World Building for Game Devs and Writers 101- Lesson 8 – Recent History


I’m Mark from Amazing Gaming Productions. I’m the author of Webtastic Stories, Fear and Loathing on the Internet, a pulp fiction style short story collection about our favourite time sink. I will release the story collection on Amazon next year.

Today’s blog is all about Recent History.

If your sapient race is similar humanity, because we want to connect with them, they will have recent events that are very important to them.

In our world, we had World War 1 and 2. We also the war on drugs, the war on terror. And internet pundits will try to convince us of the war on women, the war on men, the war on Christmas and so many other things. There is always something people are fighting about. These fights almost always dominate our conversations. Like the ‘war on free speech’ going on right now – because free speech means there shouldn’t be community standards.

People died so we could defend the right to be vile to each other, hate each other and be angry 24/7/365

The sapient race(s) you create will be no different. They will have important and meaningful conflicts between each other. That is why you need to think about wars, conflicts and movements. They always provide conflict and strife in your world. This creates walls and barriers that prevent your characters from achieving their goals . You know, that thing a novel thrives on.

No matter how affluent your culture is, there is always going to be people who feel left behind. Our culture, the most affluent culture the world has ever seen has dissenters despite surviving an almost full lockdown last year. And we still have people advocating for socialism because “the system has left people behind”. Who?

Some people do have more difficult lives and wish things were better, some individuals will capitalize on those feelings. Some are honest people who want to make a difference, and others are people who want to exploit a situation. This will give birth to movements around certain social injustices that happen within our society. And cult leaders, political figure and influencers will use that to sell their ideas to the people.

When we live in a culture, where the entire world was nearly locked down for an entire year, and I can still go a a grocery store and get almost anything I want. But people are left behind!

That means you need to have strong movements happening. And for every strong movement there is always going to be someone or a group of people who oppose it.

In 2017, Milo Yiannopolous named his bus Anita during the Dangerous Faggot tour. He despises Ms. Sarkeesian. She despises him. People on the left set things on fire in protest when he shows up at a college or university. This is what movements and counter movements are all about.

I’m half convinced that Milo is ‘going straight’ to make a play at Anita!

In Tales from Trinity City, the Friends of the Shaper Cult members will harass anyone Gifted. Their 1000s of members will hound that person because “They’re cursed”. They don’t want to see one positive member of the Gifted community influencing the citizens of Trinity City. They are the enemy and deserve the entire city’s hatred.

As a result, the Devil’s Mayhem Biker Gang kills cultists if they are harassing Gifted people too much. If they find one of those people in their territory in the Projects, they will be the next ‘sacrifice’ for someone to enter the gang.

As I was reading Dreamlander by KM Weiland, there was a movement who hated the ‘Seekers’ because they were ‘witches’ bringing the ‘Gifted’ from our world to their world. They hated them. This group was in almost every aspect of the conflict in the novel.

Great book –

What kinds of movements are happening in your world? Are there kinds of people who are discriminated against? Have they started to bind together to fight back? Are there movements who oppose this? Do the politicians accept this? Does the politicians pay people to create movements to cause trouble – hush, hush of course?

Having great movements in your world is essential. There is no such thing as a peaceful world. People will always feel left behind. Good and evil people will try to do something, either helping or exploiting the situation. If your world doesn’t, yikes. You should think of one or two movements.

Beyond the movement and counter movement, there’s always going to be conflicts between different nations in our worlds. Every nation has it’s own identity and values.

Like I said before, in the Orc/Human world, Orcs like hard and hearty fruits and food. If a human kingdom brought them a gift of bananas and oranges, there’s going to be trouble. That’s insulting to them. The Orcs will be at war with that Kingdom. May the Maker have mercy on them.

Many times, the insult is deliberate because Kingdoms, Countries and Empires will go to war for resources. Their kingdom needs the lumber, oil, gold, money, fields for their citizens. So they manufacture insult so they can go to war against another Kingdom.

The politician will get people together in the spirit of ‘bravery and patriotism’. They brand anyone who doesn’t fight cowards and unpatriot.

Most of the time, we all know that wars are almost always over resources. It hardly ever is about ‘ideologies’ or ‘differences’, because most of us don’t want to fight in wars and kill people or die.

So what is fuelling the conflicts in your story? Is it fertile lands the kingdom desires? Is it a fuel source? Is it great timber and logging? Is it large amounts of fresh water? Is it trade routes? Is it a type of product for trade? Is it technical advancements? Is it about ideological differences between two cultures/empires?

So, who wants this war and why? What are their objectives? Are there saboteurs who have joined a war to rot it within for their own motives? What about outsiders who make money by selling weapons and armour?

These are great questions to ask about conflicts happening in your world.

— — —

If the past 100+ years on our world has shown, there will always been conflict in the world. Leadership, whether it is a movement or government, will always have an agenda. They want to achieve something substantive for themselves or the people around them.

Other people will oppose these movements/wars and that leads to personal conflict in their lives.

So you should have movements and wars going on in your world. Nothing says shallow world building than a world at peace for whatever reason.

There is always someone who is going to want to create change, and willing to go to war or change the world with protests, and even riots.

Thanks for reading my blog.

If you have any comments or questions – feel free to use the comment section below.

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Have a great day guys!

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