Hi, my name is Sanna and I’m a co-producer of Odysseus. I’m also the one who takes care of the applications and IT systems on board, in addition to participating in story design.
My larp life started few years ago. I had been roleplaying before (and even tried larping a little bit), but somehow it just didn’t work out. In 2014, my friend persuaded me to try larping again, and this time I got to be a dwarf princess. I had so much fun running around with my two hand axe, almost getting killed, and surviving just barely.
This ignited my spark. All it needed was the right character and I was sold. It didn’t take me long to start writing characters and getting involved as an organizer. I started with small projects and have gradually gotten into bigger ones. I love to create characters and plots and to weave webs of events intertwined with character-specific stories.
The whole thing with Odysseus started when me and Laura were writing a larp called Vigor Mortis III together. Our teamwork just, well, worked. We were on the same wavelength and ended up inventing even crazier and crazier evil plots for our characters. Co-operation worked so well that we decided that we should make a larp together and then... may I present to you: Odysseus.
I am a little bit horrified about all the technical applications we are doing. I am so glad I have a good team. We already started the work a year ago, but there is still a lot to be done and a huge amount of coding needed. Even though we use Empty Epsilon to steer and fly our ship, we still have many other systems such as the interfaces for Engineers, Scientists, Medics, and other passengers. Our goal is to provide information for everyone, not only to the ones making the decisions on the bridge. We aim to make everything as transparent as we can. We want to provide the tools for you to gather information you normally wouldn’t get in a game like this.
Sanna, Co-producer of Odysseus
“I cannot change the laws of physics, Captain! You’ve got to give me thirty minutes!”
Our ultimate goal is to make ESS Odysseus work as a whole, from the bridge controls to engineering systems to ambient sound and lighting. When an enemy ship is approaching, everyone will be aware. When a radioactive leak is detected, everyone will be warned. And when the unfortunate engineer accidentally pulls the wrong cable, everyone will hear the ship’s engines shut down.
The onboard engineering team is given special focus. It is up to them to fix everything that inevitably breaks up, be it damage received in battles, systems breaking due to a premature hyperspace jump, or disasters caused by the lack of maintenance.
We’re devising all sorts of tasks for the engineers, ranging from system calibration, power rerouting, brain teasers, to mechanical fixing of things. As an engineer, you can expect everything from routine, repetitious maintenance work to hectic repairs in the midst of battle.
A lot of thought has gone into the balance of active work and time available for personal plots and relationships. Each system that is fixed will need some time to re-calibrate itself to become functional again. There can only be a limited number of systems re-calibrating at a time, and thus all systems cannot always be fixed. This will allow engineers some spare time also during on-duty hours.
We’re also taking reuse and documentation into consideration during development. All of the software and designs will be available as open source for other larps to utilize in the future.
We are eagerly waiting for you to experience what we create!
Sampo, System development team
Photos by Axelle Cazeneuve.
Here you can find instructions on how to buy a ticket or sign up – and what happens then. So check this page out to be ready to refresh your browser!
Sponsor tickets are available on Sunday Dec 9th at 20.00 CET. It means 21.00 in Finland, eight o’clock in central Europe, and 19.00 in UK.
At that time the link in our Tickets page becomes active. Clicking it will take you to the online shop of Illusia ry (provided by Holvi).
There are two ticket classes available: “Odysseus Sponsor ticket International run” and “Odysseus Sponsor ticket Local run.” It will not be possible to change the ticket after the purchase, so make sure you pick the right one!
There are four language options in Holvi (Finnish, English, German, and Spanish) and you can change the language in the top right corner.
NOTE: For the local run Sponsor ticket, all the questions and information is in Finnish, so that should tip you off, in case you accidentally pick the wrong run.
Click the correct product, and you will end up on the product page where you can add the ticket to your basket.
IMPORTANT: It is allowed to only buy one ticket per person (per run)!
The system allows the purchase of multiple tickets, but we do not. We will refuse any purchase with more than one ticket (per run) since we ask information about the signee during the process.
After clicking Add to basket, you will see your basket. You will then be able to proceed to checkout. On the checkout page, we will ask you the questions below.
Note: The ticket is reserved for 30 minutes, so fill in the questions within that time frame.
Name (first name and surname)
Fill in your first name and your surname.
Fill in your email and make sure it is the correct one – you cannot correct it later!
Where you come from? You can write in the country in which you live or where you are from. The purpose of this question is to ensure an even selection of nationalities when accepting players for the standard ticket.
Fill in your age. The purpose of this question is to ensure a reasonable age distribution when accepting players for the standard ticket.
Are you a beginners, or have you larped a little or a lot? The purpose of this question is to ensure an even experience range when accepting players for the standard ticket.
Gender you wish to play in Odysseus
Fill in if you wish to play male, female, or other gender, or if it doesn’t matter to you. The purpose of this question is to allow us cast players to the pre-written characters with pre-written relationships.
Favorite character groups (minimum 4)
The players who have decided to buy a sponsor ticket are guaranteed to get a character from one of their preferred character groups. Choose four (or more) and type them here.
Officers: Military leaders who make the hard decisions. Requires players to be willing to play inclusively, delegate tasks, and possibly co-operate with the organizers in some situations.
Bridge: High ranking military personnel working on the bridge of Odysseus, steering the ship from one crisis to another. Many of them are officers, but they do not make as many decisions as their superiors.
Military: Characters that have a military rank and expertise but are not part of the original Odysseus crew. They have tasks on the bridge as well, but they have more freedom and more personal plots than the bridge crew.
Pilots: Those flying the fighters in space battles and engaging in relationship drama outside the cockpit.
Marines: Soldiers who are sent to land missions and to track beacons left behind by their ancestors in hostile planets. Also responsible for securing peace aboard the starship.
Engineers: Those fixing and calibrating and enhancing the ship and saving the day after catastrophic jumps or damage from a space battle. They spend their time in the noisy engine room or running around the ship and preventing disasters.
Medics: There are bound to become injuries – and with injuries come the medics. Whether a soldier with an injury from a battle or a civilian having a stroke or a medical condition, the medics are there to help! They are also in charge of routine check-ups and other medical requests.
Scientists: Be it a puzzle left behind by the ancestors, a device belonging to an ancient alien race, or a piece of code to be cracked, it is a task for the scientists. They work hard to make the breakthroughs needed to overcome this desperate situation.
Politics: The human race has received an enormous blow, and it is up to their leaders and politicians to steer the course for the remains of the once glorious civilization. What kind of a political system will be created from the ashes of the old one? Will the soldiers dictate it, or can the politicians rally the will of the people?
Religion: In this time of sorrow, it is often faith where people find solace. Religion and science are strongly linked in this world, so the followers of the High Science are scientists, and the priests of the Old Ways are the ones who have the keys to unlocking the mysteries left behind by their ancestors.
Civilian survivors: A police officer, an anthropologist, a journalist, a judge, a student, does it matter what you once were? What is your place now? Are your skills and expertise still needed, or do you need to find a direction for your life? Perhaps you were a criminal, finding in this disaster a chance for redemption – or means to even greater power?
Velian survivors: People from a remote planet find themselves in the same situation as the rest of the passengers. They have a unique religious culture influenced by the ancient alien civilization that inhabited their home world long ago. The cultures will collide and the Velians will need to find their place in this new society they are formerly only vaguely familiar with. There are some old ghosts from the past resurfacing at the end of the world.
Mystery: Characters than can be a part of any other group, but who are not quite what they seem. They have knowledge, secrets, or predetermined fates. They will also have an unforgettable journey, but they are also there to support the others and help lift the experience to greatness. This group will have more metagame instructions than the rest.
IMPORTANT: Unfortunately technical limitations prevented us from typing the options directly in the purchase window, so it is advised to pre-select your favorites!
T-shirt (style: ladyfit/unisex, size: S-3XL)
Fill in the preferred style and size. The sizes range from S to 3XL(/5XL), but if those sizes are not suitable for you, we can make custom orders, so feel free to also choose sizes outside the standard selection.
After answering all the questions, click continue. You will be asked your contact information. This page is not created by us and we will not have access to this contact information. Instead, it is for the supplier (Holvi) and required for the payment. You can find the supplier’s terms and conditions link on this page. Fill in the information (only name, e-mail, country, and accepting the terms are mandatory fields).
After clicking Save and Continue, you are taken to the payment page. You can choose to pay with an international credit card (Visa or Mastercard) or via a bank transfer (available only in Finland). Choose the payment method and follow the instructions.
After the purchase has been successful, you should receive the following message as a receipt (with the information from the chosen run):
“Thank you for your support and welcome to the Odysseus larp! You have secured a spot on the international run of Odysseus played on 4th to 7th July 2019 in Helsinki, Finland. You will receive a casting questionnaire, and you will be added to the player email list on January 2019. If you have any questions prior to that, feel free to send us an email (email@example.com) or ask it on the wall of the Facebook event!”
Congratulations! You have secured a spot on the awesome journey to the stars on board the starship Odysseus!
Standard tickets are not distributed via the “first come, first served” principle, unlike the Sponsor tickets. We have a short sign-up period from Sunday Dec 16th at 1pm. to Dec 23rd at 9pm. CET. You can fill in our sign-up form at any time during that period. However, we might close up the sign-up early if we receive massive amounts of sign-ups. If this happens, we’ll try to give a heads-up on the Facebook event.
On Sunday Dec 16th at 1pm., the sign-up button on the ticket page will activate and lead you to a Google form on which we ask the following questions:
Age (Question is to ensure a reasonable age distribution on random selection.)
Country (Question is to ensure an even selection of nationalities on random selection.)
Experience (Question is to ensure an even experience range on random selection.)
Gender you wish to play in Odysseus (Male, Female, Other or Any) (At this point we only need to know the gender you wish to play in order to ensure a reasonable gender distribution for pre-written relationships.)
Favorite character groups (Question is to ensure reasonable demand for all the different character groups.)
Run (You can choose which run you wish to sign up from the following options.)
You can also choose to keep your name in the lottery for the possible third run as well as sign up for the discount tickets.
After pressing “Send,” you will receive an email with copies of your answers. This email is also a confirmation that we have received your sign-up.
The sign-up ends on Sunday Dec 23rd at 9pm. CET. However we might close sign up early if we receive a huge overflow of sign ups, but not until Monday evening December 17th. If we have less sign-ups than available spots, everyone will receive a spot and the sign-up period will be extended.
If we have more sign-ups than empty spots, we will randomly select players who will get their spot. The random selection will be anonymous, but we will use age, nationality, the gender you wish to play, experience, and favored character group information to ensure a balanced and diverse larp. The casting will be announced on Jan 6th. Those who have been selected will receive payment information and have until Jan 14th to buy the ticket. When possible, payment should be done as direct bank transaction (mainly Finland), but when not feasible, we will provide a link to through which the payment can be done via international credit cards (Visa or Mastercard).
If payment is not confirmed by Jan 14th, a player’s spot will be given forward. Those who are left without a spot in the original casting run are automatically added to the waiting list and are offered a spot if someone cancels their participation.
We will send out the casting questionnaire in mid-January to all selected players. It needs to be filled by the end of January.
Hopefully this guide was useful! Feel free to ask any questions you still might have via email or on the Facebook event page!
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Should I sign up?
Ticket sales are starting in a few days, so it is the perfect time for us to dust up some facts and convince you that this is definitely an experience you do not want to miss!
So, what is Odysseus? Glad you asked! Odysseus is a thrilling space drama in which the remaining survivors from a distant human civilization fight for their survival in the void of space. We want you to experience the drama in the midst of an escape from an overwhelming enemy, the desperation of a lost past, and the glimmers of hope that shine far in the future. Odysseus is a fully pre-written larp, which means that everyone will receive a fully written character with a backstory, agenda, and meaningfully constructed contacts and relationships. The passengers of the starship Odysseus have friends, family members, rivals, lovers, colleagues, and enemies. Every character has personal plots on top of their shipboard tasks. Those who have more responsibilities in steering and fixing the ship have less personal plots than the ones who have less concrete tasks, and vice versa. There are major plotlines that effect on everyone aboard, and these will be transparent and relevant to as many characters as possible. Check out our character page for some character teasers!
What kind of players is this larp aimed for? We hope that our players look forward to playing intense relationship drama ranging from romance to family dynamics, friendships, and rivalries. But interpersonal drama isn’t everything! This is, in the end, a larp about survival, about a hectic journey through the unknown. There are lot of tasks aboard from steering the ship to land missions, and from locating lost beacons to solving mysteries of an ancient alien civilization.
The genre that might describe our larp best would probably be Hollywood drama. We do not aim for exact realism – instead we want to weave an intense story that allows our players to laugh and cry, be heroes and villains, make sacrifices and hard choices, and to feel joy and devastation. The larp is not an open sandbox; the characters and their connections are predetermined. This allows us to create secrets and revelations and tie character arcs together.
Are you from outside Finland? Why join this game? This is a perfect opportunity for the international audience to experience larp the Finnish way: story driven, characteristically pre-written variant of Nordic larps. If you want to learn more, check out our introduction to Finnish larp! What we wish from our players is that they are willing to embrace the story heavy design and respect the pre-written contacts and dynamics. We also expect everyone to respect the boundaries of other players and to pursue an inclusive playstyle where we all together create the memorable story for the larp.
Convinced you want to join but worried about the practical stuff? No worries! The larp lasts for 48 hours and can get pretty hectic, but we don’t want our players to get exhausted and cranky. We’ll make sure all players can get at least 7 hours of non-stop sleep and a possibility to take a naps during the day. If this is not enough, it is also possible to sleep off-game or to go for a civilian character (these have the luxury of sleeping whenever they want).
More practical concerns? Again, no reason to worry! We have very good facilities for the larp, with several water toilets as well as showers that are available throughout the larp. We have an industrial kitchen and a team that will conjure all the meals respecting your diets. We take safety very seriously, and we expect everyone to follow our code of conduct. There is a designated safety team throughout the event to provide low threshold support for any concerns you might have.
As a cherry on the top, we have highly talented IT, prop and technical teams creating the illusion of traveling through space by allowing the crew to really shine via fully simulated space travel and battles, monitoring deep space scanners, initiating hyperdrive jumps, fixing the broken engines, making medical examinations or just relaxing in the mess hall.
So, convinced yet? Join us on this epic adventure and help us guide the starship Odysseus through crises and dangers towards the destiny of humankind!
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Blog is written by several members of the production team.