FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: DLC strategy, Karts release, Scripting commands
And then there were Karts ... we can imagine that was quite the surprise! We felt it was important to only release the April Fools content together with our blog on Arma 3's downloadable content strategy. The package really is intended to be a fun test-bed for this approach, rather than a serious addition to the military sandbox. The charity aspect reinforces this. In terms of the impact this small project has had on the team's workload ... very little. In no way does this affect e.g. programmers working on multiplayer optimization. A lot of the work on Karts' content, in fact, was done outside of normal office hours by a handful of people who had fun doing something slightly different. For example, Senior Artist Martin Valášek contributed the primary model, created at home to further train his vehicle modeling skills. Project Lead Joris-Jan van 't Land donned his designer hat once more to create the unforgiving Time Trials - so you have him to blame for the seemingly unbeatable medal times!
Senior Programmer Jan Mareček has added two inventory-related Event Handlers for modders: InventoryOpened and InventoryClosed. They allow for expanding the game's behavior when opening / closing the inventory UI, and even to fully replace the behavior with a scripted system.
Another programmer recently adding script commands is Šimon Kolčiter. He has introduced native vector maths commands (which existed as scripted functions, but are much faster when handled in the engine).
The DLC blog unleashed quite a wave of information, so we'll do our best to address feedback, questions and further developments over the next weeks and months. This will also take the form of a new OPREP soon, but let's highlight a few things now:
- We have been collecting your feedback on many channels, and are taking it all on-board as we evaluate the approach. We still have a slew of aspects in the works that will e.g. enhance the 'sense of purchase', rather than 'just removing notifications'. We don't believe in making rash decisions right after announcing and releasing this first version with Arma 3 Karts, so we'd like to take some time to iterate.
- Those who explored the DLC files, noticed the data is contained in EBO files (encrypted PBO containers). It's not our plan to keep this encryption in place forever. While a timeframe is not known, we expect to switch to PBOs some time after a DLC package has been released. That way modders can learn and take inspiration from our data (though this should be covered via samples, documentation and in-game tools - let us know which parts are missing).
- It is fully possible to release add-ons that contain variants of DLC assets. By inheriting from our configuration classes or linking to the same P3D model, you also inherit the DLC technology. That means your variant is subject to the same restrictions and notifications as the primary DLC.
- Notifications for DLC are not shown when not actively using that DLC. So don't expect DLC ads in stock campaign scenarios for example. We also don't want notifications to take away user input in most situations (so you don't crash a helicopter just because you have to click to close something).
We keep making a point of "features are free, content is paid". Let's take a look at what it means for Karts specifically. There are a few, admittedly modest, improvements to the Arma 3 platform for everyone - regardless of owning the DLC. For Arma 3 Helicopters this will likely be a longer list.
- Vehicles (not just karts) now support Inverse Kinematic animations for pedals (feet) for accelerating and braking.
- It's possible to select specific liveries, instead of just random ones for various vehicles.
- Terrain surface definitions can define friction to make driving on them more district (not yet on main branch).
Check out the full changelogs for last week's releases. There is the SPOTREP for the main game (1.20), and the TECHREP for the Arma 3 Tools update (0.66 - thanks to Julien Vida for his many contributions). We've also followed up with a small hotfix to the tools today, see TECHREP #00010.