June Devlog | Week #1 | No. 279

Development
June 19, 2024
July 8, 2024

Last week at Depths of Erendorn saw significant progress across teams: the 3D modelling team textured and readied bird variants for engine integration; set piece design finalised quest boards and started on magical books; programming remapped landscapes, added XP preservation, and addressed bugs; the sound team completed Generic Spells and explored new environmental sounds; environment improved river simulations, updated Data Layers, and added settlement floors; animation adjusted rigs and enhanced bird animations for integration; VFX researched culling and LoD, revisited VFX tests, and conducted in-game evaluations. These efforts highlight ongoing enhancements across environments, animations, effects, and gameplay dynamics. 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

Last week, the 3D modelling team at Depths of Erendorn completed the texturing of all bird variants, with only final mesh adjustments remaining. The new designs were inspired by references to the Peregrine Falcon, Grey Eagle, and Golden Eagle, showcasing distinct colours using browns, greys, and whites. Following some final mesh tweaks, these bird models will be ready for integration into the game engine. Examples of their work can be seen below.

Front view of additional bird of prey model textures

Back view of new textured birds

Set Piece Design

Throughout the last week, the set piece design team at Depths of Erendorn completed the quest notice boards and began work on a set of magical books. Fine adjustments were made to previous props, enhancing their overall quality. Rustic woods and paint effects were used to depict the frequent use of these props, ensuring they look authentic once placed in the game engine. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Textured notice boards ready for engine

Programming

Client

This week, the client-side team focused on enabling players to switch characters seamlessly without requiring them to log out and log back in. This involved reorganising the execution order post-login to ensure server connections are maintained while players leave and rejoin the Settlement. Concurrently, the team successfully addressed several map-related issues, enhancing overall gameplay stability and experience. Examples of which can be seen below.

  • Log out function now capable of working mid-combat.
  • Added a Session Wipe function for clearing a Session setup while maintaining the original connection.
  • Updated how Sessions are set up to allow them to repeat their submanager initialisation when joining a new Session on a maintained connection.
  • Helped track down a few issues regarding movement messages not being sent correctly when a player enters Combat.

Server

Last week, the programming team at Depths of Erendorn focused on remapping the adjusted landscape, adding an XP preservation feature to the mapper, and implementing a re-map mode to streamline future Nav data generation. Additionally, servers for the new login code were set up in preparation for implementation by the client and server teams. This week, the server team addressed two key bugs discovered during testing of the newly added adventure code. The first bug involved events not spawning sufficiently if a small event had spawned nearby, and the second bug prevented command-level error messages from being properly sent to the client for processing. The team also developed a new system for rewarding XP immediately upon an enemy's death while still tracking total XP earned over the entire adventure. Furthermore, a new type of message was created to notify players when they reach the maximum XP for their level.

Sound Design

Last week, the sound team at Depths of Erendorn completed the Generic Spells, including Celerity and Lightning Pulse, and updated a few older ones. These sound effects have been added to the engine and are fully implemented. The team will conduct a quick round of testing to make any final adjustments to volumes and attenuations. Additionally, the team has begun exploring the environment to identify new sounds that need to be added or relocated, which will be their main focus for the next few weeks. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Environment Art

Throughout the last week, the environment team at Depths of Erendorn achieved several significant milestones in enhancing the game’s landscape and settlement areas. The team dressed the river edges with rocks and re-ran water simulations, resulting in an improved river simulation that was saved into an optimised static mesh. They addressed and resolved issues with Data Layers, ensuring they are up to date, and fixed problems causing certain parts of the landscape to not load when entering play mode. Floors were added to six of the new settlement buildings, enhancing their structural integrity. Additionally, the team optimised foliage and large asset loading at distances to improve performance and resolved an issue preventing team members from loading into the main level on older graphics hardware. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Settlement landscape redesign

River progress in new settlement

Animation

Throughout the last week, the animation team at Depths of Erendorn implemented several changes to the rig to explore and identify the most effective setup. They focused on improving the bird's animations, ensuring smoother and more realistic movements. The bird model is progressing well, with the current focus on finalising the skin weights and preparing for engine integration. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Bird of prey animation progress

Visual Effects

The VFX team at Depths of Erendorn focused extensively on researching environment VFX last week, specifically exploring mass scale culling and Level of Detail (LoD) based on camera position. This approach is deemed the most effective for handling dynamic environment VFX. The team revisited early screen VFX tests, planning to remake these for certain areas using post-processing volumes. Additionally, materials and textures were created for general movement and atmosphere, followed by a few quick in-game tests to evaluate their effectiveness. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Environment effects mood board focusing on improving weather

Torch improvements in the engine

Mood board for light work that will compliment weather and lighting effects

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

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