Roadmap to Insula!
about 1 year ago
– Mon, Feb 03, 2020 at 07:34:52 PM
Hey all, I wanted to provide a more clear roadmap of where we're at and what our schedule looks like for 2020. While the game didn't grow significantly in scope, we spent a lot of 2019 perfecting the engine of how we're going to tell these stories, and specifically how to make it as easy as possible to learn and play. 1001 Odysseys is at its best when you get to dive right in to adventure! We don't want someone to have their nose buried in a thick rulebook and missing out on the story.
The integrity of the story paths is also crucial - nobody wants to hit a broken dead end and have to go to online forums to seek out errata for their game. To ensure this, I've been developing a database system that tests every single possible story path for loops, dead ends, and paradoxes. This took longer than I'd hoped! However, it's going to be a crucial asset for testing once all the writing is complete - we're still going to do plenty of live playthroughs (see scheudle below!), but we can focus on organic experiences and not trying to hit every single paragraph in the book in each possible way. Each chapter has thousands of different potential paths, and we don't have quite that many playtesters :)
We have some beautiful art completed for the game, but there're still a couple maps to be painted and various other smaller pictures (Chapter headers, etc) that haven't been drawn yet.
What does this all mean? With our revised schedule below, we're going to be shipping the game early this Fall. We estimated 12 months to complete, it's looking more like 18. As we get closer to completion, we'll refine our target to precise dates for KS shipping + Retail release. We will be opening the BackerKit later this week, and it will remain open until we start shipping games.
Roadmap to Insula
Here's our schedule for the year of what's happening from now up until we ship out fancy boxes with games inside!
February: Completion of database testing suite. BackerKit opens. Print and Play Demo releases (The Admiral's Request). PAX East - visit us in the Kickstarter Lounge!
March: Completion of Book 1. Granite Game Summit - Some secret live testing and demos.
April: Completion of Book 2. Live testing of completed Book 1. Surprising amount of snowstorms in the Northeast, despite an otherwise mild winter.
May: Completion of Book 3. Live testing of completed Book 2. Plushies arrive and amass in warehouse, creating a worrying over-adorable concentration.
June: Completion of Book 4 & Iliad Expansion Book. Live testing of completed Book 3. All map artwork complete! Pins ordered.
July: Live testing of Books 1-4, and completion of all non-map artwork (Box cover, cards, etc). Gen Con 2020 - come visit our booth! Some demos, pins, art, adventures? Adventures!
August: Print-ready, send to factory. Proofing, approval! The presses roll. Pins arrive in warehouse.
September: Dance Party!
October: Shipping Party! (Some dancing) Then, once all backer games are shipped, we'll start shipping to stores and distributors. BackerKit closes, since you can just order the game normally at this point.
We'll be posting an update in each of these months (including one late in February) to keep you updated on where we're at in our roadmap and to confirm we're on target. And of course, to share art and things, because it's really pretty and we like sharing it!
Thanks to everyone for being understanding and positive - we received a lot of lovely direct notes from backers after the last update, and reading things like that is always a highlight of the day. We love our stories, and we're eager to get them to your table :)
Welcome to 2020: The Year of the Plumplim
about 1 year ago
– Fri, Jan 24, 2020 at 12:43:18 AM
Hello! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday / new year / winter snow bonanza, because we are now in the future year 2020, the YEAR OF THE PLUMPLIM. Ominous? Cute? Vegetablish? Maybe all three.
Some Production Updates:
The Plumplim plushies have been ordered, and production will be underway soon! We'll post some pictures of the finished ones once we get them from the factory, they should be quite similar to the prototype we received from our friends at Symbiote long ago. They also made the Glooping Ooze plush for One Deck Dungeon, which came out fantastic! We'll be doing a limited one-time run of 1000 Plumplim plushes - we'll likely have some left over after the BackerKit (and if we had a huuuge run on them there, we'd produce enough to cover the orders)
We now have a process in place for map printing for the actual boxed game (up until now, all of our prototype maps have been printed at local print shops + folded by hand). We've been working on a way to produce the maps that avoids having them cut into 3 pieces, and we're happy that it's going to work correctly with a combination of laminate and kiss-cuts on the back. They won't bow up like our prototype paper maps, either! Hurray!
Prooobably what you're looking for here is a pretty picture. And we're not about to disappoint! Behold the Almanac art for the Elemens:
Pretty? Pretty. It's tough to not immediately post every single image that hits our Slack, but we're super excited about how things are coming out.
Oh write, a Writing Update
This remains a spoiler-free zone, so we're not going to talk about the particulars of stories or plot. Our illustrious writing team remains hard at work creating and refining stories, plot-diagram-trees, characters(some of which sparkle), places(largely they do not sparkle), objects(34% of these sparkle), and ideas (metaphorical sparkle). It has been so much fun to see the small ideas we started with evolve into the 4 neat Books we'll be delivering with the game. I'm biased, yes, but I think they are all good stories, good sci-fi, and good fun :)
We do still have work to do, and while our target was to deliver in March of this year, we're going to be behind on that. Which leads to the next bit:
Schedule, BackerKit, Delivery
When we launched, we thought it'd take about 1 year to complete work on the game. A bit ambitous? Probably. One of our core beliefs here is that we don't rush projects to meet deadlines. We want to deliver the best possible game we can, and if that means we need to invest more time into it, we're always going to do it. What we're going to avoid doing, though, is playing the estimated date game where we keep pushing back by a day, a week, or a month here and there. We're going to continue working hard on getting things done, so that you can have a beautiful box full of stories for your table. We're sorry it's not as quick as we (or you!) hoped, but we're confident you'll love the finished product :)
We are going to be launching the BackerKit late next week or early the following week, (Jan 29 ~ Feb 4), once we've got it all laid out in their system and ready for you. The BackerKit will remain open indefinitely, right up until we start shipping out games (and likely open beyond that too, for a while).
As always, if you want a refund for any reason we'll always give it, no questions asked. Things happen, money situations come up, we understand!
One Last Bit (Edit: 12:20PM)!
Sorry, forgot to mention that we're working on making a Print and Play happen of our convention demo from PAX U, BGGCon, and Gen Con last year. We expect to have it up as downloadable PDFs in February.
An update! Gameplay Enhancements, BackerKit Target Date (January), BGG + PAX Unplugged
over 1 year ago
– Mon, Nov 18, 2019 at 10:37:42 PM
Greetings, citizens of the Kickstarter realm! We are getting packed and ready for BGGCon this week, and then Thanksgiving, and then PAX Unplugged, which is...a pretty bonkers three weeks.
As we continue to develop the narrative structures for 1001 Odysseys, we've discovered a couple things that had room for improvement. First, we're adding a new section to the Passport called Events. In this section, the Information Officer records things on the Chapter Sheet that have happened this specific playthrough. The Storybook may ask you about these Events later in the Chapter. Now you only have to look in one place to find them!
This change also gives us the freedom to upgrade the DISC system. The colored chips were pretty, but they were tied to a single Location, were difficult to see, and couldn't tell the whole story at a glance (Also, Ivy could attack them. Tsk tsk). We've replaced them with Numbered DISCs that correspond to the active Mission numbers. Now, any time you visit a Location, the Navigator places one of these DISCs there. You can tell which choices you have yet to explore just by looking over the Map, even if you have to walk away from the table and come back later. The Storybook will tell you when it's time to clear out DISCs so you can revisit Locations and make new discoveries.
These changes make the game easier to play and create a more balanced profile for the crew roles. We're excited to keep writing our Stories with this improved functionality!
Since the new DISCs are bigger, we have reworked the Location Card graphics to make space for the components. Here we have some samples from Avallonis, the capital planet of the Federation, where the unique and peculiar cultures of Insula come together side by side.
BackerKit Opening: January 7
It was initially our plan to have the BackerKit open during the year to take pre-orders alongside address management, but for a number of logistical and geopolitical reasons, that didn't work out! We will be officially opening the BackerKit on January 7, the first Tuesday after New Years, and it will remain open until the game completes production. We'll give everyone ample warning, once we hit print-ready next year.
At that point, we'll be able to include stores as well. So if you're a game store rep waiting to get on board, it won't be much longer!
PAX Unplugged + BGGCon
Hurray conventions! We will be at BGG, just attending, and at PAX Unplugged, with a booth full of ADVENTURE! We will be showing off our demo episode of 1001 Odysseys, One Deck Galaxy, and an upcoming card game featuring the art of Cari and Amanda called All the Goodest Puppers.
We will also have a very fancy new Pinny Arcade pin for sale, which will be revealed soon. It's cute. You want it!
End of Summer Update!
over 1 year ago
– Fri, Sep 20, 2019 at 07:50:47 PM
Hello and greetings, future Odyssey crew members! We have completed our summer travel circuit, and are back at home for a whole 8 weeks before BGGCon and PAX Unplugged later this Fall.
Convention Demo / Print and Play
As mentioned in the last update, we've made a special demo chapter called The Admiral's Request, for use at conventions. It's designed to be shorter than a normal chapter, and people have been loving it! We're very excited by the response we've seen at both Gen Con and XOXO, and in various private demos we've run elsewhere. If you can't make it to a con but still want to see what's in the demo, worry not - we'll be making this mini-chapter available as a Print and Play set of PDFs later this year.
We even got to play it outside on picnic tables at XOXO, before rain came along and spoiled the fun:
Avallonis looks pretty awesome, and it should. It's the Federation capital, after all!
We have slightly refined the Action portion of the Action + Mission + Location paradigm for choosing a paragraph in the Story Book. Before, players were choosing what they wanted to do first. This often worked well, but sometimes it got repetitive or unpredictable. Now players will choose to Focus on a feature of the location instead. This will let you read a bit more about what is going on in a location before you decide exactly how you want to act.
The Focus card simply replaces the Action card, so it's no more complicated than the previous arrangement. We've reshuffled the choices behind the scenes, so you get what you expect, and the number of results remains the same. People have responded well to this change, and it's more intuitive to choose what features of locations to focus on instead of whether to Talk or Look or Study (because you almost always wound up talking anyways!)
As you can see, the Focus card looks very similar to the Action cards from past versions. To give an example, if you chose to Focus on the View icon at the Capitol Bulbs, you could wind up looking at the beautiful landscape before you. The paragraph might then have a choice to inspect the orderly arranged bushes, or talk to the landscape painter nearby. Focusing on the Government icon there might send you to the administrative building, and so forth.
Playtests with this tweak have been going well, and it's helped improve the variety of the stories that we're writing. Now we can focus more on the features of the many locales we visit, which is fun.
We've been putting off opening the BackerKit in the hopes that we'd have some concrete idea of how tariff situations and Brexit would go, but it seems like that's simply impossible, so we're working on it now. 1001 Odysseys will be printed and assembled in the US, but a few of its bits will be sourced elsewhere. (Plushies, notably!)
Our goal is to have pre-orders available in the next few weeks.
Gen Con this week! Full update + BackerKit after Gen Con
over 1 year ago
– Tue, Jul 30, 2019 at 01:04:17 AM
We're prepping for Gen Con this week, but wanted to give everyone a quick update on things before we head out. We'll be doing a full update after we get back, at which point we'll be opening up the BackerKit!
We will be in Booth #2455, and we'll be showing off our fancy new demo episode of 1001 Odysseys - designed specifically for conventions. Up until now, we'd been using a modified version of the first chapter of Blast from the Chloroplast at cons. Now we'll have a mini-story that completes in a 15-30 minute session. If you're at Gen Con, come check it out! We will also be showing off One Deck Galaxy and Phoenix Syndicate, and selling a short run of copies of Aegean Sea, by Carl Chudyk.
But what you're all actually here for...is pretty art. So here's the mostly-done version of the map of Avallonis :)
When we open up the BackerKit, we'll start shipping out canvases as well!