World Building for Game Devs and Writers 101 – Lesson 9 – Art

Sweet Salutations!

Welcome to Amazing Gaming Productions, I am Mark.

I am the creator of Tales from Trinity City, a dark sci-fi tabletop RPG where you create a character with super powers. You explore and protect the last unoccupied human city on Earth from aliens and threats within.

I am going to launch of beta test in July/Early August of this year.

Today, we’re going to start a new series on World Building with my favourite topic, Art!

I’m with Mordin Solus, if there is no such thing as art there is no culture. You’re a soulless creature, incapable of deep thought and reflection.

In the 1980s, while the west enjoyed 100s of video games from PAC-Man to Space Invaders on the Atari, Sega and Coleco-Vision systems the Soviet Union created Tetris. When your culture can’t produce new and interesting art, for whatever reason, you’ve doomed it.

Name more than 10 famous well known writers, painters and creatives out of the Soviet Block?

With 100s of video game classics vs 1 in the communist block, creativity was being hosed!

Look at what happened in the 1990s? The Berlin Wall fell. Communism died. The people embraced Capitalism. Culture came back to the Eastern block after the dictatorships failed.

This is also going to happen to China. They don’t produce their own movies and media (except Genshin Impact). They have to import our movies (Censored to boot). They may send students to the west to learn western art techniques so they can bring it back to their country. After they return, they work at ‘outsourcing companies’ working for studios and game developers.

So, unless you want your sapients on the verge of collapse, you need to think about the kinds of art they produce. What famous books do people love? What kids of paintings are famous? Are there statues that have stood the test of time? What kinds of sculptures do they celebrate? What kinds of crafts are popular?

Look at what one good one painting did!

Is it a modern era culture – what kinds of media, movies, radio, TV shows are celebrated by the people?

The media creates the culture we enjoy!

The first thing you need to decide, what is important to the culture? Are they more religious? Are they more secular? Depending on the answer, the kind of art will change. In cultures that are very devout, there will be more religious expressions. In a more secular culture, art may be much more civic minded, or focus on rationality.

For Instance, the Asian district of Trinity City has millions of paintings, tapestries and poems about the Shaper, Ten No Musuko and the scrolls. They build amazing temples to the Shaper because they are a spiritual people. Everything in their district is an expression of independence through cooperation and faith.

You’ll see all kinds of spiritual sayings like this in the Asian District

In the city proper, the Central Authority has statues of inspirational leaders and citizens, like the tribute to the Unknown Gifted who saved the city. They erect such statues to inspire the inhabitants to be a ‘Trinitonian Citizen’. It is the ideal of someone who blends honouring the past with rationality and civic duty to the world.

What kind of culture is your culture? Is it post modern? Is is religious? Is it spiritual? Is it patriotic? Is it civic-minded? All these things will influence the art of your culture.

In our previous world, we talked about the ancient history of the Orcs. Logar helped bring the Orcish tribes together. There is more than enough to live in peace with each other. For the human Kingdoms bordering the Orc Lands, they like working with Orcs who have more monuments to Logar than those with few. They are more stable and more peaceful than the others.

So art becomes an expression that shows how peaceful or aggressive a culture is.

A simple meme, with a simple message. Remember, while the west made 100s of video games, what did the east ever create?

This meme is simplistic, but it is the truth. If you’re an artist who doesn’t support a dictatorship, like a socialist dictatorship, then you’re in trouble.

Check out all the awesome things dictatorships do to artists –

Rapper arrested during Thai Protests.

Artists and dissidents China has arrested.

Why can’t a dystopian sci-fi novel, novella or short story collection be all about an artist, or artists, who are on the run. The government/corporation/mob hates them for telling their truths. They have to keep going because if they don’t, they’re toast.

One wrong message will turn your life upside down when you live in a totalitarian dictatorship. (It doesn’t matter who runs it, governments, corporations or the mob.)

This is why most dictatorships will die. When there is no peace for artists to express themselves there can only be unrest and eventual toppling of the order. People want freedom. If something is too oppressive, there will be people who stand up against it.

We all want this, so let everything go!

This is one of the reasons I created my master list of creatives on Minds. I want to help people find the people who don’t stand against cancel culture. The more creatives and fans I can connect with, the more we can stand against the bullies we see on Twatter every single day.

Artistic repression and economic pressures destroyed the communist block in the early 1990s. The East block heard our radio programs, heard about video games, comics and movies. The people were jealous. They rebelled and finally the Berlin Wall fell.

Since that point, the Eastern European block has only exploded with art and culture. Everything from the Witcher books to the games and Netflix series. The growth of more media in Europe gave birth to Horizon Zero Dawn‘s story as well. Things are getting better there. And this is where we want to go?

Art is a window to the soul of a culture. You should think about what you can show about your culture through the art you talk about in your stories.

What does this culture value? How is this expressed in paintings, stories and other types of media?

Or is a dictatorship only interested in producing propaganda and imprisons dissident artists for having a differing opinion.

What if it isn’t the government, but mob justice that subdues artists from expressing themselves? They don’t want to be ‘cancelled’ for one wrong word, phrase or opinion.

Take time out to think about art and your world.

Thanks for reading this blog.

If you have any comments or questions, use the comment section below.

And share this on social media – especially share the memes from his blog on Pinterest.

You can connect with me on Twitter.

Have a great day guys!

3 thoughts on “World Building for Game Devs and Writers 101 – Lesson 9 – Art

  1. These are some seriously valid and thought-provoking points that I honestly never considered. So true, though. He who possesses the art, possesses the world in so many ways. I really enjoyed this post, Mark. Thank you for sharing!


    1. Your welcome.

      I have learned so much over the past 5 years, with everyone shouting out cancel culture. Many of the points come from people like Andrew Breitbart, or easily adapted ideas from different media.

      I particularly like what Mordin Solus says about the Collectors. They don’t have a soul/a culture because they are just automated slaves without art.

      This post, when I posted it on Minds, was “preaching” to the choir. Many of their community are hyper focused on these kinds of things. Maybe a bit too much, but they have valid points and ideas.


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