Olvand is a little multiplayer sandbox RPG, where the players live in self-built towns and can go on all kinds of adventures together. Imagine living with your friends in a small town in the mountains, or creating a new group of friends in a pub in the metropole you all live in. There will be several minigames the inhabitants of a server can play together, among which will be combat based games like King of the Hill or Capture the Flag. You will be able to play against other people in your city, or as a city against another city, or as a whole server against another server. The combat works with self-built guns, in which all kinds of powers can be combined to create unique effects. You can sign up to be a tester on olvand.com.

Some pictures of what I want to add in the future:

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Building a little town together A fishing contest Mining for materials
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Caves in Olvand: why and how, pt. II

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  (90 - 100 of 390)
micahjg
micahjg Jun 5 2013, 2:42am says:

I WANT TO PLAY!!

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops Jun 5 2013, 10:30am replied:

That's good to hear :). You can request an invite for one of the next playtester groups on olvand.com .

+2 votes     reply to comment
kamikaze97441
kamikaze97441 Jun 6 2013, 3:11pm replied:

when the next playtester group? :'( I want to play too !!

+3 votes     reply to comment
kamikaze97441
kamikaze97441 Jun 1 2013, 4:42am says:

Is there a lot of people on the list for the pre-alpha ?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops Jun 1 2013, 5:07am replied:

Depends on what you mean by a lot :). I've got over 300 names right now, but that number will get smaller and smaller as I increase the tester group size.

+3 votes     reply to comment
kamikaze97441
kamikaze97441 Jun 2 2013, 12:37pm replied:

Okay ;D

+2 votes     reply to comment
ACMEAnimator
ACMEAnimator May 27 2013, 2:31pm says:

This looks like a cool game, where do I get it? It looks like it's been released already.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops May 28 2013, 4:43am replied:

Yes, Desura/IndieDB says so, but it is actually in a closed pre-alpha testing phase. You can sign up to be a tester on olvand.com.

+2 votes     reply to comment
FahriAuditore
FahriAuditore May 18 2013, 9:29pm says:

I have play ovland but i never understand how to build house, can you tell me?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops May 19 2013, 2:16am replied:

Indiedb.com This will help you :). If you have more questions like this, there are many helpful people on the forums!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Olvand
Platform
Windows
Developed By
Woseseltops
Engine
Custom Built
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Official Page
Olvand.com
Release Date
Released Aug 18, 2012
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Highest Rated (5 agree) 10/10

Looks really interesting and really needs a good playerbase!

Oct 8 2012, 8:30am by fastfire10

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