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: Practical challenges with the cave generator

1 comment by Woseseltops on Jul 26th, 2014

Hi all, last week I told you about how the cave generator worked. Unfortunately, I've discovered that building a cave generator algorithm is one thing, but going from the blueprint to an actual cave you can walk around in is another. That is, I walked into several practical problems before I got it to work (and I still haven't got it working fully as I want it). These are the problems, and how I'm trying to solve them right now:

It's quite a lot of info to send
If you had a look at [the visual representations] of the generated caves last time, you might have noticed that it's quite a lot of information to send. Not that it's impossible to send all those x's, dots and pipe symbols, it's just that it did cause much longer loading times than I'd hoped for.

While grumbling about this, I realized that it's not only a lot of info, it's also a lot of redundant info. That is because each cave exists of 10x10 blocks, and each block has four possible exits (north, east, south and west), all of which might be open or closed, which gives us 2*2*2*2=16 possible blocks...

...so instead of describing the whole layout of the block, I now translate it to a number server side (0-15). The client consequently translated it back to the real block. This reduces a cave [like this] to a list of numbers like this:


Much better, huh?

It's quite a lot of stuff to render on screen

But there's another problem as well: these caves are huge. I have of course chosen this size myself (small caves won't be that exciting, as you can't get lost and stuff), but I didn't realize that so much game objects would have to be realized to actually display them. There are 100 blocks in one cave, and in one block fit 1557 rock objects... which leaves us with 155700 objects for the game to handle! Some quick tests show that, even with some smart optimizations to make sure the game only considers objects that are closeby (like I do in the main world), this is simply too much.

There is one big benefit to rocks, though: unlike the softstone underground, or the trees in the main world, the players can't take them away. They don't move! That means I can take one 'snapshot' (=OpenGL DisplayList, for those interested) of them as the cave loads, and then use that all the time, instead of the individual pictures of the rocks!

This gave me a speed-up of about 20-30 times (yay!) but it had one problem: while the rocks couldn't move, the player could: sometimes the player is behind rocks, sometimes he is in front of them, but if all rocks are combined into one image, rocks will be always either behind or in front. I fixed this by splitting my snapshot in two: one of the forward facing rocks, which will always be behind the player, and one of the backward facing rockes, which will always be in front of the player:

And that seems to work! I'm still not fully happy with the framerate, though, so let's stop talking and get back doing!

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  (240 - 250 of 390)
b630 Oct 30 2012, 7:40pm says:

Im also looking for an invite really want to play this so bad.

+4 votes     reply to comment
madaboy Oct 28 2012, 12:04pm says:

hi i think this game sounds awesome and quiet interesting could i be invited ? oh and i am also a minecraftian (someone who plays minecraft) i was getting a bit boared of it all and thought it would be cool to play a game like this when im not up for mining anyway i hope to see some of you guys online :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Oct 29 2012, 2:42am replied:

Thanks, I'll add you to my list so you'll be in one of the next groups I invite. And nice, I'm a 'minecraftian' as well :).

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kimara23 Oct 27 2012, 10:43am says:

could i please be invited? this game looks really interesting!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Oct 28 2012, 5:22am replied:

Thanks, and of course :). You'll be in one of the next groups!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Death9Angel6 Oct 27 2012, 6:19am says:

Every new feature announced then the game seems more and more interesting and It's hard to wait for it :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
who885 Oct 23 2012, 4:47pm says:

When is this game released? looks intresting

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Oct 24 2012, 1:47am replied:

When I feel the game is ready for it, but I have no idea when that will be. All I can say is that we're not even close to 'alpha' right now ;).

+2 votes     reply to comment
Death9Angel6 Oct 25 2012, 10:39am replied:

If you aren't even close to alpha it means the game will have so many many features :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
sergeilol Oct 30 2012, 12:50pm replied:

he wil even add A ******* RAILROAD AND A TRAIN!

+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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