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chipper

Exclusive Armed Assault report

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I'm not sure if people are discussing this in the stickied threads. But I think this article here has soo much information that it's worth having a new thread.

Heres the direct link to the article.

Quote[/b] ]In the course of the OFP Workshop II, held by Mapfact and Construction Factory, we were pleased to attend an Armed Assault presentation of the exclusive BIS member Rastavovich. A large part of experienced and skilled members of the community was allowed to listen and ask questions. We were presented the Armed Assault E3 demo and were pretty pleased with what we saw! But in contrary to many of the articles written about BIS’ E3 presentation, this article will feature exclusive information about several aspects in Armed Assault’s future modding.

General information

First of all we were informed about the general game play. As was already stated in many prior interviews, Armed Assault will feature character switching in the Singleplayer mode. This can be configured by the mission editor: Every unit set to “playableâ€, an option that in OFP is still exclusive to the Multiplayer mode, can be commanded. This option can also be changed via scripting in the course of the mission. The AI wasn’t that impressing in the demo, but Rastavovich assured us that this will change for the final product.

Weapons have real 3D optics, the indirectHit values of the weapons’ bullets were erased. This means that your bullets either hit or they don’t, which will improve the gameplay a lot. We also asked about the new inventory system used for weapons and items, but Rastavovich wouldn’t want to give us any information about it. He stated that it should remain a surprise for the community.

Multiple gunner positions will definitely be possible in Armed Assault. Not only that turrets can freely be nested into each other, Armed Assault will enable an open number of custom turrets. BIS already joked about creating some huge WWII battleships with 12 cannon turrets. In the current version of Armed Assault, the UH-60 already has two working miniguns on both sides of the helicopter. The long desired commander MG will be included in the tanks of Armed Assault, BIS still have to solve minor problems, which is why we can’t see them on the current pictures yet.

Multiplayer

One thing that will be very interesting is Armed Assault’s Multiplayer mode. According to BIS the number of players only depends on the connection and strength of the used server. Numbers like 200 players a game were already unofficially stated, but BIS never had the time to really test this case. Voice over IP will be fully supported in Armed Assault, like in the current chat system players have the option to communicate on different layers (vehicle, group, side, global) to not disturb each other. Whether we will actually notice the different units speaking, Rastavovich couldn’t tell. Much more likely an icon indicating the talking player will appear on the screen.

Join in Progress is possible for multiplayer games, but there is no need for fears. If anything, this can still be prevented by locking the server. Furthermore Rastavovich assured us that BIS is very concerned about the community’s interest. Many new features will be implemented to attract new players, but for the old hardcore OFP players BIS will leave the option to turn off most of it.

One important point in the Multiplayer development is that BIS will surely develop both a Linux as a Windows server version. They also invented a new system to prevent cheaters. The server configuration will have the option to determine which addons, given a certain signature, should be loaded into the game. This should prevent ‘cheater addons’ from being activated.

Mission making

Also the mission editor will contain useful improvements. The so-called “library†allows you test any weapon or vehicle ingame and provide information about its capabilities. BIS will include a Mission Wizard, providing players with template missions. This way also players that don’t find the time to work on missions for several weeks or months will be given the possibility to create interesting scenarios in a short time. Missions in Armed Assault can also be within addons.

Scripting

The scripting engine of Armed Assault will be improved a lot. It was changed to be more efficient; scripts are loaded and compiled only upon the first call and remain there until the end of the mission. Strings and functions are treated separately, functions in general have a bigger importance in Armed Assault. So we will receive a couple of new commands for functions like the “switch caseâ€. The same .sqf functions are also used in the new versions of Oxygen and Visitor to script and automate different creation processes. Though it is yet undecided whether those scripting functionalities will be made public.

Tools

We were glad to hear that BIS plan to publish several tools and documentations prior to the release of the game. A new version from Oxygen Light with several new features will be released to the community. BIS also developed a new tool named Linda, which helps the designers generating vegetation in a natural way. Most possibly this tool won't be released to the public due to its complexity though. We were told that no single tree in Armed Assault is modeled by hand anymore.

Modeling

Modelers will be happy about the new information in the addon sector. Armed Assault brings a whole revolution to animations of models. So custom animations aren’t located in the addon’s config.cpp anymore – they are written into a config file with Oxygen, which is then included in their .p3d file. This way a model can be used by several classes without having to redefine the animations every time.

All of the hardcoded animations are defined with "controllers". This controller can steer several different animations at once – getting rid of any script solution. Animations, also user-defined ones, can be freely nested into each other. If a turret and an MG turret have separate animations, they can be linked to move together. The animation type “rotation†gets a new brother called “translationâ€, enabling linear animations.

Models can be mapped with extended materials. With the right settings they can look very realistic. Armed Assault features Detail Maps and Normal Maps as well as HDR. BIS also invented a so-called “Second UV Setâ€. This technique makes it possible to overwrite the UV maps on parts of the model with UV maps of textures in a better resolution. What exactly the difference between this new system and the current face mapping is, Rastavovich couldn’t tell. Textures will be loaded together with setObjectTexture in Armed Assault, but it is unclear whether they finally will be restored from saved missions. The modelled detail for the most detailed models of BIS lies at around 6000 Polygons – the new mapping technologies make up for that.

With the new version of Oxygen, the community will be provided with better import functions from 3D Studio Max and Maya, but still Oxygen will be necessary to make the addon compatible with the game.

And we can reassure you: Airplanes will exist in Armed Assault! ;-)

Map editing

The new Visitor 3 can convert satellite data to maps, including their height-maps and surface textures. Again, a Visitor light, token away some of the features, is meant to be released to the community. Due to the new streaming technology the size of the maps isn’t limited in any way. Rastavovich showed us a map with a size of 82x82km, mapped with satellite pictures and meant for the military. BIS experimented with cell sizes up to only 5m, but this will probably represent a problem with large maps. The new version of visitor also supports .png import.

The above-mentioned functions can automate different processes in Visitor. We were shown different examples: Objects were randomly placed, power poles were automatically created along roads. The most impressive thing we were shown was an automatic process to fit streets in the landscape. To make them look more natural, the world around them gets flattened or cut, streets going up a hill in serpentines actually look like real streets afterwards. Right now, it is rather unlikely that rivers will find their way into Armed Assault.

Plans

We were assured that BIS plan an outstanding support and documentation for the community. A wiki for the modding community is intended to be published yet before Armed Assault. Members of the community will be able to add any information they find out about the engine to this wiki, to prevent it from getting lost. In the end the wiki should represent the primary source for any information concerning content creation for Armed Assault.

BIS also plan to introduce so-called “Certified Content Developers†– content creators that register at BIS and receive a better support than in the wiki or forums and avoid a lot of speculations. They will be given the possibilty to "sign" their PBOs, marking them as reliable within the anti cheating system.

Last but not least – the question of questions, the one, the most important order of words, that has to be asked at all costs not to bring OFP’s matters of causality out of order: When will it be released?

Nothing new to tell there: Still the release is intended for Q3 2006, dependent on the developer this date may push back a little.

hardrock

I'm really exicted about all the modding posibilities right now I'm seriously considering starting an ArmA mod with my friends. I am most looking forward to making islands with the new Visitor 3. The improvements are so great, making maps out of sattilite imagery. OMG. Maybe my mod will be called the World Mod or something and we recreate the whole earth into ArmA with the help of Google Earth. Think of the possiblities.

EDIT: Article updated a bit.

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I am most looking forward to making islands with the new Visitor 3. The improvements are so great, making maps out of sattilite imagery.

Don't get it wrong. Visitor 3 is never meant to be released to the public, as is stated in the article. BIS plays with the thought to release a light version of visitor, but this doesn't tell that the light version will include map creation out of satellite data.

<span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'>Don't forget to read mapfact's report including several pictures smile_o.gif</span>

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Lots of usefull and nice infos, this should cut down a lot of speculations about new features and more generally about BIS approach both to ArmA development and to the community expectations.

Thanks BIS, Mapfact and ofp.info. thumbs-up.gif

Klavan

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( =) Is a Soundblaster Live! supported now? Haven't got time to buy new soundcard yet.)

Its great to see BIS releasing the tools before ArmA. And the wiki page is nice to, glad the have info in a secure place.

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Definatly the best and most interesting interview around smile_o.gif

Thanks BIS biggrin_o.gif

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Hopes this shuts up all the people who seem to be thinking that BIS havent been doing anything and feel the need to criticize every tit bit in a screenshot.

Good to hear about the anti cheat system too.

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yay.gifyay.gifyay.gifyay.gifyay.gifyay.gifyay.gif

This is amazing!

Some1 start modelling a B52 bomber plane with lots of turrets!

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Quote[/b] ]Many new features will be implemented to attract new players, but for the old hardcore OFP players BIS will leave the option to turn off most of it.

Thank you BIS!

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B52 or B17? smile_o.gif

better: ac 130 wink_o.gif

thx for the report, really the best I`ve read about arma since the update on bistudio.com, and thx to guys from mapfact of course...

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The AI wasn’t that impressing in the demo, but Rastavovich assured us that this will change for the final product.

this is what i want to hear!!! yay.gifyay.gifyay.gifyay.gif

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I´d love to see bigger differences in the AI.

Militia/armed civilian: Fires fullauto from hip most of the time and loves to run away when bullets starts to land near them.

Army: More dicipline on both fire/stance/tactics but does turn back when faced with a high volume of firepower. Depend on armor and air for most operations.

SF: Same as above but more stealth/hide/snipe. superior tactics when assaulting, can call in arty/air faster then ARMY.

Fanatic: A blend of militia/Army but with much less fear for death, mix with some SF type AI in a group...and you have a problem on your hands smile_o.gif

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Quote[/b] ]Weapons have real 3D optics,

That one is really interesting.

But it is a bit confusing. DO THEY TALK ABOUT IRONSIGHTS huh.gif It is said that they saw the "Armed Assault E3 demo"... and there have been some videos that show different ironsights. but they are still like those we know from OFP... the ACOG and the M21 have the same outer part texture with a different reticle... the PK has a black stencil... and the AIMPOINT (really cool) texture doesn't fit to the aimpoint on the rifle model. so far they didn't look 3D.

or I did get something wrong and something else is meant ?!

but nothing to be unhappy about ... ALL WORK IN PROGRESS.

but all the other INFOS are AMAZING ...

edit ... HM 3D OPTICS .... thumbs-up.gif so cool

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Quote[/b] ]Weapons have real 3D optics,

That one is really interesting.

But it is a bit confusing. DO THEY TALK ABOUT IRONSIGHTS huh.gif It is said that they saw the "Armed Assault E3 demo"... and there have been some videos that show different ironsights. but they are still  like those we know from OFP... the ACOG and the M21 have the same outer part texture with a different reticle... the PK has a black stencil... and the AIMPOINT (really cool) texture doesn't fit to the aimpoint on the rifle model. so far they didn't look 3D.

or I did get something wrong and something else is meant ?!

but nothing to be unhappy about ... ALL WORK IN PROGRESS.

but all the other INFOS are AMAZING ...

edit ... HM 3D OPTICS ....  thumbs-up.gif  so cool

I'm thinking of the same thing.

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i still don't know what a 3D optics look like, can anyone post an image of it from other game or something..

i never saw the 3D optics in game.. (i think)

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well a 3D optic would mean that you as a player look over the 3D model of your rifle and use the 3d modeld ironsight for aiming. so there is no texture anymore. I think call of duty 1/2 EXAMPLE FOR CoD2 25.82 KB has 3d ironsights ... or Red Orchestra RED Orchestra screenpage

the cool thing about 3D ironsights is that they aren't static like textures ... so you could make it shake arround a bit and you need to align front and rear sight and such stuff. but we will see.

benus

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the last link doesnt work. cant see if.

What if scope are used? how will it be?

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I´m hoping for 3d sights so i can use my 3dglasses, that and i´ve gotten used to them over the years and find 2d ones less immersive. Imho it feels like having a cardboard cutout on my face.....best of both world would be some sort of shader on a 3d model or 3d rifle with 2d rearsight.

But if i have my glasses on i focus on the postsight and target anyway and all else blurs out....might get myself one of these to try out. http://www.3dvisor.com/

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I think that they will still use textures for SCOPES.

but see the Red Orchestra Screenpage 1st screen on the right shows a normal ironsight and the 3rd on the right shows how scopes work in the game ... no idea if we will ahve something like that in ArmA ... but I always wanted to see that. A SCOPE WITH ZOOM THAT DOESN'T FILL OUT THE WHOLE SCREEN and only ZOOMS within the scope smile_o.gif that would be perfect. with OFP at teh moment it is only possible to use one xZoom for the texture ... that is why scopes in OFP show this black outer part (even if it is realistic.. it isn't so cool)

benus

on http://www.mapfact.net/ LINK it says:

3D optics are implemented. (3D-Waffenvisiere sind implementiert.) so I think we really talk about 3d ironsights

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B52 only had 1 turret, and it was later converted to radar guidance - not sure if they still have them.

Keep your eyes peeled for an AC 130U =-p.

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