SITREP #00049

reported by Joris-Jan van 't Land on March 25, 2014

FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Campaign completed, Zeus development wrap


There were lots of releases last week: the conclusion to our campaign, CAS jets, new Altis locations (which in many other games could be considered a new 'level' by themselves), Terrain Builder and more. Get all the Intel from the SPOTREP and TECHREP. And because you can never have too many REPs, encoder Martin Gregor has posted an OPREP about fixed-wing configuration. He discusses what went into taking the static 3D models, and adding functionality to them. Encoders tackle the configuration and tweaking of weapons systems, flight models, cockpit instruments and component animations to name a few things. There are also some differentiating characteristics between both CAS jets. Finally, he mentions further tweaks (to the flight models), which are already coming up.

Arma 3 Zeus principal development has wrapped meanwhile. The last feature (for now) to be added was a Close Air Support module. Using it you can quickly summon gun runs and / or rocket strikes. The Zeus developers are now focusing on fixes and tweaks until it gets released. Zeus content will go on data lock soon, so we're in the final stages and very keen to get it into everyone's game.


The Make Arma Not War contest newsletter for March was just sent out. It mentions when submissions and registrations are likely to be opened. As previously revealed, this is related to our team's work on add-on support for the Steam Workshop. We're close to having the full arch implemented internally, meaning publication of an add-on and downloading it on the other end. Another topic in the newsletter covers voting and otherwise supporting contest entries.

There is a known issue related to Object Builder and connecting the Buldozer viewer. Running OB directly from Steam may prevent connection to this viewer. By using a custom shortcut or launching the executable directly, things should work.

Terrain Builder suffers another known issue. The tool cannot handle newly binarized data (version 59 is used in Arma 3). This means binarized A3 data cannot now be used, but new source data or licensed source data can. We're looking at a solution. Also, TB was released 'as is' and how we use it internally (which is source data, not binarized data). The next step is doing some feasible improvements and fixes.


Tweaking of UAVs continues as Bořivoj Hlava reports: "there was a request from players about the possibility to create markers directly in the UAV Terminal. When we looked into this request, it seemed reasonable to make the controls of the UAV Terminal similar to the controls of the Map. So now you can create markers by double-clicking the Left Mouse Button, single waypoints by Shift + Left Mouse and multiple waypoints by Ctrl + Left Mouse." This change should be in devbranch tomorrow.

Just ahead of the 1.14 release, members of the community discovered issues (via devbranch) with the static object ID technology we intended to roll out. In short, the technology works in our tools and engine generally, but does not work for script commands using these IDs. Our team does not use such script commands, so these issues were unfortunately missed. A number of community mods and modes do however rely on them. We decided it would be better to revert the technology until an improved - but also more complex - solution is found. That means the current 1.14 game version, as well as Terrain Builder do not use static object IDs.


The 1.14 update initially introduced a multiplayer server crash that was swiftly hotfixed the next day. We can imagine the frustration this generates with those trying to get their daily fix of Arma 3. Having to hotfix is not something we're happy about ourselves either, and we are trying several methods to prevent them. This ranges from more elaborate automatic testing, to a way of public validation of release candidates (also allowing mods to prepare their mod ahead of release). It's not straight forward. Often the issues are not found on devbranch due to subtle differences to the main game. Or they are revealed in user-generated content. By that we mean such content is using the engine and scripting functionality in ways we do not focus on internally, not that the content is necessarily made in a less-than-ideal way. Another recent MP crash was actually caused by updates to the Steam back-end (Workshop) beyond our control. Long story short, we'll try to do better.