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After several months of radio silence - packed full of development and hard work - I'd like to outline some of our plans for 2012. It's been extremely rewarding to see how well things are moving forward, and, over the forthcoming year, we would like to share our progress with you on a more regular basis.
Recently, many new faces - from both other Bohemia Interactive studios and outside our company - have joined our team, which has significantly strengthened our development as a whole. It makes Arma 3 the largest ever project undertaken by Bohemia Interactive. Their experience, enthusiasm and excitement has been a welcome addition and is already paying back major dividends. An official 'welcome to the war', guys!
Looking forward, this year we're proudly showcasing our work at both E3 (June 5-7) and Gamescom Cologne (August 16-19). If you have the time, please come along and meet us to experience what we've managed to achieve so far, and get a sense of what's still to come. Of course, we'll set out more detailed information about our attendance closer to the time.
Following E3, we plan to open up the game to our players. This process starts with the release of a playable build of Arma 3. We call it the 'Community Alpha'. It's intended to enable people who'd like to try the game early on in development help us to shape it up - and make Arma 3 the greatest release of the series. Ours is a large and complex game - being developed by a relatively small team - so we really appreciate your opinions, thoughts and feedback.
The Community Alpha will be quite limited in terms of the assets it includes, with the goal of providing enough content to experiment with the brand new bits of gameplay and technology. It also enables our passionate community to prepare their mods for the very latest version of the Real Virtuality engine. Then, later on in the year, we'd like to open up our game up even further with a more extensive beta program. The exact details, however, we intend to set out closer to their launch.
As you may have recently picked up on, we plan to delay the full Arma 3 release. With this additional time, we're focused upon creating a feature-rich, polished, and bug free experience. For us, it all comes down to delivering a quality product. We've achieved a great deal, but we don't want to rush things at the expense of what we finally deliver.
DirectX 10/11 has been implemented. PhysX is working - particularly, rag-doll animation looks really impressive! The UI is undergoing a redesign, with the focus upon improved usability. Indeed, ease of use, and particularly accessibility, has been an entire goal in itself. We've heard your feedback, and we want to make the game easier to learn for those new to the game, without sacrificing anything that makes our game unique. We have reworked our animations using completely new motion capture recordings. The result is the most realistic animations ever achieved in the series, as well as additional gameplay features.
The visuals and graphics, such as color, lighting, and effects - are quite breathtaking and a massive leap forward for the series. The scale of the map truly cannot be comprehended from the screenshots... it is HUGE, vastly beyond anything seen previously. Last, but certainly not least, we are committed to delivering you a slick and rock-solid multiplayer experience. You can already experience some of the low-level fixes and optimisations brought about by the major release of Patch 1.60 for Arma 2 Operation Arrowhead, and Multiplayer will be something we're keen to talk about as development continues.
We have adhered to a strong focus upon backward compatibility throughout the development, meaning we (and of course even you) are in a position to get older assets into A3 very quickly, just with few tweaks here and there. There are, of course, the new features which would require additional settings.
Looking at our previous work, the fidelity of the British Armed Forces units was the foundation for work on character models in Arma 3, which are of a quality far surpassing what we've created before. While technologies like shotgun dispersal in Private Military Company helped to provide a platform for the implementation of things like mines and explosives in A3. Take On Helicopters, meanwhile, goes from strength to strength with recent updates and the forthcoming 'Cougar' patch and Hind DLC. Various new technologies at work in Arma 3 - like volumetric clouds - are on display in this game, and of course, we'd recommend to take a look at all of these great games to get a flavour of what's yet to come.
I'm really looking forward to sharing with you the results of our development. To kick things off, we're in the process of putting together a couple of developer's blogposts starting with sound recordings and our field trip to Limnos. You can see the brand new screenshots we've made available, which give a flavour of the developments we're making. Nothing is more rewarding for us than working and getting involved with people from the community who are as excited about the game as we are. I look forward to keeping you informed about our development as often as possible!
Daniel MusilProject Lead Arma 3