FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Marksmen Release Week, Dev Diary #2, BattlEye
Fellow virtual soldiers, get ready to unfold your bipods. We've reached the week of Arma 3 Marksmen's release. Tomorrow we'll be updating main branch with version 1.42 (the platform update) and all Marksmen DLC data. The target window opens at 20:00 here in the Czech Republic. That's a bit later on the day than usual, but we'd like to coordinate things properly with our Steam H.Q. comrades across the ocean. If you'd still like to participate in last-minute testing, switch to the Release Candidate branch using access code: Arma3Marksmen142RC. You'll also benefit from not having to update with the rest of the world on release day. Do note, however, that this branch may still be updated a few times, so consider your bandwidth.
Still not sure what makes up the premium package and platform update? Creative Director Jay Crowe is here to lay out all the splendid details in his Arma 3 Marksmen blog post. What new weapons and items will be there? What playable content will be added? What is free and what requires DLC ownership? What does this huge update mean for every Arma 3 player? Find your answers here.
Another great resource for getting your Marksmen Intel, is part 2 of our developer diaries. Where part 1 looked at the new assets and features, this one goes over the playable content. Watch and listen as we describe the showcases, challenges, Virtual Reality training courses, VR Garage and, of course, End Game multiplayer. Special honors go to our Design Lead Jaroslav Kašný. Besides performing as Elite Tier 1 MOCAP Operator in the video, he's the one who has led the playable content design team to produce these highly enjoyable game modes.
A new weekly photo shows Sandbox Design Lead Lukáš Haládik in his captain's cabin. Being in charge of the sandbox assets for Marksmen DLC, he's making sure your latest feedback is processed, prioritized and implemented where relevant. The passionate gunsmiths, armorers and shooters on Dev-Branch have not only helped Lukáš' team to catch bugs, but they've also pointed out nice little details and special effects that we were able to incorporate over the past few weeks.
Project Lead Joris-Jan van 't Land (hey, that's me!) has recently attended the international Game Developers Conference in San Francisco to speak at a panel titled "Gaming the Laws of War". Together with people from different fields, he discussed integrating the Laws Of Armed Conflict into games. Is it desirable? Is it possible without impacting on fun too much? The Arma team certainly believes it's both desirable and possible. Without it being a formalized design philosophy, the Arma games have always tried to show these aspects of warfare with respect, while maintaining player freedom. There is a lot more that could be done in this area, and it offers a strong potential for meaningful gameplay and narrative. This panel is just an introduction to the theme; there is a lot more to be said. If you're interested, check out the video recording and slides at the GDC Vault.
We'd like you to meet End Game. Some of you have met at a few low-key social gatherings, but she's ready to greet everyone now. Part of tomorrow's 1.42 free platform update, End Game is a new multiplayer mode that has turned out to be a lot of fun to develop and play. The Early Access approach has yielded some significant iterations to the concept and underlying framework (that you can use to create your own variants). Mode architect Nelson Duarte has submitted a OPREP to go over all aspects with you.
We should clarify a few points from last week with regards to the new BattlEye service implementation. First of all, the new approach is not for update 1.42, but rather the update after that. We've only just started testing it on Dev-Branch, though it seems to be working well. Secondly, you'll still be able to use BE (servers) without the Launcher. You'll need to either let the game restart itself upon connecting to a BE-enabled server, or start BE manually. Programming Lead Ondrej Martinák has posted some details on our forums. Why would we make things seemingly more complicated than they were? The new approach is more effective at stopping common attack vectors, by wrapping itself around the game from launch to quit. We'll also point out again that the BE service is optional, though you'll not be able to connect to BE-enabled servers without it.
Vojtěch Schubert in our Publishing division has set up three useful Steam Workshop collections for Make Arma Not War winners, finalists and other entries. They let you quickly subscribe to any entry currently submitted to the Workshop. Once full mods make their debut on Workshop after update 1.42 and the new Publisher, we'll try to update these collections with the remaining entries.