Weekly DevLog: Ability Sound FX & A New Dungeon Portal

Development
May 25, 2021
November 18, 2021

Updates in this week’s devlog include a brand new dungeon portal that was created for our upcoming game trailer (more on that later), as well as the last of the sound effects for level 2 abilities! As always, join us on Instagram, Twitter, or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

Following on from the work we showed you in our last devlog, our 3D Character Artist continued refitting human character classes to the new male base mesh! Classes included the:

  • Soldiers and General: Soldiers are skilled in combat, and while most of them are too preoccupied with their duties to pay you any mind, that won’t stop them from attacking you if you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time
  • Enforcer & Royal Guard: These characters will mostly be seen patrolling the cities and settlements in the game. They’re highly trained and can pack some real Damage, so best to stay on their good side if you can
  • Bandit Outlaw: These are nefarious human outlaws who love to ambush unsuspecting travellers and steal their loot. These enemies will be particularly troublesome to deal with for lower level players who are at the earlier stages of their adventuring journey
Soldier
General
Bandit Outlaw
Enforcer Guard
Royal Gaurd

Animation

Last week, our Animator continued working on general animations for NPCs in the Tavern, including ‘Cheer’ and ‘Talk’. For this, they decided to try editing the animations from Unreal’s NPC animation pack.

Using this method, the talking NPC, for example, was edited to sit on a chair and talk. While this action may not sound too groundbreaking, it gives us much more animation variety for characters in the Tavern!

Our Animator and Character Artist then had a chat about how many characters should be added to the Tavern scene, how they should be placed, and how much scale the chairs and tables will need. They’re currently in the process of preparing all Tavern characters to be added to the scene - the aim is to make it look like a place filled with rollicking, jovial regulars!

In other news, our Animator also replaced the mesh on the Lionman who operates the butcher stall in the settlement - now it looks like a real butcher, complete with blood-smattered apron and a rather threatening knife.

The Lionman butcher

Environment Design

Last week in the Environment Department, our Artist created a new campsite set piece for Bandits in the game. These will pop up randomly throughout Erendorn and its dungeons, so try not to provoke the inhabitants if you stumble across one!

To get this set piece ready, our Artist:

  • Created two new tent meshes
  • Created a new patched leather material
  • Created a new fur rug mesh that covers more square areas

They also adjusted the fur material so that it blends into whatever terrain it's on. This was done using pixel depth offheight and slightly adjusting the mesh to curve down at the edges.

While all of this work was done in order to create the Bandit set piece, the new tent meshes, leather material, and fur rug can be used anywhere in the game! They'll also be used to create a lot of slightly varying camping set pieces, which we'll need different variations of so that nothing gets repeated too often as players explore.

Here's the Bandit camping ground!

Game Trailer

A lot of important work was carried out on the game trailer last week. First of all, the remaining parts of the storyboard were finished off, which involved nailing down some important aspects of the opening shots.

The video production team then translated the storyboard into blockout shots within the level so that they could work on the construction of all the different scenes in Sequencer. For this, they made use of the camera, camera rig rail, and crane properties to achieve specific shots planned in previous design meetings. So that these look as good as possible, our Environment Artist:

  • Set dressed areas of the opening shots, starting with large scale assets like cliffs and background mountains
  • Made changes to asset LODs for better use in cinematics, achieving much further distance views

The current trailer was then presented to the video production team, who discussed improvements. They then worked through the opening shot and its transition, plotting and navigating a flythrough that shows the best that Erendorn has to offer!

Visual FX

As you know, we’ve recently welcomed a new VFX Artist to the team (hooray!), and last week was their first full week working on Depths of Erendorn. During this time, they made a new portal effect for the game trailer, featuring ethereal mist and particle effects that spill from the mouth of a deep, dark cave... Check it out below:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/2021-05-24-15-29-44-1.mp4

Our VFX Artist also worked on getting some level three abilities concepted and approved so that they can start bringing them to life! These spells include:

  • Carve: A Damage-dealing ability that allows you to use your blade to injure opponents. We may change the name of this one, though!
  • Succumb to the Void: When you activate this, all of your normal attacks on the next turn become Void Damage - at the cost of 5 Souls...
  • Fungal Spores: This beautifully named ability releases fungal spores into the room, causing every enemy to suffer Nature Damage for two turns. During this time, all enemies also lose a bit of Health Regeneration
  • Magnetic Sphere: This allows you to summon a protective magnetic sphere to a specific tile, provoking any enemy within a two tile radius. If your magnetic sphere doesn’t get destroyed by enemies, it will last for three turns!
  • Earthen Touch: A classic Earthen Dwarf ability that lets you deal a decent amount of Earth Damage to an adjacent enemy
  • Power Surge: As the name suggests, this gives a significant boost to your stats, including Energy, Energy Regeneration, Critical Chance, and Reaction Time

Sound Design

Last week, our Sound Artist began researching and planning some new UI sounds, as well as working on a transition sound effect for when players enter the dungeons.

Additionally, sound effects for all level two abilities were completed last week! Have a listen to them all below and see how they work with the accompanying visual effects:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Hardened-Will.mp4

Hardened Will: Reduces your Strength by 20% on the next turn, but gives you back 80% of that Strength reduction as Resilience for 1 turn

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Surrounded.mp4

 Surrounded: Gives you an extra bit of Energy for every enemy that’s adjacent to you at the beginning of your turn – very useful if you ever find yourself getting swarmed!  

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Trance.mp4

Trance: Restores a little bit of Health, and a little bit more on the next turn – if you avoid getting attacked!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Warning-Shout.mp4

Warning Shout: Lets you choose an ally within a five tile radius. All Damage dealt to you both on that turn is then reduced by 35%

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Clear-Mind-V2.mp4

Clear Mind: Means that every spell you cast has a 10% chance of refunding all the Mana cost to you!

Programming

Golang Server

Now that the test client can initiate combat, most of our Programmers’ time has been taken up debugging abilities, AI, the Turn Manager, and many other oddities.

So, while there isn’t a lot to say about the Golang server, last week’s work on it was a very productive one, with many, many of these bugs getting squashed. These issues were all a result of having to write a ton of code without being able to test it before piecing it together.

In addition to some good ole bug carnage, the Golang team also created a Session Logger separate from the combat loggers. This allows for multiple combats to go on at the same time, and also separates out session logs that aren't relevant to combat. The messaging was also updated so that the client knows which combat each log refers to, as well as what type of logger was sending the update.

Also, the AI can now correctly get an enemy target and begin performing its intentions on them - and by intentions, we don’t mean the friendly kind, we mean the burn-you-to-a-crisp or severely-injure-you kind...

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

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