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Squadron 42 Update – VFX & Gameplay Story

Welcome to some more Star Citizen, this time with a Squadron 42 Update with what progress Foundry 42 is making on the Game, a lot of this will actually make it’s way into Star Citizen as well:

The VFX Team have made various improvements to the glass shader which can be used on many assets, including an unlit mode which removes reflections & glare so it can be used on visors, helmets and ship canopies.
Conversely they have also added refraction allowing them to turn on glare and blurred reflections for effects like frosted glass, sandblasted look or even condensation, grease or figureprints.
They can combine all of these techniques as visual cues for damage or stamina OR to create interesting looking props. They have also further improved crack effects, to realistically smash UI screens.
They have also worked on screen interference, this will be used heavily in the Coil (the Odin System) There are static storms amongst other things.
More unique Contrails have also been worked on as ships move around the gas clouds in the coil for example.

Environments – The Idris has over its development over doubled in size, and they have had to make design tweaks to accommodate the extra crew. They have added pilots and officers quarters linked to the rest of the crew area.
The subin facility is massive and a lot of SQ42s story is centred around it. Internally it’s daunting and dark, it has a mono-rail system that is usable too.
One of the other major locations shown in the VS was the old Chemlab facility – They are working on a new control room prop set.

They are prototyping weapon inspections for weapons that you are currently carrying. It will allow you to rotate weapons do you can see them at any angle and see what attachments they have.
They are working on the turrets for the Vanduul Hunter ship. Organic, spiky, flowery and fluid is the sort of design look they are going for.

Gameplay Story Animation
There are 2 different production teams for SQ42 – Cinematics, they are focusing on the major story and plot points that take you from the start to finish of the game.
The Gameplay story team are concerned with adding greater depth, detail and player experience. They look at interactivity and player choice a lot, typically having gameplay mechanics in someway attached.

All of the NPCs on the Idris have their own lives and schedules, these will be affected per person by your actions and other interactions. They all have their own backstories, this is true even of some of the pirates and enemies you fight against.
Most of the Story cinematic scene will be fully interactive and there will be lots of NPC “side” stories and ways of doing things.
Some characters are needed to drive plot and sfor signposting, others just additions that make the game come to life BUT each of the NPCs will have some form of goal, maybe it’s to operate a particular terminal, or go to bed or to patrol a particular corridor at a certain time.
They want the NPCs to feel like they are reacting to you as real people.
There are situation where they may be creating a scene and don’t have some tech or prop necessary, in which case they request help from another team.
They can blend mo-cap from multiple different takes.
NPCs will need to move to certain locations in real time for a scene to take place, some can be prevented from getting there, they will react to other NPCs.
These scenes currently range from 1 liners from a single character to 12 characters all interacting at the same time.

Other
During BritizenCon it was also stated that the Evocati will get to test SQ42 just before it releases.
And that the Sq42 Roadmap would be added to the Quarterly Roadmap still, but there was no timeframe on that.
Your choices in Sq42 ep 1 will carry over to 2, 3 & the PU.
Episode 2 & 3 are both in pre-production, designers are focused on ep 1’s production tho.
There is still a lot of tools & ai work to be done for ep 1, tho the AI for SQ42 isn’t as complicated as the PUs to design and implement.