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

0 comments 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:

1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000
000000000000000000000000000000000000000020141011
000000000000000000000000000000001013100400000000
0000000000000000000000001007001500000000000000
000000000000000000100750070000000000000000000000
0000000000100500040000001300120000000000000000
0000100700150000000640110000000000000000000010061
002100900095004000000000000000000000000000010
06100210110000000000000000

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  (30 - 40 of 390)
daddya
daddya Sep 27 2013, 8:36pm says:

ETA on next beta team?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops Sep 28 2013, 4:46pm replied:

Google tells me that ETA can mean hundreds of things, but I guess you mean 'Estimated Time of Arrival'. My estimate (which is almost meaningless, because they are rarely true, in both the positive and negative way) is that it will take me 4-6 weeks to finish the first version of Glux, and implement it in the game.

+2 votes     reply to comment
OnlyOneTone
OnlyOneTone Sep 16 2013, 5:49pm says:

I'm very interested in checking this out. I really like the style and the concept. If anyone has an invite that they don't mind sharing or if the developer could send me an invite that would be greatly appreciated.

+3 votes     reply to comment
daddya
daddya Sep 16 2013, 6:43pm replied:

im hopeing for an invite to theres a place to request early acsess hop we both get in :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops Sep 17 2013, 1:48am replied:

Hi OnlyOneTone and daddya, thanks for your interest! You can sign up for an invite on olvand.com :).

+2 votes     reply to comment
daddya
daddya Sep 19 2013, 6:57pm replied:

i already did
im waiting my turn for my turn to try it out

+3 votes     reply to comment
micahjg
micahjg Sep 15 2013, 8:39pm says:

Won't let me use my acount...says its not a real acount

+3 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops
Woseseltops Sep 16 2013, 2:26am replied:

Hi, sorry to hear that, but it's definitely something fixable. Could you send me the exact error message in a personal message, or post it on the forums? Thanks!

+2 votes     reply to comment
kaytavo
kaytavo Sep 7 2013, 6:20am says:

I took Tovanis down to install a new HDD and forgot to put it back up, oops....

+3 votes     reply to comment
Brian253
Brian253 Aug 31 2013, 2:55am replied:

@Woseseltops Sorry for the OT xD
I'll just do what I say to kaytavo for now, since the problem may be my computer, and not the game itself. There isn't nothing much I can do, so I'll just leave it, since (again) it doesn't seem to affect the gameplay.

Thanks for replying and please keep up your great work!

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Olvand
Platform
Windows
Developed By
Woseseltops
Engine
Custom Built
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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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