Friday, 28 June 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.


Tuesday, 11 June 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.


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
( 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]

GeCo Event @


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.]


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.

spunFIN @ Utube



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!


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:

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.

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

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.


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.

MCC @ Utube



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.