Yearly Archives: 2009

What I’m up to

I thought I’d give you a little update on current projects and status. The past year or so has been a little hard on me “in the real world” but all that is sorted out now and things are on the up again. On the other hand, it hasn’t left me so much time for world-building: Besides my new real-life job keeping me busy, NaNoWriMo ate up a lot of free time in November. That’s done and over, and with the holidays coming up I should have a good amount of time to write and build.

  • My Wacom tablet needs to be replaced, but I am not yet sure which one to get, and what size. They get expensive really quickly once you go beyond A6. I have some maps to draw!
  • I’ve been consolidating settings. At least two, probably three, and perhaps four of my worlds will be merged – details to follow…
  • I am totally into science fiction right now. This comes from reading everything H. Beam Piper that Gutenberg and Librivox could throw at me, but it is also related to finally playing role-playing games again; in this case we’re up to our ears in the Star Wars Saga Edition. I’m playing a shard in an IG-86 chassis with a severe identity crisis.
  • I’d like to complete short “world books” for what I consider my main worlds. Say something on the order of 48 pages each.
  • With the death of imaginaryworlds.net and the disappearance of Paul of the Shakespeare & Dragon podcast, I’d like to expand enderra.com to include more how-to’s, more discussion, more interactivity. This is more of a long-term goal, we’re definitely talking mid-2010 here. Anybody who’d like to get in on this, drop me a line…

NaNoWriMo 2009 "Won"

It’s done, one day ahead of schedule – I “won” NaNoWriMo 2009.

NaNoWriMo 2009 Winner

This year, it was particularly hard. Not only do I have a new job which kept me quite occupied, I also did not have any furniture at home, having just moved into a new apartment. Like last year, I encountered mental resistance to the project after some time, and just like last year I asked myself, “why the hell am I doing this?”

I am doing this, of course, to teach myself to be “creative” to a schedule. I did a better job of this than last year. I wrote on fewer days of the month than last year, and got much more done on those days. And while I did not complete the story yet, I am quite close.

What made all the difference is that I followed one of the lessons learned from last year: This time I created an outline ahead of time. Some adjustments were necessary, as I moved the story form one of my worlds to another, but these were relatively minor. I did not complete the story yet, but I am very close; another 2-3 days will get me there so unlike last year, I will get to “The End”. It’s still a crappy story, so unless I edit it into something fairly nice I won’t be posting it. đŸ˜‰

I am not sure whether I will do NaNoWriMo 2010, but unless some other big project interferes, I probably will. I’ll try to take some days off of work next year, though: If I have an outline and write every day, I should be able to easily complete a story in the 30 days.

A conworld, by any other name…

…you have to worry about it actually meaning something in another language. There was the anecdote of the car company – Volkswagen, I believe; but it does not matter – which tried to sell a car brand called “Nova” in Latin America. No Va meaning “doesn’t go” or even “doesn’t work” ruined their product for them.

Whether this story is true or not doesn’t matter any more than who made this mistake. It still means that any words you invents, especially names of important places like planets or your protagonist names – need to be checked on-line. Otherwise you may add just a little more humor to your setting than you’d like.

I guess I was lucky. One of our Turkish translators tells me that “enderra”, in Turkish, means “rare”.

I can live with that.

Update: I’ve found some additional meanings of “Enderra”.

Life after People

By random chance I came across Life after People on local TV tonight – the 2h original version, not the series. While it is hardly perfect – Wikipedia lists some criticisms or omissions, and I can come up with several more – it is still an inspirational film and a good idea to watch if you’re into post-apocalyptic fiction / gaming.

Richard Bartle on MMO design paradigms

Richard Bartlethe man when it comes to MMO design – held a very interesting talk at IMGDC. In it he’s discussing the different types of MMO designs, and how “social” mmo’s contrast with the linear World-of-Warcraft design and the more freeform games like Eve Online. His talk is definitely worth a read, I just wish there was a recording.

The PDF is here.

Map of Thraeton

While I am on the topic of maps… The Map of Thraeton that I showcased last month is now done. That is, as done as it’s going to get without detailed world-building – the place names are mostly placeholders, and so on.

I think it came out quite well, if I may say so myself.

River Challenge Map

This is my entry for the Cartographers’ Guild’s “just for fun” competition for March, the River Challenge:

Cartographer's Guild River Challenge Entry

The basic template of the landmass and some pre-defined lakes and rivers was provided by the guild’s community leaders, and there are various rules on the number of rivers the map needs to include.

I honestly did not enter this one to win – the guild counts far better artists than I am amongst its members – but rather I took the opportunity to try out a “fancy mountain” style. As you can see… it still needs some work. đŸ˜‰

Thraeton and Enderra Map WIPs

I spent a lot of my spare time working on maps. Here’s what I have to show for my effort.

First off, Thraeton now has mountain ranges. I experimented a little and came up with the following abstract style, which I like a lot.

Thraeton

Detail view:

Thraeton Detail

I am currently working on climate – wind, ocean currents, climate zones.

In between, I revisited that world which started it all, and which gave the name to this website: Enderra. I began by recreating what geography has already been established over the past 17 years. As you can see, this is not the entire planet just yet – the entire “new world” in the west was never mapped out, so it’ll be added later.

Enderra

I also experimented with drawing pretty national borders. These are very rough, and I’ll have to redraw them as the map evolved, but as a stylistic experiment I think it was quite a success:

Enderra National Borders

As always, I work in Inkscape.