TECHREP #00028

reported by Julien Vida on April 21, 2016

FROM: Tools Commissar
TO: Arma 3 Modders
CIRCUMSTANCES: Update 0.982 (Terrain Builder, Work Drive, Game Updater)
SIZE: ~23.2 MB / ~0.1 MB


First, we would like to clarify a little the purpose of the development branch of the tools. Recently, some of you have asked us to maintain the compatibility between the main branch of the game and the development branch of the tools. The latter is meant for experimentation and in some cases, it uses the technologies only available in the development branch of game, regardless what the status of its main branch is.

In short, when a new technology is introduced to the development branch of the game and this implies a change at the tools level (Recent cases: FontToTGA and Binarize), the tools are updated accordingly. This allows the content creators to test their work in-game with the upcoming features.

Moving on to the heart of this update, terrain creators will be happy to know that we did a bit of work about the object manipulation with Terrain Builder. The most noticeable is the new diagnostic tool which is able to detect duplicated (over-layered) objects and offer some action for those. Some more issues have been addressed, such as the inaccuracy of the angle when rotating an object on the world axis or the tiny freezes of Buldozer while manipulating multiple objects.

Another important point is a change in the serialization of the layers. The impact of this change is that it makes previous versions of Terrain Builder unable to open the new layer format. Consider making a backup of your layers and tell us if you encounter any issue with the layers, especially if it's loaded but no objects are placed. Note that a backup of the old layer file (if it is prior this update) is made on opening of a project.

This update was also an occasion to consolidate and polish Work Drive, which was introduced in the previous update. It is now able to manage any work drive, meaning it can handle any drive letter from any source directory and setup Buldozer in this directory. As mentioned on various community channels, it will eventually replace all scripts used to manage the "drive P" and its content. During the upcoming weeks, it will become a substitute to mapfolders and FuturaToP, which will remain until the following update.

Speaking of the drive P, despite the fact it is possible to use the install directory of the tools as source for this drive, we would like to remind you that it is recommended to define a custom directory to avoid potential conflicts with the updates (in other words: an update of the tools might alter your project(s)). Also, bear in mind that we might remove the possibility of such 'risky' setup.

The most curious of you will find more details in the changelog. In the event you would like to share feedback, we invite you to do so on our official channels: Feedback Tracker* & the forums.



  • Terrain Builder
    • Added: Tool for finding and solving duplicated (over-layered) objects (via the "Tools" menu)
    • Added: Objects Diagnostics dialog (via the "Tools" menu)
    • Changed: The "Edit" LOD of objects are now ignored (similar to the binarization process)
    • Changed: Format of the layer files (serialization)
      • Previous versions of Terrain Builder won't be able to open the new format (the layer won't be displayed)
      • A back-up is created into the source directory on detection of the old format (...source\ProjectName.LayersBackup\old_layerName.tv4l)
    • Fixed: Objects could be duplicated and couldn't be removed nor selected
    • Fixed: Buldozer was freezing for a couple seconds after manipulation of multiple objects
    • Fixed: Inaccurate angles when rotating objects
    • Fixed: Terrain Builder wouldn't update the "Selection properties" window on deselection of an object, causing a CTD
    • Fixed: Buldozer was not scaling the objects smoothly enough (increased scaling delta)
  • Work Drive
    • Added: Warning and possibility to cancel the operation (if in interactive mode) when the source of the drive to mount is the Arma 3 Tools directory
    • Added: Support for any drive letter and any source folder
    • Fixed: Incompatibility of some startup parameters
    • Fixed: The Buldozer setup was dismounting the work drive
  • Game Updater
    • Added: New start-up parameter -beta to use SteamCMD beta
    • Added: Now displays the downloaded data and amount in MB of remaining data to be downloaded
    • Added: New option to handle the Steam client (enabled by default). If this option is set to Yes, and if Steam is running, it will be closed, and once Game Updater logged into the Steam network, the Steam client will be restarted.
    • Tweaked: Process management between Game Updater and the Steam client
    • Tweaked: Small adjustments of the UI
    • Tweaked: More data are logged when in debug mode
    • Fixed: The console output is back when -debug is used
    • Fixed: The debug console was closed as soon as Game Updater was reduced in the notification area
    • Fixed: The install process was showing the credential dialog twice
    • Removed: The directory size from the update form
  • Arma 3 Tools Launcher
    • Changed: If the external viewer of Object Builder is not defined to P, the Buldozer install won't be checked (no warning)
    • Fixed: Game Updater was unable to log into Steam when started from the launcher
    • Fixed: Under certain circumstances, the task bar was not updated when the main window was restored (Hide / Show)
    • Tweaked: Methods to run Terrain Builder and Object Builder
  • Binarize
    • Added: new parameter -disablePreBinDataForWRP to force it not to binarize data
    • Changed: The exclusion list can now take full paths
    • Changed: Binarize now has proper console output
    • Changed: Improvement of the binarization of clutter
  • FSM Editor
    • Changed: Updated SQF definition (Arma 3 1.57 rev. 134994)
  • CfgConvert
    • Added: Script to derap (unbinarize) Eden scenarios
  • Publisher
    • Added: A new primary button for adding mod content: "Select mod folder". It will let you select the @modFolder and adds its content as the content of the mod.
    • Added: Logging of unhandled exceptions
    • Added: An options menu to the top-right corner
    • Added: Workshop tag "Editor Extension"
    • Fixed: PublishedId insertion to meta.cpp when the item is published for the first time
    • Removed: Footer (links moved to the options menu)
  • Object Builder
    • Fixed: Locked normals are no longer recalculated when pressing F5 or saving a file
  • Steam dumpAccountInfo
    • Added: Support for Arma 3 Apex
    • Changed: When the computer doesn't have access to Internet, it will try to use the cache from the Steam client
    • Fixed: Under some conditions, Arma 3 was returned as owned when it was not
  • Steam configuration
    • Changed: Incremented version to reflect the current stage (0.982)


  • Scenario Design
    • Changed: SQM files are now using version 51 (Eden)

    • Fixed: The example of headgear randomization wouldn't load because of a missing addon


  • In case of any issue, please, let us know on our usual channels: Feedback Tracker* or the forums.
  • You can subscribe (for free) to the Tools and Samples packages from the Steam store. Once done, you will find these application in your Steam library (switch the filter to "Tools").
  • You will need to start the primary tool once to add all needed registry entries for the rest of tools.