Weekly DevLog: Trading Tents Are Now In The UE4 Settlement!

Development
November 9, 2020
November 18, 2021

As the title suggests, we’ve made some new additions to the game’s settlement in UE4 by creating some trading tents in Marvelous Designer.

But before we get into that, we have a few updates on the Guards of the Human Kingdom, our in-game animations, as well as how our VFX and SFX are coming along. If you’re a dev-head, we’ve even got a few words from our Programmers on how they’ve synchronised animations with the game flow - so stick around for that if you’re curious! As always, follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on Depths of Erendorn!

3D Modelling

Texturing the Guards in Substance Painter

The first thing we have to show you in this week’s devlog update is the newly completed Guard series! These were all textured in Substance Painter, where their gambesons were coloured a regal red, their armour plates were given a steely finish, and where their various trimmings and adornments were accentuated in gold.

From left to right, here are the finished models of the Guard, the Enforcer, and the Royal Guard, all of which are worthy opponents in the game who you’ll commonly see patrolling the Human Kingdom:

Animation

The Art of Timing

Some timing issues were fixed in animation this week so that we could ensure due homage is being paid to the characters’ movements and visual effects. For example, ‘Spinning Kick,’ a generic skill used by the Watertarg and Assassin, will now spin more than once in order to make the animation and VFX more visible.

Our Animator made similar timing adjustments to some of the Assassin’s basic attacks, like the ones shown below. Over the next few weeks, all of our animations will be adjusted and re-timed until they’re all performing as optimally as possible.

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Spinningkick-1.m4v

This is how 'Spinning Kick' is looking in-game after timing adjustments were made

Environment Design in UE4

Using Marvelous Designer to Create Tents

Set dressing for the UE4 settlement continued this week with the addition of some trading tents, where players will be able to interact with merchants and buy useful items. To create these tents, we first had to develop an efficient workflow for creating cloth assets:

  • We decided to use Marvelous Designer for the tents, since this 3D modelling program is very effective at creating realistic fabrics and cloth folds
  • After we UVd and textured the tents, we created a custom stitching texturing tool inside Substance Painter that we used to paint the stitching with

Here's a little behind-the-scenes glimpse at the tent creation process:

Many different tents have now been created and dotted around the settlement. We also expanded the borders of the settlement so that we could space everything out properly, since it was beginning to get a little overcrowded!

The next steps for the settlement will be to set dress the interior of the tents, as well as to keep refining all the different buildings. For now, though, here’s where we’re at:

A shot of the Inn's exterior
A shot of the back of the Inn
The settlement from afar

Visual FX

Finishing Off the Zentragal’s Abilities

Our Visual FX Artist finished off the Zentragal Illusionist’s talent abilities this week, including:

  • Shadow Beam, which deals Damage to three tiles in front of you, as well as reduces the Movement of an enemy’s hit
'Shadow Beam'
  • Empowered Obscurity, which increases your Mana Regeneration stat if you don’t get attacked on that turn. This is doubled if you continue avoiding attacks beyond this turn
'Empowered Obscurity'
  • Cursed Ground, which allows you to target a 4x4 tiled area and cause all enemies within that range to lose a bit of Movement
'Cursed Ground'

In addition to all this, our VFX Artist has also been creating some new textures for the remaining talent abilities we have left to do. Check it all out below!

Sound Design

Ambient Sounds for Fire Caves

Over the last couple of weeks, our Sound Artist has been busy creating some ambient sounds for the dungeon’s fire caves, which players will be able to traverse in the game. Here’s how the first round is sounding:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Fire-Caves-Ambience-01-Short.wav

Ambient sounds for fire caves - iteration 1

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Fire-Caves-Ambience-02-Short.wav

Ambient sounds for fire caves - iteration 2

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Fire-Caves-Ambience-03-Short.wav

Ambient sounds for fire caves - iteration 3

Work also began on adding sound to the Zentragal’s abilities we mentioned earlier - specifically for Shadow Beam and Empowered Obscurity. We’re happy with how the latter is sounding, but the former is a little too sci-fi at the moment, so we’ll be tweaking that over the next few days:

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/ShadowBeam.mp4

The draft sounds for 'Shadow Beam'

Programming

Assigning Hotkeys to Actions

Following on from the implementation of hotbars we showed last week, we’re now able to apply and use hotkeys that perform the actions that are bound to these action bars. These hotkeys include:

  • Slot Keybinds: Keybinds for the 12 slots of the main ability bar and the 12 slots of the Ghost Bar are now bound to the number keys, e.g.:
  • Numbers 1 through to the = sign activate the main bar, Ctrl+1 through to the = sign activates the Ghost Bar, and Alt+1 through to 3 activates the Consumable Bar
  • Rebindable Hotkeys: Hotkeys can now be assigned and saved to preferences. They also have the capability of being activated by keybind modifiers, i.e. Ctrl/Alt/Shift
  • Keybind Display: The currently applied keybind now appears on the hotbar slot it is bound to. This means that the letter, number, and modifier are visible during the game

https://doe.horus.ninja/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Empowered-Obscurity.mp4

The draft sounds for 'Empowered Obscurity'

We also improved synchronicity between animations and the game flow by delaying the removal of Steps. This basically means that animations, like rotations or attacks, will be coordinated to create a more natural, fluid movement. For the Action System, this means that certain actions can continue in the background without disturbing the gameplay.

Here’s an example of how the delayed steps removal feature works: If you want to cast a projectile at a target that’s behind you, before you’ve completed your rotation to face this target, the animation will have already triggered so that the whole movement appears smoother. Previously, the motion would be more mechanical as it followed a ‘turn-stop-cast’ procedure.

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

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