Febuary Devlog | Week #3 | No. 216

Development
February 24, 2023
March 2, 2023

It has been a productive week for the team! The Human Knight armour is near completion with the retopology process whilst the wizards of coding tackle bugs with open-world lobbies and some world combat-breaking issues. Additionally, the sound team has created some more idle noises and new animations are now available for the spellcasters of Erendorn. Finally, work continued on the update to the castle ruins and a visual improvement is made to the Twilight Elf Assassin's aura effects. 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

Retopology continued on the new Human Knight armour throughout the week. Now the team have completed most of the process with only the boots left to complete. Now with the shape outlined by the lower poly model, we get a good look at the bold silhouette that the team have been working towards. Although a lot of the detail will be baked into this model later on down the line, we can still see the intricate nature of the protective gear. Over the coming weeks, the team will work on finalising the retopology and start adding some colour to the armour. Examples of the progress made on the retopology process can be seen below.

Continued retopology of Human Armour

Programming

Client

This week has been about exterminating some World Combat-breaking bugs and fine-tuning how they are concluded. Improvements have been made to Projectile Steppers to ensure they still function when provided with invalid information and several UI audio triggers have been implemented. Additional work from the client-side team can be seen below. 

  • Updated World Combat clearing to wait for 'Shelved Steps' to conclude before declaring victory or defeat. Shelved Steps are actions that get queued behind intentional time delays such as waiting for a projectile to hit before displaying the damage dealt by its impact.
  • Added override for Shelved Steps that are not concluded and not currently resolving to prevent Combat from getting locked as a result of Ability Templates containing errors. Ability Templates are the objects we use to define what animations/VFX/SFX are applied to the execution of individual abilities in Combat.
  • Added an override for the trajectory animation portion of Projectile Steppers to allow them to continue to run their impact consequences with incorrect target information if using a broken Ability Template.
  • Added UI SFX triggers and applied Cues for;

                         - Entering Combat

                          - Combat Victory

                          - Combat Defeat

                          - Player Turn Start

                          - Player Turn End

  • Added a placeholder animation for Entering Combat/Victory/Defeat.
  • Updated how Interactables update their interactivity (for lack of a better pun) when combats conclude.
  • Fixed Entity position updates at the end of movements.
  • Fixed an issue causing the player to move back to a previous location before moving along the path they requested.
  • Debugged movement path generation.
  • Created unit tests to validate movement bitwise operations.
  • Tested movement and path generation.
  • Implemented new UI elements for movement menu buttons, login screen, inventory, vendor and dialogue windows.
  • Reworked some of the associated systems to better display these updates.
  • Further fixes to mid-transaction downtime in vendors.
  • Fixed an issue with vendor stock refreshes attempting to contact the server when the window isn't open, leading to a server crash.
  • Further work on getting the timed refreshes working correctly; some visual bugs are still present.

Server

This week the server has been busy on two things: Open world Dungeon lobbies, which were causing all sorts of interesting crashes, from multiple people spamming the 'start dungeon' button causing issues, to entering a dungeon location activating every single subzone at once in the open world, triggering every single event and spawning hundreds of entities!

Once Dungeon lobbies were shored up and working as intended, work was then done finishing up the small refactor of Dungeon completion code. Whether you die or succeed in completing the dungeon, messages have to be sent to the different servers that are relevant to that session so they can be closed/updated or told about your future arrival.

Finally, casting abilities will now rotate the character casting more accurately, so people casting a three-target ability don't end up in weird situations where their average facing is miles off a sensible one. Additional work from the server-side team can be seen below.

  • Fixed several entity position issues whilst moving.
  • Improved interrupted movement handling.
  • Improved dungeon lobby handling.
  • Reduced logging of movements after fixing issues.
  • Refactored end of dungeon handling.
  • Refactored the handling of death in a dungeon.
  • Discovered and fixed an issue with bitwise operations within the movement code.
  • Fixed 'No valid steps' issues with path calculation.
  • Created unit tests for movement bit testing.

Sound Design

The sound team continued the work started in the previous devlog, creating a couple of new idle sounds for the creatures of Erendorn. These new sounds will aid the immersion process by adding more life to the enemies players will face. The team has created audio for the Boar and Jaguar enemies throughout the week, tying the new sounds to the small movements that are made during the idle animation cycle. These small pieces of audio can be as simple as hearing the enemy breathe while standing still but will flesh out players' perception that the creature is alive! The team would also move on to creating audio for the VFX for the Twilight Elf Assassin's aura we saw last week. The visual effects that were created have since gone under a quick visual improvement but this audio will still be useful once integrated into the engine. The team has used similar audio we have heard in the past, creating a mystifying and shadowy soundscape that will follow the assassin as they approach enemies from the shadows.

Environment Art

The environment team has continued their work on the updated castle ruins structure. New improvements have been made to the modular kit mainly within the connecting stone blocks, pillars and archways. These enhancements bring a more connected feel to each of the modular pieces, allowing them to connect seamlessly. With these enhancements, the team can now continue building the modular structure with more freedom. Additionally, the team has put some focus on the front of the structure. The team's aim with this work is to make the front of the building more interesting on its first impression by the player. The team will continue to work on the updated ruins structure throughout the coming weeks. Examples of which can be seen below.

Work completed on the facade of the modular build

New details added to the front of the structure

Animation

The animation team has been creating some concepts for new spells and attacks from players using a staff or wand. The team has created two variants of the spell-casting animation, one using the backhand and the other using the forehand. These animations can be utilised for a range of abilities players may use. With the stronger abilities using the backhand as the character appears to be using more of their strength to cast it. In further iterations, these animations could be used for basic melee attacks as well. All this combined means the team has created very versatile movement cycles for spellcasters of Erendorn. Examples of the new animations can be seen below.

Concepts for new spell/attack

Visual Effects

The VFX team has taken the time through the week to refine the aura for the Twilight Elf Assassin. After some feedback on the previous week's work, the team decided to refine the visuals of the aura. From the feedback given, the team would change the origins of the aura itself. The effects now cascade over the entire model instead of originating from the feet. The changes to this design now give the aura a more refined and subtle look, whilst still using the dark purples that we have seen within previous iterations of the effects. The team would also go on to ensure the aura is still visible while the character is in motion. Examples of the updated aura can be seen below.

Twilight Elf Assassin with aura

Rotating shot of entire model

Aura in use during animations

Aura in use with animations and additional visual effects

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

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