June Devlog | Week #1 | No. 180

Development
June 1, 2022
June 7, 2022

Another busy week for the team! Starting with updates for the Draconian model. During this time, the Set Design team initialised their work on textures for the city props. Additionally, the Sound team has worked on audio for animations and visual effects created last week. The animation team has worked on updating the Stone Frog rig and cycles to work with its new mesh, and the Visual Effects team has continued their work on the Watertarg abilities. Finally, the coding team has reworked how the ability effect blocks work. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

Last week, the team has focused on updating the Draconian model. The team has put the majority of their focus on updating the anatomy of the Draconian to bring it to better form. In doing this, the artists have taken a look at the muscle structures within the creature and brought them closer to that of a standard bi-pedal humanoid. The team will then go on to re-creating the current outfit that has been having some animation issues. An example of the updated model can be seen below.

Updated Draconian sculpt

Set Piece Design

The Set Design team has been working on textures that will be used on the array of assets they have created over the last few months. Last week, the team has created a cast iron, golden metal and a polished wood texture ready for assets in the city. Along with the textures, many of the assets that have been created over the last few months are now being imported into the engine so the team is ready once the city is built. Taking inspiration from the recent concept art, the textures have been brightened when compared to ones that have been used in the first settlement. This will bring a bright and vibrant atmosphere to the interiors of the buildings in the city, this will be a direct contract to the settlement before it. Examples of these new textures can be seen below.

Cast iron, golden metal and polished wood textures

The team have come up with a few challenges with the texture that were created last week, due to the textures being procedural. Using textures in this way will make the task of furnishing the city a lot simpler, but it can give the unfortunate effect that all the assets of similar nature may look too clean and lack depth. The team will experiment with this effect and see if the solution lies in the engine as assets are placed within the world. Examples of new textures on pre-rendered assets can be seen below.

Selection of props using previous textures

Close up of birdcage with textures

Close up of stove with textures

Close up of weapon stand with textures

Programming

Client

This week has been split between further upgrading message decompression to massively reduce the size/amount of messages received by the DoE Client and upgrading the World Session to be capable of handling the spawning and grid movement of enemies. A breakdown of other work completed by the client-side team can be seen below.

  • Added the ability for sectioned burst messages to be decompressed, reformed and parsed reflecting the recent Server changes. Compressed messages are now subdivided twice to minimise the number of characters sent to connected clients.
  • Added the ability for NPCs to be spawned into World Sessions, allowing enemies to spawn when leaving the Settlement to start an Adventure.
  • Updated the Movement Manager to handle pathing updates to ongoing movements and adjust correctly. Players can now click around to move without having to wait for their current movement to finish.
  • Added the ability for movements to be queued. In the event that multiple movement messages are received for the same character, the Movement Manager is now capable of queueing movements chronologically to prevent character teleporting and contributing to smoother visuals for weaker connections.

Server

This week on the server has been spent doing a miniature rework of how our ability effect blocks work. Before, active effects were triggered based on a number of predefined things, 'Start of Turn', 'On Attack hit', etc, but we've increasingly found that there are instances where we need a more robust system in place. As a result, any stat can become a Trigger subscription, meaning Active effects can listen to, and trigger off of one single stat changing its value at any point. This will help us with abilities like Relentless, or the Knight's Zeal. Further work to help implement Zeal has been done, including the ability for effect blocks to manually alter the running order the effect blocks are in, as well as their error count. This gives us a much more robust way to create logic trees for abilities. For example: 'Does an entity have over 10 of Stat X? If not, do Y, then continue down the rest of the ability'. A breakdown of other work completed by the server-side team can be seen below.

  • Enemy Groups now spawn in the world zones.
  • Fixed Subzone creation in world sessions.
  • Fixed XP counts not updating when a new enemy group spawns.
  • Updated the server's compression code to be a lot more efficient when sending large amounts of data.
  • Enemies in the world sessions now move around close to where they spawned.
  • Enemy Movements now cause updates to be sent to connected clients.
  • Fixed many bugs which were crashing the server with the newly implemented features.

Sound Design

Last week, the sound design team took the time to draft up a few changes for a couple of the Watertarg abilities. The abilities the team worked on last week were Armoured Carapace and Drain Strength. As these audio clips were a draft from last week the sound team has gone ahead and made changes to them to make them more distinct and clear. In doing this, the team has moved away from the complex layered audio of droplets and made a clearly defined sound that better fits the ability. These new audio clips can be heard below, with the previously created ones for comparison.

Along with the iteration for the Watertarg's abilities the sound team has also worked on audio for the animations created last week. These sounds have been added to the cycles that were created for death and Dragon Breath, these have then been added to the engine along with the animations ready for implementation. Once implemented into the engine, with some visual effects work, this will be an accurate representation of how these animations will be played out in-game. These new audio clips with previously created animations can be seen below.

Animation

Last week, the animation team has continued working on cycles for characters that have yet to be implemented in the engine. Focusing their efforts on the Stone Frog model, the team has cleaned and exported all animations that will be needed for the enemy. The Stone Frog's rig and cycles needed updating due to the recent changes to the mesh. The added stones on the back of the enemy have made it necessary to upgrade rigs and skin weights to ensure all animations will work as intended. Once the updated model and animations had been imported to the engine the team also went ahead and updated all the necessary blueprint and animation blends. In doing so, all the cycles should work in the engine smoothly. Updated animations for the Stone Frog can be seen below.

Stone Frog animation cycle

Visual Effects

The VFX team has continued with their work creating visual effects for the Watertarg's abilities. Last week, the team focused on the more complex-looking abilities such as Ancient Timeshift, Armoured Carapace, Hydro Transference, and Orbiting Arcane Sword. In addition to the abilities created, the team has also conceived a couple of methods that will show that the players have used the Orbiting Arcane Sword ability. The designs that the Visual Effects team has created for Orbiting Arcane Sword will be iterated further before a final design is decided upon. These new visual effects, along with the experimentation for Orbiting Arcane Sword, can be seen in the video below.

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

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