Cooperative World Building Rules?


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gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Well the Cartographers' Guild has an ongoing Community World Building Project that has been going on for a few years, though it kind of petered out over the last year or so. A world map was generated with some auto-software, and various cartographers/setting developers picked or were assigned a given square of region to specifically map with detail - cities, towns, rivers, lakes, interesting sites, even developing races, governments, societies, histories - once a given area was assigned to one person, that person developed all they wanted to whatever detail level they wanted. Meaning that some areas were more developed than others. I designed a region of four squares on the map fitting the western terminus of a spice road (think Samarkand).

Anyway, new interest with new members of the CG are looking to reinvigorate the project with a CWBP2, and I believe they are going to generate an entire new world and start over.

While I did develop some regions in the first version, I learned that I'd much rather not be involved in a collaboration project for several reasons, its difficult to reach a consensus on many issues. Some people have genre issues of what they want in their version of the world. I think its a "too many cooks will spoil the broth" scenario, so I've opted to not get involved with the CWBP2.

Actually it was a good practice, as I began the development of my published Kaidan setting of Japanese horror, because of the CWBP and my development of one area there. I find I'm better off doing the whole job on my own, rather than sharing design responsibilities.
 


Skyscraper

Explorer
Thanks for the replies.

To be clear, since some posters provide links or recommendations for world building in general: I'm looking for rules that make world-building a cooperative game. I'm not simply looking to build a world (I've done that a couple times - and although I'm sure I can still learn a lot, I'm not looking for this presently); and I'm not looking to simply have everyone share an otherwise free-form world-building over a long period of time.

One of the first replies to this thread provides the type of rules that I'm looking for.

Thanks,

Sky
 
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Skyscraper

Explorer
To quote me:

Thanks for the replies.

To be clear, since some posters provide links or recommendations for world building in general: I'm looking for rules that make world-building a cooperative game. I'm not simply looking to build a world (I've done that a couple times - and although I'm sure I can still learn a lot, I'm not looking for this presently); and I'm not looking to simply have everyone share an otherwise free-form world-building over a long period of time.

One of the first replies to this thread provides the type of rules that I'm looking for.

Thanks,

Sky

:)

(Emphasis mine.)

I've edited my thread title and first post to clarify what I'm looking for, apparently my previous title misguided people to link me to generic world-building tips or resources. I thank all posters nonetheless, but again I'm looking for rules that would allow us to cooperatively build a world in one or a few game sessions, as part of a mini game.

I understand that there is more to building a rich world than spending a few hours deciding where mountains and forests exist, where orcs and dwarves live, and when did a major war or cataclysm occur. I'm just looking for this kind of game experience now, we'll see where it gets us.
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
I'm thinking that rules for a cooperative world building project hasn't been written yet. So it probably doesn't exist. I'm sure those who've run such projects might have an opinion on what should be considered its rules, and perhaps something you can inquire directly. It sounds like something worth writing about, but as stated I doubt it exists now.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
I'm thinking that rules for a cooperative world building project hasn't been written yet.

I've seen world building systems - the FATE-based Dresden Files was mentioned above, for example. But that's more world building as a group activity with a prescribed process, which is not the same as a game. Players get to build off one another, but you don't have, say, resources that get spent, or complicated rules about what you may, or may not, put into the setting.

I haven't seen rules for such as a "cooperative game". That phrasing makes it sound like you want something akin to cooperative board games... and, well, those have win and lose conditions. What happens when your group "loses" the cooperative world-building game?
 

gamerprinter

Mapper/Publisher
Oh, I agree, as the OP agrees there are books on world building, but cooperative world building is the question. I stated that the Cartographers' Guild has a cooperative world building project, but it is in its second iteration and just now they are deciding on the 'rules'. So while they are working on that, they have yet to have rules in place. I'm thinking the rules would pertain to issues like what can participants include that don't step on the toes of other participants or the over-arching concept of the setting. Right now, at the CG, for instance, some people want to make steam-punkish elements and guns, while others want a completely old world setting without Renaissance and post-Renaissance science sticking its foot into it - they don't want steampunk nor guns. How does such a project deal with issues like that. These would fall under cooperative world building rules.
 

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