From Red Star Studios and Spetsgruppa Alfa to Red Hammer Studios; The Operation Flashpoint Era


In 2001, Bohemia Interactive Studio released Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis. This was a groundbreaking game that for many became the standard against which all other games purporting to be centered on military realism were compared. For the first time, players could fight from all sides of the combined arms spectrum and if the mission designer willed it, all of this in the same mission no less. As if that weren't enough, it was possible to run company-scale or larger operations in OFP, with an enormous unit cap for the four sides; West, East, Resistance, and Civilian.

Initially, BIS did not support the community that had built up around the game. Despite this some avid fans became the first addon-makers for OFP, editing configuration files and textures to produce new units supplementing the default content. With some practice, this content's quality first met and then surpassed that of the work BIS had done on the default units. BIS recognized the worth of their self-organized community and began supporting them after the release of two expansions to Cold War Crisis, the Red Hammer campaign and Operation Flashpoint: Resistance. Shortly afterwards, Bohemia Interactive released modding tools to the community allowing them to finally edit and create their own models, breaching the last barrier addon-makers had limiting their ability to represent custom content in game. The penultimate patch had been completed by 2004, and with v1.96 BIS turned their attention to other projects.

It was in 2003 that a group of enthusiasts formed Red Star Studios with two objectives in mind; firstly to help correct one of OFP's deficiencies which was the comparative lack of hardware for the East side, and secondly to present a more realistic view of Soviet and Russian combat vehicles and troops. Concurrently, the OFP-based German squad Spetsgruppa Alfa began work along similar lines. When both groups presented the fruits of their labours on the BIS forums they noticed one another for the first time and thus began meetings to discuss how the efforts of both teams could be combined to further "the cause" and avoid wasted effort. The obvious answer was to amalgate in some way.

Neither group wanted to dilute or entirely lose its unique identity which, in the community of the time, had considerable recognition. Spetsgruppa Alfa and Red Star Studios came to the obvious conclusion, to create a new group with a new name. But it wouldn't do to name this new group something like "Spetsgruppa Krasnaya Zvezda," something different was needed. Something that told you all at once what the mod group was about.

ShadowNX wrote:Thus was born Red Hammer Studios.

Red Hammer is self explanatory; not only is red the colour of the Soviet Union, the identifier for the opposition force (REDFOR) in NATO wargames until the fall of the Soviet Union, and borrowing upon the symbolism of the Soviet Hammer and Sickle, but also the name of the Soviet campaign expansion to Operation Flashpoint. Why Studios? Well, the creators of the game operated as a studio, and the best-known addon-makers for the West side at the time were Ballistic Addon Studios. Not terribly original on the side of RHS, I know, but those were different times. All of the original members were first time modders. If you had a group of modders putting out high quality work, of course you were a studio! It was just that simple, and in some parts of the multinational Operation Flashpoint community, "studio" became an identifier of just that: high quality work.

By the end of May of 2003, the news of the merger first appeared along with fresh work-in-progress screens of the new studio's effort, such as the T-55 tanks or the Mil Mi-28 helicopter. After a few months of hard work and a lot of discussion on the RHS forums, it was time for the first release. Christmas of 2003 saw the release of the T-54/55 pack, with new features like new crews, tank-riders, muzzle blast (shockdust) scripting, detailed, high fidelity models and textures to match, and more.

Thereafter, RHS produced much more work in the same vein; T-72, T-80, T-90 series tanks, the superlative Mil Mi-24 "Hind" pack with new pilots, and packs of Naval Infantry, Motor-Riflemen, VDV, and GRU Spetsnaz. The community responded as any would to this glut of high quality work and Re Hammer Studios became a brand with instant recognition and appeal. The RHS_ tag was considered always worth the bandwith used to download that addon.

Three years later, in October of 2006, with Armed Assault just around the corner, Red Hammer Studios left the Operation Flashpoint community with a treat; a week of daily RHS releases. It was a characteristically RHS way to finish things.


Making the best of it - The Armed Assault Years


Upon the release of Armed Assault, things became considerably more complicated. Many RHS members had left the team and the community. For most, Armed Assault was less than they expected, and they found other games to invest their effort in. Some simply lost interest after literal years of modding. A small group remained holding aloft the RHS banner, preparing new releases with the limited technology and manpower available, working in the unfamiliar and more complicated realm of Armed Assault modding.

In the two years that Armed Assault was extant, RHS released addons ranging from the simple reskins of the RF Packs to, once the modding tools had been released by BIS for ArmA, all-new releases such as the T-64 tank pack, the return of the Mi-24s and a weapons pack. In this time, new members joined the RHS team. Again, the community and Red Hammer Studios looked to the future with the imminent release of Arma 2. Once again, RHS left on a high note, with the T-80 pack being released ten days before A2 became available.


The New Era: Arma 2, Operation Arrowhead, and Combined Operations


In June of 2009, the Armed Assault community evaporated. It reappeared in the Arma 2 community. For many, A2 was what ArmA was not: finally something with the "OFP vibe", the "Flashpoint feel" to it. It felt good, it looked better. A true successor to Operation Flashpoint.

The team was still growing. RHS Alumni returned to the ranks of the Red Hammer Studios team and began forging new addons. New members joined bringing new talents, and the BMD-2 pack was released in March of 2010. New addons followed like the BTR-70 pack, and the ever-present T-80s made their appearance in March of 2011; the representation of Omsk Transmash's competitor to Uralmashzavod's T-72 and T-90.

With the release of Operation Arrowhead and multiple DLCs by BIS, it was clear that A2, like Red Hammer Studios, is here to stay. As of November 2011, Red Hammer Studios has completely shifted focus from releasing standalone addon packs to a total conversion mod representing the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The Future: Arma III

The new AFRF mod is currently being developed for Arma 2 but ultimately it will be transferred to Arma III. With new engine possibilities and a deviation from conventional BLUE/REDFOR defenitions it will lay the perfect ground for having all new factions from the ground up. It is our hope that at some point it will be unthinkable to have Arma III without RHS: AFRF, as well as its sister project RHS: USF.

Text by AKM, Shadow NX and Soul_Assassin

Mods
RHS: Armed Forces of the Russian Federation
ARMA 2: Combined Operations

RHS: Armed Forces of the Russian Federation

Updated 6 months ago Released Aug 9, 2012 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter

Red Hammer Studios is proud to announce that after some deliberation we have decided to abandon the addon making scene and transform our development model...

RHS: Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (A3)
ARMA 3

RHS: Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (A3)

Updated 3 weeks ago Released Oct 26, 2014 Single, Multiplayer & Co-Op Tactical Shooter

The sequel to the highly successful Armed Forces of the Russian Federation mod for Arma 2 makes a return for Arma 3. Now bigger and better.

RHS: United States Armed Forces
ARMA 3

RHS: United States Armed Forces

Updated 6 months ago TBD Single, Multiplayer & Co-Op Tactical Shooter

In parallel development with our sister mod RHS: Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, RHS: United States Armed Forces focuses on bringing a depiction...

Post comment Comments
kalzim7878
kalzim7878 Oct 25 2012, 1:39am says:

just want to say you make some bad *** stuff :) love it!

+4 votes     reply to comment
GeneralCCCP
GeneralCCCP Aug 10 2012, 9:33am says:

Здраствуйте. Вы молодцы выпускать моды, которые по качеству превосходят орогинал -это настоящее исскуство. И отдельное спасибо за что выпускаете моды про нашу страну.
Хотел вот спросить.
1) Сколько людей работает в студии?
2) Почему выпускаете моды именно про советскую(русскую) сторону?(ведь среди вас как я понял есть не только русские(и есть ли они в студии вообще?)
3) И есть ли какой нибудь сайт где были бы показаны все работы студии? А то искать ваши работы по всему интернету очень неудобно.

Hello. Well done to produce fashion that exceeds the quality oroginal is now Arts. And a special thank you for that release the fashion of our country.
I wanted to ask here.
1) How many people work in the studio?
2) Why release a fashion is about the Soviet (Russian) side? (Because of you as I understand is not only the Russian (and whether they are in the studio at all?)
3) Is there some sort of site which would show all of the studio? And then look at your work all over the internet is very inconvenient.

P.S sorry for my bad English.
P.S 2) What language do you prefer to read?

+6 votes     reply to comment
Soul_Assassin Creator
Soul_Assassin Aug 14 2012, 11:00am replied:

Очень приятно слышать :) Спасибо за добрые слова! Постараюсь ответить на все вопросы.

1) Активно разрабатывают примерно 8 человек, плюс гдето 5 постоянных тестеров а также мы работаем с некоторыми кланами для грубоких тестов.

2) Студия разделена примерно на пополам пусские/инностранцы. Но все любят русскую технику и тематику русской военной истории.

3) Все наши разработки к арма 2 можно найти здесь на моддб, на страничке этой группы и мода RHS: AFRF.

P.S. 2) как угодно понимаем :)

+5 votes   reply to comment
cooper6
cooper6 Jul 2 2011, 3:59pm says:

What kind of stuff are you working on? Or the project is still on halt?

+4 votes     reply to comment
cooper6
cooper6 May 15 2011, 3:38pm says:

Will you release the GAZ-66?

+4 votes     reply to comment
ShadowNX Creator
ShadowNX May 20 2011, 10:17am replied:

Yes we will cooper6, the project is on halt since a good while but its planned to finally finish it up soon and get it out as one of the next releases.

+4 votes   reply to comment
topas
topas May 6 2011, 6:31pm says:

Hey, No T-80 pics here? :(

+4 votes     reply to comment
ShadowNX Creator
ShadowNX May 9 2011, 9:28am replied:

If i get some good ones i post them but so far noone relaly made good ones

+4 votes   reply to comment
Trooper425
Trooper425 May 3 2011, 8:14pm says:

I'm a little confused. Are these things to be implemented directly into Arma2, or are they for modding purposes?

+4 votes     reply to comment
ShadowNX Creator
ShadowNX May 4 2011, 4:59am replied:

They are addons for ArmA2:Combined OPs so put them in your desired addons folder and have fun with them.
They can offcourse also used for modding but if they are intended to be used in any non personal use only project then please ask us first.

+4 votes   reply to comment
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