Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:49pm 08/11/22 | 1 Comments
Squadron 42 is the cinematic single-player off-shoot to the perpetually in-development Star Citizen that features an all-star cast, including Mark Hamill, Gary Oldman, and Gillian Anderson. It feels like a spiritual successor to Wing Commander, promising a rich narrative with plenty of action built on the impressive tech powering Star Citizen.
“Squadron 42 will be done when it is done, and will not be released just to make a date but instead once all the tech and content is finished, polished and it plays great,” Chris Roberts wrote. “I am not willing to compromise making a game I believe in with all my heart and soul, even though everyone (including me) wants Squadron 42 sooner than later.”
In a community-friendly exercise in transparency, the Squadron 42 team has been providing detailed monthly updates on development progress. Covering things like AI, technology, cinematics, and other elements. The most recent update notes that when it comes to bustling shopping and dining locations NPCs are now ordering, carrying, and consuming food to add to the immersion. It definitely sounds cool. In terms of stealth and engagement, NPC AI for the FPS sections will react to distractions - from the sound of an engine to the player turning off a light.
You might be wondering why there hasn’t been a lot of coverage on the game’s progress anywhere. And that’s because it’s all written like this.
For non-combat AI, the team worked on functionality to support NPCs moving cargo from one location to another, including picking up crates, stacking them on a trolley, moving the trolley to a destination (such as a cargo hold), and then taking them off the trolley and re-stacking them. An existing prototype was also adapted with new tech to provide behaviors that can be used in varying locations to bring them to life.
Small detail stuff like this spread out over thousands of jargon-filled confusing words each month. Where it gets weird though is when you get to stuff like this. And there’s lots of it.
Last month, the AI Tech team made several usability improvements to the Apollo Subsumption tool. This included updating the multigraph with feature folders and functions to allow organization from the outline view. For example, the designers are now able to delete and move graphs to different folders directly from the outline view panel. They can also drag a node connection into an empty section of the graph to open the drop-down menu that allows them to create a new task.
And this, from a month ago.
In September, the Physics team refactored the ray world intersection (RWI) verification. Requests are now verified when queued. The RWI API now also supports the named parameter idiom to prevent further mishaps in its use. An option was also added to RWI that allows sphere tracing against distance fields. Moreover, changes were done in the level export code to enable the reliable attachment of roped to other entities on the client.
Optimizations were made to the clip volume submission and in scattering injection stages for volumetric fog. Now, the artists are able to tag mesh sub-objects as interiors or exteriors to better handle lighting around turrets and doors. Progress began on an edge highlight rendering mode for objects that would normally be occluded/culled by walls to support the FPS scanning of other players and NPCs.
Umm, okay. Cheers. Weirdly convoluted ways to describe elements from a game that would be better shown in small clips versus deep dives that confuse. Or explained in terms most of us could comprehend instead of pages and pages of whatever this stuff is. The updates come with nothing in terms of media either, no screenshots, no concept art, and no work-in-progress looks at Squadron 42's art direction or sound design.
Perhaps that’s the idea, walls of text full of technical jargon to make it sound like “something” is happening. We haven’t seen any gameplay footage from Squadron 42 in years.