Welcome back to another update on our game development process! With a new month comes a new playable character to be modelled, a new rig to be set up and a ton of work to be carried out in the game server. Remember to check out our February devlog summary if you’re feeling a little lost, but if you’re all up-to-date then let’s get into the good stuff.

3D Character Modelling

If you were here for last week’s update on our game development process, then you’d know that another playable character from the game, the Forest Druid, was completed after seven weeks of hard work. With that done and dusted, our Character Artist could begin working on the Human Ranger, another playable character in Depths of Erendorn who has been given a lot of attention this week.

Our artist began with a blockout of the various pieces of clothing and armour that our Human Ranger wears. Several different metal armour platings were tried and tested for the legs, but we found that the metal armour didn’t feel cohesive with the overall design. We decided on using leather leg bracers in order to ensure that they complemented the rest of the clothing.

With everything mostly blocked out, our artist:

  • Used ZBrush to finish blocking out
  • Started shaping some primary forms to check how pieces would overlap
  • Checked the overall silhouette of the model

During this process, our Character Artist found that the cape did not translate well due to the quiver. The quiver was re-positioned multiple times in order to find a resolution. In the end, we decided to go with a lighter cape that went over the quiver. This way, we managed to keep the spirit of the concept sketch whilst also ensuring that the silhouette remained sleek.

The next piece that was made for the Human Ranger was the chest armour piece, which lacked a lot of detail in the concept sketch. Therefore, our artist decided to design their own panelling for the chest piece by referencing leather armour. With the panelling marked out, they began the process of masking off panels and extracting them before finally retopologising them in order to get clean shapes. Also, by having them as separate pieces, the extrusion levels were able to be adjusted to make certain panels overlap others.

When working on the Human Ranger this week, our Character Artist also:

  • Sculpted all the folds in the clothing
  • Experimented with the placement of the belt in order to find the right fit
  • Created a strap with a buckle for the chest armour, which was created separately as it could then be placed and conformed to the sculpt in ZBrush

The Human Ranger sculpt was finished off by adding a previously made bag onto the waist and then adding buckles to the various straps. Extra stitching was also added to some of the clothes. Meanwhile, our Animator spent the week rigging and skinning one of our recently completed models.

Animation

After spending the last few weeks creating animations for Erendorn’s enemies, our Animator had a change of pace this week as she began animating a new playable character. With the Forest Druid model now complete, our Animator started by setting up its rig. They then skinned the body, the face and finally the clothes, which they are currently still working on.

As well as this, our Animator also created a walk cycle for the Forest Druid this week. In the future, idle animations, idle variations, hit reactions, death sequences and many more animations will be created for the Forest Druid.

Server

After all of the work that was carried out on the Item Generator over the last two weeks, this development tool is now functioning correctly. The Item Generator now:

  • Saves items to the database
  • Checks if an item exists in the database from a previous set of generated items before adding new ones
  • Saves items in chunks rather than in one go, which was causing requests to time out
  • Displays only a portion of the generated items which can be customised so that it doesn’t try to display all the thousands of items at once, which was causing the page to lag

As well as the Item Generator, the Item API also had a few bits of work carried out on it this week. It has now been changed from a placeholder endpoint to an endpoint that actually works. The Item API can now also search for items based on criteria given by the person requesting the search. Finally, items can be added, removed or updated through the API now.

 

Game Client

The last part of our game development process this week was carried out in the game client. Work has now started on a character selection screen where characters that a player has previously created can be chosen after they log in. This replaces the need to create a new character each time you enter a dungeon. Eventually, this will lead on to character progression and inventory work.

To see more updates on the game development process of Depths of Erendorn, make sure you come back next week for our second installement of the March devlog!