Tag: worldbuilding

Build a species

The purpose of Build a species and its companion Build a culture is to kick-start the creative process when it comes to building interesting and original fantasy people.

Since Tolkein, we’ve been inundated elves, dwarves, hobbits, orcs, goblins, and their analogues. They’re boring, overplayed, and sometimes pretty harmful. Some fantasy worlds have managed to pull themselves out of this rut - I’m thinking China Miéville in Perdido Street Station, or the colourful sixteen-bit inhabitants of Hyper Light Drifter, or even the Star-Wars-esque panoply of characters inside of the comic Saga (which has inspired me in other venues).


In October of last year, I wrote a thing in which I needed some coins to appear. I immediately wondered: “what should they be called?” Sure, I could just use “pennies”, or “cents”, but here was on opportunity for world-building, damn it!

Because I overthink things, I immediately went, “Well, what do other people name coins after?” And after a little research, I found an answer, and kept writing.

Constructing languages with Markov chains

I really don’t know if I should put this under “coding” or “gaming”. Like a good number of things I enjoy immensely, it’s a combination of two equally geeky subjects.

The process of building a constructed language (or “conlanging”, as it’s also known) is something that I consider integral to the whole world-building process. It’s easy enough to throw down some consonants, put a couple of apostrophes, exclamation points, or dashes in the mix, and call it a day, but that will just leave you with a hodgepodge of badly-formed words with no unifying character, like you’ve just raided the remains of your Scrabble game.