PC Gamer

The "Make Arma Not War" contest ran for over a year, which might sound a bit ridiculous until you consider that Bohemia Interactive was offering 500,000 (estimated at $680,000 at the time, now worth about $546,000—such is the nature of international exchange rates) in prize money. Serious inquiries only, in other words.

Bohemia announced the winners today, and they do look very serious indeed—with the possible exception of Get Wrecked, for reasons that will become clear when you watch the trailer.

Singleplayer Game Mode: 1st place ( 50,000) RESIST by Kydoimos 2nd place ( 30,000) Pilgrimage by Rydygier 3rd place ( 20,000) Deliverance by Sarge Studio

Multiplayer Game Mode: 1st place ( 50,000) King Of The Hill by Sa-Matra 2nd place ( 30,000) Battle Royale: Ghost Hotel by PLAYERUNKNOWN 3rd place (shared) ( 10,000) Get Wrecked* by Sli 3rd place (shared) ( 10,000) Twilight Onslaught* by Dorian23Grey

*These entries received an equal amount of points from the Make Arma Not War jury.

Addon: 1st place ( 50,000) Task Force Arrowhead Radio by Nkey 2nd place ( 30,000) Bornholm by Egil Sandfeld 3rd place ( 20,000) F/A-18X Black Wasp by Saul

Total Modification: Winner ( 200,000) RHS: Escalation by Red Hammer Studios

The Health Care in Danger Award, created in conjunction with the International Committee of the Red Cross, went to Pilot Civilian Air Rescue On Missions, by RobJ2210.

"On behalf of everyone here at Bohemia, I d like to congratulate the winners, and thank all of the contestants, supporters, and judges for their enthusiasm and hard work," Bohemia Interactive CEO Marek Spanel said in a statement. "As developer of the Arma series, it s very inspiring to see content creators bring such varied, creative, high-quality additions to the Arma 3 platform, as well as the passionate embrace of their efforts by the Arma community. The Make Arma Not War contest is an important first step in the promoting and rewarding of content creators, and we look forward to building upon this commitment in the upcoming year."

Up-close looks at all the winners, including screens, trailers, and detailed descriptions, may be found at makearmanotwar.com.

PC Gamer

The upcoming Marksmen DLC for Arma 3, and the accompanying free update aims to "redefine what it means to fire a weapon in Arma 3". The free update adds suppressors and bipod weapon attachments, heavy and grenadier vests and "nine new types of face paint". Oh, and "major" changes to weapon handling and sound.

Those changes introduce "weapon resting" which alters your weapon's accuracy when you're positioned on a stable surface. Bipods can be used to give you stability pretty much anywhere, and recoil and suppression have been tweaked to offer what Bohemia describes as "a more tactical, intuitive and rich experience". Guns!

The free update will also add a new multiplayer scenario called End Game, which invites teams to find and recover some useful schematics. There's also a new showcase scenario called "Firing From Vehicles" but who knows what that's about.

Meanwhile the Marksmen DLC, due April 8, adds seven new weapons including five long-range rifles and a couple of medium machine guns. There are also new ghillie suits and two "Remote Designators, which can be used to spot and laser designate targets from afar". These can be tested in new firing range drills and a new recon mission. The DLC will cost 10.99 / $15.99, available via Steam and through Bohemia's site.

PC Gamer
Show us your rig

Each week on Show Us Your Rig, we feature PC gaming's best and brightest as they show us the systems they use to work and play.

Brendan Greene, creator of "PLAYERUNKNOWN's Battle Royale" mode for Arma 3 and H1Z1, has a modest rig but one with an air of old school cool about it. Then again, I don't think a GTX 770 really counts as old school, so maybe I'm just saying that because of the slight sepia filter and the Morse Key on his desk. I was lucky enough to interview Greene last month, and he was kind enough to take some time and show off where he does his modding.

What's in your PC?

I live by myself in a small village in Kildare, Ireland. I built this PC a few years ago while I was in Brazil and as such it is not the most powerful setup and I hope to upgrade soon, but for now it does the job.

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 @ 3.00GHz
  • Storage: Corsair Force 3 SSD + a few external drives for storage
  • RAM: 8GB Dual-Channel DDR3
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770
  • Mouse: Razer Death Adder
  • Keyboard: Razer BlackWidow Chroma
  • Headphones: Logitech G35
  • Monitors: 23" Samsung SyncMaster & 22" HP Pavilion Monitors.

I also have a Razor Blade I got while over in San Diego with Daybreak Games (SOE) and they also hooked me up with some nice peripherals which I badly needed.

What's the most interesting/unique part of your setup?

Interesting? Well I do have a Vibroplex "Lightning Bug" Morse Key which I love. I have a soft spot for old tech like that. I also have an old leather sampler as my mouse pad.

What's always within arm's reach on your desk?

A notepad and a cup for tea. Both are very useful things when trying to figure out problems.

What are you playing right now?

H1Z1, Arma 3: KotH, and Next Car Game: Wreckfest.

What's your favorite game and why?

Delta Force: Black Hawk Down Multiplayer. I loved that game as it had so many intense modes, player created maps, and what really got me hooked was that you had to learn to zero correctly as it had actual bullet physics.

PC Gamer

I love Hitman: Blood Money. It's a game that gives you the freedom to come up with your own plan, it provides real satisfaction when your plan goes off without a hitch, and perhaps most importantly, it can turn into a mad, deliriously fun scramble when your plan completely falls apart. As  Phil pointed out earlier, you can now relive some of that fun in this series of Hitman-inspired Arma 3 scenarios by modder Helios.

There are a number of missions to choose from and many will feel immediately familiar to Hitman players. A father and son are hosting a gathering at a heavily guarded manor, and you've got to take both of them out separately. There's a opera being performed, and your target is one of the singers. A drug lord is throwing a party, and you're there to clip him, along with the guest of honor, if possible, while ducking members of his gang.

Got my target, got my poison. What am I forgetting? Oh yeah. Dozens of witnesses.

A lot of Agent 47's standard tricks are incorporated. You can steal people's clothing and wear it yourself, allowing you access to restricted areas, though the guards in the mod are pretty quick to sniff you out if walk too close to them, even disguised. You have a poison syringe you can use to quickly and quietly snuff one of your targets if you don't want to risk a shot with a silenced pistol. There are also things like weapons drops and uniform crates shown on your map, if you can manage to slip away and remain unnoticed until you reach them. And, of course, you can hide bodies.

Just gonna borrow your clothes and bury you under the concrete if that's cool.

Most importantly, these are freeform missions. Kill your target however you want, then escape to an extraction point. You start out in a safe area, usually filled with other, less-murderous guests, which gives you time to look around for your targets (they're marked by name on your screen), scope out the surrounding area and position of the guards, and find some way to slip away without causing too much suspicion. You may be able to switch off the power, giving you some additional stealth during night missions.

Man. I see soooooo many different ways to fail this mission.

As you can probably guess, blowing your cover doesn't quite lead to the madcap chases and fights you're used to in Hitman, because Arma 3 is much less forgiving in terms of bullets tearing into flesh. There won't be a long, frantic gunfight that slowly spins Agent 47 to the ground in slow motion. Get spotted and you'll get shot, get shot and your mission is most likely over right then and there.

Dang it! I knew I shouldn't have disguised myself as a hitman.

As difficult as they are, it's still a lot of fun to play these missions inside Arma 3, and they've been recreated very faithfully. Even as bad as I am at both Hitman and Arma 3, I did manage to take out my target in the opera mission and escape to the extraction zone, though it took more than a few tries.

Best of all, you can play these missions co-op with a friend. You can subscribe individually to these missions on the Steam workshop, and you'll find them listed in the 'Scenarios' section when you launch the game.

PC Gamer

I spent my weekend picking through some of the Make Arma Not War finalists. Most are great, and all are at least deserving of some attention, but one in particular seems worthy of highlighting. Not because it's particularly well polished (it really, really isn't), but because it's a great showcase for the breadth of scenarios available for the military sim.

Hitman Tribute is a series of missions designed in tribute to the Hitman series. In them, you're placed in a small and public area, and asked to sneak into an off-limits sector of the map to take out a number of targets. So far, so Hitman and the parallels don't end there. You can find dead drops containing weapons, use poisonous injections to silently take down a guard, steal clothes and hide bodies, and arrange an "accident" for your quarry.

There are some really good objectives. At the same time, it's devilishly hard. Partly that's because Hitman's social stealth can be generally quite difficult to read, but also because these Arma missions are pretty rough around the edges. Some of Hitman's key elements fit awkwardly in Bohemia's engine.

Still, if you love Hitman and own Arma 3, it's worth taking a look. Learn to overcome its oddities, and it's a satisfying series to work through.

You can find the complete Hitman Tribute series in the Steam Workshop.

PC Gamer

If you're short of reasons to re-enlist in Arma 3's simulacrum of military conflict, here's a few that might tempt you back. Bohemia has announced the finalists in their "Make Arma Not War" modding competition—a contest that challenged the community to make new game modes, add-ons and mods. Despite the name, it has largely resulted in more war.

It's a great way to dig out some of Arma's best community content. We've already featured a few of the finalists in past Mod of the Week articles. Here's Pilot Civilian Air Rescue and Pilgrimage—both finalists in the Singleplayer category.

Showcase trailers for each category can be found over at the Make Arma Not War finalists page. Below, you can see the round-ups for Singleplayer and Multiplayer modes. 

Winners will be announced in March, and each will receive a chunk of a  500,000 prize pool. Our Evan Lahti is one of the judges in the competition—I expect he'll be playing a bit more Arma over the next few weeks.

PC Gamer
PC Gamer

TRIGGERNOMETRY

We write about FPSes each week in Triggernometry, a mixture of tips, design criticism, and a celebration of virtual marksmanship.

There isn t enough poetry being written about guns. Not literal limericks or sonnets (that would be creepy), but words that dig into and capture what makes one game s AK-47 more fun than another s.

Weapon feel continues to be the nebulous catch-all for the nuances that make guns fun. Most of the reviews of shooters I read offer the same praise: guns feel great or feel really powerful. If the writer s being generous, they ll use a word like punchy to describe an SMG. I ve been guilty of this too during my six-year term at PC Gamer.

Months of work goes into designing, animating, and balancing the things that put the S in FPS, so maybe we should take a moment to talk about what makes a good gun good.

I think the visual design of weapons matters far less than we think it does. There s a tendency, probably because they re planted right in front of our perspective at all times, to think of guns as a collection of aesthetics: firing and reload animations, SFX, screen shake, particle effects, and the death animations they produce. Those things make a gun, right? So if those things are good, surely we have an interesting and fun video game weapon, right?

No. Consider the AWP: it s olive green, it s bland, and its simple animations are more run-of-the-mill than Rambo. The only aesthetically remarkable thing about the most revered, iconic, and infamous sniper rifle in a video game is that it s a bit loud. And yet thousand-comment debates erupt when Valve tweaks the way the AWP s scope works. Why?

A gun s look and sound are part of its personality, sure. But if you ask me, great video game weapons have meaningful, interconnected relationships with other game elements. Those elements differ from game to game, of course. In CS case, the appeal of the AWP is born from the fact that CS is an FPS with body-part-specific damage modeling and no respawns. In that context, it s the only gun that grants an instant kill if you tag someone above the waist.

That feeling of possibility is fun within the strict rules of CS movement: if you can hit it, you can kill it… but you also can t be moving too much when you fire. With that power comes responsibility, too. Killed players surrender their equipped weapon in CS, and stolen AWPs not only save your team $4750 but act as a kind of trophy. This is doubly the case in CS:GO, where a player s custom AWP skin reminds all spectators which irresponsible player allowed their AWP to fall into enemy hands. Buying an AWP, then, to some extent, announces to the rest of the server: I think I m a good enough shot to protect this valuable asset from the other team.

All of this makes the AWP a weapon with abundant meaning. Even its shortcomings (slow rate of fire, difficult to use in close quarters) are a source of fun: the noscope is a revered skillshot.

In Tribes case, its weapons shake hands with its player movement really well, arguably the quality that defines it as an FPS. Again, like the AWP, the Spinfusor isn't visually extraordinary: it fires discs at a medium speed, and its animations and SFX are pretty modest. But the Spinfusor is the perfect fit, the perfect baseline weapon in a game where your targets are typically skiing along the ground at high speed. Its splash damage leaves room for error and its relatively slow travel time creates an exciting feeling of uncertainty as you admire your shot. Like throwing up a three-pointer in basketball, you get to experience that arc of Will it go in? It might not go in. It went in! as the disc travels toward its target.

The Fusion Mortar creates the same sort of feeling while operating as a parabolic siege weapon. The design of the weapons actually encourages you to spend as much time as possible in the air: the threat they pose encourages you to master movement to have the best chance of staying alive. In each of these examples, the weapons strengthen the meaning and significance of core systems like movement, damage modeling, or weapon purchasing.

PC Gamer

*Puts on blockbuster trailer voice* "In a world of helicopters, one DLC had... *pause for explosion* ...more helicopters. It's time to experience the helicopter experience of the year. From the studio that brought you Take On Helicopters; it's Helicopters—a DLC for Arma 3. Coming this right now." *Fade to black*

Okay, so its not loads more helicopters. In fact, two: the CH-67 Huron and the Mi-290 Taru. In addition to that, there's a new showcase and some time trials. The DLC costs 11 / $16.

Perhaps more interesting are the free additions being made to the base game. Accompanying Helicopters is a platform update that adds a new multiplayer mode, helicopter VR training, and optional alternative flight dynamics. These extras are being made available to all Arma 3 players, regardless of whether they buy the Helicopters DLC.

PC Gamer

The highly moddable ArmA III has a new tool for players keen on building their own structures. The iBuild mod is still in its early stages but gives a fantastic glimpse at a future filled with easily constructed buildings. Place a few squares of foundation, build walls, windows, doors, floors, and ramps, all with just a few simple button-clicks. The pieces snap together, easy as pie, and in a matter of seconds anyone can throw together a basic building.

Foundations are where you start, and placing a single square lets you start snapping on everything else. The placement is easy and reminiscent of other building games: just float a ghostly square of stone around until it's ready to place. Hold down the Tab button and it will build. This is all done with you standing right in the map and moving yourself around, just as you would while playing the game. Build a floor and you can just walk right onto it: build a door and you can open and close it. It's neat.

Once your foundation piece, or pieces, have been plopped down, you can select the other modules. Walls, naturally, come in a couple variants: solid, those with a window, and those with a door. Once you've got a few walls place, you can snap more on top, easily putting together multi-story structures.

There are no stairs at present, but ramps are available for connecting different floors together. I can only assume we'll see ladders at some point in the future as well. Like I said, this is a very early version, and currently there's only one type of each module (walls, floors, etc) to use, though the forthcoming version (which may already be available by the time to read this) will have different variants of each module that you'll be able to cycle through with your number keys.

It's a lot of fun just to experiment with, and it's wonderfully easy to use. I started working on a cozy little home right on the beach, and on an airbase I constructed a new radio tower in just a couple minutes. I bet the sarge will be happy: I built it right in the middle of the runway. That's the best spot to keep a close eye on aircraft, right?

There's a tiny bit of work to get iBuild running, so here's a brief tutorial. First, you'll need to subbscribe to the mod on Steam. Next, start ArmA III, and choose "Open Launcher." This will allow you to enable the iBuild add-on. You'll also need to disable any other add-ons you've got: at this stage, iBuild probably isn't compatible with them. Once you've got iBuild selected, click on "Play" which will start your session.

Next, you'll want to configure a couple key bindings, which only takes a second. Under custom controls, Use Action 1 will be the key to turn build mode on and off, and Use Action 2 will be the key to actually build the sections.

From there, select the Editor, choose between Stratis or Altis, and double-click the spot on the map where you want to build something. Place a unit (that's you) and a couple more if you want some friendly NPCs to stand around watching you build. Then click Preview at the top. You'll appear on the map, ready to go.

From there, you can cycle between your different building modules with the number keys. Just be careful! Since you're building while you're physically in the game, you can wander off the edge of the building you're putting together and fall to your death, as I did here:

Watch your step!

The mod has its own website with a FAQ, videos, and more detailed instructions. You can check it out here.

...

Search news
Archive
2015
Mar   Feb   Jan  
Archives By Year
2015   2014   2013   2012   2011  
2010   2009   2008   2007   2006  
2005   2004   2003   2002