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Squadron 42 January 2021 Update

Hello & Welcome to some more Squadron 42 with a summary of the Monthly Report Released in January 2021… this is the main way we receive SQ42 updates currently.

We do know that SQ42 will not be completed before 2022 as there is work on it extending into 2022 on the roadmap… It’s done when it’s done with no compromises is basically what CI has said… They are also not going to be showing any SQ42 specific gameplay until it’s closer to launch as they want to start a marketing hype for the game that doesn’t die down before it’s released… so we won’t see “the briefing room” return as a video series until later down the line. A little disappointing as I want more information and pretty video on the development of SC and SQ42 not less HOWEVER I do think it was important for CI to outline their views and plans for this as they have… we should see some additional bits added on the Roadmap on Jan 27th that will give us a bit more of an indication of where SQ42 might fall… but it’s an art rather than a science trying to work out any of these dates… and I am bad at drawing. 

That said currently on the Roadmap there are some interesting SQ42 specific things including Aquatic Vehicles, Xi’An Cargo, RSI Bengal Carrier as well as loads of locations & environments.

Anyway let’s take a look at the Squadron 42 Monthly Report Newsletter which covers November, December and what CI are moving into now in January 2021.

Level Design had a highly productive end to 2020, aiming to complete a slice of gameplay starting from when the player first arrives on their home ship. This milestone required the collaboration of many different departments, encompassed work from all the design teams, and utilized the social elements refined throughout the year. It was a hugely successful exercise, giving Level Design the tools and knowledge they need to complete the rest of the campaign.

NPCs have been getting work on the chowline… they pick up crockery, get food and drink, sit down, eat and socialize and then clear up afterwards.

They’ve worked on FPS weapons and gear… further developing EVA animations, blackouts, staggers, vanduul combat, surrendering behaviors. 

They also updated running, jogging, locomotion, push-pull and various NPC interactions greetings, farewells, bumps and story specific scenes. Uniforms and outfits were improved too.

They completed some character work for Morrow, White, Kelly & Webster including more realistic eyes. This was largely focused on chapter 4 which also saw audio with new SFX and music content too.

Tech Animation have been working on a major overhaul to facial rigs & their assets. 

They’ve been polishing the Morrow Tour with the Gameplay Story Team:

 “It has been great to see so many people working hard on this area of the game and this has meant that many long-standing tasks were addressed by other teams.”

The Graphics Team improved stability and fixed bugs inline with the latest internal SQ42 milestones. Because of the very high quality bar, especially for the cinematic elements, many visual issues were addressed. For example, the depth of field effect needed several changes to work better with the new hair shader.

They worked on very detailed social areas with NPCs enjoying their spare time, reading books, art and decoration of their personal rooms, interactable objects… this can be quite an involved process as they also want to represent the story of the room and the personality of it’s owner.

They have been working on getting the Gladius to Gold Standard with all it’s new tech.

The HUD there has been updated to use new 3d UI tech.

They’ve been working on UIs for holo-briefings.

Mounted turrets are being worked on this will allow a fixed weapon to be fired and aimed via the player’s movement and is a sub-feature of the cooperative locomotion. They also implemented FPS radar and scanning and began work on zero-g push/pull locomotion to allow players to traverse space by grabbing and releasing fixed items in the environment (similar to how astronauts maneuver around the ISS).

There was work on physics optimizations, bullet drag, shockwaves, soft body deformation as well as support for SDF tech.

They’ve worked on OCS general optimisation. a stress test for object container streaming was added.

There is a firing range in the Idris and NPCs can now use it systemically.

Functionality for the designers to detect mission fail states (such as deliberate friendly fire) was added.

Now, if conditions are met, the player will fail the mission and be taken to a predetermined scene.

They made progress on a new hacking mechanic that allows players to bypass security systems.

Development of the Vanduul language progressed too, with the team reviewing the latest updated dictionary.