Highlights in this week’s game development update on Depths of Erendorn include a new fountain set piece (complete with cascading water effects), a misty graveyard set piece, and a glimpse inside The Rising Sun Tavern.
In between all that, we’ve got the usual installment of visuals for abilities, new sound effects, an update from our Programmers, and a new blockout of some heavy armour. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit for daily updates - now let’s get into it!
Last week, our 3D Character Artist finished blocking out the heavy armour set they began a few devlogs ago. The next steps will be to add some texture, but here’s how it’s looking in ZBrush so far:
Our Animator spent a lot of time working on the Tavern scene that will appear in the upcoming game trailer, which involved:
- Creating and updating character animation blueprints for the NPCs that will appear in the scene
- Editing and mixing the ‘talk’ animation with the ‘sit on bench’ animation from Unreal's animation pack, so that NPCs can have conversations while sitting down
Here’s how the Tavern scene is looking so far with all these animation updates:
Other than the Tavern, our Animator also worked on the animations for the vendors in our settlement’s marketplace, including the Earthen Dwarf Blacksmith and the Lionman butcher:
While our Animator was working on the animations for NPCs inside the Tavern, one of our Environment Artists was busy creating a pub sign for it! This led to us finally choosing a name for this fine establishment: The Rising Sun.
When making the sign, our Artist used traditional British pub signs as a guiding reference, using their wooden cutouts and chunky pieces of metal to inform the overall design. This aided our goal of limiting the use of unique textures by making a mesh that relied on geometry to create visual interest, rather than textures.
So, without further ado, here’s The Rising Sun sign for the Tavern!
Next on our Environment Artist’s list was creating a set piece for a ‘Lucky Fountain’ event, which will be just one of the many, many events that will have a chance of randomly generating when players enter a dungeon room.
The exact details of this event aren’t ironed out yet, but as a quick idea, it will involve a fountain appearing in a dungeon that players may use to purchase 1 extra Luck point from. The catch? Enemies will generate immediately, so you’ll have to be quick on your toes.
Our Artist used an preexisting mesh they created a while back in order to create this Lucky Fountain set piece. They then worked with our VFX Artist to create some nice waterfall effects. It’s not finished yet, but this effect will be really useful when we come to adding waterfalls throughout the world.
Here’s how the set piece is looking currently:
New Graveyard Zone
In addition to making general world optimisations and improving the cave areas of the game, our other Environment Artist spent most of last week creating a new graveyard set piece!
Featuring emaciated trees, a creepy stone vault, and ominous lighting, this is quickly becoming one of our favourite areas of the game. Key to its development was the use of uncurling scrolls of fog, which our VFX Artist helped out a lot with thanks to their creation of a placeable cloud material - take a look:
When they weren’t creating creepy fog for the graveyard, or splashing effects for the fountain, our VFX Artist was busy reworking a few preexisting visuals for abilities, including all of the following:
Birds of Prey: Deals Physical Damage for five turns
Fireball: Deals Fire Damage that ignores Resilience and Armour
Thunderstorm: Gives each enemy a 75% chance of getting hit with Lightning Damage
Tempest: Deals Lightning Damage to all enemies - no chance of avoiding it this time!
Acid Bolt: Deals Nature Damage and removes one point of armour for ten turns
Push: Moves a one tile enemy one space in any direction. If they get pushed against a wall, they’re also hit with some Physical Damage
The first thing our Sound Artist did last week was improve the steps for horses and Centaurs in the game, which involved adding extra padding and force to them so that they had a bigger presence.
Example of new footsteps for horses and Centaurs
Footsteps were also created for when characters walk on wooden floors in settlement buildings - it’s small details like this that really add the finishing touches to immersion!
Example of new footsteps for characters walking on wooden floors
They also recorded and edited a lot of sounds for coin drops and spins, which will be used for many different moments, like making purchases and sales, collecting gold - that sort of thing.
Example of coin drops being used for purchases
Moving on, following last week’s work on ambient sounds, more rain and storm layers have been created, giving us a far greater variation of weather!
Example of some new rainy sound effects
For our Programmers, last week was all about fixing bugs and updating dungeon gameplay so that we’re ready for another round of trailer footage recording! This work involved:
- Updating class abilities for the Dwarf, Knight, and Zentragal to ensure that they trigger at the correct point in the action, and make use of the correct animations, visual FX, and sounds
- Updating the collision channel used for IK to prevent living dead characters responding to anyone walking over them - if they’re dead, they ideally need to stay dead
- Fixing a bug where attack animations and damage visuals appeared in the incorrect order
A placeable cloud material our VFX Artist created for the graveyard, though it will also be used in many other areas of the game!
Last week marked another small, but meaningful milestone for the Golang team: we now have combat and dungeons (with only a few little bugs that need ironing out) fully working in our virtualised test client! This means it’s now ready to roll out into the live game when we’re ready to do the switch.
The player AI is currently the testing grounds for casting abilities that will soon be used by enemies, and is able to cast an ability (if it has the resources to) on its target every turn.
Also, for the very first time, a full runthrough of the dungeon has been completed on the test client! The grounds for automated testing are now possible thanks to this, meaning that we can run a full combat without any crashes occurring!
Additionally, client-to-server messages have been optimised so that they only pass the IDs of the abilities being used. This has led messages to be 95% smaller than they were before, which has decreased latency a lot.
That’s it for this week’s devlog - see you next Tuesday!