DevLog Roundup: Updates from May
Welcome to another monthly devlog roundup! Game development highlights from May include potion-brewing cauldrons, Bandit campsites, a dungeon portal, sound and visual FX for abilities, newly refitted human characters, and *huge breath* emote animations for drunken Tavern folk.
We’ve also got some important updates about the new Golang server our Programmers have been creating, so, without further ado, let’s get into it!
The new male besh that our Character Artist was resculpting in April was completed last month after some good ole texturing! With that done, they started refitting all male human characters to the new base mesh, including all of the below:
In May, our Animator was mainly focussed on creating emote animations for NPCs in the settlement’s Tavern. But before we get into that, here are some quick highlights of other things that were worked on:
- Dragon IK settings were implemented for all playable characters in the engine
- Meditation and crafting idles were created for our spellcasting Parakaws
- A Lionman Butcher was created for the butcher stall in the settlement marketplace
- A ‘Threatening Snarl’ animation was made for the Skeletons and Zombies
So, onto the Tavern, which we’re soon going to start populating with a variety of characters from the game. To do this, we first needed some emote animations that would allow our characters to perform generic actions, like drinking, talking, cheering, and sitting down.
Once our Animator created and finished those, they went on to make an Animation Controller in UE4 that would allow them all to play randomly on characters in the Tavern. So far, the animations have been adjusted to fit the Dwarf and Elf rigs, but more character races will be implemented soon!
There are a ton of awesome updates from the Environment Design department in this month’s devlog. For starters, a new material was created for the concoction brewing inside the Potion Shop’s cauldron. This cool scene can be found inside the settlement’s Merchant Tent.
With the updates, the liquid now bubbles and pops inside the cauldron, rather than swirling in a hypnotic pattern, which was how it looked originally. We love the dynamism that this cauldron brings to the Potion Shop scene – check it out below!
In addition to the updated cauldron material, our Environment Artist also created a furnace extractor for the Merchant Tent’s forge, as well as a Bandit camp set piece, which will spawn randomly throughout the game!
Loads of optimisations were made to the world environment in May, which allowed us to take some pretty epic vista shots! Here’s a list of all the improvements that were made:
- LODs were adjusted for foliage and weed meshes, improving how they looked at medium-to-long distances
- We successfully managed to get procedural stones to spawn wherever dirt texture is painted in the world
- Fog was adjusted to look more apparent, improving the sense of depth and atmosphere in our landscapes
- Workflows for adding castle ruins to the environment were explored – we’ll hopefully be able to start implementing these soon!
You may or may not know that our team is currently in the process of creating a new game trailer that will show off gameplay footage in the incredible world of Erendorn! A lot of important work was carried out on the game trailer last month, including:
- Finishing off the entire storyboard and nailing down key shots
- Blocking out shots within the level and constructing all the different scenes in Sequencer
- Set dressing opening shots with large scale assets, like cliffs and mountains
- Creating new clouds for the skies and improving LODs for better distance views
- Creating some volumetric fog to bring added depth to the overall atmosphere
- Concepting and creating a new portal effect for a dungeon entrance
This trailer will show all that Depths of Erendorn has to offer, from awe-inspiring landscapes and bustling settlements to the treacherous dungeons and their hordes of enemies. We’re hoping to have it finished in the next couple of months, so make sure you’re following us on socials so you don’t miss it!
Setting up shots in UE4:
A new VFX Artist joined the team last month! This meant that we could resume bringing our character’s spells and abilities to life. Our VFX Artist began this process by concepting effect ideas for a number of level three abilities – take a look at them all below!
A few of these were then fleshed out and transformed into VFX. We love how they all turned out, and many more are to come, so tune into our weekly devlogs to see what comes next!
Last month, our Sound Artist enhanced the visuals for all level 2 skills by adding some awesome sound effects to them – take a listen!
In addition to ability sound fx, our Sound Artist also:
Worked on ambient sounds for different environments, including meadows, jungles, and deep forests
Created sound effects for storms, and made it so that the soundscape can adapt to changing weather
Spread collections of animal and natural sounds throughout the environment, including croaking frogs, squawking birds, chirping insects, and baying wolves
Here are the rest of the SFX/VFX combos for abilities!
The new Golang server that our Programmers have been working on was finally ready to be switched over at the beginning of May! This led the Golang team to bring the Test Client online and add more functionality to it, as well as carry out tests on thousands of lines of previously un-run code.
As a result of all this work, the Test Client can now successfully join a dungeon and receive a dungeon’s layout from the dungeon server. Other highlights of this work include:
- A Turntimer is now up and running. This limits enemies to 3 seconds per turn and players to 2 minutes
- Aggressive AI exists. These enemies target the closest enemy at the beginning of every turn
- Room transition code was added to handle how players enter the rooms in the dungeons
- Room events are working, giving each room a 50% chance of containing a unique event that players will encounter
- The Test Client can initiate combat. This led to our Programmers debugging a lot of issues with abilities, AI, and the Turn Manager
- A Session Logger was created so that multiple combats can happen simultaneously
- AI can now correctly target an enemy and perform its injurious intentions on them. This led to enemies successfully attacking and killing our players!
That’s it for our devlog roundup of May! Head over to our game site if you want to see what we’ve been up to in June so far!