April DevLog | Week #3

Development
April 19, 2019
November 18, 2021

A lot has been going on with Depths of Erendorn this week. In this game devlog, you’ll be introduced to our newest NPC as well as given an inside look at a new dungeon room where Bandits have cornered some travellers. If you haven’t already, remember to follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so that you don’t miss any exciting news about our upcoming fantasy RPG!

3D Character Modelling

This week, our Character Artist focussed on creating another one of Erendorn’s enemies: the Frost Dwarf. This is a stoic species native to the perilous Arctic Region and so, their clothing must reflect their roots. Various parts of the Frost Dwarf’s clothing were modelled in 3DS Max this week, including his thick winter coat that is lined with the fur of Glacial Boars. At this stage, the accuracy of the shapes were not the priority. The most important aspect was to create a geometry and topology that would be easy to work with as well as translate well to a low mesh later on.

After parts of the clothes were modelled, the mesh was exported to Zbrush for sculpting. Here, the primary forms began getting blocked out. Our artist decided to do this in ZBrush rather than 3DS Max because it makes it easier to move and mold shapes and also to adjust for changes when the mesh is subdivided. The bag that the Frost Dwarf carries on his belt was also sculpted in ZBrush rather than being modelled in 3DS Max first because it was faster to do.

Our Character Artist then sculpted various details onto the Frost Dwarf’s clothing:

  • Due to the thick fabric of the coat, large and subtle folds were sculpted onto the cloth
  • Fur alphas were downloaded for the creation of the fur collar and cuffs
  • This allowed our artist to “stamp” the shapes onto the mesh and build up something that resembles thick fur
  • A new pouch was sculpted in order to add variety to the overall character design

After all of this was done, it was time to retopologise the clothes. We’re really happy with how the model turned out! This whole process was made much easier by the fact that, a few weeks ago, our Character Artist and Animator created low meshes that could be used on all future Dwarf characters. Since there are quite a few Dwarven folk in Depths of Erendorn, this tactic massively reduced the workload; the low meshes can be used as a base for every individual, meaning that only the clothing and arms have to be made for each Dwarven character!

A screenshot showing a 3D dwarf model wearing clothing pieces modelled in 3DS max
We began creating the Frost Dwarf by modelling its clothing pieces in 3DS Max.
Screenshot from ZBrush showing a sculpted pouch
Items, like this pouch, were sculpted in ZBrush to make the process faster.
Screenshot from ZBrush showing a sculpted side bag
A side bag was also sculpted in ZBrush for the Frost Dwarf model.
Screenshot from ZBrush showing the final mesh, of a Dwarf model with a satchel and colour floating next to it
This is the final mesh of the Frost Dwarf, with baked maps.
Screenshot from ZBrush showing the front and back of a Dwarf model wearing a thick winter coat
The final sculpt of the Frost Dwarf really captures this character's Artctic roots.

Animation

A lot of exciting things were created by our Animator this week, starting with two new spell animations for our Forest Druid character. While these are just two basic spells at the moment, they will later be used as the basis for some of the Forest Druid’s more specialised abilities

Our Animator also exported both the Twilight Elf Assassin and Forest Druid animations before creating several animation clips of them for a dungeon scene that was being made in Unity. The next character that will be exported to the Unity engine will be the sinister Zentragal; but, before we can do this, our animator must first update its rig. This includes adding some weapon joints and fixing some old skinning issues. Our Animator is ending the week by planning some animations for the Watertarg, another playable character in our upcoming fantasy RPG.

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

Environment Art

A dungeon scene was created this week, where several of Erendorn’s enemies and playable characters were positioned. These posed by our Animator while the rest of the scene was made by our Environment Artist. All of the assets created in previous devlogs were added to this dungeon room, including but not limited to:

  • Crystal clusters
  • Glowing mushrooms
  • Treasure chests
  • Piles of gold coin
  • Campfires and torches

Volumetric fog and lighting was also added in order to bring depth to the scene. Our artist ensured that the fog would be affected by emissive materials, like the crystals or the Parakaw's luminescent staff as it moves in real time. The dungeon scene is giving us a taste of the true potential of Depths of Erendorn by bringing everything together. Check out how it’s looking below and if you like what you see, make sure to follow us on social media where we’re posting close ups of this epic dungeon encounter!

Server

This week in the server, a rough but functional lobby system was implemented. Following this, there were a few smaller but important bits that we had to get working:

  • Added a lobby manager to the server
  • Players can now join/leave a lobby
  • Players can toggle whether they are ready for the game to start
  • Players can start the game when everyone is ready
  • Rewards now scale with the number of players in the lobby
  • Rewards use the XP per room/number of players to determine rewards which match the difficulty.
  • Completed dungeons or abandoned dungeons should be deleted from the server after 5 minutes of inactivity.

After getting all of this up and running, it was time to fix a bug that was causing only weapons to drop in the dungeons. Now, the items that are dropped should be more varied and, while there are still a couple of bugs to work out with this, the slot type should now be random.

Unity screenshot showing a cave room from Depths of Erendorn
Depth was added to our dungeon scene with use of volumetric fog and lighting.
Screenshot from Unity showing a Parakaw character summoning its magic in a dungeon cave room
We ensured that the fog would be affected by emissive objects, the Parakaw's staff when it's in motion.

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