May Devlog | Week #1 | No. 274

Development
May 10, 2024
June 19, 2024

Over the past week, the Depths of Erendorn development teams have made significant strides in enhancing various aspects of the game. The 3D modelling team refined the bird character's wings for improved visual fidelity, while the set piece design team crafted high-poly models perfect for settlement environments. The client-side team addressed packaging challenges and weather controls, ensuring a smoother gaming experience. On the server side, crucial improvements were made to optimise memory usage and terminate connections for banned players efficiently. Additionally, the VFX team completed the Earthen Dwarf level 3 abilities, bringing the next stage of abilities one step closer to the engine. 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

Over the past week, the 3D modelling team at Depths of Erendorn has been diligently working on enhancing the visual fidelity of the bird character's wings. Using a reference image as a guide, they modelled a new set of wings, carefully planning the separation of layers using edgeloops. After attaching the new wings to the body, further adjustments were made to ensure a more bird-like appearance and improve the overall topology of the mesh. A significant development involved the creation of the third layer of the wings, with a decision made to construct it using planes for each feather. This approach offers flexibility for future production needs, allowing for various use cases. Specifically, detailed sculpts of feathers will be baked to plane meshes, enabling the team to layout and edit the feathers to achieve the desired wing structure. Examples of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Feather planes in progress

Better wing structure for birds

Wing details with additional feathers

Bird model with additional textures

Set Piece Design

Throughout the past week, the set piece design team at Depths of Erendorn has been hard at work crafting a variety of long tables and small props, all destined to enrich the game's environments, particularly the settlement and beyond. These meticulously crafted high-poly models are perfect for weary travellers seeking respite after a long day of adventuring. While currently in their high-poly form, these models will undergo a retopology phase and texturing before they are ready for integration into the game engine. These additions complement the array of props created over the past months, contributing to the full fleshing out of the initial settlement during its redesign. Such dedication to detail ensures that Depths of Erendorn's world feels immersive and alive, offering players a truly engaging gaming experience. An example of the work completed by the team can be seen below.

Selection of chair props for initial settlement and beyond

Programming

Client

This week, the client-side team focused on packaging the modified previous milestone build, which has been a primary task over the past two weeks. However, landscape deformation brushes caused build issues, prompting a pivot to reverting the rolled-back project for successful packaging. This involved pushing applicable changes to the Alpha 1 project, reverting the rolled-back project, and retrofitting any unapplied changes while selectively pulling those already made. With the previous milestone build issues addressed, attention shifted to reassessing remaining tasks for the current milestone. Additionally, the team dedicated time to finishing the implementation of weather controls for the dry testing environment. Despite encountering challenges from overcomplicating the handling process, valuable lessons were learned. The test environment now boasts a new dropdown menu for specific weather types and a slider for adjusting the time of day. Subsequently, efforts were directed towards implementing projectile creation in the dry environment to facilitate testing of abilities that require it.

Server

Last week, the server team focused on addressing overdue tasks while prioritising crucial improvements. One significant enhancement involved ensuring that when a player is banned, their connection is promptly terminated if they are connected to another server. Additionally, the team tackled memory issues stemming from enabling enemy NPC pathfinding in the game world. While the memory overhead has slightly increased, it now remains stable due to the implementation of object reuse, preventing the constant instantiation and cleanup of new objects. Furthermore, the team optimised NPC idles to refine group behaviour. Now, groups only wander within a certain distance of the player upon spawning, and those that roam do so in various directions. An issue causing them to move exclusively northward was identified and rectified.

Visual Effects

The past week saw the completion of the Earthen Dwarf level 3 abilities by the VFX team, marking a significant milestone in the game's development. With only a few remaining abilities for the Zentragal characters, the team is swiftly approaching the completion of all level 3 abilities with visual effects. Once these abilities receive the sound treatment, they will be seamlessly implemented into the game engine, becoming available for characters who have attained sufficient power to wield them. This progress underscores the team's dedication to enhancing gameplay dynamics and providing players with a diverse range of abilities to utilise as they progress through the game. Examples of the work completed throughout the week can be seen in the video below! 

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

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