Arma 3 Q&A with Bohemia Interactive: Mods, console ports, and a lot more
Authored by Alex Co
If readers remembered, we asked people on the site and Twitter to send in their Arma 3 questions awhile back and here are the answers straight from Bohemia themselves.
In this Q&A, Project lead Joris-Jan van’t Land answers your specific questions regarding Arma 3 and even gives his thoughts on the current FPS landscape.
So, sit back and read on to see if your Arma 3 question has been answered.
Pixel Enemy: When will we be able to see jets added? And when will dedicated Armory be added from you guys at Bohemia?
Bohemia Interactive: The first fixed-wing aircraft are planned for the full game. There will unfortunately not be a dedicated Armory mode in Arma 3’s launch content. Perhaps, if enough people request it, we could consider it for post-release additions.
PE: What are your plans for expansions, map packs and other post-launch content?
BI: As of yet, we’ve not formed specific plans for this type of content, other than that it’s something we will surely do. We see Arma 3 as a platform and the release in Q3 is just the beginning. There will be patches, content additions and other types of support for as long as it’s feasible.
PE: How big are the maps are compared to the last game?
BI: They’re massive – Altis and Stratis combined cover 290 kilometers squared. Altis is our largest, highdetail terrain yet in the Arma series. By comparison, Chernarus was 225 km2. Furthermore, Arma 3 has opened up the underwater dimension, adding a huge volume of space to explore and use in custom scenarios.
PE: Will there be mod support for the game’s final version?
BI: For sure! Both the Alpha and Beta have already had modding and the concept is key to us as a developer. We have not been able to support modders as much as we’d like by way of releasing updated tools, but this is something high on the list. Similar to the way we’ve tried to smooth out the experience of the game itself, doing this for new modders will ultimately benefit everyone. A few of our developers have already released some pretty extensive documentation on the Community Wiki.
PE: A lot of people are asking this, but do you have any plans for a PS3, Xbox or next-gen version of Arma 3? If not, why?
BI: We do not have such plans for Arma 3, no. The design of the game is part of the reason. Arma 3 was designed for the PC and porting it directly would not do it justice. Any potential future Arma experience on console would need to be designed with those platforms in mind from the beginning.
PE: Will there be improved support for live-streaming? (e.g. hidden HUD elements to avoid streamsnipers)
BI: Certainly! In fact, these were introduced with the release of the Beta. In the Game Options, players can now enable an option to hide most of the identifying UI elements. We look forward to feedback to this on the Feedback Tracker – does it help? Did we miss any elements?
PE: How big is the planned variety of weapons for infantry, tanks, jets and vehicles?
BI: Our vision has been to start with the infantry core during Alpha and expand from there. The first vehicles added were those that support infantry on the ground – assisting with fire support or by transporting them. One type of vehicle we’re looking forward to adding as soon as possible is the tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Main Battle Tanks are slated for the full release. And as mentioned before, the release content is just the start – the content library will grow both officially and via user-generated content.
PE: For a studio that’s known for “realistic” military shooters, what would be the next step in the evolution of the military FPS genre?
BI: That’s a good but broad question! The answer will differ even when asking individual developers in our team. Personally I am interested in exploring the humanity of every person on the battlefield. Enemy troops should not be empty and lifeless shells. Relevant themes here would be injuries, fatigue, surrendering, fear, morale and language barriers to name a few. These are extremely hard to get right without frustrating players.
PE: It’s no secret now that the two “titans” in shooters are Call of Duty and Battlefield. Do you think Arma 3 falls somewhere between those two games in terms of demographic or in acompletely different field altogether?
BI: If they are the Titans, we’ll be the Olympians It’s hard to generalize, but Arma is probably a different field with lots of overlap. We see many more players coming to Arma 3 who have no previous Arma experience, and who are loving it. By removing some of the unnecessary barriers, we hope this is now a possibility for more people. That allows people to find out for themselves this is a type of game which is very rewarding to invest time and energy in. We hope our players will help us spread this message by sharing the word in a constructive way.
PE: How does the studio feel knowing that the game is banned from Iran and are there any moves being made to remedy this?
BI: Arma 3 is a work of fiction. We try to not intentionally offend any group of people, nation or ideology. There is no specific work done to get the game to that market, but we hope there will be ways for Iranian gamers to enjoy Arma 3 as well.
PE: Regarding next-gen consoles, is the team contemplating developing for it? Have they received or tinkered at Xbox One or PS4 dev kits?
BI: This was mostly answered above. As a curious developer, we are cooperating with the creators of those platforms, but have no plans for Arma 3 on next-gen consoles.
PE: What’s next for Bohemia once Arma 3 is out the door? Have you ever thought of moving away from the Arma franchise and doing something radically different?
BI: We have already taken some steps outside of the Arma franchise with the Take On brand. First there was Take On Helicopters, which was much more civilian-oriented. At E3 we’ve also revealed Take On Mars, which is all about landing rovers on the red planet. Of course we also develop the DayZ brand inhouse now. We employ a wide selection of developers with varied interests. There are no specific plans right now, but we are definitely not opposed to developing games other than just Arma.
PE: What’s the studio’s take on the current FPS landscape? Can it still be the dominant genre moving to next-gen or will it reach a saturation point like fighting games did back in the 90s?
BI: The FPS has more space to evolve into new concepts and sub-genres. There is a lot of cross-over with other genres and there still is a lot of room for innovation, if developers and publishers are willing to take the risk. Persistent online first-person experiences (whether shooter or other) seem very popular in the industry when looking at the games on display at E3. For us this is also an interesting area and DayZ has proven the concept. The Arma games have always been large open worlds, rather than narrow corridors. Taking this to a more living, evolving and online experience in the future is definitely interesting to us.
PE: We’ve seen how the Oculus Rift works in some games, has Bohemia considered adding support for it since an FPS is the perfect fit for the device?
BI: We have at least one development kit available to us and we agree Arma 3 would fit it very well. One key reason is the full body simulation. We are not using a detached floating camera and when you look down, you see your whole body. This makes it a good match with devices like Oculus Rift. As soon as some of our programmers have time, it’s something we’d like to explore.
We’d like to thank Bohemia for taking the time out to answer our reader questions. The Arma 3 Beta ($44.99) and Digital Deluxe Edition ($59.99) can be purchased now and includes a copy of the full game once it’s out later this year.