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:

Image RSS Feed Latest Screens
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. I

5 comments by Woseseltops on Jul 5th, 2014

Hi all, first of all: [the poll to pick the name of the next version] is gathering quite some votes, so that's something that seems to be working. Right now Olvand Violet seems te be in the lead; interesting!

The three main problems
You may remember that I [emailed all the recent players] to find out why they all stopped playing after a week or two. I recently did this again (with other players), with similar responses. These are the three main problems:

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

... and thus they quit or lose interest. As for the first problem, I include some new stuff to make things a little clearer every new update. That definitely seems to work: the number of 'early drop-outs', people who start the game but get no achievements, gets smaller with every new update.

But the second and the third problem are much harder to solve. This blogpost, I'll focus on the first problem, next week on the second.

Keeping players online
It's a problem all smaller multiplayer games have, and Olvand is no exception: no other players online. I think for Olvand in particular the main problem is that a substantial part of the features I've implemented so far, are things you can only do together (races, fishing contests, etc.). If you're alone on a server, these things are not really interesting, so you leave... which means the next player that logs in will also be alone on the server. It's a vicious cycle: the server is empty because people leave, and people leave because the server is empty.

How to fix that? A solo activity with lots of replayability, of course! And if I scroll through the [list of future features], one feature in particular seems to fit really well: caves. What I have in mind is some kind of minigame-like process where you battle your way through a cave of randomly generated monsters (much like what is called 'dungeons' in other games), alone or in a group, and that there will be a boss and then some rewards at the end.

How to keep this interesting, so players will stay on servers longer? I think there are two main approaches when it comes to replayability:

* Giving the player something completely new every time. Spelunky is king in this genre of games: a beautiful new level is generated each time you start the game. If you die, the level is gone forever.

* Giving the player exactly the same challenge every time, but make it just a little bit too difficult; this way, players will try over and over until they mastered it. For me, Super Meat Boy is the perfect example of this. I think one design decision in Super Meat Boy in particular is brilliant to encourage 'trying again and again': there is no 'waiting time', delay or even a dialog box when you are dead. You are simply teleported to where you started, and you can start right away. There's no time to wonder whether you want to try again; before you realize it, you've already started.

Mixing the approaches
Which one of these approaches should I choose? I figured that Olvand might actually be a nice opportunity to do both. That is, the landscape will, from the next update on, be scattered with caves you can enter, and each cave will contain a unique layout with rooms and corridors to get lost in, randomly generated monsters with randomly generated AI (attack strategies!), randomly generated puzzles and randomly generated timing challenges, much like a Spelunky level. On the other hand, once you're inside, it plays like a Super Meat Boy level, where the challenge will be always the same, and you can try over and over. If you die, you will be transported to the beginning of the cave instantly, so you can try right over.

Will this work? I have no idea. I'm excited about it in any case, so the basis is there.

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  (10 - 20 of 390)
YellowGaming Apr 29 2014, 3:52pm says:

Hey I'm a youtuber sort of interested in your game do you mind if I make a vid on it if i get a key?

oh lol im a small youtuber with like no influence but if you dont mind that

+2 votes     reply to comment
gamer110199 Apr 19 2014, 11:31am says:

Can someone help me?
When i try to run the game it is loading and then not responding
What can i do?

+2 votes     reply to comment
gamer110199 Apr 19 2014, 6:42pm replied:

I can not fix it what ever i try.
My video card is up to date and the cmd version to launch it did not work as well plz help
I really want to play the game.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Apr 21 2014, 1:33pm replied:

Hi gamer110199! Sorry, I missed your comment here. Please use the forums Desura.com or contact at me olvandgame@gmail.com for help. Also, this page Desura.com could be useful to you.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ZeroInFo56 Apr 16 2014, 9:22am says:

I want an inviiiiiiite xP
Seriously can't wait to try this game out.

+3 votes     reply to comment
szastak Feb 22 2014, 8:20pm says:

Wow , its looks awesome i can wait for the gift code :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
indoge Jan 31 2014, 6:24pm says:

looks amazing been waiting for something to take my social life away lol

+3 votes     reply to comment
Wildhells Jan 25 2014, 3:56pm says:

Nice trailer ;)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Jan 5 2014, 6:34am replied:

It is not only allowed, it is encouraged! In fact, you get your key a lot faster when you can prove you are willing to make a video.

+3 votes     reply to comment
CatBerry Jan 5 2014, 6:31pm replied:

Well, actualy i am looking for a good reason to start streaming again. I did neglegt my stream because i had some bad depressions.... (who wouldnt when losing theire father and then havbing the first birthday without him... don't feel bad now im just very open about this stuff)
Anways if you want to check out my stream channel: De.twitch.tv
its nothing super fancy though ^^
oh and i applied for beta already i think o.o wish me luck xD

+1 vote     reply to comment
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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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