Proposal: Worldbuilding

World-Building is a massive topic, covering many different areas. While I agree we shouldn't just go asking a scientist what would happen if happened, I also think that world-building gets interpreted in lots of different ways. Here's just a short list:

  1. Dungeons and Dragon style role-playing games and the creation of the worlds they are played in as well as moderating and modifying said worlds.
  2. Creating a world/universe/whatever for fictional media (whether this be books, cartoon, tv, movies, games, etc) and helping to define the different features of this creation.
  3. Creating a world within a sandbox-type game such as Minecraft or Terraria and helping to define the features, characters or missions of said world.

I could keep going, but I think the point is made. This proposal needs definition. Real definition.

I think that definition should be discussed further here.

  • I do agree that this is a fairly broad proposal, and we need to refine and/or provide some extra clarity in this area. I asked a question (and answered it as well) about the points brought up here about character and plot development. That's one piece. We probably need more.
    – rbwhitaker
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 20:41
  • 1
    I can't imagine that asking questions about specific games like "How do I create a river in Minecraft?" would be considered on-topic here. I'm not sure if that generalizes to questions about any software packages intended to assist you in creating worlds.
    – rbwhitaker
    Commented Apr 29, 2014 at 20:43

2 Answers 2


I don't necessarily think you're right here. I think it's already defined and that you're looking too far ahead of the process. Looking at all your examples, a world for an RPG, a world of fictional media and a world for a sandbox-type game, these are all uses for a created world.

The actual act of creating a world is the same for all of them, regardless of the use of the world. In fact, I should be able to create a world with one intent, say using it for an RPG, and then someone else should be able to use that material for another purpose, say writing fiction.

So this site would help those in the act of preparing a world for whatever use.


There's been some discussion on this front already but I think the summary of the points covered so far are:

  1. The proposal is supposed to cover any medium (writing, games, etc)
  2. Research questions are supposed to focus on providing good sources for information and not necessarily technical answers (especially those answers that would be on topic at another SE site)

Some of the areas that need to be covered still are:

  1. Who are the experts and what is our source material?
  2. Do we need to explicitly include or exclude any parts of world building? Examples would include, but are not limited to, science (geography, physics, biology, etc), culture (history, religion, etc), character development, and plot development.
  3. Do we need to revisit (and possibly close) some of the upvoted questions in light of more recent decisions on definitions?

I wasn't involved in the writers or science fiction proposals at all but I think it's worth finding out what their major issues were and specifically addressing them in this proposal's definition.

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