FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Devbranch 101
About two weeks ago, our CEO Marek Španěl, tweeted into the world that the Arma 3 player community is now over a million strong. We're excited to have you all playing the game in many different ways, from traditional military coop, to completely different ways of building out the platform! It has also occurred to us, that not all of you are yet familiar with how we update the game. Let's go over the basics:
- The main and default version on Steam receives a larger game update approximately once per 3 to 4 weeks. If you haven't disabled Steam's automatic updates, there's nothing for you to install manually. Just let the game update and you're good to go. On update days you may experience brief interruptions in multiplayer services, while servers and mods update their data.
- We do also pride ourselves on updating the game daily. If you're interested in the freshest developments, fixes and additions, you can opt into a Steam 'beta' branch via the client.
- Right-click Arma 3 > Properties > BETAS tab > select Development Build from the drop-down (no access code needed) > let the game update.
- Caution! This is an experimental and largely untested version that contains data directly from individual team members as they work. Some times a part of this version can be completely broken. Do not use this branch unless you would like to participate testing or are otherwise interested in it. We thank those who do and who have helped us catch errors ahead of big releases!
- Check out the changelog on the forums, and discuss the version here. Reporting issues is preferred via our Feedback Tracker.
- Main branch updates are the culmination of 'devbranch' versions, community testing and internal QA. It is the recommended version for most players.
In the games industry as a whole, this week is all about E3. We have chosen not to deploy a battle bunker in Los Angeles this year. Instead, the month or so of hard work that goes into prepping the game for such expo, is poured directly into the various upcoming releases - Bootcamp, Helicopters DLC and the Expansion terrain.
The Report In! developer interview series is picked up again by Audio Lead Jan Dušek. He explains a few of the audio technology changes compared to previous Arma games, where we get our samples, and how far the radio protocol has come since Arma 2! He wraps up with a look at the series' music, created in cooperation with audio designer and composer Ondřej Matějka. We're quite glad to have been able to expand our audio team, both for Arma 3 and the whole company. It allows us to give some more love to sounds over the coming years.
June's Make Arma Not War newsletter is out! There's an update about add-on support for both the contest and the game itself. We really hope to get the first version of the game launcher out on devbranch this month, as well as to release its companion publishing tool in the Arma 3 Tools suite. Please do read the section about the use of third-party content - it's ultimately up to contestants to not violate licenses and be fair. Direct cooperation with contestants has been good so far; let's continue that trend!
Missed the International Committee of the Red Cross' interview with Christian Rouffaer and video overview of the Health Care in Danger category? Visit this page to find out all you need to know. It's an important topic and the reward offers a once-in-a-lifetime insight into this aspect of armed conflict.
A number of people have reported that the Steam server browser is taking very long to list servers, or is blocking other traffic in their routers. There are thousands of servers, all queried for information about their status (scenarios, players, mods, etc.) - by comparison, GameSpy had a limit of listing just 500. Some routers identify this traffic as a form of flooding spam and shut it down. Take a look at this Steam support ticket for a possible work-around. We continue to try to improve our Steam server browser implementation.
Related to the above, we've now passed the date that GameSpy officially was supposed to switch off its master servers. While the servers were still up afterwards, we have proceeded to remove their technology from the game (on devbranch now and in the next game update). We thank GameSpy for providing their services for as long as they have! Read more about how the transition is handled for various Bohemia Interactive games in this forums post (including a web-based server browser for older games).
Based on community feedback, our encoders have added a new config parameter to all Karts DLC assets: DLC = 'Kart'; Modders and scripters can read this entry and process in-game assets however they please. Do note that this is not an engine-required entry, but rather convenient meta-data. It should not be fully relied on outside of the vanilla game.