Bohemia Interactive has been talking lively about their up and coming game engine, Enfusion, that will be used by Bohemia for its newest releases. It looks to be one of the more capable and Next Gen TM game engines out there and allows for extensive community involvement. Enfusion combines the Real Virtuality and Enforce Engine, now allowing for modern graphics and a whole suite of modding tools integrated with the Engine.
Mil-Sim & ArmA 3
Arma 3 is around 8 years old now and it inherited a rich Mil-Sim community from ArmA 2 and has been able to take Mil-Sim to the next level. Modding has exploded in Arma 3 to support and grow various Mil-Sim groups. Whether its private mods for Units to specialize their uniforms or weapons, or complete revolutionizing mods like those that provided for the emergence of the Star-Sim community of Arma 3.
That is not to say that Arma 3 has been the perfect platform for large Mil-Sim communities or for extremely involved mods. Arma 3 itself is a game that can be very taxing on computer hardware and has not been built for easy to access modding. Yes, Arma Tools does exist, but many who attempt to get into Arma modding will confirm that it is a sharp learning curve. Mil-Sim units that have the community to host 60-100+ player Operations understand this limit all too well. They need to find the right mods for their Unit theme, and then sift through those mods for conflictions, or assets that cause server/client crashes. Following that, during the Operations, assets and units need to be watched and controlled for strain on the server or clients in range of the target area of engagement.
Enfusion & the Future of Mil-Sim
The Enfusion Engine looks to be the next big stepping stone for video games and especially for the Mil-Sim community of the Arma Franchise. Not only would a new entry in the Arma Franchise bring back many old members of the community and revitalize the scene with newer players, but the Enfusion Engine brings a lot more to the table. The Enfusion Engine and games made with it will have access to the Enfusion Workbench, the suite of tools available to those wishing to create and modify assets with the Enfusion Engine.
The Workbench will allow for an explosion in the Arma modding community. It will allow for many more people to get into asset creation and texturing using the Workbench’s Texture Editor and other tools. These tools are available through the Engine and seem to be built for user accessibility and likely will allow for ease transfer into Enfusion Engine games. This leads into another reason why the Workbench will revolutionize Mil-Sim: Experienced Modders. Experienced Modders have long been able to make amazing mods using the Arma Tools applications and external applications such as Blender or Audacity. Now, with Enfusion’s Workbench suite, these experts can take less time maneuvering around Arma Tools and making assets the hard way, they will now have In-Engine utilities to allow them to take their old works into the new games as well as upping their modding game. All of this is the second greatest boon for the Mil-Sim community after the next Arma entry itself.
All we can do is look on and wait, wait for Bohemia to release the next Arma Franchise Entry and to see how the Enfusion Workbench integrates in practice. The Arma Community and its dedicated Mil-Sim sect is brimming with excitement for a big new entry in the Franchise and especially for the Enfusion Engine. Mil-Sim may never be the same with the release of Arma 4 and Enfusion Workbench.