February Devlog | Week #4 | No. 167

Development
March 1, 2022
March 2, 2022

Last week our Zentragal rework shifted up a gear, as we look to focus on facial features and unique aesthetics. Our city props continued to trickle through, while our human model received an animation update. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling


As you may have seen, the rework of our Zentragal model is well under way. Last week the team turned their attention to the facial features of the model, and good progress has been made on the overall theme and vibe of the character. This process can take a lot of time, especially when we're working on aspects of a model that can require a lot of detail - face, armour, weapons etc.

Early sculpting progress

Many different departments are collaborating on the model, lending their expertise and reference material to ensure we get it just right! With this likely to be the playable character model, we have to ensure that players have a unique and memorable experience. The team have looked at things like eyes, teeth, facial structure and composition etc.

Sculpt progress

As we narrow in on what the teams vision for the character is, major progress can be made as we trial different options. This helps to ensure we're happy with how the model is looking before we make anything concrete. There's still plenty more work to come on this one, so make sure you stay tuned for the finished product.

Jawline progress

Set Piece Design


Our Junior Environment Artist continued their work on town and city props last week, this time looking at some of the more intricate details. Something as simple as pictures hanging on walls, or an instrument in the corner can help tell the story of a home in Erendorn.

Picture frame and instrument progress

These items could be used throughout Erendorn and in multiple locations. They could even be part of quests or assignments, taking players to different locations and biomes within the game.

Instrument sculpt

Take for example this instrument. You could stumble upon it while searching an abandoned camp, or when exploring a dungeon. Could there be a bard or merchant in need of help? Little details like this really help to create a sense of wonder and adventure, that we think players will really enjoy.

Programming

This week has been about narrowing down potential causes of a movement bug affecting dungeons by adding the detection and display of character's 'Reserved' tiles, we also updated how stat changes affect the UI as well as exploring UE5's new World Partition system.

  • Added the visual reserving of tiles when characters are moving between tiles, being able to see where characters intend to move allows us to troubleshoot potential AI issues and prevent players attempting to move to soon-to-be occupied tiles.
  • Character Stats changes are now handled per stat. Previously any client change relating to stats was being triggered whenever any character stat changes, these different functions are now able to listen to specific stat changes reducing the amount of events and validation needed to update UI and other feedback systems.
  • Downloaded and attempted to resolve Partition loading issue in Unreal Engine 5.1.
  • Added the ability to whisper (/w and /r) to other players in the same sessions as you.
  • Added the ability to send chat messages.
  • Stopped hotkeys whilst typing text into the chat.
  • Entities in the session updates are now correctly parsed and stored.
  • Added the ability to retrieve entities by name.

Server

Last week we saw the Server team shore up the Golang server to be as efficient as possible, with various small to medium fixes done.

  • Projectiles now reliably communicate that they're hitting a target.
  • Entity-Tile targeting abilities now correctly pull out the Entity and Tile component separately in the code for the ability to use.
  • AddStat needed a little more fixing. If a temporary stat change also temporarily altered the corresponding Max Stat, it would permanently alter the original stat change parameters. This has now been fixed.
  • TakeDamage was incorrectly rounding numbers inside damage calculation. Even tiny .1 damage changes can cause large scale problems once other defences start calculating off this incorrect number. And, of course, we want you to be dealing the exact amount of damage you should!
  • The server now correctly remembers what the last ability you casted was.
  • Some other minor fixes, such as fixing incorrect EffectBlocks for abilities, and fixing an issue with Targeting info being incorrectly stored from our database.
  • Greatly reduced the size of entities when sending the information to the client.
  • Fixed a logic issue when re-joining a session.

Environment Art

Lots of environment tweaking took place last week, focusing on foliage and details within megascan assets. The teams work included:

  • Detail normals added to large megascan assets.
  • Birch trees enlarged 2-3x.
  • Grass increased in size 1.5-2x.
  • Ferns increased in size 2-3x.
  • Bushes increased in size 3-4x.
  • Further investigations into white hue affecting some assets in dimly lit areas.


Animation

Our Animation team made more progress on the updated human mesh and rig last week. Along with some fixes and adding skin weights, it was a productive time!

  • Continued to replace old human meshes with new ones for the current rig.
  • Painted more skin weights.
  • Fixed some issues that we found with the rig.
  • Continued to update Human animations to use the new rig/mesh and export them into the engine.

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

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