April Devlog | Week #2 | No. 271

Development
April 18, 2024
June 19, 2024

This week at Depths of Erendorn, our teams have been hard at work across various departments, achieving significant milestones and pushing forward with key projects. The 3D modelling team completed retopology on the revenant enemy, moving on to unwrapping and texturing to enhance its visual appeal. Meanwhile, the set piece design team continued their efforts on props for the settlement redesign, completing a set of braziers for common area illumination. Our client-side team focused on finalising the Level Up System and incorporating assets for all Level 2 Abilities, while the server-side team made strides in infrastructure upgrades, enabling dynamic scaling of servers without restarts. The sound team kept pace with VFX output, completing work on several abilities, and the environment team expanded the settlement buildings' modular kit. Additionally, the VFX department transitioned to conceptual work for level 3 character abilities, experimenting with new features for enhanced VFX production. As always, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn. Alternatively, join our Discord for all the latest! - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

The 3D modelling team at Depths of Erendorn has achieved a significant milestone this week with the completion of retopology on the revenant enemy. With this stage now finished, the team will proceed to unwrapping and then texturing the model, enhancing its visual appeal while ensuring optimal performance within the game engine. By creating a low-poly model, the team aims to strike a balance between detailed aesthetics and efficient resource usage. Once textured, the enemy will be transformed into a spooky character, showcasing the team's dedication to bringing Depths of Erendorn to life. An example of the low poly model can be seen below.

Retopology completed on the Revenant enemy

Set Piece Design

The set piece design team at Depths of Erendorn has continued their dedicated work on the props intended for the settlement redesign. Building upon their previous achievements, the team successfully completed a set of braziers last week, designed to illuminate common areas within the settlement. These high-poly models showcase the attention to detail that the team has applied throughout their creation process. Looking ahead, the team plans to focus on enhancing the efficiency of the models in preparation for texturing, ensuring optimal performance within the game engine. Examples of the braziers completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Selection of high poly braziers

Programming

Client

This week, the client-side team at Depths of Erendorn focused on finalising the implementation of the Level Up System and incorporating assets for all Level 2 Abilities. Efforts were dedicated to resolving the last major bug in updating the animation systems, ensuring a smoother gameplay experience. Several niche cases where the old system was still in use were identified and addressed, with the aim of ensuring that the next test build includes updated animations. Following the bug fix, the team conducted extensive retesting and tweaking of new ability blueprints to ensure compatibility with animations and visual effects (VFX). Additionally, adjustments were made to the dialogue window, including altering background transparency and removing instances of empty dialogue spawning, further refining the user interface for improved usability. Additional work completed by the team can be seen below.


  • Improved the Level Up Panel to work within the UI panel system.
  • Added the Abilities Changed log to handle immediate updates to Character Ability loadouts that are visible for anyone in the same Session.
  • Implemented the ability for the 'Entity Abilities' class to be modified during a Session.
  • Added Ability Bar refreshing functionality to handle adding and removing of Abilities.
  • Fixed issues surrounding multiple players levelling up at the same time.

Server

This week, the server-side team at Depths of Erendorn has primarily focused on infrastructure upgrades, making significant progress in developing a framework to scale the number of servers dynamically without requiring restarts. A basic framework has been established, along with an agent application running on the servers, enabling remote control via a built control panel, which is currently under development and expected to be completed next week. These upgrades will provide numerous benefits, including centralised administration for monitoring server status and performing actions like starting, stopping, restarting, and updating servers and clusters. The streamlined control panel aims to simplify server management, particularly as player numbers increase, allowing for easier scaling and and as an immediate benefit by splitting up the servers onto separate machines, each one can utilise more RAM as each machine's resources is dedicated to that one server. Additionally, the team has developed new in-game events to showcase various functionalities, such as event chaining and random event triggering, along with the introduction of mini-bosses. Furthermore, efforts have been directed towards statting up and adding numerous new creatures, addressing the need for diverse and engaging gameplay experiences. These collective efforts underscore the team's commitment to enhancing server-side functionalities and enriching the gaming experience in Depths of Erendorn.

Sound Design

The sound team at Depths of Erendorn has diligently continued their work on the level 2 abilities, keeping pace with the output of the VFX team. This week, the team successfully completed work on several abilities, including Fortification, Sharpening Restoration, Spear of Light, Weakening Veil, and Static Impact. Each ability has been crafted with a unique sound, allowing players familiar with the mystic arts of Erendorn to easily identify and distinguish between them. Examples of the work completed by the sound team can be seen in the video below.

Environment Art

The environment team at Depths of Erendorn has made significant progress on the settlement buildings' modular kit for the ongoing redesign project. Throughout the week, the team focused on expanding the kit by creating roof sections to surround the first floor, enhancing the kit's versatility. Additionally, materials were crafted for various parts of the building kit, ensuring consistency and visual cohesion. Custom roofs were specially created for the entrance and main roof of the building, given their complexity, demonstrating the team's attention to detail. Furthermore, the team applied more decals around the building, adding depth and realism to the environment. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Additional work on roofs for settlement buildings

Modular sets for roof corners

New roofs on settlement building

Settlement buildings with new roofs in engine

Visual Effects

The team at Depths of Erendorn's VFX department has transitioned from completing the level 2 abilities effects to focusing on concepts for the remaining level 3 character abilities. In addition to conceptual work, some team members are engaged in modelling for certain abilities that require intricate meshwork not currently available in the project. Testing of new features aimed at creating more usable organic shapes has also been underway, with the team hopeful that these features will greatly enhance VFX production in the future. An example of the experiments for the level 3 abilities can be seen below.

Visual effects experiments

That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of March yet?!

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