This is a checklist my friend Andavri created; it’s really helpful for when you’re designing a brand-new world from scratch. Or nearly scratch, as is the case with Albion. She was kind enough to send it to me (well, chunks of it, but believe me, it’s a long checklist), and I thought it would be fun to post the answers I gave to the questions. Especially after I went a little, um, overboard with question 2. (You’ll see that in just a sec.)
On a technical note, though Andavri gave me permission to use and re-post this list, she’d really rather not have anyone else reproducing it at the moment. It’s still a work-in-progress, and as she put it, “[I]t’s not that I mind if people use it. I just want to finish it before everyone and their grandmother does.” When it is finished, she’ll put it up on her own blog (which I will include a link to on the sidebar when it’s up).
Lastly, if I deviate from these answers in my writing, feel free to smack me with a wet noodle in the comments sections of the posts. And then I’ll either have to come up with some really suave and sophisticated answer for why the answer no longer applies, or admit that I’m wrong and try to fix the post. 🙂 Anyway, on with the show!
PS: I apologize for any weird formatting. I pasted this in from Word, and you all know how that goes …
i) Is this an original world or is this an off shoot of the “real world”?
This is an original world, very, very vaguely based off actual medieval times.
ii) How did your world start?
In the beginning, the Lord Wright created The Sims.
Now The Sims were primitive and badly animated, with no way to age, only three zooms, four viewing angles, and a limited AI. Eventually the Lord Wright said, “This isn’t good enough! Computers have evolved, people’s machines can handle so much more, and this isn’t simulating life the way it should. Let there be … THE SIMS 2!” And there was The Sims 2.
Lord Wright saw that The Sims 2 was good. He separated the different ages of Sims: babies for the smallest, useless ones; toddlers for the crawling, cute ones; children for the running, jumping, playing ones; teenagers for the smooching, friend-making, gabbing ones; adults for the romancing, baby-making, working, cooking, cleaning and everything else ones, and elders for the ones that he wanted the Grim Reaper to get rid of soon. And there was playing, and there was rejoicing over the new goodies: the first few months.
And the Lord Wright said, “Let there be a new age group, the Young Adults, and let them be segregated from the rest of the population, and go to a new sub-hood. And let them party and study in equal measure.” So the Lord Wright made the Young Adults and the new sub-hood. And it was so. The Lord Wright called the new sub-hood “University.” And there was playing and there was rejoicing over the new goodies: the second few months.
And the Lord Wright said, “Let there be another new sub-hood, for dating, and relating, and bowling alleys and nightclubs and vampires.” And it was so. Lord Wright called the new sub-hood “Downtown,” and the new way of life “Nightlife.” And the Lord Wright saw that it was good.
Then the Lord Wright said, “Enough of this tomfoolery! Let’s have these Sims do some actual work! Let there be yet another sub-hood, with retail businesses, and service businesses, and venue businesses, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The Sims moved into the new sub-hood, and they created businesses selling toys, and flowers, and robots, according to their various kinds. And the Lord Wright saw that it was good. And there was playing, and there was rejoicing over the new goodies – the third (longer) few months.
And the Lord Wright said, “The users want pets! They’ve been clamoring for them ever since we came out with this game! Let’s give them some to shut them up!” And it was so. Lord Wright created two main kinds of pets: the dogs, to bark and wag their tails, and the cats, to meow and ignore their so-called owners while soliciting every last drop of affection from them. He also made the lesser pets, the birds and the womrats. And the Lord Wright saw that it was good. And there was playing, and there was rejoicing over the new goodies – the fourth few months.
And the Lord Wright said, “All right, all right, I give in, you can have weather now.” So the Lord Wright created the four seasons: summer, fall, winter and spring, each with their various benefits and drawbacks. And the Lord Wright saw that it was good. The Lord Wright blessed them and said, “Be sadorandom and let your snow fall down upon the Sims, and your rain water their crops, and your lightning strike when it is least expected (or, you know, when those Sims do something incredibly dumb and are just asking for it).” And there was playing, and there was rejoicing over the new goodies – the fifth few months.
And the Lord Wright said, “I need a vacation! But you fans aren’t going to let me have one, so I’ll give one to the Sims.” And it was so. The Lord Wright made the beach location, the mountain location, and the Far East location. And the Lord Wright saw that it was good, and ignored the grumbling about Secorom.
Then the Lord Wright said, “I’m really running out of ideas here. Hobbies! That will keep you occupied, won’t it?” So the Lord Wright created some new interactions and put a spin on a bunch of old interactions, and called it a new expansion pack.
So the Lord Wright created hobbies.
Science and tinkering, cuisine and film & lit, he created them.
They were mostly useless, but at least Sims got to make their own clothes.
Then the Lord Wright said, “You guys aren’t going to let me quit, are you? All right, all right, one more expansion. You’ve been asking for apartments for forever, so here, have them. Oh, and witches too. Happy now?” And it was so.
The Lord Wright saw all that he had made, and he saw the sales figures, and they were very good. And there was playing, and there was rejoicing over the new goodies – the sixth (very long!) few months.
Thus The Sims 2 and their world were completed in all their vast array.
By the seventh few the Lord Wright was heartily sick of all of this, and went off to play Spore. And the Lord Wright left The Sims 2 in the care of the conglomerate EA, who promptly proceeded to milk the cash cow some more and make The Sims 3.
iii) Was it started by a god figure or was it scientific?
(1) If it was started by a god figure, was it a single god or multiple gods?
One god figure, with multiple angels (the Maxiods) helping out. There are also rumors of a demigoddess, Morgaine, who created the world of Albion in particular, but this is regarded as the deepest heresy by the church.
(2) If it was scientific, what is your explanation for the science? N/A
iv) How did your sentient race(s) begin?
(1) Were they created by the god figure or was it evolution?
A little bit of both. The Lord Wright created the Sims, then he got fed up with the not-greatness of them and created The Sims 2. There are rumors of a third generation, but no concrete evidence of this fact has filtered into Albion yet.
(a) Does this change by type of sentient being?
There’s only one type of sentient being. There are different races within these sentient beings, however: the races of zombies, vampires, plantsims, werewolves, and Bigfoots (Bigfeet?). There are also witches (and wizards), but they are merely ordinary Sims with extraordinary powers and are not truly considered a separate race. There are also the automatons that these witches and wizards can create, called the Servos. Lastly, there are rumors of races of fae and half-fae, but no one who has seen the fae can remember them clearly, and no true half-fae have yet been seen in the realm of Albion …
(b) If it was by a god figure, was a single god or multiple gods? See above.
(i) Have the races evolved since creation?
Nope, they’re just as dumb and cute by intervals as ever!
(c) If it was by evolution how long has passed since the goo? N/A
(i) How long has passed since the creation of the sentient race became as they are? N/A
v) What is the shape of your world?
It’s round, like a big ol’ bouncy ball. But shh, don’t tell the Albionese that: they don’t know it yet. 😉
vi) What is the climate of your world?
Albion itself has a temperate climate with four seasons, but other areas vary. Glasonland and the Reman Empire for the most part share Albion’s climate, but the remote tropical islands of Twikkii have summer all year round. Smina has a climate that’s cooler (than Twikkii) but is generally stable, while some of the hinterlands of Reme vary only between what the Albionese would call fall and winter.
(1) Is the climate fairly static? Yes.
(2) Is it still evolving? No.
(3) How many continents are there? Um … let’s say five.
(a) What are they shaped like? Shaped like? You’ve seen my maps! (If you haven’t, go check out the awful here.) They’re continent-shaped!
(b) How big are they? Big.
(c) How much big a percentage of the world do they cover? Let’s go with 25%.
(4) How many oceans are there? One big interconnected ocean, that different people in different regions call different things.
(a) What are they shaped like? Like oceans!
(b) How big are they? VERY BIG.
(c) How big a percentage of the world do they cover? Let’s go with … 70%.
(d) What is the percentage of salt water to fresh water? Um … well, let’s say that the remaining 5% of surface space on Albion is covered by fresh water and call it a day.
(5) Does your world have a sun? In theory, but I’ve never seen it.
(a) Is the sun the sole source of heat and light for the natural world? Um … let’s say yes.
(b) How many moons/satellites are there? Two, I hear, but again, never seen them.
(i) Do they affect the natural world? Not really?
(c) If there is not a sun, how does the world grow and function? N/A
(6) Is there gravity? Yes.
(a) If not how do people keep things locked down? N/A
(b) Does your gravity affect things like it does here on earth? Yes.
(i) If not, how does it differ, what is different?
(ii) Is it at all similar?
(7) Are there seasons? Yes. I paid $30 for that privilege.
(a) If so, how do these seasons pass?
After five Sim-days, the season ticks over, the lighting changes, the background noise changes, and the different seasonal bonuses change.
(i) Is it similar to season here on earth? Sort of.
(ii) Do these seasons depend on location? See climate section.
(iii) Are these seasons affected by the sun/moon/satellites? Not really.
(b) Do the god figures effect the seasons? The Lord Wright hasn’t messed with them since their first creation, but who knows what the demi-goddess Morgaine might decide to do someday …
(8) What sort of foliage/plants are common on your world?
Various flowers that tend to die before you remember to water them, shrubs that need to be trimmed, trees that need no care at all, other trees that bear fruit, and fruit- and vegetable-bearing plants that require a great deal of TLC.
(a) How is this similar/different from earth? (IE purple grass) Very similar, though with far less variety.
(b) How does plant cover change over the continents? Um … owing to my lack of creativity and preference for the pre-made vacation sub-hoods, it really doesn’t change much.
(i) How do the seasons affect the plant cover? Things go dormant in the winter. Otherwise, not much change.
(ii) How do the god figures affect the plant cover? The Lord Wright doesn’t do much of anything, the demigoddess Morgaine frantically clicks on the Sims to get them to take care of the food-producing plants, and curses when the non-food-producing plants die and she has to get new ones.
(iii) How has the plant cover changed over time? I’ve started using downloaded plants that don’t require care.
(9) What kinds of animals are common on your world?
Cats, dogs, birds, fish, womrats. Also horses, cows, and other barnyard animals, but those just sort of stand around …
(a) How is this similar/different from earth? Less variety.
(b) How do the animals change over the continents? Really, they don’t.
(i) How do the seasons affect the animals?
Seasons don’t really affect them, except that it becomes easier to build a relationship with one’s cats or dogs in summer and winter, and horses and such get covered in snow in winter if they’re outside.
(ii) How do the god figures affect the animals?
The demigoddess Morgaine places the statue-animals where she wants them, and tries to make sure the moving animals don’t die/run away.
(iii) How have the animals changed over time?
They haven’t, really.
(iv) Are there endangered animals? No.
(c) How do the animals affect the plants in a generalized fashion? They don’t.
(d) Are there any notable differences that don’t involve sentient beings? Not really!
(10) What are your sentient beings? Sims.
(a) Are they human? Eh, close enough.
(i) If so, are they the same as “earth humans”?
Um, no. We can usually get to the bathroom on time.
(ii) Are they different? YES
- How so?
Do you want another Genesis 1-length answer? They’re Sims! They’re not as smart as people, and while they are like people in some of their wants, fears and needs, they’re nowhere near as psychologically complex as people are. However, for characterization purposes, I’ll be treating them as human beings, with some reference to their in-game personalities/aspirations.
- How not?
… See above.
(iii) How long, on average, do they live?
Haven’t actually played one in this challenge from birth to death yet. I will say that elderhood begins at 50 years (seasons), and after that … it’s all a roll of the dice.
- Does this number get larger or smaller based on society/race?
It can get larger depending upon your class status (i.e., the higher class you are, the longer a “grace period” you get before the dice start rolling). If you’re a vampire, zombie or certain type of witch (i.e. one I want to have stick around a long time), you’re immune from aging.
- Why or why not?
As far as lifespans go for different classes, because of what I’m imagining would be differences in medical care/how much crap you put your body through over the course of your life. For the viral states … because that’s the way the game works.
(iv) How big are they? (Height/weight/build – Use averages)
All about the same height. Weight fluctuates between fit, fat and normal states. But there are rumors of bodybuilders of enormous size, and enormous fitness, to the northern hinterlands …
- Does this number get larger or smaller based on society/race?
No, other than the aforementioned rumors.
- Why or why not?
Because they’re Sims!
(b) Are there other sentient beings besides humans? (repeat as necessary)
Not really, see above.
Well, I think that’s enough for tonight, don’t you? For those of you who’ve stuck with me this long, a pic with an amusing caption (or at least I thought it was amusing):
Melehan: So what are we going to do tonight, Melou?
Melou: The same thing we do every night, Melehan. Plan to take over the world.