This week’s devlog shows you the creation process behind the Charged Spiderling, as well as the new settlement Inn and ability sound FX. We’ve done a ton of work in Programming, from rebalancing abilities to integrating Status Effects. If you haven’t already, join us over on Twitter, Instagram or Reddit for daily updates on our online RPG in development - now let’s get into it!
Creating The Charged Spiderling
With spooky season upon us, our 3D Character Artist thought it would be the perfect time to bring the game’s Charged Spiderling to life. In Depths of Erendorn, you can summon a Charged Spiderling when you play as the Zentragal Illusionist:
- Using a special spell, this eight legged nightmare will spawn during battle
- Charged Spiderlings are aggressive and will attack the nearest enemies to you
- When it inevitably dies, the Spiderling’s gift to you will be in the form of extra Mana
To create the Charged Spiderling, the blockout and sculpt were done in ZBrush while the texture was done in Substance Painter. An emissive blue material was used for this creature so as to marry the sinister appearance of spiders with the ethereal, fantastical element of the game.
New Settlement Buildings & Inns
This week, our Environment Artists created some houses, shelters and pig pens for the game’s settlement in UE4. We also did some work on set-dressing the Guard House with carved wooden tankards, wall-mounted fire torches and various other props.
In addition to all this, a new Inn for the settlement has been started in MAYA, following a detailed illustration that our Concept Artist created not long ago. To get started on this:
- Our Environment Artist blocked out an accurate footprint of the Inn with kit pieces in the engine, which were then exported out as an FBX into MAYA
- The Inn concept was then studied carefully in order to try and break it down into common pieces, which will be reused in a modular kit
- Unfortunately, this ended up not working out, and cost us quite a lot of time, so instead we decided that it would be best to create the Inn from unique whole pieces
The rest of the week was spent constructing the unique pieces for the Inn, starting with the roof, so come back next week to see our progress with this!
This is the concept art for the settlement Inn:
These are some screenshots of our settlement so far:
Sound Design For Abilities & Enemies
After creating some draft sounds for Talent Abilities and their visual FX last week, our Sound Artist continued with this work by creating the remaining three Talents that had corresponding visuals:
- Mending Hands is used to restore small amounts of Health over five turns, and so a clean, almost tinny sound design was used to convey this action
- Summon Geyser mimics the sounds of its phenomenological namesake, including rushing gusts of wind that are underpinned by a subtle, earthly roar!
- Gutting Wound is a gnarly ability that now sounds as brutal as the title suggests. A clean weapon slice was used for this, which matches the slashing VFX perfectly
These are the draft sounds and VFX for 'Mending Hands'
Programming in UE4
Reworking The Server
If you were with us last week, you’ll know that we’re planning on recreating the server code in a new language. This server rework continued into this week, though it’s gonna be a huge job that will take some time to fully complete.
It’ll all be worth it, though, because once we’ve finished, and have retired the current server, the result will be a much more efficient and performant server.
Ability Rebalance & New Generic Skills
Nearly all abilities in the game have had their scaling adjusted this week. This is because, in regards to the stats your character can gain, we wanted to adjust how quickly abilities scale up in terms of Damage.
We’ve also planned and created definitions for all of the Generic Skills we want in the game for early access. We’re really happy with the new abilities we’ve come up with and re-balanced - there's over 30 at the minute, so here’s three of our favourites (though they’ve yet to be named!):
- Players will be offered a skill that allows them to reduce the amount of Damage dealt to them and an ally within five tiles
- Another skill will make the next enemy that attacks a player miss all of their following attacks for two whole turns
- We also included a skill that will give all of a player’s spells a 10% chance of refunding their Mana costs to the player - so you can essential use them for free if you're lucky!
Cleaning Up Abilities
As a result of implementing Movement Steppers last week, the Parakaw ability ‘Teleport’ was updated to use this new method. This led to the clean-up of a few of the other Parakaw-specific abilities, like Burning Hands, Arcane Burst, Teleport and many others, all of which should now be close to full function.
As a recap, the new Movement Steppers were implemented means that characters are able to perform their movements with synchronised animation triggers. This was done according to three movement types identified in the game: linear movement, jumping and teleportation.
These are the draft sounds and VFX for 'Summon Geyser'
Integrating Status Effects
This week has also been largely focused on planning and implementing the long awaited integration of Status Effects with the Action System. The aim of this current sprint is to implement a system that takes the range of available options and caters them to incorporate the data available for use in realising the effects of Statuses in the game.
Lots of planning has gone ahead for this, taking into account the key differences needed between Ability and Status Templates, while keeping consistency between them:
- One major difference between abilities and statuses is that abilities exist exclusively at the moment they’re cast
- Statuses, however, exist across multiple turns and often behave differently over the course of their activity
- Another difference is that statuses have different actions that make up their lifetime, including when they’re applied, when they process and when they’re removed
A Status Builder class has been created to handle the creation and tracking of Status Templates. This means that the Status Builder is capable of displaying statuses in dynamic ways, making better use of the contexts in which they occur. As an example, a heal buff that delivers a large heal on the third turn can use different rules to display a more elaborate effect.
With all this, implementation has now begun on the Status Effect/Action System integration, but as planned it will take some more time to allow us to implement the simpler templates.
That’s it for this devlog - see you next week!