Weekly DevLog: Set Dressing the Settlement & Working On a New Trailer

Development
March 15, 2021
November 18, 2021

This week’s devlog features updates from the game’s first settlement, which has been decked out with bunting, buildings and bakeries. We also give you a sneaky behind-the-scenes look at how we're creating our new game trailer, so stick around to see that! As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

Animation

A lot of character animations were updated last week, from adjusting the Knight’s skirt mesh and fixing its mesh penetration with the pants, to cleaning up animations for some wild doggos. But one of our favourite animations of the week was the Watertarg Excursionist’s ‘Spinning Kick’ ability, which now has start and end points, rather than looping in a circle. This made it a lot more visible - check it out:

Watertarg Excursionist's 'Spinning Kick' animation

Environment Design

World Environment

As always, there were quite a few optimisations made to the world environment last week. We:

  • Tweaked and improved the RVT and blend material for better normal details on blended assets
  • Arranged lighting around the settlement and attempted to fix the water spline system
  • Optimised foliage and removed shadows from smaller foliage pieces

Creating Assets in Blender

Our Junior Environment Artist spent last week learning Blender, which has been really fun and intuitive. To get into the swing of it, they started by creating a few simple assets, including:

  • Wicker baskets, for use in settlement set dressing
  • Bunting, to be used with spline blueprints in the market areas

Set Dressing the Settlement

For the past couple of weeks, our 3D Modeller and Environment Artists have been pulling together to set dress the game’s first settlement. The goal here is to make everything look homely and lived-in with the addition of various props, buildings and characters.

Last week, they blocked out areas where resident NPCs will live. This led to the building of some small houses that could be added to the settlement, with each one having a somewhat unique appearance to avoid everything looking too samey. Eventually, when these are all finished, we’ll be replacing the existing blocked out areas with these houses.

But, the most important update made to the settlement last week was the addition of a bakery stand! Here are some screenshots of the settlement so far:

Programming

Making a Game Trailer With UE4 Sequencer

So, we’ve been keeping something under wraps for the last couple of weeks, and we’re excited to finally share it with you! The team has been working on creating a new game trailer that shows Depths of Erendorn in all its current glory - hence why we've been fleshing out the settlement!

A lot of the VFX and animation updates we’ve shown you in recent devlogs will appear in this new trailer, as well as some of our playable characters as they explore the settlement! To create the cinematics, as well as to preview the settlement and dungeon gameplay, our Programmers have been using UE4 Sequencer:

  • Take Recorder: The Take Recorder gives us the ability to record player input that we can then make use of in Sequencer. This means we can control the cinematic 'actors' and get exactly what we want without having to animate characters by hand.
  • Gamepad Mapping: To allow us to get better performances from our Take Recorder 'actors', gamepad mappings have been added. This is helpful because using a joystick allows for smoother analogue movements than a keyboard can achieve.
  • Runtime Sequence Workflow: Methods for recording gameplay footage while making use of Sequencer have been explored and have highlighted a few ways in which some small changes will allow us to have better control over the flow of action we're attempting to record.

https://youtu.be/8Lbcz8aPwBo

The above clip was made by recording each character independently
This is what the work looks like in-engine

Golang Server

Last week saw significant progress on the combat part of the Golang server. While nothing has changed for the end user yet, many architectures and frameworks have been made to be able to handle all the abilities, armour and damage types, turn types, and statuses during combat:

  • A global random function has been made, allowing anywhere in the script to create a random number between x and y at any point
  • The attack command has been fully made, meaning that players and enemies can now basic attack each other
  • The 'Take Damage' command has been fully made, so players and enemies can now be hit by any kind of damage, with any shields, resistances, armour and resilience being accounted for
  • The State Manager Architecture has been created, which allows the server to handle and communicate what states a player or enemy has
  • The Start Combat command is under way, handling everything that needs to occur when combat begins.
  • The New Turn command is also under way, handling everything that happens throughout a player or enemy's turn

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

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