May Devlog | Week #2 | No. 177

Development
May 11, 2022
June 1, 2022

It has been an exciting week for the team! Our Zentragal rework has finalised textures while the set design team has worked on some detailed props for the interiors of the cities of Erendorn. The VFX team has experimented with some new plugins as the Sound team adds audio to the VFX completed the week prior. The castle ruins are taking shape as the environment team works on modular walls. The animation team has focused on the Draconian giving them a fresh set of animations and the programming team continues their work polishing the party system. As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

The modelling team have completed the textures for the Zentragal rework! After a few months of work, our eight-legged illusionist is ready for the next stage of development with a fresh coat of paint. This reworked model will now go through the next stage in the pipeline as the animation team get the rigs and cycles up to date ready to get implemented into engine! The team will now move on to creating clothes that the Zentragal may wear while in the world. Examples of the finalised textures can be seen below.

Finished textures persepective view

Finished textures alternate view

Close up of upper body front and back

Top down view of model

The artists have also created eyes, teeth and a tongue for the Zentragal in the past week. These are necessary when the animators need to add expression to the character's face via a face rig. Making these separate entities from the rest of the face gives the animators much more freedom to move them around and animate them as they wish! The tongue will also be used for expressions and speech if it is needed once in engine. The models for the eyes, teeth and tongue can be seen below!

Eyes, teeth and tongue texture

Set Piece Design

Work has continued on the props of building within the world of Erendorn. Last week, the set design team has focused on creating exquisite detail within the ornate props such as tables, a small chest and a handheld mirror. The team has put extra work into adding detail to these props using more polys to give them the highest quality possible. As these assets are being created for the city they can be much more detailed as only a smaller area would be loaded for the player at one given time. Examples of the models can be seen below.

Selection of tables, small chests and a handheld mirror

Alternate angle of tables, small chests and handheld mirror

Programming

Client

This week has been spent continuing player party interraction implementation as well as updating how jumping movements are handled by the Movement Manager. Some of the other work completed by the client-side team can be seen below!

  • Added Party invite UI, allowing players to respond to outstanding invites.
  • Updated the World Session UI to show party member portraits.
  • Added Server request messages for existing party interractions; leave, disband, kick and invite.
  • Prevented jump animation loops getting locked when performing jump abilities.
  • Added a function for adding/handling jump movements.

Server

A little bit more bug fixing has taken up a lot of our time for this week, but some new features have also managed to make it in. Firstly, you can now receive multiple abilities upon choosing one in character generation. For example, Devious Saplings is an ability that has three 'variants', each of which restoring a different stat to you when cast. Character generation now knows how to handle this. In light of all the major changes to abilities over the last few months or so, and along with a mini-balance pass, work has begun to find a repeatable, automated way to automate all the abilities' descriptions for the purposes of the game client itself having the up to date info. More work by the server-side team can be seen below.

  • Fixed Party Updates not being sent to the client.
  • Adding Members to parties no longer causes the party to become locked.
  • ZoneServer now starts correctly.
  • The settlement server can now request a session for a party to connect to.
  • Party transfer from server to server.
  • Players can now start an 'adventure'.
  • Reconnecting as a member of a party will stop the party disband timers.
  • Joining Adventuring Zone Sessions first iteration added.

Sound Design

The sound team have continued their work on creating audio for visual effects. Last week, focusing on effects created for the Human Knight, Earthen Dwarf and Twilight Elf Assassin. A lot of work has gone into creating these audio clips, the team have been recording many different sounds from the real world. Taking clips from real-world sounds such as bells chiming, sounds of wind, wind chimes, water, rocks and metal scrapes. Taking these clips the team will edit them to create the audio that will accompany the visual effects in-game. These new sounds and the effects from last week can be seen in the video below.

Environment Art

Last week, the team have continued their work on the bricks and modular walls that will be used to build up the castle. The artists have created modular walls using the bricks and textures from last week, these walls can be placed within the world like a jigsaw puzzle to create a larger ruins. The walls can be placed next to each other with no seams making the task of creating the larger areas of the castle ruins a lot quicker for the artists. Examples of these walls can be seen below.

Examples of ruin walls

Alternate ruin walls

Second alternate ruin walls with extra textured bricks

Concept of build using modular castle walls

Animation

The animation team have worked on a new enemy model again last week, focusing on the Draconian. Taking the existing model, the team has skinned and rigged the character ready for new animations. This process involves creating a skeleton for the model and applying 'weight' to each joint so the model moves as it should when animated. The team have then taken this rig and started work on the animation set for the character, these animations are currently a work in progress. This whole process has been started due to the previous rig being broken due to updates. These work in progress animations can be seen below.

Visual Effects

The visual effects team have been experimenting with a new plugin this past week, focusing on the amazing abilities created by the Embergen plugin. The team is only looking at the free trial to start, with the possibility, that it can be used later on in development. The plugin can create hyper-realistic flames and smoke that could take the VFX artists a long time to perfect. The realistic effects could be combined with the abilities that the VFX team have been creating through the last few weeks and also be implemented into the world of Erendorn with the possibility of bringing more realism to the fires and flames. The team will continue with their experiments and see if the plugin is right for them and their development. These experimental effects can be seen below!

Experimentation
Experimentation 2

The team have also been working on concepting new abilities for the Watertarg character class. As their name suggests, the Watertargs have a close relationship with the waters that surround Erendorn, most notably the Deep. The Deep is a lake of immeasurable size, inhabited by hundreds of creatures and the ancestral home of the Watertargs. When concepting the abilities for these ancient creatures the VFX team have leaned into the lore and worked with abilities that appear to be moving the water itself, showing the deep connection the Watertargs have with their home. Lots of exciting effects to come over the following weeks! The concepts for these abilities can be seen below.

Concepts for Watertarg VFX set

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

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