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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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
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
For the civilian characters, the emphasis is on personal plots and relationships. Their main themes are surviving the unspeakable tragedy and the helplessness of the current situation, as well as making the best out of it. We put a lot of effort in creating interesting themes, fates, and surprises for these characters. They have far more flexibility in general, and they are far more able to decide freely when they want to have time to just relax or sleep (plus there is no need for rental uniforms).
The CREW And characters with set task
Around half of the characters have some kind of a role aboard the ship, whether they are the original crew of the ship or late additions that are already signed for specific tasks. For these characters, the major thing is taking care of their tasks throughout the game. Basically all of these characters will need a rental uniform.
Bridge and officers
There are 8 stations on the bridge. These are the commanding officer (captain/xo), navigations officer, weapons officer, communications officers, and science officers. The bridge crew works in two shifts throughout the larp. While there is no need to have all the stations manned at all the time, certain information (eg. scanners and communications) need to be monitored 24/7. This means that characters associated with the bridge will spend a lot of time steering the ship, making plans, communicating with other ships, preparing for battles, and maneuvering as well as monitoring different data streams provided by the systems.
There are four fighter pilots stationed in Odysseus, and a couple of extra ones will arrive with the other groups. We aim to prop two or three cockpits in the hangar bay. These are two-man fighters with one pilot and one weapons officer. Both pilots have headsets that let them communicate with the bridge and with each other. We are seeing good results from Empty Epsilon as a platform that will allow us to use several ships in the same scenario. This would let the fighters and the mothership see each other on the map and make maneuvers together. There will not be a high emphasis on space battles, but there’ll likely be a few bigger ones and a some close calls and minor clashes on top of that. In the meantime, the pilots’ gameplay will involve personal plots, and they might be assigned to assist marines with internal security.
Marines will have two major roles on board. As they have acted as internal security since the declaration of martial law, they will be there to break up fights and make sure that everyone follows orders. They are also the first and last line of defence in case the enemy manages to board the ship. Their priority task, however, is to perform land missions. There are three teams (one of them added during the game) who will be transported to planets to execute search and retrieve missions. Our current plan is to have four team members and two interchangeable specialists in each team. We aim to stream the missions on the screen aboard the ship through headcams. Each team will have two to three missions during the larp.
Some members of the military are not part of the crew of Odysseus. They come from other ships or the space station Atlantis. They will have a bit more flexibility in their gameplay than the original crew, but they are still members of the military, so they will most likely be assigned to new positions during the game. Most of these characters will require a rental uniform. Some of them might have a higher rank or special skills. They have more personal plots and contacts with the other passengers than the base crew. They can decide more freely if they want to play their personal plots and connect with the civilians, or to have more tasks and be more involved in military gameplay.
It is up to the engineers to fix everything that inevitably breaks up. It might be damage received in battles, systems breaking due to premature hyperspace jump, or disasters caused by the lack of maintenance. There will be maintenance tasks throughout the larp that need to be performed routinely, or they might be necessary to under certain conditions. Maintenance work comes as different types of “puzzles” for the engineers, ranging from just pulling two levers at the same time to setting calibration values to connecting wires. We are creating mechanical things to fix, crawl spaces to crawl in, and brain teasers to solve. For the engineers, these will be the main content of their game, but don’t worry: they will also have personal plots and relationships.
Medics are the ones who are doing their best to keep everyone operational. It’s up to them to patch up those who are wounded, and they will be performing routine medical check-ups and taking care of those passengers who have conditions requiring medical attention. There are two medics stationed on Odysseus, but considering the situation, all civilians with medical training have been drafted to help. Thus this group includes characters who are not originally part of the military. The medbay needs to be manned around the clock, so medical personnel will also work in shifts.
There are several scientists on board the Odysseus, since the ship’s latest trek was an exploration mission involved with scientific discovery. The scientists have different mysteries to solve, and they will uncover these in cooperation with both the EOC and Velian religions and the medical personnel. The scientists will be solving the riddles discovered in the beacons left behind by their ancestors, as well as mysteries of an ancient alien race and the technology they left behind. It is also their job to find out weaknesses and patterns in the enemy ships. Scientists do not have as strict shifts as the military personnel, but they too take turns on duty as there might be need to keep working around the clock.
Roughly half of the characters do not have specific tasks at the beginning of the larp. Most of them will be at some point drafted to help out or they are assigned to start learning some of the posts on board in order to guarantee the continuity if something should happen to those originally holding the post. However, most of them have the luxury of being able to say no. Civilian passengers have much more flexibility with their gameplay. They are able to choose their sleeping times more freely, and they have more time to focus on personal plots. Civilians come from different backgrounds and have vastly different personal agendas. There are politicians, priests, celebrities, law enforcement, criminals, and a group of survivors from the planet Velian. The civilians’ plots and contacts intertwine with each other as well as with the members of the crew.
Not wanting to make decisions or spent huge part of the larp tied to certain tasks? Waking up the middle of the night is not your thing? Want to experience the Finnish larp design and plots to the fullest? Then the civilian character group is perfect for you. We work very hard to make the whole experience as inclusive as possible. We aim to build technology and effects so that different alert states (Code red, code yellow etc.) are visible and playable to everyone and not just for the few players on the bridge. We work to project the tactical view to the big screen in the mess hall during the battles. Likewise, with the land missions. There will be a ‘pirate radio’ to leak interesting information to the civilians should the military decide to hold too many secrets. Civilians are able to move freely around the ship, and only very few places are off limits. Thus the passengers should be able to feel everything that is going on and not be cut out. It is up to them to decide whether the military should be allowed to make the big decisions for the entire civilization under the martial law, or whether those who were voted into power should have a say.
Politicians and law enforcement
There are senators, aids, diplomats, judges, attorneys, and police officers on board. They have interesting backgrounds connecting them with the other characters, and they are the ones to whom the other passengers look when it’s time to make decisions. They can concentrate on their personal plots or give more emphasis on the role they possessed before the attack.
There are those who have lived questionable lives before the attack. For them, this might be the time for atonement, or it could be a stepping stone to even greater power. There are bad people, there are unlucky people, and there are those who have just made some mistakes and paid a heavy price. These characters can go for many different directions, and they have a lot of personal plots and interactions with the other passengers.
There are two major religions. The Faith of the High Science is the most populous religion, and it is strongly connected to scientific research. It is not so much of a religion as a way of life. High ranking members of the faith are respected scientist who have dedicated their lives on helping others to succeed. The second most populous religion is The Old Ways, whose followers worship their ancestors and wish for a return to the lost paradise of humankind. Both major religions need to cooperate in order to solve the ancient mysteries introduced in the game. For the religion-based characters, theological debates and realizations are a major aspect of the game, as well as offering solace to those trying to recover from the unspeakable tragedy.
Roughly fifteen passengers come from the planet Velian. They start the larp in a different location with around same number of players from the EOC Space station Atlantis. They will spend the first hours of the game to solve problems of their own before being united with the rest of the players aboard the Odysseus. Velians live in a domed city built by an ancient alien race on a planet that is otherwise uninhabitable. Some EOC anthropologist and scientists have travelled to Velian to discover its mysteries, and the Velians have sent a few ambassadors to EOC, but due to long distances, interaction has been sparse. It is a common theory that Velians originate from one of the missing Genesis ships that never arrived to its destination. Velians have a very unique culture. They live in a strictly theocratic society and follow the teachings of their spiritual leader The Guardian. Velians have much to contribute in solving the riddles of ancient alien technology as well as the mystery concerning their shared inheritage with the EOC population.
There are mystery characters the outwardly belong to the other groups. These characters are not exactly what they appear to be: they might have some special information and instructions from organizers, or they might have a pre-defined fate to die or get injured at some point during the larp. Or it might be something else. These are not exactly NPCs, since the players can play their characters as they like and advance them to the direction they want. But it is necessary for the players to respect the instructions from the organizers on the fates of these characters. The characters are cast based on the casting questionnaire, and there are a few specific questions which we use to determine which players would most enjoy playing the mystery characters.
I hope that I managed to get you excited! Of course plans may change and new plans arise, but we will always put a lot of effort on creating a balanced experience for everyone. We hope that our players give some time to consider what kind of experience they are looking for. Our firm goal is to ensure that every character has the potential to be great with the right player; a player excited about the themes for that particular character and character group. We will ask your preferences in the sign-up form for the standard tickets, as well as again in the casting questionnaire. We are very excited about all of our character groups! Hopefully, you are as well!
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Photos taken by Axelle Cazeneuve.
We have secured the location. And it is exactly what we wanted. No, we skipped the bunkers, caves, and such, and went for a school building. Now, I can hear what you are thinking: “Why the hell choose a school building?” But yeah, this was exactly what we wanted, and we hope that by the end of this post, you are as excited about it as we are.
Let’s start with the basics. First, this is the most science fiction of all such buildings that we have ever seen. The surfaces are basically grey and white, with a lot of metal details and elements. Take a look at the main hall of the building!
(Pictures from: http://www.arkhakli.fi/koulutus/_torpparinmaen/torpparinmaen.htm)
There are a lot of very cool details, such as most of the ceilings having metal nets covering pipes and wires.
There is also a big metallic maintenance bridge crossing the main hall high up in the air. It will be used in the larp for maintenance tasks.
There are several classrooms around the main hall. All the rooms have big windows to the hallway, so that it is possible for others to witness what is going on in the bridge, medbay, or science lab even if it doesn’t involve your character. All these spaces look incredibly cool!
The location is spot on as it is, but even better: we will have it for total of six weeks, allowing us to spend three full weeks to make it into a starship. A lot of time, money, and effort will be spent on details. We have a designated team doing the planning, and an experienced group of designers for the props, lights, and details for transforming the location. We will create a fully equipped science lab and med bay. We have a bridge with eight workstations for the officers, allowing them to steer the ship with a fully fledged simulation software. We’ll also have an engine room full of machines and puzzles. For the corridors, rec rooms, main hall, and sleeping quarters we’ll bring a lot of details.
Another bonus is the location: The school is located in Helsinki, only 10 km from Helsinki-Vantaa airport.
In addition to being an awesome location by itself, there are two cherries on the top: first, a fully functional IT infrastructure we can build on. Second, it offers very good facilities and is fully accessible with an elevator connecting the two floors. We have a catering kitchen that allows us to easily produce full meals for the players. We’ll have plenty of water toilets and sinks for washing hands, as well as two shower rooms with five showers in each. The showers will be available around the clock, one reserved for non-male and the other one for non-female players. We plan to have some reservable spots for a private shower turn for players who are not comfortable in using showers in groups.
There is, however, one downside. Since the building is a public school, the use of alcohol is prohibited. This means that the larp has a strict non-alcohol policy. This also includes the afterparty. We will offer free soft drinks and snacks in the party, and it is of course possible to leave the location after the short debrief and to head to a bar in Helsinki. However, we do hope you’ll stay to chat and party with us, as there are plenty of occasions to go to a bar but only one to spend a wonderful evening with all the amazing people participating in this event!
You can find a few more pictures of the location behind this link:
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
In a larp that takes place in a starship, one of the most important things it that the players must feel like they are really flying one. There are three elements we are planning on using to create that feeling. The first are the surroundings. Having the milieu, props, and general atmosphere that gives the just the right image and feeling that you are really in space. The second being sound and lighting, which should further enhance the idea of being in a vulnerable tin can flying through the void. And the third is the technology used to steer the said tin can. We will address all of these elements in our blog, starting with the third, as it is also the one we needed to start planning very early on.
We went through a couple of existing software solutions that could immerse the players into life on a bridge of a starship, and played around with the idea of creating our own bridge simulation software. From very early on, our strongest candidate was the Spaceship simulation Empty Epsilon, a customizable open source software in which adjustments and integrations could be made on the fly. We started running tests on Empty Epsilon in May with a few limited scenarios, concentrating on control schemes and the stability of the software. The basic scenarios were successful: the software worked well in stress tests, and we felt that already existing the controls and functions fit our needs very well.
In the basic setup for Empty Epsilon, there are five crew positions and a main view (the captains station): Helm (navigation tasks), Weapons (controlling the ship weaponry and shields), Science (anomalies and scanning), Relay (communications and hacking enemy ships), and Engineering (power distribution for weapons, engines and shields, as well as damage control and repairs).
We decided to keep Helm, Weapons, and Science pretty much as they are. There are some very nice mechanics for scanning and hacking enemy ships already present in the Empty Epsilon software, and it is possible to fly different ships within the same scenario, which makes it possible for the main ship to have fighters that can communicate with each other to target enemies and to execute maneuvers. The biggest issue we encountered was when you added a lot of ships into the same scenario, it started to slow down and eventually became impossible to play. This is an issue which we are currently looking into.
Relay, Engineering, and the Captain’s View are the stations we are planning to customize the most – or more precisely to add to. In Relay, we will probably keep pretty much everything that is there already, but will include more communication options via voice commands. The same goes for the captains view. The Captain will be given all the information that can be relayed through the software, but also information from integrated external systems. In Engineering, we decided to keep the option to boost certain functions and handle the cooling, but we will remove repair as an automated software process, instead transferring it into a manual ingame process by the engineering unit of player characters and controlled through a different interface in the engine room (though integrated into Empty Epsilon to provide data flows between engineering and the bridge). In addition, we will be adding a sixth position on the bridge for jumps, long range scans, and planet scans.
If you are interested on Empty Epsilon, feel free to go check it out and give it a go! http://daid.github.io/EmptyEpsilon
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Hi, my name is Antti and I’m a co-producer of the Odysseus project. I’m also the lead set design, with the whole physical manifestation of the ship being in my hands.
I started larping in 2001. I thought larping sounded silly, but my high school rpg group back then were adamant that it was something that we needed to do. Today, I’m the only one of us who still larps. I think I have participated in the creation of games since 2004, and I’ve been on and off making larps with other people since. Mostly I took smaller responsibilities, but after 2010, I’ve taken on more, focusing on production and design rather than character and plot writing. My main accomplishments are the horror larp called Yksinäisyyden Kaiku (of which I was one of five organisers), and Bravo Beach Assault, a 120 player sci-fi war larp, which was split into three sections, containing their own converging games. I also produced Tartuntavaara, which Laura previously mentioned as one of her main inspirations, so that’s cool too.
I have had the dream of creating a functional spaceship interior for a larp for a few years, giving a presentation on how to build things such as sliding doors and other scifi elements at X-Con 2015. In 2017, Laura talked to me about her project idea, and I got really excited. The whole idea of making something big and international is something that has been close to my heart, so I was immediately on board. I have dreamed of working on or with larps as a profession, and this is one of the steps that might lead to realising that goal some day.
For me, the thing I most enjoy in a larp is the feeling in the back of your head, when you are completely immersed in a character, and cool things happen. The feeling of “whoa, this is just as if I was living in a movie!” That is the feeling I very much strive to create for my players in the games I’ve run or helped run. In this project, I will try to give you, the players, that same sense of wonder and “whoa” factor by creating a setting in which you can truly feel like you are actually in the great void of space, but inside a vessel that has a purpose, that is used for something, and that is bigger than just the sum of its parts. I want to make something that is so cool that it will have players coming back to Finland to re-experience the wonder of space travel, of climactic moments and drama, and just to bleeping feel what it is to live and travel in space.
Antti, co-producer of Odysseus
We want our trailer to provide something concrete: to describe the larp, its atmosphere, technology, and narrative. When we sat down to create the script and plan the trailer, we wanted above all to communicate the experience we are creating for our players. We ended up with six scenes that do not tell a specific story, but rather represent some of the aspects we feel are important for the larp. We wanted the different scenes to reflect events as they could actually happen for the characters.
Even though our main focus was on the story and the atmosphere we want in the larp, we did go pretty far with the props. We used the ship emblem to brand pretty much everything from soldier uniforms to electrical diagrams and medical equipments. We used prohibitory signs to create the idea of normal life on board the Odysseus. Also, we collected a lot of props like guns, ladders, tools, medical equipments, and military equipments, as well as all the stuff represented at the poker table to make the scenes feel real.
We thought it would be nice to give you a little insight on what we had in mind when we created the scenes and how do they reflect what we want the larp to provide. In the final trailer most of these scenes are cut in several smaller scenes and mixed together.
In another rather militaristic scene, we have a soldier sitting on a bench holding a ring and a notebook, maybe writing a letter? Their friends arrive, and they start to prepare for a mission, maybe one they might not return from. Even though the general atmosphere is friendly and relaxed, they all know very well how much is at stake and how it is a real possibility that one of them might not come home.
Then we have two mechanics fixing broken wires and trying to stabilize a dangerous situation. All sorts of mechanical puzzles are a big part of Odysseus. We are planning to create the engine room with lots of puzzles and a manual to operate them in order to keep the ship functional.
The larp takes place in a time of crises, so we also have a medical emergency, in which a civilian has been shot and another civilian is trying to help him and desperately calling for medic. We see a medic rushing in and starting to help the patient, but it might be too late for them. Meanwhile, the conflict goes on, and soldiers are running past them in the corridor.
The very last scene is from the bridge, where the jump is being prepped. We see a glimpse of the systems on the bridge and the jump sequence being launched. And then… a jump towards the unknown.
Behind the scenes photos are taken by Axelle Cazeneuve.
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
From the start, our goal has been to make every aspect of the game as good as possible. In this post, I’ll talk a little bit about our graphics. For myself, I cannot draw or design to save my life, so I’ll spare you from seeing my early schematics. Instead, I’ll show you the art and design work from our talented graphic designer, Sara.
For the game logo, we wanted a design that could be used both ingame and offgame. We wanted a logo that we could use in our marketing, including branding our materials such as the players handbook, posts and ads in forums, as well as promotion products like t-shirts.
The logo would not be used just for promoting the game, but it would also be a significant part of the ingame fiction to be seen all around the spaceship in a similar way that trains, ships, airplanes and spaceships are branded in the real world.. It can be seen on uniforms, printed on the wall, in the screensaver - and similar places to make it known that those items are the property of the EOC Starfleet. This also creates the feeling of being onboard the specific starship in the specific universe we’ve created.
Here are the designs from Sara, our amazing graphic designer. The first one is the offgame version of the logo, which we plan to use in marketing materials. The second one is the ship emblem of Odysseus used for ingame purposes.
We are in the midst of designing the culture and the societies of our world, along the Dynasties of the Arati system. A Dynasty is an amalgam of family, corporation, and political party, and most characters will be a part of one. We wanted to emphasize this aspect through Dynasty specific tattoos on the backs of the characters’ hands. Since most people in the Arati system belonged to different Dynasties, the dominant culture evolved a salute in which a person shows their “color” by baring the back of their hand.
Here are the first designs of the Dynasty tattoos!
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Hello! My name is Laura, and I'm the producer and lead story designer for Odysseus. I’ve been larping since year 2000 – and creating larps for almost as long. Above all, I am a writer of complicated relationship drama. Creating engaging and complex larps is my passion, and for the past 15 years, there have been only a few periods during which I did not have one or more projects to work on. My previous projects have included a court fantasy campaign called the Calbourne Saga, which consisted of eight games with 35-150 players per game. A more recent creation is the modern day fantasy drama Pyhävuoren perilliset (freely translated “Heirs of the Saint Hill”), which has been run for seven times for 30-40 players. I have also participated in several other projects as a character writer and a story designer. For the past couple of years I’ve been looking for a project that would inspire me – and which I could be truly enthusiastic about. As soon as we started working on Odysseus, I knew that this would be it.
Though creating larps is something I do on my free time, it is also something that I would love to consider making a career out of. At the moment, I work as a project manager in a large IT company, so organizing things and managing time and resources is something I do in my day job as well. In my own larp projects, I’ve always been the producer as well, but creating the story, characters, plots, and the whole fiction for the larp is what I truly love. I’ve participated as a speaker in Ropecon and X-Con, where I’ve talked about plot and story design, character design and player involvement. All of these are subjects whose evolution is close to my heart and about which I have always wanted to keep on learning more about.
During the past couple of years, I’ve participated in several very inspiring games that have given me a lot to think about in the field of what kind of experiences I want to provide to players as a writer. Two of these games were held early this year during the time I was forming the early sketches for the story design of Odysseus, so I ended up analyzing their story and design quite deeply. These games were the Finnish larp Tartuntavaara and Conscience, my first international larp. I enjoyed both games very much and learned enormously from the discussions I had with other players about their experiences and what made the games interesting and emotional for them. Both of these games exhibited many of the emotions and concepts I had thought of exploring in Odysseus, and I'm extremely happy that I had the chance to experience them.
Those two games, as well as others I’ve played in the past years – and the discussions that have ranged around them – have affected my thinking on what I want to create, and what players want to experience. My previous projects have been more focused on melodrama than actual drama, and even though they have been highly valued for it, I’m moving towards realism in plots, feelings, and interactions. As a result of several conversations and personal experiences, for Odysseus, I look forward to creating stories and characters that have impact on the players.
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
How did it all begin? Where did we pick up the idea for Odysseus, and how did it develop into the project? Let’s look back for insights on what we have done so far and where we are heading from here.
The idea for Odysseus was born during the Finnish larp writer convention X-Con in November of 2016. I and our co-producer Sanna decided that it would be cool to create a game that would take place in the setting of the episode “33” of Battlestar Galactica.
“33” is the very first episode of the new series, in which the survivor fleet is escaping their still somewhat unknown enemy by jumping from one location to another whenever the enemy fleet reaches them. Due to other engagements, the project stayed dormant for almost a year before we had time to start putting the pieces together.
We invited our third co-producer Antti to join the project and had a few discussions about our goals and vision. In those meetings, we decided that we wanted to set the game into a universe of our own design and to keep BSG only as a source for inspiration and ideas. There were several reasons for this. Immaterial rights, of course, but also the freedom to create what we want without being too tied to the original lore.
Also, there had already been larps taking place in the BSG universe, so we didn’t want to make something too much alike – though there will of course be some common elements between the games. We also decided to pick up ideas and themes from few other sci-fi series, Stargate Universe being the one most worth mentioning. There will be no wormholes in our game, but we aim to have land missions which have a strong resemblance to Stargate missions.
Early on, we also decided that we want to make the game an international event. There have been only a few international games held in Finland, and we wanted to change the situation. Our first design choice was to run the game at least twice – once in Finnish for local players, and once in English as an international run. Every year, more and more Finnish players go abroad to participate in interesting larps, and we thought it was time to arrange a large (in our standards) international game in Finland as well.
We officially introduced Odysseus in X-Con 2017 and started to recruit new members to the team. We started building the world and listing ideas for technology and the overall setup, as well as designing the player experience. During spring 2018, we filled most key roles, and by now we have nearly forty people working on the project. We are happy that we have an extremely talented crew full of people who are highly motivated in creating an awesome game experience. Our first major task will be to secure the location, and we are focused on documenting our design choices and making decisions on the systems we plan to use. We are creating a clear roadmap for the upcoming year, and production documentation will be a key factor in all our production choices.
In our next blog posts, we will introduce our main organizing team as well as give you a sneak peek into our trailer footage and tell you a little bit about the systems and technology we are planning to use.
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Blog is written by several members of the production team.