The first week of December has been and gone but the team at Project Gamechanger are still ploughing on. Last week was filled with many accomplishments: our environment artist finished creating the bridge models for the game, our animator finished the Zombie Death animation and our game developer felt the satisfaction of replacing the game title text with the recently-completed game logo. A new playable character was also added to Depths of Erendorn last week, so jump to the Server section to find out more about it. 

Environment

In our last devlog, our 3D Environment Artist created low polygonal meshes for a few assets in the game, including a barrel and some planks of wood. During the first week of December, time has been dedicated towards sculpting a wooden bridge that will appear in the game:

  • A high poly model of a wooden bridge was finished
  • The wooden bridge maps underwent a process called baking
  • A low poly model of that same bridge was then created

As we mentioned in last week’s devlog, by baking a high poly model, which involves rendering the detail of a high polygonal mesh to textured maps, we can represent a high level of detail on low poly models. This is important because Depths of Erendorn will be rendered at runtime and high poly models require too much processing power for this to happen, whereas low poly models are optimised models that require a lot less resources to render. This means we can have a lot more models on screen at once without making the game run slowly.

After creating the models, our artist adjusted the wooden bridges to be 2 tiles wide instead of 1 tile wide. While this bridge piece is wooden, the majority of bridges that will appear in Depths of Erendorn will be rocky. Wooden bridges are much rarer, but this doesn’t mean that a lot of care hasn’t gone into their design.

Animation

Last week, our 3D Animator finished the Zombie Death animation that she began the week before. This will show how the Zombie enemies die in Depths of Erendorn and the animation gives us a clear idea of how this will appear during the gameplay.

The past few weeks have all been important in the lead up to this animation. Without our Animator focussing her time on the rig set-up of the Zombie, the smooth movement we see in the animation might not have been as realistic or accurate. A good rig is crucial when creating animations and we are very pleased with how the Zombie Death turned out.

Our Animator also spent last week planning out a cinematic animation short that will show one of the playable characters from Depths of Erendorn attacking and defeating a group of enemies:

  • Our Animator worked with our Environment Artist to flesh out the storyboard
  • Some movement ideas were tried out, like showing the character leaping
  • 3 shots started being worked on in order to test different camera angles and camera animation

Once our animator is done with the above, she will add animations to the starring character for the first 3 shots. This project is expected to take a couple of weeks to finalise and we are very excited to see the final outcome as it will give everyone a taste of how our characters will move and interact in the game.



Server

There have been a lot of new additions to the server, from statistics to abilities and enemies. A new Player Class was also added. The Watertarg Excursionist allows you to play the game through the eyes of one of the enemies. Many of the bad guys in Depths of Erendorn, like the Bonelair Gargoyle, are also playable characters because we want to give players the option of not only playing as a standard elf or dwarf, but also as a character that’s a little rough around the edges.

Three new statistics to be used by the Watertarg Excursionist were also added to the server this week by our game developer:

  • Ancient Power: This is a resource used with most of the Watertarg Excursionists abilities.
  • Ancient Power Max: This limits the maximum amount of Ancient Power the Watertarg Excursionist can have at one time.
  • Ancient Power Gain: This controls how much Ancient Power the Watertarg Excursionist gains per turn.

As well as these statistics, twelve new class skills for the Watertarg Excursionist were added to the server last week:

  • Revitalise: This doubles Health regeneration for 4 turns and it can only be cast on the Watertarg. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability. It costs 20 Ancient Power and has a 4 turn CD.
  • Mind Net: This ability allows you to choose 3 enemies to target before rooting them all for one turn. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability. It also costs 20 Ancient Power and has a 2 turn CD.
  • Arcanic Reverberation: This deals 1 Arcane Damage to an enemy for every enemy in the room. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability. It costs 6 Ancient Power and has a 3 turn CD.
  • Water Drops: This will heal 3 Health in 2 turns from when it is used. This ability can only be active on one character at one time. You gain 4 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability and it costs 14 Ancient Power.
  • Future Blessings: In the next room you enter after using this ability, you gain +60 Energy Regeneration and +1 Strength until you leave that room. You gain 2 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability and it costs 12 Ancient Power.
  • Rock Barrage: This deals 10 Physical Damage to an enemy and 6 Physical Damage to all who are adjacent to that enemy. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability. It costs 10 Ancient Power and has a 3 turn CD.
  • Ancient Invocation: You can choose to either deal 4 Arcane Damage, ignoring Resilience and Armour, to an enemy or you can deal 2 Healing to a friendly target, including the Watertarg. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability and it costs 16 Power.
  • Pulsating Wound: This deals 7 Physical Damage every turn for 5 turns. Whilst Pulsating Wound is active, 1 tile enemies lose -2 Movement and 4 tile enemies lose -1 Movement. It can only be used once per turn. It costs 40 Energy and has a 3 turn CD.
  • Flood Lungs: This deals 8 Physical Damage, ignoring Armour on turn 1, then deals 6 – 7 Physical Damage, ignoring Armour on turn 2, and 4 – 5 Physical Damage, ignoring Armour on turn 3. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability and it costs 15 Ancient Power.
  • Spiritual Whirlpool: All 1 tile enemies in the room are brought down to 1 Movement for this turn. You gain 3 extra Ancient Power per turn when choosing this ability. It costs 20 Ancient Power and has a 5 turn CD.
  • Ancient Power: This is a passive ability that grants 75 maximum ‘Ancient Power.’ It also generates 3 Ancient Power per turn.
  • Ancient Bolt: This deals 4 – 5 Arcane Damage ignoring Resilience and Armour. It also slows an enemy for -1 Movement for 2 turns and it costs 15 Power.

Changes also were carried out on the following 8 abilities:

  • Poison: The duration of this ability was reduced to 3 turns.
  • Frost Missiles: The Mana cost of this ability was reduced to 9.
  • Ice Storm: The maximum targets for this ability were increased from 2 – 5 to 2 – 6. It does this much Frost Damage on this many targets. The player chooses which target it affects and all targets require a line of sight. It can only be used once per turn and costs 9 Mana.
  • Black Hole: The area target of this ability was increased to 6 x6.
  • Test of Allegiance: The zeal cost of this ability was reduced to 6.
  • One with the Earth: The Heal amount of this ability was increased to 9.
  • Burning Hands: Damage taken when under 11 Mana was decreased from 6-8 to 5-6.
  • Mass Fireball: The Mana cost of this ability was reduced from 12 to 11.

Our game developer added 7 new enemies to the server last week. There are over 400 different creatures in Erendorn, so these are just a handful of the many other enemies that will eventually be added to the game:

  • Redriver Crocodile
  • Hunting Spider
  • Grey Boar
  • Plains Lion
  • Swiftstrike Jaguar
  • Carapace Scorpion
  • Mega Wasp

Finally, our game developer implemented a few changes to some of the development tools we use in the server. These changes were made in order to maximise the efficiency of the programmes we are using:

  • Data API: This has been updated since it was made a long time ago and the database has changed a bit since. This meant that some fields had to be changed.  This needed to be done to make the Dungeon Group Editor and Entity Editor.
  • Ability Editor: This was reworked into a Depths of Erendorn Editor that can handle more than just abilities.
  • Entity Editor: This was added to the Depths of Erendorn Editor in order to make the enemy/player character creation process easier.
  • Dungeon Group Editor: This was also added to the Depths of Erendorn Editor. By using this tool, we can control what groups of enemies spawn together and the value of each entity in the group. We can also limit what levels the groups or entities can appear in.

Game Client

Our second game developer spent a lot of time last week implementing into the game client all of the different models created by our Environment Artist. She also corrected each piece’s rotation on both the x- and y- axis so that they would appear more randomised and wouldn’t look the same. There were four models added to the game client last week:

  • Torches: Our game developer added the torch models and set up the lighting for them. A fire particle system was also created to simulate the effect of fire on the torches.  
  • Scattered Bones: After adding these models to the game client, our game developer ensured that they would spawn randomly in any given room. These models were also given a random y- rotation to again ensure they don’t all look the same.
  • Glowing Mushrooms: Several more variants of the existing mushroom group were created and added to the game client last week. The appearance between the different mushroom groups was also randomised so that all 3 variants will spawn in the dungeon. The y- rotation was also randomised for these models for the same reason as above.
  • Bridges: Our game developer added both the end pieces and normal pieces of the rocky bridge models and replaced most of the wooden bridges with them.

The game title, which has always just been a simple piece of text, was finally replaced with the much-anticipated game logo, which was also completed last week. The other change our game developer made to the game client was replacing the label in the character selection screen so that it reads ‘Character Name’ instead of ‘Player Name.’

The final additions that our other game developer made to the game client were all centred around the new player class that was introduced. Models, textures and prefabs were added for the new enemies as well as the new Watertarg Excursionist character. Ability icons for the Watertarg’s ability set were implemented, and the Watertarg Excursionist was also added to the character selection screen.

Fixes to the Game Client

There were several fixes that had to be made to the game client last week:

  • The attack target variable at the end of a player’s turn was reset. This was a possible fix for melee attacks being executed by the character without the player’s consent.
  • The ‘Enter Game’ button was fixed. It was previously staying inactive after not choosing enough abilities in the character selection screen.
  • We managed to retrieve the old ceiling after all the problems caused by changing to the new Unity version.
  • The shader variants for the tiles were fixed as they were not being shown in build. The tile selection for pathing now displays a red and green colour, whereas the tile selection for an ability shows a different colour depending on what is chosen.
  • Some prefabs that had duplicate Text components were removed.
  • The cursor was changed back to a light brown variant.

There were a few inconsistencies in colour between the editor and the build when it came to the cursor. Our game developer made two exceptional cases to fix this: one for the editor (texture type = cursor) and one for the build (texture bypasses sRGB).

GIF of fire particle system that our game developer created
A fire particle system was put into the game environment to simulate the effect of fire on the torches.

As we approach the launch of our new game site, the team here at Project Gamechanger are in for a busy month. Keep an eye on our website and social media to make sure you’re getting all the latest news about Depths of Erendorn, and remember to check back next week for another devlog installment!

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