A list of worldbuilding resources

We are occasionally asked for advice about the worldbuilding process. By its creative and imaginative nature, the process of worldbuilding doesn't have a single obvious starting point or a step-by-step process that is universally applicable to all worldbuilding efforts.The answer below lists many worldbuilding resources that can help you with your, "where do I go next?" questions. We recommend that you review these resources before asking us, so that if you do need to ask, you know exactly what problem you need to solve.Please note that there...Read more

worldbuilding process - When Super Mario catches Pokemon, and the Yoshi dinosaur is none other than Charizard!

I am trying to build a world where many video/mobile game characters will share the same space and time. For example, our own Super Mario trying to catch pokemon and save princess from dinosaur Charizard and on the way he even uses Angry birds somewhere; while Mario's brother Luigi has been running exhaustively over Trains of Subway Surfers...The fact is there are many different gaming worlds as well as characters. All are so overwhelmingly diverse and large in number that I am not able to properly settle and calm the things down. How to set a ...Read more

worldbuilding process - What sort of seasonal changes might exist that we don't see on earth?

NASA recently shared a photo that used a term "araneiform terrain" and said that the terrain formation was an effect of seasonal changes we don't see on earth. NASA publicationHow would I go about discovering or formulating seasonal changes we wouldn't see on earth but would be totally feasible in another planetary setting? Star configuration (binary, red dwarf) and satellite configuration are open for suggestions as well....Read more

worldbuilding process - Naming Characters In a New World

I am trying to think of names for characters in a story where the main character is reborn in a new world. I am trying to figure out how to name characters. At first I was trying to avoid using common names, and using another cultures names suggests that the people are of that ethnicity.Even If I claim that the world is in another Dimension. How do I explain other species having European names?...Read more

worldbuilding process - Advice on establishing a magical ecosystem?

A huge cataclysm struck the world several thousand years ago, in which debris from magical meteorites basically screwed up the whole planet, altering its ecosystems to include creatures that evolved/mutated to take on magical abilities. This is how you get widespread creatures that go beyond stuff of myth, like numerous breeds of dragons, wisps that follow magical phenomena in the sky for sustenance, large golem like creatures born from lava and obsidian, etc. How might I establish a functional ecosystem based on this concept?...Read more

worldbuilding process - Rain on a low gravity moon

Conceiving of a moon with a similar ecology and atmosphere to Earth, but with a gravity level equivalent to the moon. This is essentially a terraformed analogue to Earth's moon in terms of size and orbit along with a rotation of 60 hour days. My question is what would rain storms look like on this world? Would it be more like mist? Or would it just be similar to Earth.the idea for this came from an article i will post below. Does not go into a few things, among them, how rain behaves on a terraformed moon, so was trying to get an idea how rain ...Read more

worldbuilding process - How to introduce/fit fantastical elements into a realistic story?(Article/Book recommendations)

"Follow the characters," this is the advice that I've been following after reading interviews with Stephen King's, Orson Scott Card's and Brandon Sanderson's advice. However, I noticed I have come up with a hyper realistic story based on the town I grew up only changing some minor things(exagerating some and downplaying others.) The problem is that I'm not sure how to start introducing fantastical elements? The main element that I want to introduce is anime style fighting(Avatar, Full metal alchemist). I'm not sure how to since there's multiple...Read more

Designing a worldbuilding workshop for policymakers

I'm an economic researcher and I think that worldbuilding as an exercise could offer some valuable tools to policymakers as they try to imagine possible futures and then design policies which would help shape and incentivize progress towards those ends. My initial idea was to design a 2-4 hour workshop where each participant would bring a problem from their area of expertise and then leave with some kind of outline which imagines a context where it has been “solved” (or at least adequately addressed), along with a set of strategies or questions...Read more

Worldbuilding Materials

When you create a religion, organization, or any other object within your world, can related materials be useful for realizing the world?For example:If you create a religion, will an excerpt of a prayer help define the religion?If you create an organization, will an internal document or a meeting conclusion document help learn more about it?If you create a location, will an excerpt from a tourist guide help define it better?...Read more

worldbuilding process - How can a new country break out from a developed country without war?

I'm in need of the backstory on how a country was able to form and break out from a rich western and well developed country. I basically had to hit a reset switch in order for some of the future plans to work out. However I have problems seeing how this could happen without a civil or external war.I would prefer the new country to have a great start, and starting off from the ruins of a war is certainly not preferable.The only similar question I found was Can I still form a new country?, but that one focuses more on making a new country using l...Read more

worldbuilding process - Is there a clever one-letter code to describe worlds?

I am a Traveller (game) referee. I've generated lots of worlds before, using a basic system that describes a world in eight fundamental pieces of data. For the record, those data are: Starport class, from "none" to first-rate, primarily and specifically to note the world's willingness to trade. World Size, from asteroid up to super-Jovian. World Atmosphere, which includes pressure, human breathable-ity, and the presence of corrosives, plus some edge cases. World Hydrographics, a percentage. Doesn't necessarily mean water (that depend...Read more

worldbuilding process - What differences are there (if any) between building a world for rpg-gaming and building a world for story-writing?

From my own perspective I don't necessarily see any immediate differences, but I'm newish to the field. What differences have you come across in regard to building for these two different scenarios (an rpg world and a story world), and should a builder consider what the world will be used for before beginning their building?...Read more

worldbuilding process - How to manage world building information?

You've gone through the process of world building and generated scads of information from important Universal Forces to interesting tidbits of local history.What methods of storing world building information exists?If so, have you used them and how has that worked for you?How do you manage this information so you can retrieve it at the right time, even if you've forgotten that particular tidbit of local flavor?Edit 8/4/2015:Although I intended to include software in my original question, the comments indicated that this question has already bee...Read more