May DevLog | Week #4 | No. 28

Development
May 24, 2019
December 21, 2021

You may notice that something is a little different in this week’s game devlog. As we continue developing our first animated dungeon scene, our Animator has spent the week working in Unity, posing characters and refining scenes. This means that, because we don’t want to give too much away about this project, the ‘Animation’ section won’t be making an appearance in this week’s devlog. But don’t fret! We'll be showing you the latest model we've been working on as well as the Twilight Elf Assassin's brand new aura, so let's get into it.

3D Character Modelling

After completing the Wolvajin in last week's devlog, our Character Artist set their sights on the rest of the various canine characters. Since there are many of these in Depths of Erendorn, it was important for our artist to find a way of creating them quickly and, if possible, all at once.

Starting with the wolf, our artist began by stealing the head from the Wolvajin model and editing it in order to save time on sculpting. They then:

  • Changed the facial anatomy to be closer to that of a wolf
  • Ended up reusing the tail from the Wolvajin model, as well
  • Sculpted the wolf’s body and musculature
  • Began work on the retopology

Once the wolf is retopologised and unwrapped, we will be left with a good mesh that will be able to be used for all the canines in Erendorn; it will just be a matter of reshaping certain areas through further sculpting in order to tailor it to the respective character.

Two black and white 3D models of wolves in ZBrush
To make the various types of canines in Erendorn, our artist created a basic wolf mesh that can be reused and reshaped to create various canine creatures

Environment Art

New in the dungeons this week are some rugged stone pillars, which will help to further reinforce these rooms as gritty, subterranean pockets where dangers could lurk behind any corner - and now, pillar. These additions were created using the same texturing method that was used on the cave walls in order to maintain consistency.

Screenshot from Unity showing a Twilight Elf Assassin's purple aura
The Twilight Elves of Erendorn have a purple aura because of their attunement to the Void.

Another way we will be maintaining consistency in our environment is by creating a DOE Art Bible. Given the size of Depths of Erendorn, we can’t rely on a single person to uphold the art of the project. In order to maintain the consistency and quality of the art in the game, it is important that we use this art bible to communicate our graphics, which will help to form a strong and consistent visual language for Depths of Erendorn.

The final piece of work our Environment Artist focussed on was actually nothing to do with the environment at all. Working with our game developers, research and development was carried out so that we could create the Twilight Elf Assassin’s aura. In Depths of Erendorn, Twilight Elves have a strong attunement to the Void, resulting in a purple aura that emanates from each individual. This is a key signifier of this race and we’re loving how it looks in the dark, murky dungeons.

Server and Game Client

When they weren’t helping out with creating the VFX aura on the Twilight Elf Assassin, our game developers were busy implementing stats in the game. These include Haste, Crit, Crit Modifier, Level and Ability Power stats, which were all implemented for entities that currently exist in Depths of Erendorn.

Meanwhile, some parts of the code base are having to be refactored so that we have the capacity to store values for each ongoing ability in the game. This is particularly in regards to abilities like Birds of Prey, which is possessed by the spellcasting Parakaws and is used to deal damage over time. Here, we want to store the damage value when it is cast so that even if the player’s stats change, the damage over time ability will not lose its damage for the abilities already in action. This is known as 'snapshotting.' Refactoring in this way will ultimately allow status effects to store values, and opening up this functionality is what lead to some parts of the code base getting changed.

Finally, to close this week’s game devlog, all the items in the database were removed. This is because all of the items are going to be remade using new stat values, which were created following a recent stat rebalance. All of the player-made characters also had to be removed from the database due to this stat rebalance, and also because it will give us a blank slate when our next round of internal testing starts.

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