FAO Squadron 42 Recruits.

Welcome to April’s Squadron 42 development report. Enclosed you will find details on the latest progress made across the campaign, including AI behaviors, ship combat, and easter eggs.

Thank you for your continued support of Squadron 42.


AI (Content)

April saw the AI Content team enhancing the dialogue experience, introducing four dynamic conversations into chapter one to showcase chapter-specific content more effectively. They also addressed a critical issue where players could observe NPCs despawning after following them – NPCs now engage with the environment meaningfully until the player exits the area.

The team then implemented input variables to enhance flexibility in player-AI interactions, allowing for tailored reactions, such as a formal greeting followed by task-related dialogue, a concise ‘busy’ response, or no dialogue at all. This expanded functionality proved invaluable for addressing the campaign’s diverse narrative scenarios.

Overall NPC behaviors were refined too, with the team resolving a bug causing NPC guards to gradually shift leftward each time they saluted the player. This was caused by a locator malfunction.

The team also rectified an issue where the ‘supervisor’ NPC was inconsistently present on the Stanton’s bridge across the day-night cycle.

For combat mechanics, AI Content utilized new mo-cap to refine how players interact with the Gladius. Alongside this, various tasks and bug fixes were completed to improve the overall player experience.

AI (Features)

Last month, the AI Features team made updates and bug fixes to AI combat for the Persistent Universe. Once Alpha 3.23 launches, these improvements will be brought into SQ42 to further enhance the flight and combat experience.

AI (Tech)

AI Tech began supporting usables reacting to Maelstrom physics. As part of this, the usable will react to the destroyed object and enable or disable specific functionalities. For example, if an engineer inspects a broken wing of the Gladius, they will notice the damage and perform an appropriate interaction. For cover, the system will react to the object’s destruction and notify NPCs that might be already using the cover.


The Animation team worked on numerous space-centered movements throughout April, including zero-g and prone movement in gravity. They also worked on first-person animations for turrets, interacting with fire extinguishers, MedPens, and more.

The team then continued working on player weapon reloading and malfunctions as well as burning down AI combat animations, including reloads and hit reactions. Hit reactions were also shot for a new enemy class.

The team is currently closing out several background and life elements across various locations, such as the Idris. They also supported Cinematics with mo-cap shoots for the opening of the campaign.

The Facial Animation team continued to develop assets for the cast characters and player. On the mo-cap side, the team supported mo-cap sessions needed to complete specific levels.
Gameplay Story

April saw the Gameplay Story team focusing on chapter one. As part of this, they continued bug fixing and polishing, with their involvement on the chapter tapering off as it nears completion.

In addition to this, the team continued to implement and improve scenes across other chapters, with April’s work mostly dealing with chapter five. For example, they overhauled a scene in an elevator with new mo-cap and encouragement lines.

“It was great to see all these elements working together with great timing in-game.” Gameplay Story Team

Also for chapter five, a scene on a tram platform received new mo-cap to improve how a key character reacts to the player.


Throughout April, Narrative progressed with tasks started in previous months alongside reexamining remaining work to make sure that everything is covered and tracked.

The team continued generating environmental chatter that will be sprinkled throughout the story to provide additional backstory and insights into the social dynamics of the crew.

Additionally, Narrative worked closely with Core Gameplay to implement the Galactapedia, testing out the layout, content, and triggering of various entries. This is being trialed on a sample level to establish a standardized process before being applied across the game.

The team continued to review text used for mission objectives, as well as the on-screen tutorials based on Level Design’s latest updates to the game flow, to ensure players have a clear understanding of what’s needed from them. This will be an ongoing endeavor as levels are solidified and tested.

Work also continued with several external vendors to generate collectible content that will be found throughout the game.

“While we can’t get into the specifics to avoid spoilers, this additional content should provide really fun easter eggs for players to track down.” Narrative Team

Finally, Narrative kicked off an initiative across several teams to better test and validate their voice packs. While versions of this have existed for some time, the aim is for it to feature a gameplay-centric interface that will allow the Narrative, Audio, and Design teams to modify the combat experience through debug triggers that can help satisfy conditions to trigger lines.
Tech Animation

The Tech Animation team continued to generate and implement new head assets to the DNA gene pool, and are not far from completing the initiative of 80 heads.

Many devs are currently dealing with the complications of players and NPCs putting on and taking off clothes live in the engine.

“This has been ongoing for some time and, with the addition of animation resources into the mix, we are seeing great headway in both generating the assets for animation and generating usable pipelines to expedite the entire process for everyone involved.” Tech Animation Team

Additionally, the team are intrinsic in the creation and implementation of new creatures for both the PU and SQ42.

They’re also involved in work toward consumables and the setup of foodstuffs, with the team aiming to guide this initiative and promote time-saving workflows.
Tech Design

Last month, Tech Design began moving the recent Ship AI changes from the PU into SQ42. They also set up new ammo crate entities, provided miscellaneous tech support, and fixed several bugs.

In April, the UI team focused on the opening level of the game, creating several motion-graphic videos of boot-up sequences for when the player uses tech for the first time. These are used to work out the timings of animated sequences so, once they’re signed off, they can easily be recreated in-engine.

The team also worked on the UI for one of the alien races.

Last month, the VFX team worked on holographic shader improvements, including extending the feature set so that it can be more widely used by the Art and Design teams.

As usual, general support for Art, Cinematics, and Design continued, including positive steps for destruction workflows.