With a new playable character being modelled, it’s been a busy week spent testing various costume design elements and implementing new class abilities to the game server. Meanwhile, our Animator has been working on creating several different animation reactions for two more of Erendorn’s enemies. This week, we also released another character profile card so hop over to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook if you missed that. Otherwise, let’s jump right into the devlog!
3D Character Modelling
Over the last few weeks, our Character Artist has been working on creating our female Forest Druid character. This model has been a little trickier to do than others because of several reasons. There have been many challenges, especially in regards to the plant life aspect of her design; Forest Druids are intrinsically linked with nature and so their character design includes the incorporation of roots and vines around the body and leaves in the air.
This week, our Character Artist has been focussing on getting those vines successfully wrapped around the Forest Druid’s arms and legs. He:
- Unwrapped and baked the model’s texture maps
- Created various types of vines, all in different thicknesses
- Tested to see how well different vine thicknesses would read from afar
- After the results, modelled and textured a thicker, jungle-esque vine
We found that quite thick jungle vines would be required on the model in order for them to be easily read from a distance. This is important for when the camera zooms out in the game. But there was a more difficult issue appearing as a result of this character design element.
Trying to incorporate the twisting roots and vines around the model’s body whilst also trying to be conscious of the character’s overall polycount has been a big challenge this week. One solution we found for this, as we mentioned in a previous devlog, was to use wrapping planes instead of cylinders when creating the vines.
Using this method, these design elements are now being added as plane strips that spiral around various parts of the body. The reason this works is because from afar, thanks to the normal map applied to the wrapping planes, it is easy to trick the eye into registering the vines as cylinders.
This week, our Animator created several different animations for two of Erendorn’s enemies, starting with the Snapping Turtle. A walk cycle, death animation, hit reaction, attack animation and stun animation were created for this NPC. To ensure its movements looked realistic, our Animator researched the movement and anatomy of real snapping turtles and based the animations off of that.
The second enemy worked on this week was the Skeleton. An idle animation and idle variation were created for these fearsome enemies. In the video below, you will see that the idle animation is interrupted by the Skeleton screaming and leaning forwards, giving an extra element of horror to this enemy.
A lot of changes were made in the server this week, including several ability fixes, the addition of a new ability block and the implementation of the Forest Druid’s class abilities. One of the first issues was that resistances were only being factored in once, whereas they are now restored at the start of an entity’s turn. Resistances allow you to block a certain amount of damage, of a specific type, per turn. Characters with resistances are very powerful because over the course of the game, they can save on a lot of Health. This is why it was important to get them functioning correctly.
There were also a few abilities that needed to be altered slightly so that they no longer reduced Max or Current Movement by 1. These included abilities like the Ancient Bolt, which can be used by the Watertarg Excursionist, and Frost Missiles which are a class ability of the Parakaw Astromancer. After the fix, movement reducing abilities now only reduce Max Movement by 1. There were also two more abilities that our game developer found some issues with:
- Python Venom: The Mana increase of this ability was adding 2 Mana to the cost of the Human Knight abilities, Heaving Blow and Test of Allegiance. This is now fixed, with Python Venom now incurring a 1 Mana spell cost instead of 2.
- Bloodfrenzy: When we tried to increase the Energy Regeneration stat of this ability, it was being set after the regeneration phase and so no additional Energy was actually given. This stat increase now works correctly.
There were 2 ability blocks that were found to have bugs in them this week:
- Require Stat Percentage: The bug was preventing the percentage of a stat from being calculated correctly. This is important because based on the percentage of any given stat, we can gate the abilities so that they can only be used if the target Health, for example, is below 50%.
- Reduce Ability Cooldown: With this bug, if you tried to reduce the cooldown of an ability that wasn’t being cast at the time this block was running, it wouldn’t work. This has now been fixed.
Both errors were resolved this week so that these blocks now function correctly. A new ability block called Set Ability Cooldown was also introduced to the server this week. This sets the ability so that it cools down with the desired amount of turns. This way, we hopefully won’t get anymore issues with the cooldown of an ability.
New Character Class
With the Forest Druid model nearing completion, our game developer began adding the new character class into the gamer server. In Depths of Erendorn, the Forest Druid starts with a basic Heal ability that can be specced into a supporting class or into a damage role. When you choose this character, it also has the following default class abilities:
- Heal Wounds: This allows you to heal a target for 5 Health. It has a 6 turn CD and costs 2 Mana.
- Reserved Power – Mana: This allows you to restore 1 Mana each turn for 3 turns either for yourself or for a member of your team. It has a 4 turn CD and its cooldown is shared with other Reserved Power abilities.
- Reserved Power – Health: This allows you to restore 1 Health per turn for 3 turns for yourself or for a member of your team. It has a 4 turn CD and its cooldown is shared in the same way as the previous ability.
- Reserved Power – Energy: This restores 25 Energy and grants 25 Maximum and Energy Regeneration to yourself or another party member for 3 turns. Like the others, it has a 4 turn CD and also shares its cooldown.
- Reserved Power – Nature’s Wrath: This deals 3 Nature Damage ignoring Resilience and Armour to an enemy. It has a 4 turn CD and shares its cooldown with other Reserved Power abilities.
- Nature Attunement: This gives the player a Nature Resistance of 1. This ability was included because of how sacrosanct the Forest Druid’s consider nature.
As well as these, there are also many more class abilities for the Forest Druid. When playing the game as this character, the player not only gets access to everything above, they also get to choose 1 more of the following abilities:
- Nature’s Shield: This gives the player +1 Resilience for 3 turns on either the Forest Druid or another team member. A line of sight is required for this ability, meaning that the Forest Druid must be able to see the target without being blocked by something like a wall. Nature’s Shield has a 2 turn CD and costs 3 Mana.
- Viper Strikes: When using this ability, your next two normal attacks are free and deal an additional 2 Nature Damage ignoring Resilience and Armour. It has a 5 turn CD and costs 2 Mana.
- Draining Seed: There is a -1 Strength dealt to an enemy on the first turn, -2 Strength on the second turn and -3 Strength on the third turn. Draining Seed can’t be stacked on one enemy but it can be cast on multiple enemies. It costs 3 Mana and a line of sight is also required for this.
- Vine Lash: This ability can only be used at melee range. It deals 6 Nature Damage ignoring Resilience and Armour and it also disarms the enemy. It has a 2 turn CD and costs 3 Mana.
- Binding Roots: This roots all 1 tile enemies in the room for 1 turn. It has a 2 turn CD and costs 9 Mana.
- Earthbloom: While this ability does nothing on the turn it is cast, on the next one it actually heals 2 Health every turn for 3 turns. Line of sight is required and it costs 6 Mana.
- Hunting Spear: This Deals 8 – 10 Physical Damage. If the enemy is next to a wall or an object, the Hunting Spear skewers them against it, deals an additional 3 Physical Damage and stuns the enemy. This ability only stuns 1 and 4 tile enemies. It has a 2 turn CD and costs 6 Mana.
- Nature Bolt: This Deals 11 Nature Damage ignoring Resilience and Armour. The enemy’s Movement reduces the damage this ability deals. A line of sight is required. It has a 3 turn CD and costs 3 Mana.
- Replenishment: This gives the player a 25% chance to double Health and Mana Regeneration each turn. This ability will always replenish on the 4th turn if it hasn’t on the previous 3 turns.
- Nature’s Rescue: This heals 2 Health each turn for 4 turns. It is only usable on adventurers who have under 50% Health. It has a 4 turn CD, costs 0 Mana and as always, a line of sight is required.
Work in the Game Client
In the Game Client, our game developer added a placeholder model for the Forest Druid. This will be used until the final model has been completed by our Character Artist – so remember to stay tuned to our future devlogs to see how that develops. Our game developer also added the Forest Druid ability icons that had been created by our UI Artist.
If you missed our January 2019 devlogs, we’ve summarised the whole month for you over on our company website. For more updates on Depths of Erendorn, head over to our social media accounts where we post new content almost every day of the week!