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Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video

A new video shows off gameplay from Squadron 42, the upcoming single-player half of Star Citizen, the bifurcated, crowdfunded space game (thanks VideoSift via Ant). The clip runs over an hour, showing some day-to-day life on a starship, NPC interactions, a briefing from Davos Seaworth and Luke Skywalker, a visit to Q branch, lots of walking down seemingly endless empty corridors and stairways, space flight, and combat both in space and on the ground. For a progress report on Cloud Imperium's work on the project, a new post covers the release of Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 to all backers. Here's word on where they see this going from here:

With the release of 3.0.0, the Persistent Universe is now shifting to a quarter-based release schedule. This approach means that after each live delivery we can return to the main development branch and pick up all the changes and optimizations that have been worked on in the background and ready them for our next live release. 3.0 has been about completely revamping systems and gameplay as well as adding new content. We will now go back into our development branch, which we need to do for our Q1 release in March and will pick up the latest code and concentrate on optimizing performance, using our new gameplay and systems to the fullest, as well as continuing with the balance and polish of the PU.

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60. removed Dec 28, 2017, 21:59 AbdulMathis
 
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59. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 27, 2017, 23:37 Drayth
 
Creston wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 11:49:
If I'm reading him right, right now the engine is loading ALL objects into client memory at FULL detail, no matter how far or whether they're even in view? :o

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4fgWLgbNDs

: )

From what I understand, what's bogging down the game mainly is your local client is updating the position of every moving object no matter where it is. Every player, every ship, every npc (which is one thing I think dragged the SQ42 demo down), etc.. The developers said one of the biggest frame killers is when a large ship full of cargo explodes, because of all of the debris (ejected cargo).

Once they have local clients only updating their close regions of space things should improve.

For those interested, here's the SQ42 demo with commentary from the team. I'm only 10 minutes in, but it's already pretty insightful.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qcHAfaQh3QE
 
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58. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 27, 2017, 08:14 Prez
 
HorrorScope wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 14:41:
Prez wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 12:43:
What? You don't enjoy games the exact same way I do?!?! Sorry Creston I love ya man but now you're dead to me.

That's some special kind of love there man.

Hard to tell if you missed that it was sarcasm, or just riffing off my silly comment to Creston, but just in case, I was joking.
 
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57. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 15:22 jdreyer
 
Prez wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 09:49:
For those slagging off the gameplay vid as proving this game is a walking simulator (or helmet-donning simulator if you prefer) and complaining the dog-fight to mission prep time ratio is way skewed towards the boring in my opinion you are clearly missing the point of the vision behind this whole venture. And I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Think of Wing Commander - what REALLY made that game the seminal, iconic space game that it is to this day? Is it the dog-fighting or the space battles? Not really in my opinion. At least not in totality. For me, what made Wing Commander one of my top 3 games of all time (don't think anything will ever beat out X-Com and Homeworld for my 1 and 2 spots) was the little details that led up to the space battles - touring the Tiger's Claw, chatting up the bartender, talking tactics with the other pilots, seeing the empty chair where a pilot WOULD be sitting had they not died last mission fighting a Kilrathi battle cruiser, the cinematic showing the mad scramble to your fighter to repel a surprise Kilrathi attack on the Claw... By the time you got into space you were completely and utterly sold on the experience; everything leading up to the battle had contexualized the experience so that it was exciting, harrowing, and alive. You were THERE. Defending YOUR carrier and home. Trying to keep your wingman alive so you could talk to him again in the Tiger's Claw lounge. Make no mistake - Roberts is a terrible business man and an utterly undisciplined project manager, but in my book his vision is beyond reproach. I pray he ignores each and every one of your complaints as far as the lead up to the action.

Now the complaints about performance... yeah I'm totally with you.

I don't mind a bit of the fluff, and I'm sure what we saw in these missions will be very, very cool the first several times. It does look very immersive, and they've done a great job. But eventually the 10 minute walk from the briefing room to the ship is going to get old. I did see that they've streamlined some of that stuff compared to previous presentations, so I'm sure I'm far from the only person feeling that way.

As for the cut scenes, I found them engaging and the story interesting. Didn't mind it at all.
 
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56. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 14:41 HorrorScope
 
Prez wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 12:43:
What? You don't enjoy games the exact same way I do?!?! Sorry Creston I love ya man but now you're dead to me.

That's some special kind of love there man.
 
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55. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 14:01 theyarecomingforyou
 
Creston wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 11:49:
If I'm reading him right, right now the engine is loading ALL objects into client memory at FULL detail, no matter how far or whether they're even in view?

I mean, I'm not a programmer, but didn't game devs learn to NOT do that like twenty-five years ago?
The issue is that the CryEngine networking code is extremely limited. It's simply not designed for MMOs, let alone one like Star Citizen where millions of entities will have to be tracked. Normally players wouldn't see issues like this because they'd only play the final product but Star Citizen is being developed iteratively. The networking code is all being developed, with the next major release meant to be coming around March.

Creston wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 13:45:
It's funny reading through comments on SC's forum, and a lot of people praising the performance in 3.0, because they get "a steady 20-27 fps".

I wouldn't even want to play Xcom at 27fps, much less try to play a twitchy space / dogfight simulator...
Yeah, some people are just ridiculous. I know previous releases were worse, at around 15-20fps, but that doesn't excuse getting only 30fps currently. When I've had 60fps+ it's like playing an entirely different game and it really is a great experience until the performance inevitably degrades. There are so many people willing to defend anything CIG does.

Alpha 3.0 is no 'magic bullet' release. It's an improvement but there's still a LONG way to go.
 
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54. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 13:45 Creston
 
It's funny reading through comments on SC's forum, and a lot of people praising the performance in 3.0, because they get "a steady 20-27 fps".

I wouldn't even want to play Xcom at 27fps, much less try to play a twitchy space / dogfight simulator...
 
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53. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 12:43 Prez
 
What? You don't enjoy games the exact same way I do?!?! Sorry Creston I love ya man but now you're dead to me.

Oh, and for the slower kids in the class, that was sarcasm.

But I still hope they don't change a thing. While admittedly I didn't sit through every dialog in WC on every play through past the first, for me the effect of all that immersion-building had a cumulative effect that made ensuing playthroughs just as affecting and memorable as the first playthrough.
 
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52. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 11:55 Creston
 
Prez wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 09:49:
For those slagging off the gameplay vid as proving this game is a walking simulator (or helmet-donning simulator if you prefer) and complaining the dog-fight to mission prep time ratio is way skewed towards the boring in my opinion you are clearly missing the point of the vision behind this whole venture. And I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Think of Wing Commander - what REALLY made that game the seminal, iconic space game that it is to this day? Is it the dog-fighting or the space battles? Not really in my opinion. At least not in totality. For me, what made Wing Commander one of my top 3 games of all time (don't think anything will ever beat out X-Com and Homeworld for my 1 and 2 spots) was the little details that led up to the space battles - touring the Tiger's Claw, chatting up the bartender, talking tactics with the other pilots, seeing the empty chair where a pilot WOULD be sitting had they not died last mission fighting a Kilrathi battle cruiser, the cinematic showing the mad scramble to your fighter to repel a surprise Kilrathi attack on the Claw... By the time you got into space you were completely and utterly sold on the experience; everything leading up to the battle had contexualized the experience so that it was exciting, harrowing, and alive. You were THERE. Defending YOUR carrier and home. Trying to keep your wingman alive so you could talk to him again in the Tiger's Claw lounge. Make no mistake - Roberts is a terrible business man and an utterly undisciplined project manager, but in my book his vision is beyond reproach. I pray he ignores each and every one of your complaints as far as the lead up to the action.

Now the complaints about performance... yeah I'm totally with you.

Prez,

More power to you, dude, but that's not why I played Wing Commander. Yeah, walking the Tiger's Claw was fun, the first time I did it. Talking to the companions was fun, the first time I did it and as long as they had new things to say.

But I didn't replay the game like 25 times because of that. I replayed it because of the space battles. You know, the actual gameplay.

Any consecutive playthroughs, I tended to just ignore talking to team mates, or just fast-cycled through their conversations. I already know what they're going to say, so let's just get to the fighting already.

If you prefer to walk along the ship for hours and talk to people for hours, like I said, more power to you. And clearly that seems to be what CR likes to do as well, so you should be well taken care of. To me it seems like WAAAAY too much of it.

Whenever I was on the Tiger's Claw, it took like 5 minutes, then I was out flying again. Here it seems like it would literally take hours before you get to go out again. Hell, you'd probably spend an hour just trying to find the briefing room in that carrier's rat's nest of tunnels.
 
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51. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 11:49 Creston
 
So, some interesting stuff from Chris Roberts:

From the data we see it is not so much about player count but more about WHAT the players are doing. In our internal testing we didn't witness the performance issues that we saw on PTU or Live once thousands of players got in and started doing all sorts of crazy things. Fill up a Caterpillar with cargo, blow it up over an Outpost on a moon and you can bring the clients and servers to their knees (as you've just added hundreds if not thousands of additional objects to simulate). One other common issue that can kill performance is interpenetration of objects as that causes an overload on physics, especially if its on a larger object. An example of this is the Asteroid Mission (which we disabled last night) that was spawning on top or near Olisar and being sucked into the local grid causing all sorts of issues and deadlocks. In addition we need to do a better job of efficiently handling the bigger ships which can bring in thousands of additional elements to update as opposed to the smaller ships that have a lot less items and geometry. Have a bunch of people fly around in Starfarers and Caterpillars and you're straining the clients and server far more than you would be with a bunch of Auroras and Hornets.



We have solutions for all these things, including moving physics to a batch updating model from an asynchronous one which will allow us to scale the physics much better (currently we are limited to only four threads for physics regardless of the cores on a client or server), level of detail updates for objects on the client from the server (don't update or update less frequently when far away, unbind an object from the network if far away from the client's view), Object Container streaming (whole areas of the game are only streamed in when needed on the client, allowing for dramatically less objects on clients) and they are in various stages of progress but they are not something we can complete in a week or two.

If I'm reading him right, right now the engine is loading ALL objects into client memory at FULL detail, no matter how far or whether they're even in view?

I mean, I'm not a programmer, but didn't game devs learn to NOT do that like twenty-five years ago?
 
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50. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 10:16 RedEye9
 
Kosumo wrote on Dec 26, 2017, 00:15:
He is lying.
Wow, woke up on the wrong side of the bed again. I've had those days.
Don't worry, it will get better.
 
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49. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 10:05 theyarecomingforyou
 
Kosumo wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 16:42:
That's just lies.

You show me a video of someone having 50fps+ for five minutes on a live server while actively "playing" the "game" and I'll apologize, other wise you are just a cultist lying because you believe in the faith of Chris Roberts.
I haven't recorded any videos but I took a screenshot using the in-game console command to show framerate: here. That was whilst the game was still in PTU but I've joined a live server and has 75fps whilst exploring Port Olisar and 50fps+ in space. As always it continued to drop throughout the play session until it ended up around 35fps but I had a good twenty minutes of decent performance.

Let's be clear though, my computer spec is way above average. I've got an overclocked 8700K, 32GB RAM and an overclocked GTX 1080. It's in my signature, so it's not something I'm hiding.

My point is that the potential for performance is there. The issues with framerate are related to servers, which is something that Squadron 42 doesn't have to worry about. It's much easier for them to optimise performance for a singleplayer offline game than a networked multiplayer game with 50 players on the server. It's also worth pointing out that CIG has regular free-fly weekends where people can test out performance for themselves.

But if insulting me is what you want to do then go ahead, it really doesn't concern me. You sound like a very bitter individual.
 
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48. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 09:49 Prez
 
For those slagging off the gameplay vid as proving this game is a walking simulator (or helmet-donning simulator if you prefer) and complaining the dog-fight to mission prep time ratio is way skewed towards the boring in my opinion you are clearly missing the point of the vision behind this whole venture. And I say that without a hint of sarcasm. Think of Wing Commander - what REALLY made that game the seminal, iconic space game that it is to this day? Is it the dog-fighting or the space battles? Not really in my opinion. At least not in totality. For me, what made Wing Commander one of my top 3 games of all time (don't think anything will ever beat out X-Com and Homeworld for my 1 and 2 spots) was the little details that led up to the space battles - touring the Tiger's Claw, chatting up the bartender, talking tactics with the other pilots, seeing the empty chair where a pilot WOULD be sitting had they not died last mission fighting a Kilrathi battle cruiser, the cinematic showing the mad scramble to your fighter to repel a surprise Kilrathi attack on the Claw... By the time you got into space you were completely and utterly sold on the experience; everything leading up to the battle had contexualized the experience so that it was exciting, harrowing, and alive. You were THERE. Defending YOUR carrier and home. Trying to keep your wingman alive so you could talk to him again in the Tiger's Claw lounge. Make no mistake - Roberts is a terrible business man and an utterly undisciplined project manager, but in my book his vision is beyond reproach. I pray he ignores each and every one of your complaints as far as the lead up to the action.

Now the complaints about performance... yeah I'm totally with you.

This comment was edited on Dec 26, 2017, 11:05.
 
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47. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 26, 2017, 00:15 Kosumo
 
He is lying.  
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46. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 25, 2017, 18:28 jdreyer
 
Kosumo wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 16:42:
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 12:55:
With a decent rig and fresh server you can already get 80fps+ in Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 and there's a lot more optimisation to come.

That's just lies.

You show me a video of someone having 50fps+ for five minutes on a live server while actively "playing" the "game" and I'll apologize, other wise you are just a cultist lying because you believe in the faith of Chris Roberts.

Your lies could cost other people money and that's wrong. You should feel shame.

Even the liar Chris Roberts admits the frame rate is shit (but blames the players for it) ------> Chris Roberts on performace

Whoa, dude. It is Christmas.
 
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45. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 25, 2017, 16:42 Kosumo
 
theyarecomingforyou wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 12:55:
With a decent rig and fresh server you can already get 80fps+ in Star Citizen Alpha 3.0 and there's a lot more optimisation to come.

That's just lies.

You show me a video of someone having 50fps+ for five minutes on a live server while actively "playing" the "game" and I'll apologize, other wise you are just a cultist lying because you believe in the faith of Chris Roberts.

Your lies could cost other people money and that's wrong. You should feel shame.

Even the liar Chris Roberts admits the frame rate is shit (but blames the players for it) ------> Chris Roberts on performace
 
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44. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 25, 2017, 16:10 theyarecomingforyou
 
jdreyer wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 15:08:
This was one of my thoughts: SQ4 is a spiritual WC remake, but there's almost no ship to ship combat. I didn't think what they showed was necessarily bad, just not what people are expecting out of this project, perhaps. There was more FPS combat than ship to ship, for example.
It's not designed to be representative of the game, as it doesn't even feature the Vanduul or most of the main cast (Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Andy Serkis, John Rhys-Davies, Rhona Mitra, Mark Strong, etc). It was clearly chosen because it is narrative driven, meaning they didn't have to show off any of the main gameplay mechanics. That's what makes it clear that the game isn't going to be released for another two-to-three years at least.

At the moment so many of the primary gameplay mechanics simply haven't been implemented. The UI is undergoing major reworks, the AI is rudimentary and some of the core engine tech is missing (e.g. Vulkan, etc). They weren't even confident enough to show this live and the initial stream was still delayed by a day despite that.

So don't think for a second that space combat will be virtual nonexistent. It's obviously going to be the primary aspect of the game, it's just a) missing most of the gameplay mechanics, and b) already playable in Star Citizen Alpha 3.0. Fans don't want to see the same space combat they can already play - they want to see what's new and different. Should more have been shown for the casual viewers? Maybe, but the demonstration was already over an hour long as it is.
 
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43. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 25, 2017, 15:29 jdreyer
 
heroin wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 15:01:
RSI - "Vertical Slice" Bluesnews - "My Arse"

Well it's a "vertical slice" in the sense that it's a single playable mission with all/most of the subsystems operational. But it's not quite an accurate use of the term, since it took years to get to this place and it's literally millions of lines of code. It's not "thin." A better use of the term would be say, the heartrate monitor. The build out allows it to be viewable on-screen, accurate, and reflect the current energy level of the character.
 
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42. Re: Star Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 25, 2017, 15:08 jdreyer
 
VaranDragon wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 07:33:
There is like 30 seconds of actual space fights in that entire gameplay video and it looks like shit. A space game needs to get that shit right before any other consideration.

Sure looks pretty but if it has 30 seconds of really crappy spaceflight combat in a mission that lasts an hour, something is seriously fucking wrong with it.

This was one of my thoughts: SQ4 is a spiritual WC remake, but there's almost no ship to ship combat. I didn't think what they showed was necessarily bad, just not what people are expecting out of this project, perhaps. There was more FPS combat than ship to ship, for example.

EDIT: Agree with most of what Creston said. Nice writeup, man.
 
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41. Re: Re: Citizen Squadron 42 Gameplay Video Dec 25, 2017, 15:05 jdreyer
 
Kxmode wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 05:40:
jdreyer wrote on Dec 25, 2017, 04:19:
There's way, way too much built out and dialog recorded for this to be anything but an actual mission. They may tweak it here or there, but overall I think this is representative of what we're going to see M2 or M3 in SQ42.

They need to polish up the animations and such, but overall this is a hopeful sign that SQ42 at least will be an epic SP campaign.

It still feels "scripted." Perhaps Roberts' lies in the past have tainted the presentation to where I can't trust what RSI produces as actual gameplay. I do think they need to tone down the walking. It may be okay at first but imagine doing that for each and every mission.

For sure, the "player" knows way too much and is able to rescue Trejo almost instantly despite this being the first time in the installation. But I'm pretty sure as built, this will be a mission, although perhaps with a bit more guidance, since it was not obvious at all to me what where the hell to go once in the installation.
 
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