Weekly DevLog: Howling Wolvajins, Ability Reworks, and a New Wishing Well!

Development
June 22, 2021
November 18, 2021

Highlights in this week’s game development update include a new animation pack for our Wolvajins, updated VFX for level 1 spells, and a new Wishing Well set piece for a game event. We’ve also got a freshly sculpted armour set to show you, as well as some behind-the-scenes shots of our graveyard being set-up for combat!

As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

Our 3D Character Artist spent last week refining the blocked out shapes of our newest heavy armour set, and transforming them into finished pieces.

They then created a set of sculpted decals that will be used to detail the armour with. The bonus of these is that they can all be duplicated and warped into shape onto various parts of the armour.

Our Artist is currently working on higher level versions of this armour set at the moment, so for now, here’s how the sculpt of the lowest level version is looking in ZBrush:

Animation

Last week, our Animator created a howling animation pack for the Wolvajins, which was then imported into the engine. Wolvajins are humanoid wolves that travel in packs and are known for being cunning, precise, and very, very quick. Check out their profile card below, along with their new animations:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Wolvajinhowl-1.m4v

In addition to this, NPC Merchants in the settlement’s marketplace had their meshes and animations updated - this is still a work in progress, but here’s how it all looks so far:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Mesrhcant01-1.m4v

A new ‘sit on bench’ idle was also created for our Blue Melmees! These awesome creatures appear as both playable characters and enemies in the game, and have the ability to turn into Savage Bears when provoked. Lucky for us, this particular Blue Melmee was pretty chill when we were working on the new idle:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Melmeechiilin-1.m4v

Environment Design

The Lucky Fountain set piece we showed you in our last devlog continued to be improved last week. Our Environment Artist is currently reworking the entire effect to be more accurate in terms of splash size and how the water would realistically fall.

So, as they worked on that in the background, our Artist also began creating a new set piece for another event in the game: Wishing Well, which gives you the option of gaining a lot of gold, at the peril of enemies spawning immediately.

Whilst creating the well, our Artist also began upgrading the tiling wood material. This work involved using a real wood texture instead of blending multiple textures together to mimic a wood texture. This will be tweaked a bit more next week, but you can already see the difference this upgrade has made in these two shots of the Wishing Well:

Wishing Well using the old wood material
Wishing Well using the new wood material
Spiked fences using the new wood material
Watchtowers using the new wood material

World Environment

In the world environment last week, further improvements were made to the new graveyard set piece we showed you recently. These improvements led us to begin blocking out a series of shots in this misty necropolis in order to facilitate an epic combat scene! Check out the progress:

A new character selection screen was also created in the Environment Design department last week. This will be where you choose which character to brave your journey with. We chose the Knight for this demonstration, but you could also select from thirteen other character races:

Visual FX

More VFX reworks for abilities were carried out last week, namely for level 1 spells and visuals for physical hits and healing effects. Here’s a look at what was worked on:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/CombatProwess-Rework.mp4

Combat Prowess: Used by the Knight, attacks cost 50% less Energy and the player takes 25% less Damage from all enemies

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/ArcaneBurstTouchUp.mp4

Arcane Burst: Used by the Parakaw Astromancer, this deals Arcane Damage to a specific enemy target, as well as to all enemies within a 1 tile radius of that target

In addition to ability visuals, our VFX Artist also worked on a world displacement shader for ice, snow, and moss in the game:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/MeshDistanceMoss1.mp4

Moss Shader

Ice Shader
Snow Shader

Sound Design

Our Sound Artist spent most of last week doing engine work, resulting in some really useful updates being made. First off, they set up a load of Sound Classes for better control over all the sounds in the game.

An example of how we can use these Sound Classes is to separate interior and exterior ambience so that when players walk into a building, the outside ambience has a low pass filter and volume reduction applied to it, making the weather sound like it’s coming from outside.

Our Sound Artist then went through and reclassified all the sounds in the game to match the new Sound Classes. Not only will this give us more control, it will also facilitate a lot of potential for mixing sounds like ambience, music, and dialogue throughout the game.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/physical-hits-1.mp4

VFX for physical hits in the game

Programming

Last week was about continuing to gain footage for both the dungeon and settlement portions of our upcoming game trailer. Work on this involved:

  • Updating environments for dungeons that appear in previously captured footage by adding/removing lighting props, as well as filling holes in the outer walls
  • Discussing the optimum workflow for selecting useful footage and additional options
  • Refactoring animation controller functionality to C++. Converting Blueprint code to C++ for this class means updating it in the future will be made a lot simpler
  • Beginning to update settlement shots where environment improvements were made

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Healing-Aura-rework.mp4

VFX for generic healing effects

Golang Server

Finally, after a lot of bug fixing, the new Golang server is as up-and-ready as it’ll ever be without getting fully integrated into the client. The success of this was measured by our fabulous ‘testclientboi’ player dummy, who has made his way through many a dungeon and allowed himself to be attacked by all sorts of creatures so we can test their AI and abilities.

The Golang team has now moved on to working with loot items in the game. There's a couple of things that have to be decided for this work to continue, such as how items are stored and how they're randomly rolled. Each decision comes with a different set of positives and negatives for how fast we can query and generate them, so we'll begin working on implementing whatever we decide next week!

That’s it for this week’s devlog - see you next Tuesday!

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