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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Caves in Olvand: why and how, pt. II

About Olvand with 0 comments by Woseseltops on Jul 13th, 2014

Hi all, [last week] I told you about the three main problems I want to solve for the game right now:

1. People are confused about how the game works
2. There is nobody online to play with
3. People don't know what to do / are unaware of what the game has to offer anymore after some time

I explained how I plan to try to solve problem 2 by implementing caves; this blogpost I explain how I hope problem 3 will be solved by caves as well.

Let's continue the quest for addictiveness
You might know that I'm trying to make the game more addictive for quite some time; I've already spent several blgoposts talking about it. Most of my improvements, in particular the more visible achievement system, have really helped, but I'm still not quite there yet. How will caves help? First of all, caves are something completely new: caves are randomly generated maze-like systems full of enemies to beat, with a boss and a reward at the end. Off course it thus adds an action element to the game, which might keep action-oriented players longer, and off course it adds more variety to the game, which might keep players bored with existing mechanics longer. But there's more...

Some time ago, [I spent a blogpost] wondering what keeps ME playing particular games. I concluded it was some kind of leveling system, because it gives me the feeling I'm spending my time efficiently. But here, I completely forgot about one other important reason that keeps me playing: having a rough idea of what kind of content is still to come. In Rollercoaster Tycoon, it's knowing that you will get to see and build new types of attractions, in GTA, it's these extra areas that will be unlocked, in Pokemon, it's the fact that there are still many unseen Pokemon for you to catch.

In the Pokemon games in particular this is nicely designed, as there is this list of Pokemon (the Pokedex), full of ??? for Pokemon you have not yet encountered... so you know how many Pokemon there still are for you to discover. It's an achievement system, but it's also more: it tells you how much more content there is for you to enjoy, if you persevere; there are still 200-something Pokemon, all with a unique appearance, stats and list of attacks. I don't know how about you, but this leaves me thrilled to go explore in the world, to catch (almost) all of them!

Exploiting the coolness of Olbs
This, of course, is the kind of feeling I'm trying to invoke in Olvand as well. But does Olvand have a gaming element similar to getting new attractions in Rollercoaster Tycoon, unlocking areas in GTA, or catching Pokemon in Pokemon? I think so, yes: Olbs! Each Olb has a unique effect for you to discover and then integrate into your gun setup, and more importantly: each Olb you discover can be merged with each other Olb you already have. If you add an Olb to a gun with one Olb already present, you thus get two new effects (one for the new olb, and one for the combination), if you add it to an Olb with two Olbs already present, you get three new effects, with three existing olbs you get four new effects, and so on and so on... with each new type of Olb you discover, the reward becomes greater!

But if it works like this, why haven't Olbs, or combat in general, been crazy popular so far? I can think of two main reasons, which I think all are true:

  • Combat so far was only possible with other people, but there were no other people around. And no other people means no combat, so no real interest in Olbs. Caves solve this, because there suddenly will be plenty of enemies, and thus reasons to have a nice gun set-up full of powerful Olbs.

  • It wasn't really a challenge to find Olbs so far, or at least not a challenge the player had control over: you just encountered them in the world by accident. I'm now planning to put them at the end of caves as a reward, which I expect will make the whole things much more interesting and desirable.

Design challenges
As you can see, in this next udate (which is likely to be called Olvand violet by the way), I'm trying to solve many design challenges. Most of them will be solved with that one new feature: caves, but there is more. For example, I also have a number of plans to make Olbs more visible in general, so you're aware of how many more there are (that is, how many content there still is for the player to enjoy).

But enough of this abstract theorizing for now: let's actually build stuff! Of course, I've made a start doing this; let me you show you that next week.

If you want more development, see [twitter] or [facebook]. If you want to be a tester, you can subscribe on [olvand.com].

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Post comment Comments  (20 - 30 of 123)
Jungletoe
Jungletoe Feb 12 2013, 9:08pm says:

I need help guys.

I downloaded this engine expecting a lot (even Minecraft uses this engine!), but when the install was finished, nothing showed up! I contacted several developers who claim to be using this engine and all I got was some smart *** responses like "i made it on my own". WHAT SNOBS! If you made it on your own, can you at least explain why I get a blank download!

What a waste of money! I spent $100 for the indie license and all I got was a blank screen! LOOK AT THE GRAPHICS ON AMNESIA! DO THOSE LOOK BLANK!?

I gave this engine a 1/10. Terrible support, a complete scam, and extremely expensive for a mere indie developer like myself. You'd expect better from big indies like Notch, but I guess not. All of them are in on this conspiracy! I SWEAR! IT'S A CONSPIRACY!

+11 votes     reply to comment
Demondays1
Demondays1 Aug 2 2013, 11:01pm replied:

Amnesia isn't a custom built game. It was made with HPL engine.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Pixelatoration
Pixelatoration Aug 29 2013, 10:52am replied:

Nice gif.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Ausländer
Ausländer Apr 30 2013, 9:39pm replied:

Everything is a conspiracy, have you not realized it by now?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragon000
Dragon000 Apr 19 2013, 6:00pm replied:

any smart person would kno tat no downloadable game is worth even half wat u claim to have paid if u realy paid tat much u should have ur parents handle ur money

+2 votes     reply to comment
SirIslandstone
SirIslandstone Mar 14 2013, 12:13pm replied:

I Lol'd, good one!

+7 votes     reply to comment
PsychoEliteNZ
PsychoEliteNZ Mar 9 2013, 5:22am replied:

Notch has nothing to do wit this.

0 votes     reply to comment
aps6686
aps6686 Feb 26 2013, 11:55am replied:

what are you on about?

+2 votes     reply to comment
belva1234
belva1234 Jan 24 2013, 2:43pm replied:

read about unity...

-3 votes     reply to comment
zZChronoZz
zZChronoZz Aug 29 2013, 12:43pm replied:

These people don't get it

+1 vote     reply to comment
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