November Devlog | Week #4 | No. 255

Development
December 9, 2023
December 14, 2023

This week in the development of Depths of Erendorn! The 3D modelling team is focused on refining a specific style, particularly short hair details, showcasing iterative improvements and a significant stride toward a polished outcome. In set piece design, dedicated efforts are directed to crafting a Viking ship-themed firepit, emphasising thematic richness and immersive environmental elements. Development highlights include ongoing work on the dry log system, client upgrade to Source Unreal Engine 5.2.3, and server focus on the Dynamic XP system. The Environment team engages in comprehensive testing of a trim decal material, while the VFX team explores fluid systems for future waterfalls, collectively showcasing multidisciplinary progress within Depths of Erendorn. Examples of the ongoing work can be explored below. 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 the realm of 3D modelling, the team is actively engaged in refining a particular style, aiming for a polished and definitive version. Applying techniques garnered over the previous weeks, the current focus lies in achieving a more refined rendition. Notably, the short hair has undergone meticulous attention to detail, resulting in a smoother transition to longer strands. The commitment to iterative improvement and honing skills is evident, marking a stride towards a more perfected and visually appealing outcome. An example of the work in progress hair style can be seen below.

Work in progress refinement of current hair style

Set Piece Design

This week in set piece design, dedicated efforts were directed towards crafting a Viking ship-themed firepit. The process began with thorough research and reference gathering to ensure authenticity and thematic cohesion. After finalising the high-poly model, the focus shifted to the critical stage of retopology. The team is on track for the next steps, with bakes planned for testing and swift progression into the texturing phase. The commitment to detail and the thematic richness of the Viking ship firepit aligns with the team's ongoing dedication to creating immersive and visually striking environmental elements for Depths of Erendorn.

Nordic inspired fire pit side angle

Alternate angle of high poly model

Front and back of high poly model

Programming

Client

This week the team continued the development of the dry log system. The main focus of this has been adapting the UI to allow us to enter arrays of values where necessary, and to be able to reference existing in-game entities and handle other data types that we can't manually write out. Also making some headway on setting up the last stages of the dry log creation pipeline, in particular managing how we reach the final required data types for each logs when there are a few type conversions happening throughout the system.

This week has also been focused on upgrading the DoE client to Unreal Engine 5.2.3. This has involved working through the following steps;

  • Updating all plugins.
  • Converting the project.
  • Fixing any newly deprecated function calls in the codebase.
  • Preparing our modified version of the engine for distribution to the team.

Server

The last week was spent between working diligently on our new accounts system, fleshing out the various admin features we will need and setting up the data endpoints it requires. This work has been extended to further add more user centric features like, emailing password resets. As well as to handle account banning and a ban appeal process. This week, the team also spent their time working on creating and finalising the underlying structure of how the Dynamic XP system is going to work for regions. Now, all servers will randomly roll the same XP for the same region, without having to tell each other, and fresh servers can even spin up and randomly roll the same XP that all the older servers already have. The end of the week would see some time spent beginning the work on the player Level 2 Generic Spells.

Environment Art

This week, the Environment team at Depths of Erendorn engaged in comprehensive testing of a trim decal material, a pivotal step in refining the intricate details of environmental assets. The team successfully baked edge decal details and seamlessly incorporated them into the Viking trim sheet, demonstrating a commitment to precision and visual fidelity. Additional enhancements were made by adding knot shapes to the Viking trim sheet, refining opacity cut-out accuracy. Practical implementation involved cutting out and strategically arranging decals on a test model using MAYA. The team further demonstrated their proficiency by creating both decal and wood materials in UE5, subsequently importing test assets and meticulously applying the materials. Examples of the ongoing work can be explored below.

Blueprint for Nordic decal generation

Decal applied within Maya

Decals on wooden beams in engine

Decal with degradation in engine

Visual Effects

In the past week, the VFX team delved deeper into fluid systems, dedicating efforts to learning and implementing them for the creation of a foundational structure for future waterfalls. This initiative aims not only to introduce dynamic movement into the world of Erendorn but also to empower the environment team with increased flexibility for integrating captivating points of interest throughout the game world. The endeavour reflects a commitment to enhancing the overall visual and immersive quality of the gaming experience. Examples of the ongoing work can be explored below.

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

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