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:
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:
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.
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