January Devlog | Week #4 | No. 213

Development
January 27, 2023
February 8, 2023

As the end of January draws to a close, the team are back to full-strength development! The 3D modelling team has continued the production of the newest Human Knight protective gear. During this time, the wizards of coding have been fixing some bugs and implementing a new movement system. Additionally, both the animation team and the sound department have created assets for the Berry Bush event. Meanwhile, the environment team has made many updates to the initial area whilst the VFX team create concepts for the portals 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

More work has been completed on the armour set for the Human Knight throughout the week. The team have been working on refining some of the plates that have been added within the last few weeks. Plates of the armour have been smoothed along the hips and extra details have been added with the new swirls and additional trim has been added, following the design of the shoulder plates. Additional work has also been completed along the helmet, belts, and boots of the model. On the helmet, a new plate has been added that will give additional flair to the protective headwear that will also follow the design of the rest of the armour. The belt and boot additional details are in the form of additional trim that adds extra depth to these pieces. Work will continue on these additional developments throughout the coming weeks. Examples of the work completed on the protective gear can be seen below.

Continued armour refinement

Programming

Client

This week has been focused on bugs relating to Entity data consistency during Sessions, primarily the displaying and updating of stats across the entire project to ensure the stat values used take active stat changes and equipment modifications into account. Additional work completed by the team can be seen below. 

  • Updated how Entity Managers reference Entities to prevent duplicate data being stored when switching Session or entering Combat.
  • Refactored and added debug settings for Entity Stat object classes to simplify event calling and have a better image of stat changes as they occur.
  • Refactored all stat displaying to make use of GetStat, a function that encompasses base, equipment and active changes to individual stats. Changes have been made to:

                             - Character Portrait and Overhead Stat Bars.

                             - Movement Pips.

                             - Stat Panels for Sessions and Equipment Panels.

  • Updated usage of Single Stat object events to allow different blueprints to listen to specific stat changes. As an example; Stat Bar Widgets are now able to listen exclusively to events regarding the stats they are tracking, a Mana Stat Bar can listen for changes to Current, Maximum and Regen Mana stats before updating its display and reduce the number of unnecessary functions being triggered whenever any stat changes.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Player icons in the Turn Display from displaying the health state.
  • Replaced some old and redundant code in the Character Creation/Selection screens to fix issues when attempting to start the game after creating a new character.
  • Added preview renders to the Character Creation screen.
  • Fixed some faulty button functions in the Character Select screen.
  • Updated the layout of the Character Select screen based on testing feedback.

Server

This week the server team's been very busy on a new system for movement in the open world. Whilst combat, and thus the open game world in general, is based on a grid system, walking around like a chess piece isn't exactly particularly fun. A new system that allows the play to move from any one tile to another, no matter the angle or distance it now means your character will just walk straight to where they want to go, instead of having to stick to a tile for every individual step.

Next up, the AI's pathfinding tool had to be updated to be able to understand and use this new system. Once this was done, we had the freedom to allow for procedurally altered terrain. This means a dungeon entrance can spawn somewhere, and alter the terrain around it to be impassable/clear from trees, etc.

Additional work by the server-side team can be seen below.

  • Reworked the movement validation.
  • Reworked the movement processing.
  • improved responses to character creation.
  • The server now caches the Vector of each moving entity.
  • Added Coord.Divide Functionality to make using them easier.
  • Worked on NavEdit code to update Distance data as it changes due to NavEdits being placed.
  • Fixed an oversight where you could crash the dungeon server by making a dungeon lobby while currently in a dungeon (Dev Testing feature).
  • Fixed a server crash when starting combat in an invalid location.

Sound Design

The sound team have worked in the engine throughout the week, taking the time to explore the initial area of Erendorn and alter any issues that affect the audio. The biggest example they found within their adventure was the Rhinogar had a much louder stepping noise than other enemies in the same area. This was a quick and easy fix for the team as they alter a few different levels so all audio is at a consistent level. In between working within the engine, the team has created some audio that will be used within the Berry Bush event. To add a bit more realism to the picking action of the player, an audio clip that imitates the rustling of leaves has been created. The team will implement this along with a physics-based action that will move the berry bush, adding some realistic feedback to the player. Examples of the berry bush audio can be heard below.

Environment Art

Once again the environment team have been incredibly busy throughout the week, improving features that were initially added previously. Firstly, the roads that have been placed through the initial area now have a new texture, giving them a much more realistic visual. This texture also gives the impression that the road has been made by constant footfall and wagon traffic. Continuing with the fauna of the initial area, the team has improved upon the moss that has been implemented to cliff tops. Giving them more coverage and a more realistic feel to the grassland aesthetic of Erendorn's initial area. This improved feature can be used throughout this area and beyond as the team builds new landscapes for Erendorn. Additionally, the fog that has been placed at the base of the mountain range has been improved to give more coverage and a more realistic look. In doing this, the team have continued to bring mysterious and enticing areas of the initial area that players will want to explore and discover. Finally, visibility has been improved in all weather conditions so all players will be able to distinguish many more areas that are ready for adventuring. Examples of all the new improvements to the initial area can be seen below.

Updated road texture

Moss added to cliff tops

Updated fog cards

Increased visability during nightime

Animation

The animation team have been working on some unique movement cycles that will be used within the Berry Bush event. The team have taken the time to add extra details that may not be necessary within the cycles, such as the hand opening and grabbing, and the mouth moving when eating. Due to the nature of the camera that will be used for Depths of Erendorn, these details may not be necessary but they do add another level of realism to the game for those looking for it. These animations will have other applications as the game continues production but for the time being, the team has created them with this event in mind. Examples of the new animations can be seen below.

Berry picking and eating animation

Visual Effects

The VFX team would start the week working on some concepts for the portals and dungeon entrances that will be scattered around Erendorn. Working with a range of colours and shapes, the team have been aiming to get a consistent style for all the effects used for the gateways. When looking at a portal within the world, certain things can be expected. Using a colour that is associated with magic, such as gold, purples and blues, can make identifying the gateway a lot easier when travelling around the landscape. The team have used such colours in their concepts as they would towards creating the identifiable portal that will be used throughout Erendorn. This is another factor of the portal that the team will need to take into account, portals are not always going to be in the same place, so the effects will have to be visible to players in a range of environments. Examples of the work completed on these effects can be seen below.

Portal visual effect concepts

Concept portal visual effects

The team would also work on the world border effects throughout the week. These effects will be used to keep players away from certain areas during the current build, that will be opened later in development. In certain areas, the team will be able to add geological features that will steer players back towards the main areas, such as mountains and oceans. This unfortunately cannot be used in every instance so a magical barrier will be utilised where the terrain cannot. The team have worked on a couple of effects that will be used for this barrier, settling on a wave-like visual that emanates from the ground and ripples upwards. Examples of the effect used within the barrier can be seen below.

World border in engine

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

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