Star Citizen, Squadron 42 & Theatres of War News, Guides, Videos & Gameplay by BoredGamer

Squadron 42 November Update – 2 Years Away… Maybe?

It’s your monthly SQUADRON 42 update and this time it’s for November 2022.

We still don’t have hard dates on a release for Star Citizen Single Player Campaign Squadron 42 Episode 1 however at CitizenCon it was hinted at around 2 years.

The truth is it’s done when it’s done. CI have been expanding their studios and their employees have started coming back to the office. Heavy hitters and the core of development are all in the new Manchester UK Studio and CI are looking to hire a load more stuff over the next 3 years to hopefully fill it.

CitizenCon revealed some updates to Acideo Station one of the important but I suppose relatively minor locations in SQ42.

There are big updates with the AI that are now able to search for a player and share information with each other as well as mix battle tactics to really put pressure on a player in combat.

A new mobiGlas UI is coming, there is a big Starmap overhaul, minimap.

FPS Scanning & Radar improvements have been made and you’ll be able to much more easily discover and understand your surroundings and the items in it.

An improved player interaction system making objects and doors more useable.

A load of character improvements have been done with EVA, pushing and pulling across ships and stations in Zero G, ladders are much more useable and you can fire weapons off them or jump off them.

Hover trollies, puzzle items a load of other work has been done too. Beyond all that there are a load more updates with the latest SQ42 Monthly Report… 

The Animation team continued to improve zero-g gameplay and animate new weapons, including a coil grenade and coil rifle.

They then moved to blocking out restraint animations and created female spec-op and guard animations. Blockouts were also done for bin rummaging and the beggar.  

For the Vanduul, further work was done on executions, pilot posing, and sharp turns to improve locomotion. Bespoke locomotion was created for the story characters too.

Work was also done on animations for the firing range, and the rig for quadruped predators was tested.

A three-day mocap shoot was done on the new Manchester stage focusing on stealth takedowns and mastery levels, non-spec-op level combatants, and various social AI improvements to better tie them into their environment.

Character Art continued modeling major navy clothing assets and the Screaming Galsons’ armor. They also began skinning assets for Shubin.

Tech Animation continued to support Character Art, processing the remaining scan data for character heads and creating whitebox rigging for two key models.

Gameplay Features – Following on from Persistent Entity Streaming (PES), the SQ42 Feature team began implementing the save/load system. Because PES stores the state of all entities in the universe, the team can utilize it to save progress. They’re currently in the first stages of testing saving and reloading, ensuring everything restores correctly.

The Mission Manager app is currently being implemented into the player’s mobiGlas, allowing them to access the mission briefing, current and completed objectives, and a report on how well they did once the mission is complete.

Additional polish work was given to the new character customizer based on feedback from Design. Work continued on the crane mechanic, adding additional modes for varying types of cranes and their functionality. This will allow the operator to attach, drop, and stack crates.

New security-token functionality was also worked on to control access to various aspects of a level.

Gameplay Story continued using motion-capture data to update scenes. The main scene worked on was in chapter 11, which, due to the environment layout changing, needed a full implementation pass to get it fully functioning. Several scenes were also updated to make them work with the AI characters, who now enter and leave smoothly.

Start and end poses were updated for scenes in chapters four, six, and eight. Some of these had an extra polish pass to make them function better with the player.

Lastly, two new scenes were created to allow characters to work on top of the Gladius. These are still work in progress and will require new mo-cap at a later date.

the FPS Level Design team focused on one of the larger locations in the game that spans multiple chapters. They’re closing in on finalizing the last few blockouts in this environment and gameplay implementation is well underway.

With combat AI taking shape, FPS began placing greater emphasis on dialing in enemy confrontations.

The Flight team continued to collaborate with the other design teams to push the first half of the game to a more polished state. Part of the game’s dialogue was written before certain mechanics were in a final state, so some of the tutorials were tweaked to accommodate the final designs. They also worked closely with Narrative to flesh out some of the quieter gameplay sections.

Narrative continued with detailed reviews of gameplay chapters. In addition to alterations to several existing scenes to improve clarity, a handful of new scenes had dialogue written and scratch audio recorded. This included a scene with two outlaws debating the best way to breach a locked door.

“A small scene like this serves to provide some flavor and life to the AI combatants but also helps direct the player towards what their next objective is and how to potentially bypass a puzzle. The next steps will be to test the dialogue additions during future playthroughs and make any additional adjustments as needed.” 

Development of the dynamic dialogue system continued, which is used by background characters as they go about their lives. This latest pass led to a more concise line set that will allow for greater flexibility with how lines are used to accommodate a variety of scenarios. These background characters are not meant to distract players from scripted character content but provide a general sense of activity and immersion.

The team added names and description strings for a variety of naval uniforms, bespoke weapons, and military gadgets. They also reviewed updates to the military mobiGlas with regards to how mission information will be displayed and began the validation process to ensure subtitles match the dialogue as recorded.

“Sometimes during an actor’s performance, they can adjust a line slightly from how it was written and it’s important to us that subtitles are as accurate as possible.”

The UI team continued to work closely with the Vehicle team on the heads-up displays (HUD) and multi-function displays (MFD). This involved adjusting the HUD to incorporate new elements along with reworking the UI style of one manufacturer to give it more character and make it feel more unique.

Now that the Vehicle team has some of the new MFD screens working in-game, a pass was done to improve their appearance and help with the Building Blocks UI setup to create a solid template to work from going forward.

UI also concepted several more interactive screens for gameplay puzzles and made visual and control improvements to the StarMap.

The VFX team continued overhauling the particle library, making the most of several improvements to the particle system to allow for greater flexibility. This includes being able to override various settings per effect in a level, letting the artists focus on a higher quality of effect without having to maintain each instanced version.

Further improvements were made to the new quantum travel effects, with new refractive particles spawning around a ship’s signed distance field.

Finally, the VFX team implemented a ‘task pool,’ which allows the artists to tackle various miscellaneous tasks that have accumulated in the backlog.

“This typically consists of minor bugs and quality-of-life improvements, so it has been great to be able to focus on these things while continuing to support major content and features.” VFX Team