ROMNEY WORDSWORTH -Squadron 42 is being produced as a AAA game that will feature dozens of hours of motion captured, playable game content where the Player will interact with an all star cast including Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, John Rhys-Davies, Jack Huston, Ben Mendelsohn, Andy Serkis, Harry Treadaway, Liam Cunningham, Rhona Mitra, Ian Duncan, Sophie Wu, Gemma Whelan, Craig Fairbrass, and Gillian Anderson.
Squadron 42 is using the studios of Andy Serkis, who pioneered mo-cap acting with his portrayal of Gollum in Lord of the Rings.
They are employing state-of-the-art technology including triple layer facial mapping and eye retinas that will react to environmental lighting automatically. Here is a picture of the end result with Gary Oldman’s character:
Squadron 42 In Game Footage
Squadron 42 will be released in a series of “chapters” which will follow a multi-volume over-all story arc. Filming of the motion capture footage for the first chapter has been completed and it is slated for release in the first quarter of 2016.
You can check out the complete trailer for Squadron 42 HERE
But Wait! There’s More:
Get ready for the Star Citizen Universe! What is Star Citizen? It is the brainchild of Chris Roberts, designer of the highly successful Wing Commander series of games in the 1990’s. Star Citizen will essentially be a reboot of Wing Commander, using cutting edge 21st century computer technology.
Chris Roberts in his office at Cloud Imperium Games, with his wife, Sandi Gardiner
What is Star Citizen? It is two games in one. A Persistent Universe that will be a Massive Multi-Player Online game on the one hand, and a traditional scripted single player game called Squadron 42. Star Citizen has already broken a few records in game development. It has won the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest crowd funded project of all time, having raised over $93 million at the time of this writing, and that figure continues to rise continuously and is expected to break $100 million before the end of 2015. Star Citizen has already surpassed the 1 million mark for its community of backers who have donated money for crowd funding.
Crowd funding has been so successful due to Cloud Imperium offering space ship assets being developed for the game to backers now, as rewards for pledging. This means that there are no studios and no publishing house involved in the production of the game. There are no “suits” that will be rushing the game out the door in order to make a stock dividend deadline. The ships are gorgeous and highly detailed, and mere words do not do them justice.
Endeavor Class Deep Space Exploration Ship
Pledge Backers can already access some of the ships available in private Hangars, where you can inspect ships inside and out from a first person perspective.
Retaliator Class Bomber, In Game, in a Pledge Hangar
Retaliator Interior, In Game
Many single seat fighters are also flyable in an online mini-game called Arena Commander, where players can practice their dogfighting skills.
Cockpit view in game
Space combat will feature a Newtonian physics model, allowing players to orient their ships in any direction while keeping their original direction and velocity. Space ships will take damage via a Dynamic Damage System, where each shot will do unique damage depending on the power of the shot and the angle that it hits the target, closely resembling real life. No more pre-scripted disintegration of the target you’re shooting at like with other games.
Cloud Imperium Games recently released an alpha version of their Social Module, which is really the planet-side environment of the game universe. Even though the development is still only at the alpha stage, the planet-side environments look awesome:
Central Plaza of Arc Corp’s Area 18
In Game View of the Skies on Arc Corp
Interior of the G-Loc Bar
Another novel feature of the Star Citizen Universe will be the Ark Map, a three dimensional interactive map of space where you can plan trade routes:
Chris Roberts is a perfectionist, and this is to be his Magnum Opus. Development started in 2012, and the MMO Universe is not expected to reach final release before 2017. The Alpha version of the Persistent Universe, as it is called, will feature an initial volume of space one million kilometers wide and 200,000 kilometers high, containing just one star system, making it the largest playable volume of any MMO by far. By the time of full release, the PU will boast 100 or more star systems, with more being added after release. Each star system, in turn, will have on average 6-12 Landing Zones, where players can explore planetary environments, cities, or the interiors of space stations.
Approximately 400 such star systems are planned to eventually be added before the PU is considered “finished”. Cloud Imperium intends to fully support Star Citizen for years after release, adding new content and new technologies, such as the procedural generation of planets and star systems, keeping the exploration side of the game fresh for years.
You can learn more about the Star Citizen Universe here:
Full Disclosure: The Author is a Star Citizen Crowd Funder