Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Melitopol ArmA 3 Terrain

2022-03-27 Release Day

2022-03-27T05:25:00Z New editing day has started. Yesterday spent last quarter of the day just watching tv, had no motivation to edit. After binarizing I did check the terrain in-game but it was a mere glance. Last night slept really good over 7hrs which is quite rare, now feeling extremely good and energetic, motivated. Hopefully today will be a good editing day.

Last night didn't do more than a glance in-game so today begins with reading of this dev diary to catch up, cooking and eating food, and now I need to do another more thorough in-game check to see what is the status.

Just for the fun of it I'm writing down here play-by-play of what I saw in-game:

Terrain selection picturemap_ca.tga looks great. 2D mapview (M) looks good heightmap wise. Class names{} is straight up from OSM data so they are Ukrainian and nameVillage types I believe, meaning brown instead of thicker black. Airfield 1 label is present. Satellite texture looks good in 2D mapview. Usual 2022 arma3 mapview objects first-time-load lag present. Mapview objects and roads look good. Hmm airfield 1 class names{} reads "airfield1" almost like it has no name at all and arma3 is using the class name, not a showstopper, does its thing, but yeah I definitely want to beautify that.

Switching to 3D, oh the farmlands and tree lines look awesome, I just want to fire up John Deere 8R and Landoll 7430 disc and get to work... err no wait, wrong game Smiley ;)

PMC Ukraine Melitopol Terrain ArmA 3 Screenshot

I love browsing around the terrain in mission editor camera view. There are some lacking forest tree line areas in the OSM data, but that is something to fix on another day. I'm looking forward of improving OSM landuse natural data on PMC terrains one day, but for now that wont make any difference as the standard OSM does the job just fine. Wrote a PMC bug/issue report about learning how to paint those OSM data supplemental forest tree lines in GIMP.

Looks like railroads are missing, at least I think there was one railroad track, dunno could have been just regular road but somehow I got the sense of it that it was a railroad track. I wrote a PMC bug/issue report to investigate the possibility of using poly line shape files to create arma3 railroads, I have no idea how bis and users have done those before, I think they are (unfortunately) just P3D objects which is not very fun way of creating a huge railroad track. Hmm I think chernarus had railroad tracks in the coast, wonder if altis, tanoa or livonia has them too, need to check.

Also I need to set all PMC Ukraine terrains starting date/time to 2022-02-23T12:00:00Z which is one day before the russian invasion begins. It would be kind of anniversary history a-like to set it on the actual invasion starting time, that was about 0500hrs ukraine local time on the east or was it central time, cant remember. Anyways that would be the historical time for sure, but it would be extremely annoying for everyone who loads the terrains up in mission editor every single time because that time of course is pitch black night, you cant see anything and have to set the time to daylight hours. That is too annoying so it must be 1200hrs noon bright daylight, ready to go for mission editing work or just browsing as I'm doing right now. Dunno it could be the day of the invasion at noon I guess, somehow the day prior feels more creepy like everyone knows whats coming and when you browse the terrain at noon on feb 23rd 2022 its the day before bad things happened ...

Aaanyways. Wrote a bug/issue report about that across all PMC Ukraine terrains, set config.cpp date/time.

BTW interesting sidenote, did you know that february 24th 2022 night was a full moon, just a coincidence or did putins generals suggest this day for the possible moonlight visibility? Smiley :)

When I was randomly flying around in mission editor camera view and admiring the great farmland tree line areas, I came across clouds in the satellite texture. Imagine that, huge 81.9 kilometer terrain, randomly just flying around and finding just about the only one cloud puff which I missed in GIMP editing. Crazy. Dunno I highly doubt I missed any clouds, this must have been some mistake in the XCF to PNG conversion that the bat skipped one tile because the whole point of fixing clouds is that there are no clouds in the whole fucking satellite texture. However at this point in editing... this one area of clouds will remain there, its quite small puff which is hardly noticeable until you drive/fly on top of it. Will be fixed in the future but running the data through all the shit once more would be half a days work, so yeah it has to be a bug for the first upgrade.

I really like how this terrain looks, all done with OSM data so far.

PMC Ukraine Melitopol Terrain ArmA 3 Screenshot

Coastline looks like shit, heightmap has probably 50-100m of elevations above 0m water level in the ocean. Previous terrain edits I used L3DT and manually did oceans, just recently I started to use GEBCO ocean seabed heightmap data and merge that to SRTM heightmap in global mapper. This makes great realistic (meaning usually deep) oceans, however the immediate coastline turns into shit. There is that big ground layer which needs to be somehow fixed.

That tool pipeline is still under design planning, how to solve this issue so that we don't have to do any L3DT heightmap editing work as we know that is a dead end.


Found a coastline location with wind turbines, hmm I might be able to quickly place few of the a3/ wind turbine P3D models there, its not much but should not take long in terrain builder. Would probably take the most time to find the actual P3D addon dir and file name heh.

PMC Ukraine Melitopol Terrain ArmA 3 Screenshot

There you can also see the OSM road data which has very few vertices in the poly line, makes too smooth roads.

2022-03-27T06:21:00Z In-game arma3 check complete, this terrain is good to go for a release. Yeah there are few issues, but overall its good to go. It is time to start release procedure Smiley :)

Except I can still squeeze in few more text edits. Changed class names{} "airfield1" to "Airfield 1" which looks nicer in the mapview. Then changed startDate to Russian invasion of Ukraine day, 2022-02-24T12:00:00Z noon as explained above. Then binarized pmc_ukraine_melitopol_cfg addon so these edits get in.

Dunno what else to edit anymore, its time to actually start the release procedures now.

Updated PMC "worldSize" mission pack for melitopol terrain, now there are several missions for it. Its kind of cool, PMC has policy of "no addon releases without a mission pack" as we are not one of those people that release addons without missions, so now with editing a single line of text we immediately got probably 10 or so missions (havent counted them).

Updated pmc_ukraine_melitopol/mod.cpp for more accurate google/maps link, mostly the zoom level. To be uniform with our other terrains.

2022-03-27T07:03:00Z Created bisign keys for addon pbos, then created addon release readme.txt with up to date info, updated release packaging bat file and executed it, it will take a few minutes for 7-zip to compress 81.9km size terrain.

Created web page template files, I need an easier way to create new terrain pages than going through the same editing and copy paste routine every time, now its quite nice, all I have to do is change TERRAINNAME and FILENAME and boom new pages are created.

Next was time to take screenshots for the web pages. Not my favorite activity as its well basically impossible to convey the large terrain size from a single stupid screenshot. Also I should make 3min video trailers for each terrain but due to my Nvidia GTX TITAN X issues which crash the drivers, I have not done any videos with 4k 60FPS with high bitrate. I'm afraid the Nvidia drivers crash due failing GPU and then I'd need to reboot my whole windows, yeah no thanks.

But video trailers is an issue, I hate not having them, sucks.

2022-03-27T08:21:00Z Screenshots taken, sorted, renamed and edited. Web page templates in place, now just need to add the text and screenshots content.

2022-03-27T08:58:00Z Web pages all filled with basic content; screenshots and text. Links fixed as far as I can tell. Basic stuff is in.

At this point had to take a few minutes break to stretch my legs and get at least some time away from text typing and code, just felt like I'm crawling out of my skin heh. Also good time to catch up on Ukraine war news.

2022-03-27T09:56:00Z Was adding links and proof reading this dev diary when it was my lunch break.

2022-03-27T10:52:00Z Feeding time over, back to proof reading and link adding this page.

Finished proof reading and adding links to this page. Hmm whats next... Oh its time to create torrent and start to do the actual release part Smiley :)

2022-03-27T11:50:00Z PMC Ukraine Melitopol v0.1 has been released! Smiley :D

Read previous page 3 or back to Dev Diary PMC Ukraine Melitopol root page.

PMC Ukraine Melitopol: Changelog, Dev Diary, Screenshots. Back to PMC Terrain's page.