Monthly Devlog | March 2024 | No. 62

Development
April 9, 2024
April 12, 2024

Throughout the past month, the teams at Depths of Erendorn have made significant progress across various aspects of development. The 3D Modelling team successfully refined character models, focusing on the Centaur and Revenant enemies, while the Set Piece Design team enhanced in-game environments with meticulously crafted assets such as forges, chests, and barrels. The Client-Side Programming team dedicated efforts to refining combat mechanics and player inventories, while the Server-Side Programming team focused on enhancing server-side functionalities and optimising gameplay mechanics. The Sound Team enriched the auditory experience with detailed footsteps and spell effects, while the Environment Team  designed and optimised environmental assets. The Animation Team advanced the development of generic skills for playable characters, and the VFX Team made significant progress in finalising level 2 spells. Collectively, these efforts demonstrate the teams' dedication to elevating the visual and auditory quality, gameplay mechanics, and immersive experience of Depths of Erendorn. 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

Over the past month, the 3D Modelling team at Depths of Erendorn has achieved significant milestones in refining various character models. They successfully completed the refitting of previous equipment to the new Centaur base, resulting in four distinct classes prepared for the diverse landscapes of Erendorn. Additionally, the team embarked on revising the Revenant character, incorporating additional details such as horns, chains, and a skull motif to enhance its menacing appearance. With these achievements, the team has continued to elevate the visual quality and thematic coherence of Depths of Erendorn's characters, ensuring an immersive gaming experience for players. Examples of their refined work can be explored below.

Veloxian Centaur with armour finalised textures

Icegrip Centaur finalised armour textures

Initial work on revamped Revenant

Additional details for the Revenant

Finalised sculpt on the Revenant

Set Piece Design

Throughout the last month, the Set Piece Design team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to enhancing the in-game environments with meticulous attention to detail. They began by crafting high-poly items for the forge, including essential elements such as a hearth, anvil, and polishing wheel, to furnish a blacksmith's shop in the game's initial area. These items were designed to add depth and authenticity to the environment. Subsequently, the team focused on texturing the forge with gritty dark textures, creating an atmosphere that authentically emulates a working blacksmith's environment. Additionally, they diversified the appearance of loot found throughout Erendorn by completing a set of chests, each adorned with iron and gold trim to highlight distinctions between different loot types. Furthermore, the team crafted a range of barrels, applying various levels of destruction to reflect the dynamic nature of the game world. Examples of their work can be seen below.

Forge objects first pass

Textured forge objects

Chest variety initial block out

Finalised chests with rarity variation

Range of barrel objects for decoration

Programming

Client

Throughout the past month, the Client-Side Programming team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to refining various aspects of gameplay to ensure a seamless gaming experience. They focused on finalising changes related to Combat within the new Navigation System, addressing key areas such as projectiles, movement mechanics, and the implementation of area-of-effect (AoE) highlights. The team's efforts were directed towards harnessing the benefits of recent infrastructure upgrades, enhancing the overall player experience. Following a hiatus, the team resumed activities, primarily focused on testing newly introduced generic abilities and generating comprehensive logs for replication in the dry testing environment. Additionally, they dedicated time to adjusting systems to handle a broader number of animations, creating new functions to align with the revamped system. Simultaneously, the team enhanced player inventories by updating the UI, introducing new functionalities, and enabling combat rewards to be looted by interacting with containers in the game world. Additional examples of their ongoing work can be explored in the detailed updates provided below.

  • Projectiles now spawn and animate correctly using the new coordinates.
  • Updated how potential movement pathfinding displays.
  • Updated the targeting display during AoE ability casting.
  • Combat pathfinder fixed.
  • Started the movement mesh fix.
  • Fixed an issue preventing combat from ending.
  • Fixed issues preventing us from packaging due to changes with the world map.
  • Added cheat requests for developers to take advantage of and improve test times.

            - Teleportation            - Item Generation            - XP Granting            - Ability Granting            - Stat Granting

  • Added a panel to make testing even easier for developers.
  • Player inventories have been reworked to allow for Containers, a way of subdividing sections of a player's inventory for different purposes, such as items currently held and owned items that remain at the settlement during adventures.
  • Updated player inventory to allow containers to be displayed.
  • Player items held in Containers now have positions within the inventory and can be moved by the player.
  • Updated other inventory facing UI to interact with Containers.
  • Fixed a bug causing direction abilities to invert on one axis during targeting.
  • Split all animations into subcategories and updated an Animation Controller Blueprint to function using the new subcategories.
  • Added a Container Submanager to track and interact with containers in the world.
  • Added Container Loot command as an intermediary action between finding a container and obtaining the items within.
  • Added a Container Loot Panel for displaying items found in an opened Container with the ability to 'Loot All'.

Server

Throughout the past month, the Server-Side Programming team at Depths of Erendorn has been tirelessly dedicated to enhancing server-side functionalities and optimising gameplay mechanics. They achieved a significant milestone with the introduction of the cache system, enabling servers to store and share critical data across all instances, including information about parties, loot items, and essential elements. Despite encountering challenges during the implementation, the team adeptly navigated through issues, addressing emerging problems and implementing optimisations to ensure smoother operation. Additionally, they focused on addressing inter-server communication issues, refining loot distribution mechanics, and enhancing inventory functionality. Notable advancements include a substantial optimisation to world chunk activation and event location generation, resulting in a significant reduction in RAM usage. Examples of their ongoing work can be explored in the updates provided below.

  • Fixed Event spawning.
  • Fixed Cache storage and retrieval.
  • Fixed Cache key generation.
  • Fixed adventure creation.
  • Refactored enemy spawning.
  • Added missing logs for spawned objects, fixing some event spawns.
  • Fixed proximity checks to dungeon entrances.
  • Area of Effect spell fixes.
  • Event Spawn location tweaks to improve performance.
  • Updated enemy spawning logic.
  • Optimised enemy spawning.
  • Adjusted container interactions.
  • Refactored ProgressionData.
  • Investigated server performance issues.
  • Improved container handling code.
  • Implemented LootContainer method and command.
  • Updated Stable branch of newer code.

Sound Design

Throughout the past month, the Sound Team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to enhancing the auditory experience of the game by focusing on various aspects of sound design. They began by improving generic footsteps for different terrains, such as grass, rock, and gravel, while also creating new audio variants tailored specifically for ice and snow environments. These efforts aimed to deepen immersion within the game world, ensuring that each footstep contributes to the atmospheric richness of Erendorn. Furthermore, the team worked on updating and implementing sounds for new character animations, refining sounds for vocals, movements, and actions to enrich the auditory landscape of the game. Additionally, they focused on adapting and creating sound effects to complement the latest visual effects designs, drawing from recordings of snowy wilderness and forest settings to infuse abilities with a mystical aura. Completed abilities, such as Sleep, Fear, Confusion, and more, were uniquely defined by their accompanying audio, providing players with cues that enhance their experience. Examples of their work can be explored in the videos provided below.

Environment Art

Throughout the past month, the Environment Team at Depths of Erendorn has been deeply engaged in enhancing the game environment through a series of comprehensive tasks. They commenced by setting team briefs and conducting extensive research to generate concepts for environment asset creation, thus laying the foundation for future development endeavors. The team's productivity was evident as they delved into prop idea generation sessions and executed planning and research to enrich the visual landscape of the game. Moreover, they implemented master material optimisation changes to enhance performance and efficiency, ensuring optimal rendering of assets. Technical challenges were tackled head-on, including the arrangement of assets to facilitate smooth camera movement within buildings and troubleshooting level instancing issues and interactions with decals. The team's unwavering commitment to refining the environment in Depths of Erendorn was underscored by their prompt resolution of runtime VT errors within the engine, maintaining a seamless gaming experience. Examples of their work can be observed in the visual representations provided below.

Continued work on the settlement modular kit

Initial block out using the modular kit in engine

Mood board for next set of settlement props

Animation

Throughout the past month, the Animation Team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to advancing the development of generic skills for playable characters. Their efforts have resulted in significant progress, with a focus on creating new animations, repurposing existing ones, and transferring animations between races with necessary adjustments. The team's approach included detailed notes for skills that did not require new animations, streamlining the development process. Moreover, they continued to refine and polish animations after thorough testing to ensure a seamless gaming experience. Notable achievements include the creation of diverse and dynamic movements showcased in a video featuring Forest Druid, Earthen Dwarf, and Human Knight characters. Additionally, the team explored new tools and techniques, such as IK rigs and UE 5.4 animation tools, to enhance animation creation and adjustment efficiency. Their dedication to creating engaging and versatile animations for different characters is evident in their continuous efforts, as showcased in the examples provided below.

Visual Effects

Throughout the past month, the VFX Team at Depths of Erendorn has demonstrated remarkable creativity and efficiency in advancing the visual effects for level 2 spells. They focused on finalising spells like Mind Lock, Parasites, and Magic Binding, making substantial progress in material and texture work. Additionally, the team successfully completed effects for Mystic Recharge, Magic Shield, Jolt, Empower Weapon, Sleep, Fear, Confusion, and Arcane Mines, among others. Their dedication to enhancing the visual spectacle and gameplay experience of Depths of Erendorn is evident in their meticulous attention to detail and innovative efforts. By expanding their toolkit and efficiently setting up materials, the team has optimised workflows and laid a promising precedent for accelerated development in the upcoming weeks. Examples of their captivating effects can be seen in the provided examples, showcasing their commitment to immersing players in a world filled with awe-inspiring magic and mysticism.

Concept sheet for next round of level 2 abilities

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

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