This week, the dev team behind Depths of Erendorn sculpted some baddies, animated some crawlies, built the interior of our Guard House, and created some awesome sound effects. Head over to Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on our dungeon crawler in development, now let’s get into it!
Sculpting The Templar
The sculpt for the badass Templar was completed this week, cloth folds, shoulder armour, bucket hat and all. Because Templars are the middle ground between Mages and Knights in the game, we wanted their clothing to be reminiscent of both factions. This led to the following design elements being incorporated:
- Loose sleeves with cuffs on the bottom, which adheres to a more magical aesthetic
- Shoulder and waist armour, which nod towards the Templar’s combative nature
- Long skirt with slits in the sides, which evokes sorcery as well as medieval battle
- An imposing helmet that undercuts the fluidity of the garments with a sense of violence
The helmet in particular really brought the Templar together. By jarring with the otherwise loose and cloth-based clothing, it implies that there is something innately combative about this character, and that it has a predilection towards violence. Without this eye-catching piece, the Templar may have looked too simple or non-threatening. We’re gonna start texturing this NPC soon, so keep an eye out!
Creating Scorpion Animations in MAYA
The animation set for the Scorpion was created this week, and includes its:
- Idle animation
- Walk cycle
- Basic attacks
- Special attack
- Hit reactions
- Death animation
Scorpions are low-level enemies in Depths of Erendorn, and can do more damage that it may seem. We’re just exporting this character and its animations so will hopefully be able to start testing it in the engine soon.
Our two awesome Environment Artists have spent this week inside Unreal Engine, getting the new Guard House ready for a little video we’re gonna be making soon. This building is the first to appear in the game’s initial settlement, which we’re in the middle of creating. Check out all our progress below!
Building The Guard House In UE4 Settlement
The roof was refined loads this week, with a thatched material being chosen for the texture and A-frame roofing modules being worked on for the shape. We also added some subsurface scattering to the roof material in order to make it look more realistic.
As well as this:
- The wheels on the outside were made 1.2 x larger
- Floor pieces for the Guard House interior were built
The tiling wood material was also tweaked so that the colour scheme of the Guard House was brought together a bit more. We then implemented everything we just described and voila! So was born the newest iteration of our Guard House – but wait ‘til you see the inside.
Creating Flags For The Guard House
As well as getting the outside of the Guard House looking up-to-snuff, we also worked on making the interior look badass. We did this in a number of ways – placing some of our generic assets around, getting the colours and textures right, and so on.
But we also thought it would be pretty cool if we created some flags for the walls. These could represent the different Guard factions in Erendorn – but it wasn’t the easiest thing to do. Our Environment Artists went through many different workflows to get the end result, because each preceding workflow left out a result we wanted. For example:
- Using decals to project symbols onto the flags was one approach we attempted. After using this method to project damage onto stone assets, we thought it would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, this method didn’t show the creases from the normal map on the fabric underneath.
- Using mesh decals was another method that did the same thing, where the creases on the normal map wouldn’t come through. This time, however, it was because the fabric of the flag had to be different from the fabric on the symbol, resulting in the normal details coming out differently.
In the end, we ended up creating the flags in Marvelous Designer, which allowed us to get the creases in the right places. We then exaggerated those creases in Zbrush before texturing them in Substance Painter. This is basically the same method used for creating the tombstones, but with the extra step of using Marvelous Designer for the cloth simulation.
With the flags all ready, our Environment Artists set dressed the Guard House and set up some more structural areas in it – like wooden beams. Some playable characters were then brought in so that we could see how everything worked together and we gotta say, we’re stoked about it!
Sound Design For Enemies & Cave Ambience
This week for our Sound Artist was mostly about implementation, with them adding a bunch of enemy SFX to the game. These include the effects for the nightmarish Wolvajins and the impossibly fast Swiftstrike Jaguar.
Our Sound Artist also found some time to create a second cave ambience draft from the recordings we showed in our last devlog update. Instead of using Alpine streams as the basis, these new ambient sounds are made from coastal recordings. These were slowed down a bit to give the impression of a vast, encompassing atmosphere, and some deep, distant groans were also layered in to give a sense of scale and life to the cave.
For our Programmers, this week was mostly about nailing down the specifics of what they want or need to complete in order to get to the initial alpha release of the game. This includes things like:
- Instanced world exploration
- Making the difficulty increase as players level up
- Procedurally placed enemies and events in an authored world
When they weren’t doing this, our Programmers spent some time working on how players can equip items in the game. With this work, a player can now see their equipped items and stats when in-game, which was a much needed improvement. Additionally, the player can now unequip items by dragging and dropping them out of the equipment slot.
Abilities were also improved this week:
- Abilities were adjusted so that they now have a ‘talent group’ attribute
- Abilities can also now be marked as a ‘skill’ or a ‘spell,’ depending on what it does
- This will affect whether an ability is usable if you’re unable to use skills, or if you’re silenced for spells
We also explored some solutions to integrating Status Effect templates into the Action System we created a while ago. Status Effects will work similarly to Ability Templates, but will have the added complexity of lasting multiple turns and potentially displaying differently, depending on the state of the game.