June Devlog | Week #4 | No. 234

Development
June 30, 2023
July 20, 2023

Welcome to the weekly development log for Depths of Erendorn! Our dedicated teams have been hard at work, bringing you a more immersive gaming experience. The 3D modelling team has refined the spellcasters' armour set, adding extra plates and intricate details for opulence, along with a magnificent cape integrated into the shoulder plates. The set design team has explored SpeedTree software, creating captivating trees that give the impression they are hold glowing orbs using mesh forces. Our UI team has improved item displays and dungeon lobbies, optimising core widgets and enhancing the user interface. The server team has optimised roaming enemy movement, resolved server crashes, and improved command timeouts for a smooth multiplayer experience. The environment team has overhauled the terrain material system, resulting in higher fidelity textures and enhanced landscapes. The animation team has refined the dwarf character's two-handed weapon pose and accompanying animations for realistic combat manoeuvres. The visual effects team has optimised materials and created dynamic portals, adding captivating movement, while also making tweaks to abilities affected by material changes. Experience the progress made by our talented teams throughout the week, and stay tuned for more exciting updates in the next development log! 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

The 3D modelling team has been dedicated to advancing the development of the spellcasters' armour set. They have made significant progress by focusing on refining and enhancing various aspects of the design. Notably, extra plates have been meticulously added to the shoulders, providing additional protection and an imposing presence. The team's attention to detail is evident in the increased level of intricacy and opulence displayed in the torso and belt, showcasing the luxurious nature of the protective gear. To further augment the visual impact, a magnificent cape has been integrated into the shoulder plates, adding an element of grandeur and enhancing the overall silhouette of the spellcasters. Work completed on the armour can be seen below.

Continued progress of spellcasters armour

Set Piece Design

The set design team has been actively exploring the use of SpeedTree software this week. With a specific focus on creating a captivating visual effect of trees holding orbs that emit a gentle glow in the game, they have been experimenting with mesh forces. By employing mesh forces, the team has successfully imported a mesh that exerts a force on the tree, giving the illusion of branches wrapping around the orbs. However, they have encountered a setback as affected branches and twigs tend to lose their natural curvature, even when positioned outside the radius of the mesh force. Despite this challenge, the team remains determined to fine-tune the effect before incorporating variations of these trees into a stunning cluster that will beautifully illuminate the nighttime environment. Examples of progress made on the new fauna can be seen below.

Branch progression using the Speedtree program

Branches appearing to curl around orbs

Work in progress tree with curled branches for lights

Programming

Client

This week has been about running through a number of much needed UI improvements to item displays and dungeon lobbies in addition to continued optimisation for the Core (primary display) Widgets.

  • Updated how Item information is displayed in both Tooltips and in the Vendor window to show weapon attack values, base item information and additional stats separately.
  • Improved the Dungeon Lobby widget to make use of party colours and a better 'Ready Up' button.
  • Updated and improved panel scaling and assets across all UI.
  • Improved the display of implemented Button images across all UI.
  • Removed OnConstruct functions from Core and Overhead Widgets to reduce the amount of unnecessary functions being rerun when widgets appear on screen.
  • Updated Turn Player widgets to give character names a background and team context frames.
  • Created XP Painting UI.
  • Re-implemented XP Painting Code.
  • Re-written mesh generation code so we can generate meshes of the nav data to debug it and display the data visually.

Some examples of the new user interfaces can be seen below.

Updated item stats

Entering dungeon interface updated

Server

This week has been focused on the roaming open world enemies, introducing a new type of roaming: Idlers, or Millers as we sometimes call them. Rather than trekking across the whole Zone like the other roamers do, these groups stay in the same general spot, including around any events they might be tied to, and simply shift about pseudorandomly, to catch players off trying to sneak past or get close. Also, no one really stands around in the wilderness stood still for hours on end, after all.

On top of creating Idlers, we put a lot of work into optimising the movement system, as with roaming enemies, we now experience upwards of 40 to 50 movements at any one given time in an adventure, per adventure. Additionally, a fix was put in place for a bug that caused the Dungeon Server to fail to pass the client back to the Zone server in specific circumstances.

The team would also fix an issue with command timeouts and command completion that was causing a server crash and in some circumstances a server command processing freeze. Finally, working alongside the other members of the team we have solved some other ongoing issues and server crashes.

Environment Art

The environment team has made significant progress this week with a complete overhaul of the terrain material system. The outdated terrain material system has been replaced with a more efficient and flexible layered material system workflow. This transformation brings about numerous benefits, including faster iteration for future landscape creation and improved efficiency in the development process. Additionally, the team has implemented newer and more advanced grass and scatter placement systems, replacing older deprecated systems. As a result, Erendorn's landscape now showcases higher fidelity textures with increased variance, enhancing the visual richness and overall immersion of the game world. This revamp marks a significant milestone in the evolution of the environment design, setting the stage for even more captivating and dynamic landscapes in the future. Examples of the work complete within the environment can be seen below.

New blueprint for environment overhaul

Improved foliage in engine

Improved foliage surrounding the castle ruins

Animation

The animations team has been dedicated to the ongoing updates for the dwarf character this week. Specifically, they have focused on refining the pose for two-handed weapons, ensuring that the handle is held in the right hand. This adjustment not only improves the visual accuracy but also enhances the overall realism of the character's combat maneuvers. Throughout this process, the team has diligently worked on adjusting the accompanying animations to seamlessly integrate with the new weapon pose. By fine-tuning the movements and gestures, they aim to create a cohesive and immersive experience for players, immersing them deeper into the world of the dwarven warrior. The team's commitment to detail and fluidity ensures that the dwarf character's actions align seamlessly with the player's control, delivering a satisfying and authentic gameplay experience. Examples of the work completed on the Dwarf's two handed animations can be seen below.

Updated idles for the Earthen Dwarf

Earthen Dwarf two handed attack animation

Visual Effects

The visual effects team has been hard at work optimising and enhancing the current materials in the game. They have successfully implemented various new features and optimisations, resulting in improved performance and visual fidelity. Notably, the team has leveraged the updated materials to create a captivating new look for portals. Through innovative techniques, they have achieved dynamic movement within the portal images, elevating their visual impact and creating an immersive experience for players. Additionally, they have addressed minor issues with abilities affected by the material changes, ensuring that any pink appearance caused by broken connectors has been resolved. Examples of the portal effects created throughout the week can be seen below.

Work in progress portal distortion

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

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