This is my collection of world-building links. Please let me know if there are any dead or broken ones. Thanks!
Worldbuilding How-To and Guides
- Primitive Ways has a collection of articles about how to make low-tech goods; for example, how to tan hides and make pouches and so on. It seems to be quite an interesting resource for us 22nd Century persons.
- World Builder’s Questions is an exhaustive list of questions a world designer should ask themselves about the world and culture he is developing.
- [dead link] Shakespeare & Dragons Podcast is focused on world-building from a story-based approach. (Blog post) – Archive with links to the episodes.
- The California State University offers a course in World Building.
- Climatology for World Builders
- Language construction kit.
- A Way with Worlds: Collection of world-building articles.
- Creating Fantasy and Science Fiction Worlds at FARP
- Geek Dad’s How to build a world series.
- Medieval Deomgraphcis Made Easy – Brandon Blackmoor provides an interactive version.
- Building a Traveller Sandbox
- Building a Fantasy Sandbox
- Photoshop tutorial for drawing Halo-sized Ringworlds
Maps, Map-Making, Cartography
- The PALEOMAP Project of Christioher R. Scotese offers a several historical Earth maps; that is, historical in geological timeframes.
- Dr. Ron Blakey offers very beautiful “satellite image” style Paleogeographic Views of Earth History.
- Strange Maps is a website that features strange and unusual maps. These are often – but not always – original ways of looking at our own Earth. It is a great resource not only because of the beautiful maps, but also because it offers unique and new ways of looking at old ideas.
- 3D-Starmaps is a site dedicated to the creation of, well, star maps.
- Fantasy Mapmaking with Photoshop video tutorials.
- The Cartographers’ Guild is awesome for people to share their maps, discuss map-making, and so on. Be sure to sign up for the forums, which is the main part of the site.
- Audio Slideshow: Mapping Africa is pretty interesting and much too short
- Sci Maps – Awesome maps about all kinds of scientific topics.
Geography and Landscapes
- PhysicalGeography.net, in their own words, is “an educational web portal that focuses on a specific area knowledge known as Physical Geography. Physical Geography is a sub-discipline of two much larger fields of study – Geography and Earth Sciences. The main purpose of Physical Geography is to explain the spatial characteristics of the various natural phenomena associated with the Earth’s hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere.” Looks very helpful!
- Nuke it – Tool that shows the effects of nuclear weapons on a map – perfect for youzr WWIII or dystopian future novels.
- Impact Earth – Calculate the effects of an asteroid impact on Earth
- Space Math – Travel times – How long does it take my spaceship to go a given distance?
- Angular Size Calculator – How big is something in the sky?
- An Everything Random generator – from Worlds to dungeons and names and Inns. And it has various generic gaming tools, too.
Generic Software helpful for Worldbuilding
- Inkscape is a free (as in beer and speech) vector drawing software that I use for illustrations and maps.
- Inkscape – A Guide to a Vector Drawing Program by Tavmjong Bah
- Hex Grid Generator – It can save as SVGs, too!
- Nuke Map – Create map overlays on Google Maps to show the effect of nuclear bombs
Worldbuilding Sites and Blogs
- Alegis Downport – Traveller
- Campaign Builders’ Guild – A forum to support homebrew RPG campaign worlds
- Cartographers’ Guild – Forums for cartographys
- Worldbuilder’s Journal is another writer’s worldbuilding and fiction blog and IMO definitely worth checking out.
- This Orb – building a world as realistically as possible
- World Builder Projects – A collection of world building projects
- The Lair of Evil Dr Ganymede – has great Star Mapping resources as well as Worldbuilding material. Definitely worth to check out.
- Zombie Gunslinger moved to the more appropriately-named Realmwright Blog. Check it out!
Linguistics and Con-Languages
- Mark Rosenfelder, aka the Zompist, has a good site on conlanguages. The Language Construction Kit is a good quick “how-to” on the subject.
- The Zompist Bulletin Board is an awesome resource for conlanguages.
Real World Resources
If you base your world on our current Earth, you’ll sooner or later have to look up facts that you do not know. Here’s where you should do so.
- Wikipedia is always a good starting point for research.
- The CIA World Factbook answers all the basic questions you have about the nations of Earth. Life expectancy in China? Male-to-Female ratio on the Bahamas? Here you go.
Articles that didn’t fit elsewhere.
- Atomic Rockets contains pretty much everything you’ll need to know if your setting makes use of rocketships. And then some. It also has a great section of graphics of various realistic and fictional rocket designs.
- How to design a good flag
- Two flag generators:
- Armageddon: Wikipedia article on the end of civilization
- Exit Mundi also covers the end of life, the universe, and everything.
- Animal senses – useful for monster and alien species design
- The Free RPG Blog
- Vectorized playing card faces – You never know when these may come in handy!
Other Lists of Worldbuilding Links
- The World Builder’s Library at ImaginaryWorlds.net offers a good list of world building links.
- World Builder Projects hasn’t been updated in several years, but still contains a lot of good links.
- World Building Links is even more outdated… but still can serve as a starting point.
- Fantasy World Building Resources
- World Building Resources for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Writers – you should be aware that some of the links are Amazon affiliate links.