Selecting players is one of the hardest parts of creating a larp. We would love to take everyone on board! Since it is not possible, we want to describe how the players were selected to Odysseus to make the process as fair and transparent as possible.
Altogether, we had 357 sign ups (94 were sponsor ticket purchases). That is an absolutely stunning number! If we had proceeded with the original plan of two runs, we would have been forced to leave 150 people out. With the decision to have a third run, we were able to pick most of you aboard.
However, most is still not all, so I’ll start with why cannot we take everyone. In each run, we have 104 characters, each of whom has a basic concept, a story, and contacts that fit to the style and themes of the larp. Adding more characters would mean a lot of extra work and risk breaking the consistency of the game. Rather than increase the number of characters, we want ensure that all existing characters are given all the creative energy they need to be as good as possible.
The second main reason not to increase the number of characters is practical. In every larp, there are cancellations. Life will inevitably get in the way for some, and in a pre-written larp, having no-show characters could ruin the game for many other players and characters. In our experience, the number of cancellations tends to total around 10% of the players, and with three runs and over 300 players it means roughly 30 spots that will likely need to be re-cast at some point.
I know it can be disheartening to be unlucky in the initial lottery, but the first wave of cancellations is just a few weeks away as the deadline for ticket purchases kicks in. So even if you were unlucky now, the chance of getting aboard at a later point are pretty good! We will offer empty spots to our waiting list first; only when the event is drawing very close, we might look for players also elsewhere.
How was the initial casting done? We entered everyone to an excel sheet and generated a random number for each player. Based on these numbers, we first randomly filled the local run, then the first international run, and last the second international run. As we stated before the sign-up, those who had chosen only or preference for the local run had a higher priority in local spots than those who chose to prefer the international run. As there was more interest for the local run than spots in the game, those who preferred the international run were not considered for spots in the local run.
Our limit of 30 Finnish players for each international run were not exceeded in either of those, so we didn’t have to exclude any of the Finnish players based on that, but we did come pretty close in both runs. The same methods were used for the discount tickets. The chance for getting a spot was slightly worse with the discount tickets than with the standard tickets, but not much.
We left a few spots unselected in the lottery and went through the ones in the waiting list and picked some who had never larped before or had very little experience to join us. It is our firm belief that first-timers should be given a chance to participate to increase the number of larpers and awareness of this great hobby. We hope you all agree with this one!
After we had selected all the players, we went through the wishes on whom the players wanted to participate with, and swapped players from one run to another to make sure that as many of you as possible could play with your friends and spouses. In cases where your friends were unlucky and did not get a spot, we did not remove you if you had a spot (unless it was explicitly stated that you would only participate if the someone else was also included).
We cross-checked the list quite a few times, but if we still managed to miss something, we’ll do our best to fix all issues!
I hope this opens up our selection process, and I truly wish that all of you who didn’t get a spot and really want to be a part of this experience will be able to jump aboard later through the waiting list!
Laura, Producer of Odysseus
Blog is written by several members of the production team.