FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: MANW Winners, Marksmen Pre-Order, Launcher Updates
100. One hundred. This is the hundredth time you may be reading one of these SITuation REPorts. A little over two years ago, we launched this development channel alongside the public Alpha. We're grateful to those of you still with us! We're also excited for all of you new to the game, especially since last week's massive sale. If you are new, this is where we share reports of various types about on-going Arma 3 development. SITREPs are a weekly wrap-up, as well as a place to discuss work-in-progress and future plans. SPOTREPs are change logs for our main branch updates. TECHREPs are change logs for updates to the Arma 3 Tools suite. And finally, OPREPs are more in-depth blogs about a particular feature, technology or theme generally. You can follow these reports in the Dev Hub, or in the game's Launcher for example. Good to have you along for the ride!
Many congratulations to the winners of the Make Arma Not War modding contest! Your entries have shown what can be done with the Arma platform, and hopefully motivated more people to explore their ideas. You've amazed us with the quality of the work, and the sheer scale of the content. We look forward to continued updates to your content, as we're sure, does every player out there. Our compliments as well, to the finalists and other entries who did not win this time around. Of course it can be upsetting not to win after so much effort, but it was nice to see some of your respectful reactions to the winners. Thank you for the hard work. Going forward, we believe there will be great opportunities for every modder out there. We have big plans to support that in 2015 and beyond. Pending a few technical confirmations, we intent to share specifics in the coming weeks.
You wanted a discount on DLC? Your chance has arrived with the Arma 3 Marksmen DLC pre-order. Exclusively on our store website, you can now buy the Marksmen DLC separately at a 10% discount. Until its release on April 8, you'll have unrestricted access to the Beta on Dev-Branch.
Another point of access to the whole Marksmen DLC package and the 1.42 platform update, is the Release Candidate branch on Steam. Enter access code Arma3Marksmen142RC in the "BETAS" tab and help us test the RC version before it gets released. Do note that this branch may receive daily updates, and you'll not be able to join main branch multiplayer servers. Your reports are always welcome on the Feedback Tracker.
A modest celebration of the Make Arma Not War winners took place during last Friday's live stream, hosted by Associate Producer Matt Lightfoot and Marketing Communications Lead Korneel van 't Land. The most recent weekly random photo shows Matt setting up for the technical challenge of working with various different mods. This situation caused some issues during the stream, but we hope you got an idea of what made the top winners so deserving of their prizes. If you'd like to read up on how the winners were selected, visit the rather lengthy rules page. Highlights of the stream included suppressive bottle cork fire and elite piloting skills by a community player named Tomahawk. Of course the best way to experience the winning MANW entries is to check them out for yourself!
We've received a question about creating one's own radio protocol for the game. Rather than answering the specific question, Senior Designer Karel Morický felt it would be more useful to just share a large chunk of its documentation. It's quite a huge endeavor to create your own protocol, so be warned! More documentation reaches us via Encoding Lead Petr Kolár, who has written up how to configure weapon bipods. There is a sample available in the Arma 3 Tools Dev-Branch as well.
As we said we would, last Thursday we made Arma 3's Launcher the default way to start the game in Steam. We should clarify that the game and Launcher are still separate applications. You can completely bypass it, and use the game directly or use your own launchers for example. The Launcher is a much more user-friendly shell for configuring your start-up parameters, and most importantly, for setting up your mod mix. Your feedback on the forums is very useful. We're using it to solve certain advanced use cases that you've alerted us about. As an example, we're considering how to deal with custom applications that try to start the game via special Steam links, but which currently see their parameters being eaten or corrupted. Another problem case is joining servers through the Steam friends list. If you're a user of the Play withSIX launcher, check out this tip for compatibility. Should you really not want to use the Launcher, you can use parameter -noLauncher, or make your own shortcuts to the game's executable of course.
On Dev-Branch meanwhile, we're testing a new big iteration of the Launcher. This is the version that prepares the game for the switch to the new Steam Workshop version mentioned last week. At the moment we know there are some cases of subscribed mods unwilling to update. Unfortunately it looks like this is an issue in the Steam Client that we're trying to resolve with Valve. The work-around is to unsubscribe and subscribe again, which we'll try to automate if no other fix is possible. We're also going to test a new version of the BattlEye anti-cheat engine in the Launcher this week. It will provide a more robust and thorough detection of hacks and cheats. You will be able to still opt-out, but that will not allow you to connect to BE-enabled servers. Toggling BE on and off, as well as updating it, will now be handled via the Launcher.
In case you were wondering why our recent Dev-Branch updates were so sizable: it's likely because of the Marksmen DLC EBO files. These encrypted files are probably confusing Steam's delta-patching a little. This should normalize once we get the DLC released.