April Devlog | Week #3 | No. 272

Development
April 26, 2024
June 19, 2024

Welcome to the latest update from Depths of Erendorn! This week, significant progress has been made across various teams. The 3D modelling team completed texturing the Revenant, while the set piece design team advanced the high-poly shield kit. Client-side efforts focused on enhancing user experience, while server-side work included a significant refactor and creating server profiles for new enemies. The sound team experimented with AI voices, and the environment team made strides in kit building. Additionally, the animation team crafted versatile attack animations, and level 3 abilities were advanced. 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 team has completed texturing the Revenant character, using a palette of dark colours to create the perfect enemy to lurk in the shadows of the dungeons of Erendorn. During the process of creating the ripped clothing, there was some trial and error with the cape shape, as the first version resulted in the silhouette being too round. After finalising adjustments, the Revenant is now ready for integration into the engine! Examples of the cape experimentation and finalised textures can be seen below.

Cape experimentation for Revenant

Finalised textures and cape

Finalised textures ready for the engine

Set Piece Design

Progress has been made on the high-poly shield kit, with the team aiming for a modular approach to allow for easy piece swapping and the creation of unique shield designs. Over the coming weeks, the team will continue to create pieces for this set, which will ultimately be transformed into wall hangings with a lot of variety due to their modular nature. Examples of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below.

High poly shield models

Programming

Client

This week, the client-side team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to rolling back and implementing important updates to a previous milestone build of the game. The primary focus has been on enhancing the user experience related to dialogue and the adventure process, with the goal of making it easier for first-time players to engage with the core features of the game. Utilising SVN version control, the team ensures that changes made to this older version can seamlessly transfer to the active project, preventing any loss of work. Despite facing technical setbacks throughout the week, the team remained focused on completing retesting of new ability blueprints in light of the fixed animation system. Additionally, adjustments were made to naming conventions in some classes to differentiate between identically named variables, further improving code clarity. In the final stages of the week, the team began implementing manual weather control into the dry testing environment, facilitating quick testing of lighting effects. Additional work from the client side team can be seen below.


  • Added a dropdown at login for switching between different test accounts.
  • Made starting an Adventure easier by adding a button to the screen instead of the player having to right click themselves.
  • Made a number of changes to the Dialogue Manager and Dialogue UI to allow multiple members of the same party to speak to the same NPC. We previously added the ability for party members to join dialogue that a member was already engaged. These changes make it so that party dialogue can also be handled individually or as a group depending on the conversation/NPC.

              - Improved Dialogue Join/Leave/Ended functions to account for participants and their relation to the local player.

              - Added a custom new line character for dialogue and it's conversion function.

              - Fixed the NPC dialogue portrait not appearing.

Server

Last week, the server-side team at Depths of Erendorn dedicated their efforts to a significant refactor of the server setup, focusing on game servers. Attention was given to code deployment, the build process, and server setup scripts, resulting in a smoother process and laying the foundation for dynamically scaling infrastructure in the future. Additionally, the team performed refactoring in chunk preloading to optimise server resource usage, ensuring that servers load only necessary portions of the map on startup. Settlement (hub) servers were adjusted to load only areas within the settlement, enhancing efficiency. Integration of new zones data and the addition of another fast travel point expanded accessibility for internal playtesting. Furthermore, server control agents were completed and integrated into the server control panel, allowing for mass management of server operations such as starting, stopping, restarting, and updating server code. The control panel was also brought to a basic working standard. This week, the server team focused entirely on creating server profiles for numerous new enemies to encounter during adventures. This includes enemies for the previously mentioned new events, as well as new variations joining existing groups.

Sound Design

Last week, the team dedicated time to experimenting with AI voices for NPC dialogue, particularly focusing on quest dialogues and random phrases within the settlement. Initial findings suggest that AI performs adequately with one-off words or phrases, especially when they maintain a neutral tone. However, infusing emotional emphasis into full sentences proves challenging and time-consuming. Currently, the team has only utilised AI for human voices, with plans to adapt them to suit other character types in the future. Additionally, the team has recorded various phrases in different tones to showcase differences, acknowledging limitations due to the current environment's echoey nature. Looking ahead, the team anticipates employing a combination of recorded snippets from team members and AI-generated voices to achieve the desired soundscapes for different characters. Examples of the team's efforts can be heard below.

Environment Art

Throughout the past week, the environment team has made significant progress in kit building, focusing on roof sections to encompass the first floor. Additionally, the team has created materials for various components of the building kit, ensuring consistency and visual coherence. Special attention was given to crafting custom roofs for the entrance and main roof of a particular building, as these structures presented greater complexity. Moreover, the team has continued to enhance the realism and depth of the environment by applying more decals around the buildings, further enriching the visual landscape of Erendorn. Examples of the modular settlement buildings in engine can be seen below.

New buildings in the engine

Examples of scale differences in engine

New smaller building in engine

Additional perspective of new settlement buildings

Animation

The animation team has been diligently working on new attack animations. These generic attacks are designed to be versatile, suitable for a wide variety of characters in Erendorn. Considering the diverse range of characters and weapon types in the game, each animation cycle needs to be tailored to the specific weight of the weapon. However, the team ensures that these animations are transferable across many different characters, enhancing efficiency in the animation process. Examples of the work completed throughout the week can be found below.

Visual Effects

Last week, the team at Depths of Erendorn focused on advancing the development of level 3 abilities for characters. They identified all remaining level 3 abilities, uncovering a few that were partially completed in the old particle system. Additionally, the team worked on concept sheets for the Forest Druid and Zentragal characters, laying the groundwork before refining the best elements in the normal show sheets. Moreover, efforts were directed towards cleaning up and converting old Cascade system abilities into Niagara ones, with the aim of completing the remaining abilities in Niagara this week. Examples of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Finalising level 2 abilities

Level 3 abilities concept sheet

Additional level 3 ability concept sheet

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

LATEST NEWS

July 12, 2024
2024-07-12 19:00
July 12, 2024
Development
July Devlog | Week #1 | No. 283
Throughout the last week, the team has continued to push towards the next milestone for Depths of Erendorn, forwarding the development in a variety of aspects. The 3D modelling team made substantial progress in creating a new hairstyle, refining both the top and side/back.
July 8, 2024
2024-07-08 19:00
July 8, 2024
Development
Monthly Devlog | June 2024 | No. 65
Throughout June, the team at Depths of Erendorn achieved remarkable progress across various departments, collectively enhancing the game's visual, auditory, and immersive qualities. The 3D modelling team completed texturing for all bird variants and progressed on the first short hairstyle.
July 6, 2024
2024-07-06 1:00
July 8, 2024
Development
June Devlog | Week #4 | No. 282
This week, the Depths of Erendorn development team made significant progress across various areas of the game. The 3D modelling team worked on transferring hairstyles between different character races and genders, while also planning and beginning the creation of new hairstyles.
June 28, 2024
2024-06-28 19:01
July 8, 2024
Development
June Devlog | Week #3 | No. 281
This week in Depths of Erendorn, significant progress was made across all teams. The 3D modelling team completed and optimised the top hair and side hair, preparing them for engine integration. The set piece design team improved the bridge model, finished lamps and torches.
VIEW MORE..