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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:

Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse, Betelgeuse!
over 2 years ago – Tue, Dec 21, 2021 at 09:15:58 PM

Hello Friends!

As we approach the end of 2021, we've got significant progress to report. We're now at a point where we can update our schedule with more solid projections.  Get the details below!


Art Update

Betelgeuse is now completely colored! We're delighted to show you this strange and fantastical landscape where thoughts take flight.

Betelgeuse, the homeworld of the Mindweavers. Artwork by Sam "Mr. Crowbar" Henry.

This brings the game-essential artwork very close to completion.  The beautiful illustrations for all four of our large Maps are complete. Five out of the six small Maps are also fully complete, and Araveen (the last Map for this group of Storybooks) is inked. The box cover art is also ready to go.

The supporting artwork is our next focus, though we have already completed 29 out of 39 chapter header illustrations. We will also be making a few dozen-ish (number deliberately made vague to prevent spoilers) small Contact and Item illustrations for you to add to your Passport, though we have only just begun this part of the process. They will be our primary art task during the Winter.


Graphics Update

Keen observers will note that we're still making tweaks to the Map graphics above to improve their legibility. We're also revisiting the graphics on other game components, including the Mission Control Board, the Momentum and Focus Cards, the Navigation Board, and the Passport. Functions are the same, but we're tweaking the look for maximum clarity and fun!

A digital mockup of the new Mission Control Board graphics in play.
New Momentum Card graphics help single out a specific card type at a glance.

The Operations Officer now has a newly designed Mission Control Board. To make it easy to fit multiple Focuses on the same Mission, we're using D.I.S.C.s that sit on top of the Focus Cards. The Momentum Cards slide into place, and visually complete a circuit when it's time for a Mission Update. The Operations Officer is both encouraged and required to make boop and woosh noises when sliding cards and cubes into position.

The Navigation Board has a place to hold extra D.I.S.C.s and yet-to-be-discovered Location Cards.

In addition to the new Map, Navigators can look forward to a new board to hold their Location Cards and D.I.S.C.s.

Passport graphics are coming along in a similar style, but are not yet ready to share. Never fear, future Information Officers, your Passport will be ready soon.


Stories and Writing Update

Writing continues at a steady pace. We're adding new blurbs to the Storybooks and composing the text that goes in each one. We're also migrating the very first Storybook we wrote (which is not the first story you will read) into our module so we can run tests on it. We continue to tap-tap-tap away at our keyboards! Bit by bit, everything's coming together.

You might be looking for a quantifiable "number" of writing that has been done. Now that we've begun testing out layouts, we can report that the stories written to date comprise about 215 pages of text (8.5x11"), or 95,000 words. There's still more to be done, but our little corner of the galaxy gets a bit bigger every day. They grow up so fast. :')


Micro Adventure

To face the unique challenges of demoing 1001 Odysseys at a convention right now, we made a neat solution: a micro adventure! It was designed to fit on three postcards, so that we could hand it to people to read on their own time, rather than try to play through a longer demo in masks. We handed out several hundred sets of postcards at PAX Unplugged and everyone loved it! It was wonderful to see people in person and share even just a little taste of the game again. And now, we're going to share it with you in PDF form. There are clickable links in the document to bring you to the next blurb in the tree. 

So what's it about? The beach! Who wouldn't like a nice day at the beach?

The Micro Adventure is presented at conventions as three cards, click to download the cards in .pdf format.

Website Testing

We're still working on the website portal for testing out stories - we'll have more on it in a separate update when it goes live (hopefully in the next 2-3 weeks!). 


Schedule, Funding, Plans

Obviously, 2021 was not the escape from 2020 we all hoped it would be. Writing bright and vibrant stories during it all has been extremely challenging, but we've pushed through as best we could to get more of the art and stories done. There's still some more work to do, but (fingers crossed) things seem to be on the path toward improvement, and we honestly hope that 2022 will be a better year for everyone (writers included)!

Some folks have expressed concern that the project will run out of money and not be delivered, and I want to address that explicitly: we're in good financial shape, and we will be able to complete work on the game, print it, and send it off to you all. Our plan is to accelerate the pace of writing during Q1 of 2022, with additional writing and editing happening in Q2. If all goes well, we'll be in position to push a Print Button in Q3.

The state of logistics, printing, and shipping has been a mess in 2020/2021, but we're hopeful that things will be back to reasonably normal by then. The print operation for 1001 Odysseys isn't particularly difficult. It's books, cards, and paper, and some chipboard + tokens. No fancy molding to worry about!

What we really want, and what we've always wanted, is to have this game on tables in your homes and at conventions, with people reading fun, cute, interesting stories to each other, smiling and laughing. It's why we do what we do!

We thank you all again for your infinite patience and support, and for backing and believing in this project.

A Closer Look at Exo-Cartography
over 2 years ago – Sun, Oct 24, 2021 at 05:33:46 PM

Happy Autumn to everyone except for those of you on the other side of that pesky Equator - happy Spring to you instead! As I write this update, our cat Ivy is sitting on my shoulder, because it is unacceptably cold outside. She wanted to make sure you all knew. Very important. 

Art Update

Today in the realms of art, we have the in-process map of Betelgeuse, which is in the sketch/inks stage before coloring. Usually we wait to show the finished fancy and vibrant version, but I wanted to give another peek into the process of map development. We have a big channel on our Slack for maps, which winds up littered with dozens of reference photos of real-world buildings, fake-world movie buildings, landscapes, biomes (and cats, because always cats), which our artists use to bring the locales of Insula to life.  

In the sketch below, you can see some blue and orange card-shaped overlays, which we use to make sure that all the location cards we currently have planned will actually fit on the maps at the same time. Those dots all represent places you'll have a chance to visit on Betelgeuse! Remember, different choices can lead you to different locations, so the locations available to the Odyssey crew can shift on each playthrough.

Coloring on this map will begin soon :) 

Stories and Writing Update

Let's take a look at some numbers, because everyone loves numbers (Fact: not everyone likes numbers. For example, the Letters-Only Sect in the Elysian Region of Sarynthia VII forbids numbers and all things math. They're great with acronyms though.) As of this moment, there are 640 paragraph/blurbs in the database which result in 143,000 branching paths. About 80% of those are in a writing-completed state. The numbers can be a bit volatile, as empty placeholders tend to be added in big batches. Some are long, some are short, some are paradoxically both long and short (shh, don't tell anyone we're violating the laws of write-physics). 

We've been having more readthrough sessions, and those have gone wonderfully. It's easy to forget just how fun the stories are until we hear them repeated out loud by someone else! It's one of the most important parts of our writing/editing process.

Conventions: PAX Unplugged and 2022!

We're happy to announce that we've got a booth at PAX Unplugged and will be doing...something with it. Currently the requirements for PAX U are that all attendees wear masks, which does make demoing and playing 1001 Odysseys difficult, but safety is important and we're glad they're taking things seriously. We plan to be at PAX East, Gen Con, and PAX Unplugged in 2022, and maybe some other shows as well. Definitely hoping next year is a lot more fun than the past year! 

We hope to see you all soon, and thanks again for having faith in our writing efforts. We're working hard to make the cool stories you pledged for :)

Gen Con, Digital Playthroughs, and Galaxies!
almost 3 years ago – Thu, Sep 16, 2021 at 08:57:53 PM

Gen Con

 It's Gen Con this week! None of the writing team is there this year, for a variety of reasons, but you can visit our booth at #1425.  We're limiting demos, so Odysseys won't be there to play, but we hope to have a more normal booth experience at PAX Unplugged in December (or at next year's shows). 

What will be there, however, are some very beautiful pins depicting five locations in 1001 Odysseys. Cari doodled some pin ideas a year ago, and we finally got a chance to make them! We're really pleased with how they came out.  They're available from her Floral Frolic booth at Gen Con, #2648, and also at asmadigames.com. Drop by and say hello! 

Writing Update

It's a writing update! From the writers! I'm putting it in quotes, because I think that's how this works. 

"Greetings from the writing crew on board the Odyssey! This month, we've each had a chance to take some inspiration from patches of good weather and long-delayed visits with family and friends. These warm feelings come back to Insula with us and help keep the sense of wonder and whimsy alive in the narrative.

As far as writing progress goes, we're still at the point in time where it would take too long to get an accurate count of how much progress we have made. We continue to work on writing blurbs rather than counting, and we thank you for your patience with the non-numeric nature of our updates. We have many more blurbs than we did at the last update! We are continuing to build out the list of all the blurbs in the game using our helpful Simulator Supercomputer tool, and we continue writing new blurbs as they appear on the mighty master list. 

We're also able to play a simplified version of several chapters from the Storybooks. This is great for checking continuity and experiencing various paths through the story quickly. We'll continue to use this feature as we write to make sure each blurb fits into the whole story."


Digital Playthroughs

We've mentioned a bit some of our abilities to test stories through our database, as it's how we do our live reads of chapters. Something exciting we're planning is to enable a portal for our backers to access some of this capacity. We want those of you who want to take a peek at the stories to be able to do so! 

This will be an enhanced version of our current system, focused to emulate the table experience (more graphics than our testing version, for example) as much as we can. 

Schedule

 Despite our small Gen Con presence, we made a pretty Gen Con banner which'll be displaying on our TV billboard rotation. Sometimes I forget just how beautiful the game is!

 As you'll note, this declares a 2022 date for Odysseys, which is an inevitability given how long actual production will take. 

We do want to deliver something to our backers this year, however. Our goal is to have the Digital-play-portal available to you all in December. I have some coding work to do in order to make that happen, but this won't have any impact on the writers. If anything, having feedback from actual players later this year will help them with editing! 

As we continue writing, we're building up momentum, and we're able to place a lot of stories that were written in the past (Book 4 in particular!) without having to do a ton of work on them.  I know it seems slow from the outside at times, but trust me: we're working on writing almost every day :) 

One Deck Galaxy

Our sister campaign, One Deck Galaxy, launched (and funded!) today. You can read more at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/asmadigames/one-deck-galaxy if you're interested. 

A completely unrelated but similarly beautiful campaign also launched this week, Verdant! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatoutgames/verdant It's run (and art-ed) by good people, and might be worth a peek :)

Cullicut and Story audio cuts!
almost 3 years ago – Fri, Jul 30, 2021 at 10:31:07 PM

Hello! Happy middle-of-summer! Let's not waste time - you're here to see a pretty, pretty map, and we are happy to oblige:

Cullicut: Homeworld of the Timtillawinks

Cullicut is a beautiful, lush world filled with a combination of ecological and technological marvels - sometimes, as you can see, mixed together! The architecture is certainly a bit...daring, but that's what you'd expect from the adventure-loving Timtillawinks. 

With the completion of Cullicut, only two more maps remain to be colored. When we first started doodling maps and planets and biomes, we were excited to see our imagined world come to life, and we're beyond excited about the final product of all the art.

Progress on the chapter-header images is also proceeding well, although those images are more spoily as to what's going on in the story, so we'll be keeping them in our secret vault of story secrets.

Live Reads! Get your Audio Cuts Here!

We're writing text for all of the blurbs that you'll encounter as you play through 1001 Odysseys. They're full of SPOILERS, and we're excited to share them with you when the game is ready.  So we've come up with a creative way to let you get a very small taste of what we have been working on, without revealing the major plot.

Here are some snippets from a live table read of a Chapter that takes place on the planet Araveen, a desert world with sentient, space-faring feline inhabitants called Felisi.

  • 1: You explore a market full of Felisi.
     
  • 2: You meet a nice Felisi and tour her home. We also introduce Amele, a big blue Lackerdood. She's your space BFF.
     
  • 3: You overhear a Felisi knife-monger haggling with an Elemens at an open market.
     
  • 4: You attend a party with a socially awkward Felisi.
     
  • 5: You visit the quarters of Felisi scholars to learn about their home planet.
     

 In ages past, Kickstarter updates allowed you to embed audio files with nice clickable controls, but that functionality has been removed! (I have no idea why). The five MP3 audio files for the above clips can be found at:

https://www.plumplim.com/audioclips/

We hope you enjoy the little peek :) 

History, Legend, Mystique!
about 3 years ago – Sat, Jul 03, 2021 at 05:51:33 PM

Lets start by stating the obvious: IT IS VERY HOT OUTSIDE! Stepping outside the front doors instantly transports us to the feeling of the sweltering heat of Araveen's sunniest deserts. Because of this, we have instituted a mandatory swimming trip for all team members to Flimwait, and backers are welcome to join. Flimwait Pranks are likely, glorious views are certain, and refreshments will be served.

If you've forgotten, this is Flimwait:

Book your travel today! Use code (TOOHOT) at checkout for discount!

Writing!

Many writes are happening, and as we push through chapters and get to interesting branching bits, we've occasionally run into situations where the database says "You want to do what now?" (side note: implementing Snarky Error Messages may have been a mistake). None of these have proven seriously troublesome, but I've had some exciting adventures in re-architecting SQL tables mid-flight. It's good times, really. 

I'm still working on getting an accurate current blurbs counter up on the website, it needed to wait until some of that rearchitecting because it was counting things wrong. Soon! 


From the Writing Team: We're doing internal playtesting of some of the chapters and it's super fun!
Our playtesting tool also helps us spot holes at the edges of the narrative that we can close up efficiently.
Writing continues. Number of blurbs written are many, with many, many, many more to go.


It's a lot of fun reading the blurbs out loud. Sure, they look fine on paper or the screen, but the meetings of laughing and doing funny voices and whatnot really reminds us of how much fun this is to play with a group of friends, an experience that we're allowed to have again in person! 

One Deck History Lesson

Our upcoming game One Deck Galaxy (a followup to One Deck Dungeon) is set in the 1001 Odysseys universe, specifically in Insula, and more specifically...in the PAST! One Deck Galaxy tells the story of the formation of the Federation, starting out as just a homeworld, expanding and exploring and cooperating to build something great. Surely though, building a interstellar network wasn't easy, and that's where Adversaries step in. 

These Adversaries are presented in ODG with a bit of legend-style exaggeration. But even legends have some truth to them, and the Hungry Nebula's a real thing...maybe you'll encounter it during your modern adventures through Insula.

The Neeble-Woobers are members of the Federation in modern times, but back at the start, they wanted ALL THE PLANETS. They got a little less cranky with time. They're cool now, maybe you'll see some on the aforementioned vacation.

Is Social Media a mistake? (Very Topical!) It iiis when you connect it to an enormous AI that decides it knows how to optimize your day for you. Why would you disagree with Optimization Calibrator? It knows best. It Knows You. 

Things are a lot more laid back in Insula now. 


All of these historical bits are things that share references with stories in Odysseys, and we love making the past and present of the world richer. It's fun :)

Summer, Fall, Conventions!

It's been 16 months since PAX East, our last convention with a fancy "demo table" that people could come sit at and talk to us. We are hopeful that conventions later this year will be safe, and our plan is to visit the following this year:

  • Gen Con (September)
  • BGGCon (November)
  • PAX Unplugged (December)

Obviously, this is all contingent on things being safe, and even if things are safe, we're not sure whether we'll be able to run demos or not. Odysseys is a game with a lot of talking, and that doesn't always work so well with masks on. At a minimum, we'll have shiny pins and arts on display. We hope we're able to see you all soon! 

We also hope that it cools down, because it is too hot (we may have mentioned this).