Monthly Devlog #31

Development
August 9, 2021
December 1, 2021

The team working on Depths of Erendorn made loads of new updates in July, from texturing heavy armour sets and finalising loads of unique set pieces, to creating a range of portal entrances and sound effects. We’ve also got some updates on our upcoming game trailer (complete with behind-the-scenes screenshots) as well as a little look at how the new Golang server is getting along. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on our online RPG - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

Back in June, our Character Artist sculpted three versions of a new armour set, including a low, mid, and high level version. With these finished, they spent last month carrying out the texturing work, ensuring the metal plates and fur padding looked nice and realistic. For the fur, two texturing methods were experimented with:

  • The shell method, where you overlay multiple layers of meshes at varying transparencies
  • The hair card method, where you use multiple planes in order to build up some volume

In the end, our Character Artist was won over by the shell method, given its speedy workflow and superior aesthetic. Once the armour was fully textured, our Artist then set the foundations for customisation options. This involved creating RGB masks for different parts of the armour so that players will be able to change the colour of certain areas.

Take a look at all our progress shots of the armour, as well as the final result:

Shell method (left) vs. hair card method (right)
Final fur test using shell method
Initial texturing work
Initial texturing work
RGB masks for colour customisation
Experimenting with colour options
Finished textures for the lowest level (left), mid level (middle), and highest level (right)  armour sets

With the armour set finally completed, our Character Artist could focus on something completely different - namely, an enormous set of Dragon bones! We thought these would look awesome as part of the environment, hinting at Erendorn’s ancient past (in case you didn’t know, Erendorn was once the kingdom of Dragons - read all about it here!).

Here’s a look at the finished sculpt in ZBrush, as well as an example scene our Artist put together for how the bones could appear in the game:

Animation

Our Animator spent last month working on a number of bits and pieces, from fixing the Forest Druid’s eyes, which kept popping out of their sockets, to creating new animations for characters in the upcoming game trailer. Here are some highlights of their work last month:

  • A new run cycle was created for the Wolvajin
  • Walk animations for Ogres and Centaurs were updated, rigged, and skinned
  • Walk cycles for the Watertarg, Parakaw, and Earthen Dwarf were improved
  • New sitting idles for lions and jaguars were created
New run cycle for the Wolvajin
Updates idles for Centaurs
Updated walk cycle for the Watertarg
Updated walk cycle for the Ogre
New sitting idles for lions and jaguars

Environment Design

Set Pieces

If you’re up-to-date with our devlogs, you’ll know that one of our Environment Artists has been focusing on making new set pieces for events that will trigger in the game. Here are the four that were created last month, joined by their respective sound effects that our Sound Artist created for them!

Revolving Sphere

If you happen upon this as you travel through the dungeons, you can choose to either leave it be and ensure your safety, or take a risk and investigate it further.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/RevolvingSphere-1.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_RevolvingSphere-1.wav

Revolving Sphere SFX

Orb of Knowledge

As the name suggests, this will grant you valuable information about what to expect on your journey - but only if you’re able to overcome the challenges it presents you.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/OrbOfKnowledge-2.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_OrbofKnowledge-1.wav

Orb of Knowledge SFX

Warding Circle

This will give you the opportunity to rest and regain full Health - no strings attached! These won’t be very common in the game, so take advantage of them when you can.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/WardingCircle-1.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_WardingCircle-1.wav

Warding Circle SFX

Lava Pool

When this appears to players, they will be able to coat their weapons in its burning fires for the entirety of that dungeon room. This will also be used as a generic set piece to add a bit of spice to the more volcanic areas of Erendorn’s environments.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/LavaPool-1.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_Lava_Burning-1.wav

Lava Pool SFX layer 1

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_Lava_Deep-1.wav

Lava Pool SFX layer 2

World Environment

For our second Environment Artist, last month was all about improving mountain ranges. Here’s an overview of what they got up to:

  • They learnt the ropes to a new piece of software (GAEA)
  • This was used to create and implement distant, large-scale mountain ranges
  • They updated the clouds in order to increase the sense of altitude

Check out screenshots of their work below, including the new mountain range under day and night cycles:

New mountain range in GAEA
Implementation of new mountain range overlooking the settlement
Improved mountain range during day
Improved mountain range during night

Visual FX

It was a bit of an ad-hoc month for our VFX Artist, who worked on everything from environmental effects to spells and portal entrances. First off, let’s talk about the visuals created for the environment. These include a new and improved waterfall, as well as a new ‘falling leaves’ effect. Simulations and vertex animations for flocking birds were also worked on, which we think we will add a new level of realism and dynamism to parts of our skies.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/waterfall9.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/FoamyWaterfall1.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/FaillingLeafs1.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/VertexAnimTest2.mp4

Next up, a casting muzzle was created for the spell ‘Unique Blessing,’ which lets you increase one of your teammate’s Strength and Resilience:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Unique-Blessing-muzzle-2.mp4

But our favourite thing our VFX Artist did last month was revising all the portal entrances for dungeons! These will appear throughout the world, and will transport you below the earth and into the perilous dungeons. A ton of different colour variations were created for these portals - we can't show you all of these, because there are that many, but check out some of our favourite ones below!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/RedbluePortal17.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Yellow2Portal17.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/portalBlue17Shareable.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/portal17Red.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/GreenPortal17.mp4

Sound Design

In addition to creating the sounds for all of our awesome set pieces, which we showed you earlier, our Sound Artist spent their time last month improving environmental ambiences and ideating UI sound effects.

Environmental Sound Effects

The weather system in our game was made more dynamic last month after our Sound Artist created new ambient sounds for wind, rain, and thunderstorms, all of which were created using UE4’s Dynamic Weather plugin. Ambient sounds for waterfalls and swamps were also worked on - take a listen to everything below:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_ThunderClose_03.wav

SFX for close thunder

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_ThunderDistant_02.wav

SFX for distant thunder

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_Amb_Rain01.wav

SFX for ambient rain

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_Waterfall01.wav

SFX for waterfalls

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/SFX_Swamp3.wav

SFX for swamps

UI Sounds

We want every moment of Depths of Erendorn to sound unique and interesting, whether you’re travelling through the environment or equipping weapons. With that said, our Sound Artist began experimenting with a range of different sound effects for UI elements in the game, so that every moment of gameplay is immersive and dynamic.

A wide range of sounds were played around with in order to achieve this, including:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Hover-Magic-Transition-UI.wav

SFX for magical mouse hovers

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Standard-Clicks-3.wav

SFX for standard mouse clicks

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Nature-UI.wav

Experimenting with nature UI sounds

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/Mech-UI.wav

Experimenting with mechanical UI sounds

Game Trailer

As you know, we’ve been working on a new game trailer for the last few weeks. Work ploughed on with this last month so that we can showcase it as soon as possible. Here are some of the things that our devs focused on last month:

  • Animations were updated for NPCs inside the Tavern
  • More character races were brought into the settlement
  • Zombies and Skeletons were added to the graveyard
  • VFX for pollen floaties were added to the atmosphere
  • The new ‘falling leaves’ effect was implemented, along with the flocking birds
  • The camera path for the fly-through of Erendorn was adjusted
  • All extra character subscenes were combined into the masher shot

Take a look at some of the in-progress screenshots:

Programming

Golang Server

Last month, our Programmers got the new Golang Server to be as close to complete as it can be without moving into the live server for the client! Here are some of the key bits of work our Programmers carried out in order to get to this stage:

  • Items: Our Programmers completely reworked how items are stored. They also made it possible for a power level number to dictate how strong an item will be in terms of its Stats. Speaking of which, new items that were created last month were homogenised to have more accurately named and valued Stats, ensuring that they’re generated fairly
  • Defensive Stats: A mini rework took place on how defensive stats function. This involved splitting them into three Damage groups, each one with different armour and resistances. A new ‘Absolute Damage’ stat was also created for the most powerful attacks in the game
  • Shoring Up New Code: The Golang team then spent some time shoring up all the new code they’d implemented over the last few weeks, which led to many new features getting added, as well as a lot of code admin taking place in order to adjust the rest of the server so that it could handle these new features
  • Reworking the Ability Editor: This is the program we use to assign things like values, effects and stats to entities and abilities. It was reworked to be more readable, as it was originally incomprehensible to anyone who didn’t write it themselves! With this rework, it will be easier for other devs to design and rebalance abilities

Thanks for joining us for our monthly roundup - see you tomorrow for the weekly devlog!

LATEST NEWS

December 8, 2021
2021-12-08 19:00
December 8, 2021
Development
Monthly Devlog #35
Highlights from last month include: Unreal Engine 5 work intensified as our Environment Artist tested new systems and techniques for the game. This has lead to some exciting achievements, which we'll share blow. Our latest cosmetic armour piece took shape and was completed...
December 7, 2021
2021-12-07 19:00
December 8, 2021
Development
December Devlog | Week #1 | No. 157
Last week our teams were hard at work on some exciting stuff! The transition to UE5 has begun, set pieces received a refresh and a whole host of SFX were updated! As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn!
November 30, 2021
2021-11-30 19:00
December 8, 2021
Development
November Devlog | Week #4 | No. 156
This week we saw the completion of our recent cosmetic armour set, the Blue Melmee saw some animation updates and work continued on the Golang bug fixes. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!
November 24, 2021
2021-11-24 19:00
December 8, 2021
Development
November Devlog | Week #3 | No. 155
This week our teams have been adding the finishing touches to many aspects of their work. Plus, our Droval model takes its first steps! As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!
VIEW MORE..