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Squadron 42 Development Update March 2023

Welcome to a Squadron 42 Development Update for March 2023… Looking at what CI have been working on over the last few weeks on Star Citizen’s Single Player Campaign and what they are focus on now in March and the rest of Q1.

There are still no dates for Squadron 42 Episode 1’s release… BUT we do have a lot of tangible dev updates…

Gameplay Features continued working on save and load. They set save points up in one of the missions and passed it to QA to see what wasn’t loading back in correctly so they could debug and fix it.

“We’re now getting the save time down and saving in the background so there isn’t a long stall each time.” 

They also set up consoles and datapads to run mobiGlas apps. This allows them to access the same functionality from different places or even create console-specific apps.

The new Starmap was enabled as the radar in the Gladius, which can transition between radar and full-screen modes and power on and off. The initial implementation of the new display markers was completed too.

Further polish was done on the seamless transition between the player camera and cinematic camera based on the Cinematics team’s feedback. 

The team further developed a feature that controls vehicles remotely. They can now constrain vehicles to a given area and ultimately lock them in a given place.

The Vehicle team spent part of the month enabling the newly redesigned quantum travel feature across various chapters in the campaign.

“It’s taken a lot of bug fixing, testing, and iteration to get to this stage, but so far it’s been going well and the new quantum travel is set to be enabled game-wide very shortly. As well as just bug fixing and testing, we’ve had lots of design feedback from the directors and we’ve been making iterations to the UI, controls, VFX, and general feel of the feature.” 

The other major area of focus was vehicle UI integrating the HUD and MFD System.

The underlying MFD tech is complete and the feature is almost usable in-game. The team now have the goal of enabling it game-wide for use in playtests by all devs in the company.

The ship-recall feature saw further iterating. This involved collaboration with the AI, Flight Systems, and other Feature teams. When complete, the player will be able to use the SQ42 mobiGlas to call their ship and request it fly back to them.

Gameplay Story concentrated on mo-cap with various scenes seeing polish pasesses and updates for the characters and animations.

Including working on a scene that’s used if the player gets injured and has to go to the medical bay.

Level Design

The Space/Dogfight team continued working to get all of the ship combat sections of the game flowing seamlessly into the social and FPS sections. They also continued working with the various Feature teams to get critical system updates integrated into the game flow. Last month, they further improved quantum travel and pinned targets. Save and load was also worked on alongside Gameplay Features.

Level Design’s Social team made a concerted push on background behaviors and schedules for the Idris, connecting all the scenes & characters together and making a living breathing environment including the deck crew, bridge crew, utility, marines, engineers, gunners, medical, leisure, sleeping, sustenance, and hygiene. A large party scene aboard the ship progressed well too.


The SQ42 Animation team worked on various features, including their first creature enemy, Vanduul searching actions and threatens, ammo looting, and AI healing. They also worked on pro-style takedowns based on the recent unskilled versions; some design changes were made and responses to failed attacks were blocked out.

Background AI was developed for sick characters, medical wards, and emergency exits from object use. The team also worked on the Kastak Arms sniper rifle and began reviewing the first pass of the Titan animation rig. Zero-g grenade use for the player was also developed alongside further zero-g traversal and movement.

Various mo-cap data was captured, including a crowd watching a fight, numerous walk styles, use of hygiene cubicles, movement and stacking boxes, security weapon racks, and improved threat reactions for civilians.

The Facial Animation team worked on lines for enemies in Aciedo and captured facial forms and locomotion performances for injured and sick characters.

Narrative are working on some background characters codenamed “redshirts” and gettin their mocap & wildlines done.

They also kicked off outlining the various collectibles that will be scattered throughout the game. Now that the types of collectibles have been decided, Narrative can start outlining each one so the Props team can start creating assets.

Character Art team continue work on the Screaming Galsons faction, including a set of cybernetic arms that the team are excited to implement.

They’re currently progressing with the high-poly stages for the navy pilot flightsuit and other navy assets. Work began on the OMC faction and the model for the enemy creature mentioned above.

The AI Content team began setting characters up to use the mobiGlas at a variety of seats and tables.

“This is actually simpler than drinking and allowed us to get some great results in a short space of time.” 

They completed a lot of animation polish, including a medic inspecting a patient, exiting beds from different directions and heights, and sitting on the floor feeling sick.

Design wise they enabled utility characters to load boxes onto a trolley, move the trolley, and then unload the boxes to add additional life to large areas. 

Alongside this, the bridge crew behavior in Shubin Station was refined and a first-pass setup for an interactive weapon rack was completed.

The AI Features team finished work on a non-Humanoid creature AI. This involved increasing the range of animations that the creature can use, including a slow walk that allows the creature to stalk its prey, and look-poses that allow the creature to turn its head to face the target.

Improvements were also made to the code that distributes the creatures around a target when they attack in groups. This uses the formation system currently used by spaceship AI; when moving towards the target, it checks for and creates a formation around the target, with offsets designed to space the attacks equally. This implementation is currently with the designers for feedback before final adjustments are made.

AI Features continued with the medic behaviors, which allows the enemy AI to revive friends. ‘Downed’ AI are those that have taken near-fatal damage and can only be revived using a med-pen. ‘Unconscious’ AI are those that have been knocked out (e.g. by stealth takedown) and can be revived by any friendly. They also worked on different NPC interactions on finding a downed and incapped NPC… They will call a medic over. 

Development of the buddy AI continued. This now includes matching the player’s stance (e.g. crouch) and moving between cover when enemies are near.

AI Tech completed the NPC Transit feature, which manages elevators and trains. Now, NPCs will understand if a transit carriage is present at their location and whether they can move directly inside, if they need to wait, or if they should press a button to call it. They will also understand when they’ve arrived at their destination and will move outside. While in the carriage, NPCs will look for a usable and idle there until they reach their destination. 

The team then allocated time to improving NPC trolley usage, ensuring that NPCs can use elevators and move trolleys with them if the behavior requests it. 

The team also finished the base skeleton for ‘boids’ (bird-oid objects), which will enable groups of small creatures like birds, fish, and rats. 

For AI tools, the team progressed their work on Apollo (the Subsumption tool) and adding various new functionalities.

Work continued on the usable coordinator tool, that can better specify when choosing the next usable or usable group. 

Vehicle Feature’s embedded AI team continued working on the new AI combat behaviors.

“We’ve had a lot of back and forth with the Design teams and directors to nail down behavior tactics that we’re happy with, and we are now working to implement and test this new combat AI.” AI Vehicle Features

Additionally, the new control surface feature for the vehicle flight system is being integrated with AI. 

Boom that’s it for your Squadron 42 Update this time.