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: The cave name generator

0 comments by Woseseltops on Jan 24th, 2015

Hi all! Last time, I already showed you a little bit of the cave name generator. Let's go into more details of why I implemented it and how it works.

Why
If you read this weblog regularly, you know there are a few main problems with the game I try to fix. A problem that players often identify, but that I rarely mention, is the fact that there isn't much variation in the game world. If you get lost, there are very few 'anchor points' you could use to find your way back, because all places look so alike.

While this is true, fixing it is not my main priority, as I feel the negative emotions caused by this problem are small in comparison to some other problems (like the problem that it is unclear what to do in the game). However, it is really really problematic when it comes to caves, the main feature I'm currently working on. Caves are scattered across the landscape, and their main selling point is that they are randomly generated. However, if players won't be able to tell the caves apart in the landscape, they might as well not realize that all caves are different.

So how do I help players telling caves apart? Giving all of them a wildy different exterior is probably the best solution, but I'm not sure whether I would be able to find the right balance between them being pretty, clearly different, while also making it clear that they are all still caves. I believe the second best solution is that there should be something that strikes the eye INSIDE caves that is different for each one. That's where cave names come in:


And on a more practical note, this allowed me to write another generator algorithm, which is love, because it's a piece of code that is completely separate from the rest of the game. This means I can write it on any computer, wherever and whenever I want. This name generator, for example, was already created more than a year ago in a hotel room and on a plane while on a business trip to Bratislava.

How
All right then, how does the algorithm work? I'm a computational linguist by profession, so I'd love to tell you now that I have used some supersmart and intelligent algorithm to analyze existing names, discover patterns in the language, and use that to generate a brilliant generation module... but it's actually a really simple system that glues syllables that I like.

Not sure what 'kind' of names I wanted, I decided I wanted to try to make a generator that created names with a more magical Elvish feel (say, Tolkien's Sindarin) and a name with a more harsh, Klingon-like feel. I collected syllables for both; think of syllables like 'aer', 'loth', 'las', 'el' for Sindarin, and things like 'K'tah', 'Kra','gho', 'tach' and 'oq' for Klingon.


The next thing I did was some experimentation to find out whether these syllable 'sound' good in the beginning, middle or end of the names. For example, 'ien' works really well at the end of names to give it an Elvish feel, but not some much at the beginning, and the Klingon-like 'Kro' works really well at the beginning of words, but not so much at the end.

Want to know what the algorithm can do? Here you go:

Klingon-style
Al Banang, O Ghochinkri, Kronooq, Tan Quetuorf, Qaghomagi , Karia, Val Kruoorf, Tah Pin'ria, Quetach, Val Ban'ria, Banmagi, Chighochaq, Tan Queria, Pintach, Kratamagi, Quekri, Qatuang, Tah, Katalkri, Chonvalpok, Shin Bantupok, Chonria, Tan Gai'ang, Krutak, Queang, Quegan, Kla'otak, Ka'ang, Shin Qagan, Chonang, Tan Qatulia

Sindarin-style
Glorond, Araberia, Ganbeon, Riestel, Lothelas, Celaeien, Mithala, Elel, Araäeria, Ellaria, Lothbeir, Gloron , Laiond, Nimegria, Glorbeon, Rias, Ellaäeël, Mithel, Nimir, Celbeëll, Lothria, Lothbeien, Nimas, Imellas, Glorbeël, Lothbeala, Glaeron, Gloregel, Laiegian, Aerbeël

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  (230 - 240 of 400)
ChaoticAkantor
ChaoticAkantor Nov 12 2012, 6:02pm says:

I've plenty of spare time, wouldn't mind doing a little playtesting. Whether it be intentionally trying to break the game and find bugs, needing opinions or discussing certain elements. Or just playing for fun!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Creator
Woseseltops Nov 14 2012, 11:55am replied:

I'd say playtesting is all of that, so welcome to my list :).

+1 vote   reply to comment
Yoman282
Yoman282 Nov 8 2012, 4:19pm says:

Looks like a very fun game. I'd be happy to be in your test squad!
Btw, can't wait for the full release!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Creator
Woseseltops Nov 9 2012, 3:29pm replied:

Sounds good, I'll add you to my list too!

+1 vote   reply to comment
CriizPixel
CriizPixel Nov 15 2012, 7:16pm replied:

i can be one of the testing team?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Woseseltops Creator
Woseseltops Nov 20 2012, 1:26pm replied:

Of course! Sorry, I missed your message completely :/.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Rich0664
Rich0664 Nov 7 2012, 2:20pm says:

Wow, this seems real awesome. I would definitely want to try this out so if you got room in your "testing squad" i would be happy to help out ;)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Creator
Woseseltops Nov 9 2012, 3:28pm replied:

Of course, I'll add you to my list of people to invite in the future! Thanks for your interest!

+1 vote   reply to comment
saltedDog
saltedDog Nov 7 2012, 10:41am says:

Just release this game I can't wait anymore.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Etaren
Etaren Nov 4 2012, 5:36pm says:

This looks like great fun! I'd be happy to help with testing if required. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Creator
Woseseltops Nov 6 2012, 11:34am replied:

I hope you're right ;). I'll add you to my list, thanks!

+1 vote   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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