Monthly Devlog | January 2024 | No. 60
In January, Depths of Erendorn witnessed a surge of progress across its development teams. The 3D Modelling team meticulously refined the Centaur model, showcasing expertise in retopology, sculpting, and texture optimisation. Set Piece Design enhanced environmental elements, introducing cloth physics to banners and crafting diverse bed variations. The Client-Side Programming team achieved key milestones, seamlessly integrating login code and refining the Dry Log system for a smoother gaming experience. The Server-Side Programming team underwent significant updates, introducing product ownership in the accounts system and enhancing overall game functionality. The Animation team demonstrated proficiency in importing characters, refining animations, and collaborating on the creation of a centaur rig. The Sound Team and Environment Team made substantial strides in refining auditory landscapes and enriching visual elements, respectively. Lastly, the VFX team elevated visual experiences through innovative concepts and refined effects. This comprehensive overview reflects a month of collaborative dedication, pushing Depths of Erendorn closer to an immersive and polished gaming experience. 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!
Over the past month, the 3D Modelling team at Depths of Erendorn has made substantial progress in refining the Centaur model. The team accomplished a meticulous retopology process, sending the mesh to ZBrush for sculpting, where details were strategically subdivided and projected onto separate human and horse parts. This workflow ensured a cohesive and detailed final result, with specific attention to refining finer details such as the ears. Crucial adjustments were made to the proportions of the human half, emphasising a harmonious blend with equine elements and enhancing seamless transitions between them. The team also focused on facial refinement, incorporating feedback to create a leaner visage with a more pronounced animalistic quality. Completion of the sculpting phase added refined details, optimising the low-poly mesh for baking and animation through topology checks and adjustments. The initiation of the texturing phase marks a significant step towards bringing the model to life with vibrant and realistic visual elements. This comprehensive overview showcases the team’s expertise across the 3D modelling pipeline. Examples of their accomplished work throughout the month can be explored below.
Set Piece Design
Over the last month, the Set Piece Design team at Depths of Erendorn has been actively engaged in meticulous tasks related to environmental elements. Their endeavours included refining materials for various props, with a significant focus on the ongoing development of the main material for banners. The team demonstrated commitment to detailed and visually compelling set pieces, working on enhancements for materials like the skull and antler material and the aesthetics of the rope material. Additionally, they explored the implementation of cloth physics to banners, a promising venture that awaits testing. The completion of wall-mounted torch props added both functional and aesthetic elements to the game environment. Notably, the team’s creativity extended to the creation of three bed variations, aligning with conceptual designs and introducing diversity to in-game settings. The month concluded with collaborative team and art/engine-focused meetings, ensuring alignment with overarching development goals. Examples of their accomplished work throughout the month can be explored below.
In January, the Client-Side Programming team at Depths of Erendorn achieved key milestones. They seamlessly integrated the client login code and token parsing with the new login server, replacing the previous account implementation. The team focused on refining the Dry Log system, addressing missing elements, enhancing the interface, and ensuring informative variable names for logging. Additionally, efforts were dedicated to assisting team members in transitioning to UE5.3.2 and resolving a landscape loading bug causing engine crashes after login.
Continuing their momentum, the team fine-tuned the Dry Log system, implementing necessary adjustments and addressing issues related to new data types and structures. Significant emphasis was placed on testing entities, active effects, and abilities. Simultaneously, they refined the Dry Test Environment, introducing features to facilitate the saving, loading, and running of Dry Templates. Enhancements were made to the types of parameters used by Dry Templates for simulating abilities, accompanied by UI improvements during the creation phase. Noteworthy progress was also made in beginning client updates for the new 3D Server movement upgrade, enabling pathfinding and movement in the game world. The team also worked on establishing a workflow for using Dry Templates, contributing to a streamlined testing process.
Throughout January, the Client-Side Programming team showcased dedication to resolving system intricacies, optimising features, and preparing the client for crucial updates. Their work reflects a commitment to delivering a smooth and enhanced gaming experience in Depths of Erendorn. Additional details of their accomplished work throughout the month can be explored below.
Updated any grid coordinate usage across the project to make use of IntVectors to allow them to store information about different elevations, including:
- Entity Spawning.
- Event Spawning.
- Movement functions.
- Dungeon Floor/Ceiling/Wall/Prop generation.
The client team also worked through and created a document to guide through the steps of creating Dry Templates while working through a set of examples. As recreating how an ability plays out on the Server requires some setup, we can get hold of information needed to simulate them (the order of logs and their data) by looking at server logs. Steps can then be taken to use these key values in a Dry Test environment to create a Dry Template, these steps are described in the guide and include:
- Obtaining logs to sample.
- Breaking down the function of the logs.
- Removing logs not required in a Dry Test environment, such as Turn IDs, cooldown setting, etc.
- Obtaining any important preset values for individual logs.
- Added name fields for a selection of logs that were missing them.
- Adjusted the functions and parameters required for running ability logs and added some new parameter types and entry widgets to handle them.
- Cleaned up some of the very messy pipeline around referencing entities we’d spawned in the test environment.
- Added the ability to save a Dry Template.
- Added the ability to browse and load Dry Template data.
- Gave the log panel the ability to apply template properties for each property type.
- Improved how array parameters are handled.
- Implemented a move up/down function for template log editing.
Throughout January, the Server-Side Programming team at Depths of Erendorn achieved significant milestones. They initiated a substantial update in the accounts system, incorporating product ownership to allow multiple products to associate with a single account. This update introduces flexibility for potential projects, ‘access tiers,’ and facilitates account sign-ups before granting game access. The admin portal was enhanced to seamlessly manage these products, including creation, updating, and user association. Noteworthy adjustments were made to login tokens, game server parsing, and token verification to align with the updated system. Simultaneously, the team focused on refining the game’s functionality by creating and assigning base weapons to classes for a more authentic representation of character capabilities. They also reviewed the 3D Line of Sight function and made updates to token handling, particularly related to product ownership. A significant effort was invested in integrating existing systems in both the client and server with the new navigation data/system, showcasing progress in sorting out entity placement and restoring functional movement. The team’s dedication to enhancing the movement code and addressing bugs, particularly with the new 3D Nav system, reflects their commitment to refining core functionalities for an immersive gaming experience.
Throughout January, the Sound Team at Depths of Erendorn dedicated their efforts to refining the game’s auditory landscape. The team engaged in extensive recording sessions over the holidays, experimenting with new sound concepts and creating a quick soundscape that provides a glimpse into their creative explorations. While there were no major showcases during the week, the team invested significant time in standard ambiance recordings, capturing the essence of the garden environment. In terms of sound effects, substantial progress was made by updating existing ones and creating new ones for various abilities. The focus extended beyond mere additions, emphasising the enhancement of quality and distinctiveness for a clearer and more impactful auditory experience. This comprehensive approach reflects the team’s commitment to creating an immersive and dynamic soundscape that seamlessly integrates with the overall gaming experience.
Throughout the past month, the Environment team at Depths of Erendorn demonstrated unwavering dedication to refining and enriching the game’s visual landscape. The team embarked on enhancing the Viking settlement’s outer gateway, from mood board development to the initiation of an initial blockout. Noteworthy enhancements were also made to the main entrance of the settlement, involving a 50% increase in gate size, the incorporation of additional kit pieces, and the implementation of a redesigned roof structure for potential portcullis-style openings. The creation of a distinctive archway for the settlement market, adorned with trim, further exemplifies the team’s commitment to advancing the game’s visual elements. Examples of their accomplished work throughout the month can be explored below.
Over the past four weeks, the Animation team at Depths of Erendorn has consistently achieved significant milestones. They adeptly imported various characters, such as the lizard/iguana and the revised Main Bipedal Skeleton, showcasing their technical proficiency in managing complex skeletal structures. This involved creating animation controllers, entity blueprints, and conducting thorough compatibility checks for seamless integration. The team demonstrated a keen focus on authenticity by applying physics to the lizard’s tendrils for more realistic motion and refining animations, including death and idle animations for human characters. Notably, they laid the foundation for the centaur character by creating a base rig, emphasising collaboration with the 3D Modelling team for future refinements. The team’s dedication to refining movements and enhancing visual and behavioural authenticity underscores their commitment to bringing dynamic and lifelike characters to life in Depths of Erendorn. Examples of their accomplished tasks throughout the weeks can be explored below.
Over the last month, the VFX team at Depths of Erendorn has demonstrated a strong commitment to elevating the game’s visual experience. Their creative endeavours began with conceptualising abilities, utilising specialised brushes and styles to efficiently craft visually appealing VFX concepts. This innovative approach facilitated the creation of two comprehensive concept sheets, showcasing vibrant colours and spectacle. Building on this foundation, the team actively refined visual effects to align with the game’s artistic vision. They worked through concept art sheets, ensuring consistency and fidelity to established design concepts. Additionally, the team dedicated efforts to developing new textures and materials, successfully bridging the gap between VFX and a painted style. Examples of their accomplished work throughout the month can be explored below.
That’s it for this week’s devlog, but have you seen our monthly roundup of December yet?!