Hello everyone! Thank you all for your continued support of the project! We’re back, and we’ve got another dev update for you.
This month, we’ve been mostly working on optimisation, so we don’t have much new stuff to show as far as features go, but since optimisation is very important for the game, and we usually don’t share the specifics of what’s going on behind the scenes, we’ll switch it up a bit this month, so this dev update is going to get a little more technical than usual!
After the momentum we had in August, September has been a very busy period for the team outside of Stormrite, but we’re back & ready to get back to the same pace we were at last month!
Voice Acting & Lip Syncing
The end goal of our conversation system is to have every character voice acted in Stormrite, no matter how small. We feel that this is necessary for the immersive experience we want to deliver, and along with this, we need believable speech animations.
As mentioned in Dev Update #6, I created a procedural speech animation system meaning we will not have to hand-craft speech animations for each voice line. Putting this together with voice acting from our talented network of voice actors, we now have voice acting + animation for many characters in the game!
This is an ongoing task, so for our internal testers that may notice a lack of voices for certain characters, we are working on casting the right people for the roles, and the characters will all have voices in the final version of the game!
The game’s UI has been rehauled recently, and is still in the process of being re-designed. This is a first look at our new & improved HUD:
The main optimisation technique we have been working on recently is HLODs (Hierarchical Levels Of Detail). These are a way to extend the visible range of the game, whilst we can load less of the game in reality, as the player doesn’t interact with things very far away from them. Visually, it allows us to improve the game’s quality:
But the system for HLODs in Unreal Engine 5 isn’t quite production-ready in a lot of cases yet, so it has taken a lot longer, and a lot more frustration than we would have liked to set this up. Nonetheless, it’s finished now, and the game runs smoothly over 70fps on high settings in places that it was running at around 50fps before, so big improvements!
As per usual, here’s the art that’s been worked on during this month! We’ll have a lot more coming soon (UI, Animations, environment and more) so stay tuned!