1001 Odysseys

Created by Chris Cieslik

An adventure board game with storybooks full of journeys to visit new worlds, meet quirky aliens, and make many, many branching choices. 1-4 Players, 30-60 minutes per chapter.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Deep Space Reconnaissance! Mission Status and Update
7 months ago – Wed, Aug 12, 2020 at 11:44:50 PM

Greetings, friends - we are here to talk about Progress!

An update on the Roadmap to Insula

Back at the beginning of February of this year, we posted an update here on Kickstarter with a plan for getting 1001 Odysseys written and sent off to the publishers by the end of August. We built this plan using observations from our previous work on Book 4, and it seemed like a plan that we could accomplish. We went to PAX East at the end of February, had some great demos and felt really good about how things were going along.

By now, just about everyone has been touched by the world-wide events of 2020, so you'll know that it took some time to get back into a steady working rhythm. And then once we did, we discovered an important thing that makes Book 4 different from the other three books. It uses fewer locations. As we developed branching outlines for Book 2, we realized that we were going to need to spend longer than anticipated to flesh out the physical locations and cultures of the several different worlds we will be visiting in this box of 1001 Odysseys. Locations need to be coordinated across books before we can give the technical mockups to the artists, so we had to change our plans. We're now doing full branching Book outlines for every chapter in all four Books first, along with Mission outlines. This gives us schematic location layouts that we can pass on to the artists. We've made a lot of progress at this level, and it's very hard to share without literally spoiling the whole story, but we'll try.

We're shifting our focus to reporting this progress rather than a planned schedule. So let's take a look at the most important aspects of the game and where they are:

Writing Status

1: Book Outlines (a flowchart that shows Chapter to Chapter flow, Passport Items and Contacts discovery and usage, Maps that will be used, and key story beats):

Book 1: 100%

Book 2: 100%

Book 3: 70% - We're still working out some branch conclusions here.

Book 4: 100%

2: Chapter Mission Outlines (Flowcharts and notes that show mission names, detailed story beats, essential grid locations and characters): 63% finished and documented. Here's an example (note: this is a made-up chapter! It's purely for illustrating what our outlines look like.):

3: Detailed Chapter Outlines (Flowcharts that include every choice that can be made in the entire chapter and everything that can happen as a result): 24% marked out.

4: Written Paragraphs (The final product: What you will read in the Books): Estimated 15%.

5: Almanac Entries (Information about sentient species and locations around Insula): We have a big wiki full of information! This will be distilled down to entries for most Insula-related things we mention in paragraphs.

6: Rules: We intend to write and format these at the end of development, so we can take in any last minute changes. We do have a working draft.

Artwork Status

We also have the artwork for 3 large maps completed, and artwork for 1 small map completed. We have two more maps that are ready for color. Our artists have also set us up with several illustrations for the Storybooks, and illustrations for the Almanacs. There are adorable pictures for some of the Passport Items too. Our original plan was to have 6 large maps (24"x11"). Instead, we'll have 4 large maps and 6 small maps (8.5"x11"). This means we'll get to visit more locations in the stories, with less-frequently visited locations requiring less art overhead.

Large maps: 3 complete (inked + painted), 1 incomplete (inked)

Small maps: 1 complete (inked + painted), 1 incomplete (inked), 4 remaining

Graphic Design Status

And in Graphic Design we've made a lot of progress in how the cards look and how they work. Much of the layout for the books will be automated once the paragraphs are in our database, but we'll need to do some tweaking to adjust page breaks and the like.

Looking Ahead

This has been a large project (even larger than we'd thought!) and we're committed to launching this ship as soon as we can. We're advancing the book flowcharts and chapter flowcharts (the technical bits that tell us what needs to be written for every single choice in the game) at a steady pace. We've developed wonderful cultures that are both familiar and fantastic for more than half a dozen sentient species with enough detail to give us a pack of characters for you to meet. We have two Maps working through pencils and inks and more in schematic development that will be wonderful to explore. And last but not least, we have an enthusiastic core of backers and community members who have supported us with kindness and understanding. It's not possible to thank you enough. Many of you have volunteered to test, and we hope to be starting that process before long - we'll contact folks when we need your help! 

BackerKit

We opened the BackerKit for 1001 Odysseys earlier this year, both for pre-orders and for add-ons by backers. When the game is complete and ready to ship, we'll start charging the cards that BackerKit has on file. We'll update everyone with a warning a couple weeks before that happens. As always, if you need to cancel your pledge and need a refund, we'll do it with no questions asked or processing fees. We hope you stick around, because we're excited to deliver an amazing game experience to you all!

Presenting: The Odyssey
8 months ago – Fri, Jul 03, 2020 at 10:16:42 PM

My favorite type of Kickstarter update is when we get to share very cool art with you all. Today that art is the Odyssey - the biggest, best, fanciest ship humanity has ever constructed! 

Odyssey Art by @MisterCrowbar

The Odyssey is designed for deep-space exploration in style - with decks full of the crew's living quarters, science facilities, big windows, and recreational areas. These rooms are spread across the core section of the ship and the enormous actuated wings. For a crew that'll be away from the comforts of Earth for possibly years, it's important to have enough space to stretch out and relax at times!

So, what role does this Odyssey art play in the game, you might ask? It's a map! In addition to the wonderfully vibrant worlds of Insula, some of the action in the stories we're telling takes place on the Odyssey itself. In some chapters, you'll have the Odyssey map out next to the core map for a planet - in others, you might spend the whole chapter doing things in space! 

The Almanac will contain more detailed information and dimensions of the ship, which your Information Officer will be happy to share with you at the most useful moments: "Commander! Did you know how many lemons can fit inside Cargo Bay 2? Because I do."

What's next?

Our next update, in late July, will be about our roadmap, where we're at, and with some more information about Gen Con, PAX Online, aw-SHUX, BGGCon's online replacement, and other conventions we won't be going to, but will be instead enjoying from the safety of our homes! 

Summer Playtesting: Signups`
9 months ago – Tue, Jun 09, 2020 at 12:16:32 PM

Good afternoon, future space adventurers! Let's talk about summer. Summer's where we usually are in frantic convention mode, shuffling PAXes, Gen Cons, Origins, and the like - but this is a unique year and things are different. One of the most important parts of these visits is direct interactions with you: the fans and players! We'll miss it (and you), dearly. In addition to fun, seeing direct reactions from people is a big part of our game design process. The game has evolved tremendously from our first crack at it at Gen Con years ago, and helped us polish the engine to where it is now. 

With the engine done, and as the stories begin to pile up, we'll need to test *those* as well. And without conventions to host you all at, we turn to the realms of the Internet. If you'd like to help us out, we've created a google sign-up form:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeHi5EqgFArbXw2hQb59m4vL1KRvsE4K3ux6bC-zdVj4_CrOQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

If you'd prefer to experience it all fresh out of the box later this year, that's totally fine! We've got friends and playtesters lined up as well.

Gen Con Online

Gen Con will be online-only this year. We're looking through their plans for events, and we'll likely be hosting a number of them on Tabletop Simulator and BoardGameArena for our games, including Odysseys. The schedule goes up in early July, and when that happens, we'll post a list here for your perusal. And we hope to see many of you there in 2021!

Next Update

Our next update will be about the Odyssey itself. I'm looking at a very snazzy partially-done piece of artwork that we're not quite ready to show yet, but it's full of color and adventure. Expect it in the next couple weeks.

The Write Stuff
9 months ago – Fri, May 29, 2020 at 02:52:26 AM

Hello to our dear games-friends! It is our sincere and earnest hope that this update finds you well, and that you are able to find comfort in your surroundings/family/friends/nature/small acts of kindness from people you didn't know well before. We have found comfort in each other and in writing about new worlds and characters together for you to experience in your upcoming adventures.

We're still writing!

At the start of every writers’ room meeting, we dig deep into the individual backgrounds (early years, family, relationships, views and beliefs, musical taste, allergies, etc) of the varied populace of our universe. Understanding each character thoroughly means that we know exactly what they’d say or do in each scene and challenge presented to the Odyssey crew. Everyone says things and makes choices that fit their unique personality and set of quirks, pulls from their experiences, and relies on their friends.

Most recently, we've been detailing the life of our favorite big blue friend since Grover and Cookie Monster, our Lackerdood guide, Amele. She has a huge impact on how you will journey through Insula. We gave her a life before she met the Odyssey, a last name, and a (gigantic, close, and rather loud) family to go with it.

To give you a taste of what we’ve been working on, we proffer a delectable little nugget of story to you in our open palm. Please enjoy:

Blue light filters through the curtains of a cozy bedroom, bringing with it the briney scent of the sea. A willowy Lackerdood folds one last flowery dress and tucks it carefully into a knapsack between an electronics tool kit and Fluffenwutter’s Surfluff-Enfluffening treats, Now even FLUFFIER! printed in bold on the bag. She latches it closed with a sigh.

"All packed then, Amele, dear?" another Lackedood taps on the door gently as she enters, "Are you sure you have to go? The probe will still be there after the ceremony, won't it? It might not fly off on its own? What if I write it a note and tell it to wait its turn?" She smiles innocently.

"Yes, mama-Rysea. They asked for me specifically. The strange device is obviously trying to communicate, and I know I can figure it out. This could be the breakthrough that lets our scientists understand the Portal."

"I know, sweetheart, and we're all very proud of you. You know we are. I just wish you didn't have to miss the storms. You were so looking forward to the ceremony, and it would be great to have the whole family together. Your cousins are coming in all the way from Gemengi!"

"Dibs on your room when you're gone!" A voice shouts from the hallway.

"Estopher!” Rysea shouts back. “Stop making a mess and come say goodbye to your sister. And be nice about it!"

"Don't worry," says Amele. "I'll be back for the auroras at the very latest. And if I miss the storms, you can put this bit of eastern fountain water into the sea on my behalf. But I'll be here anyway!"

Rysea sighs and wraps Amele into a big hug. “And we’re so proud of you, and we are so glad you get to do this! But I’ll still miss my Mellie-mellie. Just try to get home in time for the ceremony if you can,” she says. “But if you can’t, I promise that I won’t be mad at you. Just quietly weeping over your absence.”

“Mother! That’s much worse!”

“Well, that’s family. And you have a whole lot of it.” Rysea taps her daughter gently on the forehead.

From the hallway, a low, rolling rumble sounds. Followed by a shattering of glass, further followed by the sound of hundreds of tiny ball bearings scattering onto concrete. For a moment, there is silence.

“...THAT WAS NOT ME, AND IT ALSO WAS NOT WHAT YOU THINK IT WAS.”

Rysea’s eye twitches. “Before you leave, please go help your brother with whatever he didn’t do just now.”

Attending NarraScope

In addition to writing, we're also honing our craft by virtually attending Narrascope as a team. They've put together an exciting array of programming to tickle our brain goo, and we can’t wait to go get inspired. We know a bunch of you are narrative nerds like us, so we wanted to make sure you knew that you can check out the conference for free May 28 - June 4 at https://www.twitch.tv/narrascope.

And Animal Crossing

In our off hours, we're all hooked hard on Animal Crossing where we help each other grow flowers and build moons. There’s so much that’s lovable about Animal Crossing, and it has been a source of inspiration for our own writing in 1001 Odysseys. We like to go out of our way to spend time with media that is whimsical, safe, and friendly to all ages while respecting the intelligence of the audience. That’s what we aim to deliver in our own game, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Demo Update

We're working on the signup system for Summer Testing / Demos. We'll be making a separate update with the sign-up form next week! 

TTS Demo, Summer Playtesting, Plushies and Factories!
10 months ago – Fri, Apr 24, 2020 at 11:18:16 PM

Hello friends and backers! I hope you all are enjoying Spring in whatever fashion you are able to. The situation at hand has had an effect on just about everything, and we're no exception. 

Convention Playtesting -> TTS Playtesting

We'd planned on testing out our stories this summer both at conventions and with friends, but that does not seem super feasible right now! We've tried out playing through the demo on Tabletop Simulator, and it was pretty fun - we still get to do silly voices, move cards around, and all that fun gamey business, but without the threat of spreading plague across the table. So we're going to be aiming to do a lot of our testing there, both internally and with outside playtesters.  

We're planning to do playtests of individual chapters with outsiders starting in June (around when Origins would've been held). Our May update will include information on how to sign up, our schedule, and tech requirements. This isn't going to be some 30-page NDA to sign, but...please don't spoil the stories for everyone, you know? 

As things return to normal this summer, hopefully, we'll try and do some live testing as well. That all depends on how things go out there in the world, though. We'll keep you posted if and when there're any live playtest events which need volunteers. Given the lack of conventions, those are likely to be in the Boston area. 

How are we? How are you? 

We're doing OK! It's been a rough couple months, not gonna lie. We definitely are excited to bring you some fun stories and space adventures, and hope everyone's getting through this as best you can. Plumplim Ambassador Thonis Falokin delivers an important message of wisdom: 

"It is not the hug outside, but the hug inside your heart that matters most. Unless you are an artichoke."

Thank you, Ambassador.

Factories, Plushies, Distribution?

We don't have a date yet on Plushies, but things are starting to return to normal for our factories and production partners. We're hopeful that the supply chain will be reasonably intact this summer and fall. For all of our paper goods, there's likely to be little impact. We'll keep you posted if anything changes! 

Meow

Ivy was napping, thank you very much. But also, please pet-pets?