With skillful worldbuilding, you can create a compelling setting for your game that will engage and transport your players.
Worldbuilding is an essential step in developing immersive, compelling stories and games. Even if your game doesn’t have characters or a plot, it probably has a world of some kind. How do you create a cohesive, engaging world that feels like a place your players will want to spend time in? And how do you make it fresh and original without rehashing familiar tropes?
In this class, we’ll discuss basic worldbuilding strategies that work for any creative fiction project, as well as some considerations particular to narratively driven and even non-narrative games.
Students will participate in worldbuilding exercises and create their own concepts in the course of the class. Leave your maps and notes for that unfinished epic at home—we’ll be starting from scratch and creating something new, so bring a blank page and an open mind.
How much worldbuilding do you need, anyway?
Creating fictional worlds from whole cloth
Worldbuilding for real-world settings
Hitting the books: why research matters and how to do it effectively
Culturally aware approaches to worldbuilding: using tropes intelligently and avoiding stereotypes
About the Instructor
Jess Haskins is a Brooklyn-based game designer, writer, and editor specializing in narrative design, worldbuilding, and interactive storytelling. She received an MFA in Design & Technology from Parsons School of Design and has worked at What Pumpkin Studios, Arkadium, and Muse Games in design, writing, and management roles. She has created stories and worlds for numerous games including Muse Games’ multiplayer steampunk airship shooter Guns of Icarus Online and NeoCrux’s forthcoming strategy space exploration game GalaCollider. In 2016 she launched Paperback Studio to provide design, writing, editorial, and consulting services for games and other creative projects. She currently serves as co-chair of the New York City chapter of the IGDA.