, the Environment Designer from BI, wrote this article at BIS site
about the landscapes in ArmA2.
[size=2]Landscape Almost Real[/size]
In our company, there was always an ambition to create landscape which would feel real. As we constantly improved our tools and refined our technology, it is finally possible to take the image of real-life countryside and bring the best of it into ARMA 2. We have chosen a piece of forgotten land somewhere in North Bohemia in the hopes of bring you a wild and hilly environment suitable for large-scale combat operations.
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From our designers' point of view, real-life landscape offers the structure of real land, which allows us to utilize all of the vehicles and weapon platforms available, and offer you at least a little bit of the soldier's life, which surprisingly consists of very little actual combat and hours of movement. Of course, the combat will be your major experience in ARMA 2, and as the battles will take place in landscape that really exists, we hope that the impression from such battles will surpass anything you've seen in a wargame so far.
It was always my big ambition to recreate some place that I know to the latest detail. Fortunately, there were others around who reminded me to not to forget about gameplay and visual appearance. When you want to give people something nice to play with, the reality must be sometimes abandoned. This means you would not see a carbon-copy of real countryside including all the boring parts, but the gaming environment loosely based on that terrain. However, we were still able to take plenty of reference from real-life data, including aerial photography and proprietary GIS database which we created solely for the purpose of building the Northern Region of Chernarus.
Certain artistic freedom had to be applied to the sea coast, which unfortunately does not exist in North Bohemia. As you see from the comparison images above, we also decided to choose different composition of tree species, inspired mainly by my recent visit of the Czech-Slovak border mountains. Prevalence of spruce trees certainly helped us to achieve a more "mountainous" look compared to the map's real counterpart, which would match perfectly to the original proposal of "distant mountainous country somewhere in Eastern Europe, swarming with hostile insurgent factions."