Oddsmaker Orion is a compelling story designed for kids aged 3 to 9, built around the concept of masks–included with the book–that function as dice-spinners used to play actual games in the story. In effect, kids "play the book." The masks also fit on most action figures, and further serve to bring new life to old toys.
We have been developing this project for over a year with deep focus on:
- a robust, engaging story for kids
- original and likable characters
- designing actual games the reader plays, using the masks to determine crucial outcomes between Orion and Killjoy
- an invitation to learn about game design and create your own games.
Oddsmaker Orion wakes up one morning, chooses his mightiest mask for the day, and prepares to battle King Killjoy for the fate of the world.
Before long, Orion and Killjoy are battling, and the reader is playing along, spinning the masks to determine the outcomes of each battle.
The contexts for these playful battles: ping pong, Skeeball, mini-golf, a dance contest, and other non-violent competitions. The reader is given directions to use the masks for each distinct, simple game, and the winner of each round wins an island nation of the world, as shown on the included map.
Active Readers & Game Design
Oddsmaker Orion is a great introduction to game design showcasing the importance of narrative and immersive play.
Pre and early readers are invited to do far more than passively read a story: they dive right into the book, playing as the characters through uncertain outcomes.
The book ends with a resolution based on the gameplay, and then invites readers to take further steps to design their own games. New DIY games can include the Orion and Killjoy masks, or a variety of other toys and game objects like cards and dice that families may already have around the house.
We play-tested this book with a handful of kids, and the results were promising. They enjoyed this unique reading experience and our tests showed the book to be an inspiring invitation for kids to design their own games. We consulted a few game design experts to help consolidate succinct ideas into our brief additional tutorial section at the end.
Who are we?
Read about Carson Wiser in his profile linked to this project.
Scott Wayne Indiana is designer and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Day job: Sr. UX Designer for an educational publishing company. In 2016, swi launched a solo KS project, Lotus Dimension, a tabletop role player game that rewards nonviolent problem solving. You can see some of his previous projects -- including D&D Yoga, Braille Graffiti, the Portland Horse Project, People Watching+, and many more -- at 39forks.com. Many of these projects have also been featured in The Los Angeles Times, NY Times Magazine, The Oregonian, and more.
We are also very fortunate to have the support of a handful of madly talented folks who have generously given freely of their time, some of whom are shown here.
Where is your money going?
We are prepared to make a bulk order of books and 3D printed masks that will be included with each book. We also want to spread the word about this book in the year ahead and will allocate some of the funds toward social media marketing and entry to various independent book festivals.
Specs: Our most current version of the finished draft is 40 pages consisting of artwork on every page, and text on nearly every page. Oddsmaker Orion is presented in full color; each version of this first edition will measure 8 by 10 inches. The included masks will be 3D printed, each about 2 inches in height, and as shown, colors will be dark gray for King Killjoy and bright blue Oddsmaker Orion.
It is with humble gratitude that we offer heartfelt thanks for your support of this project through contributions or sharing to your networks, especially to parents with young readers, or folks looking to make a meaningful gift purchase! The support will help tremendously as we endeavor to further develop and cultivate Shadow Holmes into the future.
Risks and challenges
We recognize that crowd-funded projects often carry red flags in terms of reliability and promised delivery of rewards. We have taken every effort to polish this project and plan to order every single reward the day after receiving funds from the funded project, with shipping to follow in the days after the books arrive to us. Should any unforeseen consequences arise we will make every effort to be fully transparent in communicating delays, but we are confident that we will be able to deliver on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter