December Devlog | Week #1

Development
December 7, 2020
December 1, 2021

New animations and sound effects were created for the Twilight Elf Assassin’s abilities last week, in addition to some concept art that will form the basis of the visual FX. We’ve also begun sculpting our biggest model yet, so keep scrolling to see what that’s all about. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

Sound FX, Visual FX & Animations for Assassin Abilities

Last week, our Animator and VFX Artist were individually working on bringing to life some of the Twilight Elf Assassin’s higher level attacks. Our Sound Artist was also busy creating SFX for the remaining Level 1 abilities for this character’s pre-existing visuals.

Creating Draft Animations

For our Animator, last week’s work involved creating draft animations for the following abilities:

  • Sever: Allows the player to deal Physical Damage to the selected target. As well as this, each step the target takes after the initial attack will deal even more Physical Damage
  • Incapacitate: Not only does this allow the player to deal Physical Damage to a target, it also suppresses the target and reduces their Movement stat
  • Shadow Dagger: Allows the player to throw a dagger that deals Void Damage. The amount of Damage dealt increases by 10% for each tile the dagger is thrown over

Concepting Visual FX

Whilst our Animator was working on draft animations, our VFX Artist started creating some concept art for the same abilities, as well as for a few others. They then extracted and created textures and shapes from the concept, and will use these as bases for the final visual effects. Check out how the concepts are looking at the moment - imagine them working in conjunction with the animations above!

Adding Sound Effects

In between all this, our Sound Artist finished off the SFX for the Assassin’s outstanding Level 1 abilities, which already had some awesome visual fx created for them. With our Sound Artist completing these SFX, all Level 1 Talent Abilities for all playable characters now have a full set of visual and sound effects - hooray! Take a listen to the Twilight Elf Assassin attacks below:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/TwilightElf-ShadeofRecuperation.mp4

'Shade of Recuperation'

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/TwilightElf-Void-Flicker.mp4

'Void Flicker'

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/TwilightElf-Shadow-Assault.mp4

'Shadow Assault'

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/TwilightElf-Imitate.mp4

'Imitate'

Environment Design

As our Environment Artists continue set dressing the settlement and its surrounding area, a temporary bridge was added last week to help better visualise the players’ walk from the starting zone to the settlement:

In addition to this, further improvements were made to the world-wide terrain:

  • Variations of Spruce trees and Spruce tree saplings were made, and the blending between their high resolution meshes and billboards were improved
  • A new set of highly optimised grass instances were created for the open world, and we also adjusted the terrain material so that distant "grass" textures look more realistic
  • We started working on a new and improved landscape terrain in Houdini, which will eventually replace the current zone 1 landscape

Sculpting the Vaznarite

In the same vein as the volcanic Fire Salamander, which we completed last month, last week our 3D Modeller cracked on with bringing to life the immense Vaznarite, a beast forged from the pits of Mount Vaznar who also happens to be one of the strongest enemies in the game.

The Vaznarite will be a rare and enormous creature that’s made out of volcanic rock and the magical lava that flows through Mount Vaznar. The complexity of this character meant that there was a bit of a struggle when it came to interpreting the concept art in ZBrush, but the current iteration we’re working on is starting to go in the right direction: its anatomy is a bit of a mix between a rhino and a triceratops, which sounds strange until you see the actual sculpt:

From right to left, this shows the development of the Vaznarite's sculpt
This is the current sculpt progress
This is the Vaznarite concept art

Programming

UI Implementation

Our Programmers continued with UI implementation last week, with a focus on improving health bars and other display elements that appear above characters during gameplay.

Additions to the UI include:

  • New health bar borders, one for enemies and another for team mates
  • New bar fill that utilises a UI material mask
  • Updated intention icon and glow for displaying potential enemy targets
  • Updated elite enemy rank icon

As UI development is an ongoing, iterative and delicate process, these additions have been implemented alongside a set of debug commands that make use of Unreal's development console. This means that these commands can be utilised during playtesting to allow us to modify, selectively show/hide elements, and visualise different layouts under a variety of gameplay circumstances.

That’s it for this week’s devlog! See you next Monday!

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