Squadron 42 Updates looking at what CI have been working on for the last few weeks and what they are currently focused on in April for the Single Player Star Citizen Campaign and AI that’s going into both games.
They’ve spent time further working on Engineer Behaviours as well as On-foot security, tourist, and tour guide activities. They’ve progressed on various beds including bed sheets for when characters are sleeping. They’ve now started work on medic, illegal goods dealer, deck crew, and janitor, hawker behaviours as well.
“Our goal is to quickly push through some of the content we can already exploit in Star Citizen based on the existing scenario and allow the players to experience a more interactive environment.” -The AI Content Team
The first pass of subcomponent targeting is complete and will improve how small ships attack capitals.
Security behaviours have been updated for ship, when they discern illegal cargo or detect a criminal, they can ask the target to surrender and respond if the player decides to during combat / the chase.
Chowline AI was worked on in addition to cleaning up the chowline, eating, and drinking animations, the team improved the drinking behaviour to make taking a cup a separate action
The surrender and cowering behaviours used by both trained and untrained agents progressed. This is used in hostile scenarios when NPCs are unable to fight back, are overwhelmed, or don’t have the tools for combat and prioritize preserving their lives.
AI tech progressed with EVA allowing NPCs to exit ships and starts getting them working in Zero-G.
The Flow of melee attacks and combos was improved too.
The team spent part of the month on the engineer, deck crew, and Vanduul combat animation behavior sets. Progress was also made on hurt conditional states, AI hygiene, emergency reaction exits in useable planning, zero-g traversal, dodging, shopkeepers, guarding behavior, players healing friends, looting, surrendering, mess halls, and eateries. A bug affecting wrist wobble that plagued the team for years was fixed, and the crossbow, cutter, and tractor beam progressed through the pipeline.
On the facial side, animations were polished for the next round of story characters. The Gameplay Story Team worked through a new chapter, and motion capture was solved for conditional deaths.
March saw the artists start a significant concepting pass for an enemy faction, which will also inform how character assets are approached for use in the Pyro in the PU.
Elsewhere, work continued on Trejo’s head, hair, and her Basilisk Advocacy uniform. New shader tech was also developed for eyes and ears alongside the Graphics and Tech Animation teams.
Last month, the Audio Team continued to support work on chapter 4a, ensuring music logic and systemic SFX systems are well balanced.
Throughout March, the Cinematics Team made big pushes on ship-centric cutaways, polished more intricate character scenes, and welcomed new tools to support their efforts. For ships, they progressed well on several large-scale cutaways involving several varieties of alien ship, including a Xi’an cargo ship and its captain.
Another in-mission cutaway featured unique vessels built out of other ships. The Cinematics and Art teams synched extensively on these designs to ensure they look interesting and menacing while still delivering easy readability for the player.
The SQ42 Feature Team began profiling the time taken when running TrackView sequences with productive results. The TrackView code is not multithreaded, so they’re looking at converting it.
A few tasks to help improve the transition from game mode to cinematic sequences were completed. They also supplied a new node that the team can use to get the player to automatically locomote short distances. This is used to get them into the correct position at the start of a sequence to smooth out the initial transition.
Work also began on formation flying, which features an indicator highlighting where the player should go and gives the option to continue flying manually or automatically stay in formation.
March saw Gameplay Story record a lot of new scratch audio for chapter 1 and ‘random-to-NPC’ scenes. Extra lockers were added to the main bathroom in the Idris, so several scenes were updated to match the new layout, and several gameplay animation sets were completed, enabling the team to begin updating scenes using the maintenance wall panel and mess hall tables.
Great progress was made on a pair of complicated scenes from chapter 11 that include player interaction, prop use, several different branches, and video comms from different characters and sources. Additional “wait function” animations for different characters were created too, and a complicated scene that uses a flexible cable was also updated.
The Level Design Team continued to work with the artists and FPS AI Team to add spaces that bring additional life to some of the bigger chapters in the game. The Space/Dogfight Team worked towards an internal milestone this quarter with the support of many other teams.
In-depth reviews of the campaign continue, and along with it came some additional scripts to further polish the gameplay experience.
The team also worked with Character Art to provide additional details for a group of outlaws players will encounter, expanding on their unique look.
The UI Team polished the user interface in support of the new radar gameplay for vehicles and first-person modes, which includes emissions, a scanning UI, and updated ping. Work also continued on the new HUD for the Aegis Gladius, with the team focusing on missiles and improved contact display.
Last month, the VFX Team continued to work on improvements to gas cloud interiors, specifically using vehicle SDFs to simulate the look of tiny dust particles flowing over the surface. This adds to the sense of motion when flying when combined with collision effects. Several miscellaneous effects were also worked on, including some new water effects for the artists to place throughout a dank, grimy location, and some electrical effects.
Boom, that’s your Squadron 42 update for April.