Reported by Jay Crowe on June 23, 2014
Arma has always asked a lot of its players. Yet, although it can be a challenge, the depth and diversity of Arma's gameplay has long been one of its greatest strengths. Unlocking that potential, though, is no simple matter; nevertheless, this is the main objective of the Arma 3 Bootcamp Update.
Below, we set out the ways we've sought to achieve this goal. Ahead of its release (and the impending development-branch staging), we want to introduce Bootcamp's new modes, sandbox content, and refined gameplay mechanics. We'd like to share our motivations and present the benefits to new and veteran players alike.
|ONWARDS & UPWARDS|
Month-on-month, since launching in September 2013, Arma 3 has continued to expand its installed and active player-base. Recently, we passed the 1m copies mark and shared our [http://www.bistudio.com/english/company/developers-blog/460-arma-3-roadmap-201415 roadmap for the next two years. The Bootcamp Update, then, is part of a longer-term view, part of a platform that we hope will continue grow for many more years to come. It's also just one piece of our ongoing development. Worked on in parallel with the Helicopters and Marksmen DLCs, the Expansion, and continuous optimisation and stability updates, it's a small but significant part of our combined efforts.
Of course, Arma 3 Bootcamp's new content builds upon pre-existing scenarios and helpers, too. Our Showcases are bite-sized introductions to a variety of gameplay, while the (recently updated) Campaign offers progressively more responsibility, challenge and complexity. However, rather than focus upon adding 'traditional' tutorials (something akin to those in Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead), Bootcamp's content is characterised by its variation. It includes singleplayer, multiplayer and non-gameplay components, together unified under a new item main menu: Learn.
|PLAY & LEARN|
The VR Training concept is supported by a unique new 'world'. 'Virtual Reality' acts as a digital blank canvas, where 'real' game assets are spawned alongside 'simulated' entities to create artificial scenes that serve carefully designed purposes. In official content, this includes the above-described VR Training topics. More broadly, it acts as a terrain to test content or features under simple or highly specific conditions, and – we hope – as a space for content creators to try out more experimental and innovative concepts.
Virtual Reality also includes a set of related assets, such as the VR Goggles and training suit. Additionally, a set of 'generic' VR Objects (cubes, primitive structures, etc.) are available. These are plain geometric blocks in the daytime, with glowing edges in low-light conditions, which provide the 'building blocks' to populate scenes and, hopefully, encourage the creation of different types of game modes and new possibilities for custom scenarios.
|FULL STEAM AHEAD|
The Bootcamp Update also aims to significantly improve the experience of finding and playing with mods. Essentially, Workshop support for addons involves handling the discovery, installation and maintenance of all kinds of community content – vehicles, mechanics, total conversions, etc. – akin to the way custom scenarios are currently accessed via Steam. We're also set to publish the first iteration of our Game Launcher. Alongside useful basic functionality - such as command-line parameters - this separate executable helps to organise, maintain and load mods.
Our initial release is a starting point. In cooperation with our community, we aim to improve and expand upon these features. Targeting an ideal balance between solid usability and more advanced functionality – plus support for custom game launchers – we believe this work will encourage a wider audience discover great mods, provide new options to pre-existing community solutions, and benefit the Make Arma Not War contest, too.
|SURVIVE / ADAPT / LEARN|
Because we know that different kinds of players like to learn in different ways, we've approached Bootcamp's content with a fairly open mind. The result is a fairly diverse set of content and features. What binds these modes together is a sense of achievement: we want players to know that – although it may be different from other games – Arma is far from impenetrable. In fact, it's this very gameplay that brings players back for more! That's not to say we're complacent, though. While Arma 3 has made good progress in terms of rounding down some rough edges, that work can and will continue.
While preserving the unique spirit of our series, we'll continue to do more to help players by making more intuitive designs and promoting more fluid gameplay. Similarly, work on stability and optimisation continues. As set out in our new year blog, we'll carry on supporting, refining, and investing in Arma 3. We'll continue to try out new things, innovate, and learn. And, of course, we'll carry on working closely in splendid cooperation with our players. Hopefully, things like Bootcamp Update can help support and grow our community; ultimately, the continued development of the Arma 3 platform will sustain it.
- Original article: http://arma3.com/news/arma-3-bootcamp-update