February Devlog | Week #3 | No. 264

Development
February 23, 2024
March 5, 2024

In the latest strides of Depths of Erendorn's development, diverse advancements have been made across teams. The 3D Modelling team achieved a milestone by creating unique tail styles for Centaurs. Simultaneously, the client team streamlined combat within the new 3D coordinate system, eliminating the traditional grid for a more fluid experience. The Server Team tackled numerous bugs tied to the new combat system, introducing innovative solutions such as reworking the line of sight system to prevent crashes. The Sound Team ventured into experimental audio, blending ice recordings with electromagnetic signals for distinct magical effects. Environments saw meticulous preparation, with the team organising modular assets and fortifying Viking settlements. The Animation Team breathed life into Centaurs, focusing on movement cycles and refining skin weights. Lastly, the VFX team experimented with fluid-based effects to enrich visual experiences. These collective efforts underscore the teams' commitment to delivering an immersive and dynamic gaming experience in Depths of Erendorn. Explore the detailed progress and achievements 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

During the past week, the 3D Modelling team at Depths of Erendorn achieved significant progress by developing three distinct tail styles for the Centaurs: Natural, Messy, and Styled. These tail variations, intended for use on both Veloxian and Icegrip Centaurs, add subtle differences between the creatures, contributing to interesting visual variance. This meticulous work sets the stage for the next phase in the pipeline, with the Animation team tasked to finalise movement cycles before the Centaur is deemed engine-ready. Examples of their accomplished work throughout the week can be explored below.

Centaur tail variations

Side profile of Centaur tail

Programming

Client

As we are now able to travel out into the World of Erendorn using the new navigation system, this week has been about ensuring Combat is set up and converted for the new 3D coordinate system. Combat Tiles no longer exist within their own grid spanning tiles 0 to 60 in X and Y coordinates. This is because we are now using Nav Indexes, a method that shares coordinates with non-combat navigation, for simplicity and easier transition in and out of combat. Additional examples of the work completed by the client-side team can be seen below.

  • CombatRegions are now created using Nav Indexes.
  • Join Combat functions have been updated to make use of new positioning.

Server

During the recent week, the Server Team at Depths of Erendorn dedicated significant efforts to address numerous bugs stemming from combat in the new 3D system. A comprehensive rework of the line of sight system was undertaken, involving virtually rendering the entire combat's geometry (floor and ceiling) to memory. This approach allows for raycasting the character's line of sight to their target within the virtual geometry constructed from the coordinates of other combat tiles. The team focused on bringing combat back into a functional state, successfully resolving many issues, and preventing server crashes, even though some challenges persist. Additionally, the inventory loading code underwent a refactor to prevent the client from receiving a 'full' inventory update with no items. The removal of the partial update sent on inventory load ensures that the 'full' update post-load is now accurate and contains the items in the inventory. Furthermore, several loops underwent optimisations, significantly improving the start time of combat. These collective efforts reflect the team's commitment to refining core functionalities and addressing challenges in the game's server system.

Sound Design

In the previous week, the Sound Team at Depths of Erendorn delved into innovative experiments by blending recordings to generate new magic effects. The team employed ice recordings, complemented by electromagnetic signals captured using a coil pick-up microphone. While the work is ongoing and requires further refinement, it showcases a promising direction for creating unique and immersive magical sounds within the game. Simultaneously, the team expanded their library with additional footsteps recordings, contributing to the auditory richness of Depths of Erendorn. Furthermore, the week involved a focus on character abilities, with the creation and updating of various abilities such as Unguarded Attack, Guarded, Surrounded, and Warning Shout. These endeavours highlight the team's commitment to enhancing the auditory landscape and gameplay experience in the fantasy world of Depths of Erendorn. Examples of their work throughout the week can be explored below.

Environment Art

In the latest phase of development, the Environment Team at Depths of Erendorn engaged in meticulous preparatory work for asset construction. This involved organising modular pieces for export to the engine, setting the stage for efficient asset integration. The team also dedicated efforts to prepare a test level utilising modular kits, a crucial step in refining and optimising assets for the game environment. A notable addition to the Viking settlement was the creation of a sturdy wall, offering both visual and functional appeal, providing the inhabitants with a sense of security against nocturnal monsters. The team also focused on enhancing the settlement's aesthetics by preparing roof assets for displacement using a new Viking shingles material. Furthermore, wood end decals were crafted to add intricate details to the Viking wall, particularly in the form of spear tips. These collective efforts showcase the team's commitment to advancing the visual elements and structural integrity of Depths of Erendorn's environments. Examples of their accomplished work throughout the week can be explored below.

Settlement modular kits continued progress

Settlement building roof continued progress

Settlement gate expansion

Animation

In the ongoing development of the Centaur, the Animation Team at Depths of Erendorn made significant strides over the past week. With the 3D Modelling team's work on the Centaur completed, the Animation Team delved into the intricacies of movement cycles for this mythical creature. Their focus primarily centred on locomotion, refining skin weights during the process. With the custom rig now in place, the team initiated the fundamentals for the creature's movement within the engine, including developing Run, Walk, and Idle cycles. Additionally, attention was dedicated to animating the creature's weapons, providing a preview of their dynamic movements during attacks. This phase represents a crucial step in bringing the Centaur to life with authenticity and fluidity in the game. Examples of their work throughout the week can be explored below.

Selection of Centaur in progress animations

Centaur looping walk cycle with weapons drawn

Visual Effects

During the recent week, the VFX team at Depths of Erendorn made notable progress in developing fluid-based effects. While there are still a couple of quirks to work out with the fluid modules, the team is gaining a good grasp of the technique. The envisioned use for these effects is to add an extra layer rather than basing the entire visual effect around them. This innovative exploration showcases the team's dedication to pushing boundaries and experimenting with new visual elements to enhance the overall gaming experience in Depths of Erendorn. Examples of their work throughout the week can be explored below.

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

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