Ask Bohemia about A2OA - Answers
Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead Community FAQ - Answers
- Will the flashlights cast dynamic shadows?
No, shadows are calculated only from one source (i.e., the moon, in our case). The performance hit would be too significant to justify the implementation of shadows from multiple light sources in our very large scene.
- The Gamestar preview for ARMA2 said: 'Dynamische Lichtquellen bei Nacht dagegen kennt die Engine kaum' (Trans: It seems the engine doesn't 'know' dynamic light at night-times). Will this be improved in OA and will the weapon-lights be a benefactor of this engine improvement, or will we see lights similar to ACE2?
It is untrue that the game does not have dynamic lights (as a matter of fact, dynamic lights are present since Operation Flashpoint). The main improvement in A2OA, is that lighting is calculated per-pixel on all objects (it was per-vertex in OFP and Arma, and only per-pixel on the ground in Arma 2).
- Is the thermal imaging fully simulated and used by AI?
Proper FLIR. Take note.
It is partially simulated for the AI; it improves their capability in bad light conditions to spot and recognize targets.
- Any chance of a Linux client for your games?
- Will OA take more advantage of system memory and use more than 1.5Gb if available?
There are some experiments in this area, and we hope to bring some improvement soon for both Arma 2 and OA.
- [Have] there been any optimizations/improvements in ATI Crossfire support?
No, and note that Crossfire is not something that we would have to support much in our game; rather, it is primarily hardware/driver related - we use standard Direct X API for our graphical output.
- BI has mentioned the challenges faced with improving the realism of AI vision when players are obscured by vegetation. While improvements have been made (including the grass-layer features), does BI have any plans to continue refining/improving this aspect of AI?
This was not really an issue on Takistan so we did not put any more effort to this. We also believe it is fairly mature approximation on more dense map like Chernarus.
- Are there any plans to rework insane ugly animation system (connection to physics?) and more realistic weapon handling (e.g. movements, realistic hold)?
Yes, there are various plans in our insane ugly heads. However, a chief concern is the amount of work involved. Creating movements or animations for all available weapons in game (~300 in the combined product) would be gigantic task, and we seek to properly prioritise tasks on an effort-benefit basis.
- Will there be a BIS Game without antique LOD System (e.g. attachments linked with selection)?
Hard to tell. The LOD system is fairly advanced and not too old. We primarily will look how to further improve and optimize the existing one (note, we use something we call proxies, which is also quite a powerful thing).
- Have there been any significant changes to the AI with OA?
Such changes were already included in patches or beta patches for Arma 2.
- Has the maximal lights per scene limit been increased?
No. Performance impact would be probably too big.
- Is there a separate a separate slider for vehicle draw distance as seen in JCOVE Lite?
Not yet. But we plan to add it soon.
- Is new Arma Core going to support any kind of vehicle-vehicle transport, eg. C130 carrying HMMWV's etc. ?
No, the only way now is to use the attachTo command.
- Why do the units that have holsters (thigh holsters of various types) have them empty? Is there any reason why BIS decides not to use pistol proxies to show a pistol in the holster? And if there is no particular reason would it be possible for BIS to add in visible pistols within said holsters if not at release then later on in a patch?
The problem is not too trivial, and we did not consider displaying pistols as essential enough to justify the effort needed.
- Is the fatigue system improved and based on weight? Or how is the backpack limited?
No, it is the same. Each type of backpack is limited to certain number of magazines and weapons of each type.
- When will BIS move to 64Bit client/server (more memory utilization, less HD streaming, etc..)?
Once a significant number of users have 64 bit capable systems. Until recently, only about 3% had it, with the launch of Windows 7 it is changing very quickly (but unfortunately, only about half of Windows 7 systems are 64 bit).
- Will there be working (instantly or after some patch) paralax effect on holographic, aimdot and HUD sights?
- Will there be various muzzle flashes per one weapon?
Not implemented yet.
- Will there be single use weapons that aren't using space for regular magazines?
- I have video card ATI Radeon HD-5850 1 gb. 2 gb ram. Intel Core 2 CPU 2.40 Ghz. Will ArrowHead lag on my computer? What configuration of Parent payment and processor can you advice?
From your specifications, the performance of the machine you have should be more than capable of running Arrowhead. However, there are many subtleties and complicating factors that can impact upon performance, which would be difficult to go into here. Here at Bohemia, we are aware that each User's PC can be very different, with strengths and weaknesses in different areas. CPU, GPU, RAM, HDD are all factors which affect your performance; the PC platform itself offers many opportunities and challenges for both developers and users. There are many very experienced members of the community that can offer great advice; however, we would like to offer a more in depth yet simple insiders guide to video options in the future.
The continuation of the Armaversum.
- Is there any continuation of the story from Arma 2? As in Razor Team?
Not directly; however, the game continues to expand the 'Armaversum': the campaign takes place within the confines of the in-game reality, borrowing from, and exapnding upon the logic of this world.
- Will the AI use buiding interiors? Take cover in the buildings and search for enemies?
The many buildings of Zargabad
The AI itself is not able to do it; however, with smart scenario design it is possible to have AI also in buildings, or move through buildings. The AI will follow orders, entering buildings on command, or following you into buildings as part of your group.
- Will AI groups communicate with each other, calling support and providing it?
AI groups have communicated since our first OFP game; however, some specific reactions are also best scripted and prepared for an individual scenario.
- Will AI react to gunshots/explosions/dead bodies?
It already does to certain level. As with anything, AI/gameplay related issues are extremely complex. However, additional reactions can be added for scenarios via scripts or mission design.
- Will be AI intelect better in town`s wars?
AI Vehicles repsonses are as in Arma2.
It is the same as in the latest Arma 2 beta patch.
- Will AI armor crews get out of their vehicles when tracks are hit and under fire or try to secure location first?
AI armor crews leave disabled vehicle as in Arma 2.
- Will AI pilots jump for their deaths out of shot down helicopters or try to autorotate?
No change. Helicopters try to auto-rotate already in Arma2
- Do you plan to support multi-home support for dedicated servers? GSP's need and require this feature. It is a critical reason that a significant portion of big GSP's refuse to host the game.
Not planned at the moment.
- Are there any Multiplayer-Bugfixes included in OA?
- Will it be possible to play and save the campaign in multiplayer on a dedicated server?
No, it will not be possible. Currently, there are several technical limitations that render this impossible (e.g., team leader must be played on the server). We consider that some of the OA campaign missions could be converted for ded. server purposes; however, we will evaluate if this is appropriate after the release
- Will the Linux dedicated server for Operation Arrowhead be available at release? If not, could you hazard a guess how long after?
We hope it will be available at release; if not, it should be available soon after.
- Is there any chance that we will see a pack maps to be made classic PvP ones [...]? In terms of gameplay maps like C&H similar to BF [...] or objective based like Counter-Strike/Americas Army or similar [...] without respawn with short rounds to be played (Tops like 5 mins), in my opinion OFP/ArmA series is too sophisticated to use CTF/TDM unless a formula can be found [...] and the reason why people leave it after a while. Look at the tournaments that are made for other games that keep them alive after years and keep hardcore fans at them.
It is unlikely that we will seek to invest more effort in small-scale PvP scenarios, as - compared to tournament-oriented and cinematic-based first-person shooters - our games have a lot more to offer in MP: vehicles, larger scenarios, cooperative game against skillful AI and much, much more.
- Replay Function for PvP maps?
There are several valid reasons why such functionality is not included. From a gameplay perpective, for example, this feature would compromise the nature of multiplayer combat; we believe that to retain a sense of authenticity, it should not be possible to immediately and unrealistically be aware of the locations of enemy units, who may have spent some time planning to reach an ideal fire position.
ZOMG N00B CAMPER.
- Will BattlEye (or other anti-cheat) [be] implemented in the release version?
BattlEye is included from the beginning.
- RCON of any type like AMX plug-in for instance for Counter-Strike?
With BattlEye, RCON is also available.
- Do you plan to build your own RCON Protocol or just stick with having Battleye do the work?
Currently, we will stick with BattlEye for RCON protocol, and have no plans to implement our own.
- Do you plan to allow more logging? IE logging server chat to logs? Perhaps build into BattlEye RCON?
No specific plans, at the moment.
- Are there any plans to have the multiplayer co-op more optimized on the physical server (ie, server lag for already playing players when someone connects and loads)?
- Will OA have any game modes focused on large scale PvP, with no AI?
- Any plans to optimize or change the XML feature?
- Do you plan to rename the chat channels to make them more user friendly? (ie, Direct Communication renamed to Spatial (30m); Group chat renamed to Squad chat)
- Will UAVs be controllable in multiplayer?
- Is the SecOps module from ArmA2 going to be usable in dedicated multiplayer?
There have been no significant changes in this module, aside from smoother radio communications and several fixes. Of course, it does work in the new worlds and using the new content.
- Will there be a ded. server Interface (e.g. to a database) or a dedicated server SDK?
No new options will be available upon release of A2OA.
- Will OA support 3rd party addon-friendly UI/Usability improvements, such as server admin configurable messages to indicate where to download needed addons before playing on a server? http://dev-heaven.net/issues/5520
Not upon release.
- Or negating the need for the above Q, will OA support automatic addon synchronization? http://dev-heaven.net/issues/show/5520
Not upon release; yet, we are interested in improving this area in future.
- Will MP mission list parsing be quicker? (ie, type #missions as admin, and wait.. wait.. depending on how many missions are installed on server, due to the server parsing all the mission names in pbo's)
No changes at the moment.
- Will MP mission lists support sub-directories one level deep for better sorting? (and related to above Q, would be quicker if only the directory you browsed/selected was queried for mission names) http://dev-heaven.net/issues/6258
Not implemented at the moment.
- Will you fix the problem in Arma 2 where, in a multiplayer game, the "character" of an allied player uses the radio, i.e. he announces an enemy contact, but the text used in screen is in the language of the player of the allied character, instead of MY language? I see german text if i play with a german user who is playing the game in german, [...] Seems the text is copied from one player to the server, instead of referring to a set of ID strings as it should.
It is not so clearly a 'bug'; the transmitting party really sends communication in different language. However, we may still look at it after release.
- Will there be a working 3D Editor, After Action Review as in VBS2?
The 3D Editor is currently the same as it is in Arma 2, and there is no After Action Review available.
- Will OA have improved weather/lighting/sky effects, which can be easily placed via the editor in the vanilla game?
Yes, there are two simple modules insertable in mission editor, which provide particle effects and coloration postprocess effects based on the daytime and weather.
- Will the random town generator module work for the Chernarus and Utes map with Eastern Europe buildings for combined Arma2+OA?
Not after release, but the improvement is possible.
- Has there been any improvements in Alice and Silvie module?
In A2OA, the ALICE module has been optimized and simplified.
- Any additional missions for Secops module?
- When you announced arma2 it was told to the community that
[quote]in order to maintain smooth frame rate in real-time content, time limit for all scripts in each frame is enforced by the engine in ArmA 2. Generally speaking, in case of more demanding scripts, be prepared that their result may come way later and also there probably can suffer from significant latency. It is under evaluation if and how possibly allow user scripts to change how much time they may take from the CPU in every frame.[/quote] As it turned out any reduced time was not noticeable until some recent beta patches is this likely to be more of a case in OA and if so how restricting ? In addition will this code be added permanently to any Final or other patch for the original A2 exe ?
The limit was always present since Arma 2 1.00. The issue with one of the beta patches is already fixed. Already available are ways to run scripts in "exclusive" mode.
This season, we will be mostly wearing...
- Have there been any new significant scripting commands added with OA?
There are new commands related to the backpacks and dismountable static weapons.
- Will scripters be able to return unit's magazines along with their round counts and to create magazines of certain type with certain round count?
There are no new script commands to deal with this, no.
- Will scripters be able to query weapon and magazine cargo, possibly with round count?
As above: no
- Will Fired Event Handler array contain fired projectile object?
This Event Handler has not changed since Arma 2.
- Will scripters be able to store variables into projectiles (like missiles?), or change target for one "on the fly"?
There have been no changes in this area.
- Can we expect scripting improvements (e.g. better connection between configFile and default scripts)?
There are no major changes to the scripting engine, except for newly added commands. We are unsure what you meant by your configFile example, but reading configs in scripts works the same as it did in Arma 2.
- Will the release of OA, prompt BIS to release MLODs and/or other source materials from ArmA 2?
No. Currently, there is no plan to release more MLODs for further use. We would like to define the licensing standards in the community better before we'd release more content for further use and modifications.
- Have the devs considered the addition to the editor of a layer system (i.e Layers 1-7 1. Units 2. Triggers 3. Markers 4. Modules 5. BLUFOR 6. GUER 7. REDFOR)
Yes, as well as some other improvements to the editor, but we did not have time to implement any of it. Originally, we expected to fully move to the new 3D editor but for many reasons we decided to stick with the good old 2D editor. This is something staying in our nice-to-have list.
Sound samples / sound params
- Will the sounds of weapons be better? Like in Chammy Sound Mod.
CZ 805 BREN in automatic fire mode.
Sound effects are much improved in Arrowhead. But be aware: many people compare our sound to "real" videos on the Internet or to Hollywood movies; however, in reality sound is very different. Another aspect is the phenomenon called loudness war. We prefer high fidelity over artificiality, so you may need generally louder output level than in average game in order to get similar impression. We have decided to record as many sound effects as possible for Operation Arrowhead directly on the field. Using 12 microphones in various positions relative to the sound source, we recorded all kind of sounds from reloading, firing, to bullet impacts (imagine a live BMP shooting range with sound engineers - we hope to be able to declassify some images and release some form of "Making Of" or "Developers Diary" about this part of development). In the end, sound effects are mixed and edited in order to best keep real world feeling as much as possible in every situation from the perspective of the shooter up to troops standing 100 m away. One good example is supersonic bullet crack, often considered to be bug or something wrong in the game. In reality, when you hear bullets from machine gun or rifle passing by, supersonic crack is pretty much the only thing you can hear.
- Whether will be changed/removed Rate of Fire drop' bug, depending on the FPS drop or sound source moving?
It is currently the same as in Arma 2.
The pursuit of real sounds...
- Will be added ability for modders to use several sound' samples for a one weapon/muzzle? Like inside/outside gun' sound for vehicle or near/far sound? To change them, depending on the environment and/or distances?
It is already possible to have multiple samples for every weapon. Sound inside vehicles is also simulated via realtime filtering: all external sounds are adjusted to sound as realistically as possible (as an approximation and also for better gameplay, we generally expect that inside vehicles users have helmet with headphones to futher reduce the volume of sound of the vehicle and environment). Sound is also filtered in realtime to simulate the effect of distance (like in reality - different frequencies are attenuated differently with distance). Sound occlussion is also simulated.
- Will be added ability for modders to get more options/parameters to adjustment of sound? The ability to change gun sounds' equalizer/doppler effect' settings, depending on the distance, environment, obstacles nearby?
Presently, we have not thought about moving this to configs. Primarily, because we simply try to simulate universal real world conditions that should influence the sound.
- How will the sound engine in Operation Arrowhead differ from the sound engine in ArmA2? Can you give specific examples?
..can lead to some real problems.
There are some important improvements in the sound engine in comparison to Arma 2:
* improved and completely reworked radio protocols, including support for whispered voice when appropriate * realistic filter of weapons sounds when inside vehicles * new option allowing players to set maximum simultaneously played samples and increased default value (from 16 to 32) * significantly improved voice over net (some of it will be included with early game updates).
Target that enemy GOAT at 12 o'clock.
- What is the estimated retail price for Operation Arrowhead?
For most of the world, it is Euro 29.90 or equivalent. Note, the price in various regions or even the price in different stores may vary.
- Will Operation Arrowhead be available on Steam, and if so, what Steam features will it support?
Yes, it will be available on Steam. No specific Steamworks features are supported, we remain "distribution platform agnostic" so far.
- Will the DLC that is planned for A2OA be free or paid and how it will be distributed?
Both free and paid DLC is planned for A2OA. It will be distributed through different online channels. We've always given a lot of content to our community for free, however, we would like to see if there is interest from our users to fund development of higher quality and more complex packages. Fundamentally, the situation of the PC market in general, and sales of our products in particular, limits our ability to produce new content funded by the income from sales of the core game alone, as we have done in the past. We understand that this is a sensitive topic to some of our users; however, I suggest to not start any flame wars: if someone does not like to pay for DLC, the easiest thing is to simply not buy it.
There will be language locks in some form. However, we try to remove this restriction as much as possible. Russian and Polish version of the game however will have only local languages allowed to reflect different commercial situation and significantly lower end user prices in comparison to rest of the world.
- Which languages you release in Arma2:OA if in Arma 2 - English, Chernarussian and Russian is available?
This question is a bit confusing. But in Takistan people speak Persian so they will speak Persian also in OA.
- Can you provide any details on the DRM used (if any)?
The game will be released with Securom disc based protection, Securom product activation (in some regions both ways will be possible with the same version) and through Steam (using its own methods). As soon as we are able to do it we will release DRM free patch online.
Et la Musique dance a la discoteque.
- Any provision of Arrowhead demo before its release?
There will be Arrowhead demo but it is not possible to confirm any particular release date but we hope it will be very close to the release.
- Will you release ARMA2 Gold Edition (including both original ARMA2 and ARMA2:Operation Arrowhead) at the same time with OA release or later?
Yes, we will release ARMA 2: Combined Operations (which is bundle of both original ARMA 2 and ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead) online and in selected countries (North America, Czech Republic, perhaps also Germany).
Combined Arms: The way it should be.
- How will delayed-lock on and countermeasures affect the nature of aerial combat in the game?
Players and AI will be not able to shoot instantly but wait for confirmed lock. Countermeasures will not just confuse missiles on the way but will be also able to brake lock before launch. Tank covered by smoke has to move away as AI will aim at his last known position.
- Are we going to be able to switch between LOAL/LOBL modes on Hellfire-equipped helicopters? It makes a huge difference, especially when firing on laser painted targets.
No, it won't be possible.
- From the recent OA videos I noticed that the player while controlling an Apache helicopter gunship can manually aim hellfire laser-guided missiles by using an UAV. My questions is: Does an Apache helicopter has self designating capability so that a player while controlling an Apache helicopter can manually aim hellfire laser guided missiles without using or needing the UAV? If yes, will other gunship helicopters (such as the Mi-24 Hind) also have self designating/manually missile guiding capabilities?
This is not possible at the moment.
- One thing that I noticed from BIS previous games (from Operation Flashpoint to ArmA2) is that fixed-wing aircraft doesn't have the same level of damage model as for example the helicopters. For example it's possible to damage a helicopter's main rotor/engine (a "mobility kill") without the helicopter being totally destroyed while with fixed-wing aircraft this is not possible. My question is: Will it be possible in OA to damage or "kill" a fixed-wing aircraft engines before the fixed-aircraft becomes totally destroyed? Resuming, are "mobility kills" possible for fixed-wing aircraft?
No, currently not.
- Are there any improvements/changes in proxy weapon handling for planes and/or choppers? Like the possibility to add other equipement by proxy (FFAR Pods, Fuel tanks, Multiple weapon holders including own proxies) to planes weapon pylons?
Same as Arma2, where vehicle payload is defined in config for fixed set of selections at the model.
- Can we expect continuing improvements to the overall realism (such as the difference between tanks for example, T34vsM1A2) in OA and/or future projects?
Fire geometry penetrability and hitzones settings were improved on all vehicles in Arrowhead.
- Are there any plans to introduce any kind of armor simulation to OA, or will it continue to use hitpoints?
There are no plans for this. Effort to achieve anything better than we have would be huge, and the result probably wouldn't be much different from the current state.
- Will the features present in OA be focused on realism or will "concessions" be made to accommodate new players (in terms of realism (damage, speed etc), not things like engine start-up sequences)?
The combat will be as merciless as usual, but the new players can adjust the difficulty settings to suit them.
- What overall level of realism would you say ArmA2:OA will present (for example, DCS Black Shark is said to be approximately 90% accurate)?
The accuracy of the vehicle models is very high, but the functionality is designed to serve the game purposes, not to simulate every procedure and function of the original vehicle.
- Are there plans to elaborate more on the ground targeting for air assets in OA?
Not at the moment.
- Are there, or will there be, a night vision-visible laser beam coming from the GTLD laser designator in OA?
It is not there at the moment, but we consider it as nice-to-have.
- Will there be any changes to the Laser Designator at all in OA?
The distance measurement display has been added to the optics.
- Will flight mechanics be fixed for the Osprey and will there be any change to current A2 aircraft in terms of aerodynamics and/or damage absorption?
No, we only did particular tweaks in the data.
- Will OA allow aircraft the ability to have turrets similar to Helicopters for applications such as a sniper pod?
Not in the release, but we consider this as an interesting addition in the future.
- Is the simulated RWR in OA 360 degrees of coverage (will it deploy flares if it senses a missle fired from any aspect around the aircraft/helicopter?)
Combined top-down view radar and warrning indicator in game hud covers 360 deg angle. It depends on each vehicle settings what kind o threats it can detect. Some systems will be also able to reveal the attacker. AI will respond to warrning by releasing countermeasures.
- The representation of UAVs in ArmA 2 was neat and useful, but difficult to control. The laser designator weapon was not to useful due to the way the camera was controlled, and the UAV itself required some 'waypoint rangling' in order to bring the hellfire missiles to bear. Are there to be any improvements in this system? Will OA's UAVs feature a smoother pilot AI, a target constrainable camera, a richer waypoint interface or anything like that to get the full potential out of the UAV? Lastly, if a constrainable camera is planned, will it be available to other vehicle classes? Thank you for your time.
Pilot's AI and waypoint assigning were not changed, but view controls were signifantly improved. Camera now stays focused on point where you looked last (similar to camera.sqs with locked target). Community addonamekers can use this camera on their vehicles. And of course, UAV is now eqqipped with proper FLIR, with backward compatibility in case you have original ARMA 2 installed together with expansion (making UAV in missions 'Razor Two' and 'Harvest Red' really useful).
- Can ground vehicles in AO laser designate for aircraft and other units? http://dev-heaven.net/issues/10452
Observer turret on the UH-1Y should work already this way.
- Will SACLOS missiles behave like ones really do, not fire and forget? Hint: AI is able to keep aim on target quite well even in ArmA2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhdejbbBoxU
Not at the moment.
- Will there be more realistic and more tweakable stabilization for turrets?
Not at the moment.
Photoshoots happen on site at BIS.
- Will their be more german units? Are they used in campaign too? Can you insert an BW version of the bell uh1? Will you add more vehicles for czech, germany and more?
There are just KSK special forces. They will not appear in the campaign. Bundeswehr UH-1 is not available. We would consider adding more content for the Allies should our user base be interested in purchasing such content packs as DLC.
- Will be georgia army units in this company?
- What faction are the UN Observers from?
Chernarussian Defence Forces.
- Why Russian Army in ArrowHead is so poor?
There is no Russian army in A2OA.
- Is there a chance we see the latest CZ weapons (new CZ 75 pistols, variants of CZ 805, CZ Skorpion EVO 3, CZ 750 series sniper rifles) in some future patches/DLC?
Yes, there may be a chance, but we cannot promise anything at the moment. Note that our ability to develop content and release it for free in patches is very limited, as sales of core games are not strong enough to justify it commercially. Whether our users are interested in contributing to funding such development via paid DLC is yet to be seen.
- Are there any other features/improvements that BI is particularly interested in exploring for future patches, DLC, etc.?
There are many ideas (e.g. AC-130 gunship, engine-supported artillery), but nothing can be confirmed yet. After OA is released, we will assess what is most important in terms of support for our users.
Bugs And Missing Features
- Will women [...] hold weapons and drive any vehicle and aircrafts in ARMA2:OA?
No. Not only it would mean a lot of work without any real purpose but we also prefer not having women involved in combat in our games.
- Will firearms have chambered rounds?
- One of the bugs i most hated was, when bots ran 10 times around an vehicle until they got in. Will that be Fixed?
We did not do any major tweaks in this area. The rules need to be generalized enough to work in any situation; unfortunately, there are situations where AI pathfinding is handled worse (e.g. in a dense environment).
- What about a holster and lower function for pistols?
They are not present.
- Is UI consistency in MP server status and other areas improved? http://dev-heaven.net/issues/5795
- Have the issues regarding streaming been improved negating the need for such hacks like using ram-disks or SSD's to store game data on? I guess this would lead back to the 64 bit question, allowing more room for cached data in system ram.
It is very complex problem as game data are very large. Release version of A2OA is identical to recent beta patches to A2 in this regard. However, we still plan to improve this area further in future updates.
- Very important, have the post processing effects been sorted? You have received a ton of complaints regarding the post processing system forcing Blur effects on the user which in their current form have massive performance issues. Is Blur able to be disabled separately, IE are there more fine grained GFX options in either the UI or INI? http://dev-heaven.net/issues/5932
It is now possible to select more levels of post process to scale better with performance and also to cater to various personal preferences better in OA. Some future improvements are considered as well.
- Have you compiled a list of fixed issues or implemented feature requests that have occurred since the community created CIT (@ Dev-Heaven) came into use? This data would be useful to show new community members how well the CIT works or how receptive, as a studio, are to your community of users.
We have not. However, it is fairly easy for anyone to filter issue in CIT and see how much has been addressed. CIT has become very important resource for us to gather feedback from our community.
- Will BI continue to release public beta cycles?
We hope we will be able to continue with public beta and also with further improvements of the game.
About Bohemia Interactive
Real Men wear makeup.
- BIS being an apparently indie studio, how many full time employees do you have? (not including BIA branch) This often comes up in threads where a user expects an EA (huge studio) like team of 150 programmers trapped in cubicles to tackle some issue they are having, with us older users explaining that your resources are very limited and that's simply not the way things work. :)
No more are we just one studio; we work on multiple projects at the same time. At the moment, the total "head count" is around 70 people, working on 3-4 different projects and games simultaneously. The core Arma 2 programming team is composed of 5 programmers; overall, around 20-50 developers were working on Operation Arrowhead.
- How has the development of Carrier Command Gaea Mission changed the development of Operation Arrowhead by BIS?
Some of the new technologies in Operation Arrowhead were originally created in Carrier Command GM; the most important example is SSAO.
- How does BIS prioritize bugfixes/features? (What are the design procedures for picking what to fix or what to include)
Internally, we usually have a lot of obvious or critical issues to fix or implement. Between those, selecting order or priorities mostly depends on available resources and also individual preference or interest. The Community Issue Tracker (CIT) is often looked at, and we use Votes as good indication of how important a particular fix is for our users.
- To what extent does BIS and BIA/BISim cooperate/communicate? Do both studios share technologies and other resources?
Both companies share technologies and content heavily; despite this, the teams operate fully independently.
- Has BIS got any plans to continue serious development?
- Rumors have been increasing that BI is getting "burned out" on the ArmA series and that OA could be the last ArmA product we see for a very long time. Is there any truth to this?
It is correct that BI is not planing to work exclusively on military simulations, but it is not true that BI is planning to move away from this genre.
- Will BI host a public accessible bug tracker for ArmA2/OA?
No. There is already a great Community Issue Tracker used by the community, and we do not believe hosting such bug tracker would bring anything positive.
- What are some of the little things in OA that you think people will take a while to notice, but fall in love with once they do?
I think it is not really a little thing but perhaps it is not too obvious: The way how it integrates and improves the original Arma 2, while it is still full standalone game, is really amazing (and there is also a lot of work behind it to make it possible). Playing the original Arma 2 with A2OA installed feels great due to various improvements. Moving clouds more visible again, and as always, stopping somewhere and seeing insects flying or hearing buzzing sound of mosquito is very special despite it is not really new in OA.
- Can you elaborate more on the Armory mode and what has changed in it since ArmA2?
Functionality has not changed much since Arma 2; there are some smaller changes and fixes. Also, the unlocking scheme has been revisited so that players can use "Scene" and "View" on all items. Only "Try" is unavailable for items which have not yet been unlocked.
- Has the way a player can control his AI-teammates been improved in OA?
- How does OA compete with big military games like Combat Mission or Steel Beasts Pro PE?
We tend to focus more upon the story and immersion-related features than these titles, and we try to make the games attractive to a broader range of users - not just for the hardcore military simulation fans.
- Will there be a simulation of weight for equipment? Will there be detrimental affects from carrying a large heavy weapon (MK16 with GL/TI scope, m240, m107 etc) AT launcher, and backpack with lots of gear/extra weapons inside? Currently there is no difference if one is carrying an m4 with 1 mag, or an m107 with 8 mags with a javelin launcher and missile (over 100lbs of gear)
This has been already considered, but it is something which may seriously influence the AI behaviour in the existing content, thus we regard this idea as a future possibility.
- Since there is now weapons with TI and NV scopes, IR lasers and such, will normal NVGs no longer be able to be used with iron sites and regular scopes?
Some limitation has been already introduced: NVGs cannot be used with scoped optics. We saw the fully implemented limitations as too restrictive to remain fun, but it's possible to modify this.
- Are there any improvements/features that BI wanted to make with the OA release and wasn't able to that you are willing to talk about?
'Of course there are many of such things. Things like ability to disassemble a static weapon and carry it (e.g. mortars) are really promising but will need more time to be fully finished and usable. Another is the built-in addon sync for mp.