FROM: Project Lead
TO: Beta Users
INFO: Patch released, Dev branch highlights, Early release prep
After last week's release of the second large Beta patch, we are now storming towards what is likely our last patch opportunity ahead of release. The goal for that patch is still to include the second content package (sporting various aerial and ground-based drones), as well as Workshop support. The latter is ready to release from a technical point of view, but we are getting the publication side set up with our partners at Valve. Read more about how the final stages of development and patching will work further on in this report. Oh, and later in the week we should have the first episode of a new season of Community Guide videos ready for you; a spectacular look at rotary wing flight!
The deadline for submitting details for the Supporter Edition credits has ended. We are doing final checks on the submissions and are integrating them into the game. For those unaware: the first 2500 purchasers of this edition will be seeing their name in the credit listing - as a thanks for their investment into Arma development.
Development branch has been seeing some rather sizable improvements recently. There's been work done on a new style collision envelope (for characters with rifles only at the moment). Helping with issues like clipping, sticking and general handling, the animation team is continuing to do apply fixes. Most recently going up steep stairs has been tweaked. Other changes target the flight models of helicopters (more below), and there's been a cool change to the RPG42's sights and implementation. Give it a go if you don't mind the risks and frequent data transfers on dev branch.
We've officially announced our attendance of the Gamescom expo in Germany this year. Go hands-on with one of the Arma 3 Release Candidate iterations - including Altis, Main Battle Tanks and new showcases. DayZ Standalone will also be available, showing off the improvements since E3.
Our colleagues are releasing the next entry into the Take On series this Thursday! Take On Mars will be available via Steam's Early Access for all aspiring Mars Rover engineers, and can be pre-ordered via our Store!
A while ago we disabled rain because we were not satisfied with the graphical state. In the meantime, we've investigated some options for improving it, and identified a modest set of refinements we hope to include for the final game. A more significant overhaul is desired, but we're rather saturated with other tasks right now.
Task Force ROFLcopters, comprised of virtual pilots like Ondřej Kužel and Ivan Buchta, spotted several slow-moving helos on the horizon and decided to re-tweak them. New parameters were added thanks to joint effort of Vojtěch Hladík and Petr Kolář. It is no longer needed to handle distribution of mass in the model, and hope for better results by shifting a few pounds around the vehicle. Some issues have arisen while using strange values - beware of AI getting into endless spirals upwards while tweaking your own helicopter. This still has to be disposed of by moving the center of mass.
Moving into the final stages of development for the Q3 release will have impact on our patching cycle and Development branch updates. More details are going to be announced, but in general: we need to stop patching the default Beta branch at some point. One reason is the re-skinning of the game from Beta to full release. Once we start this, we cannot easily keep the Beta updated. Therefore, after the release of the third patch, further changes will only be made available on dev branch (some of which you will welcome with open arms - without a doubt!). The first update of default branch after that point in time is to be the game release.
Internally we are going to also apply what we refer to as 'data locks'. Hated by many of the team's developers, they are a necessary evil to be able to assure quality of the critical Q3 release. We cannot continue development right up until release day. Every little change has the potential to affect other parts of the game. No realistic amount of testing can cover this effectively. The data lock means our developers focus entirely on testing and fixing critical issues that prevent release. Every change needs to be authorized before it gets accepted into the Release Candidate. Then, after a hopefully successful release, we continue to a fairly similar pattern of patches and daily dev branch updates.