Welcome to this week's Development Log for Depths of Erendorn! Our 3D modelling team has been meticulously sculpting and refining our latest character, incorporating valuable feedback to achieve the desired look. Meanwhile, the client-side team focused on optimising performance during adventures, utilising Unreal Insights for improved frame rates. The server-side team addressed server-related issues and improved movement mechanics. In their quest to complete the Group 3 creatures set, the animation team encountered challenges but made progress with Mantisar and Giant Ant, giving them individual skeletons. 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!
The 3D modelling team has been hard at work in the sculpting phase, dedicating their time to blocking out all the main parts of the protective gear for spellcasters. They meticulously shaped and refined each component to achieve the desired look and feel. Taking valuable feedback from the team into account, they made adjustments to the length of the skirt, ensuring it aligns perfectly with the overall design and proportions. To enhance the character's presence, they added shoulder pads and a collar, adding a touch of authority and visual interest to the ensemble. These additions not only contribute to the armour's aesthetics but also provide opportunities for intricate detailing in the subsequent stages. The team's dedication to the sculpting process and their attention to detail are evident in the progress made so far, which can be seen below.
This week has been about optimising performance during adventures and making use of Unreal Insights - a performance tool created for analysing render and GPU threads, to identify the source of frame drops and inform those optimisations. Additional work from the client side team can be seen below.
- Further optimised overhead UI to increase framerate while in adventures.
- Added name hover fading to World NPCs and set names to hidden by default.
- Improved loading screen to be able to fade from background only to elements and back.
- Unified a method for spawning already existing entities into World Combats.
- Updated how aggressive enemies are initialised to ignore target updates until entering combat.
- Further development on the tutorial window refining layout and navigation.
- Continued developing target tracking UI for abilities that target creatures and grid spaces.
- Basic functions in place for both kinds of targeting but as of writing this it is only functioning with targeting creatures. Grid space tracking will need some adaptation to the system.
- For checking tracking at a glance the target counter text changes colour from red (not enough selected targets) to green (enough targets selected). These counts are tracked separately for abilities with multiple targeting parameters.
- Fixed surface detection code in the new nav data generation.
- Fixed nav chunk storage and loading code.
- Fixed the updating and early ending on movements.
- Fixed the updating of movements that are queued up.
- Fixed an issue related to replacing an existing queued movement with a new one.
This week, the team spent time debugging several server related issues and fixing bugs with the new nav data implementation and generation. The handling of movement both on the client and server side has also seen meaningful changes leading to a smoother gameplay experience, while this is not the final experience we desire it is much improved. The new changes suit our short term needs and we will look to improve it after making more foundational changes to the nav data after other improvements to other related systems that are in the works. Additional work from the server side team can be seen below.
- Fixed a crash caused by buying and selling items mid starting adventure.
- Fixed rounding errors when interrupting a movement mid-step.
- Fixed a movement stop point being changed by spam clicking movement which was leading to strange behaviour.
- Fixed a memory issue that was leading to the server wrongfully reserving way too much memory and causing the server to crash.
In the ongoing quest to complete the Group 3 creatures set, the animation team took on the challenge of integrating Mantisar and Giant Ant into the group, initially aiming to share the same skeleton. However, the team encountered some difficulties along the way that threatened smooth functionality. To ensure a seamless gaming experience, the decision was made to provide Mantisar and Giant Ant with their own individual skeletons. For Mantisar, the team diligently went through the process of renaming bones and re-exporting animations, fine-tuning every detail for optimal performance. The team also worked tirelessly on implementing Mantisar into the game engine, ensuring its seamless integration into the world of Erendorn. As for the Giant Ant, crucial adjustments were made to its rig, ensuring fluid movement and animation capabilities. Currently, the team is exploring basic animations that will capture the essence of this formidable creature. Looking ahead, they are already planning the next set of characters and updates, aiming to deliver even better videos showcasing the movement cycles they are producing. Examples of the updates to animations made throughout the week can be seen below.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of May yet?!