March Devlog | Week #3 | No. 219

Development
March 16, 2023
March 16, 2023

It has been a busy week for our developers! The 3D modelling team has started adding some texture to the Human Knight armour! During this time, the wizards of coding have been focusing on bug fixing within the user interface and movement in the open world. Additionally, the sound team has been creating some audio for win and loss states along with generic magic effects. Furthermore, the animation has been getting into the technical aspect of updating rigs and finally, the VFX team has been creating some new concepts for the newest selection of visual effects! As always, join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn. Alternatively, join our Discord for all the latest! - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

The 3D modelling team has started the texturing for the Human Knight protective gear. Starting with the base materials for the many different aspects of this armour, the team have taken great care to get an accurate representation of each texture. Smaller details have been added to ground these textures in realism such as; each of the fabrics within the model has the image of threads running throughout, scuffs and deterioration on the metal plates and groves added to the leather belt. All of these details also continue the theme of opulence that is conveyed within the armour as many of the pieces appear clean and well-kept by their wearer. Examples of the initial run of textures that the team has created for the protective gear can be seen below.

Starting textures for Human Knight armour

Programming

Client

This week has been about fixing several UI bugs that have arisen from some of the new features added in recent weeks, focusing on timing and when certain UI elements require updating.

  • Updated how the 'Player has ended turn' checkmarks reset and when the turn button is reactivated in the Turn Display.
  • Updated execution order of death popup to trigger on character ready for clear (post Death animation).
  • Added a close button and optional function for dismissing the session change on player death to allow dead players to spectate an ongoing Adventure.
  • Updated Character Creation to make use of the same tooltips used in combat.
  • Updated the ability descriptions data table to remove info that already appears in other data fields and fix damage type text tags.
  • Fixed a bug that prevented sounds from being played at the correct location, footstep SFX is now properly spatialised.
  • Updated Entity Target widget to accept players and party members for display.
  • Updated Overhead UI relevancy to always display the player and their party members at any range.
  • Added a SoundProfile asset for UI sounds to allow new sounds to easily be implemented and invoked via blueprints.
  • Created a template for the NPC version of Dwarven Smite.
  • Updated camera relevancy checks for Overhead UI when possessing the camera to prevent a delay when joining Sessions.
  • Equipping an item should grant you the stats on the items and the display should now update to reflect the change.
  • Entity stat panels now update as they should, they had an issue where the Max stat would always change to the current MaxMovement State no matter which stat it was being changed.
  • Added some missing event log files.
  • Fixed the adventure progress gains showing doubled gains after ending an adventure.
  • Updated equip slots in the player inventory to allow context menus again.
  • Removed several redundant functions and events that were still present from previous iterations of the context menus in the inventory screen. Likely won't have a noticeable impact on performance.
  • Added highlight effects to hovered context menu options.

Server

This week, the server team has tackled some underlying problems with movement in the open world, causing invalid entity locations to be assigned and 'teleporting' entities to the coordinate 0,0, a term we dubbed 'beaching' because of the fact there's a beach at that location! While this was being worked on, a miniature rework was done on the code responsible for checking the players' distances from roaming enemies. Previously, a simple short range check on every group's average location against every player's location was done, with the new method now being a multi-layered system to do a general distance check first to save time, then the more accurate (and time-consuming) entity to entity distance check once the general check is passed. Additional work from the server-side team can be seen below.

  • Fixed an issue stopping the session from closing down and cleaning up the threads for that session.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing sessions to get stuck in a closing state.
  • Refactored the Inventory based commands.
  • Fixed an issue that caused Health to be added to shields instead of Max Health.
  • Increased the loot value when finding random loot chests in the world.
  • Added a function to fill an entity's stats.
  • Adjusted the item stats calculations.
  • After equipping or unequipping items the Entity stats are now validated to avoid issues of stats going negative or above the maximum in edge cases.
  • Fixed an issue which was causing movements to teleport vast distances across the zone.
  • Updated the vendor refresh timer to 1h intervals.

Sound Design

Throughout the week, the sound team has been working on some audio that will be used to indicate whether a player has won or lost during their combat. Some contrasts can be heard within this audio, due to the conditions that would need to be met for them to be played. The win condition sound gives a similar feeling to a chest full of gold being open. Utilising some shining metallic sounds the team gives the impression that once heard the player will be rewarded. On the other hand, the loss condition sound uses more echos and bass to convey the deep emotion that can happen during a failed combat. Additionally, the team would work on some generic magic audio that will be utilised by the spell casters of Erendorn. Within the variety of sounds, several effects such as chimes, reverbs and echoes have been used to convey a multitude of different abilities. Examples of all the audio created throughout the week can be seen below.

Animation

The animation team has been working on some technical aspects of their movement cycles throughout the week. To start, the team set out to check all the imported creatures that have been implemented into the engine, and ensure they are working as intended. Getting into the nitty-gritty of the movement cycles, the team would start with the Wasp. Having some issues with the Stun animation, which was floating above the ground, the team moved the root of the model down to the floor. The root of the model is the joint that all other bones span from. After this movement cycle was updated, the team would also need to update the death animation. This along with a quick adjustment to the blueprint would make the Wasp ready for gameplay! Updates would also come to the Frog enemy throughout the week. Working on some optimisations the team would ensure that all the frogs now share the same rig and animations. The team would also tweak the rig as some of the joints within the chest had an incorrect orientation. Examples of the updated animations and rigs can be seen below.

Wasp's updated movement cycles

Frog rig update

Visual Effects

As the team prepare for the latest build of Depths of Erendorn, some time has been spent working on some concepts for a new selection of visual effects! Starting with concepts of four new visual effects, the team creates a base that they can work from once they get into the engine. These designs have been created with a focus on texture and shape, giving each a distinct look and making it instantly recognisable within gameplay! Although they are unique in design, each of these effects follows aspects of magic that have become familiar within Erendorn's aesthetics, such as; the colour green being used for supporting abilities along with purples and golds being used for arcane spells. The team will continue to work on these effects and start to bring them into the world of Erendorn throughout the coming weeks, examples of the effects created throughout the last week can be seen below.

VFX concepts

That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of February yet?! 

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