It has been a busy week for the team. The 3D modelling team have completed the retopology process and added a cape to the new Human Knight armour. Additionally, some texture updates came to the initial area along with some atmospheric audio for the Graveyard event. During this time, the wizards of coding have been updating visual features and squashing bugs within the AI's code. Finally, the VFX team has continued to refine the effects for the Twilight Elf Assassin's Aura. As always, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on the Depths of Erendorn. Alternatively, join our Discord for all the latest! - now let’s get into it!
With the retopology process nearing completion, the team realised they had not added a cape to the rear of the new Human Knight armour. Adding the piece of fabric to the back of the armour, attached to the shoulder plates, now completes the model. The team would also retopologise the cape and finish the boots throughout the week, completing the process. Next in the pipeline for the armour will be UV packing. This process will have the team flatten the model down to a 2D image, this will make texturing the armour much simpler. The team will finalise this process and then start adding some colour to the protective gear. Examples of the finalised cape and retopology process can be seen below.
Set Piece Design
The set design team has been working deep within the engine, making improvements to a variety of materials throughout the initial settlement. As with many aspects of game development, the team have been tackling problems as they appear and once one is fixed two more will pop up. The team has had no trouble with these issues though, squashing bugs as quickly as they arise. The main targets for improvements are the leather on books, paper and scrolls, carpets and log ends. Starting with the books, the team has updated the texture on the leather cover whilst reducing the details within the pages to give a simplified look that is much less busy. The team would go on to work on the wood texture that is used within the log walls and tables. Realising that the textures were a bit off, a lighter shade of brown has been added where the wood appears to have been cut. Now, these textures blend more realistically throughout the asset. Examples of all the newly updated textures can be seen below.
This week has been spent updating some of the remaining visual features not yet ported for World Combat; Ability Targeting, Standard and Aggressive Enemy Intended Targets and Combat Conclusion UI are all now functioning in Dungeons and World Combat circumstances. Some additional work completed by the client-side team can be seen below.
- Ability Controller Targeting in World Combat - All kinds of abilities now update their target visuals as players are selected/deselected in World Combat.
- Added the new meshes to the Dungeon Door Set Piece.
- Updated Rotation Steppers to facilitate the new rotation logs-in abilities.
- Refactored the Combat Conclusion execution order to prevent premature triggering of Victory or Defeat messages and Combat clearing.
- Standard enemies now display their targets next to their portrait when targeted, players can once again see how enemies intend to attack during Combat.
- Aggressive enemies now show updates to their intended targets based on distance as players move around.
- Adjusted character selection screen so that exiting returns to the login screen rather than closing the game, also reenabled missing scrolling controls for the character list.
- Vendor refreshes are now functional and correctly update timers and item icons.
- Adjusted the layout of the adventure progression window to make character information more central.
- Character class portraits now correctly display in the adventure progression window whether there has been progress made or not.
- Fixed a layout issue with inventory, vendors and progression windows misaligning empty item slots.
- Implemented a new string hashing algorithm.
- Fixed dungeon backdrops not being removed at the end of a dungeon.
This week, the server team has been focussing on AI again, ironing out some of their more niche, less common bugs that were making them act not like themselves. Standard AI had recently gained the tendency to do 'drive bys', where they would move up to their target, attack them, and then run off, sometimes even attacking a second player! We figured out the cause was that they were being forced by the code to choose a new target every cycle of their AI logic, even if their original target was still valid and attackable.
Next up, was a bug that caused AI to not correctly select their new, temporary target, when their main target is obscured, such as surrounded by other entities, invisible, or other states. Finally, a bug that allowed an entity to leave a tile in combat without removing its reserved status from the tile, causing many tiles to permanently be reserved by entities that have long since moved from them, was fixed. Additional work from the server-side team can be seen below.
- Implemented a new string hashing algorithm.
- Loot drops no longer scale with party size and is strictly XP based.
- Added minimum power level of 40 to loot drops.
- Increased power levels of item drops.
- Increased loot drop chance to 100% to test items.
- Dropped items should no longer have stat entries that give 0 of the stat.
- Refactored the loot generation code.
- Re-wrote the code to get the nearest tile to a location.
- Adjusted the start of combat code.
- Improved combat area logging functions.
The sound team has implemented several new things in the world of Erendorn this week. Starting with some ambient sounds for the graveyard event that spawns within the dungeons and open world. Taking similarities from the cave audio we have heard in previous weeks, the team has layers of some typical spooky sounds over the lonely and empty sounds of the caves. Examples of the sounds heard include; Crows cawing, birds tweeting and the sound of twigs breaking under a mysterious entity. All these together bring a mysterious and spooky atmosphere to the Graveyard. The team would also work on a couple of user interface effects. The team would start with a page-turning effect that will be useful feedback to the players as they go through menus. Several varieties of this effect were created to keep the audio from sounding boring. A metal swish has also been created for feedback within menus, indicating the changing of bladed weapons by the player. Examples of all the audio created by the team throughout the week can be heard below.
The VFX team have been continuing to refine and improve the Twilight Elf Aura. Taking all the feedback over the last few weeks, the team has started to hone in on the finalised effect. Now the aura effect for the Twilight Elf Assassin has combined many aspects of the two that have come before it. Now the shadowy smoke effect emanates from the entire body of the Elf, leaving a trail as they move around. The colours of these effects have stayed consistent throughout the process, portraying the Assassin as one with shadows. Additionally, throughout this process, the team has been researching some new techniques that will bring more dynamic visual effects in the future! Examples of the aura visual effects for the Twilight Elf Assassin can be seen below.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of February yet?!