May Devlog | Week #3 | No. 229

Development
May 25, 2023
June 14, 2023

Welcome to the weekly development log, where we highlight the progress made by our talented teams. This week has seen exciting advancements across various aspects of the game. The 3D modelling team has successfully completed the texturing phase for the armour set, resulting in a visually appealing design that combines intricate details and high-quality textures. Our set piece design team embarked on the creation of a massive underground cave, seamlessly integrating it into the game map while overcoming challenges with scaling and shadows. The wizards of coding have been finalising the weather system and continued the work on the nav data rework. The environment team has made significant strides in refining the ruins, implementing a fracturing system and optimising destruction volumes for a more immersive experience. Our animation team has been dedicated to refining run cycles and spell casting animations, ensuring improved timing and smoothness. Let's delve into the details and see the progress achieved by each team. 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

The 3D modelling team has successfully completed the texturing phase for the armour set. After unwrapping and baking the textures, the team dedicated their efforts to adding intricate details and high-quality textures to bring the armour to life. This meticulous process enhances the visual appeal and realism of the armour within the game. The team's attention to detail and commitment to creating textures have resulted in an eye catching set of armour. Players will now be able to enjoy the beautifully textured and visually captivating design as they embark on their adventures in the game. An example of the textures completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Finalised armour set with textures

Set Piece Design

The set piece design team has embarked on an ambitious project, creating a massive underground cave that will seamlessly integrate into the game map. To accommodate the long-range third-person camera, the cave requires substantial scaling, including a towering ceiling. However, during the scaling process, an issue arose with splotchy shadows appearing on the enlarged cave wall assets. Initially, it seemed that using multiple smaller assets would be necessary, but a clever solution was discovered. By adjusting the "Distance Field Self Shadow Bias" in the mesh settings, the team successfully mitigated the self-shadowing problem on such a grand scale. The first image demonstrates the issue before the fix, while the second image showcases the improved result. While still a work in progress, this endeavor promises to be a significant addition to the game's immersive environment. Stay tuned for more updates on the development of the breathtaking underground cave. Examples of the work completed throughout the week can be seen below.

Shadows before update

Improved shadows on cavern walls

Programming

This week, the server team finished off the weather code originally implemented a while back. While each server was correctly rolling weather on the probability charts with anti repetition weighting as we wanted, they were failing to be in sync with each other, a task made slightly tricker in that we wanted the weather to be universal across a zone, but without the servers having to send each other messages to update. Thanks to seeded random generation, we've managed to accomplish this. Additionally, some bug fixing with sub events and their entities/interactables spawning too close to dungeon entrances and some dialogue problems with Dwarven heirloom and Rangers' ring was completed. Examples of some of the other work completed by the programming team can be seen below.

  • Continued assistance with testing quests.
  • Fixed some more clientside bugs with dialogue windows.
  • Added missing code that was causing new dialogue to not be scrolled into focus in certain circumstances.
  • Continued on developing a tutorial display and fixed some display issues and conflicts caused by multiple windows showing at once.

Finally, the team would continue working on the new nav data rework, progress has been steady and its nearing its completion before implementation client side. There is no server side work started with this yet, but the data refactor and generation work is almost complete. The goal of this refactor is to:

  • Make 3D LOS calculations possible.
  • Enable partial loading/unloading of nav data to make large worlds possible and performant.
  • Enable multi-level movement.
  • Enable overhanging areas like balconies and cliffs.
  • Allow a single session to go anywhere in the game world without having to change servers.

Work completed towards this goal includes:

  • Debug functions for displaying the generated data.
  • Zone info, static dungeon entrances and static event locations are now moved out of the base nav data and are stored separately.
  • Distance calculation implemented.
  • Movement calculation functions implemented.
  • Mapping functions implemented.
  • Node retrieval for World positions written.

Environment Art

The environment team has made significant progress in the development of the ruins by recreating and refining a cleaned-up version of the environment. A key focus was on achieving realistic destruction, and to accomplish this, the team implemented a fracturing system that progressively increased the frequency of fractures from the bottom to the top of the ruins. This technique adds depth and authenticity to the crumbling structure. Additionally, the team meticulously tweaked the destruction volumes to ensure the desired result was achieved. To optimise performance, a Chaos Cache Manager was utilised to record the destruction simulation and convert the dynamic mesh into a static mesh. This efficient approach allows for smoother gameplay without sacrificing visual fidelity. Finally, the old castle was replaced with the new ruins, and any floating geometry resulting from the destruction simulation was tidied up, resulting in a seamless and immersive environment. These advancements in the ruins' design and destruction mechanics will greatly enhance the player's experience within the game world. Examples of the progress made by the environment team can be seen in the images below.

Castle ruins before chaos field has been implemented

Chaos fields used to create rubble around the castle ruins

First implementation of castle ruins within the engine

Glamour shot from player level

Animation

The animation team has been diligently refining the run cycles and spell casting animations based on valuable insights gained from testing. With a focus on improving timing and smoothness, the team has made significant progress in enhancing the overall feel of these crucial character movements. By fine-tuning the timing and ensuring seamless transitions, the updated run cycles now offer a more natural and enjoyable player experience. Similarly, the spell casting animations have been updated to be more visually appealing and responsive. The animation team's dedication to perfecting these animations continues to elevate the quality and immersion of the gameplay. Examples of the updated movement cycles can be seen below.

Updated spellcastering animations

Parakaw updated movement cycle

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

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