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      Forum Rules   07/06/2016

      Introduction   The Squad Team reserves the right to edit, update, add and remove rules at any time. Applicable rules extend to the PM system. Your PMs are private, but the Squad Team may be informed about unacceptable PM content by the receiving party.   Section I: Posting Rules   §1 Show Respect This community can only work if we all respect each other. To that end, it is imperative that any time you engage with another user, either directly or indirectly, you show them respect with the content of your post. In particular refrain from flaming, insulting, abusing, taunting, racism, and other similar types of actions towards other forum users.   §2 Attitude & Behavior Poor attitude and behavior are the most common ways a negative / unsafe environment is created and perpetuated. As such that kind of behavior will not be allowed on these forums. Please be mindful of this rule when posting personal positions and opinions regarding topics which could be considered contentious in nature. As a rule of thumb, keep your posts civil in nature, and refrain from making posts that are likely to incite arguments and create a negative environment. As a privately hosted web forum we reserve the right to maintain an environment that we are happy the majority of our players are comfortable with.   §3 Swearing While we will not strictly moderate every little swear that occurs, please try to avoid excessive bad language. The moderation reserves the right to remove rants and unsuitable content at any time.   §4 Illegal Topics
      Prohibited topics include, but are not limited to: Piracy, drugs (including cannabis), pornography, religion, racism, sexism, homo/trans -phobic content, videos and images showing violent death or serious injury, ‘spam threads’, hacking & griefing (endorsement thereof), religion, politics,  etc. Prohibition may be suspended for some threads if they are found to be suitable by the Moderation (such as scientific debate).
      If there is doubt, the Moderation Team can decide whether a topic is considered illegal.   §5 Attitude towards Squad and the Development Team
      As per §1 and §2, keep in mind to be respectful and reasonable, not only towards all users of the forum, but also towards the Squad Team and towards any ideas and content and the game itself. Criticism is welcome, but if it is not constructive and/or if it is offensive, the Moderation may need to step in. Please refrain from posting if you are upset, angry or drunk, or you may be punished for things you wouldn’t have otherwise written, which is not in anyone's interest.   §6 Language & Legibility
      Please post only in English. Non-English content (including non-legible content) may be removed. If you see someone posting in another language because s/he apparently does not speak English, please report their post - if you can, you may reply in their language to explain their question, but please do translate their and your message so it can be reviewed by the Moderation. ‘Hiding’ insults in non-English posts will be punished harshly. Posts written largely in ‘leetspeak’ or full of spelling / grammatical errors may be treated like non-English content. This rule does not extend to PMs.   §7 Forum structure & Search
      Please ensure when posting a new thread, that the thread is located inside the correct forum section. Check all forum section titles to judge where your thread should belong. Threads created in the wrong forum section will be moved or deleted.
      Before posting a new thread, please make use of the forum search to find older threads about the same topic. In doubt, it is recommended to rather post in an existing thread, unless that thread is years out of date. However, do not bump old threads without adding a new question / answer / insight that wasn’t in that thread before - use common sense.   §8 Thread Titles
      Please name your thread appropriately; the subject title should sum up / explain the content in the thread. If you fail to name your thread properly (such as ‘Hey!’ or ‘Check this out!’ or ‘Help!’), we will either rename or lock the topic. Repeated offense may lead to infractions. The practice of using CAPITALS only in your thread title is not allowed and will be edited or the thread will simply be deleted. Strange or abnormal Unicode characters should be excluded from thread titles for the sake of being distracting and unnecessary.
      §9 Thread Capitalization
      Please ensure that your post is not in all CAPITALS, as this is not allowed. Any threads posted in all caps will subsequently be removed from the forum. Repeated offenses may lead to infractions against your account. This practice is not approved or accepted here. 
        §10 Images in posts
      When posting images, mind the following restrictions:
      .gifs will be allowed and may be removed by Staff if deemed necessary.
      Maximum size for images is 1280x1024.
      Do not include more than ~1 large image per paragraph of text, unless in image collection / announcement threads. Link to further images.
      Consider posting thumbnails. You may post a few more images per post if they are reasonably small, the details are for the Moderation to judge.   §11 The use of BBCode
      It is allowed to use the BBCode in your posts. Over usage is not allowed. You may use the Bold in a reasonable manner but not for the whole text body. You may use the size feature but in a limited reasonable manner. You may not use any of the additional fonts at all. Color may be used to high light a point but again, not for the whole text body. Moderators will be watching for misuse and will edit when required without giving notice. Continued disregard for this rule will result in Moderator action in the form of warnings.   §12 Complaints of Server/Admin Abuse Reports of server/admin abuse will not be posted publicly. All reports concerning this type of behavior should be place in the appropriate sub-forum. http://forums.joinsquad.com/forum/241-report-server-admin-abuse/ All posts made outside of this area will be be removed.   Section II: Reporting & Moderation   §1 Reporting Posts
      There is a Post Report system in place. If you notice a post that violates forum rules, simply use the exclamation mark icon below the users avatar image to send a report to the Moderation. We will then review this post. Your report will not be made public and cannot be linked to your person by anyone outside of the Squad Team. You will not be punished for using the Report system even if the report was false, unless you repeatedly abuse the system to spam it.
      Do not ‘report’ posts by replying directly in public to them. In case of spambots, this prompts them to respond in turn, spamming the forum further. This also fuels flame wars and arguments.   §2 Reporting Moderators
      Moderators are subject to the same forum rules (and some additional rules / exceptions). If you think that a Moderator has treated you unfairly or is otherwise breaking forum rules, please PM the Lead Moderator or any Administrator. Do not accuse Moderators in public, the Squad Team will treat every complaint seriously and it is in our interest to discipline or remove Moderators who are known to break forum rules.   §3 Respect Squad Team members and Moderators
      Do not ignore or argue against Admin, Moderator or Dev instructions on the forum. If you have a complaint, as per §2, please inform the Team in private. You are expected to follow orders given by the Moderation, Administration and Development Team, and it is necessary for smooth running of the forum to respect their decisions. Being stubborn or ignoring warnings will lead to harsher punishments - however, we do not tolerate Moderator / Admin abuse of power / privileges, so do not hesitate to inform other Team members if you feel treated unfairly.   §4 Bans and multiple accounts
      If your account is temporarily or permanently banned, do NOT create another account. Bypassing a ban will result in further action, and a permanent ban of all of your accounts.
      You are not allowed to have more than one account for any reason. If you share an internet connection with another user who has their own account, it might happen that this account is incorrectly identified as a secondary account - please get in touch with the Moderation or Administration to resolve such issues.

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  1. Animation System Development Update Hi Squaddies, I'm Chuc, Lead Animator on Squad. You might know me from my previous work for Project Reality (where I was also Lead Animator), but also all the Squad updates and news forum posts that just so happened to be in my area of responsibility, though now is taken over by our community manager, Gatzby. I wanted to provide an update on where we're at with the Animation System, as well as the road we've had to take since beginning this system overhaul. Back in September 2015, even before we released in Early Access, we were starting to see a lot of flaws and shortcomings with our animation system. Which was severely hamstringing us not only performance-wise, but our ability to expand it and add new features in a stable and reliable manner. In reality what you, the player, are playing with now on the current Release version 9 is something that was built from the very early days of Unreal Engine, in order to get something working, with little regard for architecture and expandability. Over the months of development and Early Access release feedback, weve made some minor incremental improvements to it in terms of performance and some additional visual fidelity, but nothing major in terms of features. Fast forward to January 2016, when we had laid plans to rework the animation system with one of our Senior Programmers, Kory, in charge of learning and in essence building the system. At the same time, me and another animator Kab (recently hired at the time) were in charge of reanimating and re-rigging all of our weapon and character assets (over 1800 individual assets) as even the standards we were using with the old system were incorrect. We made significant progress with the creative side of development, where we had managed to re-animate almost 70% of all Squad content by September 2016, by which vehicles had been released. However due to prioritising of vehicles and the stress of having to learn a completely new system, we hadn't made as much progress on the animation programming side. Fortunately, Kab in his resourcefulness had managed to learn a great deal about how animations work within the engine (a lot of the visual improvements with the old system were thanks to him). And so we began giving a lot of the reins over to him as we dove head first back into creating a working prototype of the new animation system, complete with the features detailed in previous animation-related monthly recaps and videos. Come March 2017, after months of hard work, Kab and myself have managed to create a prototype that reworks the following items: 1. Visual Fidelity of Character movement, 2. Clear Separation of First and Third Person models, 3. Weapons Handling and aesthetics. In addition, a lot of the features requested from the outset, including vaulting, climbing, free-look and bipods, were included in the prototype, and what was previewed at the start of the year was the prototype version of the system. If we had released the system in its prototype stage, it would have been completely bug-ridden and performing worse than what the old system did. And so the next step involved the all-star programming team (Kory, Motherdear, Abdel, Kevin and Joe) taking this prototype, basically a vision of the system created by the artists, and turn it into a working system that can operate in harmony with everything else in the game. We are currently well into this delicate stage of development, working with a team of more than 9 people trying to see this process through as quickly and as bug-free as possible. While the programming team has been busy with their work on the system, we decided that I would look into motion capture as a way to vastly improve the visual fidelity of our characters. This was happening in tandem with the programming work, and included the motion capture session in July and its subsequent integration over the following month. The motion capture studio was in charge of taking the raw capture data and converting them into loops, a format which we can drop directly into the working animation system and literally see the results instantly. Working with Animatrik was an extremely valuable learning experience for the animation team, as I felt that I graduated from a hobbyist animator to a professional in my field. Every stage has been hard, and there is still work left to be done. What is remaining is converting the underlying code to C++, making architectural changes to how weapons and animations interact; networking key features; optimising the code; and setting the weapons up by our game designers in order to give flavour to the system. Once we're past those stages, ongoing optimisations, quality assurance evaluation and bug-fixing are what's left before players can get their hands on it. In the meantime, there has been a lot of polish done between August's Monthly Recap and now, so please enjoy a peek below. Back to the grind! Offworld Out.
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