worlds from home...

Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

I haven’t forgotten about you

In Uncategorized on April 28, 2011 at 8:19 pm

I’m terribly sorry there have been no blog posts for the past two weeks. I know it’s the standard excuse, but I became unexpectedly busy – this is the week before finals at my university, and our regular pre-posting post review process (say that ten times fast!) got a little out of wack. There’s a decent chance I won’t be able to make it next week, either, because of finals, but I promise a return to your regularly scheduled programming after that.

Thanks for bearing with us!

P.S. – Alabama has suffered some horrendous tornadoes this week. Here‘s a page about the relief effort. Anything you could contribute would be truly precious, helping people make it until their homes are repaired and their life returns to normal.

In the Beginning

In Design Strategies, Written by Tiffany on April 13, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I’d like to tell you a story. In fact, I’d like to tell you several.
The stories I’d like to tell you are about beginnings. They’re origin stories. Some of them are familiar, like the stories my parents told me about how life began.

Read the rest of this entry »

How to Make Your World More Convincing, or What I Learned from Patrick Rothfuss

In Language, Patrick Rothfuss, Written by Thomas on April 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

I recently got hold of Name of the Wind by Patrick  Rothfuss (from here on referred to as “Patty”)*, and I’ve got to say, it’s a great book. It’s got living, breathing characters, a spellbinding plot, and a setting so believable you could pick up and move there if only you could figure out the zip code.

On top of being enjoyable, it’s also been an education. It feels like every chapter five pages he does something else that makes his world just a little more three dimensional. My copy weighs in at 662 pages; if you do the math, there are 132.4 lessons there for world builders like us. I think one of the most important is this: Read the rest of this entry »

Why is world building important?

In Why?, Written by Thomas on April 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm

All great storytellers build worlds.

What’s interesting is that not all of those storytellers work in the same medium. Sure, calling it “storytelling” predisposes us to think of literature, but I don’t mean it that narrowly. I’d say that the video game BioShock and the movie Black Swan are two awesome non-literary examples of storytelling.

(Is it a coincidence that they both start with “b”? You decide.) Read the rest of this entry »

An Example in Creative Immersion

In Character Development, Written by Tiffany on March 30, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Aellen, and her pet Nagini

Slowly but surely, I’m becoming a World of Warcraft addict.
The signs of this progression are not my lack of friends, my disinterest in other activities, or my continual absence from school or work.

Read the rest of this entry »

Top Down vs. Bottom Up: The Middle Road

In Design Strategies, Written by Thomas on March 30, 2011 at 11:52 am

This week I’m going to fill you in on the strategy I’ve been talking about this whole trilogy: the Homebrew approach of mixing together top-down and bottom-up design. Wanna know how to have your cake and eat it too? Read on. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Down vs. Bottom Up: Starting Small

In Design Strategies, Written by Thomas on March 21, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Some storytellers like to have everything planned out: they’ll know exactly how many pimples the villain has roughly 1000 years before you ever hear of him. (Nothing wrong with that!) Some like the thrill of not even knowing who their characters are until they sit down. If you’re the former, you should read this article to understand the other side. If you’re the latter, you should read this article to understand yourself. (Cue life changing epiphany.)  Read the rest of this entry »

Top Down vs. Bottom Up: Starting Big

In Design Strategies, Written by Thomas on March 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm

People’s opinions on the top down vs. bottom up debate are often only marginally more rational than on the raging issue of which way a roll of toilet paper should hang. In the spirit of neutrality, over the next three weeks I’ll be discussing the pros and cons of top down, bottom up, and my own special approach: both. Read the rest of this entry »

Homebrew Vision, or How do you get your ideas?

In Inspiration, Written by Thomas on March 7, 2011 at 8:05 pm

How do you get your ideas?

Alchemy.

The basic idea is to pretend that the things you see, hear, and smell are your world. You transmute your experiences to fuel your worldbuilding. Alchemy, get it? Read the rest of this entry »

Nice to meet you.

In Written by Thomas on February 28, 2011 at 12:00 am

What’s the Homebrew?

If you stick around you’ll probably hear about it a good bit, so I’d like to give you an idea of where I’m coming from.

Read the rest of this entry »