Interview: Bohemia Talk Arma 3, Modding, Day Z

By Jim Rossignol on June 14th, 2012 at 2:00 pm.

Military pretties.
Arma III is still quite some way off, with a release date of “2013″, but Bohemia are starting to reveal more and more of the latest iteration in their ongoing soldier sim project, giving us some tantalising glimpses of an overhauled engine and a reworked game. Creative directors Ivan Buchta and Jay Crowe took some time out from working on their near-future weaponry simulations to tell us about their plans for the game, the meaning of the near-future setting, the impact of Day Z, and the value of modding.

RPS: We’re starting to get glimpses of Arma 3 now, and it’s looking very promising. Is the main focus for this new game the visual fidelity? I understand you are focusing on things like improving the animation, physics and so on? But what will that specifically mean for the game? Will we get overhauled lighting and visual effects too? Any other things in there? Please tell us about your plans.

Ivan: When we started working on Arma 3, improved graphics and related features contributing to the visual impression (e.g. animations or physics) were identified as priorities. While Bohemia’s proprietary “Real Virtuality” engine excels in many fields, many visual features either were or still are mediocre, compared to the current technological standards.

Jay: Ivan’s right about the desire to ‘bring things up to scratch’. Things like ragdoll, too, are part of that process. By themselves, such things perhaps aren’t much to shout about, like, ‘wow, radgoll, welcome to the late Nineties, guys!’ Together with what our engine is good at, though – the enormous environments, the fantastic detail of the models – then things start to get quite interesting. I think it’s that overall impression which has helped to provoke some generous compliments about Arma 3.

Ivan: In our game, visuals are often related to function or gameplay, and the changes are usually deeper than it would seem: e.g. tampering with vehicle physics means we need to address physical interactions in multiplayer, or seeing how the changes would affect the AI.

Jay: Yeah, the consequences of improvements that appear quite superficial can be far-reaching. More often than not, impacts upon gameplay emerge organically from the process of improving the visuals, but they’re then something we must consider carefully, particularly for things like multiplayer. Take muzzle-flashes, for example. Sure, they look ‘prettier’ now, but there’ve been a couple of times I’ve caught sight of a burst of light through bushes or trees from an enemy weapon. Now I’m thinking more about changing position after I’ve discharged a sniper rifle, or the advantage of using a flash suppressor.


RPS: So how much does what you have done build on the Arma 2 engine? Is the technology significantly different, or is it more like another iteration of the same tech?

Jay: It’s true to say Arma 3 is built on an iteration of the same tech – the Real Virtuality engine – but, to do so might imply there’s not a serious number of quite fundamental advancements.

Ivan:Our work has always been rather evolution than revolutionary changes, but compared to engine upgrade between Arma 1 and 2, changes are very significant this time. For example, changes in the physical simulation influence many other parts of the engine, migration to DirectX 11 forced us to commit substantial changes to the renderer code.

Jay: I suppose Bohemia games always have tried, one way or another, to push boundaries. Sometimes, that’s meant going a little further than we’ve been able to deal with effectively. On the other hand, Bohemia Interactive can’t afford to pump out the same new game each ‘holiday season’. Arma 3 needs to offer something unique. I simply hope that we strike a balance of core stability, and an exciting/ambitious new feature list.

RPS: Let’s talk about Arma 2 a little bit – that game seems to have been quietly enormous. Has it sold well? And have the DLC expansions been a success?

Jay: The game’s certainly been well supported after launch, both by our creative community, and in terms of official patches. ‘DLC expansions’ is actually quite a useful term, in the sense that they weren’t simply content packs; rather, they’ve brought alongside engine advancements, which have been included in free patches to keep everyone running the same base code. That’s really helped to extend the lifecycle of the game, encouraged a steady flow of new players to join, and provided a solid foundation upon which to build Arma 3.


RPS: Do you think your success proves that there is a real demand for simulation-led games?

Ivan: We certainly offer a different experience, which may not be attractive just to the milsim niche gamers, but hopefully also for people seeking some alternative to the “FPS canon”. The success of the DayZ mod proves that our simulation may work for many people when stripped of its military fatigues.

RPS: Yes, it’s selling again now with the excitement around the Day Z mod – does that vindicate your ongoing interest in modding? That’s always been very important for Bohemia, hasn’t it?

Ivan: The success of DayZ certainly proves that modification support is the right thing which may prove the game’s true value. DayZ’s popularity is exceptional because it reaches out of the milsim niche, but to us, every mod is important because it means someone had fun modifying our game, and brought something interesting to some more Bohemia customers.

Jay: In terms of media exposure, it’s certainly a most spectacular validation of a mod-friendly attitude. It’s also a real vindication of what persistent, open worlds can offer, and what players can achieve if provided with a simple set of elegantly designed rules.

RPS: Regarding the mod itself – how do you feeling about the hype around it? Are you playing it? Are you learning anything from it?

Ivan: I am not a typical DayZ addict, and E3 practically forced me to cease playing for a while, but I ate my fair share of canned beans. The mod certainly brought a very refreshing insight into my own work, and Arma 3 will certainly be influenced by the DayZ experience.

Jay: I’d like to mention that Marek (Bohemia’s studio boss) is a huge fan of DayZ, despite not being much into the traditional ‘zombie genre’. He enjoys the strict and simple brutality of it, even seeing it as something of a return to the magic present in the Cold War Crisis and Resistance campaigns, revelling in the paucity of on-screen waypoints, save games, hints or aids. There’s certainly much to learn from the phenomenal growth and critical reception of the mod. Though, the majority of the lessons will likely be found in recognising where a designer should take a step back and let the player create his own experiences.

RPS: What can you tell us about the plans for multiplayer support in Arma 3? Are Rocket’s experiments with Day Z going to feed into that at all? Should we expect any persistent aspects to Arma 3′s multiplayer?

Ivan: It is hard to tell at the moment, as it would be nonsense just to take the DayZ ruleset and stitch it to Arma 3, but we are carefully examining the possibilities and are excited where this may lead us. Dean’s solutions and lessons learned from running a persistent multiplayer mod are very useful in identifying the weak spots in the current multiplayer code. Arma 3 will surely benefit from the recent Arrowhead patches oriented on the DayZ improvements, but it is impossible to tell if and how we would add any persistence.

Jay: It’s clear we’d need to be careful about approaching the quite evident problems one can run into with persistent worlds and big, public databases; particularly, when evaluating making that tricky transition from a ‘diamond-in-the-rough’ mod to a ‘wait, why isn’t my retail game working’ mindset. That being said, Dean is an incredibly enthusiastic, optimistic guy surrounded by very experienced developers. He can make big problems disappear with his attitude alone. If we can take even a small part of that with us into Arma 3, it’ll be a better game for it.


RPS: Can you explain the setting for Arma 3′s campaign in a bit more detail? We’ve heard that it is set in the near future, but what does that mean for the game? What sort of technologies will be available? And what made you opt for a future scenario?

Ivan: The near future setting allows us to enrich the experience by some most recent military technology, which will hopefully change the gameplay a bit compared to the previous Arma titles. We try to avoid purely sci-fi designs and focus rather on modern military technologies, which are reshaping the battlespace: precision munitions, reconnaissance means, autonomous vehicles, advanced weapons and targeting systems, lightweight equipment, enhanced survivability. The setting also allows the team to have some rest from the pressure associated with replicating reality and focus more on the actual gameplay.

RPS: One of Arma 2′s most impressive features were the amazing Takistan and Chernarus maps. Will Arma 3 feature similarly huge environments? What sort of terrain can we expect to explore?

Ivan: This time, players will explore two Greek islands situated in the Aegean: the smaller Stratis, with ground area covering 20 km², and Limnos, which with 270 km² of ground makes it the largest official terrain in the Arma series. Both terrains are arid and modelled according to the real-life data; Stratis is mountainous and fairly green, Limnos encompasses many types of environment ranging from dry mountains to lush irrigated lowlands. Of course, both islands also provide sufficient amount of detailed seabed for months of underwater exploration.

RPS: Oh yes, underwater action in Arma 3. Can you tell us about that?

Ivan: It is possible not just to swim, but also to dive. There is also special diving equipment, an underwater rifle shooting supercavitating bullets and an underwater Swimmer Deliver Vehicle, a periscope-fitted underwater convertible as a transportation means for longer distances. We plan to employ these new features in the campaign, where it may contribute to the missions’ variety from the very start, and of course in multiplayer.

Jay: The underwater environment is really just a logical extension of what Arma has always been about: freedom. It introduces a different set of potential experiences, giving players more latitude to pursue objectives as they like, and offering some different options for mod/mission makers. Our games are always at their best when we can, as designers, take a step back, and simply provide a context or situation in which players can play out their own action.


RPS: Gamers often complain that the Arma games are difficult to get into. Is that something you want to actively work on? Or is the steep learning curve a good thing? Do you have any plans for a slicker UI?

Jay: The good news is that we’re taking a much more pro-active approach to grinding down those sharp edges commonly associated with Arma. We’ve now got two teams across two studios working on Arma 3. Having guys dedicated to working on the UI alone is something that we’ve rarely seen before as a company, particularly when times were tight. The bad news – or even better news, depending on your standpoint – is that we’re not removing the features and freedoms many have come to expect with Arma. It’s rather about being more intelligent about how we present them to the player.

Ivan: We have already put great effort into improvements of infantry controls, which produced very positive response during the E3 hands-on. Our experience from this event also confirms we should start overhauling the interfaces for interacting with player’s surrounding, as many people struggled with the complex controls of user actions and commanding interfaces. These changes will hopefully prevent players from giving up after the first contact with the game; furthermore, we would like to achieve moderate learning curve by careful design of playable content. The current campaign structure will allow us to control what new features are available to players and make sure there will be some very simplistic scenarios allowing player to learn the rules and controls before being required to use them in proper combat.

Jay: It goes without saying that the popularity of DayZ doesn’t make us complacent, but there is I think some validation to be found there, in the sense that if you can create the right conditions for compelling gameplay to take place, the rest can follow. It gives us a renewed faith that players have the capacity and desire to learn. You have to want to play Arma. It’s our job to sustain and reward that desire, and work hard to identify and find ways of minimising the things that may detract from that feeling.

RPS: You guys have often been criticised for making games that have bugs or unfinished features, but do you regard that as a necessary side-effect from making such an open, large-scale sort of game? Arma’s position is very different to that taken on my most commercial FPS games, and most FPS games are very simplistic if you compare their feature lists, so do you think it is necessarily a rougher experience when you aim for simulation and stark realism?

Ivan: I certainly don’t want to excuse our mistakes by complex designs. However, our games’ overall complexity and amount of features and possibilities have always added to the issues, and testing is far more demanding compared to a common shooter game with rather narrow options and pre-scripted events. However, we are learning and improving our internal QA with every project, and we also gradually gain know-how to prevent major issues in the content design. Of course, we would like to dedicate some time to testing and bugfixing, which is one of the reasons why we have announced postponing the release of Arma 3 to 2013.

Jay: Part of the commitment to producing a more stable game can be seen in our planned community alpha. We’re a relatively small team with a big, ambitious game, so anything we can do to identify and iron out problems – be it hardware, code or design related – is a step in the right direction.


RPS: When can we expect to see more of the game? Any chances of a hands-on session soon?

Ivan: We are now busy working on the public community alpha which is due for release in this autumn. It will be similar to our E3 hands-on demo, but it will contain the 2D mission editor and allow modifications. I am confident we will be able to showcase many major improvements and new features in this early build and give the community an excellent toy to ease their waiting for the final game.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

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68 Comments »

  1. scorcher24 says:

    They should have better scaling for the engine, allowing the game to run better on mid-end systems.
    Currently I can’t get over 25 fps, no matter what options I turn on or off.
    It does not seem to have any effect somehow.
    Suprisingly it does not feel as sluggish as LA Noire does, even with that low Framerate and is well playable.
    I don’t know why that it is.

    • Luaan says:

      The difference is that there is very little controller delay and the frame rate is pretty much constant, even though comparatively low. Motion blur also helps. After all, before the whole HD fad, movies were at 25 FPS (about as much as the eye can handle – anything more is mainly about controller lag and technical limitations, especially as far as things like motion blur are concerned). Most old games like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D were playable at 15 FPS with no problems (I think Doom was locked to a 25 FPS maximum or something like that). And I have played the first Crysis game at around 5 FPS, which was very choppy – but since the FPS was stable, it was fluid and as such, playable. Again, motion blur helps the perception a lot.

      As for your performance issues, you’re right that pretty much the only thing that matters a lot is the resolution – until you get up to high resolutions, where the other options matter a lot more. Do note that there are two resolutions – UI and game; when UI is higher than game, the game is rendered in low resolution and stretched (so the text and such is clear, while the game itself is “blocky”).

      • misterT0AST says:

        I read a comment somewhere on RPS of a guy who allegedly “gets a headache” every time he plays something under 70 fps. And when someone said something about the human eye’s threshold people where actually supporting him, they ended up establishing that humans see in over 100 fps.
        I usually play things like League of Legends at 13 frames per second without problems. You can imagine how much I was cringing.

        • Reapy says:

          I hate this. Watch a 25 fps vide, then watch a 60fps+ video. You don’t see a difference? Really? Just because the brain fills in the gaps, doesn’t mean that you don’t see things clearer when the gaps don’t need to be filled in.

          I used to get motion sick playing HL2 on release, esp the boat level. Kept trying to play it, kept ending up feeling like I was about to vomit all over the floor. I tried tweaking the living fuck out of it, could not fix it. Finally well after its release I got a new pc and tried, and sure enough with the framerate up around 70 I was able to play the game without puking.

          Yes, I also played doom as a kid on a 386 with probably like 10fps. Some people are wired differently, and we also change as we age too. Some people can fly jets, other people are going to vomit riding in the back seat of a car.

          So maybe your eye just can’t detect a change in 25 fps, to me , the difference between 25 and 60 is night and day.

        • Cooper says:

          The eye doesn’t have a “limit” on how many fps it can see; it’s totally disingenuous to say there is.

          Above about 12 images a second we are unablt to -distinguish- between the images, they begin to merge. Much in the same way that it becomes increasingly difficult to pick a single voice out amongst a small group or a crowd. I may not be able to pick out a voice amongst a crowd of 10 taling people, but I can tell the difference of the size of the crowd; whether the crowd is 10 talking people, or 30 of 50 or more.. So even if we can’t separate out the images, we are still aware of the rate of them.

          The eye works in analogue; we’re not digital machines.

          Also, muscular interaction changes the ball game entirely.

          There’s also a difference between the refresh rate of your LCD screen and the FPS output. but that’s another discussion.

          In anycase, framerates can be an issue, and it’s often a personal thing. If someone can tell when framerates are too low for them, saying “movies run at 25fps, 3D monster maze ran at 6fps” is not a valid dismissal.

        • Shortwave says:

          I don’t really know if you are talking about me, but I remember like a year ago speaking about this.
          I also get sick with anything too far below 80fps after a round or two my eyes hurt so much I can’t focus on anything. No I was never always like this either, like the dude above me.

          But trust me dude, playing a game at 13fps is probably not good for a few reason anyways.
          Maybe not so much in a slower moving top down game, rts or whatever.
          But for fast fast fast moving 3D games, theres no way I can do it.
          So yea, playing games like Arma II when it doesn’t run well isn’t enjoyable for me at all.

          You realize there is a reason people buy 120hz monitors right?
          It’s not a myth and slowly people ARE in fact realize you CAN see the benifits.
          Instantly you can, not even just in games. Even in something as simple as moving your mouse.
          So please, give it a try someday before you dismiss it as myth. : P

        • Batolemaeus says:

          Cringe all you want, they are correct. Some people are very sensitive to low fps, including me. I can trigger a nasty migraine with low fps. The reproduction steps are simple and work 100% of the time.

          Low fps aren’t just an annoyance, they are absolutely crippling.

        • SelfEsteemFund says:

          I suffer with the same issue you mentioned though If I attempt to play a first person game (especially fast paced) with anything less than 90fps I will quickly develop quite a mean headache and occasionally nausea. The fact is everyone has a different threshold of what they deem tolerable & enjoyable when it comes to framerates. I’m actually able to see the difference between 30,60,90 & 120 fps (anything beyond that however and I do tend to struggle) in first person games. I couldn’t possibly tell you what the reason for that is, I’ve just naturally always been able to distinguish between those amounts.

          I’d suggest carry on cringing, of course you’re able to play very slow, top-down games with dreadful fps, that doesn’t mean everyone should be happy with or have to endure those kinds of framerates in all genres though does it, that’s just ignorant and worse yet the attitude gives developers the idea that they don’t need even need to optimise or bother caring about fps at all which not only leads to a poorer product but less happy customers overall.

          Play QuakeLive capped @ 13fps and see if you enjoy low framerates so much then (=

      • Stromko says:

        “Motion blur helps” make me sick no matter how high the frame rate is. Just had to nitpick on that, as I’ve never heard anyone say that motion blur is a good thing before this. It hadn’t occurred to me that motion blur it could have any positive effect.

        In ARMA 2 I had to turn off all post-processing in order to make it playable, and with Dead Island I had to use a dodgy 3rd-party software to turn it off (because the developer decided to put most of the init pptions in a non-descript file inside a random, heavily nested .bin that I couldn’t even find). My brother probably won’t ever try co-op Dead Island with me again, as he skipped this step and got very sick from the motion blur effect.

        Honestly most attempts to simulate the human eye just irritate me. I don’t need everything at the edges of the screen to be fuzzy in some vain attempt to simulate peripheral vision, as it turns out my human eyes already do this. But all I’m asking for is OPTIONS. I should not have to turn off all shaders and make a game look like ass (yes I mean you ARMA 2) to avoid eye strain and nausea.

    • grundus says:

      I’ve recently started playing Arma II at 5040×1050 with some pretty high settings and rarely hit 30fps, yet I don’t really care because it doesn’t feel at all sluggish. In fact it’s barely perceptible until I zoom in on something. I just can’t go back to a normal screen, but I hate playing with less than 5km of draw distance.

    • Wisq says:

      This is why I’m holding off on playing DayZ until I finish building my new machine. Bonus: More polish by then.

    • Joshua says:

      My Athlon X2 6000+ Ati5670HD equipped PCcan runarma round that framerate – but I certainly would not call it a mid-end system. My system is by todays standards a budget system.Definitely.

      As for those options – turning them down (all the way down!) certainly does help a lot, there are a few things which you should be aware about:
      1) Turn Vsync off
      2) Always ensure that your 3d resolution is equal to the interface resolution – you actually can lose performance by setting your 3d resolution to a lower level
      3) Set your viewdistance to a level like 900 or 1200.

  2. Tridae says:

    As long as this engine stays away from Battlefield style lens flares it’ll look great. Seems on the right track thus far.

    • Shortwave says:

      Aw man, that’s soo true. I seriously can’t stand it in BF3 anymore.
      I feel like I can only fight in one direction without being blinded horribly.
      People have hats and sunglasses for a f****** reason!

      O.O And breath.

  3. Unaco says:

    PLAY WITH ARPS! Join the warm, embracing folds. Fight for your right to [insert political/social cause of your choosing]! Watch your friends die, face down in the dirt. Blow things up. Get blown up. Watch things blow up. Join us!

    • Petethegoat says:

      But will I be able to shoot men?

      • Harlander says:

        Well most of the time we just stand in fields reading out loud from selected economic treatises, but on very rare occasions we might shoot a single man, or even more rarely, two.

        • Zarf42 says:

          This thread inspired me to finally stop lurking and register, in order to say this:

          I heart all of you folk.

        • slerbal says:

          I particularly enjoyed the rendition of Darwin’s “On The Origin of Species”. With 72 players you just can’t beat that multi-player scientific tome feeling ;-P

          On a more serious note – ARPS is great fun. I was playing Arma2 for two and a bit years before I started playing with ARPS. It was a mistake to wait – it has been awesome fun :)

    • stahlwerk says:

      I want to, I want to, but lack the time right now.

    • The Godzilla Hunter says:

      I also want to, but where I live, the games are scheduled to start at 3 in the morning.

      :(

      • Unaco says:

        I know it’s short notice, and I don’t know if this will be any better… but there is a US oriented ARPS session scheduled for today, which might line up better for you. Check This Thread, or drop into the RPS Steam chat room… there should be someone around who knows what’s going on. I’m not involved with it (besides initially suggesting the US folks maybe get together, now that we have a number of them, with the recent influx) so don’t know what time exactly it’s at. It is later than the usual sessions… so might be early morning for you.

      • wengart says:

        Tonight (thursday) we are playing at 8pm EST.

  4. Muzman says:

    There’s a couple of tough questions in there. The last couple of interviews have had some probe to them as well. It probably depends on the developer how much can be done, but I like this.

    • Hematite says:

      I thought it was a really good interview, although the second last question was leading the interviewees to a fairly soft answer (paraphrase: Some people say your engine has a lot of bugs, but isn’t that just because it’s so awesomely complex?). To their credit, they gave an interesting and humble response so good work all round.

      I must admit, after Nathan’s uncompromising destruction of the guy in the E3 TESO interview I’ve developed a taste for the blood of marketing drones. I guess I’ll have to put up with interesting and informative interviews with game devs until another feeble wretch strays into the burning glare of the RPS hivemind.

  5. caljohnston says:

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. I bought both ArmA’s on release because I loved OFP, but I won’t be fooled again by Bohemia Interactive. They never deliver a working product and even after years of patches it’s still unplayable crap. And even if they weren’t unplayable, all BIS has done over the years is improve graphics shaders and made their games more “cinematic”, like they want to be more like CoD.

    Hopefully DCS: Combined Arms will be what ArmA should have been.

    • DrGonzo says:

      What is all this nonsense? Arma 2 is perfectly playable.

    • Unaco says:

      Nonsense. ArmA2 is playable, and has been for… as long as I’ve owned it at least, which is >18 months. Ask the ~60 people that come to our twice weekly sessions and have no problem enjoying 3 – 4 hours of multiplayer shenanigans (Or the ~120 that a group like ShakTac get each week).

      And to say that all they’ve done is change the graphics to be ‘more COD/Cinematic’ is patently ridiculous. Go read some patch notes or something.

      • slerbal says:

        Agreed – Arma2 has been extremely playable the entire time I have owned it, and has been continually optimised by the patches. Having “freedom” as the core value of a game does mean that you are going to inevitably get some bugs – it just isn’t possible to test every possible combination. That is why the community alpha is such a good idea. BIS are trying hard.

        @caljohnston: You might not be picking it up as a day one release (or at all), but I definitely will – 250 hours+ on Arma2 makes it a low risk for me and indeed I am seriously excited by Arma 3.

    • JB says:

      “even after years of patches it’s still unplayable on my rig. And even if they weren’t unplayable on my rig etc etc…”

      Fixed that for ya.

    • ffordesoon says:

      @caljohnston:

      I can understand the basic complaint about bugs and unfinished features, I guess, but I don’t know how you could argue that the Arma games are remotely similar to CoD, or that they’re “cinematic”. They’re both principally in first-person, and they both involve soldiers. Those are really the only similarities. If the fact that they’re chasing after photorealism is enough to automatically qualify the games as a CoD clone in your mind, you’re a silly person, for a couple of reasons:

      1) CoD is one of the few series that hasn’t chased after photorealism for a long time. It still uses a modified version of the Quake 3 engine, for God’s sake! It’s been dinged repeatedly by gamers who care about such things for failing to keep up with modern graphical standards. That the games still look as good as they do is down to brilliant fakery, not genuine graphical complexity.

      2) As mentioned in the interview, Arma is one of the few games wherein graphical improvements actually have a demonstrable effect on gameplay. CoD’s base gameplay could be accomplished more or less flawlessly in whatever game engine first used mouselook, because it’s a shooting gallery where you have to look up sometimes. Arma’s engine is built to simulate full-scale military operations without using scripted events at all. “Cinematic”, when mentioned in the context of games, is a label applied to games that have scripted content and entirely pre-baked scenarios, in the same way that films have linear scripts they follow.

      In fact, it could be argued that games are in some ways more linear than even films in terms of their narrative, because voice work and writing is often locked down well before asset creation even begins, so there’s no way to easily go “off-book” once the script’s done. Which is one of a few reasons why game stories tend to suck so much, IMHO. But that’s another rant entirely.

      The point is, Arma is not and can never be “cinematic”, because it’s not pre-scripted. They’d have a much easier time hooking most people on the game if it were “cinematic”, because a well-done cinematic scenario will always demo well. The jankiness you decry only happens in games that aren’t “cinematic”, because unscripted simulations of complex scenarios will never be smooth and predictable in the way a “cinematic” scenario is. That’s the nature of the beast, I’m afraid.

      Tl;dr: you’re silly.

      • caljohnston says:

        Have you actually played ArmA 1 or 2? I mean the campaigns and the missions? All of them are heavily scripted and cinematic, except two warfare missions that are buggy and crappy beyond belief.

        How do graphical upgrades improve ArmA’s gameplay? What is there in ArmA that you couldn’t do in OFP?

  6. mouton says:

    AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI! AI!

    The most important part of actual war is that you are fighting thinking humans, not dumb bots. Without considerable effort put into emulating humans, it will be just an overcomplicated shooter, not a simulator. Hell, I suppose big part of DayZ success is that AI is not a problem there.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Arma AI is already well ahead of what 99% of games can do. It’s just faced with a fast open world and bajillion variables, so it has a big job to behave usefully.

      • Shooop says:

        Personally I’d just like them to be able to fly the choppers for me since I don’t have a $1500 flight sim kit.

        • Latterman says:

          Arma’s flight behaviour is rather simplistic as it is an infantry simulator at it’s core. To my knowledge many if not most of the ARPS fly-boys use Mouse and Keyboard to pull of their stunts.

          • slerbal says:

            I did but recently I’ve switched from mouse and keyboard flying to xbox360 controller. Once I got it configured to my satisfaction (after about an hour of flying into cliffs) I was happy.

            What Jim said about the AI is true – you only have to play with the editor to realise how incredible the AI is given the open world and insane possible permutations of situations.

          • Latterman says:

            I always had annoying issues with my controller config resetting itself, probably because I have two controllers attached and it didn’t like that.

      • Cooper says:

        Yeah. Getting proper responses to my sniuping position was amazing. They duck, take cover, estimate direction then try to flank me.

        Not since the original farcry (farcry 2 they run around, in Crysis they just hide in the shacks) has there been an AI that has a decent response to a player with a sniper rifle.

        • Batolemaeus says:

          Don’t forget suppressive fire at your position even if they’ve lost direct line of sight with you.

          If you remove the shackles from the AI it becomes very good at reacting to many common threats. Just don’t let it drive..

    • Petethegoat says:

      AI that uses buildings more effectively would be good. They’re good out in the countryside, but they’re a bit lacking in close quarters environments.

      • Gap Gen says:

        One thing I’d like is more fluid indoors motion for the player, too. Fighting indoors is a bit clunky (possibly realistically so, I’ve no idea) compared to games like Raven Shield, which is optimised for indoors combat.

        • Stranglove says:

          There are some clientside addons that remove the clunky ‘NO MOVING SIDEWAYS THROUGH DOORWAYS’ bits, the one I use (and most of ARPS use, I believe) is called STmovement:
          http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?109628-ShackTac-Movement-addons

        • Mctittles says:

          I’ve thought of this before and I think one of the main differences is Arma has a more accurate building size. Most hallways in buildings are difficult to walk through with a large gun.
          If you look at Rainbow Six, you’ll see it has overly large hallways and rooms. Sort of like most racing games have larger roads than real life. I think it makes up for the fact we can see more with our eyes than a screen.

          Another thing is that most games put an artificial HUD of your character on the screen and Arma just moves the camera into the eyes of the actual 3d model. This makes it seem a little unresponsive and clunky compared to the fluid look having just a projection of your gun in front of you.

          It’s difficult to say if there is a good solution for realism and feel of play, but I think Rainbow Six hits a better balance at least for indoor environments.

          • Wisq says:

            It’s also that you have better weapon control in real life. In indoors situations, it often makes sense to use a pistol instead, possibly held at the hip as situation dictates (i.e. no poking your pistol / rifle out around a tight corner, begging to be shot / disarmed).

            Most games these days tend to use pistols only as a crappy alternative when you run out of ammo with your main weapon. Or, they try to counter that by making them ridiculously overpowered.

          • Arglebargle says:

            Reading after action reports from Iraq, you ran across a lot of use of pistols (and complaints about particular models) in interior fighting. Fights in stairwells and such favored ease of handling.

    • Filthius says:

      Playing ARMA 2 with friends still ranks as some of the greatest multi player experiences i have had. Primarily fan made missions where its just a group mates against , from what ive seen, great AI. I have a very modest rig , and have to turn the settings right down to make it playable, but the game itself is so good it doesn’t matter. ARMA 3 will rock if it has half the support from modders that number 2 did. I can’t wait :)

  7. Shooop says:

    I am officially watching this game with keen interest. Great interview.

  8. misterT0AST says:

    is “how do you feeling about the hype around it” a correct sentence?

  9. Gap Gen says:

    Actually, what would be awesome would be more boat stuff, like passive and active sonar, torpedoes, etc. I guess this is more Silent Hunter territory, but it’d be nice to have this aspect of warfare given that the land-based stuff is so advanced. For example, captaining a destroyer protecting a carrier that is supporting an operation on land.

  10. frightlever says:

    “… it would be nonsense just to take the DayZ ruleset and stitch it to Arma 3, but we are carefully examining the possibilities and are excited where this may lead us.”

    Well.. a lot of post-apocalyptic fiction is purely about groups of survivors scrapping over resources, without the need for zombies at all. A persistent world with resources that have to be fought over to grow respective communities could work.

  11. Gap Gen says:

    Oh, also a better command structure. ArmA II’s was pretty neat, but it would be nice to have it cleaned up and working more smoothly. You could even have the computer automatically do it so that units fight coherently even if you drop them randomly about the map.

  12. Joe Duck says:

    Concerning ARMA 3 and DayZ, I think it is going to be EXTREMELY interesting to see how they deal with this. The way I see it, BIS have found themselves with an awesome amount of exposure and a nice pile of extra cash that they did not count on. They could not have budgeted or planned DayZ, but DayZ is now here and the question is what to do with it?

    I see different possibilities:
    - DayZ for ARMA 3 to be sold separately from ARMA 3 after the release of ARMA3
    - DayZ for ARMA 3 included on release “for free”
    - DayZ for ARMA 3 as DLC
    - Do nothing and let the modders mod it into ARMA3

    I think they should make some projections of expected sales, costs of developing DayZ to be ready for ARMA 3 launch or later and other costs (like server cost for a DayZ commercial release).
    Most probably we all want DayZ to go on being free and evolving with the same dynamism it has right now, but I have the feeling that BIS would be absolutely crazy not to include DayZ on release day.

    • Kinth says:

      The “Modder” that made Day z works at Bohemia interactive.
      He has been put full time on the project. So he now gets paid to make it instead of just making it in his free time which is what he originally did. They are incorporating more it into Arma 2 somehow with an update. They don’t plan to have Day z out for Arma 3 launch though they suspect it will be a while before Arma 3 even supports proper modding.

  13. Shortwave says:

    Cool, thanks for asking about optimization.
    I’ve been wonder what they’d say about that for ages now!
    Brief sure, but yea’ seems like a respectable reply to a hard question, ha.

    Wish it wasn’t so far away, ha. I really wanna’ fly those choppers.

  14. Mattressi says:

    I’m really looking forward to this, but I hope that they bring out some different maps soon after release. I loved Chernarus but I didn’t like Takistan. I just don’t enjoy arid environments and to hear them describe both maps as arid, it makes me a little worried. Hopefully they or a modder will release a largish, green (or snow covered!) map with forests. Either way I’ll probably buy it on release anyway.

  15. Boarnoah says:

    By the way completely unrelated to the topic, but does anyone play or know of anyone who plays Arma 1 regularly? I I recently got into playing Arma multiplayer again, (can’t play Arma 2, tried the free version but it ran at a very low frame rate and the game was too dark – brightness and gamma doesnt change it)

    So is there any regular arma 1 servers out there? And also Ace mod servers?

  16. BreadBitten says:

    “It gives us a renewed faith that players have the capacity and desire to learn. You have to want to play Arma. It’s our job to sustain and reward that desire, and work hard to identify and find ways of minimising the things that may detract from that feeling.”

    Game developers of the world, take these words into your heart…!

    Also, Bohemia should really consider licensing that gorgeous looking engine.

  17. MordeaniisChaos says:

    Anyone know where I can find some of the E3 coverage on the game? I never saw any v.v

  18. Chris Evans says:

    Ivan dropped me a few comments the other day about Arma 3 mod integration here.

  19. Lobster9 says:

    I have to say my favourite Campaign from Bohemia’s games is the original Cold War Crisis single-player. It started you off really light, controlling a single grunt following some basic orders while getting used to the controls. You do some driving, try out a few weapons, take part in a few simple patrols and assaults, and then BAM.. it dumps you alone in the middle of a hostile forest at 4am with nothing but a vague waypoint. It was a brilliant test of everything you had learnt.

  20. Chaz says:

    Is this still going to have an open world RPG style campaign or have they dropped that now and gone for a more traditional mission based one?

  21. Platfoot says:

    i think that bohemian games should implement (yes, thats the wrong word for sure, but dont blame me cause i’m from holland) dayz into arma 3, and in the meanwhile, sell it as a game apart on steam for 20 dollars, and give 30% to the original modders. plus, how awesome would it be if the dayz stand-alone comes out on xbox? healthy servers, and awesome graphics.
    anyway, they should implement (yes, wrong word again) dayz in arma 3 and release on all consoles (except for wii). i really think that that’s where the big money is for bohemian