Weekly DevLog: Our Spellcasting Parakaws Concoct a Brew!

Development
May 11, 2021
November 18, 2021

Last week, we created loads of new sound effects for abilities in the game, and then matched these with their visuals to see how they worked together (spoiler alert: they’re all awesome). We’ve also got a clip to show you of some Parakaws concocting a magical brew, so make sure you stick around to see that!

As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit for daily updates on our online RPG, Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

Animation

Our Animator kicked off the week by completing a few To-Dos, including implementing Dragon IK settings for the rest of the playable characters, as well as:

  • Adjusting the Zombie’s skin weights
  • Creating a meditation idle and a crafting idle for the Parakaw Astromancer
  • Importing into the engine some of the Twilight Elf Assassin’s ability animations
New idles for the Parakaw models

More animations were updated for the Watertarg Excursionist last week as well. In our previous weekly devlog, we showed you how we improved this character’s run cycle so that it looked more fluid and natural. Well, after importing that into the engine, our Animator made similar improvements to one of the Watertarg’s basic attacks.

Just like the original run cycle, this attack looked a bit too stiff, especially from a top-down view. The new animation has a lot more movement to it - check out the flick-of-the-wrist the Watertarg now uses when swinging its sword!

3D Character Modelling

Last week, our 3D Character Artist started texturing the new male base mesh they sculpted a couple of devlogs ago. The only hiccup during this process were some issues with the eye placements, but these were quickly resolved and the textures are now all finished!

Our Animator is currently importing this into the engine, so all our male humanoid characters will soon be updated to use this new mesh.

Environment Design

We’ve got something really cool to show you in the settlement this week! Our Junior Environment Artist has been busy working on a fluid simulation in Blender in an effort to make the cauldron scene in the potion shop more dynamic.

As a little memory jog, our potion shop appears in the settlement Merchant Tent, and features a trio of spellcasting Parakaws concocting a special brew in a truly Hocus Pocus cauldron! Here’s the shot we’re talking about:

Like we said, we wanted to make this scene look a little more dynamic by having bubbles sloshing and popping inside. This was achieved by having some sphere meshes interact with the fluid, making it look as though bubbles were bursting. This was then exported as an alembic file, which can turn into a flipbook of meshes that play as an animation.

It still needs a little tweaking so that it loops better, and the material will eventually be replaced with one that looks more realistic, but the whole team still prefers this new cauldron mixture to the old version, which used a hypnotic, swirling material. Don’t get us wrong, the hypnotic effect looked really cool, but for the purpose of a bubbling potion, we felt this new version worked a lot better!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/CauldronTest.mp4

World Environment

The usual optimisations were made to the world environment last week, including new foliage getting added to the settlement and their LODs getting improved to better suit the camera and view distance.

More interestingly, however, is the work we’re beginning on castle ruins! Our Environment Artist is currently exploring some workflows for creating these medieval stone structures, which we’ll use throughout Erendorn as relics of a bygone age.

Sound Design

More of the visuals for level 2 skills were given sound effects last week - take a look and listen to them all below!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Waylay.mp4

Causes your next normal attack to root an enemy for 5 turns

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Unguarded-Attack.mp4

Deals Physical Damage to any enemy that comes too close to you

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Shield-Bash.mp4

Stuns and damages an enemy – but you must have a shield equipped if you want to use this one!

Programming

Recording Gameplay

For our Programmers, last week was focussed on recording the gameplay portion of our upcoming trailer! This involved utilising the new Replay System to generate footage and take advantage of Unreal Engine’s cinematic tool, Sequencer.

To replay sequences, our Programmers developed a new workflow that involves highlighting action within replays and saving scene adjustments. The main benefit of working this way is that we can achieve multiple shots from the same source material without going through a repetitive setup!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Provoke.mp4

Allows you to provoke an enemy within two tiles of you, causing them to deal 15% less Damage to you on that turn

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Mass-Provoke.mp4

Allows you to provoke all enemies within two tiles of you, so that they deal 30% less Damage to you on that turn

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Lv-2-Drafts-Deep-Wound.mp4

Allows you to damage a target by cutting them, causing them to bleed for three turns

Golang Server

With the Golang server now ready to be switched across, it was time to bring the Test Client online so that the Golang team could begin testing the thousands of lines of previously un-run code - a laborious, yet very necessary endeavour!

Our Programmers working on the new server also had the added joy of running over a dozen or so to-dos that were left over from previously written things in the codebase. As a result of all this work:

  • The Test Client can now join a dungeon by creating a character, deleting that character, choosing from a list of existing characters belonging to its account, creating a session, and then joining it!
  • The Turntimer now exists, limiting enemies to 3 seconds per turn and players to 2 minutes per turn
  • Aggressive AI also exist! These are enemies that target the closest enemy at the beginning of every turn

That’s it for this week’s devlog - see you next Tuesday!

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