August DevLog | Week #2

Development
August 16, 2019
November 18, 2021

In this week’s devlog, we’re showing you how we textured our Lionman character series as well as how we went about adding water to the game’s environment. We’ll also be revealing some new attack animations for one of our playable characters, the Watertarg Excursionist. As always, head over to Reddit or Twitter for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn!

3D Character Modelling

You’ve been following our progress with the Lionmen models for about four weeks now, so we’re pleased (and a bit sad) to say that we’ve now finished this character series! If you were here for our last game devlog, we had already finished modelling and baking the entire Lionman series, including the:

  • Tribed Lionmen
  • Untribed Lionmen
  • Tribal Leader

In our most recent game devlog, we explained how we began texturing by creating a colour pallet for the fur colours. This was based on a photo of lion fur so that we could more efficiently identify the various colour tones that would appear in the fur. Starting with the medium body size, we then used a procedural fur pattern to generate the shorter hairs on the body.

When it came to texturing the mane, we decided to projection paint it from a photo. This allowed for a higher level of realism and accuracy. The other bases were then textured by using the medium base's textures. This was possible because, since all the Lionmen bases have the same UV layouts (except for the manes), the exported textures of the medium sized Lionman could be used as a foundation for texturing the other bases, with a couple of changes of course:

  • The manes were repainted, since they didn’t have the same UV layouts
  • Different musculature cavity overlays were created for different body types
3 ascending sizes of Lionmen models in ZBrush that have had their bodies textured.
We created a colour pallet to accurately select the various colour tones in the fur. We then also projection painted the mane. We textured the medium body size first and then used its textures on the rest of the bases.

After all of this, the base textures for the small, medium and big Lionman body types were finished; and with the bases done, we could start on the clothing. Many of the materials, such as the cloth and leather, were able to be produced quickly and were easily built upon, which dramatically streamlined the entire process. This was thanks to a library of custom materials that we have been steadily growing with every character creation.

To further speed up production, parts of the clothing and armour that are made from bone were not detailed during the sculpting phase. Instead, they were detailed during the texturing process. This decision was made due to the simplistic forms of these pieces as well as the idea that it would be faster to create these details while texturing instead of while sculpting.

We made sure to add a lot of details to our Lionmen during the texturing phase:

  • Creases and stitching were created for the Tribed Lionmen’s shorts.
  • The front cloth piece of the Tribal Leader had a unique pattern painted onto it.
  • Dirt was added to the clothes of the Untribed Lionmen, while their armour was given more scratches, giving players a greater sense of these character’s wild, uninhibited lifestyle.
  • Black stitching was added onto the front cloth piece of the Untribed Lionmen. We originally tried this in red but, since the cloth itself was red, it didn’t stand out from afar.
  • Studs on the Untribed Lionmen’s leather wrist cuffs were given a different material so that they had more interest and stood out from the cuffs.
  • A new head piece was created for the Tribal Leader, and was made to look more like a crown in order to reflect this character’s prominence.

And that concludes the Lionman series in Depths of Erendorn! All three character types will appear in the game as enemies you can fight, with each class becoming more difficult than the last. It’s always a bit strange to leave a character after working on it for so long, but we’re excited to start a new project - so stay tuned!

Close up of a 3D Lionman with annotations about how to create an intricate head piece.
We decided to give the Lionman Tribal Leader a more intricate head piece to reflect its prominence.
Two models of Untribed Lionmen stood next to each other in ZBrush, one smaller than the other.
Black stitching was added to the front cloth piece of the Untribed Lionmen and the studs on the wrist cuffs were made more metallic.
Two models of Untribed Lionmen stood next to each other in ZBrush with their backs turned, one smaller than the other.
We also added dirt and scratches to the Untribed Lionmen to reflect their brutish lifestyle.
Three ascending sizes of Lionmen models in ZBrush
Patterns were added to the Tribal Leader's front cloth piece (right).
Three ascending sizes of Lionmen models in ZBrush, all with their backs turned
Meanwhile, the Tribed Lionmen (right) had creases and stitches painted onto their shorts during texturing.

Animation

This week, three new attack animations were created for the Watertarg Excursionist. These included Giant Strike, which deals a significant amount of Damage; Swift Hit, which also deals Damage as well as gives the player a chance to stun their opponent; and finally, Pulsating Wound, which deals Damage every turn for five turns and impacts an enemy’s Movement.

With these animations created, basic, out-of-combat idles were made and added to the characters who still needed them. This included the Human Knight, Parakaw Astromancer and Twilight Elf Assassin, all of which were updated in the engine after receiving their new idles.

To finish off the week, we imported the Swamp and Giant Rat into Unity along with their respective animations. These creatures are common, low-level enemies in Depths of Erendorn and can do a lot of damage if you underestimate them. Once in the game engine, we can start testing the playability of these enemies and how they work with other characters.

Environment Art & Weapon Design

After creating low poly versions of our new weapons, all of the swords from the last few weeks have been UV’d, baked and textured in Substance Painter. The swords were then imported into Unity as separate components to allow for component customisation. This will allow for a lot of variation in our weapons, which is great because it will give players more options and make our arsenal more diverse.

Now that materials have been set up for sword colour customisation, we can refocus our attention on some of the environment in Depths of Erendorn. This was actually quite a momentus week for the Environment Art department because, after creating epic dungeon rooms and complex scenes, we finally were able to add water to the environment!

The water material was created with edge foam and dynamic depth colour to allow for a more realistic look. Getting foam to appear around the edges of objects that intersect the water was particularly important to do because this kind of detail is what makes an environment feel more immersive and complete.

Screenshot from Unity showing some moss-covered rocks in water.
We used edge foam and dynamic depth colour to create as realistic water as possible.
Six 3D sword models leaning against moss-covered rocks
With the swords all UV'd, baked and textured, we could import them into Unity as separate components to allow for component customisation.

Server & Game Client

In the server this week, there has been a major change when it comes to items, how they are generated and how stats are put on them. According to this change, the number of stats on an item is now based on the rarity of the item. This continues from last week’s game devlog, where we explained that the rarer an item is, the more stats it will give the player.

To explain, the rarity level of an item is set by its item power for its level. Higher rarities, therefore, have a different balance of primary and secondary stats. For example:

  • Low rarity, i.e. poor items will give players 1 primary stat, like Strength or Resilience
  • Common and uncommon items will give players 1 primary as well as 1 secondary stat, like Energy Regeneration
  • Rare and epic items will give players 1 primary stat and 2 secondary stats
  • Legendary items, because they’re the rarest, will give players 2 primary and 2 secondary stats

This shows how different items can progress a player’s character in different ways. Stats that scale, like Damage on weapons, will also now additionally scale based on their item level. This way, items scale in two ways, both in the number of stats they each give as well as the amounts of these given stats.

GIF from Unity showing a Watertarg's Swift Hit animation against a Skeleton
This shows the Watertarg's Swift Hit attack against an Undead Skeleton.
GIF from Unity showing a Watertarg's Giant Strike animation against a Skeleton
This shows the Watertarg's Giant Strike attack against an Undead Skeleton.

In order to enable all of these changes, the Item Generator has been reworked. We now feel that the gameplay experience of Depths of Erendorn is more diverse and enjoyable since players can now progress their character even more depending on the items they loot.

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