March Devlog | Week #4 | No. 269

Development
April 8, 2024
April 12, 2024

Over the past week, the Depths of Erendorn development teams have been hard at work across various fronts, bringing the game's world to life with new enhancements and refinements. The 3D modelling team has completed their work on the Revenant model, adding intricate details to enhance its skeletal appearance before moving on to retopology and texturing. Simultaneously, the set piece design team has focused on diversifying loot appearance with a set of chests while crafting barrels to decorate settlements and surrounding areas. The client-side team has been dedicated to enhancing player inventories and updating the animation system to improve overall gameplay.

Meanwhile, the server-side team has fine-tuned adventure code and rectified issues with enemy movements, further optimising server-side functionalities. The sound team has continued their work on new abilities, infusing them with captivating sound effects, while the environment team has enhanced the game environment through prop generation and material optimisation. The animation team has updated generic skills and explored new animation tools, and the VFX team has completed a variety of level 2 abilities for spellcasters, showcasing their 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 wrapped up their work on the Revenant model, focusing on adding intricate details to enhance its skeletal appearance. Clearer chains and bone plating have been meticulously incorporated onto the shoulders, while the cape and tunic have received a smoother finish, further refining the ethereal quality of this menacing enemy. With these final touches completed, the team will shift their attention to retopology and texturing, ensuring that this skeletal being is fully prepared for integration into the game engine. An example of the work completed throughout the last week can be seen below.

Finalised sculpt for the Revenant

Set Piece Design

The set piece design team has been incredibly productive over the past week, focusing on diversifying the appearance of loot found throughout Erendorn by completing a set of chests. These chests not only add visual variety but also provide adventurers with a quick indication of the type of loot they've discovered during their journeys. The inclusion of iron and gold trim highlights the distinctions between different chests, adding depth to the game's loot system. Additionally, the team crafted a range of barrels to decorate the initial settlement and surrounding areas, applying various levels of destruction to reflect the dynamic nature of the game world. These efforts contribute to creating a visually captivating and immersive environment for players to explore in Depths of Erendorn. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Variety of chests finalised for engine

Variety of barrels completed and ready for the engine

Programming

Client

Over the past week, the client-side team has dedicated their efforts to enhancing player inventories by updating the UI and introducing new functionalities. Simultaneously, they have been engaged in planning a project-wide animation upgrade to improve overall gameplay experience. Additionally, the team focused on enabling combat rewards to be looted by interacting with containers in the game world. This involved updating the animation system by revisiting existing animation controllers, integrating new functions introduced in recent weeks, and reassigning character-specific triggers to align with the revamped system. These concerted efforts underscore the team's commitment to refining gameplay mechanics and enhancing user interaction within Depths of Erendorn. Additional work completed by the team can be seen below.

  • Recently player inventories have been reworked to allow for Containers, a way of subdividing sections of a player's inventory for different purposes, such as items currently held and owned items that remain at the settlement during adventures, updated player inventory to allow containers to to be displayed.
  • Player items held in Containers now have positions within the inventory and can be moved by the player.
  • Updated other inventory facing UI to interact with Containers.
  • Fixed a bug causing direction abilities to invert on one axis during targeting.
  • Split all animations into subcategories and updated an Animation Controller Blueprint to function using the new subcategories.
  • Added a Container Submanager to track and interact with containers in the world.
  • Added Container Loot command as an intermediary action between finding a container and obtaining the items within.
  • Added a Container Loot Panel for displaying items found in an opened Container with the ability to 'Loot All'.

Server

This week, the server-side team continued their efforts to refine adventure code to better align with desired functionalities. This included addressing directional selected abilities like shadow beam and cleave to accommodate the altered direction mechanics in 3D space. Additionally, they resolved crashes occurring when joining ongoing combats and adjusted combat initiation distances for smoother gameplay experiences. Cautiously, the team re-enabled enemy roaming and wandering in zones, albeit encountering bugs that require further attention. The previous week's focus was on rectifying issues with enemy movements and addressing performance concerns caused by the switch to the new 3D nav system. Efforts were made to resolve concurrency issues related to the world chunks map, with mutex control implemented for controlled access. Troubleshooting and resolutions were also made for NPC group activation and retrieval issues. Furthermore, attention was given to player inventories to ensure smooth item movement and persistence between sessions, alongside improvements to loot distribution functions utilising the new round-robin loot balancer code. These comprehensive efforts underscore the team's commitment to optimising server-side functionalities in Depths of Erendorn. Additional work completed by the team can be seen below!

  • Event Spawn location tweaks to improve performance.
  • Updated enemy spawning logic.
  • Optimised enemy spawning.
  • Adjusted container interactions.
  • Refactored ProgressionData.
  • Investigated server performance issues.
  • Improved container handling code.
  • Implemented LootContainer method and command.
  • Updated Stable branch of newer code.

Sound Design

Throughout the past week, the Sound Team at Depths of Erendorn continued their work on new abilities, focusing on adapting and creating sound effects (SFX) to complement the latest visual effects (VFX) designs. Drawing from their earlier recordings of snowy wilderness and forest settings, the team infused these abilities with a mystical aura, enhancing the immersive experience for players. Completed abilities include Sleep, Fear, Confusion, Arcane Mine, Mystic Recharge, Magic Shield, Jolt, and Empower Weapon. Each ability is uniquely defined by its accompanying audio, providing knowledgeable adventurers with auditory cues that add depth and dimension to their gameplay experience. The team's dedication to creating cohesive and captivating audio elements ensures that every aspect of the game contributes to the rich and immersive world of Depths of Erendorn. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen in the video below.

Environment Art

Over the past week, the environment team has been highly productive, engaging in a range of tasks to enhance the game environment of Depths of Erendorn. They initiated prop idea generation sessions, conducted planning and research, and generated concepts to enrich the visual landscape of the game. Additionally, the team implemented master material optimisation changes to both Standard_MM and Blend_MM, ensuring optimal performance and efficiency. They also dedicated time to investigating runtime VT errors within the engine, addressing issues promptly to maintain a seamless gaming experience. Furthermore, the team created a mood board to guide the next stage of prop generation, laying the groundwork for future developments. These collective efforts demonstrate the team's commitment to creating a vibrant and immersive world for players to explore in Depths of Erendorn.

Mood boar for future props

Animation

Throughout the past week, the animation team has been diligently updating generic skills and spells, enhancing the gameplay experience in Depths of Erendorn. The team embarked on various tasks, including creating new animations for certain skills, cleaning them up, and seamlessly importing them into the engine. Additionally, they assigned existing animations to other generic skills and spells, optimising animation reuse directly within the engine. To streamline the process further, the team developed IK rigs and an IK Retargeter, offering flexibility in animation optimisation. Furthermore, they explored the rigging and animation tools in UE 5.4, noting a significant reduction in rigging time compared to previous versions. This advancement promises to expedite animation creation and adjustment for both gameplay and cinematics in the future, ultimately enhancing the overall gaming experience for players.

Visual Effects

Throughout the past week, the VFX team at Depths of Erendorn completed a variety of level 2 abilities for spellcasters. The abilities, including Decay, Withering Blast, Healing Pulse, Fortification, Sharpening Restoration, Spear of Light, Weakening Veil, and Static Impact, showcase a diverse range of visual effects tailored to different player characters. These effects not only impress with their striking visuals but also contribute to enhancing the gameplay experience by adding depth and immersion to the world of Erendorn. With these abilities completed, the team is now poised to move on to the next phase of development, ensuring that each aspect of the game continues to captivate and engage players. Examples of the work completed by the VFX team throughout the week can be seen below.

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

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