Hello, and welcome to the sixth Devlog of Ardenfall! If you’re unfamiliar with the project, Ardenfall is a indie rpg game focused on Choice, Roleplaying, and Exploration. You can read more here!

Most of the work for the past few weeks has been dedicated to implementing the new rig and assorted features related to such.

Join Spellcast Studios

First off, we’re looking for new team members! Our current interests are 3D modelers and 3D animators, as well as concept artists. If you’re interested, throw me an email or message me on twitter.

Meet The Zuki

The Zuki is a fearsome legend – a giant centipede that rides the wind, searching for flesh to consume. Animating this creature was interesting, since it uses Unity’s new Animation Rigging Package. Procedural animation fascinates me – it has ever since I saw David Rosen’s amazing talk.

The Zaku, a giant centipede

New Rig is Here!

At long last, the transition has come. For 2 years we’ve been using a really old humanoid model combined with a prebuild rig. This has finally changed, with the slow implementation of our hand crafted rig and model! It’s slow since all animations have to be replaced manually, and I’ve redesigned the pipeline as well. The character shown here is what we call the “base mesh”, so it’s not entirely elvish nor dwarven.

Alongside the new rig, I’ve implemented head+eye tracking, eye movement (slight variations to eye rotation, both micro and macro), and blend shapes. This has allowed for a nice start to making our characters look more human! (Er… Elvish)

A sandelf's animated face

I also added a simple Lipsync feature, using Rhubarb as the tool that automatically generates lipsync data based on audio files. It only took an hour to implement, and get actual animations working! They’re definitely not perfect, (the slow smoothing transition is awkward when there are long gaps), but a good start.

In these gifs, you can see the different between mouth “snapping” and “smoothing”. I think the correct solution will be something in between.

A lot of other little features have been added, like multi textured atlas generation per mesh, and smooth transitions when entering dialog mode (Rotation, FOV).

Developing Garuken Culture

The people of the Swamps, often called the Garuken, are a culture built on a bitter landscape of danger and mystery. Their main city, Gar-Kai, is a combination of many tribes and sub-cultures, and this clash is a constant issue.

Gar-kai concept art
Artist: PixulStudio
Gar-kai building concept art
Artist: PixulStudio

Other Features

A load of other features have been implemented in the past month – riding (characters, can “ride” other characters), portals (door records that automatically update their position), breath (breath level when underwater), and countless bug fixes.

Fairwell

And that does it for this Devlog. Hopefully something caught your eye, and if so, be sure to join our Discord or follow us on Twitter! Have a wonderful day :)