12:52am
Community Announcements - Iceman
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Update 1.64 RC, Gamescom, Apex Protocol Improvements
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
The development team is now making final preparations for the first post-Apex main branch update. Containing countless fixes and improvements, update 1.64 will aim to increase the stability and performance of the Arma 3 platform. Based on the feedback from players, we are also making changes to the Apex Protocol campaign (more about them below). We hope to have the build ready for internal testing in the middle of this week and enable it for public RC testing as soon as it passes the Quality Assurance evaluations. Follow the official Twitter account or subscribe to the dedicated forums thread to receive the information once it happens.

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Aug 16
Community Announcements - YorisYan
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Arsenal / Zeus Improvements, AI Diagnostics
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
It's a bit of a slow summer week here at Bohemia Interactive. Some of our developers are enjoying well-deserved holidays, and we have a delegation visiting Game Developer Conference Europe to absorb knowledge from peers. Arma 3 does not otherwise have a presence at the associated gamescom convention this year. Meanwhile we certainly do have a crew working as per usual, and keeping SOPs running, such as Dev-Branch updates. Next week we intend to start actual prep for the release of a 1.64 update, containing all tweaks, fixes and optimizations since the Apex release.

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Community Announcements - YorisYan
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Ports Update, Eden Editor Improvements, Mod Preset Sharing
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
While the maintenance, documentation and planning work continues for the primary Windows version of the game, the time is right to give some love to our experimental client ports for Linux and Mac. Having been in development and testing for a long time, we have today published the 1.58 version (including Eden Update) for the ports, made possible by our Virtual Programming partners.

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Community Announcements - YorisYan
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Lessons Learned, Units Administration, Arsenal Sorting
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
During the past week we've concluded our first round of post-release evaluations of the Apex project as a whole. The departments collected their notes on what has gone well and what hasn't, which were then discussed among the department leads. The next step was to convert the lessons into a concrete action plan for improvements. We try to be self-critical and to look at all aspects of development. Of course this includes the resulting game as a major component, but it goes beyond that. We also evaluate our team's organization, developer performance, IT infrastructure, data pipelines, auto-testing methods, project methodologies, back-office support and much more. Why is this relevant to you as a player? Striving for better results in all these areas should mean a more solid platform and game developed on top of it. We still are excited to carry on this great Arma 3 adventure with you!

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PC Gamer

Escaping the buzz surrounding Pok mon Go is, at this point, nearly impossible. Its greatest strength isn't that it's a good game, but that Pok mon Go challenges us to view our neighborhoods differently. Through the lens of your phone, that convenience store you never visit is now a 'Pok Stop,' and that memorial you pass by on your way to work is a 'gym.' But you don't have to play Pok mon Go just to have that kind of shift in perspective PC games have been tinkering with real-world locations for a long time. From the comfort of my computer chair, I've spent weeks discovering the joys of hauling dangerous materials in my Renault semi-truck between Poland and England in Euro Truck Simulator 2.

There's the prevailing myth that video games are often just a form of escapism, but Euro Truck Simulator 2 suggests just the opposite. Instead of running away from the real world, I'm gaining a unique understanding of it. Through the windshield of that truck, I'm beginning to see the twisting highways of Europe in a whole new light. With all of the tools that developers have at their fingertips, it's no surprise that most would want to spend their time bringing imaginary landscapes to life. But the subtlety of the world we live in can be just as memorable as the impossible realities dreamed up as backdrops for video games.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 might not be a perfect recreation of Europe, but its adherence to realistic driving makes the experience feel no less real.

Euro Truck Simulator 2 certainly takes liberties in its recreation of Europe by decreasing its scale, but it has a masterful understanding of how something as mundane as a realistically modeled exit ramp can teach a lesson. Learning how to downshift through seven gears while simultaneously reducing speed and navigating an agonizingly tight turn has given me an appreciation for hauling a 20-ton trailer that I'd never have otherwise.

Real locations that inspire real understanding 

What's fascinating about Euro Truck Simulator 2 isn't the ways it can make a mundane activity like truck driving interesting, but the fact that time and time again I walk away with a new appreciation for a real-world activity that I might not have had otherwise. My dozens of hours spent hauling haven t given me the skills to operate an actual truck. But they have given me an understanding of the nuances of driving them that extends beyond what I consider as I pass semi-trucks on the highway and I'm much more sympathetic to when they're struggling to make it up a hill now, too.

More importantly, video games that play with our own reality offer us spaces to engage in a way we could never do otherwise. Anyone can remember how terrifying it was stepping behind the wheel and learning to drive for the first time because there were tangible consequences to making a mistake. My first accident in Euro Truck Simulator might not have cost someone their life, but that didn't stop me from blushing furiously and fighting the need to apologize to the other AI drivers. Sims like Euro Truck Simulator 2 excel at poking holes in the wall between real-world experiences and those we traditionally have in video games, but there's still lessons to be gleaned from games that don't aspire to simulate reality with the same determination.

Safely navigating terrain in DayZ is a skill that has parallels to the real world except for the zombies and murderous bandits of course.

The sprawling forests of Arma 2 and DayZ's Chernarus are modelled heavily after Bohemia Interactive's homeland, the Czech Republic, but there's a pretty good chance that you've never been there. Still, by taking a real world location and using it as the framework for a fictional country, Bohemia Interactive created a layer of authenticity that few other shooters can achieve. Instead of building an environment that caters to the kind of experiences the developers wanted players to have, both DayZ and Arma 2, like our own lives, feel like products of the environment they exist in. As you begin to understand the landscape of Chernarus, you also begin to adapt how you play. Once you've been sniped in the head in an open field a few times, you learn to see pastures and glades not as shortcuts but death sentences. You learn to stalk along the treeline to maintain cover. I'm a wee bit embarrassed to admit that I sometimes find myself instinctively doing the same thing when I go out hiking.

Video games that play with our own reality offer us spaces to engage in a way we could never do otherwise.

That silly habit I've developed also illustrates the way games that model real-life create situations that inform how we act in the real world and how we behave in a video game. DayZ, for example, doesn't have a magical user interface that shows you where to go. Instead you need to lean on your own awareness of your surroundings, landmarks, and, if you're lucky enough to find them, a compass and a paper map. Being able to navigate the forests of Chernarus is, in many ways, no different than being able to navigate a forest in the real world but with the added reassurance that making a wrong turn doesn't mean wandering into a hive of agitated zombies.

Of course, this has also inspired more than a few pilgrimages by dedicated fans to the parts of the Czech Republic that were used to create Chernarus. Aside from what playing in these environments can teach us, there's an undeniable allure to comparing the two, which in turn can give us a greater appreciation not only for the effort that went into building these worlds, but the real locations that inspired them. When it comes to a game like Tom Clancy's The Division, the greatest thing that it achieved was creating a Manhattan that felt authentic despite the state of chaos it had fell into.

Side by side comparisons of Lemnos, the real-world counterpart to Arma 3's fictional island of Altis. Photo credit: moxer95.

As video games get progressively better at realistically modeling our world and find increasingly more creative methods to interact with that world, they also create opportunities to discover new ways of understanding our own. Whether it's through the camera on your phone as you hunt for Pokemon, the windshield of a semi-trick, or a pair of binoculars as you scout through the woods of Chernarus, each one offers a unique perspective that can inform how we behave in real-life. The lens might change, but the truth stays the same: Our world and the ways it intersects with games has plenty left to teach us.

Jul 27
Community Announcements - YorisYan
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Maintenance, Apex Blog, Launcher Mod Search, Feedback Tracker Guide
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
Our clean sweep of the game continues during these first few post-release weeks. Besides making improvements to Apex itself, we've also been addressing your reports on older content, and will continue to do so. Some documentation has already been published to the Bohemia Interactive Community Wiki, while more elaborate topics are in progress. This all goes hand-in-hand with mapping out our further roadmap for Arma 3 development and support. It will still be a little while before we have concrete details for you, but you're already in the right place once any news breaks!

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Jul 19
Community Announcements - YorisYan
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Profiling Branch, Recruiting, Wallpapers
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
The development locks that were in place during the last weeks of Apex development have now been lifted. This means our team members are free again to continue development under regular conditions. You may already notice this from the updates on Dev-Branch in recent days. We're also taking some time to reflect on the project together. This means we'll be looking back at both the journey and the destination, and creating action plans for a broad range of aspects to further improve upon. Besides our own thoughts, we also evaluate using your reviews, critiques, reports, stories, custom content releases and play-throughs ... and we're massively enjoying doing so. Keep sharing!

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Phew, finally we get some new names in the Steam top 10 (previous weeks here’n’that), after the chokehold of the Steam Summer Sale is loosened. I did not expect that number 1, but I really> did not expect that number 10.

… [visit site to read more]

Jul 12
Community Announcements - YorisYan
FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Apex Released, Apex Protocol
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION
After one hell of a ride, we've all arrived at the release of Arma 3 Apex and the corresponding free 1.62 platform update. Here's our official launch trailer to celebrate this major milestone! We hope you're already enjoying the vanilla expansion or one of the many custom mod(e)s that were updated in unison. More than ever before we witnessed an impressive pre-release effort by the various mod teams and server hosts to make the transition as smooth as possible. Our thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this release, not least of which our developers and Bohemia Interactive's supporting departments. Have fun running your jungle ops on Tanoa or however else you enjoy playing the game!

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PC Gamer

The long-awaited Apex expansion for Arma 3 rolls out today, following its announcement at E3 last month. Apex grows pretty much every aspect of the game, with the addition of a huge, South Pacific-themed 100 km map called Tanoa, and a campaign supporting up to four players in cooperative play.

The campaign puts players in the role of a NATO CTRG special operator, sent to Tanoa on a humanitarian mission. Naturally enough, things go a bit pear-shaped and firearms come into the equation. These will be plentiful, too: Apex introduces 13 new weapons, in addition to ten new vehicles.

Most interesting is the island itself, which features a range of environments yet to be seen in an Arma game. According to Bohemia it is "home to lush tropical vegetation, unique landmarks, a rich history, and imposing man-made features of modern engineering". Landmarks you'll encounter include a sugar cane factory, shanty towns, an industrial port and, most excitingly, a bloody volcano.

Anyway, there's a launch trailer which demonstrates all these things in flashy visual language, and you can see that below:

...

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