TRAILER | PC Monday, October 12, 2015 | 11:45 PM

Star Citizen showcases Squadron 42

Star Citizen showcases Squadron 42

At CitizenCon, Cloud Imperium Games brought details about Squadron 42, the single player game from Star Citizen. The cast includes Gary Oldman, Gillian Anderson, Mark Hamill and John Rhys-Davies. Get inside screens, behind-the-scenes video with the cast, a facial animation tech video and the Bishop Senate Speech cinematic. Also, a new site dedicated to Squadron 42 opened.
Update: Added the Alpha 2.0 Demo video.

Squadron 42: Bishop Senate Speech
Squadron 42: Facial Animation Tech
Squadron 42: Behind the Scenes
Star Citizen Alpha 2.0: Press Demo

All comments

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Commented on 2015-10-12 18:38:22
Hope it has a decent narrative, dialogue and plot because A list actors cannot make up for shortfalls in these departments, plus concerned about the budget all these A list actors don't come cheap and it could be a financial drag on other parts of the game development.
Commented on 2015-10-12 19:21:18
The past 3 years since they launched the kickstarter campaign for this game i've had an increasingly strong feeling they spent most of the 90+ million budget on glitter and confetti. I hope i'm proven wrong in the end and that the game will be good.
Commented on 2015-10-12 20:23:37
Make a Star Trek game with Patrick Stewart in it! Make it so!
Commented on 2015-10-12 21:48:02
The footage of gary oldman looks awful. Seemed they got the talent but forgot to go somewhere that did decent looking facial capture.
Commented on 2015-10-12 22:51:07
Best facial animation that I've ever seen in any video game in real time. And this in glorious 60fps
Commented on 2015-10-12 23:19:49 In reply to ManCrush
Posted by ManCrush
Make a Star Trek game with Patrick Stewart in it! Make it so!
That would be just swell. "But it's too late... I've seen everything."
Commented on 2015-10-12 23:43:55 In reply to KORNdog
Posted by KORNdog
The footage of gary oldman looks awful. Seemed they got the talent but forgot to go somewhere that did decent looking facial capture.
I agree. It´s really hard to any real results of the hardcore Avatar-esque prepwork in the in-engine footage. A shame really.
Commented on 2015-10-13 04:01:12 In reply to Melmoth
Posted by Melmoth
The past 3 years since they launched the kickstarter campaign for this game i've had an increasingly strong feeling they spent most of the 90+ million budget on glitter and confetti. I hope i'm proven wrong in the end and that the game will be good.
I know what you mean. That's some MAJOR voice talent they've got it in there, I'm sure none of them came cheap.

Still up in the air about this game. The never ending development schedule, the ridiculous cost of ships. Hope they get it finished at some point.
Commented on 2015-10-13 04:54:23
Has anyone here actually watched the developers play this game? It's insanely in-depth. If anything, the fear outside of the costly perks, is that they're spread too thin and trying to put too much into a game to where it's impossible to make heads or tails of (i.e. plots and gameplay that serves no purpose). I believe to them, this justifies the prices of the perk system as well.
Commented on 2015-10-13 05:54:04 In reply to GrimThorne
Posted by GrimThorne
I know what you mean. That's some MAJOR voice talent they've got it in there, I'm sure none of them came cheap.

Still up in the air about this game. The never ending development schedule, the ridiculous cost of ships. Hope they get it finished at some point.
People always bring up the ship costs. I don't know if it's ignorance or stupidity but the ships wont cost *real* money in the final game, you'll buy them with credits you earn from playing. Expensive ships are currently purely there right now for the backers, which are willing to pay tons of money in support for the game, and as a bonus get a ship out of it. So all this stuff about ship costs will be totally irrelevant for the consumers when it's a finished product.

The actors are a waste of money though. No one cares about famous actors being in games. They should have just hired some random non-famous (but good) actors for way less money.
Commented on 2015-10-13 08:01:31
With the budget of this game, I'm really not worried about the game itself. :-)
Commented on 2015-10-13 09:32:22
I have only one problem......I know it's alpha, but the ships have almost zero inertia. The piloting and landing would be much more fun with more inertia into ships movements. This doesn't really feel like the ships are "floating" through the space.
Commented on 2015-10-13 10:12:15
If Phantom pain got high ratings just for being super massive on gameplay and less on narrative then i don't see much different here. Unless the devs have decided to drop an extra million dedicated for script writing, which is possible.

Also, the facial visuals are impressive for in-game. Of course going as far back with Crysis 3 they did a lot with the same engine, pushing much of the lighting and skin features in-game. not that much far apart from that game other than the newer animation and mo-cap techniques, and also the filmic AA quality.

I would say this game visually does do the Cryengine3 justice, among other titles as well. At 2k+ resolutions i'd say this would look glorious!
Commented on 2015-10-13 11:40:45 In reply to Zat
Posted by Zat
I have only one problem......I know it's alpha, but the ships have almost zero inertia. The piloting and landing would be much more fun with more inertia into ships movements. This doesn't really feel like the ships are "floating" through the space.
Not to mention their uninspired designs.
Commented on 2015-10-13 12:54:05
LOL, never heard Gary Oldman's original voice until now, he sounds like he has throat cancer or sth...
Commented on 2015-10-13 13:40:56 In reply to MinorDespera
TBH...I'm ok with designs, but yeah....we've already seen many of these before. More or less. :-)
Commented on 2015-10-13 20:16:46 In reply to NoClipMode
Posted by NoClipMode
People always bring up the ship costs. I don't know if it's ignorance or stupidity but the ships wont cost *real* money in the final game, you'll buy them with credits you earn from playing. Expensive ships are currently purely there right now for the backers, which are willing to pay tons of money in support for the game, and as a bonus get a ship out of it. So all this stuff about ship costs will be totally irrelevant for the consumers when it's a finished product.

The actors are a waste of money though. No one cares about famous actors being in games. They should have just hired some random non-famous (but good) actors for way less money.
With the budget they have, what's throwing a couple of extra grand at getting a few reputable actors to do your voice acting and giving your narrative a bit of extra polish? Gillian Anderson in digital form? Yes, please.
Commented on 2015-10-13 23:01:57
Gary Oldman does really not look good as 3D Model.
For me the actors performance does not translate well.

When you remember how good L.A.Noire looked, you would expect better results today. I still think L.A. Noire is the game to be beaten regarding facial animation/performance.
Commented on 2015-10-13 23:45:21 In reply to rezehnder
Posted by rezehnder
Gary Oldman does really not look good as 3D Model.
For me the actors performance does not translate well.

When you remember how good L.A.Noire looked, you would expect better results today. I still think L.A. Noire is the game to be beaten regarding facial animation/performance.
A good portion of the game's characters had impressive animations, from certain angles, from others it's illusion would break. That's because the game didn't exactly use modeled faces for it's motion capturing, but rather video recordings of the actors overlayed on the character's faces. In the pc version you could access the video recordings. (Which weighs a lot of gbs.)

In star citizen's case they're using blend shapes, which many games have been using as well. The only difference is the texture resolutions are much higher for it's skin wrinkles and facial expressions.
Commented on 2015-10-14 03:16:40
I don't know what to think, it looks like a great universe, but a boring one. I'm hoping it's simply the cumulative effect of the alpha state this game is in that is throwing me off.
Commented on 2015-10-14 10:42:29 In reply to MrWhite
Explaining in the best way I can, It's called "Dimensional Imaging" for short. The studio records real facial data, applies it to a really high polygon model, then takes all of the recordings + the high resolution model animations and combines them into an animated texture map.

The end result is a recording playback overlaid on a 3D model's face. the process can be seen here if you still don't get it.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jkWYfgvCRk
And here is a better look at the actual model from L.A. Noire.
http://oi48.tinypic.com/2ppixpz.jpg

The actual models of L.A. Noire are not modeled and animated like most games, instead they use real people's face recordings....which is why the face animations look real, because they are technically real. hope this helps.
Commented on 2015-10-14 11:41:41 In reply to GunsnSwords
@GunsnSwords
The same technique was used in movies like Matrix Reloaded (notably the Burly Brawl scene). For gaming i think it's an evolutionary dead end.
Commented on 2015-10-14 22:18:20 In reply to Melmoth
Posted by Melmoth
@GunsnSwords
The same technique was used in movies like Matrix Reloaded (notably the Burly Brawl scene). For gaming i think it's an evolutionary dead end.
Interesting and yes it's no longer ideal for gaming. As i mentioned earlier, the illusion would break and the characters would look like they had TV's for faces. They could produce much higher resolution results nowadays but this would make the size of the game 3-4 times bigger. L.A. Noire was 30 gbs as it was.
Commented on 2015-10-14 22:44:42
Oh, I'm well aware of that technology and have been for a few years. All it does is capture the normal information from a scanned high fidelity mesh. EA acquired the tech a few years ago, presumably to be used for Fifa, but like everything else they purchase, it's been shelved, or so it seems. It could still be very useful, although it would probably become problematic with some of the more advanced shaders and mapping these days, and in either case, facial rigs and meshes can be dense enough now to accommodate actual physical expressions rather than being faked with baked animated normals.
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