In this week’s game devlog, we’ve got some brand new screenshots to show you from our settlement, as well as some new creepy crawly sound FX. We’ve also recommenced work on the Vaznarite model and made a new animation set. Follow us over on Instagram, Twitter or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn – now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

Let us take you back a few months to December 2020, when we first began sculpting an epic creature known as the Vaznarite. With the basic sculpt all ready and waiting, our 3D Modeller decided to recommence work on this character, which appears in Depths of Erendorn as an enormous, powerful enemy forged from the fires of Mount Vaznar. 

Our 3D Modeller’s first point of call was to change the primary and secondary forms to ensure that the model looked more threatening, less toy-like (even though it would make a pretty awesome miniature). They’re currently trying to figure out the tertiary details, as well as the transitions between skin and rock. Here’s a look at the before and after sculpt in ZBrush:

Animation

Our Animator brought the new four-armed Abyssal Skeleton model into the engine last week, after rigging, skinning and creating an idle for it. The main rig that all bipedal characters use was then updated with one more pair of arms so that the Abyssal Skeleton can use the same skeleton as all other humanoids. 

The Abyssal Skeleton

After this, our Animator focused their attention on the Savannah Wild Dog they were working on in the last devlog. Now, in addition to its sitting idles, this canine has a run cycle, two biting attacks, a hit reaction, and a death animation (we’re sorry – we had to). Check them all out below:

Environment Design

The blacksmith forge that we showed you in our February devlog was remade last week using a more efficient method. Previously, the forge had used a pre-existing material in the project that included tessellation. However, after some research, we realised that this would be  very costly for a static prop, and so decided to sculpt the forge instead as well as use the prop master.

World Optimisations

Much of last week was also spent optimising the project. This included making it more lightweight in terms of textures and shader instructions, and focusing on the frame rates throughout the settlement.

In addition to this:

  • Water systems were explored for a third time in an attempt to get them working with the new Houdini landscape – but no luck as of yet
  • RVT texturing has been extended to work on water wetness for surrounding mud and ground textures, based on where water volumes are placed
  • Foliage spawner was re-jigged and calculated to get the maximum visual effect while impacting frame rate as little as possible

Aside from optimisations, we also dedicated a lot of time to set dressing the settlement with new props and assets – check out the latest screenshots:

Sound Design

Our Sound Artist completed the set of sound effects that they were creating for the Elemental Wisps by finishing off the Earth Wisp. Listen to this enemy below:

Draft sounds for the Earth Wisp

They then worked on a few different variants of spiders, including the Molten Web, Vampire, Coldweave, Toxic Web Spiders. These critters are all enemies that you’ll play against in the game – give them a listen:

Vampire Spider hit reaction
Toxic Web Spider death
Molten Web Spider hit reaction
Coldweave Spider attack

Programming

Last week took a long bash at the backbone functions required for combat, and our Programmers also created a vote manager that will allow the players to reroll the dungeon if they don’t like it, though this is subject to some balance work. 

Additionally, a new code class named ‘Dungeon Session’ has been created. This allows us to package everything the client needs for combat in one easy code structure, meaning we don’t have to send a million different messages to and from the server. Instead, we can just update the one Dungeon Session that the player is currently a member of.

In between all this, we also focused on:

  • Blocking out trailer shots and learning more practical skills used in Sequencer
  • Dealing with keyframe animations, camera tracking and sequence layering making use of subsequences

That’s it for this devlog – see you next Monday!