Weekly Devlog: Gameplay Footage and a New Fortune Teller Tent

Development
March 23, 2021
November 18, 2021

This week's devlog is filled with new Forest Druid animations, a load of awesome sound effects, a sneak peak at WIP VFX for dungeon entrances, and some brand new game footage that was shot for our upcoming trailer. But the highlight of last week was the new fortune teller tent we created for our settlement, complete with crystals, orbs and a majestic Parakaw! As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

Animation

We’re kicking things off with some updates from our Animator, who adjusted the timing for a few basic attacks and impair animations that were moving too quickly. But the most noteworthy update from last week were the new moves created for our Forest Druid’s special abilities. These will be showcased properly in the gameplay trailer we’re creating, but for now, here’s a look at how the new Forest Druid animations are coming along:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Fd-2Hattacks-1.m4v

Environment Design

Working on the Settlement

The settlement continued to get set dressed with new props and buildings last week in an effort to get it looking presentable for the gameplay trailer!

So, in addition to some cobblestone roads and a new watchtower (complete with a nice extension for those poor Guards on the night shift), we created a fortune teller tent. Decorated with candles, crystals, books, and various wooden props, this new set dressing will add some character to the settlement and tie it in with the fantastical underpinnings of Erendorn. We’re currently working on a basic hovering animation for the candles, but check out the progress so far:

Sometimes, it’s the small details that really help to bring a project or concept together - details like old assets getting optimised, or changes being made to the Merchant Tent’s floor. Both of these updates were made last week, in addition to the updates made to glass, liquid and emissive materials so that they look better in the settlement’s improved lighting.

But our favourite of the small details that were added last week was the creation of some new tablecloths! We think these will be vital in establishing a homey atmosphere in the settlement, which we want to feel cosy and well lived-in.

Marvelous Designer was used for the cloth simulation of these tablecloths. We then used Substance Painter to create a greyscale base colour, which we’ll be able to change to any colour using the material parameters. This allows us to create loads of different variations so that every area feels unique. Check out all settlement progress shots below!

New tablecloths
Larger Watchtowers
The Watchtower extension for Guards
New cobblestone roads
Improved flooring in the Merchant Tent
Improved flooring in the Merchant Tent

Visual FX

Our VFX Artist started working on the dungeon entrance effects that they concepted a few weeks ago. They’re still in their early stages, but here’s a glimpse of how they look so far:

Sound Design

We’ve got a ton of new sound effects to show you this week! In addition to a selection of snake noises and slime vocalisations (yes, there are sentient slime creatures in Depths of Erendorn), our Sound Artist worked on some SFX for the Hydra Plant, a dangerous enemy in the game that gives ‘plant-based diet’ a whole new meaning:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Plants-Vine-Attack.wav

Hydra Plant vine attack

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Plants-Hit-Reacts.wav

Hydra Plant hit reaction

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Plant_Hydra-Vocals-Draft.wav

Hydra Plant vocals

Our Sound Artist also recorded a lot of environment sounds last week, all of which we’ll be able to use throughout the game. In particular, there was a big focus on water sources, with our Artist recording meltwater from 0.5m, 1m, 2m, 3m and 5m distances:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Meltwater-Stream-under-Frozen-Lake-Gentle-2m.wav

Meltwater stream under frozen lake, 2m

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Meltwater-Drip-intense-0.5m.wav

Meltwater drip, 0.5m, intense

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Meltwater-Drip-0.5m.wav

Meltwater drip, 0.5m, gentle

We’re hoping to implement these into the game for streams and rivers so that we can have a nice blend of tones as players walk towards or away from water - rather than simply having the volume increase or decrease. The meltwater also creates amazing drips as it breaks through the ice and falls from icicles, which will hopefully sound great inside the caves!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Snakes-Selection.wav

Selection of snake sounds

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/Slime-Vocalisations.wav

Slime Vocalisations

The Leeching Slime is just one of the many different types of Slime enemies that will appear in the game

Programming

Golang Server

Almost the entirety of last week was taken up with transferring old abilities into the new Golang server, so there’s not a huge amount to update you on there! Not a huge amount of updates, no, but still some - for example, combat architecture has been finished, which has enabled ability effects, statuses, and the beginnings of triggers!

Work on the Trailer

As we mentioned in our last devlog, we’ve begun working on a new cinematic trailer for the game, so a lot of our devs were busy working on that last week. Our Animator worked on new animations, our VFX Artist fixed up some spells and positioned some effects, and our Environment Artist made some foliage changes to reduce shadow artifacting and LODing.

Since we’re using UE4 Sequencer to create the trailer, a lot of last week was also dedicated to researching methods of capturing in-game footage in a way that allows us to make use of Sequencer. As dungeon gameplay in Depths of Erendorn takes place in procedural maps, the act of creating and recording sequences becomes more challenging.

https://youtu.be/YYpMq9gOhjs

https://youtu.be/IKQzD0GHv-w

While methods for achieving these shots have been explored, they’ve proved to be complex and rather unproductive. Luckily, our Programmers devised a better technical solution that will make the whole process a lot simpler, as well as add some great debug utility - but we’ll talk more about this next week!

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

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