Hello and welcome to the newest and shiniest devlog for Ardenfall, the Open-Ended RPG! It has been a LOT of time since the last devlog, so I had to pick my favorite additions and changes. A lot of internal work has been done, but also a bunch of features and additions have been added as well, really making this game feel fleshed out and… well, real! If you missed last devlog, be sure to check it out, and if you’re interested in following the project please join the community!
Third Person… First Person
That makes sense, I swear. The first person perspective originally had its own animation set. This has now been changed – going into first person will still use third person animations. Not only does this reduce the workload, it also allows you to look at your own body, which is super cool! This *could* lead to the ability to kick enemies. No promises though!
Better Melee Damage
I’ve redesigned melee, entirely thanks to this video. Previously a melee attack would instantly send rays splayed out from the attacker, making damage essentially instant. Now, damage is applied perfectly to the weapon’s blade – now precision strikes can be used, without confusion! This is especially cool for large slow weapons with a big spread.
We’ve finally added ragdolls to characters when they die. Sometimes they get stuck in things, which will need to be fixed. Regardless, super fun!
Enchantments in Loot Tables
On loot tables (we call them “Item Lists”), enchantments can now be selected in the same way items are selected. This is a fantastic addition, makes me quite excited! :D
The quest journal now looks like an actual book, with each journal entry shown in order. I am planning on adding a “Quest Filter” as well. Also, when a journal entry is added, you get a UI popup on the hud!
Dialog now saves which topics have been entered before – this allows the player to know whether they have talked to an NPC before, and to see any new options. This saves the data without any connection to the actual NPC, so if different characters have the same topic, and the player has interacted with that topic prior, it will show it has been selected on both npcs.
I also added the ability to have icons display next to a topic. :) Useful for special topics, like a merchant dialog.
Models and Concept Art
Hunters of The Way
The Hunters of The Way are a mysterious group who hunts for honor and for nature. Many of them have a fox companion, who aids them during their battles.
The natives whisper stories of a wretched creature that walks the night, illuminating its path with its dull glowing skin, a lantern hanging from its hand. This creature is said to have once been an elf, but it had allowed the taste of Moonsap to overtake it, and lose themselves in the process. This monster is usually alone, but incredibly dangerous.
Mai Ri Faces
Several face sketches have been made, allowing the development of a specific Elven race – the Mai Ri. With golden skin and a shock of curly black hair, this Elven race is found prominently in dense jungles of the Southeast, but they can be found living within the region of Ardenfall as well.
Work has shifted towards developing the mysterious and dangerous sheru tombs!
Beautiful lanterns, flowing in the wind :)
Garvak Guard Towers + Walls
Some fantastic guard towers, constructed by the Garvak tribespeople, have been modeled! On top of that, some protective walls and decorations have been modeled as well.
The fishermen boats that were concepted last month have now been modeled! They are absolutely beautiful, bobbing gently in the waves. I also added a mask shader that ensures the water does not appear inside the boat :)
I made the water look more… watery! Refraction and ripples make the water look a lot more realistic. Also, when it rains you get rain drops!
Enchantments now add a simple glow to weapons and armor! This color is by default a magical purple, but some enchantments have custom colors.
Melee Swing “Woosh”
Swinging a melee weapon now has a simple “woosh” effect. It’s a nice addition to be sure!
Quiver with Arrows
If you equip at least one arrow, a quiver will appear on your characters back, full with however many arrows you have :)
We’ve started writing a bunch of lore for the Wetlands, and Gar-Kai (the largest town in the Wetlands) specifically. This has been our main focus these past few weeks, and a lot has been created! Here’s a sneak peak on the complexity of it all :)
We’ve also started writing design documents for individual locations: these documents include lore, important areas, npcs, factions, quests, and more.
AI Targeting: Systems can now modify what AI is targeting. This can be used to blacklist / whitelist certain characters, or even force a specific character to be targeted. This is used in the “Frenzy” spell!
Ambient Lighting Volume: Now ambient lighting and fog can be overridden when the camera is inside of a volume. Perfect for interiors!
Character Screen: You can finally look at your character stats in its own window! Soon I will add a section dedicated to the major faction relationships :)
Character Placer Tool: Placing characters and items into the editor is now easier than ever for developers!
Hair with Hats: I’ve now made it so the modeler can create specialized hair designed to be used when wearing a hat. This is usually just the hair with the top sliced off!
Switch to URP: We’ve now entirely switched our rendering pipeline from builtin to URP. This took many hours, but was entirely worth it! Lights are now much cheaper to render, and the accessibility into the render code is fantastic to achieve our goals.
The Story Thus Far
And that is the 16th Devlog, finished. It was quite hard finding the most exciting additions to the project, there were a lot these past few months! I hope you enjoyed this read, and if you did I’d say follow me on twitter! Regardless, have a great day :)