It has been an exciting week for development. A new set of armour takes shape from the 3D modelling team. During this time, the wizards of coding have been working on some long overdue bug fixes to movement and vendors, whilst the sound team have been working in the engine optimising sound zones. In addition, the environment team have also been in the engine working on set dressing the landscape. Finally, the animation team have been re-working some combat movement cycles and the VFX team has been creating new ability effects. 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!
Taking a break from the hairstyles of Erendorn, the 3D modelling team have started to block out a new set of armour. In a similar process to how the Zentragal armour was built up, it was started with a rough shape of how they would like the armour to appear. Taking inspiration from suits of armour from our world, the team has layered the sheet metal over some padding, this will help to support the heavy armour and add a final layer of protection against weapons. In addition, a coif has been added to the head of the model that will also support the weight of the helmet. Throughout the next couple of weeks, details and texture will be added to the armour as it is prepared for the characters of Erendorn.
This week has seen improvements to how the Server and Client interrupt and update character movements in the World as well as a whole host of long-overdue bug fixes. Additional work completed by the client-side team can be seen below.
- Movement paths are now updated more smoothly, due to the time difference between a movement being declared serverside compared to where the client is showing that character, interrupted movements (a movement requested while one is already going on for that character) would previously begin the character back a step, meaning characters jumped around the grid attempting to align with the most recent path. Movement paths are now calculated based on where a character will be by the time the request has gone through allowing updated paths to be queued and transitioned smoothly.
- The specific log responsible for beginning character movement has been changed to facilitate character movements being triggered as a result of interactable or event sources.
- The Dungeon Grid has been restored, broken since the switch to World Combat, players can once again visualise the tiles that make up Dungeon rooms.
- Movement Overlay, the ability for players to visualise would-be attacker's movement ranges now functions correctly again.
- Activity Book Entries no longer fade instantly when added to the Activity Book and are archived when switching between Sessions.
- Correct Ability Descriptions and the properly populated Ability Hotbar are now visible outside of combat.
- Fixed audio track switching when the day/night cycle changes.
- Fixed combat shrine VFX activation.
This week the Server team has continued to be busy bug squashing. Including Caged Parakaws being unable to run away when freed, not gaining XP correctly upon an adventure's end and a large multitude of bugs caused by entering combat on steep slopes or other awkwardly tiled locations. Additionally, Redirect Damage, a new Effect, has been made to enable some of the upcoming level 2 abilities. More work from the server-side team can be seen below.
- Added system chat messages when world events reward loot.
- Refactored the function to send chat messages to work with world events.
- Debugged party disband code.
- Added a function to print a party's status to the console.
- Fixed Combat Shrine world event activation.
- Updated party updates to not crash if a party member is disconnected.
- Refactored log cleaner to cycle more often but did not execute the clean-up code every cycle to improve session shutdown speed.
- Fixed party invite acceptance code when the invite has expired.
- Fixed a bug which caused you to reselect your character when returning to the settlement.
- Refactored open world Movement code.
- Added queued movement code.
- Refactored how movements end.
- Fixed selling items to vendors, they should now give the correct amount of gold and can no longer be sold multiple times.
The sound team have been improving the sound design within the engine, throughout the last week. To create a rich and full ambience, the team has been mixing the many different sounds needed for the world. Audio in the world will have zones that will be active while players wander through them, when they do so audio will play that will correlate to the scenery around the adventurer. This could be used in a range of applications such as leaves rustling in a tree while you are under it, hearing people in marketplaces or taverns and hearing drips from a well in a village. All of these applications have been achieved by the team throughout the last week while working within the engine. The most important part of their work comes in the mixing of different areas so it is clear when a character moves from one area to another. In the video below, the biggest example of this is shown as the character moves from the market to inside a tavern. Audio such as this will go a long way to ground our world and make it familiar to anyone who chooses to adventure. All examples of the audio in use within the engine can be seen in the video below.
The environment team have continued set dressing the world using decals. As we saw a few weeks ago, the team are using the decals to project the rocky setting onto the floor. This is saving vital processing power when applied to the world and will also make the process of set dressing the entire initial area, and beyond, a lot quicker. The last time we saw this process, the team were very much in the early stages of experimentation, with rough edges showing up around the projection area. From the picture below we can see that the team are now working with a lot more efficiency when it comes to applying the rocky projection to the world. Along with added smoothness and efficiency, the team has also added the ability for grass and foliage to be removed depending on what is projected onto the ground. The team will continue to implement these projections across the initial area to give the landscape some much-needed variety. An example of the projection within the wilderness can be seen below.
The animation team have been continuing to update older movement cycles throughout the week. Focusing on the Human Knight's Heaving Blow and modifying the animation, making it smoother and a more realistic cycle. While the older animation would have sufficed for work-in-progress builds, the newer animation shows a much more polished movement for the Human Knight. The most obvious aspect that has changed through the modification is the movement of the feet as the character swings. Moving the foot, while depicting the shift in weight from one to the other, gives the impression that a lot more power went into the swing. This is also shown through the arm not holding the weapon, which extends above the head and then to behind the back. This emphasis goes a long way to portray the strength and dedication to the attack from the Human Knight. The team will finalise the animation through the coming week, examples of the work-in-progress swing can be seen below.
The VFX team have continued their work on the level 3 abilities, throughout the week. Following on from the concepts we saw previously, the team has started work on Lightning Pulse, Attack of Pursuit, and Celerity. All these abilities follow the same theme as the ones we have seen in the previous week, giving all the visual effects consistency. The team has utilised a range of colours and shapes to portray each of these effects and ensure that they can be differentiated from others. These effects will now be added to the engine, ready for gameplay. All brand-new effects can be seen in the examples below.
The team would also work on a couple of real-world effects that will be used to give feedback to the player. Working with the chest model, the team has created an alternate effect that can be used when a chest has a more generic reward inside. This will also be used to combine with the shiny magical effects for when the chest has a better reward. The team has also worked on the effects of the berry bush that will be used within world events within Erendorn. Utilising the same mesh node as the weapon and characters from last week, a more eye-catching effect has been created to make sure players will notice it as they traverse the landscape. Examples of all the effects created throughout the week can be seen below.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of October yet?!