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Post news RSS Causes of confusion in Olvand part I

Every game will have parts the players don't understand immediately. In the blogpost of this week and next week, I talk about previous and future attempts to remove confusion.

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As I said [two weeks ago], if you're working on a game for some time, at some point you lose the ability to look at it from a distance. Everything you came up with and implemented seems completely logical and straightforward to you, while it might be something other people won't try or won't even come up with. I fortunately have loads of people who want to help me find these places, but knowing what parts people don't understand is only part of the problem... how to solve it? This week I discuss what has been the biggest problem: to new players it's not exactly clear what you can or should do in the game.

If you have been following Olvand for some time, you may remember this has been bothering me for quite some time... why keep adding stuff for the late game, if people don't even get to mid game? My last solution has been to add ['guiding' achievements]: achievements that aren't really an achievement, but give you hints on what you could do next. And... I'm happy to announce this seems to have worked! The average amount of progress players make as well of the amount of time people spend in the game seems to have tripled, if not more. I do still get questions, but now they're very specific, instead of 'i don't know what to do'. Whenever I see that a question coming in about something more advanced, by a player who apparently got through the basic stuff without any help, I look a lot like the kid from the the success kid meme :).

A possible solution I tried earlier is to have lots of player-made tutorials I could link to. Since [this blogpost asking for them] (and also before) I got many many many offers for tutorials, introduction videos, Let's Plays, guides, wikis, etc. Here I learned an important lesson I want to share with you: promises people make on the internet rarely mean anything. Not that I'm bitter or anything, it's just how the internet and its lack of social pressure works. So if you, dear reader, ever want to make something where you rely on the input of 'the internet', don't get your hopes up too high: the more the people have to do, the smaller the chance they will actually do it, even if they say they will. For wikis alone I got over 10 offers, but still nobody has actually taken the step.

With this in mind, you can imagine how suprised I was to discover the very first [beginner's guide] on the forums. It's written by user JoeyXtreme, who already did a great job helping others on the forums. Interestingly, he didn't even promise anything beforehand; it suddenly was there. You know what? Maybe that's the lesson; the people who actually create something =/= the people who say they will create something.

Next week, I'll talk about account creation people have, and how gun customization confuses everybody. A teaser image on my next solution:

If you want more development, see [twitter] or [facebook]. If you want to be a tester, you can subscribe on [olvand.com].


Woot, keep up the good work :)

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