An Elementary Mistake…

I mean, I’ve heard stories like this. The Mistake.

I had a feeling I had an error lurking somewhere in the too-late-nights-ok-wait-it’s-morning-again. Between website, packaging and print copy there was bound to be a spelling error or three. Maybe a diagram with an incorrect label.

But this? Well this was elementary.

Ok, after being awake for 25 hours, we made it through Day One.

After some rest and recovery, I sit down that evening with the Whistlestop store owner. He’s happy. All the Orendao units sold, and he’s actually got a free minute to dive into Orendao himself, for the first time.

I’m happy. I get to just sit, teach, and play. I always teach the elements first.

I know these symbols like I know my children. I’ve lived with them for years. Raised them. Taught them how to work and play together — And ok, sometimes you call you child by the wrong name. Fair enough.

Anyway, I’m teaching Steve, and it’s a fun little routine where I mix up the tiles and ask you to match them. Then I have you tell me their names and relationships, while you look at the Quick Start Guide for the answer

It’s the simplest lesson: when you can’t remember an element’s relationship, look at the cheat sheet.

After a few games you get them memorized and don’t need the diagram anymore.

So, like a good student Steve’s using the guide, but he’s still getting it wrong.

Right here Steve…” I point at the diagram and I double-take, Fire and … wait—”

— impossible. There’s just no way I missed that.

I mean… How do you miss that? Let’s see if you can spot the difference? WRONG



Don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right off — I managed to design Orendao’s packaging, website, and print material. And this fundamental error was staring right at me the whole time. ODAO Elements - all 5_LI (2).jpg

Somehow, Earth and Water shifted positions (hey!) in the diagram.

Even nuttier, I reviewed all of this content hundreds of times over the last few months alongside experienced players who all know how it should look.

And this fundamental error was staring right at us the whole time.

… or was it? See the thing is, once you learn the element’s you move on from the diagram

Once you don’t have to look at the cheat sheet for every move you make — and don’t kid yourself you will need to for the first 9 rounds, or so— but once you don’t need it your play speeds up.

Your focus shifts from individual interactions to move patterns, and combinations.

You never need this diagram again. So was it staring us in the face?

Yeah, it was. It bloody glaring at us.

Everybody who knew better didn’t need to scrutinize it. And everybody who was new didn’t know better.

Elementary Dear Watson! Elementary! Cool, so we caught it. How do we fix it? RIGHT: Fire and Water are Opposed. Wind and Earth are Opposed.

RIGHT: Fire and Water are Opposed. Wind and Earth are Opposed.

Well, first off I asked Steve for a pen, fixed it on the spot, and continued with a fun set of games.

Then I booked it home, redrew the diagram. Looked at it like thirteen times to make sure I didn’t miss anything else. And went on the hunt, finding every spot where it was used and correcting it.

I sent an hotfix to the printer (easy enough now that we’ve established a good workflow), the people at Star continue to be awesome. I owe you all another round of coffees.

Now we’re in the process of getting a hold of you amazing early risers who bought the first copies, to get you an updated page in your Quick Start Guide. If I don’t track you down, hit me up and I’ll get you squared away.

Meanwhile, the website holds the truth. And now?

I’m going to turn on the Chariots of Fire theme song, brush my teeth, and go to bed.

Another day. Another Lesson :) Jared Chapman

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