Monthly Devlog | December 2022 | No. 47

Development
December 29, 2022
February 8, 2023

It has been an interesting month for development on the Depths of Erendorn. The 3D modelling team has continued their work on the new armour for the Human Knight. During this time the Environment team has been implementing a new corrupted ground event into the engine, with work also completed towards this event by the sound and visual effects 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

Throughout the month, the team would continue to work on the new Human Knight armour that we saw last month. The team would spend most of December adding more plates and details to the protective gear, giving it a more refined and polished aesthetic. Smaller details such as the buckles behind the knee pads and the lip on large plates that will deflect sword swings have also been added. Overall the team has achieved a bulky and intimidating visual when creating this armour, with the silhouette of the Knight now taking on an imposing stance with this armour equipped. The team will continue to work on the armour through the coming weeks, examples of the progress made on the protective gear can be seen below.

Continued sculpts

Additional plates on new armour

Smaller details and smoothing of new armour

Programming

Client

The client-side team would start the month updating character loading, environment audio triggers and combat focus switching as well as a long overdue upgrade to the Character Creation menu. Towards the latter part of the month, the focus moved to some longstanding bugs, updating some old menu functionality and improving how the player interacts with the landscape in the World. Additional work from the client-side team completed throughout the month can be seen below.

  • The Entity Pool now has settings for when to destroy and when to pool unused character models so they can be reused or reloaded fresh when needed.
  • Updated collision settings for Audio Triggers to ensure the Camera's location is what determines audio trigger interaction in the world of Erendorn.
  • Combat focus changes (selecting different characters in, out or in differing Combats) are now listenable for any class that requires it.
  • Updated the AudioManager's Combat Focus Change function to switch between Adventure and Combat music.
  • Began updating the Character Creation widget and function according to the new design.
  • Set up means of visually showing when a player has disconnected whilst in a party. Working in principal but as yet has been blocked by crashes when testing in the correct context.
  • Fixed the erroneous message telling a player their invitation has expired after joining a new party.
  • The fix for the party widget falsely displaying a group of placeholder images on joining the game has been finalised.
  • Implemented spawned asset cleanup after a session ends.
  • Regenerated Nav data to stop enemies spawning in the water.
  • Started the function to remove inaccessible Nodes from the world data to stop enemies from spawning in places they cannot be reached.
  • Updated all pages of the Character Creation layout to match designs.
  • Added Class description and feature fields and text.
  • Added the concept of Innate Class Resources and Abilities to allow Stats such as Mana or Zeal to be previewed in the Class Description page alongside Abilities.
  • Updated Creation page navigation and validation, allowing players to look through class options before committing to a loadout.
  • Updated animations to make use of new assets.
  • Implemented the ability to edit the navigation data to remove inaccessible areas.
  • Updated zone mapping tools.
  • The audio manager dungeon music is fixed.
  • Audio manager combat music improved.
  • Audio manager music transition improved.
  • Updated functions relating to player disconnects to try to avoid referencing destroyed objects.
  • Created a new widget for inserting backgrounds into various menu screens.
  • Made a prospective fix to inventory visual updates so that new items are now displayed ahead of any empty slots.
  • Fixed Directional Ability targeting by ignoring Entities and using terrain cursor location exclusively.
  • Updated Collision Presets for landscape actors to work with pings, camera and ability targeting.
  • Refactored how the Account Characters Controller transitions between Character Selection and Character Creation.
  • Helped teammates switch machines while maintaining the work environment.
  • Updated Zone1 Nav Data to reflect recent map changes.
  • Re-enabled NPC movement.
  • Updated Mapping tool to have another method for overwriting movement information.
  • Re-created a corrupted Interactable for the Berries event.
  • Audio Manager improved.
  • Fixed a bug which stopped Nav Data from being successfully imported.
  • Replaced old Dungeon walls.
  • Replaced old Dungeon pillars.
  • Rebalanced lighting in the dungeons.
  • Fixed from World Events incorrectly firing sound effects on spawn.
  • Updated the Ceiling in the dungeon.
  • Interactable should now toggle their intractability when entering combat.
  • Re-Mapped the Zone 1.
  • Updated menus to use the new background system so that it persists.
  • Updated transitions between character creation and character selection menus to work as intended now.
  • Updated initialisation of the character creation menu so that it starts with the correct fields and icons shown if certain buttons are pressed before selecting a new class.

Server

To start the month, the server team has continued working on Adventuring with many events, combat locations, and joining mid-combat bugs fixed. Then the team has now turned its attention to the connection to adventures themselves, writing the code for multiple different kinds of disconnect scenarios, including logging back on and choosing to join your friends again, or logging back on but choosing a different character, including different kinds of disconnection based on a dropped connection vs manually quitting the game. 


The server team would also work on adding some new functionality to dialogue. Beforehand, the dialogue would be a set 'tree' of options, all branching from the first thing the NPC says to you when you choose to speak to them. Now the server can choose random introduction messages from a list of valid ones to give some variation when talking to NPCs, as well as options on how it selects which message to send. This required a good chunk of refactoring of our existing dialogues, and we took the opportunity to brush up what is said by these NPCs to something a little more salient, rather than the placeholder text we had in before. 


Finally, the server team would get busy fixing bugs. First on the plate was combat leashing which was causing crashes and sometimes failing. This is when some enemies bump into an already existing combat, and all the code that handles them joins mid-way. Beyond that, the other large series of bugs fixed was reconnection code handling which ultimately ended up permanently locking a player out of adventures. This was most common when they disconnected or were forced to quit while their party continued. Additional work completed throughout the month by the server-side team can be seen below. 

  • Fixed a crash related to a player being removed from a party.
  • Added adventure reconnection code.
  • Starting combat now strips unreachable tiles from the map.
  • Starting combat now moves enemies if players are unable to reach them.
  • Initiating combat from a location that cannot be converted to a combat tile should no longer crash the server.
  • ZoneID is fixed for dungeon sessions.
  • Improved debugging lines for some functions.
  • Updated map data.
  • Created a Lockable map struct for later implementation.
  • Updated Zone1 Nav Data to reflect recent map changes.
  • Added work around for a bug where parties had invalid connection objects.
  • Re-enabled NPC movement.

Sound Design

The sound team worked on a couple of pieces that will be used within the initial area of Erendorn. Starting with audio for the Portal the team have created an updated version of the portal the team has aimed at adding some more mysterious sounds to the portal. Along with these some growling has been added to give the portal a sense that is living and breathing. Using similar techniques the team would also work on audio for the corrupted ground event that has been the focus of a few different departments through the months. With additional audio effects, the team have built up a soundscape that will give players the impression of a gelatinous formation that is moving consistently. The audio for both the updated portal and the corrupted ground event can be heard below.

Environment Art

The environment team has also been focusing on the corrupted ground event within the initial area. Throughout the month, the team created a material that will be placed on the ground giving it the disrupted effect that something is a little off with the world. Using a combination of browns and purples, the team has created tendrils that appear to spread out across the ground giving the impression that something is growing outward, claiming everything it touches. The team would continue working on this event throughout the latter part of the month, creating a new function that allows developers to edit how the trees appear within the engine. This feature has been utilised within the corrupted ground event to depict how the mysterious corruption affects the trees that are unfortunate enough to be within its radius. The team will continue to work on the event throughout the coming weeks, examples of which can be seen below.

Corrupted ground in engine

Trees affected by corruption

Animation

The animation team has been working on updating movement cycles for the Human Knight and creating some basic attacks for the Bandit. Throughout the month, the team would work on the Giant Strike for the Human Knight and the basic attack for the Bandit. When updating the cycles the team has aimed to give the movement a lot more polish than previous animations. In particular, for the Giant Strike animation, the team has implemented a lot more anticipation and exaggeration. Now in the updated animation, the Knight comes swinging down with a lot more purpose and gravity leading to a focused strike that strikes with all their strength. In comparison, the Bandit's movement cycles, created through the latter part of the month, are more akin to a regular attack. The Bandits will use a range of weapons within the world with this animation cycle using their daggers. The team will continue to work on the movement cycles throughout the coming weeks, with examples of the ones completed throughout the month can be seen below.

Giant Strike updated animation

Bandit attack animation

Visual Effects

The visual effects team started work on concepts that will be used to accompany the corrupted ground event within the engine. While conferring with the environment team, a colour pallet was decided of purples and blacks. Using these colours the team started to concept the effects within a 2D space. Implementing additional features such as dripping corruption, smoking abscesses and tendrils. The team would take inspiration from all these concepts to start work on the 3D elements for the engine. Creating a range of effects that can be used in tandem with the engine to get the desired visuals for the corrupted ground event. The team will continue to work on the effects over the coming weeks. Examples of the visual effect concepts and 3D elements can be seen below.

Concept pieces for corrputed ground event effects

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

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