December Devlog | Week #1 | No. 256

Development
December 14, 2023
December 14, 2023

In the recent week, the 3D modelling team faced the intricate challenge of creating a hairstyle with seamless transitions, attempting a three-part construction approach. Simultaneously, the set design team concluded the fire pit's texturing phase, delving into research for upcoming props and modelling smaller, essential generic props. The server-side team continued developing the dry log generator, improving UI for array inputs and preparing Unreal Engine 5.3.2 for distribution. Meanwhile, the animation team refined Level 1 NPCs, aiming for seamless integration into the game engine. In the auditory realm, the sound team achieved milestones in shaping the immersive Ice Caves atmosphere, finalising one-shots and loops, including an innovative ice crack recording technique. Examples of their work throughout the week can be explored below. 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

In the past week, our dedicated 3D modelling team has been grappling with the intricate challenge of crafting a hairstyle with seamless transitions, displaying unwavering commitment to perfection. Initial attempts involved a three-part construction approach: employing the thickest hair cards for the top, transitioning to thinner cards in the middle, and utilising shell hair for the sides. Despite these efforts, achieving a smooth transition proved elusive. Undeterred, the team explored alternative generation techniques, but the results fell short of expectations when viewed from the front. Subsequently, a focused attempt to fashion the style exclusively with shell hair encountered similar challenges in achieving the desired fluidity. Examples of the progress made throughout the week can be seen below.

Experiment 1

Experiment 1 showing the layering of hair

Experiment 2 showing the difficulties faced when show head on

Final experiment for the week

Set Piece Design

In the past week, our set design team has accomplished significant milestones, wrapping up the texturing phase for the fire pit with finesse. The meticulous attention to detail and artistic flair applied to this essential environmental element is a testament to their dedication. Additionally, the team engaged in invaluable research and reference gathering sessions, laying the foundation for upcoming props, thereby ensuring authenticity and thematic cohesion in our game world. Undeterred by the breadth of their tasks, the team has also commenced the modelling of smaller, yet equally essential, generic props. An example of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Textured Nordic-inspired fire pit

Programming

Client

This week the team has continued to focus on preparing our DoE source-built version of Unreal Engine 5.3.2 for distribution to the team, uploading the engine to source control and reducing the memory required for our previous upload of the engine by around 80%. This improvement should make downloading, updating and modifying the engine in future a lot faster. While waiting for compilers and uploads to finish, further planning has gone into our aims and a breakdown of tasks for the latter half of our road to Alpha 1.

This week has also seen the team continuing on developing the dry log generator, mostly involving some very long winded adjustments to individual log creation functions. Additionally, on the UI front, the team has been working on adjusting the system to enable array inputs, and started on implementing maps and a few custom structs that we'll be needing for future updates.

Server

This week the server team has been busy continuing to create and implement more level 2 abilities. While often the abilities themselves are simple to create, there are a few that required parts of the code handling abilities to be rewritten and new features implemented. This week this meant shields having the ability to tick down at the end of turn and reduce their duration, including on specific triggers, and the implementation of the Fear, Confusion and Sleep states as well as how AI act when inflicted with them.

Also the team would spend time working on furthering our accounts system and admin panel. Additionally, the front end has been fleshed out and improved.
Progress so far can be seen below:

  • Accounts can be created via a page as well as via API.
  • Users can login via a page and via API.
  • Users have a basic profile page where they can perform actions related to their account.
  • Change Email.
  • Change Password.
  • Resend Verification Email.
  • Delete Account.
  • Admins can search for users.
  • Admins can send reset password links for other users.
  • Admins can ban/unban users.
  • Database setup script/endpoint setup to make deployments easier.

Admin only pages are protected via authentication tokens.

Sound Design

In the latest strides of auditory craftsmanship, our sound team has achieved a few milestones in shaping the immersive atmosphere of the upcoming Ice Caves in Depths of Erendorn. They have meticulously finalised one-shots and loops, meticulously combining elements like falling ice, water drips, ice cracks/movement, wind, cave rumble, and enchanting "magical glimmer shimmery synth" sounds. These elements, when seamlessly mixed in-engine using cues, promise to transport players into the heart of the Ice Caves with a heightened sense of space and environmental richness. A standout accomplishment was the innovative recording technique employed for the ice cracks, using a large glass bowl, lukewarm water, contact mics, and a hydrophone. This approach not only captured the clear and crisp cracking but also resonated with the distinctive tones created as soundwaves traversed through water and reflected off the glass. Examples of the work created throughout the week can be seen below.

Animation

In a focused pivot from player characters, the animation team has dedicated their recent efforts to refining low level NPCs, specifically the Thorny Lizard, Swamp Lizard, and Silver Iguana. This meticulous work involves fine-tuning their movement, appearance, updating skin weights, and adjusting idle poses to enhance their visual and behavioural authenticity. The team's goal is to meticulously prepare these low level characters for seamless integration into the game engine, ensuring their finalisation and availability for both current and future utilisation. An example of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below! 

Lizard enemy idle animation

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

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