My Philosophy of Worldbuilding

My brand of worldbuilding focuses on two parts: the Root and the Questions. The Root is my starting point and can be nearly everything. It can be anything, an idea I thought cool and wanted to include, a Question to another Root that lead me here, something that is still needed, either in the world or for the game to work or something that is wanted by higher-ups.

After I have the Root from which to start, I run through a bunch of Questions, the first being, does this fit with the world as is? This can be something obvious, do Undead Cyborg Samurai fit into my western shooter (the answer is...depends on how steampunk the shooter is) or it could be something more subtle. Does a place or character fit the theme of the world/game that is currently being built? Every theme is explorable from so many angles, and worldbuilding allows one to have fun with it.

If this answer comes back as a no, the next question is, can we change it so that it does fit the world? And are those changes acceptable? Or maybe we want to realign the world so it fits whatever we want to add, though I must admit that is something I tend to have a hard time with, as Killing my Darlings is something I haven’t quite mastered yet.

Should the thing to be added fit the world, I will then proceed to ask more detailed Questions about the object. Why is it where it is? Why does it work? To answer these Questions, I read and watch information about a broad range of topics in large quantities, so I have at least some knowledge in many fields. This knowledge is a good starting point to find more in-depth knowledge about the question I am seeking to answer. Ranging from how a city would feed itself, about how the biology of a species might work, or whether a form of government might work and how.

This will continue until I have reached a level of detail I’m satisfied with, or until I have more pressing issues to tend to.

On a personal level, I like worlds that mix a grounding in realism, how the characters act, and how the world works, with unrealistic or over the top premises. Though with realism, I mean consequences for action, good and bad interwoven. Neither pure idealism or pure cynicism, as I see good and bad in nearly everything. Furthermore, I enjoy pushing taboos in some ways when creating cultures to create a feeling of weirdness. Making cultures that are recognizable to some Earth cultures yet with twists that underline that this is another world.



Starting Point






Does it fit the world?



Does it fit the theme?





Can it be changed?




How do we need to change the world?






Why is it the way it is?


What do I need to research?




Repeat until depth of details is satisfying