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  (70 - 80 of 390)
Derpie  Jul 29 2013, 5:53am says:

Also you can sell access to pre alpha, yo get money for server and money for your work.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Jul 30 2013, 3:57pm replied:

I indeed plan to ask money for this one day (and long before it's finished), but not before I succeed in making people play more than just an hour or two. That is, most people who play now play for a few days, and then leave it. Once I succeed in creating something people will come back to, I think the game is ready for sale.

+3 votes     reply to comment
_Motoki_ Aug 3 2013, 9:32pm replied:

That makes a lot of sense. You don't want to make a bad or lackluster first impression. There are a number of games now on Steam in Early Access or even shamefully in the regular release section that are woefully incomplete and yet those developers are charging people. It creates a lot of negativity and hard feelings which is not something any developer should aspire to.

I'm definitely interested in this game but I can wait as long as it takes.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Derpie  Jul 29 2013, 3:49am says:

Do you add any mounts or pets in game?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Jul 30 2013, 3:53pm replied:

Yes. There will be large animals, Alots, which you'll be able to tame and ride. There will be much more randomly generated animals, but I'm not sure whether you will be able to catch and tame them yet.

+2 votes     reply to comment
JboehmeG50 Jul 27 2013, 10:42pm says:

Looks great! I need to get a key!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Derpie  Jul 27 2013, 5:29am says:

Im waiting invite 2 month, how long i must wait it?

0 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Jul 29 2013, 2:43am replied:

That's hard to say, as I invite new players to test new updates... and new updates are released when they are done. Sorry to keep you waiting so long, I'm working as fast as I can.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Woseseltops Jul 26 2013, 5:32am replied:

Hi Gandalf, that is because you can't. The game is currently in a closed pre-alpha testing phase. You can sign up for an invite on the website (olvand.com). If you own a game review website, you might also want to send an email to olvandgame@gmail.com. Thanks for your interest!

+2 votes     reply to comment
TheWhiteWizard Jul 27 2013, 10:30am replied:

thx. Hi Gandalf, pretty funny. everyone knows it's Gandalf the White, or Grey, it depends on... Nevermind. XD

+2 votes     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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