Weekly DevLog: Animating Undead Enemies & Fixing Aggressive Baby Turtles!

Development
June 1, 2021
November 18, 2021

Updates in this week’s game development log include threatening animations for our Undead characters, new ability VFX, and some ambient sounds from the game’s environment. We‘ve also got an anecdote about one of our baby snapping turtle’s reign of terror! As always, join us on Twitter, Instagram, or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn - now let’s get into it!

3D Modelling

Last week, our Character Artist started working on the base for armour sets in the game. Now, you won’t ever really see this while you play, but in case you were curious, this is the reality of what lies beneath a badass set of armour - not very threatening, but damn comfortable!

Animation

Recently, our Animator has been working on a lot of emote animations for NPCs in the Tavern - this includes making them perform actions like talking, cheering, drinking, and sitting at a table.

To get all of these emote animations to play randomly for the Tavern regulars, our Animator spent last week creating an Animation Controller with that exact capability. They then transferred and adjusted them to fit the Dwarf and Elf rigs so that we can start populating the Tavern with a nice variation of character races!

But emote animations weren’t the only things to come out of our Animation Department last week. Our Animator also rigged, skinned, and created fly animations for an eagle. More excitingly, they created a new ‘Threatening Snarl’ for the Skeleton and Zombie, two Undead enemy types from the game who you’ll be sure to fight at some point in your journey! Take a look:

Game Trailer

The video production team continued working on the game’s upcoming trailer last week, with meetings taking place on a daily basis. During these meetings:

  • New shot ideas were storyboarded
  • Camera angles were worked on
  • Existing shots were discussed and improved
  • New clouds for the sky were created

Our VFX Artist also got involved in the action by working on some volumetric fog. This will help bring some atmosphere to our shots - check out a quick WIP version below:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Vollumetric-Fog-4_Trim.mp4

Visual FX

In addition to creating some mystical fog, our VFX Artist spent last week creating concepts for more level 3 ability effects. These included:

  • Circle of Life: For each enemy that dies on the turn that this spell is cast, you’ll gain a bit of extra Resilience. Two concepts were made for this - one for what it looks like when the spell is cast, and one for what it looks like when Resilience is granted.
  • Shadowfade: Used by the Twilight Elf Assassin, this grants you extra Strength and Ability Power if you avoid getting hit for the entire turn. Since this is a Twilight Elf specialty, our VFX Artist brought this race’s characteristic purple colour into the effects. Not only does this keep the ability in-line with other Assassin spells, it also hints at the race’s attunement to the dark powers of the Void...
  • Berserk: First it giveth, then it taketh away - this ability grants you a massive boost in Energy, as well as Minimum and Maximum Damage, for one turn, but then causes you to lose 10% of your Maximum Health. So if you ever decide to use this ability, it better be worth it!

After these concepts were done, our VFX Artist started creating the visuals for ‘Succumb to the Void’, a Twilight Elf Assassin talent, and ‘Magnetic Sphere,’ an Earthen Dwarf talent. Check them out below:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Magnetic-Sphere-4-2021-05-27-10-25-13.mp4

‘Magnetic Sphere’: Allows you to summon a sphere to one tile, provoking any enemy within a two tile radius. With a large amount of Health, this sphere works well to protect the player, and lasts for three turns - unless it’s destroyed first!

Concept sheet for 'Magnetic Sphere'

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Succumb-To-Void-2-2021-05-26-09-43-13.mp4

‘Succumb to the Void’: The effects of this ability come into play on the turn after you cast them, where they transform all your normal attacks so that they deal Void Damage - we told you the Twilight Elves love their Void magic!

Sound Design

Last week, our Sound Artist primarily worked on environment sounds, specifically on ambiences for different settings, like meadows, jungles, and deep forests.

While doing this, they made sure to take the different weather conditions into consideration. For example, if there’s a storm brewing, the soundscape will change to reflect this. It can also transition between night and day sounds, which, yes, will sound pretty different!

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SFX_AMB_Storm_SAMPLE-1.wav

Sound effects for a storm!

Last of all, our Sound Artist put together a few collections of animal and nature sounds that they then spread throughout the environments. This included things like frogs, birds, insects, and even an ominous throng of baying wolves.

All in all, these sound effects help to create a deeper level of immersion as you walk through different parts of the environment - take a listen to them all:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SFX_AMB_Wolves_SAMPLE.wav

Sounds for baying wolves

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SFX_AMB_Meadow_SAMPLE.wav

Ambient sounds for a meadow, complete with insects and critters

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/SFX_AMB_Jungle_SAMPLE.wav

Ambient sounds for a jungle, complete with insects and some bird squawks!

Programming

It was another week of slow and careful bug-fixing for the Golang team last week. In good news, however, they hit another major milestone by being able to play combat through entirely, from start to bloodstained finish!

This means that our enemies are successfully attacking and killing our players, which is just what we want! But in some cases, they were attacking them a little too much - we ran into a massive bug later on in the week where a baby snapping turtle carried out a brutal onslaught on one of our test dummy characters, attacking it a whopping 395 times (talk about an inferiority complex).

Turns out the issue wasn’t actually caused by our baby snapping turtle’s innate feeling of inadequacy, but by a miswritten clause. This has since been fixed so that it tells the turtle that it can only attack if it has enough Energy - so no more overly aggressive marine reptiles!

A screenshot from the world of Erendorn!

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

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