January Devlog | Week #2 | No. 259

January 18, 2024
February 7, 2024

In the past week, Depths of Erendorn's multidisciplinary teams demonstrated remarkable progress. The 3D Modelling team refined the Centaur model, perfecting proportions, transitional areas, and facial features for enhanced authenticity. Simultaneously, the Set Piece Design team meticulously crafted materials, with a focus on banners, showcasing their dedication to visual details. The Client team initiated crucial updates, introducing a 3D Server movement upgrade and Dry Templates workflow, while the server-side team made changes to the starting character equipment and prepared for the 3D Line of Sight function. The Environment team, dedicated to refining the game's landscape, introduced new triplanar master materials and embarked on a significant Viking settlement gateway. The Animation team showcased technical proficiency by importing and animating the revised Main Bipedal Skeleton. Lastly, the Creative team delved into conceptualising abilities, developing specialized brush sets, and crafting vibrant concept sheets for upcoming VFX. This comprehensive overview highlights the diverse and dynamic efforts across teams in shaping the future of Depths of Erendorn. 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

In the past week, our 3D Modelling team at Depths of Erendorn has achieved significant progress in refining the Centaur model. The team made crucial adjustments to the proportions of the human half, ensuring a harmonious blend with the equine elements. Special attention was given to the transitional areas, enhancing the seamless connection between the human and horse parts for a more cohesive appearance. The team also focused on facial refinement, incorporating feedback from peers to create a leaner visage with a more pronounced animalistic quality. Examples of their accomplishments throughout the week can be explored below.

Centaur with improved proportions

Initial examples of the Centaur's nose

Finalised facial structure

Set Piece Design

In the recent week, our Set Piece Design team has been actively involved in the meticulous task of creating and setting up materials for various props. A significant focus was placed on refining the main material for banners, which is still a work in progress, particularly for the skull and antler material. Additionally, efforts were dedicated to enhancing the aesthetics of the rope material. This work represents the team's commitment to detailed and visually compelling set pieces. Examples of their work throughout the week can be explored below.

Work in progress chair object for settlement redesign

Work in progress banner designs

Programming

Client

This week has been about beginning Client updates for our new 3D Server movement upgrade to reenable us to pathfind and move around the world. In addition to this, we have making the workflow for using Dry Templates - a saved copy of an ability that can be replayed ad-nauseum during testing.

Updated any grid coordinate usage across the project to make use of IntVectors to allow them to store information about different elevations, including:

  • Entity Spawning.
  • Event Spawning.
  • Movement functions.
  • Dungeon Floor/Ceiling/Wall/Prop generation.

The client team also worked through and created a document to guide through the steps of creating Dry Templates while working through a set of examples. As recreating how an ability plays out on the Server requires some setup, we can get hold of information needed to simulate them (the order of logs and their data) by looking at server logs. Steps can then be taken to use these key values in a Dry Test environment to create a Dry Template, these steps are described in the guide and include:

  • Obtaining logs to sample.
  • Breaking down the function of the logs.
  • Removing logs not required in a Dry Test environment, such as Turn IDs, cooldown setting, etc.
  • Obtaining any important preset values for individual logs.

Additional work would continue on the dry log system, minus patching a few errors that came with updating coordinates to 3D, this week has mostly been spent polishing up the functionality of the UI and enabling logs to be run through steppers. Moving the order of logs has been partially set up but still conflicts with what's seen on screen. Entities that have been manually spawned should now be reliably able to be referenced in the dry logs but the client team is expecting some problems related to adding/removing them.

Server

This week, the server team at Depths of Erendorn has made significant strides in enhancing the game's functionality. A primary focus was on creating and assigning base weapons to the base classes, a departure from the previous approach of altering stats to simulate standard weapons. This improvement ensures a more authentic representation of character capabilities. Additionally, the team dedicated efforts to reviewing the 3D Line of Sight function in anticipation of its forthcoming implementation when integrated into the client. On another note, updates to token handling were made, particularly related to product ownership. The ongoing work on updating the old navigation system to the new system signifies a substantial undertaking. This comprehensive update, in progress for an extended period, is expected to continue for the next few weeks as the team meticulously implements and tests the significant changes.

Environment Art

During the past week, the Environment team at Depths of Erendorn remained dedicated to refining the game's landscape and exploring advanced options within Unreal Engine 5.3. They focused on achieving higher definition, ensuring a visually immersive experience. One notable accomplishment was the creation of new triplanar master materials designed for large objects. This innovative material introduces the capability to paint multiple layers through vertex colours, offering a versatile approach to texture application. The team also embarked on the creation of a significant outer gateway for the Viking settlement. This process began with the exploration of inspiration and the development of a mood board, transitioning into the initiation of an initial blockout. An example of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Initial block out for improved settlement gate

Animation

In the recent week, the Animation team at Depths of Erendorn achieved noteworthy progress. They successfully imported the revised Main Bipedal Skeleton, demonstrating technical proficiency in managing complex skeletal structures. To ensure seamless integration, the team conducted thorough compatibility checks with existing skeletal meshes, identifying and addressing any issues promptly. The focus was particularly on the Human Knight and other human characters, showcasing a commitment to refining core elements. Notably, the team updated animations, including the death animation and a substantial portion of idle animations, reflecting their dedication to enhancing the visual and behavioural authenticity of characters in the game. Examples of their accomplished tasks throughout the week can be explored below.

Fixed armour positioning on Human Knight

Human Knight death animation update

Visual Effects

Over the past week, the team has been actively engaged in the creative realm, particularly focusing on the conceptualisation of abilities. A dedicated effort was directed towards crafting concept art, where the team worked on developing a specialised brush set and style. This initiative aims to enhance the efficiency of creating visually appealing VFX concepts swiftly. Leveraging this new technique, the team successfully generated two comprehensive concept sheets for upcoming ability VFX. These sheets showcase a vibrant range of colours and spectacle, reflecting the team's commitment to delivering impactful and visually stunning effects for the game. Examples of this creative exploration can be explored below.

Concept sheet for new ability visual effects

Second concept sheet for visual effects

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

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