It has been an experimentation-filled week for developers working on Depths of Erendorn! The 3D modelling team started to work on hairstyles, while the set piece design team worked on a new centrepiece for city dwellings. The wizards of coding have been improving open-world combat's UI functions and started to tackle more complex world events! Additionally, the environment team have implemented a dirt path to the engine showing the roads most travelled. Finally, the animation team finalises some stunned animations and the VFX team work on abilities for the Twilight Elf Assassin. 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!
Using the completed work from last week, the 3D modelling team started experimenting with a new tool to create the initial hairstyles! The team spent the week getting to grips with a new tool, as it brings new challenges not faced before. Taking the strands of hair completed last week, the team has layered them up to build a first proof of concept hairstyle. The team will continue to tackle the new challenges and update the hairstyles throughout the coming weeks. Examples of the initial experimentation with the new tool are below.
Set Piece Design
The set design team have focused on a more detailed model throughout the last week. The more detailed asset in question is a Lionhead mirror. This model will go into the city item set dedicated to the opulent houses of Erendorn. Continuing the aesthetics of this set, the team used lots of swirls and curves to show the detailed craftsmanship within the piece. These aspects within the design also continue the effect of the lion's mane flowing throughout the mirror. To complete the look of the mirror, the team has also added clawed feet to the base of the mirror, giving it a sturdy base to stand. This current asset is still a work in progress, and the team will continue to add detail and finish the item throughout the next week. Examples of the Lionhead mirror can are below.
This week has seen improvements and bug fixing for World Combat UI functions, updates to World Combat joining and a refactor of how Entity selection functions in Dungeons work in line with the new World selection changes. Additional work completed by the client-side team can be seen below.
- Core UI Widget's ability to update depending on the currently selected character has been further implemented, allowing players in and out of/in multiple combats to view their party member's combat status and turn order.
- Updated the process of joining Combat to ensure only players participating in the Combat have their Combat inputs available.
- Fixed issues with Dungeon Entity selection resulting from last week's selection handling refactor.
- Added a Character animation controller state for looping the Stunned animation for any character experiencing the state.
- Interactables now update on state change (chests open/VFX disappear/appear).
- Added World Event Assets.
- World Combat Grid Fix Attempt.
- Patched many layers of the dialogue system to get text and responses showing.
- Created a basic UI and made functions for the adventure progress screen.
- Fixed a few naming conventions for the sanity of all of us.
- Started fixing some bugs that turned up in the inventory/vendor windows following server updates.
With our most basic events now in the game and working (chest with random item in it, berry bushes, caged friendly NPC surrounded by bandits), the server team has been hard at work with some of our more complicated events! While still being tested and fixed, the code for a raided trader caravan, complete with bandits and chests that you must get the key for from the caravan's owner, and a shrine that grants a powerful blessing has been created!
Additionally, a lot of work has been put into fixing various crashes and bugs being discovered as more and more of an open world Adventure becomes playable. This includes Events not spawning in random locations properly, quitting and joining a new adventure getting you stuck in the old one, and a bunch of crashes caused by the Zone server. More work completed by the server-side team can be seen below.
- Refactored Interactables to have a State and the ability to change states.
- Refactored initial World Events.
- Added ItemDropLogs to the RandomLootDrop Event.
- Refactored entities getting added to sessions.
- Refactored Entity ID assignment to avoid clashes with event NPCs.
- Added cleanup of a log cleaning thread which should improve long-term server performance and remove a memory leak.
- Added a combat check on attempting to create a world move.
The environment team has been working on some technical aspects within the engine throughout the week. To start, the asset that was used for the water surrounding the initial area had been causing some crashes throughout gameplay. The team has changed to a new asset to stop this from occurring in the future. Once this was complete, the team created some pathways that will help guide players through the populated areas of Erendorn. These paths have been implemented into the castle ruins and initial settlement. This will aid the storytelling of the world, giving the impression that these areas are populated with people that use the walkways constantly. Examples of the pathways in the engine are below.
The animation team have continued to work on animations ready for the next build of Depths of Erendorn. Throughout the week, focus on finalising and implementing the stunned movement cycles for a range of characters that will be in the game. As we have seen before, the stunned cycle will be a good visual key when an enemy or player character is incapacitated. Giving players a chance to strike or conveying that an ally may need assistance. The team also worked on a blueprint for the enemies and characters, so animations can fluidly transition between one another. Finally, the team started to test out the cloth physics within the engine. Using physics-based controls within the engine will speed up the development of movement cycles as the cloth won't need to be animated by hand. The team will continue to tweak the physics of the cape within the engine over the coming weeks. Examples of the new implemented stunned movement cycles and physics-based cloth tests can be seen below.
The visual effects team has continued their work on the level 3 abilities for a range of characters that will roam Erendorn. The team's focus throughout the week has been the Twilight Elf Assassin. Using a colour pallet of dark purples and reds conveys the stealthy and mysterious background that surrounds this Character Class. Due to the stealthy nature of the Assassin, the abilities they have in their kit were created to not draw unwanted attention to them casting from the shadows. One of the more unique visual effects created through this ability set, Sever, uses VFX that will be added to the enemy unfortunate enough to be inflicted with it. Showing the effect of Sever on the enemy, the team used red droplets to show the bleeding of the inflicted. The visual effects completed throughout the past week are in the video below.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of September yet?!