Last week has been a busy one for development as the team begins optimising the Zentragal model and testing animations! In other areas the environment team has created new points of interest in Erendorn, and the Sound team tackle vocals and attack sounds for the Deadly Thrasher, Enteledon, and Yeti! As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!
The optimisation has begun on the Zentragal model as our artists wait for concept designs for the rear abdomen. Using a method called retopologising our 3D artist has taken the high poly count of the sculpted model and created an easier to work with mesh. This will help when the model needs to be deformed and moved around by the animation team. While also making certain tasks, like unwrapping and texturing the model, much simpler. Exciting things to come from the modelling team and our eight-legged friend!
Set Piece Design
Our Set Piece design team has been working on some more city props last week, creating these exquisite wardrobes, instrument stands, and braziers. These models will join the hundreds of others that will populate the cities of Erendorn, breathing life into the many areas players can explore.
Last week the programming team has been updating the Client to be able to handle and run Session Updates, previously, while in a Dungeon, the client parses and performs Combat Updates sent by the Server. The Client is now able to do this in the open world. Using Session Updates to give us the framework to add functions to each kind of action that can be performed in a Settlement or Zone. Some other work on the client includes:
- Modified the Game State Updater and Action Director to function for both Combat and Session Updates.
- The two classes responsible for handling the parsing and execution of updates now exist separately for Sessions and Combats, allowing updates to come through specific channels and to be better organised relating to their purpose.
- Handling Joining and Leaving Settlements.
- Created Logs and Steppers (the objects used to perform the variety of message types) for players joining and leaving Sessions.
Slight change of pace for the server team now that they are beginning to get to a fairly polished state for the current code in the game. Some focus on the AI to ensure they run more optimally (in terms of time and computing power) has been done. The team has also been fixing some bugs to do with the Turn's Start triggering active effects multiple times, and AI sometimes ending their turn prematurely. Some of the other work completed on the server is as follows:
- Session now starts correctly
- Added command processing to world sessions
- Zone data service now correctly loads zone navigation data on startup
- Fixed logging bugs introduced from last weeks refactoring
- Created and started daily backups of the development database
- World Join command fix
- World Leave created and implemented - This allows us to despawn entities from an ongoing session, this happens when a player disconnects and the leave timer expires.
- Leave manager created and implemented - On the first version of this leaving a world session will result in the character staying online for 2 minutes, if the player does not reconnect the character is removed from the session
- Disconnecting from a session will now result in a disconnection message in the chat
- Fixed Session log message type, this bug resulted in the client not handling the logs correctly
Continuing from last week, our sound design team have been working on more creatures that will be inhabiting the lands of Erendorn. This week they focused on vocal lines and attack sounds for the Deadly Thresher, Enteledon, and Yeti. Once in-game these will bring a rich variety to the creatures in the world and will ensure experienced adventures will be able to differentiate between monsters that may lurk in the shadows.
Enteledon vocal Sample
Deadly Thrasher Attack Sample
Deadly Thrasher Vocal Sample
Yeti Vocal Sample
It has been a busy week for the environment team as they move into new areas to create points of interest across Erendorn. Last week saw the team remove some trees across the grasslands so impressive new rock formations can be added. These groupings of rocks will create “natural pathways” for the player guiding them through the vast landscape of Erendorn. Check out the remarkable screenshots of the environment below.
Not just the grasslands are getting the makeover they deserve in the world of Erendorn. The environment team has also turned their attention to other areas that make up the vast landscape, such as this coastline. This work in progress below shows some of the variations of environment that will be available for players to explore as they play through the Depths.
Some big things coming from the animation team as our favourite spider’s new model has some fresh animations to go with it. To test some animations, the team has used the high polygon model to see if the previous animation would work as intended. From there, the team has updated the animations with better poses and overall improvements to movement making the walk cycle more in line with a true arachnid stride.
Getting both the walk cycle and the run cycle working requires new poses and emphasis in a certain area of the model. The differences in the two different animations need to be visible at a glance for players to understand the speed they are moving. In the run cycle, the model will be leaning forward with momentum more than in the walk cycle. Along with this, we can see the shoulders and arms are articulating more to make the momentum and cycle more authentic and realistic to how a creature of this size would run.
This week we welcome back our VFX artist and we are looking forward to lots of exciting work from them. Last week the team has been experimenting with the wonderful quarry area that has been created by the environment team, starting to add a waterfall into the pool at the base of the quarry. This will add some realism into the area and become a fantastic point of interest when complete. After an initial investigation into this waterfall, our VFX artist discovered a new plugin that will soon be available within UE5 that will help with this point of interest. Until this is made available our team will be focusing on character abilities through the coming weeks.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of February yet?!