In the month of September, Depths of Erendorn witnessed remarkable progress and dedication across its development teams. The 3D modelling team meticulously crafted the agility-based armour set, focusing on intricate details and realism, reaching milestones in sculpting, refining, and optimising character models. Meanwhile, the client-side team worked tirelessly to enhance the user interface and overall gaming experience, integrating the Help Controller, fixing UI bugs, and improving gameplay concept communication. The server-side team undertook significant server performance upgrades, addressed bugs, and implemented crucial features, ensuring smoother gameplay. Simultaneously, the sound team persevered through engine-related challenges, collaborating on UI and VFX sounds to enrich the auditory dimension of the game. The environment team delved into Celtic and Viking woodwork, shaping intricate details for the Viking-inspired settlement and refining architectural elements. Finally, the animation and VFX teams contributed to character animations, visual enhancements, and dynamic effects, emphasising their commitment to immersion and visual quality. 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!
Throughout the month of September, the 3D modelling team at Depths of Erendorn made remarkable progress in their character design endeavours. They focused on the agility-based armour set, beginning with meticulous detailing of various components. Notably, the lower body sculpt was almost completed, showcasing their dedication to precision and realism. To enhance character agility, they integrated laced-up boots for a secure fit and added baggy trousers to improve mobility. Their attention to detail extended to intricate trim on shoulders, as well as belts and wrist guards, enhancing functionality and aesthetics. The team then shifted focus to the hood and face mask, further enriching the character's appearance. In the final stages, they reached significant milestones by completing the sculpting phase, transitioning to refinement, and then retopology to ensure optimal mesh topology for fluid animation and rendering. Examples of their work can be seen throughout the month, highlighting the team's continuous dedication to character design in Depths of Erendorn.
Throughout September, the client-side team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to improving the game's user interface and overall user experience. They focused on integrating the Help Controller with the Help Book and Help Sidebar Widgets to effectively communicate gameplay concepts at key moments while preventing unnecessary prompts for experienced players. This effort included refining the functionality for linking popups with their cues and the main tutorial book, as well as populating popups with relevant text and images for each cue. They also addressed various UI issues, including adjustments to displaying popups, tab navigation enhancements, and overhauls in handling the closing of UI elements such as inventory and dialogue screens. These improvements not only streamlined the user interface but also fixed issues related to movement and context menus. Additionally, the team worked on fixing a bug that was affecting combat initiation, improving update log readability, and enhancing the Help Book tutorial pages' layout and content. Their work in September also involved cleaning up asset names for better allocation and adding a gold display to the inventory, along with categorising player stats for improved clarity. Overall, the client-side team's dedication to enhancing the game's UI and user experience has been a central focus throughout the month, resulting in significant improvements to the gameplay loop. Examples of their work can be seen below.
- Added Tutorial Progress data to DoE's Save Data to allow us to determine when it's relevant to provide gameplay help.
- Added a function for applying sets of help pages from different triggers.
- Added the ability to switch between help pages in the Help Sidebar.
- Updated layout for Help Book and Help Sidebar.
- Added Tutorial triggers at key gameplay moments to provide new players with relevant help with DoE's core mechanics. The Triggers include things like;
- The first time a player enters the Settlement.
- The first time a player sets out on an Adventure.
- The first time a player enters Combat.
- The first time a player enters a Dungeon.
- Added keybind saving for Inventory, Summary, Help and Stat Panel Toggle inputs.
- Fixed a missing texture issue affecting cliffs and certain objects in the Settlement.
- Fixed a bug where Combat Updates were being lost during setup if the Updater was backed up with other updates. Updates received during high traffic moments now correctly queue Steps so nothing gets missed.
- Improved how all updates are tracked and logged in the Client. This means that as developers we can more easily follow an update through each process; from when it is received via the Server, to execution and until destruction.
- Added new pages for the Help Book.
- Updated Help Book content layout to allow easier reordering and bring all content pages together visually.
- Added the ability to trigger UI overlay for Help Pages.
- Added Basic UI Help Page overlay to show new players key UI elements when starting the game or viewing the page in the Help Book.
- Added input icons for Help Page text for mouse events and keyboard buttons.
- Updated the Log Book (Combat and Chat Logs) with a new background and Send button.
- Fixed a bug where Adventure Quests were not being cleared from the Activity Panel when ending Adventure.
- Fixed a bug where Dungeon Room Panels would not clear after Reroll Ballots are concluded.
- Added Centre Panel events for UI pages opening and closing to allow Help Pages to trigger.
- Fixed a bug that prevented Dungeon Combats being found while performing queued updates during setup.
- Updated the Swing Cost calculation while hovering an enemy, the swing cost will now change colour if the attacker's current energy is modified. Previously players had to re-hover an enemy to get an updated visual.
- Added the triggering of the Dungeon Lobby help page.
- The 'aggressive' indicator on enemies has been updated.
- A bug that showed the container for active effects when a player is out of combat was resolved.
- Some wrongly scaled icons were fixed.
- The vendor transaction indicators have been fixed to remove the confusing 'hovered' state on the arrows.
- Added a background to the ability target tracker and adjusted the associated text to better contrast and scale with it.
- Added a popup during dungeons to inform the player on how to place themselves at the start of combat.
- Started on piecing together an overhaul of how the client handles loot drops to simplify the system overall and aid in catching future bugs.
- Combat progress will only show if the local player is taking part in, or if a currently selected player belongs to said ending Combat.
- Added the Stat Panel toggle functionality, Character Stats in the bottom right of the screen can now be toggled with the TAB button.
- Trinkets now have their "Equips to" text fixed to read "Equips to Trinket Slot".
- Added the ability to add different Help overlay pages and switch between their contents.
- Removed the old movement curs(e)or.
- Updated Character Select, selection and hover visuals and improved scaling for the login background.
- Allowed Environment Volume setting to affect various environment sound sources.
Throughout September, the server-side team at Depths of Erendorn has been dedicated to enhancing server performance and addressing various bugs to optimise gameplay. They made significant improvements to the networking code, resulting in a substantial increase in performance, particularly as the number of players increases. One major bug was discovered and resolved, which could lock a session from continuing if a disconnect occurred at a specific time. Additionally, the team completed the work required to implement Navdata, although testing and bug fixing are ongoing. Predictive behaviour in the client, which determines pathing, was significantly improved, eliminating awkward character movements. The team also focused on enhancing enemy AI behaviours, ensuring they make intelligent decisions, and addressed issues related to casting abilities and movement. Further work was carried out on the inventory system, allowing players to take a portion of their inventory on adventures and equip loot found during their journeys. These improvements contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable gaming experience. Examples of their work can be seen below.
- Movement was improved to be a little more responsive.
- Connection dropped reasons were converted to constants for better maintenance.
- Added Connection dropping if a connection becomes unresponsive for a time.
- Connection timeout time reduced.
- Added buffer to network message sending.
- Added dev teleport command.
- Connectivity issues on our latest server cluster have been resolved.
- GetNearestTile has been improved leading to faster combat starts with no freezing.
- Improved efficiency of our connection code.
- Fixed some Configuration issues due to some changes to our setup.
- Tuned the movement interrupting code.
- Fixed an issue with first step start positioning on movements.
- Server path optimisation code improved to stop a 'boomerang' effect.
Throughout the month of September, the sound team at Depths of Erendorn persevered through engine-related challenges, collaborating closely with other development teams to resolve them and ensure a smooth workflow. Despite these hurdles, they made substantial progress on various aspects of their work. In collaboration with the User Interface team, they crafted essential UI sounds, including a menu pop-up for tutorials, featuring variations with and without a whooshing element, and pen scratching sounds for quest logs. These early-stage sounds are expected to evolve in tandem with visual implementations. Additionally, the team leveraged their environment, editing general ambiance recordings to enhance the game's auditory atmosphere. Furthermore, they collaborated with the VFX team to create assets for visual effects, encompassing elements like electric spells, magical impacts, and ominous energy hums. With the animation team's introduction of advanced character movement animations, the sound team is enthusiastic about synchronising sounds closely with character actions, thereby elevating the overall immersive experience and synergy between audio and visual elements in the game. Examples of their work throughout September can be seen below.
During the month of September, the environment team at Depths of Erendorn demonstrated unwavering dedication to enhancing the game's visual aesthetics, particularly within the Viking-inspired settlement. Their work revolved around intricate woodwork details, and to achieve this, they conducted in-depth research into Celtic and Viking wood carvings. This research guided their approach to efficiently applying these intricate details to in-game assets. Once a suitable method was determined, the team created test assets and commenced the development of a trim sheet in Substance Designer, marking ongoing progress in this endeavour. This commitment to authenticity and detail ensures that the settlement captures the essence of its Viking inspiration. Notably, they also focused on the construction of the settlement kit, sculpting small dragon head figurines to adorn buildings and experimenting with diverse kit pieces to enhance architectural variety. The Viking trim sheet saw substantial progress, promising to bring an authentic touch to the settlement's aesthetic. Additionally, they crafted a shingles roof texture for the buildings and refined the roof structures and dimensions, overcoming kit limitations while enhancing visual appeal. Examples of their work throughout the month can be seen below.
Throughout September, the animation team at Depths of Erendorn made significant strides in refining character animations, enhancing the overall gaming experience. They meticulously addressed issues and optimised animations for smoother integration into the game engine, with a particular focus on the Human Female Ranger character. Rig and skinning adjustments were made to accommodate a recent female rig update, ensuring seamless character movement. Additionally, cloth physics were introduced to the character's cape, adding visual realism. Combat animations, including combat idle and bow attacks, were created and imported. The Twilight Elf character received attention as well, with efforts to add dynamic motion to cloth elements and improve character movement. The team also tackled skin weight and bone placement issues on cloth parts, exploring potential rig updates for resolution. Examples of their work throughout the month can be seen below.
Throughout September, the VFX team at Depths of Erendorn worked diligently to enhance the game's visual elements, displaying their commitment to elevating the player experience. They introduced dynamic hovering animations to portal rocks, increasing immersion in the game world. Additionally, they tackled shader issues and optimisations, significantly improving the game's visual quality and performance. The team explored new concepts through concept art, expanding the creative vision for the game. They also delved into creating visual effects for weapon and armour enchantments, vital for enhancing gameplay. Examples of their work throughout the month can be seen below.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of August yet?!