Archive for Announcements

October Worldbuilding News and Notes

October 2018 is a big month for this project! Collaborative Worldbuilding for Writers and Gamers will be available on October 18 at Bloomsbury.com and other booksellers, and the collaborative worldbuilding card deck can now be purchased from The Game Crafter. A free print-and-play version is also available on the book’s website. I also started a subreddit on the topic of collaborative worldbuilding that I hope you’ll join.

The book and deck are a culmination of seven years worth of work. This project began way back in 2011 when I taught a 200-level creative writing course at UW-Milwaukee entitled “Gaming, Worldbuilding, and Narrative.” The general idea was that the students would build a post-apocalyptic version of Milwaukee that would become the backdrop for tabletop role-playing game sessions. Students would add people, places, and things to the world, then write fiction through the eyes of their character as they explored this co-created world. Students loved the role-playing sessions, but I was more intrigued about how they negotiated the process of building their post-apocalyptic world.

Over the next several years, I experimented with different course designs that had worldbuilding at their core. From post-apocalyptic Milwaukee, I went a different route with an alt-history Steampunk Rochester project in my first year at the Rochester Institute of Technology. I also began experimenting with having students build out already existing worlds, like the class “Tales from King’s Landing,” which took place in the Westeros of George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, and more recently, “Age of the Empire” that used the setting of the expansive Star Wars galaxy. I also developed a workshop dedicated solely to worldbuilding different worlds across different genres: post-apocalypse, urban fantasy, deep space science fiction, steampunk, cyberpunk, dark fantasy, and more. All of these classes relied on tabletop role-playing games as manuals for worldbuilding projects, which I’ll talk more about in future posts.

Other future blog posts will cover:

  • Worldbuilding for Tabletop Role-Playing Games
  • Posts on the specific categories and substructures used in the book and deck
  • General worldbuilding advice and pitfalls to avoid
  • Teaching worldbuilding classes and leading workshops

If you have other ideas for posts, I’d love to hear them. Drop me a line on the contact page.

Upcoming Events
For anyone in Upstate New York, I will be delivering the interactive keynote for the 2018 NASAGA Conference (North American Simulation and Gaming Association) in Rochester, NY the morning of Wednesday, October 17. I will also be doing a book/deck release event and collaborative worldbuilding demonstration at MAGIC Spell Studios on the RIT campus on Thursday, November 8 at 4:00.

As always, happy worldbuilding!
–Trent Hergenrader


Announcements, Book, Deck

Welcome to Collaborative Worldbuilding

Welcome to the very first installment of Cornerstones: The Worldbuilding Blog. Every few weeks, this blog will feature all manner of advice on worldbuilding, managing collaborative worldbuilding projects, different aspects of the collaborative worldbuilding system and the worldbuilding deck, and other news and announcements dealing with worldbuilding and the collaborative worldbuilding system.

Huge thanks to everyone who completed our online worldbuilding survey. We received over 350 responses and over 200 people provided their email addresses and entered for a chance to win one of two copies of the forthcoming book, Collaborative Worldbuilding for Writers and Gamers. The two winners are Joshua Lee of Irvine, CA and John Martel of Washington, DC! Both will receive an advanced copy of the book to be mailed out in the next few weeks.









There are a lot of exciting things in the works.  Collaborativeworldbuilding.com is now live and serves as a hub of information pertaining to the book, the worldbuilding card deck, and a number of resources including those for educators interested in using worldbuilding projects in their classrooms. Collaborative Worldbuilding for Writers and Gamers will be released on October 18. Preorder the book from Bloomsbury’s website and use the code CWWG18 for 35% off the paperback and eBook editions. The Collaborative Worldbuilding Card Deck will be available as a free print-and-play download and for purchase later this month. Stay tuned for more information.

I’m also happy to announce a partnership with World Anvil, which I recommend as the go-to site for your worldbuilding project needs. You might think that the software was designed for the book or vice versa, but the truth is that we independently came up with very similar approaches to worldbuilding. No money has changed hands for our mutual endorsements; we’re co-promoting together in the spirit of helping people who love worldbuilding projects.

The first word on the book’s cover is “collaborative” and I hope to use this space to bring people together and begin a dialogue for people doing all kinds of worldbuilding projects in all sorts of media. If you haven’t already done so, subscribe to Cornerstones: The Worldbuilding Blog and consider following our Twitter account @collabworldbldg, Like our Facebook page and join World Anvil’s active community on Discord. Use the Contact form to submit your questions or comments and you could be featured in an upcoming Cornerstones post.

Happy worldbuilding!
Trent Hergenrader