FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Sling Loading Dev-Branch, Multiplayer progress, Livestreams
Let's start this week with some nice news: a first public version of Sling Loading is finally out on Dev-Branch. That means the underlying rope technology is enabled and being used by the helicopter ability to transport externally slung loads. We'll likely go in-depth in a future OPREP, but for the time being you can give it a go and share your feedback in this forums thread. The team will continue to test, tweak, iterate and fix this aspect as we have been doing with the RotorLib flight model. We're also curious to see what crazy stuff you'll be doing with the ropes!
And now back to the multiplayer situation and the desync issues. This is still our main focus, and there has been some progress, but we're not out of the woods yet. You may wonder how this can be so complicated. Unfortunately the likely suspects (such as the new guaranteed networking messaging), were not the sole cause. After undoing these changes, reports of desync continued. The situations are extremely random, involve large player counts. They are a frustrating problem for our programmers to reproduce while their eager debuggers are attached. The client crashes occuring since last week, were tracked down to BattlEye anti-cheat and fixed on their end (not requiring a game update). We'd like to thank our community server admins for helping us find a solid reproduction method for this crash (kudos to people like Alex Grosse). That also means our latest hotfix was effectively pointless; the change made there was ultimately not to blame.
What is planned next? We have added extensive network traffic diagnostics to Dev-Branch (command-line -networkDiagInterval=X, where X is the report interval in seconds). These will soon also be added to a new version on our performance profiling branch. With the data collected from this, we hope to narrow down what's going wrong (it's likely a combination of various things, rather than one source problem). We'll keep you updated on further progress and resulting game updates.
A variety of Bohemia Interactive games are on sale this week on Steam - find massive discounts up to 80%!
Associate Producer Matthew Lightfoot kicked off more regular official livestreaming last Friday. Joined by Designer Thomas Ryan, he played through the "Survive" episode of the campaign (spoilers) ... or at least made a good effort! Check out the full recording on our Twitch channel, and stay tuned for more livestream events coming up shortly.
The September newsletter for Make Arma Not War was mailed out recently. It describes an alternative submission method for people in the Multiplayer and Addon categories, when struggling to get entries up on Workshop. Another section takes a first glimpse at how entries will be judged once the submission deadline is passed (October 26). In related news, we've seen several contestants who are unable to submit their campaign to Workshop. You can only do this by making your campaign an add-on, as opposed to the older style of campaign PBOs. Our next Arma 3 Tools update will contain a sample of such campaign add-on from Thomas Ryan (already out on its dev-branch). He has also updated the relevant Community Wiki documentation. Finally, there have been questions as to how to deal with updates to the game itself, and changes potentially affecting entries after the deadline. We will maintain a special Steam branch with a locked version that will be used for judging - more details on that soon.
Audio Lead Jan Dušek has published his first OPREP, taking a look forward at audio in Arma 3. We've finally had the opportunity to reorganize and reinforce our audio team, and outlined what they will be doing to give the game the soundscape it deserves. Read the full report to learn more about some of the technologies in development, as well as instructions on who to directly and politely contact with specific feedback!
While working on the Helicopters DLC, we've decided to improve our HMD technology a bit. Senior programmer Dan Doležel has investigated various possibilities, some of which have been already added before (like the stall indicator for planes). One of the main improvements is the possibility to have separate elements aiming in a fixed direction. That means a lot for players who tend to look around the cockpit (e.g. by using TrackIR) since the crosshair stays in the correct orientation while useful information moves with their view. Encoding Velociraptor Martin Gregor has set all the current helicopters to use the new system where it should be used. We aim to continue improving the HMDs with more features in the near future.