FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Marksmen Release Date & Dev Diary, Extended Edition, Default Launcher, Workshop Transition
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - the date to mark in your calendars for the release of Arma 3 Marksmen DLC and its 1.42 platform update! That leaves us with a little over two weeks to disassemble the new weapons, inspect the parts, do a good cleaning, and polish them up for widespread use. To achieve this, we've upgraded our development Data Lock to strict. Cue the sound of some 60 developers crying. Where the packing of game data had already been restricted, they now have to request permission to do any work on the game. That may sound crazy, but it helps us greatly in this final stages. The smallest and innocent-looking change can make seemingly unrelated systems implode. This tool allows us to carefully track changes, quickly address issues and focus on the things that matter. Our next goal is to stage the entire Marksmen package onto Dev-Branch, meaning we'll add the playable content.
Did you see the first of our two-part Marksmen Dev Diary? We're very happy with how it turned out. Sit back and let Jay Crowe, Petr Kolář and yours truly tell you more about the weapons and platform features. Get a glimpse of our team members and the offices they work in, as well as a recent audio recording trip to a local shooting range. You were right to comment that this footage does not actually show the full-team shooting event we discuss in the video; these were members from our audio team buffing their sample libraries more recently!
On Thursday we are going to perform a large-scale test of Arma 3's Launcher. This tool has improved massively since it was first introduced and we feel it's ready to be used by everyone. To confirm that, we'll be making the launcher the default Steam launch option for Arma 3. This means you'll no longer see that little pop-up asking you to start the game normally or start it in windowed mode. Instead, you'll see the Launcher and so the amount of clicks to start the game remains the same. There are, however, many useful things you can do with the Launcher. Further improvements on the horizon will make it yet more powerful. Should we see the Launcher (still) causing compatibility issues for a significant group of users, we reserve the option to change things back. These changes do not require any game updates.
This also is great week to get your friends to join you in Arma 3! All of the editions of the game are on sale with a massive 50% discount! That includes a new Arma 3 Extended Edition, which consists of the Digital Deluxe Edition and the DLC Bundle. Yes, that does include the Marksmen DLC, which will be available for separate purchase starting April 8.
Our latest weekly photo depicts the premiere gig of the Bohemia Band. Audio Lead Jan Dušek invited several in-team musicians to his studio to record a unique version of the Marksmen theme music. Stay tuned for a behind-the-scenes video of this jamming session!
Iterations of "End Game" multiplayer keep rolling in, and the mode is being eagerly tested every day. A recent big addition is the scripted prototype of the Revive mechanic. Senior Designer Thomas Ryan has been working on this system for a while as a way of rewarding team work. The mechanic is only deployed in "End Game", but will be available to community designers for their own scenarios. Just like the other two experimental multiplayer systems (Shared Objectives and Dynamic Groups), we consider this an early, but functional, implementation of something we'd like to explore more in the future.
Progress in another area is described to us by Designer Ondřej Kužel. He clarifies the recent enabling of Artificial Intelligence unit suppression and its parameters. It's still possible to tweak the configuration and balance how much the AI should react to incoming fire. Give it a try on Dev-Branch and feel free to share your feedback.
We are ready to begin rolling out support for the new version of Steam Workshop in update 1.42. This is the version that supports multiple files per item and no longer has file-size restrictions, so it's a huge improvement! Including addon signatures will be possible, as well as big mods consisting of many separate addons. It does also mean this is no trivial change in the way data is processed and stored. We've worked together with Valve to make sure items currently on Workshop will continue to work, even without re-publishing them. It is however possible that errors occur during the transition, but they should be temporary.
What are our planned steps for this transition?
- Today we've switched the Workshop to the new version in Steam's back-end. This should not change anything yet for you.
- Soon we'll stage the updated Launcher to Dev-Branch, with support for the new Workshop. There would still not be visible changes, as all items on the Workshop were published in the old format. This Launcher version is capable of reading both the old and the new format however.
- Finally, we'll release the new Publisher. This is when items will start to be published using the new format.
Administrators will find a new Frequently Asked Questions section on the Arma 3 server monetization website. It seeks to answer the questions we've collected from various channels since launching this year-long trial.