April DevLog | Week #2

Development
April 12, 2019
November 18, 2021

Another playable character has been created in this week’s game devlog, as well as a brand new set of glowing crystals that will appear throughout Depths of Erendorn. As always, make sure to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for all the latest updates on our fantasy RPG!

3D Character Modelling

Work continued on the Human Sorceress this week, a playable character that was started in our most recent game devlog. When it came to the retopology of this model, our Character Artist was able to use the lowest subdivision of the sculpt for the low mesh. This is because the clothes had already been modelled before being sent to Zbrush for sculpting.

However, for optimisation purposes and ease of skinning, our artist decided to combine and edit the low mesh so that the hood, belt and robe were a single mesh. As well as this, any edges that were not needed for deformation or to maintain form were deleted. All of this will make animating the Human Sorceress a little easier, a concern that cropped up in last week’s game devlog.

A 3D model of a Sorceress. We can see the front and back of them and they're wearing a hooded robe
Last week, our Character Artist began modelling the Human Sorceress.
3D model of a Sorceress wearing an indigo hooded robe with bronze embroidered patterns
Our Human Sorceress character was finished in this week's game devlog. This is a powerful spellcaster that you can play is in Depths of Erendorn.

Texturing

When it came to texturing the Human Sorceress, we wanted to ensure that the character maintained the elegant and gothic aesthetic suggested by her hooded robe. We started by taking the cloth material that was made for the Human Ranger model and reusing it as a base for the Sorceress’ robe. To create the overlapping cloth layers that appeared in the concept sketch, our artist decided to use normal maps in the texture as this would be easier to animate and quicker to make.

In order to give the Sorceress a greater sense of identity, especially when compared to other magical or robed characters like the Storm Elves, we also wanted to translate some of the overlapping cloth layers into embossed fabric. A lot of experimentation was then carried out with the lines that break up the robe in order to find the most ideal shape. In the end, our artist actually deviated from the concept sketch so that more flattering shapes and patterns could be created on the robe.

The patterns on the Sorceress’ clothes were a great way for us to convey the dark, gothic aesthetic of the character without making her appear evil:

  • Stencils/alphas of gothic patterns were created
  • These could then be projection painted onto the character
  • Different colours for the trim lines and patterns were experimented with
  • Lighter colours were chosen as these would be easier to see against the dark colours of the robe
  • A metallic sheen was added to further improve the visibility of the patterns from afar

Finally, both silver and gold embroidered fabric variants were experimented with. We decided to use both types for different character variations of the Human Sorceress. With this character now complete, our artist can start work on creating another character: the Frost Dwarf.

Close up of silver patterns on a 3D sculpted, indigo robe
We used patterns on the Sorceress' robe to convey an elegent aesthetic that was also slightly gothic
4 varying designs of an indigo hooded robe
We experimented with several different colour variations for the patterns on the robe
Three 3D models of a Sorceress wearing a hooded robe
In the end, both gold and silver patterns were chosen. These will correspond to different character types of the Sorceress.

Environment Art

Moving on from the treasure chests that were added to the dungeons in our last game devlog, this week our Environment Artist focussed on creating a set of crystals. As you may already know from previous devlogs, crystal clusters appear randomly throughout Depths of Erendorn in order to add a fantastical and ethereal element to this otherwise gritty environment.

To create realistic and alluring crystals, our artist developed a crystal shader that mimics depth within objects. Setting up the parameters within the material offered a lot of customisation options, such as the amount of transparency as well as colour options for varying materials of the same sort. Since these clusters of crystals will also be glowing, it was important that the material appeared emissive. In order to achieve this, the blue glow was amplified with the use of a point light.

The final bit of work carried out on the game environment this week was the utilisation of Unity’s new VFX graph to add campfires to the game. While these are still in their early stages, we are loving the atmosphere they create in the dungeon rooms and are excited to show you the finished pieces in the future!

Screenshot from Unity showing a cluster of glowing blue crystals
To make the crystals emissive, their blue glow was amplified with the use of a point light.
Screenshot from Unity showing a campfire glowing in a cave room
Unity's new VFX graph was used to add campfires to Depths of Erendorn.

Animation

This week, our Animator worked on animating the Forest Druid. We’re excited to see this spellcaster come to life through the animations that were created for it. These include:

  • Hit Reaction
  • Death Animation
  • Stun Animation
  • Basic Attacks
  • Drinking Animation
  • Equip/Unequip Weapon

Server

This week, we welcomed a new game developer onto the team! Depths of Erendorn is really starting to pick up speed with our team expanding like this, and a lot of time this week was spent preparing and setting up for our new developer. We were still able to box off some important work in the server, however, starting with the equipment screen.

1H and 2H weapons are now correctly displayed on the equipment screen, which also now displays the accurate values for swing cost and weapon damage. It is now also possible to unequip an item from a slot. Finally, dungeons should now drop more variety when it comes to item type, meaning that the same objects won’t keep reappearing at close distance.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/forestDruid_progress.mp4

Over the next few weeks, we're going to be giving you glimpses inside one of the dungeon rooms in Depths of Erendorn, so make sure you're following us on social media - otherwise you'll miss it!

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