November Devlog | Week #5
Being a game developer always keeps you on your toes. After a very busy spell, which was documented in our most previous dissertation *cough* devlog, things calmed down a bit last week as the game development team continued their work on Depths of Erendorn. You know the drill by now, so let’s start with how the environment in the game is shaping up.
Last week, our 3D environment artist created several low poly models of multiple assets that would appear in the game. He:
- Finished a high poly model of a barrel
- Created a low poly model for that same barrel
- Sculpted a set of aged, wooden planks
- Created low poly models for the same planks
These low poly models were created so that they could be rendered in real-time during gameplay, which wouldn’t have been possible to do with high poly models because they require much more processing power in order to do this.
Digital sculpts and, in general, high polygonal meshes must, therefore, be represented in a different way in the game so that they generate at runtime. By rendering the detail of a high poly model to textured maps through a process called ‘baking,’ we can represent a high level of detail on low polygonal meshes. Ensuring that certain assets can be rendered effectively during gameplay is especially important since Depths of Erendorn will be rendered in runtime.
When he wasn’t creating high and low poly models, our environment artist was creating new render scenes. The first render scene features the stars of this month’s game development logs: the crystal clusters. The second render scene features a terrifying horde of Zombies as we start to refine how the player will experience certain enemies.
Last week was all about the Zombies for our 3D animator. Zombies are a prominent enemy in Depths of the Erendorn so it was important to get these models and animations looking up-to-scratch. Our animator:
- Finished the Zombie basic idle
- Added a variation for the Zombie idle so that it now looks left and right
- Posed a Zombie horde and assisted in its rendering
Our animator also created an animation of a Zombie attacking a Twilight Elf Assassin. Two animations were made for this: the first showed the Zombie only using one hand to attack, the second showed the Zombie using both hands to attack. A test scene was also created where some of Erendorn’s humans were posed side-by-side, holding their weapons.
Several fixes had to be made to the server last week. The first was a problem with the cooldowns that occurred in the previous week when our game developer was fixing another bug in the system. Both issues have now been resolved. There was also a problem where, in some circumstances, ability variables would be writing/reading to the wrong place. This issue was also fixed last week, along with the following ability triggers:
The issue with these ability triggers is that they were being provided with the wrong input. Once our game developer had carried out all these fixes, he went on to adding a new damage type to the game called HP_Remove, which is a straight health removal.
Two new ability blocks were also added to the server last week:
- Trim Stored Targets By Stat: This trims down the stored targets by checking a stat against the input values. It also filters by friendlies and enemies.
- Trim Stored Targets By Tile Size: This trims down the stored targets by checking the tile size against the input values. It also filters by friendlies and enemies.
Our Twilight Elf Assassin, which is a playable character, was given a new Generic Skill as well as a new Class Skill that players can use:
- Quick Counter: This is a Generic Skill that allows the player to automatically cast a normal attack back at an opponent who has used a normal melee attack against them. It has a 3 turn CD and doesn’t cost any energy to use.
- Throatcutter: This is a Class Skill where, at the end of the Assassin’s and opponent’s turn, any 1 tile enemies that are adjacent to the Assassin and have under 3 Health will automatically die.
A lot of abilities were reworked last week to improve their functionality and to ensure that they were fine-tuned for the gameplay:
- Cleave: This allows you to hit an opponent and cause 7 Physical Damage. It also deals 5 Physical Damage to all enemies that are to the left and right of the targeted opponent. It costs 20 Energy and has a 2 turn CD.
- Hammerfall: This ability was introduced when we brought the Earthen Dwarf character into the game in the previous week. Last week, our game developer increased its CD from 4 turns to 6 turns.
- Ancient Hammer: This was also a recently added ability that has since been removed.
- Shoulder Barge: The energy cost for this was increased to 30.
- Juggernaut: The chance to grant strength was increased to 50%.
- Frostbolt: This ability now reduces movement by 1-2.
- Cripple: The strength loss of this ability was increased to a 2 turn duration period.
- First of the Titans: The zeal cost of this ability was reduced by 1.
- Adrenaline: We buffed the energy gain of this ability to 125.
- Solemn Word: The zeal cost of this ability was reduced by 1.
- Revent Thrust: The damage buff when under 16 Health has been increased from 2-3 to 5-6.
- Void Touched: This ability was removed and replaced with Throatcutter.
- Rapid Killer: The energy received from this ability was increased to 30 due to a past health buff of enemies.
- Whirlwind: The chance of a PROC (Programmed Random Occurrence) was increased to 50%. The damage was also increased from 6 to 6-7.
- Extreme Agility: We changed the chance of a PROC to 20%. It also now guarantees a dodge chance for every 5 attacks.
- One with the Earth: The healing of this ability was increased to 6-7.
- Magnetic Blood: We reduced the cooldown of this ability from 5 turns to 4 turns.
- Earthquake: This ability no longer damages friendlies.
Our game developer also reworked the game event called ‘Energising Mist’ by reducing the energy that it granted to 10-25. The minimum and maximum damage caused by Rats in the game was also reduced by 1 each way, and we also changed some enemy energy levels along with a few other stats of several other enemies.
As always, there were a few changes, additions and fixes made to the game client last week by our second game developer. A few issues occurred as a result of our system updating to the new version of Unity which our game developer had to mend. But before this she:
- Did some performance work regarding tile emission for tile selection. This makes it less heavy on the system now.
- Changed the cursor images from “Sprite” to “Cursor.” The new version of Unity we are now using fixes the colour issues that we were previously having when using the “Cursor” option.
- Implemented a notification message that will appear if a player has not created a name for their character. Players can now only enter the game after providing a valid name.
Of all the fixes that were made to the game client, the one that took our game developer the longest to do was fixing every prefab/script that contained a text component. This had to be done because updating to the new version of Unity actually broke them. When our game development whiz wasn’t battling that issue, she was working on some other fixes:
- More prefabs that were broken or were missing public variables after the Unity upgrade were fixed and remade.
- The Unity update also affected the lighting in the game by resetting it. To resolve this, the lighting was reset to how it was originally.
- Player names were not showing up in the UI so this was also promptly fixed.
Our other game developer also made several changes to the game client. The Game Engine version we were previously using was updated to a more recent version, and this also meant that we had to update some plugins so that they were compatible to this new version. A few other changes were made in addition to this:
- A new placeholder for the water shader was implemented
- New ground and wall textures were implemented
- The enemy prefabs were remade
The infamous Unity update also managed to break a few of the plugins in the game client. Our game developer also found fixes for these issues and resolved them so that the plugins are back up and running.
Remember to come back next week for more updates on how Depths of Erendorn is developing. In the meantime, here are 9 reasons why you’re going to love our new fantasy RPG (spoiler alert: it’s free and has zero pay-to-win elements).