In this week’s game devlog, we’re talking about the progress our Character Artist has made on Erendorn’s Human Ranger as well as how our Animator is getting along with animating the Earthen Dwarf. A few changes were made to the Game Client, as well, so we’ve got a lot to tell you about!
The playable character we’re modelling this week is the female Human Ranger. These characters are the free spirits of their race, eagle-eyed and roaming freely across Erendorn in search of adventure. The work carried out on the model in last week’s game devlog made life a lot easier for our Character Artist when it came to retopologising.
By having previously modelled the initial mesh blockouts for things like the clothing and armour, it meant that there was already a base to use for the retopology. Therefore, the retopology mostly consisted of things like deleting edge loops and merging vertices. Our artist was then able to unwrap the low polygonal mesh and bake the high poly details.
When it came to texturing the Human Ranger, a few things were done:
- Our artist first experimented with the colour of the clothes because the ones used in the original concept sketch did not translate well onto the model
- The leather armour was focussed on a lot this week and given details such as additional stitching and worn edges
- Surface details, like cloth texture, were added in the texturing stage as they can be more easily altered compared to when this kind of detail is added during the sculpting stage
- We found that the skin of the female Ranger’s base mesh was too light, so our artist adjusted the colours to bring them closer to the skin tone used on the male Ranger’s base mesh
But modelling the Human Ranger isn’t all our Character Artist got up to this week. After our Animator found an issue with the mouth topology on the Human and Elf base meshes, our artist began carrying out the work to redo these areas. As these base meshes are being used for several other humanoid characters, it is better to deal with the problem now rather than later.
With another week comes another character to be animated! This time, our Animator was focussing on one of Erendorn’s Earthen Dwarves, an underground mining race who, despite their size, fear no beast. A total of seven animations were made for this character this week, including:
- Idle and idle variation
- Combat idle and combat idle variation
- Walk and run/sprint cycle
- Stun animation
Our Animator also created a combat/run animation for the Earthen Dwarf which shows him gripping his weapon and running to attack. While this animation won’t necessarily be in the game, it will be used in several other animations that will require a part of this run cycle. After focussing on creating these, our Animator then tested a few mouth meshes by skinning them to a rig.
With the work carried out on the server this week, it is now possible for the player to retrieve characters that are linked to their account. It is also possible to delete a character that is linked to your account. Meanwhile, the ability 'Stand and Fight', which is used by Erendorn’s mighty Knights, was balanced so that it now heals 4-5 instead of just 4.
Next week, we will be returning our focus to the Item Generator in the server as well as adding player inventory management and equipment. While there wasn’t the usual amount of work to be carried out in the server in this game devlog (which we’re taking as a good sign!), a lot needed to be done to the Game Client.
The flow of the Game Client went through a massive overhaul this week. Now, when a player logs into the game, they will be greeted with a new character selection screen which loads and shows all the characters that player has created. You can then either choose to select one of these characters or to make a new one.
If the player opts to make a new character, they will be returned to the selection screen when they have finished so that they can select it. Any characters you no longer want are also easily deleted from this screen. While this may seem like a small point, it is important because it is the first step to having persistent characters that will grow and level up as you complete Erendorn’s dungeons.
As well as this, the main menu now displays the player’s selected character. The structure and layout of the menu also changed, and a new ‘Join Game’ controller was created to give better feedback for joining games. These style changes are very important when it comes to designing the user interface of a game. A properly designed UI not only makes it easier for the players to navigate and digest, it also sets the tone for the game as it is the first thing a player experiences.
That wraps up this week’s game devlog! As always, all of the latest and greatest updates on Depths of Erendorn can be found on our social media, so make sure to follow our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what we get up to throughout the week!