February DevLog | Week #1

Development
February 8, 2019
November 18, 2021

Welcome to another devlog! This week, a lot of progress was made on one of our character models, one of the enemies from the game had new animations made for it and the groundwork for some items, like weapons and equipment, was set-up in the server. As always, remember to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for all the latest news and updates on Depths of Erendorn!

3D Character Modelling

This week was all about our female Forest Druid character. In Depths of Erendorn, the Forest Druids are a community of spellcasters that have an innate bond with nature. It is important to ensure that we incorporate the lore of this character into its design and in last week’s devlog, we spoke a little about what items were chosen for the Forest Druid’s clothing.

But we also wanted to incorporate natural elements into the Forest Druid’s actual body to show that this race’s connection with nature is intrinsic. We decided that their hair would be made from leaves and our Character Artist experimented a lot with creating this leafy effect in Zbrush. However, this idea was eventually scrapped after our artist realised that the process could be done much faster with a different method - so if you want to find out what that is, make sure you come back next week!

With the clothes now sculpted and a solid game plan in motion for the hair, our Character Artist could begin retopologising the Forest Druid’s mesh which involves reducing its number of polygons so that the model can be rendered more easily in the future. Once that is complete, we can start bringing this character to life by adding some texture.

Black and white screenshot showing a female Forest Druid's retopologised mesh
We retopologised the mesh of our Forest Druid so that it is easier to render in the future.
Front and back of a female Forest Druid 3D model without a shawl
Before the retopology could be carried out, our artist first had to sculpt the Forest Druid's clothes.
The front and back of a 3D sculpt of a woman with leaves in her hair
We wanted to incorporate leaves into the Forest Druid's hair to show her affinity with nature.
Front and back of a female Forest Druid 3D model wearing a shawl
As well as weaving leaves through her hair, we also decided to add roots to further show how the Forest Druids are bonded with nature.

Animation

After our Animator created a few different idles for the rat enemy last week, it was decided that the rat needed to look more aggressive. One of the ways this was achieved was by changing its animation so that its movements and behaviour were a little more feral.

After our Animator updated the rat basic idle and idle variation to look more aggressive, she then created several different animations for it, including:

  • Hit reaction animation
  • Death animation
  • Attack animation

The rat animations were then exported as fbx files so that they could be used to create animation clips in Unity. This gives us an idea of how the rat enemies will look in Depths of Erendorn. Our Animator wrapped up the week by creating a few different poses for the Human Knight model and the Twilight Elf Assassin model.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Rat_animset_UnityTest-1.mp4

Server

This week has mostly been about laying down the groundwork for items that will be worked on next week and fixing random issues that were popping up in the server. The first fix that had to be made was to the enemy ability, Frightening Roar. When used by the Unproven Lionman, this ability wasn’t affecting the players so it was the first fix made in this week’s devlog.

There were also a couple of Ability Blocks that needed some TLC. Ability blocks are smaller bits of code which have a specific function in the server. They are designed to work with the other blocks and can be arranged in different ways and combinations to make abilities:

  • Adjacent Enemies Target Selection Block was fixed so that it will now select all the adjacent enemies, whereas it previously wouldn’t do this correctly.
  • Trim Stored Targets by Stat was incorrectly trimming the stored targets. This created a few issues in the server, including preventing an ability called Throatcutter from working.

On top of this, all blocks that added a time-limited stat change have been fixed in relation to status effects. As a result of this, the amount the stat changes is now tracked.

Ability Fixes

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that ability fixes make an appearance in every devlog. It is important to continually check and balance the abilities in any game to ensure that they function correctly and aren’t interfering with other aspects of the server. This week was no different and there were a few abilities our game developer identified that were causing some issues:

  • Impair: This was taking 2 off of the Current Movement stat permanently when it should have just been taking 1. It now works correctly.
  • Throatcutter: This move is used by the Twilight Elf Assassin and after many issues affecting it, this ability now works correctly. While the Trim Stored Targets by Stat block did interfere with this ability, the biggest reason preventing it from functioning correctly was that the OnEndOfEachTurn Trigger hadn’t been re-implemented when we upgraded the way the server handles turns.
  • Easy Prey: This now procs (programmed random occurrence) again after the first room.
  • Cleave: This ability was fixed so that it should now correctly damage units next to the target.
  • Counter/Quick-Counter: This now works on the second use. Removing a status effect wasn't disabling the status effect correctly. This was stopping certain statuses from being able to re-affect the same entity. The same bug was also affecting rat diseases, stopping them from affecting the player multiple times throughout a dungeon
3D pose of a human knight from a game devlog
Our Animator created this new pose for one of Erendorn's Human Knights.
3D pose of a Twilight Elf Assassin
A Twilight Elf Assassin was also given a new combat pose.

More Changes to the Server

There were a few ad-hoc fixes also made to the server this week. An entity having its ‘max stat’ reduced (e.g. Maximum Energy is reduced when the Bonus Energy expires from easy prey) will now lose current Energy if the current Energy exceeds the new maximum stat.

As well as this, entities shouldn’t finish their turn if they die during it (e.g. if they are killed with ‘Counter’) and the Earthen Dwarf no longer starts with 2 Inner Grit, an issue that was caused by the OnEnterNewRoom Trigger being called twice.

The final piece of work carried out on the server was laying down the groundwork for items like equipment, consumables, weapons and so on. The item classes and database structure has been setup, ready for work to begin on items next week.

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