Welcome back to another weekly game devlog! The Frost Dwarf character in Depths of Erendorn is now complete and the Watertarg is looking good with its new animations. Before we get started, remember to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook if you want to keep updated with all our best content!

3D Character Modelling

With our Character Artist back by our side after their holiday last week, the final touches could be made to our Frost Dwarf model that was started in a previous game devlog. After already modelling, sculpting and retopologising the clothes, and since a low mesh had already been created, our artist could immediately start texturing the model. This was done for the Frost Dwarf civilian as well as the Frost Dwarf merchant.

In Erendorn, Frost Dwarves live in the Arctic Region where the conditions are perilous. In order to survive, this race relies on the Glacial Boar that is native to the icy scapes. They use these beasts for a variety of resources, from food to clothing, and also use them to carry their belongings if they have been tamed. So that we could reflect this piece of lore in the character itself, the fur that is used on the Frost Dwarf’s cuffs and collar was made to look more similar to the fur on the Glacial Boar model. This allows us to do a bit of world building – it’s the small details that count!

Once the Frost Dwarf character was completed, our artist began work on a subsurface scattering map (SSS) that will be used for two characters in an animation we are creating. An SSS map essentially defines how light penetrates an object. It is often used on skin because it creates a realistic effect of light being absorbed and passing through the thinner part of the body, like the sides of the ears or the outer edges of the fingers, making those areas of skin appear more translucent by adding a glow to them. We decided to make some SSS maps for our characters so that they would be a bit more polished in the final animation.

Animation

The death animation for our Watertarg character was completed this week, and two more animations were also created for it. These included the Watertarg’s walk cycle as well as its basic attacks. As with the Forest Druid in a previous game devlog, these attack animations will be used as a base when it comes to creating the Watertarg’s more specialised abilities.

Our Animator also imported an animation scene into Unity, where they will be placed within a new dungeon environment that is being created. Once this was completed, weapons were added to the Watertarg model so that our Animator could check the position them and reposition them if necessary.

Environment Art

This week in the dungeons, the lighting and volumetric fog were revised, optimised and implemented into procedural levels. The main project now also has an art testing scene. This is where assets can be viewed under preset lighting so that we can ensure consistency in visuals for future assets being made.

A subsurface scattering shader was also created for the characters that will appear in the dungeon room. The SSS maps created by our Character Artist will then interact with the shader created by our Environment Artist. As we mentioned earlier, this will be used to make the characters appear more polished by creating a realistic light effect around the areas where light would pass through the thinner parts of the skin.

Server

After implementing a method that would allow our different servers to communicate with each other, the Game Server can now tell the Settlement Server about gold, XP and other items that are gained in dungeons rooms. While the refactoring of the code is done, a bug was found in the communication between these servers. This is currently causing large messages to crash the server and we are in the process of looking into solutions to fix this issue.

Another issue we ran into in the server this week was to do with the Item Amount, which was being set globally instead of for the individual player. This meant that if a player received an item that they had already collected before, rather than that specific item getting duplicated in their specific inventory, every player in the database would receive double the amount of items as the bug would set the Item Amount to quantity 2 for everyone, not just the individual who collected the repeat item.

On the plus side, the game server can now have more than one lobby using the same seed. Before this, it was causing all sorts of issues. Both the client and the server now also use the lobby ID instead of the game seed to index levels. This continues our upgrade to use lobbies instead of the placeholder method we were using to join games in the past.

Screenshot from Unity showing a dark cave room with glowing, indigo crystals on one side and a warm campfire glowing from the right
We now have an art testing scene where assets can be viewed under preset lighting. This will allow us to ensure consistency in the visuals of all future assets.

The week was brought to a close by looking into Client patching solutions as well as starting to rework the server-to-server communication that is still causing problems. We hope you enjoyed this week’s game devlog and if you’re still hungry for more, make sure to follow us on social media where we always post exclusive content!