Chris Roberts on Squadron 42's Absence & Big Moves on Planets V2, Roadmap

By Published October 10, 2016 at 12:47 am

CitizenCon 2016 included the biggest technological demonstrations that the game has publicly shown to-date, including fully functional procedural generation 2.0 for planets, real-time spring physics, and authoring tools. The technology suite was detailed in two of our recent interviews with Sean Tracy and Chris Roberts, but was overshadowed in some ways by statements given regarding a potential Squadron 42 demonstration for CitizenCon 2016.

Viewers of the stream (or our content) will know that Squadron 42 didn't make it into the live demonstration, already packed with hours of discussion on Spectrum (comms systems), procedural generation, authoring tools, and roadmaps. The demonstration was technologically and graphically impressive, but Squadron 42 was left out for polish and refinement reasons. Roberts indirectly referenced our interview on stage, stating that, “I gave an interview about 3 weeks ago and probably spoke too soon,” but continued that he hoped the planet and tools demonstrations would make up for this.

In our post-event interview, we spoke with CIG CEO Chris Roberts on his thoughts regarding the event, the roadmap for Star Citizen, and Squadron 42's absence. Learn more in the video, or find a transcript below.

"I mentioned when we interviewed before that I was hoping we were going to show one of the – essentially, in our process, we're sort of story and content complete. We filmed most our stuff, we're very far along in most of the assets. We have all this – the missions, the chapters – sort of blocked-out, what we call 'white box,' some are much further stages along. We were taking one of them, which is what we were planning on originally showing here to a final polish, finished level, but it's very important to be that final polish/finish level. We got pretty close, but I didn't feel like it was close enough.

“For me, on SQ42, that was the commitment I made – we're going to show it when it's ready. We're not quite there yet, so we'll continue on that, we'll show that when it happens, but that sort of sets the bar for the rest of it. So, when all that's in, that's sort of our ability to – a lot of times, until you start bringing things to the final quality, you're not polishing the animations, you're not testing the technology, you're not covering the edge cases between things working. That's a lot of what's been going on. We've been working on SQ42 for a long time, but even this final chapter for quite a while. We're not happy with something that's OK, or good, kind of like some other games. It needs to be super fluid, and you don't feel like, 'oh, he's jumping between AI locomotion and a [performance] cap scene.' We weren't quite ready to show it.

“Also, you don't want to show too much stuff all at once. We showed a pretty big demo, and sometimes I think that's a problem – like last time at Gamescom, we showed the Morrow Tour, where characters were more basic than they are now. And really, 2.0 sort of overshadowed it, which was the large world and the procedural stuff. To me, we're putting our best foot forward, so I showed the crashed Javelin demo with big space worm. That's kind of what the experience will look like, but on Squadron 42, it's on another level beyond that. We weren't quite there, but we have a couple live streams this year. We have a November and December one, so tune in for that and you never know what you'll see.”

The beginning of the video discusses the procedural planet technology and plans for Star Marine and Arena Commander in the immediate future, both of which will soon receive updates. We've got a more technologically inclined interview with Sean Tracy that will soon go live, followed by a content-side interview with Erin Roberts. Check back for those.

For more depth and a full recap of the evening's presentation, be sure to check out our in-depth article with 4K screenshots.

Follow us on YouTube, Twitter, or support on Patreon for more content in short order.

Editorial: Steve “Lelldorianx” Burke
Video: Keegan “HornetSting” Gallick

Last modified on October 10, 2016 at 12:47 am
Steve Burke

Steve started GamersNexus back when it was just a cool name, and now it's grown into an expansive website with an overwhelming amount of features. He recalls his first difficult decision with GN's direction: "I didn't know whether or not I wanted 'Gamers' to have a possessive apostrophe -- I mean, grammatically it should, but I didn't like it in the name. It was ugly. I also had people who were typing apostrophes into the address bar - sigh. It made sense to just leave it as 'Gamers.'"

First world problems, Steve. First world problems.

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