FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: 1.58 Release Week, Campaign Unification, Action Filtering, Eden Editor Updates, Targeting Improvements
This week we want to finally release 1.58 to every player. Besides several fixes, the last addition we sought to get in was merged on Friday (action filtering for weapon switching). That gives us all a day or two of further Release Candidate testing. Take a look at the pseudo change log on our forums for the highlights of this update. If you're aware of critical issues remaining in the build, alert us via the forums please. Catch you on the flip side!
We're planning a fairly drastic The East Wind campaign change in the 1.60 update. For Arma 3's 1.0 release we decided that we needed to split up the campaign into 3 episodes (not counting the Bootcamp Prologue). This also meant that technically these episodes were released as 3 separate campaigns. It's our desire to now finally merge these into 1 campaign for presentation purposes. For anyone new jumping into the game, this would offer a more streamlined and logical experience. There is however one very important caveat to be aware of: existing campaign saves will not work after this! That would mean you have from now until 1.60's release (and technically one more update after that given the Legacy Build) to finish your current session. Re-playing the campaign after 1.60 will be well worth it, with things like the Tasks Overhaul and Visual Upgrade, but also to refresh your recollection of events for Apex.
The expansion will come with its own 1-4 player co-operative multiplayer campaign, with ties to The East Wind. The Playable Content team actually hit our MOCAP studio recently to record special animations for various scenes in that campaign.
On this week's dev photo you'll see our proud envoy to last weekend's Game Access 2016 summit in Czechia (< don't blame us). We had quite a few devs in attendance to support sessions by their fellow team members, as well as to listen to other great developers in the Czech industry. The presentations were recorded, so we'll report back once they are online.
Releasing in unison, both the Community Upgrade Project and ALiVE have dropped major new versions of their mods after we last published a report. On their new website and our forums, you can see more Intel on the vast library of assets now available via CUP.
Wrapping up the weapon switching package for 1.58, we've added tech to filter action menu entries which are bound to a control. This was configured for weapon switching actions only for now, but we may extend it later. Especially when combined with the Arma 3 Apex controls preset (which maps switching weapons to the number keys), this goes a long way to de-clutter the action menu. It should reduce the frequently complained about situation of trying to open a door under fire, but slowly switching to your launcher instead ... and dying. Let our Research & Development designers know what you think on our forums!
More usability enhancements coming from R&D and Sandbox are coordinated by Designer Ondřej Kužel and his direct line to our programmers. They have worked on improvements of various targeting systems (planned for 1.60). This encompasses a list of changes in the categories commanding, crew communications and weapon systems. You're best of reading through the great write-up by Ondřej himself.
One specific addition is a virtual camera pod on fixed-wing aircraft. It should help pilots to coordinate their Air-to-Ground attacks more precisely by enhancing their restricted view from the cockpit.
Then there is a very exciting bundle of new features for the Eden Editor (after 1.58). Its development team continues to process their own wishlist as well as community feedback with excitement. Designers will now find a new entity type: Comment. This is a very useful tool to leave yourself notes and reminders in 3D space. You may wish to build a detailed F.O.B. somewhere later, and just place a reminder in the editing scene for now e.g. Comments have an always visible title and a tooltip with more details. Another useful tool is the ability to create and scale area entities, such as Triggers and Markers.
Looking ahead to Tanoa jungle editing, designers may now toggle the visibility of foliage on vegetation. It's also possible to preview the changes of environment attributes like time of day and overcast in real-time with this update.
We've reached the cherry on the cake: asset preview images. While we're still generating these for all vanilla assets, you now see an image preview of the asset you're hovering over in the Asset Browser. We are also preparing a pipeline that automatically generates those for mod assets, although it's not currently functional yet.
With so many things being staged to Dev-Branch and seeking your feedback, it can be hard to know where to post. Associate Producer Vojtěch Kovařič to the rescue! He's shared an overview of active feedback topics on the Arma subreddit. If there's something that doesn't have its own thread, feel free to share your thoughts in the general discussion thread.
Technical Designer David Sláma reports on cool new animation source tech for weapon animations, implemented by Senior Programmer BXBX. As the documentation describes, modders may now use numerical identifiers for sources associated with muzzles other than the primary one. This tech should offer more flexibility and allow weapons to be more effeciently animated. It should even be fully backward compatible!
That leaves us to wish you a splendid evening!