vida has now published a comprehensive OPREP on the topic. This tech makes the configuration and use of the various liveries and animated components of vehicles more straight-forward. It also uses an approach that is faster and more optimized than the previously scripted variant, and hides the need for some of the specific texture paths for example. Read the full report for details on those aspects and more.




Programming Lead Vojtech Hladík has added two script commands which may be used by (multiplayer) scenario designers to optimize performance. Commands disableRemoteSensors and getRemoteSensorsDisabled let you disable raycasts for remote entities in a group that doesn't have any local entities. These raycasts are used to determine what other entities an entity can see, and they take a lot of CPU time. This is of course a bit of a trick, because rather than a true optimization, it disables part of the simulation. However, there are certainly types of scenarios where these raycasts are not needed. An example is a fully Player-versus-Player scenario, where the visibility between every combination of player entity is not needed. So why not disable this by default? There are cases where you do require these raycasts, for example in stealth scenarios. Without them, commands like knowsAbout, nearTargets and targetKnowledge will only function for local units! The commands themselves are local, can be used on servers and clients, and the state is reset when the scenario ends. So, carefully consider whether your scenario can benefit from this method. We've measured some significant performance boosts for high player count PvP scenarios in testing already.

LOGISTICS


First reports on using the experimental beta ports to Mac and Linux are good. The limitations make them mostly suitable for singleplayer right now, but performance benchmarks appear to be pleasantly surprising. We don't yet have further plans to share, but will update you as soon as we can. Our QA team has meanwhile updated the Community Wiki documentation with tips on various Linux distros, updating graphics hardware drivers, configuring controllers and running Dedicated Servers. Please feel free to contribute to the page with your own experiences and tips.


  September 9th, 2015 - 06:17 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00121 Official    

On September 1, 2015 , Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00121 on the official Arma 3 web site.

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Ports Beta Started, Windows 10 Compatibility, Update 1.50 Released
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


The public beta for the experimental client ports to Mac and Linux has begun yesterday! Owners of the Windows version on Steam also have access to the ports. Installation is straight forward; just install the game while Steam is running on either port platform. We would ask you to visit our overview page to learn about the current limitations, requirements and a F.A.Q. Please share your experiences with us on the forums and report issues on Feedback Tracker (the user guide was updated to include platform specifics). If you have information that may help other players with compatibility with specific hardware, drivers or OS versions and distributions, consider letting us know or even contribute to the documentation yourself. Most of the work occurred outside of the main Arma 3 development team, so kudos go to Bohemia Interactive's publishing and QA teams. We'd like to especially thank our partners Virtual Programming for the heavy lifting and the job they have done so far!

INTELLIGENCE


Like trains? So does Konstantin Spiridonov! This Russian modder is working on a very interesting and advanced mod for Arma 3. It basically lets you ride trains and include them in scenarios. Read more in this translated interview with the creator (Russian source).



We came across a German-spoken MilSim COOP video by Smart Tactics, featuring an operation conducted by the 101st Airborne Division community unit. It offers highlights of their patrols and compound clearing, while also calling in Close Air Support and suffering indirect fire on their positions. Their Rules of Engagement with regards to non-combatants were also interesting to observe. We might point out that smoking during combat operations poses a potential health risk.



Another intriguing cooperative scenario analysis is offered up by Dslyecxi. The second episode of his Hindsight series shows an airfield assault from multiple points of view, including his own as C.A.S. pilot, some of the infantry players on the ground, and a mix of 2D map and 3D camera techniques. Combined with the radio communications and narration, it shows how the fog of war can make all the difference in combat.



OPERATIONS


Several reports ago, we cautioned about the upgrade to Windows 10. Now we can say that we're not aware of any major issues specific to the game and this latest version of Windows. The issues we did investigate were caused by broken shared libraries and resolved by repairing those or by doing fully clean Windows installations (back up your files!). This Community Wiki page offers a few solutions if you do encounter such problems. What we cannot say for sure is whether all hardware manufacturers have already made their drivers compatible, but the major ones do appear to be very active in this area. In short: we think Arma 3 should work on Windows 10 just as well as other versions, if not slightly better according to some players.

Update 1.50 already disabled file patching by default, but in the next update we'd also like to expand what file patching controls. On Dev-Branch since a number of days, the script commands which reference other files, are also affected by file patching settings (loadFile*, htmlLoad, prepocessFile* and exec*). You'll not be able to execVM a local unpacked SQF script when it's disabled, for example. In the interest of security, we are also considering removing the ability to include files via absolute file path for #include pre-processor directives. If you can present valid arguments for not doing so, please let us know.

Speaking on the topic of security, we'd like to kindly request anyone with knowledge of security threats or exploits in the game, to contact us privately first. You can report confirmed details on Feedback Tracker and set the issue to 'private' View Status. Then send us the issue link or reference number without revealing further details, via the forums or by e-mailing support[at]bistudio.com for example. Online Services Consultant David Foltýn is a good direct point of contact to ensure we're aware of the situation. We'll do our best to react quickly if the nature of the exploit demands it. Thanks a lot for contributing to a safer (multiplayer) environment!

LOGISTICS


Arma 3 Tools update 0.94 included the new Terrain Processor tool for terrain-makers. To celebrate that release, the gentlemen behind it, Marek Novosad and Ivan Buchta, have posted an OPREP. In the report, they evaluate what prompted the development of the tool. They explain what it does and doesn't do, and highlight some particularly useful features. In the last section they also describe its open architecture and possibilities for community tool makers via an upcoming SDK release.







Of course we've also released update 1.50 for the game last week. The change log can be consumed via its SPOTREP as per usual. This has been a good update overall. We're mainly still working on addressing the random memory addressing errors that occur for some people. By their nature these are very hard to catch. Unless they happen on our own debug set ups, they produce no usable reports to process for clues (but do keep sending them our way; you never know!).

The update did cause some troubles for certain mods. Encoding Lead Petr Kolář describes what can be done to avoid this: "As we are working on improvements of Personal Protection, there appeared some issues in community-made mods. We have added some underlying basics of the new system into the configuration of our units and that caused several mods to stall the game. This was mainly caused by a slight difference in the way class declaration and inheritance works - if content creators need to inherit something from a parent class, they need to declare it first to use it for the new class. Let's have an example:

class MyParentClass {}; //Probably incorrect method
class MyNewClass: MyParentClass {myValue = 1;};


class MyParentClass; //Recommended method
class MyNewClass: MyParentClass {myValue = 1;};


We've spotted the first method in some of the affected mod configs, and it's probably not what you intended. This will empty the parent class and then create the new child class based on it. Instead, when using the single ; you tell the engine to find the parent class somewhere in the configs, and then base the child class based on it, but without changing the parent."




  September 5th, 2015 - 07:19 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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