What Goes Into World Building?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Revision, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. What goes into world building? What are the most important aspects of creating a setting to you?
    World building or setting creation is an important part of making an original roleplay. So what do you put into it? What aspects of design most appeal to you and what can you do without? Do you create on the fly or find you prefer a fleshed out setting? Is it a mix? Maybe it varies from RP to RP. Do you invite your players to help you build the setting or do you like to work as solo as possible? Are you scientific in your creation or is the spirit more important to you than the detail work?
  2. World Building Passion

    When I was young, I adored creative endeavors. This is something that has never left me. I often found it hard to finish writing projects, partially because I was so much more interested in the world I was writing about than the characters. (I'm much better at finishing things with other people writing with me, it's just solo that I seem to get distracted completely.) I've been known to spend hundreds of hours working on settings and worlds.

    In high school, I carried around a stack of folders for a setting in a world I have long since forgotten the name of. I had everything from political structure, maps, weather patterns and commodities to a partially developed language, social conventions, and flags. I sketched the more prominent creatures, complete with anatomical details that I would probably roll my eyes at now. (There were tiger sized flying cats, for instance.)

    When I left for college, these folders were left behind. In the course of several moves and journeys since, they've been lost. My friends and I often made characters, but I still would find myself wanting to know more about the world, to make each character a part of their environment. A basic character can be transported into most settings, but when you start detailing them, you have a chance to really make them belong to the world they inhabit, even if they hate that world and want nothing more than to get out. It impacts them, rounds them out, effects them in so many ways.

    And it was more than that. I'm more likely to stick with a story or RP if I have at least a moderate idea of the world, of the history behind the events occurring. I tried to start a forum for a particular RP a few years ago. It never got off the ground, not because of lack of interest but because I just kept wanting to add more details. Space ship types, history, weapons, NPCs, political agencies, secret government cover ups, it just kept getting richer and richer and I loved it. (That particular setting is currently shelved and I won't be talking about it here because I actually plan to write it out for a system I am developing.)

    I don't always go in depth, but I have to have at least some idea of how things are set up, what is happening, and why. One of my dreams is to see the day someone creates a video game engine that allows realistic interaction with the world and environment with lasting impacts on world and characters as they affect one another. I'm not a video game creator, though, so I will stick with creating my worlds for RP and GMing them to the best of my ability. Even the worlds I don't get to GM are worth creating.

    Sometimes, it is frustrating. There are questions I have searched for answers for that I just cannot resolve. I'm blessed in that I have many very science and sci fi savvy people in my life who can help me when I get stuck. Sometimes, I get focused on a detail. Sometimes, I want to throw a timeline out the window when I realize I left out an important event and have to modify the entire thing. Then there are the moments when I finish detailing a forest clearing, or a temple, or a planet's trade structure. There are times when I finally figure out why a species' evolution dictated that they have a certain caste structure. Or that beautiful instant when I realize that there's an entire aspect of a culture I have yet to explore that would connect everything else wonderfully.

    Those of you who have done world building and setting crafting know what I am talking about. Those of you who are new to it, be ready. This is a world of frustration, beauty, and moments of utter exhilarating joy. Whether you are drawn to making NPCs, creatures, maps, or languages, or just want to create the whole picture, I wish you all the luck and satisfaction this process will gift you with in reward for your perseverance.
  3. Okay, guys. I need to know what sort of workshops and lessons you guys need/want. What do you want to learn about? Where do you need help. Also, those of you who know what you are doing, feel free to write stuff up, too.
  4. These are some things I would love workshops on!

    How environment can affect the way a culture develops.

    A workshop on creating a religion!

    And a workshop on creating "social problems" and how that affects the history and culture of a people. O_O
  5. I have another request!

    I very much love creating worlds and universes IN GREAT DETAIL. ....but my biggest problem is knowing where to start and how to get organized and knowing what -kinds- of details I could put in to my world. ;__; I'm pretty much running around like a lost headless chicken.

    I would love, love, love some "Where to Start:" guides for various parts of world creation. Like, "How to build a city" or "how to build a country" and so on and so on...
  6. I love the concept of making creatures or other races for world's. To me it isn't a problem, the only problem I have is actually making them unique? Or rather, how to flesh the race... Like religion or aspects and what they do for the world around them.