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[Tutorial] World Building

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World Building

The Basics

Part 1 of ?

This will be an ongoing tutorial as the Engine develops and we gain more access to World Building-related features. I haven't seen a World Building Tut on the forum, so here it is!

This tutorial will also ONLY use FREE software, as it's completely unnecessary to fork over loads of cash for a good World.

 

 

What is it? Can I do it? What makes a good world?

These are the questions you may be asking yourself in regards to World Building and the answer is simply; Yes.

 

In this tutorial I'll introduce you to general World-Building aspects, but focus mainly on World Building as it applies to Intersect. You could then take this knowledge and apply it elsewhere, and likewise you can apply knowledge learned elsewhere to Intersect, but there are plenty of AMAZING video tutorials out there teaching you how to build great worlds in general, so I'll link those at the bottom. But you're here because you want to make beautiful and believable worlds in Intersect, so let's not waste time.

 

What is World Building

I mean, it's in the name lol. It consists of various smaller "Buildings" such as: Story Telling, Character Creating, Map Making, and more!

You build worlds for Video Games, Books, D&D, etc., following logic and the Aspects of world building.

The point is to make the game world feel alive to the player, making it easy for them to imagine themselves in this world.

 

 

Tools of the Trade

This tutorial will only consist of FREE(completely free, or a free "basic" version) software, available to anyone, so worry not my friends!

Spoiler

Various tools are essential for World Building

Completely Free Tools(No Free Version / Premium Content / Purchasable Upgrade of any kind)

  • YouTube - a lot of GREAT tutorials on extensive World Building techniques and more!(will link some at the end)
  • Google - anything from Lore-Building to geography. Google has a lot to be studied that could apply to world building.
  • Reddit - one of the best ways to improve your World Building is getting involved in a community who loves to World Build. Check out r/WorldBuilding, r/MapMaking, r/Map_Porn(Please mods, I swear it's not explicit:7_sweat_smile:) and more.
  • GIMP - completely free image editing software. Great for mapping, characters, or whatever you need. A GREAT Dev Tool and a beacon of hope for those in opposition to PS!
  • Fandom - an easy-to-use wiki editor. I'm sure we all know what this is.
  • MediaWiki - this one will be a little tougher as you'll need 3rd party software(there are free ones) for a Web Server, PHP, and a database server. MediaWiki is AMAZING for keeping track of your World. It provides a blank and editable wiki for your World that you can make private until your ready to publish!

 

Not So Free Tools(Has Free Version / Premium Content / Purchasable Upgrade)

  • Inkarnate - This badboy is one of my favorites. An online software that lets you make world maps, plain and simple. Check it out!
  • WorldAnvil - another FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC software that allows you to World Build with ease, has various functions but is mainly for Lore/character/Story building. Free version is more than enough for Intersect usage.

 

 

Aspects of World Building

Spoiler
  1. Believability - Most important, incorporates the next two.
  2. Beauty
  3. Natural Fluidity

 

These are the 3 Aspects I follow for my World Building. Just as #1 incorporates #2 and #3, you can have #2 and #3 without #1, which is dangerous as it greatly undermines your hard work. This is why I make Believability #1 and most important, as you can have an ugly game that's rougher than a Sandslash's backside, but as long as it's believable, you should be fairly ok, in my experience. This works because real life can be both VERY Ugly and VERY Rough, yet here we are, and it's believable.

 

Believability

Spoiler

Believability is the aspect of making your world believable through detail. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Nations
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Geography
  • Technology
  • Dialog
  • History/Lore
  • And more

 

A believable world will have a healthy mixture of all of this and more, with high-attention to detail and minimal logic/lore loopholes. Yes, Lore/History is essential to a great world. It could be minimal, but you need at least some background so the player has a better understanding of where they are at and why. Something to note is that this doesn't have to happen immediately. As long as lore exists in some form for the player to discover in some way during their journey, they can piece it together. Make Lore generally easily accessible(while also making some lore challenging to acquire), such as Lore books for the player to read(much like Skyrim), or extensive NPC dialog(also much like Skyrim lol), etc.

 

Beauty

Spoiler

Believability keeps players interested, but Beauty is usually what peeks that interest. Ever heard the saying "You eat with your eyes first"? In my experience, this damn near applies to almost everything in life. Your eyes usually won't lie to you, but they can, and it's wise to understand this(trust me, not just for World Building). Without Beauty, you will find it difficult to peek anyone's interest, though not impossible. Based on looks alone(not nostalgia), would you rather play Pokemon Yellow, or Pokemon FireRed? Most of you would probably go for FireRed as it is absolutely more ascetically pleasing. Now, this isn't to say you couldn't, let's say, edit Pokemon Yellow to have more assets to flesh out the details more, all the while keeping that pixel-art style. Style and Beauty are NOT interchangeable. I've seen beautiful Pixel games and horrendous high-poly 3d games. Remember that.

 

Beauty is tedious and requires a lot of TLC. Detailing anything, really, is tedious. But it's those details that make the world come to life. Take your time, take breaks, skip things and come back later, play a beautiful game, read an elaborate book, or watch an epic show or movie; all of these are all really good ideas to:

A) keep your motivation up and your sanity intact

B) gain tremendous inspiration

 

Inspiration and Motivation are the 2 main aspects of Beautifying your game. If you can get inspiration and have the motivation to execute it(properly), you'll do just fine.

Matter of fact, I'm writing this as I World Build my latest project. Taking a break from Intersect and coming back when I get tired of working on it, or gain inspiration from the words I'm writing here and take it back to Intersect(Inspiration isn't biased, it comes when it comes!) :4_joy:

 

Natural Fluidity

Spoiler

Natural Fluidity refers to the ebb and flow of your game/story. Don't make it too rigid to where the player feels as if they have no freedom, and don't lack in detail with free roam as players will feel they have no idea where to begin, where to go, or what to do. I've come to personally call these, respectively:

 

Free Fluidity - High Detail Open world games such as Skyrim, Runescape, Minecraft and more.

Guided Fluidity - High detail closed world games that feel open world because of the size, amount of freedom and detail, while also keeping the player "stuck" to a particular storyline, quest, mission, etc. The Halo franchise for example.

 

You can get away without this, but it really adds to the Believability and natural fun of the game. Which is more fun to you? Flappy Bird or Angry Birds? Both are fairly rigid games, but Angry Birds has Guided Fluidity while Flappy Bird has literally no fluidity at all. You just... flap. No freedom. Angry Birds on the other hand, while still fairly restricting, offers an illusion of freedom. You can aim where to shoot your bird, there are various level designs and even different birds you can use. Need I say more?

 

 

 

 

 

World Building YouTube Channels

Spoiler

Tale Foundry - A Good place to gain inspiration and tips for Story Telling

WASD20 - A good source of Map Making tips and tricks

Hello Future Me - another good place to get some World-Building tips and tricks, and with a sense of humor to boot.

Brandon Sanderson - a GREAT person to learn from. Scholarly, friendly, and detailed. He actually finished a series I read when I was younger; Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time.

Artifexian - quick and thorough tutorials on World-Building

How To Be A Great GM - a fantastic channel geared towards being a great Game Master(D&D)

 

More may be added in the future, these are my favorites.

 

This will End Part 1 of the World Building Tutorial, more will come once I World Build some good/bad examples in Intersect and flesh out the details. I really hope you enjoyed this and I hope even more that this helped you!

Until Next Time!

 

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