Some Ideas on World Building

Question> I am interested in learning how design cities and worlds. So if anyone is willing to help me I would be more willing to help them out with anything they need done.


I see two different questions. One is how to get an area to design for Worldforge. That's a relatively easy one...browse the worlds section of the website. Read through the existing descriptions, histories, etc for areas that have been worked on. If one of them is blank, or very sketchy, its probably open. There are also some tasks posted for world design (but not all. This could be a good quick task for someone; determine what's done and what isn't and post tasks for unclaimed areas). Generally, its a good idea to announce on this list that you want to adopt area XXX. If noone has objections, its yours.

The second implied questions is a very broad, so I don't know if there is a specific answer. I'll take a crack at it, thought, and maybe it can get some ideas flowing.

My impression is that if you are designing something smallish, such as a city in an existing land, you need to really read over the exiting descriptions and get a feel for what the original designer was trying to do. Also, read up on the surrounding areas. Imagine how everything would interact. What historical events are there, or should there be? What kind of people, religion, technology, social structure, etc fits this?

You're probably not going to have all that answered right away, but the more defined your vision, the easier and more detailed your own design will be.

From there, you can begin digging in. I suppose its much a matter of personal preference what order you do things. Some might like to draw a map (either real or imaginary) and start filling it in. Others might begin with some interesting people, or possibly some organization that makes the city/town unique. But if you have a decent overall picture, it probably doesn't matter where you start. Of course, your ideas will probably change as you go, but that just means checking the earlier stuff for consistancy.

If you find that you have some really interesting ideas that are incompatible with the surrounding land or existing histories, bring it up with the other area developers. Frequently things can be massaged enough to work in your ideas without causing everyone else to redo their work. Alternatively, the idea can be applied to a more appropriate location elsewhere in the world, or in a different world entirely. So don't throw away ideas just because they don't fit right.

When you want to start from scratch for a larger area (country or world) you have to rely on your own imagination for the initial inspiration. You'll want to deal with the same questions from above, but have less existing material to draw upon. But the chances are good you already have the key idea to start with, otherwise you wouldn't be trying to decide how to build a country/world ;)

So that's my take. I'm sure others have their own thoughts.

Good luck,