As the team winds down for the holidays, a lot of loose ends were tied off last week, like finishing off outstanding sound effects, tidying up old VFX, and integrating the Houdini engine into UE4. This will be our last game development update before Christmas, so we hope everyone reading this has a relaxing time off this week! Let us know what you’re up to over on Instagram, Twitter or Reddit – but for now, let’s get into it! 

Animating Shuffles

Last week, our Animator created new right and left shuffles for all of our current playable characters. These were then cleaned up, exported and imported into the engine, along with all of the Dwarf’s new cast animations that we’ve been showing you throughout the month. 

Check out the clip below to see how the Earthen Dwarf and Human Knight look doing their lil’ shuffle!

Environment Design

Bandit Camps and Graveyards

In the Environment Department last week, a new basic bandit camp, as well as some graveyard set pieces were added for use in dungeon generation. There was also some discussion with our Programmers about how asset placement will be randomised in the future. Here’s how the new set pieces and bandit camp are looking:

Recreating the Landscape with Houdini

In addition to this, we also worked on integrating the Houdini engine into UE4. After figuring out the workflow between the two programs and integrating a test terrain from Houdini to UE4, our leading Environment Artist then created a new terrain with more realistic features, and generated material masks from the height map and erosion data. A new terrain material was then created in UE4, and it’s looking pretty badass so far:

Visual FX

The VFX concept art for the Earthen Dwarf’s Level 3 Talent Abilities were finished off last week. Our VFX Artist also upgraded some older effects, like ‘Magic Chains’ (which also received some new sound effects – scroll down to listen!), and figured out a way to apply splines to weapons for effortless weapon swings. They also created some awesome refracting bubbles as an experiment for room-wide/screen-based effects – check the video out below!

Sound Design

Ambient Sound for Jungle Dungeons

New ambient sounds have been started for the game’s Jungle Dungeons, which is awesome because it means that we now have ambience for all the different dungeon systems in Depths of Erendorn, including normal Dungeons, Ice and Fire Dungeons, and, as of last week, Jungle Dungeons.

Ambient sound fx for these Jungle systems were made with a lot more synth work than the others. Our Sound Artist also wanted to add in some eerie and subtle creature noises to nod to the unknown inhabitants of this terrain. They achieved this by playing with the lasso tool in Izotope Iris 2, which allows you to manually select specific frequency ranges in a sound source and then playback through the midi keyboard, which achieved some great effects:

Jungle Dungeon ambient sound effects

UI Sound Effects

A ton of new sounds were recorded last week for the UI and Inventory SFX. This work involved loads of interesting recording techniques in order to get a variety of unique sounds. This included things like:

  • Pushing different bottles and vials underwater and releasing air at different velocities, then recording the various bubblings – these SFX will be great for all the game’s potions
  • Floating plates and saucepans in water, then tapping and twisting them on the surface to get a nice resonant beowow sound – that is the only way we can describe it anyway!
  • Making a lot of generic splashing, splatting and slapping sounds on the water, which will be perfect for water magic, or for character footsteps when they’re walking in water

Over their last few days working before the holidays, our Sound Artist will be recording coins and coin bags, as well as the sound of turning book pages. For things like scrolls, journal and quest logs, they’ll also be spending some time rolling and unravelling some yoga matts and calendars, which we can’t wait to hear! 

Sound FX for Spells

The next thing on our Sound Artist’s list was to finish creating the sound effects for a generic spell called ‘Magic Chains,’ which allows the player to root an enemy for one turn. This ability actually took our Sound Artist the longest to do because of the chain element: we wanted it to ring and resonate without sounding too intense or aggressive. 

Well, after some input from everyone on the team, our Sound Artist was able to tweak and refine it over time until it reached a point where they could call it finished! The result is a light jingling sound that more closely reflects the fantastical element of this spell. Listen below:

UI Implementation

Last week, work on UI Implementation has been focused on implementing the Log Book as well as some visual additions to the ability tooltips that were updated last week:

  • A Log Book has been added to function as a combat, chat and event log during gameplay. A message structure has also been implemented to allow updates to be displayed to players in chronological order
  • Different text styles for character, ability and status names, as well as damage types, have now been applied for displayed messages
  • We also added the ability for logs to be added with tags so that filtering messages can be displayed
  • For Ability Tooltips, we added the ability to display healing/secondary resource stats and damage type using different text styles

That’s it for this week’s devlog! We’ll see you all after the holidays – Merry Christmas!