This week’s devlog update on Depths of Erendorn runs you through the new Guard series we’re modelling, the new Tavern and Watchtowers we’re implementing, and the new VFX and SFX we have for a particularly fiery projectile ability. As always, remember to join our family over on Instagram, Twitter or Reddit, where we post daily updates about our online RPG in development – now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling 

Sculpting The Guard Series In ZBrush

This week, our 3D Character Artist began working on the Human Guard series. These characters are highly trained in combat and are tasked with protecting the Human Kingdom from outside threats. There are three classes of Guards that we’ll be creating for the game:

  • The generic Guard is the lowest class, but this doesn’t mean they can’t stand their ground. Still, their status is reflected in their rather plain and unadorned clothing.
  • The Enforcers have earned a little more prestige, and engage in more high-intensity battles. As such, their design features plates of armour and a chainmail face covering.
  • The Royal Guards are the highest ranking class. While their design is similar to the other guards’, their armour is more distinguished and they also sport a rather grand cape.

Since all three models wear similar clothing and armour pieces, the creation process is a lot more streamlined. This is because we can modify everything according to each character, rather than sculpting all the individual pieces from scratch. Reusable or modifiable pieces include:

  • The undergarments, i.e. the trousers, tunic, shoes, gloves and belt
  • The helmet, as well as the chainmail covering that’s attached to it
  • The spaulders, gauntlets, greaves and other pieces of armour plating

So far, we’ve started with the Royal Guard, which has the most complicated design and accessories. We’ll then quickly and easily be able to tweak the model to create the remaining two classes, so we should be able to show these off soon!

Digital concept art of Guards
This is the concept art for the Guard series
ZBrush sculpt of Royal Guard
This is the WIP ZBrush sculpt of the Royal Guard

Environment Design In UE4

Implementing Taverns & Watchtowers

Among the buildings we’ve been working on for the game’s first settlement is a good ole’ Tavern – because you can’t have a medieval, fantasy-based village without a Tavern, right? Well anyway, the settlement modular kit was used to build and set dress this structure, which players will be able to mosey in and out of while exploring the grounds. 

Unlike the Guard House and Inn that we created a few weeks ago, we didn’t use any concept art for the Tavern. Instead, we referenced all the other buildings in the settlement so that we could not only streamline our workflow, but also maintain a consistent visual theme.

Watchtowers were another addition we made to the settlement this week, and these were also set dressed with various wooden props. Speaking of which, a lot of new assets were created for the Inn, including mirrors, wardrobes and new torches. We’re aiming to have the settlement finished as soon as possible, so this work is all part of adding the finishing touches!

These are some screenshots from UE4 showing the newly built and set-dressed Tavern, as well as some of the new props:

These are the new Watchtowers that were implemented into the settlement and set dressed:

Visual FX

New Effects For Character Abilities

New visual FX were created this week for a Forest Druid ability called ‘Devious Sapling.’ This spell reduces an enemy’s Energy and Mana whilst also restoring some Mana to the player. This will be a Talent Ability that you can choose to equip when you play as the Forest Druid.

Creating some textures and materials for the Knight’s Talent Abilities was next on the list. We’ll use the ones made this week to accentuate some epic blows and strikes, so stay tuned to see how they turn out.

Visuals were also created for a new ability called ‘Pyro Bolt.’ This is a Parakaw Astromancer specialty that uses spellbound projectiles to injure opponents. ‘Pyro Bolt’ is actually replacing the ‘Burning Hands’ spell we created a few months ago, so part of creating its VFX involved reworking the pre-existing visuals.

These are the VFX for ‘Devious Sapling’ with accompanying draft sounds

Sound Design

Adding Sound Effects To Visuals

With the visuals created for ‘Devious Sapling’ and ‘Pyro Bolt,’ our Sound Artist could begin creating SFX for these Talent Abilities. We especially loved how ‘Pyro Bolt’ turned out, where the projectile portion was made using the sound of a launching firework, while the impact portion featured fiery, crackling sounds in order to fit the similarly warm and scorching visuals.

Our Sound Artist also worked on quite a few animal sounds for the:

  • Carapace Scorpion, a low level enemy with a natural chitin armour 
  • Thunderclaw Crab, an enemy with lightning running through its body
  • The Black Bear, who resides in the mountains and is very aggressive
  • The Grey Hyena, a scavenger of the Plains and a foe to all travellers

Moving on, now that the UE4 settlement is nearly finished, our Sound Artist has begun planning out what kinds of sounds can be included and what the best way to approach these would be. Most of these will focus on ambience, and creating the general sounds of everyday life in order to make it as immersive and alive as possible. 

These are the WIP sound fx and visuals for ‘Pryro Bolt’

When it comes to programming Depths of Erendorn, things are plodding along as normal. Reworking the server is continuing at a good pace, as is the creation of new abilities, so we’ll keep you posted on how all of that turns out in the coming weeks!