RSI and Cloud Imperium Games didn’t have the best of news to share at this year’s CitizenCon, but they did have some new video footage to help keep the hype train rolling. The real news, however, is that Squadron 42, the single-player, story-based campaign mode for Star Citizen has been delayed.
Blues did a round-up of the news, explaining that the core tech hurdles need to be tackled first before the first full chapter can be released to backers.
Their main hurdle appears to be the artificial intelligence and getting NPCs operating correctly within the persistent universe. They need to finish up the following tasks before the first chapter of Squadron 42 is complete and released to the public.
- Pathfinding Logic
- Full Animation Integration
- Improved Combat Logic
- Mission System Integration
- Enhanced Fight AI
Those things are and are not bad. AI can be a hassle when you’re working with limited resource budgets, especially on home consoles. Things are a lot freer when dealing strictly with PC, and in this case CIG is dealing strictly with PC, so they can scale a bit higher when it comes to resource consumption for Star Citizen and its CPU usage as opposed to home consoles.
AI are definitely a CPU drain, which is why one of their other tech hurdles is optimizing the object container streaming for CPU and GPU usage. Essentially, this determines how well things load into and out of memory, how quickly they’re buffered in and out of memory, how quickly the CPU can access, store and relinquish executions, as well as scaling to the ever-increasing scope of Star Citizen.
The delay makes a lot of sense given that they just recently managed to accomplish procedural planet simulation, so I imagine they’re now trying to tie-in everything to the latest updates.
According to the post, they did manage to grey-box the Squadron 42 campaign levels, so all of the basic player mechanics are in place but they still need to put everything together, polish up the AI, fix all the glitches, squash all the bugs, and tie everything together.
As STLYoungblood pointed out in the video below, CIG has plans on selling the Polaris while gamers wait for new updates on Squadron 42.
Once the first chapter is complete, CIG plans on polishing it to full release level and give backers something to sink their teeth into. Unfortunately, this appears as if it won’t happen until sometime in 2017.
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