Shared/Cooperative World Building

Over the years I have found that I actually enjoy world building more than storytelling. Then again, if you build the world just right the stories almost tell themselves, no? I also really have a thing for meta-concepts.

So I was wondering if there would be any interest in shared or cooperative world building around here. I’m envisioning cooperatively laying the groundwork for a world, then each participant probably taking charge of one region or aspect of the game world while offering and receiving input to and from the other collaborators. While the focus should obviously be on maximum freedom you’d expect people to want the pieces of a cooperative venture to fit at the end of the day.

As you can tell by the general tone of this post I don’t have a strong idea of the kind of world I’m looking for. That’s cause the possibilities are endless and this should be as much up for discussion as everything else.

Personally, I’ve never really gotten around to creating any level of a space operatic setting (in the widest sense of the word). I’d love to do something centered around a space station like Babylon 5 or the Citadel from ME. Maybe -ideally- with a tad more of the fantastic and less ‘hard’ sci fi. I always liked the feel of Dune, Fading Suns or The Old Republic.

But I’m not even set on anything. Modern Fantasy with each person involved taking care of one aspect of the world could be fun. Or a politics heavy setup where each participant is responsible for a single nation. The choices are endless but IMO compartmentalization is something that makes the whole thing easier so I’m keeping an eye towards this.

Anyone else have any interest at all in sharing the creation of something? And if so, what?

Edited with this poll! Regardless of genre, what is your preferred vague time period (in feel if not in actuality) for a setting? Keep in mind that you can have a fantasy story in a futuristic setting (John Carter of Mars) and a sci fi story in a historical setting (Cowboys vs Aliens).
You have 2 votes.

  • Historic
  • Current
  • Futuristic

0 voters


I wouldn’t mind taking part in this, but I’m a novice worldbuilder and a master of half-baked ideas, so be warned.

As far as what, I would probably be at my best working on a fantasy setting, and sci-fi is a close second. Modern settings… Don’t really interest me much, honestly.

Either way, this sounds like a cool cooperative project, and whether I take part or not, I wish you luck. :smile:

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Uuuh… any slot for techy-practical thingy stuff?
When worldbuilding, I’m more towards technology and how things work, explaining them in-depthly that you probably can do it in real life if you really wanted to (yeah, including shooting fireballs from your mouth. I mean, drink some gasoline and…)

Doesn’t mean that :point_up_2:t4: that field is the only one I can do! I also love folklore, mythology, and probably niche things like prophecy and legendary <insert noun here>.

But before deciding what to build, I think it’ll be best to wait until more folks joining in the bandwagon.


Half-baked ideas are part of the reason for this. I personally find it much easier to develop ideas by throwing them back and forth with other people. Getting input or alternate points of view. Something I find fascinating might not even make sense to others etc.

We can bake it for you, wholesale.


World building is a long standing hobby of mine. Not sure how much time I could devote but I do love contributing.

How bout dividing standing technology between bio-tech (using biological science a baseline for all advancements ei)instead of robot guards bio-engineered sentient beasts) and the other neuro-tech (brain interfacing tech matrix style, ei)remote controlling fighter jets and mechs with your mind etc)

Seems a fun idea.


I would have interest in helping with this venture.

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Me and my brother are doing something a teeny tiny bit similar. We’re both working on completely different games but are playing with the idea of maybe hinting at a shared universe within our stories.

Though something like this does sound really fun, and if you ever decide to run with the idea I’m more than willing to participate!


Seems fun, I’d help out, but my free time is quite limited. :frowning:


Although, after seeing @Snowpanther’s work, if you do convince her to collaborate, you will be lucky to have her.


My Evil Twin is too kind :star_struck:

I’d like to build a world set into the future, and perhaps write a game around a futuristic E-sport.

I don’t really like fantasy, I enjoy sci-fi more.


I’d be willing to offer a few thoughts, others on this thread might be able to vouch for me, and I do believe you’ve had a little poke around my WIP, so if there is anything of interest there then feel free to get in touch.


I’ve never built a world before, but it does sound like an interesting thing to do.

I for one have inconsistent amounts of free time, so I don’t know how much I could provide all at once. If it’s little snippets though, that’s definitely doable for me. I have a lot of interesting ideas come and go on a daily basis, and I could probably come up with sudden inspiration or something like that.

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Just to clarify a few things:

At base I consider this a fun exercise. Maybe a sandbox for people to apply singular ideas or mechanics and see how they could be tied into a greater whole. I do have a fantastic world or three of my own devising tucked away from pen and paper games or other collaborative media. Same with superheroic setups. I might create Choicescript things out of two of them. But I also have fragments and figments that don’t belong anywhere and in a shared endeavour someone else might come up with a socket I could slot one of those into. Or they might inspire me in ways I don’t usually work.

As such, this isn’t intended to be a thing measured in quantity of output or regularity of input but hopefully in getting out as least as much as you put in. If you can only put in so much, you still have that to offer. If we go with some kind of sci fi setup, maybe @Snowpanther wants to tackle sports and leave it at that and they’d still have given that world an enlivening detail a lot of made-up worlds lack, at least in detail. If @Szaal just wants to keep the science honest, well hell I know I sure wouldn’t want to do that job even if it’s not exactly the kind of contribution I was envisioning. It would nonetheless be welcomed and helpful.

For me at least this wouldn’t so much be about getting somewhere, anywhere, fast or otherwise. But it would be about the experience of getting there. The journey if you will.


The OP has been updated with a poll. Likely the first of many as I try to zoom in on a foundation for this mess.

I do want to clamp down and work on my WIP a bit more heavily, but beyond that and the standard stuff that most people have, (school, work, etc) I should be free to work on this.

I thought I’d make a more detailed list of what I can work on, so here goes:

Things I could work on:
Geography- I think I know enough on how to design and describe the general geography of the world(s) we construct in this setting. I could try to sketch maps if you like, and I even know enough about how to read topographic maps to sketch one, if we’re talking about particularly mountainous regions.

Biology- While I usually don’t have enough creativity to come up with my own species, assuming that’s something we’ll be working on, I do know enough about biology to form a baseline for how our unique flora and fauna might operate and live, assuming that’s something we’ll need.

History (Possibly)- I’ll say it flat out, I’m bad at history. It’s just never appealed to me. But I know how important it is, especially when making a world setting, so I want to get better at it. To that end, while I probably won’t be willing to dump a considerable amount of time into it, I may toss out some suggestions here and there.

Things I can’t work on:
Religion- If there’s a religion in this setting, I probably won’t be working on it. Sorry, it’s just not my cup of tea.

Politics- Frankly, I don’t know enough about the intricacies of politics and how they work to come up with something plausible. If you really push me I might be able to BS my way through it, but that’s likely the best I can do.

I hope this information helps!

Somewhat Randomly - or not.

‘Remember Earth’

And how could anyone forget? Stenciled on bulkheads, tagged on walls, carved into tabletops, stitched into skin, burned into the sky: Remember Earth. And damn us all for what we had to do.

We had to do it and we’d do it again in a heartbeat given the same circumstances. We couldn’t defeat the enemy. We tried to beat them in open combat and failed. We waged a war of attrition and failed. We fought and fought and failed and failed.

So we ran instead. We ran and closed the doors behind us. Sealed them shut. If we couldn’t beat them at least we could contain them. Would that we’d had the fortitude to scorch and salt what we left behind. We were callous, but not THAT callous.

She is still out there, along with her siblings whom we settled as well but who do not resonate as strongly with us as out cradle. We do of course remember Mars, Venus, Saturn. But most of all we remember Earth.


How would this work (or at least work in a choice type game)? A detailed and unique world(s) seems like it would require a pretty bulky introduction or explanation and it might be difficult to have a smooth relationship between choice and narrative text.

Most people handle this by putting extra info in a codex in the stat screen. An artist illustrating some of the world/races would help cut down on the narrative bulk without skipping over content like a codex.

Lost in the pages was a community game (although it wasn’t mostly about world building, I don’t think) was able to tie everything together through different books, so maybe something like that could be done, but instead of book, different areas are explored for a player choosen reason or something?


I don’t think this is for a HG or anything; I think we’re just going to be making a world setting.


I love world building and love the idea of this. I usually lean toward more fantasy setting, especially the grimdark type. But I also do a bit of cyberpunk. My specialty is biology, I’m hoping to be an ecologist after all.


That was the idea. If someone/anyone were to do anything with it (ie, use it for their own thing), all the better.

Well, if that’s the case…

Dibs! :stuck_out_tongue: