FROM: Project Lead
TO: Alpha Users
INFO: E3 2013, video options, stream-safety
The E3 team is back from Los Angeles: tired but proud. We had a good show, nice booth and many great visitors! And let's not forget the lads on the home front doing the second pre-E3 livestream while we were airborne. They showed the Combined Arms Beta Showcase twice, failing miserably both times! To top it off they included a very nice presentation of the full game's Altis terrain. Community Intelligence Officers set to purpose to piece together all shown frames of the strategic map, arriving at a rather 'unique' version of the map.
One set of content we had not revealed until E3 is the Challenges game mode. The Beta will release with four Firing Drills, which are quick, fun and addictive shooting (sports) courses. They allow for training of weapon handling and movement and can be a nice change from the regular scenarios. This and more is demoed in video coverage like here, this, and another one.
We should also clarify a statement about fully modeled vehicle interiors. Most, but not all vehicles have these rich 3D interiors. The philosophy is similar to Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead for the same reasons. Primarily heavy armor driver and gunner positions lack 3D interiors, but their passenger spaces are available!
Still recovering from some jet lags, we are now all straight back into Beta finalization. As announced at E3, it will release next Tuesday, June 25th. Staging on Development branch is still something we're trying to make happen before the weekend. Standard Development branch updates can become interrupted while we prep.
Unlike previously announced, the Alpha Lite program will run until Beta release on June 25th.
User Interface guru Vladimír Hynek shares with us two great new things slated for Beta. In his wise words:
"A long time anticipated feature - tweaking of post-processes separately, was added. The layout of the whole video options dialogue was redesigned, so it is easier to find which options are placed under which tab. A couple of smaller tweaks like a FPS indicator, EditBoxes connected to sliders, and permanent highlighting of tabs were added. While still Work-In-Progress, the dialogue works better already."
And another tidbit streamers have been waiting for:
"To make the life of our live streaming community a bit easier, we've introduced a Stream Friendly UI switch to the Game Options. It hides the player's name from all dialogues including map and inventory and also from the name tag displayed when cursor is pointing at another player. Player's chat and server name in the multiplayer score table are hidden too."
A forever hot topic is game performance. One of our programming leads Ondřej Martinák is in the process of writing a development blog on this topic. He will share a bit more details on how our engine operates, explore what has already been achieved in terms of optimization, and what will still be done for Arma 3. We'll of course let you know when it's published.
Beta will come with a number of class changes to Alpha content, which will break user scenarios and other content until it gets updated. We will however this time release a full conversion table to make the transition smoother. Going into Beta we will also become more strict about class changes for released content. It will be our goal to prevent it almost entirely (unlike we have said for Alpha).
The next game EXE to be released on Development branch will likely already be Beta-skinned. Its description and icon will look like it's the Beta. More importantly: it will already change profile paths, registered file extensions, etc. Be aware of this when you go looking for your settings and other content!