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World Creation, it begins with Genesis!

World creation, more thoughts and theories I offer to those interested in expanding their own ideas upon creating an immersive platform for our gamers to enjoy! Learn a little about how you can create a character from a world and more!

Robert Morris, Blogger

April 29, 2010

5 Min Read

Hey back again to talk about World Creation and the little things that make it flow!

So, where do you start? Obviously we get the Genesis creation joke "Let there be light!", but where does it all truly begin.

World creation in turn affects character creation. There is nothing wrong with making the character than sticking a world to them.

Why I find it easier to make the world first it that you can envision just how your character will react to things around them. How they feel about their surrounding or how people feel about them. As they grow, they are shaped by whats around them.
Con- Your going to be making yourself a glutton for punishment, as writing just one world can be tough, but let say you have multiple worlds you can visit, oh double trouble! The more detail you want, the more you have to write, but in the end I think its worth it, because you know exactly what each city will be like, how characters survive here and there.

As for a world existing from a character this is fine as well, and for those who write like this, I would be happy to hear the pros and cons of such a style of writing!

Ex. World creation affecting character creation
A medieval town would produce any range of characters, a hunter, a thief, apprentice, knight, and musket men.

A toxic planet would create a range of creatures that must somehow vent the toxins for air. Humans who must live there probably live in fear, adorned in chemical suits for there very protection.

Just like writing a story, your world has a setting, a time, and rather then one place, it has many. The more the world has to offer, the more there is to affect character creation and growth.

RPGs introduce the concept of mixed worlds, worlds with heavy cannons, plasma guns, and steel swords clashing together. Mechs with lasers battling riders who are on horseback using bows and arrows tipped with crystals that explode on impact.

The world IS your world, you place rules upon it, and you must remember to try and follow the rules as close as possible.

Nothing is more frustrating to a player than seeing other characters do simple things which the player can't perform.

FPSs have this happen a lot. The new AVP certainly has a point in it that deserves my ire!
AVP is a fun game, and well done, but with one mixing factor. A duck function. Nothing like being a marine and being unable to duck behind cover, yet all the other npc marines and even the androids can duck. Another point, Aliens can do one shot head bites to the androids, killing it. You as the marine might get a head shot completely destroying the androids head...yet it continues to fight back.

This is complete and utter breaking of immersion, you no longer think of how cool such things are, rather you get frustrated. How is one head shot different from another? Why can they duck and I can't?

This brings a big flaw to mind with games.

Realism. How much realism do you input and how much do you hold back.

Certainly holding back on a duck function is like kneecapping a player in an fps.
Using this example.
Ducking is important, it lets you become a smaller target, and allows an ally to shoot over you, increasing the effectiveness of your suppressive firepower.

Setting the rant aside, this style of immersion destruction becomes noticeable to the player, sometimes it doesn't.

Something to note as well, the more realistic a game looks, the more the player notices its flaws.
The more stylized a game is, the more likely the player will accept the flaws of the game.

Reasons for such notice in a realistic game is that we as people notice flaws in our day to day life, thus when a game tries to closely mimic such things, we catch them.

So if the world has a different law of gravity, and the story utilizes the rules of gravity according to that world, than the player will be able to accept it. Seeing a land full of floating islands, flying cities and contraptions better leads the player to believe that worlds law. Where as being on a world (earth for now) and suddenly seeing someone fly into the air might make us pause for a moment to rethink our position.

Note that using "Magic" as the answer to everything is alright, but I would recommend trying to expand upon the world more, the more you allow 1 thing to be your answer for everything, the more the player expects to be able to do just as much.

World building seems very complicated, but the more detail you write for yourself, the more it helps in the long run. It places the setting so you know what each city has to offer and why.

A hightech world might obviously offer flying mechs and lasers, whilst a low tech world offers swords and horseback riding.

But! Less mix those two concepts together! Now your in a world where horses are modified with bionic upgrades, dragons are very much around, but tamed, armor adorns them making them look mech like, whilst a cockpit is inserted into the spine for the pilot to control.

Your character would have so many options in this world. Able to be so many things, a dragon rider, a bionic horseback rider, so on so forth.

Remember too that world building helps you with encounters and level design, knowing your world eases the flow of creativity and even channels it so that you don't over compensate, or under populate your level with objects.

Next post: World building continued.

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