Montag, 30. September 2013

Issue 5 - "All in Arma" Update / Call for vote

Hey Armaheads,
lately i have been a bit lazy with new posts but i dont want this month to be passed without an interview release for you folks.

When i started this blog it was mainly because of "All in Arma" and my curiousness about whats happening behind scenes. 
.kju, the head behind the mod, had some great answers to my questions and really made me looking forward to ask more modders, scripters and mission-makers about thier work.

Arma 3 is here now and it would have been great to have a fully working AllinArma to use our favorite toys from Arma 2 in Arma 3. Unfortunatly it didnt happen because of various reasons that will be explained in the following interview...




Are you happy with the Arma 3 release and its current state?

I am to answer from different perspectives: As I had quite an insight to the development of Arma 3 and what happened in the background, the release state is pretty good aside from some issues here and there. 

As a player I am quite disappointed by the lack of MP focus, no dedicated PvP game mode nor PR campaign to draw in players from Project Reality, Red Orchestra or Battlefield - hence the situation looks pretty grim there. I am doubtful any post release work can change anything significantly there any more unfortunately. 

As modder it is also a huge missed opportunity and big damage to have no backwards compatibility and A3 Rearmed ready for the Arma 3 release - it could have been easily possible, if it would have been part of the Arma 3 design and decision making process from the start. With the problems during the Arma 3 development it seems reasonable to me that they decided to focus on the core game itself and postponed that topic for later.


All in Arma is working better and better but there are still some major issues going on. Could you please explain some of them for the readers?

Essentially there are four major limitations for the development of AiA: 

 1) BI does not allow re-distribution of A2/OA files. In other words it is not possible to edit/modify the official files - I am limited to modifications by additional addons and some complicated workarounds with dummy addons and ensuring a specific modfolder loading order. 

 2) Lack of documentation. While BI did provide some decent docu this time already during the alpha phase, they are still missing out on various other topics that make it hard to configure units to make use of new Arma 3 features - like reflectors for vehicles. 

3) Engine issues. Using the A2/OA content within the Arma 3 engine obviously may not work always fully or not at all. For various issues I found workarounds, yet some only BI programmers can sort out - like the missing engine sounds of cars and tanks, or the broken simulation for non PhysX tanks (almost weightless). Here we can only express towards BI that the community sees these issues as important to be fixed as soon as feasible. 

4) Some things require models to be changed. So far this has not been possible. However recently Marek, CEO of BI, has announced that they plan to release all the source models for A2/OA - this is great news! I hope they do release also the OA DLC and TKOH and its DLC's source models, as well as to see this happen as soon as possible. Even with those available some new Arma 3 feature will get supported quickly and some issues sorted, overall it is a massive task that has to rely on as many community members to join the effort and will take a lot of effort. 

You can read more about these topics here: 


Do you feel like BI has another policy about the backward-compatibility with Arma3 than they had before?

Apparently they do and they had a change of plans according to Marek's words in the recent blog post. Still it is to be seen if and how much focus they put on resolving the engine issues at hand.


Whats going on in the lab? Can we have some intel about the upcoming AiA versions?

I am having talks with BI to determine their stance and plans to sort out the engine issues. This and the wait on the source model release are the main deciding factors if and how much I can progress with AiA.

Thxx again .kju for your oustanding work and keeping us informed by answering my questions.




So my dear reader, now its up to us to let the Bohemia-devs know that we want AiA/Arma3 Rearmed to be here as soon as possible. Its not a big effort to sign in at the Arma 3 Feedbacktracker (you need to be logged in to vote!) and push a button.

Your voice can help a lot!

I made a heroic downtempo track (yes, i like to make music too) and added some nice AllinArma-Screenshots in a utube vid for you guys to share, so you can spread the word and tell your friends to vote.

Support your Community!


Samstag, 31. August 2013

Issue 4 - Esbekistan

###
Island/Map: Esbekistan
Game: Arma2 + Arma3
Maker: GreenBeret40
###

The first 20 minutes of exploring the super-sized terrain of esbekistan (20x20km) with a humvee really made my eyes open wide and my heart sing. Some deeper kind of beauty and realness instantly caught my full attention. Its not like esbekistan is packed with exciting objects or colossal buildings, its a terrain that seamlessly flows together and suprises within believable little details and credible realworld structures. For example, i saw a little housing area on the map i had to clear (insurgency) and took the main road leading to the village, just to see when getting nearer that the buildings were hidden up between the rocky cliffs above me. To reach them you have to climb the hills and enter them through narrow paths from the top. A perfect spot for a hideout, good to defend and hard to reach, something a real afghan tribe would have build.


 A fully equipped combat training area including armored dummys and a shooting range is completing the whole package. For me, the incredible amount of detail i could see and feel on esbekistan is barely found on any other map.

If i compare the infantry combat on this island with takistan, i really feel a big difference. Where on takistan the most towns are surrounded by either flat land or high hills, the esbekistan landscape offers various graded plateaud areas, all kinds of larger and smaller hollows and tableland kind of compositions that never seem to stop between the "main areas". An undetected entering here is often possible in many ways and you dont need to play the old routine of spotting on the hill for the CAS, watching the action from far away. On some maps, you really can feel that youre walking through some space that has been filled with nothing but boring flatness and some trees. In esbekistan this is never the case. every openspace area really makes sense in the context of the environment. Still its mostly a feeling i try to describe, so you really have to see this island by yourself.







Interview:


GreenBeret40


1. Im really fascinated about your map and how well and beautifully everything on it is arranged and composed. Where did you get your inspiration from to make your map "Esbekistan?


Well, Esbekistan its a real place near the border of Paquistan and Agfhanistan. I try to collect all the information that for these place (fotos, videos,testimonials).



2. After looking at some of the screenshots one would predict something like "another afghan/taki-looking map" but there is a lot of custom stuff added and hidden in the details.
Please tell us about the creation process and the 3rd party stuff you added to your island!


The process its very simple once you start working the map focus on specific areas and no move to the next area until completely finish try to work in details from this specific zone. I like to work on hidden details that the only way to find them is when a player goes on a simple patrol with your platoon or when you fly in a helicopter.


3. Which map of all the other arma custom made maps do you like the most and why?

Aliabad region and Kazar-Kot Valley i like it because this maps has the things that I described above.


4. The map runs pretty smooth for such an huge environment. Do you have any tips and tricks in terms of performance for the rookie map-makers?

My recomendation from big maps its try not load with a lot of objects the map and working from the sat map file to have similar view on the ground that when you fly the efect its very realistic.


5. Arma3 is comming and the community is producing a lot of content. I havent seen any real islands yet, is it already possible to make Arma3 Islands? Will they be done the same way Arma2 did it? 

Well for me the real problem has two ways:

a) We need the new tools from Bohemia, they are not released yet. Its posible to make a new map from arma3 with the actual tools but its very very complicated. All mapmakers (and me of course) are waiting for the release of the new tools.

b) Now actually the new maps of Arma3 (Stratis ,Altis) have mediterranean style (the buildings ,enviorement ..). We need from the comunity new buildings of Afghan style or european style. I hope for the future to make addons for this type of terrains.


6.So once again: Esbekistan for me is a real masterpiece and i cant wait to see new maps! Are you currently working or planning to work on a new island for Arma3?

Now im working on three terrains ( Greenberet are you crazy ? jajajja ;) Naryn,Lythium and Fortisventu. Mainly the principal project its Lythium and Fortisventu. Lythium its based again Afghan style (waiting for new buliding obejcts ....) and Fortisventu, its a place where i live. These terrains are from the spanish mod of the spanish army for Arma3.


7. A question i like to ask randomly: Did you learn scripting/coding with arma, do you need it at all for map-making?

Well in the process of creating a map instead [of scripting/coding] its required to have a little knowledge for the config of the map.

     
Ingame map of Esbekistan and Esbekistan ShowcaseVideo



Links:
Clan: Unidad de Simulación Táctica 101 (España)
GreenBeret40 @ YouTube



Donnerstag, 11. Juli 2013

Issue 3 - MSO - "ALiVE"


Creating a presistent mission in a world that is alive and breathing was a thing i tried to realize with the earlier mentioned "Air Inbound2" mission. The random creation of tasks was nice but i wanted to fill the space and time between them with some civillian interaction and ambient combat. While tweaking around, looking for mods that could fit, i found some missions that had been developed towards that "open-world-ish" direction. One outstanding mission was "MSO Multi Session Operation". This mission has tons of scripts included, many of them were the same i already added to my pimped version of "AirInbound 2".

MSO really covers all aspects of an living gameworld and ongoing war plus it also offers persistance after server-restart. Details like manually written after-action reports providing intel for the next crews joining the server and different coloured zones on the map that indicate if they have already been cleared or being attacked by the enemy, make it feel like a real and living war.

As mission maker you are glad to see a framework that is complete modular, so you can add any feature you need but also you are free to remove all parts that you dont want. Many of the missions settings a reachable for any game-admin via lobby parameters, so its not even necessary to give big explanations to non-mission-makers because of the clearly discribed settings.

After bugging the busy team with my questions they were so kind to answer them all extensively and (lucky me;) they added some exclusive info about a groundbreaking new game-mode that is going to hit the Arma3-Community in the near future with a playable beta.

###
Mission/Mod: MSO Multi Session Operations + ALiVE (link to MSO)
Game: Arma2 + Arma3
###


Interview:

["In true MSO style we can never do much alone, so we did a bit of a collaborative effort..."]
 
1. Can you tell the readers about the origin of the MSO Mission? Whats the basic idea and how did it all start?




Multi Session Operations was born in the mind of our lead dev Wolffy back in 2009, who together with Rommel came up with the idea for a collaborative, dynamic campaign environment called creoBellum to encourage more people to get involved in mission making. Using pre-configured script modules that you could simply plop down in the mission editor, the aim was to create something simple to use but very flexible.  Over time this has evolved into a persistent mission framework with a whole variety of plugins that the player can configure, so you can set up pretty much any campaign scenario you want, from conventional ops to counter insurgency.

The core principles of MSO are simplicity, scalability and flexibility and we are focussing hard on these for ArmA3.



2. The mission contains a lot of different components to make the whole gameworld feel like a living environment.  Tell us about the composition of all these scripts and functions. It must have been a great challenge to make them work together properly.


Early on we decided to break MSO up into modules such as Enemy, Support, Core (including database) and Ambience. Each module is further broken down into “features” or systems. So Enemy for example has a CQB feature, IEDs/bombers, General Enemy Population (patrols, camps, roadblocks, AA emplacements), Convoys, Terror Cells and we even integrated Rydgier’s awesome HETMAN AI Commander.

[Modular System of MSO]

One of the great benefits of the modular approach is it’s relatively easy to plug in new components.  As people in the ArmA community developed scripts and addons, we were able to take the best and slot them into MSO.  Unfortunately though this is not the most efficient use of the ArmA2 engine and we soon hit the limit of what Real Virtuality can handle.  A lot of the work in the latter stages of the project has been building automated performance testing tools and streamlining code.

Typically each of the devs owns a set of features. Tupolov and Jman are the authorities on the database feature, as well as vehicle ambience, convoys, IEDs and Logistics. Highhead created CQB, integrated HAC and did a huge amount of work on improving performance. Wolffy and Rommel both created many of the core and support features.


3. Somewhere I read (dev-heaven i think) that you played MSO with hundreds of human players and over 700 (?) AI-Soldiers on the map.  What kind of server-setup do you need for that and what does a server-admin generally has to keep in mind to run a MSO with good performance on his server?

To begin with we only had basic persistence in game, a few random spawns of AI and not much else going on. As the systems got more complex and we hit over 4000 downloads, we started to see larger groups try out MSO. When United Operations tried it, we realized the code really wasn’t optimized for 70+ players! So for version 4.0 we really optimised the code. Highhead and Wolffy did a huge amount of work to bring all the scripts into a common approach for performance. We learnt a lot about the RV engine and SQF - the hard way! MSO v4.6 was the last code drop at which point we were comfortably hosting 30 players, which should be sufficient for the average COOP group.  BIS’s Headless Client completely revolutionised what we could do and for the first time made MSO play like we had originally envisioned. We have code that spawns/despawns AI as necessary and of course we can off load to the headless client, so we can have literally 1,000 AI on the map along with 30+ players.

It’s important to remember that MSO ‘out of the box’ is a collection of optional modules, and it should be tailored to suit your server stats and number of players.  VOLCBAT has successfully run “MSO” campaigns with only 3 MSO modules and some on the fly editing with MCC Sandbox!


4. I love immersion bringing mods like "GBL_aim" and "nielsen_CIM" which make you hungry or bring options to interact in a deeper way with civillians.  Stuff like that really is the cherry on top, for me! Any intentions to develop/include more stuff that is moving in that direction?

We started with simple stuff, mostly aimed at adding ambience because we felt that the ArmA2 environment was too static and needed more life.  To begin with it was just AI civs going about their business but it soon progressed to ambient aircraft, boats, road traffic, roaming wildlife. That made a big difference to immersion so we started to add things such as Terrorist Cells mixing in with the civilian population, ambient IEDs and car bombers/suicide bombers, which really turns up the heat! Once again, the modular approach allows us to tie in other mods and scripts like the food/item mod (GBL_aim) and civ interaction (CIM). We also put in support for the EOD mod. Of course we support ACE and ACRE and we have included R3F for logistics too.  We will doubtless be able to integrate future mods of this type with minimal effort. We love bringing improved immersion and interaction into our code, we even helped improve some of BIS’s own functions. We always look to bring in new things written by the community such as dynamic weather or power grids, but also creating our own code like the CQB module.


5. Obviously there must have been a lot of people involved from creation to testing until the first release was given to the public. Has it been hard to manage so many "human resources"? Any advises for new ambitioned teams and young project-managers with big ideas?

Clearly we have been using a lot of peoples’ code and it’s been great that many of them have come on board as full or part time team members to support us.  Yet again the modular approach works in our favour, because it’s very easy to focus them on the fixing their ‘pet project’ whilst the core team works on integration and performance. 

We took advantage of the excellent Dev-Heaven.net repository and mod hosting for sharing our code. We use GIT for code version control so we can ensure everyone is working on the latest code branch. We’d like to thank SickBoy, Kju and ViperMaul for their support with that. The most important tool though has been Skype, where we have a dev channel for text chat so we can swap ideas and everyone can keep up with what’s going on. Now and then we have conf calls on TS to do deep dives on our code. We also peer review each others code. Pastebin is awesome for bouncing code off each other and of course we have private servers where we host test games to really give our code a workout.




We’ve benefitted from a close relationship with some of Arma’s largest and best COOP groups to test our code. VOLCBAT, VRC, Kelly’s Heroes, UO and several others have helped us test code at scale... especially DET-7 from survivaloperations.net for extensive testing. Thanks guys! Not only do they bring excellent ideas, many of these guys have great military experience to help us improve the level of immersion.

The people challenge is interesting. We are a very laid back group, everyone can contribute and make design decisions on things they are working on. We don’t dictate what people do, we are all volunteers. So one day you could be fixing a “duplication” issue in the database and the next creating ambient AA camp code. We do discuss code/bug priorities and general direction and agree on what we need to do, then each of us picks up something of interest. For the next generation of MSO for example we have a couple of priorities for our Beta Showcase...


6. Arma3 is coming and you already told me that a complete relaunch of the MSO-Mission is going to beta in a few weeks. Any "exclusive" infos about whats hot, new and shiny in the Arma3 Mission?

Well I guess we can reveal and introduce our new mod for Arma 3 called ALiVE




Why ALiVE? Well MSO was really getting to the point where we were delivering a very real, dynamic and fluid combat environment - without any need to do anything in the editor! The mission was “alive” and the AI and everything around you is working without the need for mission editors to code or script anything.

Why Advanced Light Infantry Virtual Environment? Clearly ArmA3 is heavily focused at infantry simulation and this is where we are focusing our efforts too. We want to provide everything that mission editors and players need to run Company level military operations with all the support/logistics/enemy required for a dynamic and persistent “multi-session” campaign. The campaign is “alive” in the sense that OPFOR will work against you throughout the campaign, remembering its objectives and state between restarts.

Why a mod and not a set of mission scripts? Well we’ve kinda all grown up! We really wanted to make it super simple, so most of our code is wrapped up in editor modules. You want IEDs? Just plonk down the IED editor module. You want all the OPFOR AI working as a strategic force? Place the OPCOM module. You want player persistence? Turn on the DB module. It is all really straightforward. Of course for those guys that like to tinker with code, we welcome improvements and contributions!

It may be weeks or months - not before it’s ready!  Like all volunteer projects we are constantly battling against real life jobs and family so work can be very stop-start. However, what I can reveal is that we have a functional proof of concept for ALiVE and it’s a massive advance from MSO.  Inspired by Rydygier’s work on HETMAN AI Commander, Highhead has created an enemy that is no longer static but acts and behaves like a real Opposing Force.  We are using a revolutionary new Profiles system created by ArJay that enhances performance massively.  Tupolov and Gunny are working on full database and web integration whilst Wolffy has designed a system capable of analysing maps and pre-building the mission automatically, meaning ALiVE will work out of the box with addon islands in the future.

We wanted to ensure that the player base can also participate in ALiVE outside of the game, so we have a web based “companion” app. This will track player stats, mission objectives, mission action reports and much more. We will have live feeds from ALiVE games straight to the companion app too, so its pretty ground breaking stuff. We’ve worked on bringing together some of the latest web technologies such as RESTful based NOSQL databases, HTML 5 and xRTML.

We are very excited about ArmA3 and ALiVE, we hope to bring you a sneak peak of our tech very soon!




[Example of the new ALiVE Web Companion App]


Videos:



Freitag, 28. Juni 2013

Issue 2 - YouTuber Special

Hey Heads,

since dayZ-mod hyped not only the youtuber world but the whole gaming community, many new channels about that topic were born 
and Arma recieved a lot of attention with "LetsPlays" and "Commentarys".
After a while you could see how the new breed of arma players recognized that they didnt just bought only a zombiegame but a whole 
military simulation sandbox.
Many questions come up if you want to tame this beast of software and thats the point where some good explenations are worth gold.

The ammount of work behind a tutorial is hidden for the viewers who only have to make one click to enjoy instant support for thier urgent issues. 
Concept, scripting, art design and video editing are just some of the many steps that have to be taken to produce a single tutorial.

Lets listen to what the youtubers say!


#####
Channel:       SwissMAVERICK Productions (link)
Game:          Arma 2 + Arma 3

#####


  
1. How did you get the initial idea for your YouTube-Channel "SwissMAVERICK Productions"?

I first started video editing with real footage in the ARMY back in 2005. After i finished my service in 2011, i really had time for gaming and got into recording and editing in game ARMA 2 footage for the Wrecking Crew UK Clan. We had a common channel where a few members were sharing their gameplays but i was the only one uploading regularly. After i while i decided to create my own Channel because i really loved making those vids and i knew i wanted to go deeper into this hobby.
As you know my channel name is TheSwissMAVERICK. SwissMAVERICK has been my gamertag for many years on PC as well as PS3. I had to add "The" because YouTube said so :-). The "Productions" was added by me a while later when my vids started getting kinda popular and i wanted to create a brand that's represented on Facebook, Twitter and Steam.

2. How do you choose a topic for a new tutorial?

That's actually pretty random. I often get the ideas for topics while i work on something in ARMA. I think to myself, that would be cool to have in this mission, go online and search for info on how to do it. Hours later, when i finally got it working, i make a Tutorial so other people don't have to go through the same s*** i did :-).
I also create Tutorials based on frequently asked questions by the community or if i hear or read about a new addon/mod or script i like.

3. Please, tell us about the preparation of a tutorial video and the time it takes to make one.

This process has actually changed a lot in the last few months in order to create higher quality content that's more appealing for the viewers and therefore attract a larger audience. In the first Tutorials i made for the ARMA 2 Mission Editor i recorded video and audio at the same time and pretty much made it up as i went. Nowadays i right up a small script with the content i wanna cover in this video, think about the setting of the scene, prerecord the footage and add the commentary later. This more advances and professional way of editing allows me to create better content but is way more time consuming than before. But if you take a look at the finished product i`d say it's worth the extra effort. Average time i need to make a 15min Tutorial is about 4 hours. Larger productions such as the A2 ACE Artillery Tutorial or the A3 Mission Editor Guide took me about 30 hours each for roughly 1 hour of footage. It very much depends on if i already know the content i wanna make a tutorial about, or if i have to do research and test it myself first.

4. What about the feedback of the audience? Are you happy with it?

The Feedback i get on YouTube and all the other social platforms i`m on is great! The comments as well as the like/dislike ration is about 95% positive. Even though i also create non ARMA content most of my viewers have subscribed for just that. The good thing about this is that i get a lot less hater comments and dislikes because the ARMA Community as a lot more mature than other ones are. According to my stats on YouTube a large part of my audience is between 30-50 years old. Let's face it, they have better things to do in their life than sitting at home and hating on other people all day. They watch the video and leave a like or nice comment because they actually appreciate the work others do in order to help the community. So right here and now i wanna thank you all for your support and i`m proud to be a part of the great ARMA community!

5. Mods like DayZ and the visual attraction of Arma3 recently made the Arma-Community a lot bigger.
Whats your opinion about the future of the community?
 
As you said, specially DayZ has attracted a lot of new people to the ARMA Series. In my opinion, a lot of them are not of the same breed as the long time Armaholics that make the Community as great as it is. The amount of hacker attacks and other immature behaviour on DayZ Servers are proof of that. Unfortunately shortly after that, the problem spread also on ARMA 2 which made it almost impossible to play a decent session on a public A2 Server. Even players who bought the game because of DayZ and then tried do get a grip in actual ARMA 2 got pissed off and left before they even had a chance to experience the full potential of this game. Now, pretty much the only way to play ARMA as a MilSim is on an A2 ACE Clan Server with a good leadership and regular maintenance.
ARMA 3 is still in it's Baby Shoes, hard to predict it's future. I'm pretty sure though that it's gonna be a great ride! Longtime fans are getting a new game of their beloved series that features a lot of improvements and new players will just be blown away by the variety of gameplay possibilities this title has to offer. Once you got the ARMA fever it`s almost impossible to get rid of it. Hell, i got it ever since OFP came out back in 2001! Bohemia Interactive proves, with the open Alpha and Beta, that they`re open to the community's opinion and they work very hard to make A3 as good as it can possibly be on release.


 



#####
Channel:       Jester814 (link)
Game:          Arma 2 + Arma 3

#####





1. How did you get the initial idea for your YouTube-Channel "Jester814"?


I put out videos occasionally for my youtube channel about my ArmA unit and other random things. When DayZ released my friend who knew that I already made ArmA videos and played DayZ said I could capitalize on it and possibly make a successful YouTube gaming channel. He was right.


2. How do you choose a topic for a new tutorial? 

I hadn't made an ArmA mission in a couple of years when A3 came out. I had a big list of all the things I thought people needed to know from ArmA 2 experience and things that I had to look up myself when A3 first released.


3. Please, tell us about the preparation of a tutorial video and the time it takes to make one.

I make my tutorial videos in one take. I go into game and make the mission talking myself through it. Then I clear the map and start the video.


4. What about the feedback of the audience? Are you happy with it?

 I get primarily positive feedback. I am happy with it. I deal with trolls with one of two methods. I either delete their posts and noone ever knows about them, or I publicly confront them. I love some of the reactions of the people that try to post negatively on my channel once I call them out.

5. Mods like DayZ and the visual attraction of Arma3 recently made the Arma-Community a lot bigger.
Whats your opinion about the future of the community?

DayZ did nothing but help ArmA overall. It got the ArmA name known and a LOT of people switched to ArmA 2 once they got bored with DayZ. My ArmA unit experienced a huge boost in numbers a while after DayZ was released. Since ArmA is a moddable game, it will always have a large, active community.


 
 

Dienstag, 11. Juni 2013

Issue 1 - Pilot Issue

Hey Armaheads,

this is my first little article i wrote for the community, to show some views
of the makers behind all that free usermade content that is available for the Arma series.

I choose four missions, scripts and mods that i enjoyed a lot these days and asked thier creators for an short interview about how and what.




#####
Mission:       Air Inbound 2 (download)
Game:          Arma 2 - Combined Operations
Maker:         Psychobastard 

#####


This Mission impressed me with a very high replayability due to dynamic task 
and loctaion randomization combined with adapted enemy forces by player count.
Everytime you start the mission youll get a nice little task which can be completed alone or together with your friends 
and even with only AI on your side, these jobs are handled pretty well.

The pre-game lobby parameters like adjustable daytime bring in more customization
and additionally you can find various commented options in the mission files if there is a need to tweak around deeper. 
Seperate ACE-Mod versions of the mission are available, too.

Once spawned in, details like tagged and sorted ammo-boxes, snowy weather, breath and groundfog and a starting UAV on the taxiway are catching your eye. 
Youll get one of 79 (!!) different tasks assigned which then will be described in a small briefing.
Immersion is deep and the ambience is polished, both very big factors, at least for me for me, when it comes to a good arma experience.

Very exemplary made, simple, dynamic, and last but not least very addictive.


Interview:


1.How did you get the Idea for your Mission: "Air Inbound 2" ?

Usually i dont have "ideas". If i start with a new project its like:"thats what i need right now".
Im just fulfilling my own current whishes.Most of my ideas come to me while sitting bored in front of Arma, not knowing what to play.
The basic idea behind "Air Inbound" was a short and tight Mission. There also should be options to play the mission in tactical way by small teams.
At the end there is only a specops-team with CAS (Close Air Support) in question.
Like i said before, i did this missions for me, so the tasks should be randomized at random locations to suprise myself.


2.Did you learn coding and scripting with ArmA?

Yes. My IT-knowledge was limited to basic excel-skills before i started scripting
with Arma. All im doing with Arma, i learned through Arma.
I must admit getting into it is a lot harder if you start without any basic knowledge.
To everybody who wants to learn scripting with arma, i recommend reading the scripts
until you get a idea of what is going on in there and why they are working.
I think there is no better way to understand the context and the background.


3.What piece of code are you proud of the most?

Hard Question! I think this code doesnt exist! There always a code youre totally into
and proud of at some moment. But only a few months later youll find things you want to change or optimize.
In my opinion what makes a good code is the way how little fragments are used in combination.
To speak about some awesome coding then its the "networkhandler" und "frameHandler" from the CBA (Community Base Addons).
I would never get ideas like that - respect to the creators.I use many CBA-functions on a regular basis.



4.When did u create your first Mission for ArmA/OFP?

I started late with creating my own stuff. I play the series since OFP.
Since i joined multiplayer lately, just at the end of Arma1,
from that time on i started getting into missions and scripting.
Back then, it was only for my old Team (TcB TeamCrazyBastards) and of course
it was full of bugs. ;-]


5.Do you still play ArmA on a regular basis?

Playing Arma regularly is something i cant always do, for work and family reasons.
Often i play less then two hours in two weeks, spending more time developing Missions or working on others mods (last JSRS-Mod).
Back in the days it was different, i was playing almost everyday for two hours.
I try to play a wide range of Arma-missions and i dont always play only one mod.
Im not in a clan, i visit different german communities and i like to meet different teams to join them.

Of course i would like to play a new, lovely made mission every day, and then i never play them more than twice!

Thanks for the interview and the interest you are showing!

This doesnt match any of your questions but this is where i spent a lot of time, too:

Additionally i support the organisation of regular GeCo Events
(www.germany-coop.de) wich is by far the biggest frequent Coop-Event in the german community. Almost every two weeks i try to deliver new missions that have to keep between 50 and 75players busy for more than two hours.
Besides that i try to do some community work as a moderator in one of the two biggest german community-forums. I try to answer members questions as long i have some spare time.

[translated from german to english]

Videos:
GeCo Event @ Twitch.tv

Feedback:
Arma2Base.de





#####
Script:     AI Spawn Script Pack (download)
Game:       Arma 3
Maker:      spunFIN 

#####


When Arma 3 was released, i straight went to the editor to find out whats new and hot in the Alpha-Version. After playing around i was ready to do some "serious" missions and the second i created was a big multi-task coop mission.

To save CPU-Power i wanted the AI to spawn only if the player reached a certain area. What i found was spunFIN´s nice little "AI Spawn Script Pack".
Its possible to militarize areas with patrols and to fill houses with guarding enemys, inside or around buildings. You also can create a very realistic feeling ambient-combat in a chosen area, where east and west sides are fighting each other.
This is a small and well documented scriptpack which is understandable in usage and configuartion, even by beginners.

Another thing to mention is the massive help i recieved from spunFIN while i was trying to put his scripts into my missions.
By giving me basic advises how to use his scripts he showed me many new ways to configure and fine tune things, just with some simple lines of code.
I want to encourage the readers to use the community to connect with others if you feel lost in the jungle of mods, scripts and missions.
Many experienced members are out there, willing to share thier knowledge with you.


[Find more information in the Arma related Links section on the right side.]

Interview:

1.How did you get the Idea for your Script: "AI Spawn Script Pack"

It was just something I didn't find in editor, and already had done similar things with Arma2. I usually dont release my scripts,
but since I can't seem to find time for mission making and using my scripts I thought what the hell, let's share.


2.Did you learn coding and scripting with ArmA?
       
No, I started with ActionScript3, but have learned a lot while scripting to ArmAs. (And I still have a lot to learn!)


3.What piece of code are you proud of the most?

       
Hard to say since most of it is just very simple and basic stuff.. but I guess I suprised myself with "LV_fnc_vehicleInit.sqf",
which tries to do what setVehicleInit did before it was removed from the game.
Eventhough I haven't really got any feedback on it, so I can't be sure if it's just a hard way for a easy task or not.


4.When did u write your first code/scripts for ArmA/OFP?

       
It was probably some very simple snippet in 2010 for ArmA2/OA.


5.Do you still play ArmA on a regular basis?
       
Well, I try to. I really enjoy it, but unfortunately most of my spare time goes to my family
and the short moments when I could play goes usually for implementing my scripts or some other projects.
But yea, in editor I play almost on a daily basis.

Video:
spunFIN @ Utube

Feedback:
Armaholic





 


###
Mod:        All in Arma (download)
Game:       Arma2 + Arma3
Maker:      .kju 

###


Im still suprised how refreshingly good Arma 2 content feels and looks within the new alpha game-engine.
This was made possible by merging Arma2 content into Arma3 using the "All in Arma" mod, composed by kju.

The installation is small and simple and its even possible to load old Arma2 mods, which maybe are needed for some of your Arma2 missions. 
The sharp closequater combat scenarios in Arma3, now can take place in classic
locations like the city elektro on chernarus or even in the supersized urban environment of the fallujah map. Any map from Arma2+OperationArrowhead can be used, just by adding them to a modline, same goes for units and weapons.

To feel the crunchy new engine working in those good old scenarios with your well known Arma2 equipment is something you really should try.
While this is easy to use and enjoy, something you have to keep in mind is all the hard work that had been done to realize such a massive conversion. 

Another premium content, made sleflessly and given to you by the community 
...for free!



Interview:

1.How did you get the Idea for your Mod: "ALL IN ARMA"

Short answer: The goal is cross-finance via donations a new persistent,
realwar MP game mode I intend to work on full time.
Deeper background: I loved playing community made campaigns in OFP.
Hence I made CAA1 to be able the enjoy their great work in the more
recent engine. AiA follows the same desire - make all the great content
made by BI and the community available in the A3 engine.


2.Did you learn coding and scripting with ArmA?

To be an expert in those, most have studied computer science and work as
a professional in this area - same for me. Only very very few have
enough talent and time to achieve this by self learning.
There is a lot more to simply be able to code - a good engineer needs to
learn many skills like analysis, planning, how to write good code, and
much more.

Unlike the general advice to simply study other people's work, I am
convinced it is more meaningful to do studies in programming/software
engineering, if you want to be able to realize complex work like
Domination or A.C.E.


3.What piece of code are you proud of the most?

It is an always evolving, learning experience - I know quite well what
to do better in my next project for example.
In the end it is always about reducing the effort - modding in the RV
engine is a very time consuming process unfortunately due to lack of
documentation and developer tools.

A&S ProMode / Blitzkrieg is certainly above average code quality and,
despite the excellent work by CoolBox with the AAS, a good improvement
from its original code base.
Still software quality wise, the overall design and code, is still a
mess. I hope to do better next time.


4.When did u write your first code/scripts for ArmA/OFP?


Probably second year into OFP. Many PvP players realized pretty quickly
many gameplay flaws present in the series - config tweaking is a
underestimated but very powerful tool to do so. Among the first was to
change/remove the weapon locking ability and radar removal.
This was followed by various config work on the WarGames League (WGL)
mod, successor to ACE, as main developer for version 5 alongside
Killswitch and various other helping hands.

Really serious scripting work was late into A2 by helping CoolBox fix
and improve his AAS game mode, followed by the A&S ProMode fork to
further improve the gameplay - especially for competitive match play.


5.Do you still play ArmA on a regular basis?


Way less than during the days of OFP and A1 and A2. These days its just
some two hours once a week mostly. Still competitive play with my team
getSkillD, at our new league platform: PvPscene.org.

However doing modding work has taken precedence as there is only so much
time at the computer possible. Another element is that Arma no longer
provides as much interesting gameplay and less teams to compete with.


Videos:
AiA Gameplay by JESTER
AiA Trailer by EvroMalarkey
PvP Scene @ Utube

Feedback:
BI-Forums
Issue tracker




 

###
Mod:        Mission Control Center - Sandbox
(download A2 / download A3)           
Game:       Arma2+Arma3
Maker:      Shay_gman 

###


This huge live-editing suite which is embedded in a full 4 page user-interface, is another fine example of extreme usefullness.
Creating a new task with enemys, waypoints and descriptions can be done on-the-fly without any need to restart the
mission or the server. With some simple mouseclicks you can place various roadcharges or proximity IEDs, suicide bombers from every faction or even call for a massive paradrop by an C-130 plane.

The areas of application are endless: Maybe you just want to hop in the editor, place some units in buildings and have some quick fun in a closequater combat. Then teleport yourself to the next town that is already filled with dynamicly ambushing enemys. All that is done in only a few seconds with the MCC.
Another scenario: You made a mission but the trigger you setup to call hostile reinforcemnts wont work because the AI is stuck somewhere.
In that case, just enter the MCC and choose the stuck group in the group-creator to clear and re-assign its messed up waypoints.

As if that wasnt enough there is an easy-to-use 3D-editor available. So if you think about stuff like: "A villa on the hill for my drugboss would be nice and an additional hostage inside would be perfect", the next sidemission is only a few mouseclicks away.
This is a perfect tool to stay in control of your missions everywhere and all the time.
To get a full overview, you should download the mod-package and read the included PDF-Documentation.


Interview:

1.How did you get the Idea for your Mod: "MCC Sandbox" ?

MCC Sandbox started its life as MCC and was created by Spirit and Sickboy, while playing with 6th Sense community.
Back then I was a fresh recruit in 6th Sense and a new player in ArmA. I was fascinated by the fact that missions with the community were very complex and rich in depth.
I never really knew how come the AI acts so smart and how can they outsmart our moves, until some of the guys told me: "Hey, don't you know they are using MCC ".

Then I started investigating what MCC is and how it's working.
I was fascinated with the idea that a player can take over the handles and build a mission in a few minutes without any scripting knowledge.
I was amazed that every night the community could produce new missions and no mission was similar to the other.
You see, before I joined 6th I did try a few communities but with most of them it always comes to the part when missions canceled or sessions ended because of the same issues over and over again: the mission didn't got loaded to the server, people that didn't wanted to replay the same mission, the mission was bugged or broken.
We didn't have all that in 6th Sense . if the mission went wrong someone took control over it and make it right or just recreated a new mission in a few minutes.
Honestly I fell in love with ArmA and with 6th Sense but actually what I didn't know is that I fell in love with MCC.

So I started digging into MCC. After a while playing with this tool I felt like there is more work that can be done.
Back then MCC was a simple dropdown menu with limited options and no real UI.
It didn't have all the options that MCC Sandbox now have and it gave me so much joy, I thought "hey what if I add a bunch of stuff into it how much joy will it give me then?"

But as life goes, I didn't really had the time back then to delve into MCC and I quit ArmA for a while just to come back a year later.

I joined Spirit in MARSOC community, then I really started working on MCC Sandbox. I wanted to take the idea of MCC and make it bigger, shinier and with more features.
I wanted to give the players total freedom while in game to develop their mission as they see fit, to give the mission maker, as we call it an option to tell a story.
Till today most of our MCC mission start with storytelling about the situation, the objective and what to expect.
Usually recreating real life scenarios that the players experienced, read about or see in a movie.
I'm proud that I was able to deliver those without any scripting knowledge the power to shape their dreams into missions with a few clicks.


2.Did you learn coding and scripting with ArmA?

I didn't knew SQF back then. I did knew some codding from previous work experience but I didn't knew what to expect. I never even created missions for ArmA before. My first project was MCC. The hardest part was learning how to create GUI and controls and I'm still learning every day J.
This is the place to thank the community, BIS and other sites that help overcome the learning curve.


3.What piece of code are you proud of the most?

Well in general I'm an hard man to please. I always find what is wrong with the thing I've done and how can I improve it.
But I can ferly say that I'm proud with MCC Console, AC-130 and the IED menu.
At the beginning I thought those projects will take the best of me but in the end it turned out that I did them very quickly and I'm pretty much like the results.


4.When did u create your first mod for ArmA/OFP?

My first mod was shockingly MCC Sandbox.



5.Do you still play ArmA on a regular basis?


I'm trying to although I don't have enough free time.


Videos:
MCC @ Utube

Feedback:
BI-Forums





####
Notes:
####


Thanks to spunFIN, .kju, shay_gman and psychobastard for answering my questions.


Comment below if i made any mistakes or if you just want to give some general feedback.


I hope you enjoyed reading, like i did writing this article...

...feel free to spread the word.