FROM: Project Lead
TO: Beta Users
INFO: Gamescom, Altis staging
Right after releasing last week's final Beta patch, the team dove into preparing a solid build for Gamescom 2013. By burning some weekend midnight oil, yesterday we had a build we were happy with - and it flew to Germany last night. Today the Bohemia crew is setting up the business and public booths: installing the games, configuring the settings, and running through their presentations. Representing Arma 3 are designers Jiří Zlatohlávek and Karel Mořický. They'll be showing off the cool release package starting tomorrow, so expect plenty of coverage. Both Arma 3 and DayZ standalone are hands-on playable at the public booth. Visit us in Hall 9.1 (booth 32) if you're there!
The rest of us are testing, testing and testing the release build. We're evaluating issues on a case-by-case basis and selecting the ones we need fixed for September 12th. What remains is investigated and logged for post-release work. What about Altis?! The mothership is inbound and visitors of Gamescom can explore it however they like. It is also ready to land on development branch the day after Gamescom closes - August 26th. With it comes a whole bunch of new static objects - from obviously required vegetation, roads, rocks and buildings - to some more dynamic objects for scenario design.
So far the Steam Workshop support for scenarios is really proving its worth. It is a good first step towards more extended support. We love getting to work in the morning, selecting a random scenario, and having some quick fun. There are even some scenarios with custom voice work and music already. We look forward to more and more, especially on Altis!
If you're unsure how it all works: you can browse the Workshop in-game via the Scenarios menu. The Workshop button at the bottom of the screen will open it in the overlay (it is also possible to browse and subscribe out-of-game via any browser). Then all you have to do is a pick a scenario and press Subscribe. The scenario will be downloaded into the game, and you can immediately start it. Once you're done playing, you see a button in the debriefing screen which opens the scenario in Workshop once more. Rate the scenario, leave constructive feedback for its creator and share it with your friends. Subscribing to multiplayer scenarios works in a very similar way, except you start by creating a new server and open the overlay there.
You may have noticed updated voice acting for those showcases which feature the CSAT faction. We've finally recorded all release (including Alpha and Beta) conversations in the Farsi language, and it really adds a nice immersive feeling to them. Note that the main thing remaining to do this week is to record the actual dynamic radio protocols. So, until then, you'll hear English for the CSAT radio protocol - and that includes the Gamescom build.
Users of development branch will have also witnessed tweaks to inventory capacities and fatigue. Lord of the Bounce, Petr Kolář, elaborates: the current status is going to stay as it is for release of the game, but the designers are working on improvements in this field on daily basis. We have already reduced being able to carry a ridiculous amount of stuff without impending some notable drawbacks. Soldiers are still able to lift some heavy burdens (to a much lesser extent than before), but moving with them disrupts their aiming skills a lot. You may experience the changes best while fighting in a group with encumbered AI soldiers; they tend to slow down the advance to have at least some energy to shoot precisely.
It should be noted that not all of the work seen on development branch will make it into the 1.00 release version. Our team wants to continue their work, but some of the changes are too risky to merge into the release build during the next few weeks. Imagine an AI improvement that enhances CQB behavior for example. This is very exciting work, but it can also change the behavior of existing scenarios. From now until release we go through the fixes in development branch daily and pick those things that are needed / safe. The rest will be used for patches.