April Devlog | Week #5 | No. 226

Development
May 4, 2023
May 11, 2023

Welcome to our weekly development log! Our teams have been hard at work improving various aspects of the game, from mastering audio effects to constructing modular ruins kits in Unreal Engine 5. The 3D modelling team has made significant progress on the retopology process for a brand-new set of armor, while the server team has been busy working on dungeon-related issues. The animation team has been focusing on enhancing the gameplay experience through updates to character animations, and the sound design team has been mastering the game's audio effects for consistent levels and quality. Meanwhile, the environment team has been working on visually appealing materials and testing destruction and displacement techniques for a modular ruins kit. Check out the examples of progress made by each team throughout the week! 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 has made significant progress in the retopology process for the new set of armour, aiming to create a more efficient model for game engine integration while maintaining visual fidelity. They are taking extra care throughout the process due to the intricate nature of this piece. Once the lower poly model is complete, the team will move on to texturing, bringing the armour to life with detailed, high-quality textures. An examples of the retopology progress made throughout the week can be seen below.

Retopologisation in progress

Programming

Client

This week has been focused on continued improvements to the Ability and Active Effect Template Systems with regards to VFX as well as continued updates to the remaining class' individual Ability Templates based on the improvements of the last weeks. As a result a much larger portion of Abilities and Active Effects are now correctly triggering their Animations/VFX/SFX.

  • Minor tweaks to the movement counter to fix some display issues with converting to Rich Text formatting.
  • Finalised fixes for the loss of progression data caused by session transitions. Dungeon progression is now correctly appended to adventure data when exiting an overworld dungeon.
  • Updated Zone nav data to reflect recent map updates.
  • Implemented load out display to the character creation screen.
  • Applied 'Trigger Stepper on Bookend' to Knight/Twilight Elf/Watertarg/Zentragal Class Ability Templates.
  • Added the capability of using Niagara in addition to Cascade Particle Systems in both Ability and Active Effect Templates. Prior to this week we have been using exclusively Cascade VFX. The following Template applications now have optional Niagara capabilities:

                 - Simple VFX Steppers (those most often used in ability templates).

                 - Projectile Steppers can take either kind or a combination of both for Launch, Projectile and Impact VFX slots.

                 - Animation Steppers that can socket VFX emitters such as weapon trails.

Server

This week the server team were busy on more dungeon related issues as we fix issues found during the recent team playtests. This mostly boiled down to two main things for the week, the first being a much more advanced way of handling disconnected players. Now, we can allow for disconnected players to automatically vote a default option on a dungeon's reroll vote, and automatically place them into the dungeon on a valid spawn tile (so they can be killed by the dungeon's enemies!), while still excluding them from any potential loot or xp rewards the still active players may be earning. The second thing the team have been working on this week was the new code for the upcoming big refactor. The main changes were to progression data and adventure structs.  Progression data has been changed to nest inside one another with different contexts to provide a comprehensive breakdown of what was gained from where.  Adventures have been refactored quite alot to use the Cache and update automatically between servers as it changes. Additional work from the server side team can be seen below.

  • Progression data merging and helper functions created.
  • New Progression data structs implemented.
  • Added comprehensive function to split out specific entities from progression data.
  • Adjusted Adventure storage.
  • Added Cache functions to subscribe and unsubscribe from specific object updates without having to request the object or store the object.
  • Refactored some Cache functions to be more maintainable.
  • Updated Party Disbanding code.
  • Caravan chests in the wrecked caravan open world event no longer lock themselves out of being interactable after the end of any combat nearby them.
  • Loot awarding at end of dungeon was updated to send a more detailed message to the client to help the game display who has earned what.

Sound Design

The sound design team made significant progress in mastering the game's audio effects to ensure consistent levels and quality. This week, they focused on Level 1 Generic Skills and worked on polishing and refining the effects before mixing them into the game engine. They plan to continue mastering the remaining effects before re-implementing and mixing them in-engine. Examples of the remastered audio completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Environment Art

The environment team have focused this week on constructing and testing a modular ruins kit in Unreal Engine 5. We've been ensuring seamless fit between components, conducting extensive testing on destruction and displacement techniques, and working on visually appealing materials. Additionally, we've been importing more architecture assets and working through the processes for each of them. Our team has also been experimenting with methods for static destroyed prefab meshes and making refinements to chaos destruction, as well as cleaning up small parts on architecture. Examples of the progress made to the ruination of the castle walls can be seen below.

Destruction progress in engine

Modular wall with destruction applied

Pieces of wall placed on the ground

Animation

The animation team has been hard at work this week, focusing on enhancing the gameplay experience through updates to character animations. They have been incorporating feedback from gameplay tests and experimenting with different methods to improve locomotion animations. Additionally, the team has started creating poly boxes for characters, which allows for a more clear understanding of each body pose and helps with the polish process. These efforts are aimed at creating a more immersive and visually appealing experience for players. Examples of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Using boxes to tweak the finer details

Updated run cycles for the Twilight Elf Assassin

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

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