“Assume the role of the game master,” starts the website about Arma 3‘s coming Zeus DLC. For a brief moment I pictured my face floating above the Arma 3’s Greek islands, digitally smeared like the late Sir Patrick Moore‘s.
Alas, this is even better. A new mode for Arma 3’s multiplayer where one player can act as a kind of dungeon master, using a real-time editor to craft or tweak multiplayer scenarios on the fly. It’s like having an AI director, only the director is your friend and even more malicious.
There’s not much more information than that currently available, although the website mentions that there’ll be a livestreamed reveal on February 15th at 5pm GMT.
Still, you can already imagine its potential. Arma has long been better for its user-created multiplayer scenarios than its Bohemia-made singleplayer campaigns (though those are good too), and the idea of making those multiplayer scenarios more reactive and surprising sounds like only a good thing.
I recently played Dungeons & Dragons for the first time, in my first pen-and-paper gaming experience. As Ulmo the Halfling Warlock tromped around, missing attack rolls and floundering with friends, I wondered something: why is this fun for the dungeon master?
Jim was the dungeon master, and so I asked: he said that he gets to create an entire world and weave stories through it. Oh! That sounds great; why didn’t I think of that?
Arma 3’s Zeus update made immediate sense by comparison. Editing tools? I love those! Using them in real-time to craft improvised play experiences for friends? That sounds like a wonderful opportunity for screwing with people in creative ways that are fun for everyone. Also, it sounds a little like Sleep Is Death, of which I was a fan (of playing).
There are a few more screenshots over at the site.