Monthly Devlog | February 2023 | No. 61

Development
March 7, 2024
April 12, 2024

In February, the Depths of Erendorn development teams showcased significant strides across various facets of the game. The 3D Modelling team brought the Centaur to life, precisely crafting textures, completing variations, and adding distinctive details like eyebrows and eyelashes. Meanwhile, the Client-Side Programming team refined the Dry Log system, achieving consistency through extensive testing and implementing features for fast travel. The Server-Side Programming team tackled critical aspects, optimizing mapping tools, refining movement code, and addressing bugs in open-world adventures. The Sound Team elevated the auditory experience, experimenting with winter ice recordings and refining character abilities. The Environment team enhanced visual elements, focusing on the city gate and preparing assets for the game environment. The Animation team made notable progress in refining character movements, especially for the Knight and Centaur. Lastly, the VFX team dedicated efforts to the waterfall fluid system and explored fluid-based effects, showcasing a commitment to both functionality and visual appeal. 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

In February, the 3D Modelling team at Depths of Erendorn showcased remarkable progress in bringing the Centaur to life. They began the month by texturing the Centaur model, using earth tones to evoke a rough and hardy aesthetic, perfectly capturing the creature's natural habitat. This attention to detail not only adds visual richness but also contributes to the immersive storytelling within the game's diverse environments. Following this, the team achieved a significant milestone by completing the texturing for both Veloxian and Icegrip variations, incorporating distinct and striking colour palettes. The Centaur models are now ready for the Animation team, marking a crucial step in their journey to being fully realised in the game. Additionally, the 3D Modelling team introduced three distinct tail styles for Centaurs, adding subtle visual differences for captivating variety. The month also saw the creation of eyebrows and eyelashes, refining the Centaur's facial features. These precise additions, including the refitting of the "Veloxian explorer series" equipment, showcase the team's commitment to authenticity and visual excellence in Depths of Erendorn. Explore their accomplished work throughout the month in the examples provided.

First pass textures for Centaur

Veloxian Centaur finalised textures

Icegrip Centaur finalised textures

Tail variations for Centaurs

Adjusted armour pieces for the Veloxian Centaur

Programming

Client


During the last month, the Client-Side Programming team at Depths of Erendorn remained focused on refining the Dry Log system, ensuring consistent results through extensive testing of various abilities. This involved adjustments to input variables, resolution of associated errors, and modifications to the dry test game mode for proper testing of multi-target abilities. The team also addressed broken caster animations in the testing environment. The latter part of the month was dedicated to completing the initial setup for fast travel out of the settlement, with future tasks aimed at enhancing character handling and resolving unique ID issues during Dry Log generation. Concurrently, the client team finalised the implementation of the Dry Logs system, addressing remaining bugs and systematically handling smaller issues. This included adjustments to log type creation, resolution of tangled connections causing the generation of incorrect log types, and efforts to enable copy and reordering functionalities for log entries. The team also laid the groundwork for an interactive world map and upgraded inventories' appearance and structure. Their commitment to refining and optimising crucial features showcases ongoing efforts for an enhanced gaming experience in Depths of Erendorn, as detailed in the examples provided below.

  • Fixed UI layering and basic panel functions of fast travel and map panels.
  • Added the ability to select destinations belonging to different fast travel networks.
  • Updated how the Dry Entity Parameter Type is saved, loaded and used when generating Dry Logs during testing.
  • Updated how the Array Parameter type functions to allow it to contain arrays of Dry Entities.
  • Added three new Parameter Types that revolve around a similar concept, incrementing values. These Parameter Types are useful for simulating LogIDs, AbilityInstanceIDs, ActiveEffectIDs and other parameters that need to be dynamic but share reference with other Dry Logs. The following parameter types have been added to be used by any log type and are currently applied to Ability, Active Effect and Stat Change logs:

                - Incrementor Static - A static variable that is increased whenever it is called upon.

                - Incrementor Channel - A variable that takes a specific channel ID and increments this channel when called upon.

                - Incrementor Copy Channel - A variable that uses the value stored in the specific channel ID without incrementing it.

  • Explored methods for implementing a world map with consideration for object, quest and NPC tracking.
  • Fixed interactable log processing.
  • Fixed spawned asset log processing.
  • Fixed auto-mapping tool.
  • Refactored chunk data loading to fix failing to load chunks.
  • Added LerpToPosition camera function.
  • Created 'Chunk Explorer' widget to assist mapping.
  • Fixed chunks being loaded and destroyed opening up the development editor.
  • Worked to update the Backpack Widget, a UI panel that is used to display inventories wherever they appear, to handle multiple or single containers visually.
  • Removed the reliance on ZoneID when using Fast Travel to leave the Settlement, we no longer have use for ZoneID because of the recent changes to world mapping.
  • Added 'Containers' to character's inventories in line with server changes. Players now have two Containers;

               - Active Inventory - Holding anything the character has on their person.

               - Stash - Holding items belonging to a character stored and accessible only in Settlements.

  • CombatRegions are now created using Nav Indexes.
  • Join Combat functions have been updated to make use of new positioning.
  • Finished updating Combat Regions to function in 3D.  Combat Regions are the class responsible for an individual Combat grid and it's contained tiles.
  • Updated ability targeting across all target types, players can now use abilities again.
  • Updated the Combat Movement Submanager to use the new NavIndex system, characters can now move again in Combat.

Server

Throughout February, the Server-Side Programming team at Depths of Erendorn made substantial strides in refining critical aspects of mapping tools and movement code. They addressed bugs causing impassable barriers during world chunk transitions, optimised the mapping process for RAM efficiency, and introduced data invalidation for efficient re-mapping. Significant updates to the auto-mapping feature allowed targeted mapping phases, enhancing overall mapping efficiency. The movement code saw improvements, eliminating small teleportation issues and reducing problems related to movement interruptions. The team also invested considerable effort in re-optimising open-world adventures, addressing new crashes, refining event and enemy spawning, and implementing a dynamic world event spawning method. Noteworthy advancements were made in remapping the game world, showcasing a seamless and expansive map. The line of sight system underwent a comprehensive rework, preventing server crashes and enhancing combat functionality. The inventory loading code underwent a refactor to ensure accurate updates post-load, and various optimisations were implemented to improve combat start times. The ongoing efforts of the Server Team reflect their commitment to refining core functionalities and addressing challenges in the game's server system, as detailed in the examples provided below.

  • Fixed an issue with World Chunk loading issues which meant certain areas were not loading correctly.
  • Fast travel options no longer include the origin point in the fast travel options list.
  • Fixed an issue with object retrieval from the cache.
  • Fixed entity inventory handling between sessions.
  • Fixed some server config files.
  • Fixed progression data handling in sessions.
  • Fast travel network details updated to fix ending adventures.
  • Zone importing fixed.
  • Zone data updated.
  • New nav data imported to the server code.
  • GetCoordAtRadius updated to work with our new data.

Sound Design

Over the past month, the Sound Team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to elevating the game's auditory experience. They began with an extensive recording session featuring winter's ice, crafting audio for level 2 abilities like Hardened Will, Rescue, Inspire, Extra Energy, Provoke, and Mass Provoke. Innovating further, the team experimented with blending recordings, using ice recordings and electromagnetic signals to create unique magical effects, promising a distinctive direction for immersive sounds. Simultaneously, their library expanded with additional footsteps recordings. The team's commitment to refining character abilities persisted, making minor adjustments, introducing new source files, and addressing issues like "muddy" sounds and reverb. These continuous refinements contribute significantly to the immersive and rich audio experience within Depths of Erendorn, reflecting the Sound Team's unwavering dedication. Examples of their work throughout the month can be explored below.

Environment Art

In the recent weeks of development, the Environment team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to enhancing the visual elements of the game environment. They focused on refining the city gate, significantly improving its silhouette through meticulous re-modelling for a more cohesive appearance. UV mapping and strategic placement of test materials in MAYA were employed to assess the aesthetic impact. Various kit pieces and a trim sheet were utilised, ensuring a consistent and polished look, with iterative updates to achieve the desired finesse. Simultaneously, the team engaged in preparatory work for asset construction, organising modular pieces for export to the engine and creating a test level using modular kits. Notable additions included a sturdy wall for the Viking settlement, offering both visual and functional appeal, and roof assets prepared with a new Viking shingles material. Wood end decals added intricate details to the Viking wall. These collective efforts underscore the team's commitment to refining and enriching the visual elements in Depths of Erendorn's environment, as seen in the accomplished work throughout the weeks.

Updated settlement gate

Continued settlement gate work

Additional settlement modular kit work

Animation

In February, the Animation team at Depths of Erendorn demonstrated significant progress in refining character movements, particularly focusing on the Knight's generic skills. Utilising an improved rig for better armour placement, the team crafted animations and ideas for the Knight's fundamental skills, including diverse blocking motions and a rallying call. This served as a rigorous test for the enhanced model, involving precise adjustments to ensure precise and realistic armour positioning. Simultaneously, in the ongoing development of the Centaur, the Animation Team addressed skin weight issues, commenced work on the basic animation set, and fine-tuned sound effects for the "Rescue" ability. With the custom rig in place, the team initiated the fundamentals for the Centaur's movement within the engine, developing Run, Walk, and Idle cycles, along with animating the creature's weapons. These collective efforts underscore the team's dedication to bringing lifelike characters and engaging animations to Depths of Erendorn, as seen in their accomplished work throughout the month.

Human Knight updated rig movement

Centaur idle poses progress

Continued progress with Centaur movement cycles

Centaur trot movement cycle

Visual Effects

In the past month, the VFX team at Depths of Erendorn showcased commendable dedication and progress in multiple areas. Their focus on refining the waterfall fluid system resulted in substantial strides, achieving impressive functionality with effective integration into various meshes and collisions. While there may be some intricacies up close, the system exhibits strong performance and aesthetics from a distance. Simultaneously, the team explored fluid-based effects, gaining a good grasp of the technique and envisioning their use to add an extra layer to visual effects. In parallel, their work on level 2 spells, Magic Stitches and Rapid Requisition, involved an iterative process to craft mythical visual effects with striking colours, vividly showcasing arcane and void magic. This comprehensive and innovative work underscores the team's commitment to both functionality and visual appeal in creating dynamic environmental and magical effects for Depths of Erendorn. Examples of their achievements can be explored in the accompanying videos and images.

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

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