Arma 3 hails people of every flavor from all over the world. To get to know them a little better, we're hosting a series of mini-interviews with some of our amazing community members. These aim to give you a personal insight into their backgrounds, why they got into Arma, and how they typically experience the game. In this issue, we interview Arma content creator Viper1Zero!
Location: Hurlburt Field, FL
Occupation: USAF TSgt/E-6
Can you provide us with one random fact about yourself?
I’ve been to one of the most remotely isolated places on Earth, which is simultaneously one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Diego Garcia.
What's the origin of the name Viper1Zero?
HONESTLY I spent an embarrassing amount of time trying to come up with a name. I knew I wanted the word Viper in it but there were a trillion channels named Viper, so I added Zero, and wouldn’t you know it, a trillion Viper Zero’s. In the end, I just threw a 1 in there, made it all one word and thought “That’ll do, pig.”
What's the first Arma game you played?
What is your current Arma 3 playtime?
As of June 19 2023, looking at a meagre 3,963 hours in game. How many of those are launcher hours I honestly don’t know, but I have always had the launcher set to turn off when the game starts to mitigate inflated game time.
What is your favorite game of all time?
MAN, what a question! I look at this as the game I could play every day until I die and never get tired of it, and honestly right now that is and has been Arma 3 since first playing in 2014. The endless sandbox of warfare just calls to my inner child, and you mix that with DLCs, mods, and CDLCs and you’ve got the "forever" recipe.
Now outside of Arma, because it's just not a fair comparison, I’d have to break it down like this:
PC: Command & Conquer: Red Alert
Console: Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War
Command & Conquer is where I got my start in PC gaming all the way back in 1995, watching my dad play and being blown away by how he wasn’t getting destroyed in five minutes like I was. Ace Combat 5 will always have a special place in my heart for its story, massive aircraft list, and ability to choose my own flight’s aircraft. I loved mixing and matching those jets and seeing them in cut-scenes.
Outside of video games, what other hobbies do you enjoy?
Taking my smokin’ hot wife and beautiful daughters (3yo & 1yo) to the beach! Being a dad is a full time job and eats up 85% of my time these days, and what I have left I get to sprinkle into some YouTube videos every now and then. As cliche as it sounds, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Can you show us your PC setup?
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
How and why did you get into Arma?
In 2002 my uncle bought me Operation Flashpoint for Christmas, and honestly it was a wrap after that. I didn't really get into Arma: Combat Operations as I was just starting college in 2007, but I made sure and picked up Arma 2 in 2010 when it dropped and loved it. The editor was about 99% of my playtime then and I think I only played like 2-3 matches online with a few buddies. When Arma 3 dropped I had just moved from an air base in Germany to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea and happened to see it on sale one day and snagged it. It chugged like crazy on my crappy AMD FX 6350 but it was “playable.” After deploying in 2015 and getting a good chunk of change I finally got a CPU and GPU that could handle it and my time in Arma 3 really took off when Firewill dropped the F-16 mod. I started a YouTube channel shortly after (I was called Haze Gaming back then) and never really had much engagement until one day in 2019 I started using this beautiful mod named GCAM and created the Top 10 Aircraft Mods video and the rest, as they say, is history. I had figured out a formula that worked and a way I loved to show it!
How do you play or engage with Arma 3 nowadays?
These days I’d say about 95% of my time is spent researching mods, checking them out and if they rock, using them in a video. I also have a group of guys on my Discord server that I fly with occasionally and that usually yields some great aerial shots. I tell them what kind of action shot I’m looking to get and these guys execute, sometimes repeating it until I get what I’m after! They are great guys who also love aviation.
Can you tell us about your most remarkable Arma moment?
Honestly, every time I log on with the boys it's a new adventure. Something hilarious or amazing happens every damn time and it's largely one of the reasons I keep coming back to Arma 3 year after year. If I had to pick a time, I’d say our very first elephant walk in Feb 2021 where I got to fly with about 8 guys and we just had a blast getting formation shots, landings and takeoffs. It really set the bar for how much fun I could have simply flying with some guys that enjoy aviation stuff as much as I do. THAT or when I flew as the gunner in an AH-64D for Fred, a real life Apache pilot for the Utah Army National Guard. It was a phenomenal time and I got some excellent shots that I still use in videos to this day. Solid dude to game with and talk to as well.
What is your favorite piece of Arma 3 user-created content (mod, addon, scenario, game mode, tool) and why?
Ok, by default I HAVE to say Firewill’s F-16… that is until another F-16 maybe comes to dethrone it, but I’m pretty sure Star Citizen II will launch before we see it (Vestarr pls bro I’m desperate). Why? Well, honestly it wasn’t until I downloaded the F-16 mod that I REALLY started playing Arma 3 almost daily. That was my gateway drug to the Steam Workshop and all the amazing mods people have made. It took me a while to get on board with the vanilla stuff, but over a year or so I grew to love it all just as much as modded content.
Can you share your #1 pro-tip for any Arma 3 player?
I know NOTHING (zero) about modding except that it’s an ass pain and a half process, so honestly to all the amazing modders out there, I humbly salute you for your time and dedication to making this community what it has become.
For new or aspiring players - Arma 3 is a world in and of itself. It takes time to learn and can definitely seem daunting but I promise if you give it a little effort Arma 3 can and will turn into one of the best gaming experiences you’ve ever had. Even more so with a few close friends.
For the veteran players; If you want your game visuals to SHINE, download Reduced Haze Mod by ANZACSAS Steven and set your saturation to 110. If you like beautiful tropical water, Light Blue Water Colour Mod also by Steven is a MUST have. Those tips will get your visuals BANGIN.
With the release of Arma Reforger and modding tools for Enfusion Engine, what are you looking forward to with the franchise as we move along the road to Arma 4?
Oh man, what ISN'T to look forward to? Honestly if Arma 3 could be copy/pasted into Enfusion I’d never play anything else. That said, I know technology evolves and times change, and the hours I’ve spent in Arma Reforger thus far have been beautiful and fun. I can see that a ton of quality of life improvements were implemented by the devs and continue to be refined as we move forward. The most impressive thing so far has been the sound. I was in awe of how powerful the sound effects for gunfire and explosions were. Visuals and game mechanics will mature over time, but sound is a hard thing to nail the first time and Reforger absolutely killed it. In my opinion, sound is an aspect that can make or break your game. Visuals people can pass with, but having a gorgeous game with wimpy sound is an immediate deal breaker, so well done to LAxemann and all of the sound design engineers and team.
BONUS: What is the greatest aircraft to ever exist?
Easy, the F-15 Eag- Ahahahaha, just kidding! The F-16 Viper is the sexiest piece of flying military hardware to scream off of any runway in the last 100 years. I’ll die on this hill.
To finish the interview, do you have anything you'd like to share with the Arma community?
Just, thank you. If you’ve watched and supported any of my videos, thank you. If you’ve created a mod, made a scenario, or spent hours on scene builds in screenshot form, thank you. This community is incredible and continues to grow every day. Now if you’ll excuse me I need to go see what hit the workshop tonight!