July Devlog | Week #1

Development
July 13, 2021
December 1, 2021

Highlights in this week’s devlog include magical set pieces, from Warding Circles to Orbs of Knowledge, as well as a ton of new VFX for dungeon portals. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

After finishing the heavy armour sculpts in our last weekly devlog, our Character Artist could finally begin texturing last week! They started by testing different methods of creating fur, which will adorn the armour in various places.

The first one they tried was a shell method, which involves overlaying multiple layers of meshes at varying transparencies. Our Artist then tested the hair card method, which involves using multiple planes to build up volume. While both methods worked well, the shell method seemed like the best way to go due to its quicker creation time and final look.

Testing the shell method
The shell method (left) vs the hair card method (right)
Final test of the shell method

So, once that had been decided, our Artist cracked on with creating all the fur for each armour set! We say ‘each’ because, if you remember from last month, there will be higher and lower level versions of this armour set.

Next on the list will be adding some noise to the fur meshes so that the base shape isn't so smooth, and editing placements of things like straps to ensure they overlap the fur properly.

Low level armour version
Mid level armour version
High level armour version

Animation

Last week, our Animator carried out a lot of work on the upcoming game trailer, including updating the animations for NPCs in the Tavern scene, adding a Ranger and Sorceress to the settlement scene, and bringing more Undead Zombies and Skeletons into the graveyard combat scene.

In between all that, they also worked on a new run cycle animation for the Wolvajin. These enemies will be extremely fast in the game, so, when making the run cycle, our Animator combined this fact with their wild, savage nature in order to create a pretty frightening movement - here's the result:

Environment Design

Creating Set Pieces

Our Environment Artist continued creating set pieces for events last week. The first was for the Revolving Sphere event, in which a mysterious sphere suspended silently in the air appears to players. They will be given the option to investigate it, but, as with everything in Depths of Erendorn, there will be a risk involved.

When creating the Revolving Sphere, our Environment Artist and Visual FX Artist worked together to make the blueprint more adjustable. This allowed them to make the outer rings of the piece feel heavier and move slower than the inner rings.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/RevolvingSphere2.mp4

The next set piece our Artist created was the Orb of Knowledge. Work on this included making a new instance of the torch fire we have so that it could be blue, which added a nice Mana-feel to the overall look.

In this event, a strange orb will appear to players as they travel through the dungeons. Once (or if) they overcome the challenges it initiates, the orb will reveal things lying in wait for them in the next dungeon room.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/OrbOfKnowledge.mp4

Our Environment Artist ended the week by creating a set piece for the Warding Circle event, in which players will discover a warding circle painted on the floor. They will be able to use this to rest and regain full Health without being accosted by enemies - so keep your eyes open for this one!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/WardingCircle2.mp4

World Environment

Our second Environment Artist spent last week exploring new software (GAEA) as a large-scale terrain solution. They started using GAEA to create distant mountains, which were then implemented into the world. Further improvements will be made to these over the coming weeks, but so far we’re stoked with the results:

Visual FX

The first thing our Visual FX Artist did last week was optimise the waterfall they created a few devlogs ago, focusing on making it look a bit more foamy:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/waterfall9-2.mp4

They were then tasked with revising the portal entrances that lead into Erendorn’s treacherous dungeons! Several versions of these were worked on, and many more will be created in the future, given the huge number of dungeons that will feature in the game.

We have to say, we’re pretty enamoured of these portal effects - take a look at some of the awesome variations below:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/portal17Shareable.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/portal17YellowBlue.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/portal17Red.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/GreenPortal17-1.mp4

Game Trailer

For the game trailer, our video production team continued pre-polishing some of the later shots, with particular attention being paid to the more action-oriented ones. Our video production team also spent some time fixing technical issues highlighted in the earlier shots.

Here’s a list of all the work that went on:

  • Fixed IK settings in character recording for Tavern entrance shot
  • Updated extras for settlement shots and added extra character animations
  • Set up new crane shot, linking the settlement establishing shot with the Tavern entrance shot
  • Updated timings and animations for fighting shots, adding combat animations and animated projectile VFX

More portal variations!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Yellow2Portal17.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/RedGreenPortal17.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/RedbluePortal17.mp4

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/portalBlue17Shareable.mp4

Programming

Golang Server

With abilities being real-time, and projectiles now taking actual game time to travel, rather than instantly arriving in the code and being animated on the client, our Golang team had to spend last week changing movement to be real-time as well.

In the current system, you could target an area of effect buff on the ground that your ally was walking to, and they'd receive it because, according to the server, they were already there and it was just being animated.

But this had a couple of knock-on effects that had to be fixed, such as turns ending before an entity had finished moving, or an incoming projectile hitting them at the tile they were about to arrive at (which is just plain unfair). So, a couple of days were spent ironing out those particularly troublesome bugs last week.

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

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