Dayz has brought new life to the combat Sim Arma 2 even with the announcement of Arma 3, sales have sky rocktted on the current version of the game. To keep the hype going, Bohemia Interactive have just done a Q&A on their new HDR lighting system, some new screenshots and a video to boot.
As technology in GPU’s improve and graphics card prices drop, the increase in realsim, especially for Sims is getting better and better each year. It looks like Arma 3 will be taking full advantage of this with a focus on using HDR lighting to get the most out of the game.
The RV engine for Arma 3 has improved point-lights and in light-emissive materials witht he goal being to make lighting as realistic as possible within the game. Pavel Guglava also mentioned the focus on the in game clouds, stating,
Clouds are part of the lighting setup. It is possible to continually change their brightness and colour both during the night and day to reflect different lighting conditions. For A3, cloud settings have been adjusted to best match the location (partly a product of the research done in the field) and a performance optimisation. When you’re in an early-morning mission, I dare you to take a breath and just enjoy the sunrise.
When asked how this will impact Arma 3 gameplay,
Lighting is a huge part of the visual experience. From this perspective, I think players will surely enjoy missions with night lights, without whole screen going dark when attacking enemies in the west! And the point-lights and light-emission materials are a huge help with navigation during the night.
Each scene contains a limit for lights displayed simultaneously to keep performance stable. To increase performance, we also use a technology to transfer distant lights – those with no effect on the scene – into the satellite map. Of course, we transfer them back when their effect starts playing a role again. Also, thanks to the changes in point-lights, the distance to display lights with an effect on the environment has become easier to control.
As for now, none of the new point-lights cast shadows. This privilege is held only by the Sun and Moon. In some situations, lights are replaced by light-emissive materials. This helps reduce the performance stress, yet it does so without changing the feel of the scene. After a lot of work, I am finally satisfied with the balance between performance and the feel of the night scenes.
When asked about multiplayer the response was that it was still being worked on but that balance would be a key deciding factor. If one side has sun glare when attacking, then the defenders would similarly have a disadvantage of some sort to bvalance things out.
Bohemia Interactive have said that soon after E3 in June, a community Alpha will be made available to get feedback from gamers. With new new motion-captured animations, DirectX 10/11 engine and the largest map to date in any Arma game so far, fans have a lot to look forward too.
In regards to the Arma 3 Alpha, the guys also mentioned that it will be open to everyone and they havent set any limits on the numbers yet. They are looking to test as many different hardware configurations as possible to see how the new technology in Arma 3 handles it all. They are also interested in seeing how their push towards JAVA, the replacement for their scripting engine holds up, which says that modding support will continue to be strong in the series.
Sadly though it does look like the release date has been set back, the game was originally slated for Summer 2012, but this has no wbeen pushed back. But with the beta only a few months away, that should hold over the fans wanting to play the game sooner.
In regards to minimum specs,
We consider the Real Virtuality engine to be more like a platform than a game. Our community has used it for a much longer period than is perhaps usual for the most modern games. It’s why we’re scaling the rendering quality and the whole engine to fit both current machines and also high-end desktops in the near feature. At higher settings, there is usually more to compute and render—longer view distance, better quality further in the scene, denser and more extensive particles, multiple shader-based effects, and so on. Generally, we would like to allow users to always set the best quality regardless of hardware performance, which we achieve with our powerful range of video options.
You can see the full interview here
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