FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: E3 PC Gaming Show, Terrain World Premiere, Update 1.46 Released, AI Ammo Usage
Next Tuesday is going to be a long night for members of our team and parts of the community! We've announced our participation in the PC Gaming Show organized by PC Gamer around E3 2015. The event will be held at 18:00 PDT, which puts it in the middle of the night here in Europe. Whether you watch the livestream or a recording the next day, we think you'll be as excited as we are!
Creative Director Jay Crowe and yours truly will be on stage in Los Angeles to bring you the worldwide reveal of our next big terrain! The team has been working on this key component of the Expansion for months. It's great to be able to finally share the setting and first glimpses of key locations. Kudos to our E3 Task Force, headed by Environment Lead Martin Pezlar, whose members have worked extra hard to have something cool to show for you. Join the Facebook event, keep an eye on the countdown (we're loving your theories and speculation based on the clues provided), and monitor our channels for all the specifics.
We are seeking a User eXperience designer for our Arma 3 team in Brno. What does that entail? "As a UX Designer, you will become a part of a dedicated team responsible for both in-game systems and stand-alone applications. Your role in the team will focus on the direction of the development including taking care of the product backlog and feature priorities. Your deliverables will take a form of design analyses and UI mockups. Moreover, you will be a go-to person for stakeholders and players alike, having to process and turn their feedback into a better product." Visit the careers page to apply!
Besides the playable content we deliver with the vanilla game, there is a huge library of user-generated scenarios for you to play. Steam Workshop hosts close to 14000! Sure, not all of them are as awesome, but there are true gems to be found. As a complement to "Contributor", there is the "Subscriber" achievement. It's one of the simplest ones out there, which is why it has reached 17.7% global unlocks so far. All you need to do is subscribe to a Workshop scenario.
The 101 guide will explain how to subscribe if it isn't clear already. You can also do so entirely from within the game. Go to PLAY > SCENARIOS and press the WORKSHOP button. This will open the Steam overlay, where you can press the green + button to subscribe to an item. Steam client will download the scenario in the background. It should appear in the list quickly (you can sort by name, time added and rating). And then you're ready to play. Liked the scenario? Favorite it, leave the author some feedback (be kind to other players and use spoiler tags where appropriate) and submit a rating!
As for the Workshop pages themselves: you can sort by popularity over time, rating, time added and the amount of subscriptions. It's also possible to follow the authors you like, or to view your friends' favorites and published items. The tags for scenarios currently include those for gameplay, type, map (terrain) and DLC. We are however working on revising this to make the Workshop better to navigate and to discover content in. There are also collections of scenarios, such as those for Make Arma Not War. Finally, custom scenarios can be a great way of exploring both official and unofficial (OtherMap tag) terrains. You'll often visit places you haven't seen before. We're already looking forward to your creations on the upcoming Expansion terrain.
Before we present our 2015 / 2016 roadmap for the entire game, Audio Lead Jan Dušek brings you an in-depth look at our future plans for audio. In his OPREP "Audio Roadmap Update", he begins by evaluating the work done for Marksmen DLC. What follows is a detailed list of features and technologies that we are planning to work on for the Expansion. We should state clearly that we cannot promise all of this will happen, but we felt we could at least lay out our vision for audio in Arma 3. If even a fraction of this is accomplished, the game's soundscape should be that much richer and more immersive. Thanks to the community for submitting your questions via Megagoth; they helped to structure both this report and development plans generally.
Senior Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski has assumed the role of Drill Sergeant for our Artificial Intelligence soldiers. He's added a new parameter for ammo configuration: AIAmmoUsageFlags. This flag does not force AI behavior, but it let's it know how the ammunition can be used. Our initial motivation for this was to train the AI to throw smoke grenades appropriately to mask their movements while suppressed. This has since led to a broader re-factoring with the help of other developers.
The Encoding department has already set the parameter for most vanilla ammunition types. Modders can start doing so as well. A little more information and values were shared on the forums by Designer Ondřej Kužel. Not all usage flags are currently checked in the engine (only Concealment, Countermeasures and the various Offensive flags are). This is still a work-in-progress. And there's more, as Krzysztof reports: "Along with adding a new parameter, we took the opportunity to clean up some older ones. allowAgainstInfantry will still be read, but internally the engine converts it to the corresponding new flag. The airLock param will not be used for AI decisions anymore, but it still is used to define whether the player has the ability to lock the ammo onto a given type of target (ground or air)."
Update 1.46's release was a difficult one. It should be obvious, but of course we only want to make the game better, smoother and more secure. While the update delivered modest steps forward in those areas for many, there is also a large group of players who are experiencing critical issues. We can try to explain why it's so extremely difficult to update a live moddable game on the open PC platform, but in the end you should not have to worry about it. The game should just work. We're doing everything we can to get to that state quickly. You could consider switching back to Legacy Build 1.44 (access code Arma3Legacy144) meanwhile, but that's not without its limitations. What are the main areas of concern?
- We explained the BattlEye (BE) white-listing process last week. It was expected that initially there would be legitimate applications and processes that needed to be approved. BE's team has done that, and some popular applications should already work now. Others actually offer built-in compatibility such as Open Broadcaster Software. Various issues can also be solved by reading through the BE F.A.Q. or contacting their support team if that fails. Having said that, we are considering lowering the level of protection (and strictness of blocking) temporarily to gather more information. This will slow progress towards a more secure public game, but should reduce the amount of issues people are having.
- There exists a bad crash of various display drivers. It produces very little information besides a DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_REMOVED message. We also know it happens in some other games, but don't deny that this update has potentially increased the frequency for Arma 3. While we work on a fix, we have spotted some users who claim success by downgrading their drivers.
- Another crash is currently quite common in the Epoch mod, but not necessarily limited to it. Again, we're collecting information and with the mod team's cooperation, are trying to isolate the cause.
Thank you for your patience and all the valuable information you've shared to isolate the major issues. To end this report on a positive note, modders should check out the latest TECHREP for Arma 3 Tools 0.90 information, including some cool usability improvements for FSM Editor for example.