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Squad Developer Q&A 8th August 2022

OWI have just posted answers to their selected questions sent in for the Q&A in August:


COMMUNITY

  • Question: Are there any plans for some form of regular devblog/update/newsletter/etc.? Currently news about the game is pretty inconsistent, usually leading to only hearing about something shortly before a release.

  • Asked by: Geebus

Since last summer we’ve been much more communicative with the playerbase, through these Q&As, and various blog posts. We’re working to formalize the schedule for ongoing communications like the Wrench, and the Server Spotlight. We always continue to look for new ways of keeping players updated on Squad’s development.

We are continuing to expand on what we’re sharing prior to a release, both with the general community and also with Squad’s talented Partners and content creators. We were able to share information surrounding the v3.0 update further in advance than we have with some updates of the past, and had a strong campaign from a teaser that got players talking. We’ve also made an effort with the last few updates to ensure that our Partners had access to a stable build of the Update prior to launch to begin creating content early and we’re continuing to work towards supporting that. Our Squad Developer Diary – July 2022 is an example of some of what we’re referring to.

As we continue to improve upon our development process, we are hoping to provide more information even further in advance. Game development is, as many of you know, a complex process – and our team now, more than ever, is committed to ensuring that when we tell you something is happening, as much as we can ensure it will, it will happen. This guiding principle means that we don’t always have the ability to give as much notice as we’d like to, or as we know the community would love to see. We made strides with this for 3.0 and we will continue to work on this where we can.

DEVELOPMENT

  • Question: Are there any plans to update Unreal Engine to version 4.26 or higher, if not UE5, to be able to use DLSS features for optimization?

  • Asked by: STL-AlexHong

Work on upgrading to Unreal Engine 4.27 is currently underway. Upgrading Squad to newer versions of the Unreal Engine takes some time and is a very difficult process to go through. We currently do not have a timeline for when that would be introduced into the live version of Squad. After the upgrade to 4.27 we will look at what further updates will best serve Squad and its players.

  • Question: In terms of factions, once “PanAsia” (or whatever you plan to call it) gets released, what do you have in store for the future?

  • Asked by: Leos_Apples

We received a lot of questions about what was next for Squad or about particular “wish list” items that players want to see added to the game. We would love to be able to comment on these, but right now are not in a place where we are able to. We always appreciate the suggestions and requests the community puts forth, even if it’s for content we know we won’t be able to implement. Your passion for the game remains something that we absolutely love! We have course corrected from the past mistake of announcing everything we are discussing prior to even working on it, as that led to situations where we were accidentally promising content we didn’t already have on the way.

More directly to the question of “what comes after the Pan-Asian faction” it’s not something that we’re ready to talk about in detail just yet. We have a lot in the works right now, and several more updates planned for 2022, 2023, and beyond! All we will say at this point is that the future of Squad looks bright and we’re excited to share more with you when it’s the right time!.

  • Question: The current Squad game has a few weapon skins for veterans. Would it be possible to add realistic skins as DLCs to support the game development while keeping the immersive gameplay?

  • Asked by: ACV

Additional skins are possible, but not something we’re necessarily focused on at this immediate point in time. As always, anything we add to the game will be based on creating a believable experience that closely mirrors the real world. All future possible skins would likely remain within this aesthetic as opposed to being, say, something cartoonish or immersion breaking.

At this point though our focus is on other priorities and planning.

  • Question: Any hints or clues as to what kind of performance tweaks you guys are working on for the next update? Many of us are very much looking forward to this update expected in August.

  • Asked by: joinsquadqa

Update v3.2 will contain some changes which we expect will help performance, but they are the quick changes, not the long-term big ticket items that will have more of a positive impact on performance. We know these bigger changes will have a more significant effect on performance, but we’re less certain about the sum impact of the smaller items included in v3.2. Therefore, we don’t want to unequivocally say “this map will run way better” or anything like that. We’re optimistic, but we don’t want to inflate your expectations.

The degree of improvement is not expected to be drastic at this stage, and will vary by user.

The bigger performance gains will come from updates after v3.2. We don’t want to rush the more significant kinds of changes. Our focus is on doing it right, ensuring the larger scale changes actually do make a performance difference, and do not degrade visual quality, or create new technical debt.

Our long term ambitions include a map-by-map asset audit, simplifying overly-complex assets and LODs, removing unnecessary shadows, and more. Performance will continue to be a consideration for future updates. We will continue to share our efforts to improve performance in the future.

  • Question: If I’m a squad leader, I’d like to know how experienced my teammates are. It quickly becomes apparent whether I have to explain something to someone or not. Why not have a simple rank up? Is there something planned?

  • Asked by: Zipo

We have not ruled out adding a progression system to Squad, but we are currently not focused on that at this time.

GAMEPLAY

  • Question: There is a common problem in Squad of SLs leaving their squad or disconnecting unexpectedly, and promoting a random player to be SL who cant change kits (which sometimes to leads to people getting kicked by admins), is there anything in the works to rectify or make the ease of switching SLs more smooth?

  • Asked by: 1999_Honda_Accord_No_Radio

We are going to be doing a lot of work to improve the SL experience. We don’t just want to make the Squad Leader role better for those that intentionally take it on, we are also improving it for those who inevitably have to to step up to the plate and take over leading their squad.

  • Question: Any plans to enable some Bluefor vs Bluefor factions map layers?

  • Asked by: thebiglez

These map layers are meant to be a fun novelty. We develop Squad with an aim towards authenticity; however we may add more layers like this in the future, but such novelty layers are not our primary focus.

While we’re on the topic, here’s a list of such layers currently in v3.1:

  • Gorodok RAAS v11 (CAF v USA)

  • Kamdesh Skirmish v1 (AUS v GB)

  • Kohat Skirmish v1 (USA v GB)

  • Manic Skirmish v2 (CAF v USA)

  • Manic Invasion v2 (CAF v USA)

  • Question: What are your thoughts on the changes made to emplacements (cost, resilience, etc.) now that the community has had some time to get used to it? Does the dev team feel it’s had the desired effect on gameplay and the meta?

  • Asked by: Valmacka

It’s moving in the right direction, but emplacements have not had a huge impact on the meta. This was expected, since we haven’t addressed spawn mechanics or pacing, both of which have a much bigger impact on how the game is played and on the viability of fortifications.

We have plans for more tweaks, including tweaks to balance, but the answer lies in future changes to game mechanics.

  • Question: In broad terms, can you discuss any potential changes to the Militia faction? What does the team want Militias “identity” to be?

  • Asked by: Valmacka

The Militia faction needs to feel unique. They should feel like an underdog faction which you get excited to play as. Going forward, expect them to lean into fortifications and ambush gameplay.

The intent is for matches featuring MIL to have an unique meta. Facing MIL should cause conventional opponents to have to think and play differently in order to succeed.

And while they wouldn’t be viable in their current form, once the asymmetry is better addressed, we’ll be pitting them back against conventional factions on a number of AAS and RAAS layers. That should help make playing as OPFOR feel less repetitive.

We’ll be getting to work on that in the future, but beyond that we’re not ready to share many details at this time.

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