Welcome to some more Star Citizen with a Squadron 42 Update.
As of the Start of June, we are still waiting on a SQ42 Update Video… that was originally planned a few weeks ago.
They decided the video they had planned wasn’t good enough for what they wanted to show and update us on so they are remaking it… we don’t have a date on when we will see it yet… it will probably be sometime in June.
The SQ42 Roadmap is also being reworked in the way that it is presented to the public so in the short term the SQ42 Monthly Report is the only tangible updates we have until that video and new roadmap are up. Due to this and the current lockdown we don’t know to what extent we will see delays with SQ42… there are rumors that it hasn’t seen much in the way of delays from what was last shown maybe around a quarter… this would see a Completed Beta of the Game estimated at the end of Q4 2020 BUT this is not a public Beta and just a target for the dev build. Even if ready then it could be a quarter or 2 before they even plan to release… just set expectations appropriately with WE DON’T HAVE A HARD RELEASE DATE NOR KNOW THE EXTENT OF ANY DELAYS YET.
We did have a SQ42 Newsletter so Attention Recruits and let’s summarize what updates were there:
Work to Vanduul AI behaviors are progressing, including iterations on unique actions and navigation traversal, such as special jumps that allow them to climb over large objects. They completed various Vanduul locomotion tasks.
Recent animation work on the Vanduul warrior highlighted the need to refine character deformation to enable more extreme posing.
Foundational improvements were made to the mo-cap process.
Cinematics major focus has recently been on chapter 1. They completed blockouts for the game’s opening, including gameplay, camera work, and animation for a large-scale turret battle and the introduction of a key character on the Javelin.
They also made updates to several scenes from chapter 2, experimented with single-camera shots for chapter 4, finished the initial interrupt setup for all chapter 4’s scenes and are currently awaiting Level Design’s implementation. Once complete, the animators can begin pose matching.
They blocked out chapter 5, worked on a complicated box carrying scene for chapter 8 and they set up the cameras for chapter 13.
Work was done on some previously untouched scenes from Chapter 5 & 13 as well.
The Gameplay Story Team Said – “This means we have now implemented over 200 scenes, which is quite a milestone. Many of these scenes will still require additional work and support, but the majority of the animation work is now done, which is great!”
The Space/Dogfight Team worked on the non-combat investigative behaviors prevalent across many of the early chapters. The “space scaping” of various patrol locations and points of interest continued too.
Level Design continued to work alongside FPS AI to integrate more of the new behaviors that recently came online. They’re currently working closely with Art to build out some of the optional routes through levels.
There was work in various other areas of level design and cinematics too also the Gameplay Story Team continued to develop narrative scenes and abandons.
The Comms Array interior effects were completed, and a few older levels were reworked to bring them in line with the current design documents. Prototyping of the Vanduul kingship weapons made great progress too.
Tech Animation revisited existing assets to support recent code changes, retouching thousands of assets to ensure their quality and suitability.
The Props Team created an asset set for a scene with a frozen ship, which includes a new frost material and bespoke storytelling props.
Narrative undertook dedicated playthroughs to identify where new dialogue lines could provide clearer guidance and explanation. Scripts will be created and the lines will be recorded using placeholder actors to get them in-game as soon as possible. By minimizing the turnaround time, future pickup sessions with actors will be much more efficient. Narrative provided set-dressing documents for a handful of updated locations to provide environmental storytelling and backstory for players to discover too.
The UI Tech Team spent the month working on a new system to allow them to easily add 3D objects to screens, such as icons for the player visor and inventory. The concept artists finalized the look of the lens and scanning UI and are close to having final concepts for the style of the Gladius HUD – one of the key UIs in SQ42.
Specifically for SQ42, the UK Engineering Team started work on a new UI display item designed to consolidate the functionality required for displays into a single entity. When complete, it’ll manage multiple outputs and whether the display has power, is damaged, and emits light.
Work on the Gen12 renderer continues, the Graphics Team has been focused on performance with several major issues resolved and several more in the process of being completed. Most performance fixes related to excess CPU use on specific frames that resulted in a “spikey” and inconsistent framerate. One important performance change was to adjust the texture resolutions on machines without enough video memory to run the game at full quality, especially at higher resolutions. Previously, more memory than would fit on the GPU would be allocated, which would produce serious performance issues due to memory paging.