May Devlog | Week #4 | No. 230

Development
June 2, 2023
June 14, 2023

Welcome to this week's development log, where we'll highlight the progress made by our talented teams in various areas of game development. The 3D modelling team has been busy working on a captivating spellcaster-themed armour set, bringing it to life from the initial block-out phase using meticulously crafted concept art. Our environment team has been focused on enhancing the ruins, implementing new material functions and textures, including vertex blending for realistic moss painting. On the animation front, our team has been dedicated to improving enemy walk animations, making them faster and more dynamic, while also working on completing animations for Group 3 creatures. Additionally, the audio team has been diligently implementing remastered abilities, and the server team has been addressing dialogue and combat-related issues. Exciting updates await, so let's dive into the details below! 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 embarked on an exciting project, working on a new spellcaster-themed armour set. The block-out phase for this piece has commenced, utilising the concept art created over the past few months. This armour set is specifically designed for the mighty spellcasters of Erendorn, featuring enchanting and magical elements. The team is dedicated to bringing this concept to life, ensuring that every detail reflects the power and mystique of spellcasting in our game world. An examples of the block out for the new armour set can be seen below.

Initial block out for new spellcaster armour

Programming

Client

This week saw a number of UI and UX improvements in the form of improved attack and movement cursor functions and loading screens as well as optimisation for adventure systems new and old. Additional work completed by the client side team can be seen below.

  • Improved Basic Attack Cursor swapping when hovering potential Basic Attack targets.
  • Added Basic Attack Energy cost to the Attack Cursor that pre-calculates whether an attack can be performed and displays the Energy cost, taking free swings and other modifiers into account.
  • Added improved and optimised hover tracing for walkable terrain.
  • Fixed Basic Attack Cost displaying incorrectly in the Stat Panel.
  • Implemented the new loading screen for joining settlements, starting or returning from an Adventure and entering and exiting Dungeons.
  • Created easy to apply loading screen functionality for any future uses and improved the execution order of the previously mentioned contexts.
  • Updated the Loading Elements widget to make printing loading milestone messages possible again.
  • Updated how outlines are activated/deactivated for characters out of relevant range from the camera.
  • Reduced the number of ticking Subwidgets for character overhead UI to improve performance when displaying large numbers of entities.
  • Fixed more Ability Tooltip description text tags.
  • Replaced the placeholder Fen Elf character Blueprint.
  • Updated Active Effect Templates to be able to store and use Niagara VFX.

Additionally, some time has been spent implementing the new Nav system into the engine, many roadblocks have been hit but work is underway to get the task finalised so we can take advantage of this new system. The code compiles now but some small problems will still need to be ironed out. Due to the nature of going back and forth between the editor and editing C++ code, iterating on the code and fixing these issues is a lengthy task compared to fixing issues within blueprints. The final functions for the system were also implemented.  The new system has also been extended with the following features:

  • Zones can now be created and saved to disk.
  • Zones can have multiple chunks of the map associated with them.
  • The UI to manage Zone creation has been made.
  • The mapping UI widget has begun to take shape so new data can be generated.

Server

This week the server team has been busy ironing out some of the kinks in dialogue. There'd been a couple of edge cases such as proximity activated dialogue that had the potential to trigger multiple times, causing dozens of conversations to layer on top of each other in some odd echo chamber scenario. Additionally, some work was done to greatly reduce the chances of Events failing to be placed, usually due to their proximity to other events or dungeon entrances. Finally some time was spent investigating a few combat tile related bugs, including being able to exist in the same tile as someone else in a dungeon, and being able to attack diagonally one tile further than you should be able to in an adventure.

Sound Design

Last week, the audio team completed the mastering process for the Generic Skills. This week, they are focused on implementing the remastered abilities into the game engine. While there isn't much detail to delve into, this stage involves attentive listening and fine-tuning of EQs (equalisers) and dynamics. The team's meticulous work ensures that the audio elements are well-balanced, polished, and seamlessly integrated into the gameplay. By delivering enhanced and immersive sound experiences, the audio team plays a crucial role in enriching the overall gameplay and capturing the essence of each ability. Examples of the audio completed by the team throughout the week can be seen below.

Environment Art

The environment team has made notable progress in enhancing the visual quality of the ruins by implementing new material functions and textures. One significant addition is the vertex blending material function, which has been integrated into the ruins material. This function allows for the seamless blending of different textures, enabling the team to paint realistic moss on the surfaces. Furthermore, the team is exploring the incorporation of additional blending layers for wall cracks, damage, and chipped plaster, which will add even more depth and authenticity to the ruins' appearance. In parallel, the team is also creating supplementary pieces using the ruins kit, which will be utilised not only within the ruins area but also throughout the entire game world. These developments contribute to the overall immersion and visual appeal of the environment, creating a captivating and immersive experience for players. Examples of the work completed by the team throughout the week can be seen below.

Additional blending and moss added to the ruins

Additional enhancements to the castle ruins

New modular pieces for the castle ruins

Animation

The animation team has been hard at work enhancing the walk animations for our enemies, focusing on making them faster and more dynamic. These improvements aim to create a more engaging and challenging combat experience for players. Although still a work in progress, the team is excited to test and refine these animations to ensure they meet our high standards. Additionally, they have begun working on completing animations and implementing Group 3 creatures, specifically insects. This new addition will introduce unique and diverse enemy types, adding depth and variety to the gameplay. The animation team's dedication to improving enemy animations and expanding the roster of creatures showcases their commitment to creating an immersive and thrilling gaming experience. Examples fo the updated walk cycles for enemies can be seen below.

Enchanced enemy movement cycles

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

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