March Devlog | Week #4 | No. 121

Development
March 30, 2021
January 13, 2022

We’ve got tons of game development updates to show you from last week, including some exclusive shots of the Merchant Tent interior (two words: potion shop), a look at our worldbuilding process using Houdini, and a sample of some ambient sounds for the settlement marketplace. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

Animation

The Forest Druid animations we showed you in our last devlog were imported into the engine last week, along with the Storm Elf and Twilight Elf Merchants, one of whom was needed at the Potion Shop (more on that later).

Our Animator then updated the run cycles for the boar and big cats, including the Mountain Lion and the Swiftstrike Jaguar. Look at 'em go:

https://depthsoferendorn.blob.core.windows.net/assets/Grp1-Runcycleupdate-1.m4v

Environment Design

A lot of set dressing pieces were created for and added to the settlement last week, including:

  • A new hanging lantern
  • A new barrel with a removable lid so that items can be put inside
  • A modular bookshelf that we’ll use to furnish the Merchant Tent with
  • A spiked fence with ropes that will serve as a line of defence around the settlement

In addition to these, our Junior Environment Artist also spent some time optimising the scrolls. They ended up adding a tubed version of a scroll that was super low poly, allowing it to be used many different times throughout the Merchant Tent.

New bookcase
New hanging lantern
Barrel with removable lid
New spiked fence

Last week, our 3D Modeller continued working on set dressing for the settlement. First off, they decorated the weapon and armour shops that appear inside the Merchant Tent. Since these are right next to each other, different coloured table cloths were used so that players can easily distinguish them.

Work on the Merchant Tent also included:

  • Set dressing an accessories shop, where we’ve placed a couple of Forest Druids
  • Set dressing a scroll shop, which is currently being managed by a rather lofty Parakaw
  • Set dressing a potion shop, which has been staffed with some more Parakaws and a Twilight Elf

The Merchant Tent is pretty much all done now, pending some changes for optimisation. Players will be able to mosey around Merchant Tents like these and buy, trade, or sell goods. Here’s all the shops we’ve made so far:

A look through the Merchant Tent
The weapon shop, manned by an Earthen Dwarf
The neighbouring armour shop
The accessories shop, complete with Forest Druids
An accessories shop
A potion shop, where some Parakaws are working on a new brew
A potion shop desk, staffed by a very happy Twilight Elf
A scroll shop, owned by this Parakaw

Last up, the Environment Design team decided to give the settlement map a little facelift by adding more verticality and interest to the landscape. Here are some progress shots of the creation process using Houdini:

Visual FX

Last week, VFX continued to be worked on for one of our dungeon entrances. With this, most of the week was actually spent on changing the emitter origins to make sure that all effects spawn at the appropriate heights. Before this, some were spawning way above or way below the intended spots - but we got it all working in the end:

Sound Design

The highlight from Sound Design last week is the ambient sounds that were created for the marketplace in the settlement. Various different SFX were recorded and edited for this so that the marketplace sounds like it’s filled with activity.

Our Sound Artist then created the loops and procedural spawns for these sound effects. They’re currently working on implementing them in a way that creates a natural and immersive 3D environment. For now, here’s a selection of some of the sounds being used inside the market - fun fact: it’s actually our Sound Artist’s voice that you can hear in these samples, but this will slowly be replaced by many different voices as development continues!

https://depthsoferendorn.blob.core.windows.net/assets/SFX_AMB_MarketTEST02.wav

Marketplace ambient sounds

Programming

Golang Server

Finally, after two long, gruelling weeks, converting code for the new server is complete, AND 98 ability effects have been successfully copied over to Golang!

There’s not all that much left to do now before the full conversion of the game to the other server, so our Programmers are definitely relieved to be having a little breather!

Another example of dungeon entrance VFX

Recording Gameplay Footage

Last week, as a result of trying to improve the workflow for recording gameplay footage, we devised a system for generating and watching replays for dungeon gameplay!

By saving the events of a dungeon run to a replay file as they occur, we’re able to recreate and rewatch previous games using the DoE Replay Controller. Adding this feature has been particularly exciting because the potential uses for it are huge; not only are we able to set up action sequences for exciting gameplay footage, we’re also able to debug, as well as save and share our favourite games.

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

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