Worldbuilding tools & processes?

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Miles Fidelman

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May 31, 2022, 2:57:59 PMMay 31
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Hi Folks,

I expect there are folks here who've been involved with serious
"worldbuilding" exercises - for games, and/or military exercises.

I have some experience with how we (used to) do things for military
sims, from my days at MAK (DIS & HLA environments, BML for describing
some things).  And there are things like Unity for gaming.

But I really wonder how the professionals approach serious world
building - you know, folks like Roddenberry, Stan Lee, Steven Moffet. 
How do they develop and maintain a world model?  What documents do they
maintain, and hand out to new writers?  What tools, databases, processes
do they use to maintain and update the world model.  What authoring
tools & processes do they use to maintain continuity?  What reference
documents do you find in a writers' room, what's hanging on the walls. 
What are the intermediate steps between idea, storyboards, shooting
scripts, shooting schedule, and dailys? What do the documents look like?

Does anybody have an idea of where one would find a copy of the
definitive Star Trek, Dr. Who, and/or Marvel Comic Universe "bibles?" 
The documents they hand to new writers, & the systems they use to
maintain continuity?  Or even better, a textbook or handbook on how
Paramount maintains continuity for the Star Trek Universe, or how they
do things at LucasFilms?


I expect that places like LucasFilm have all kinds of well developed
processes, tools, systems - equivalent to the MDMP, Air Operations
planning processes, or similar doctrine.  I'd love to get a look at some
of them.  And talk to folks who've actually used/developed some of them.

Any references would be much appreciated.

Thanks,

Miles Fidelman

--
In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice.
In practice, there is. .... Yogi Berra

Theory is when you know everything but nothing works.
Practice is when everything works but no one knows why.
In our lab, theory and practice are combined:
nothing works and no one knows why. ... unknown

David A. Wheeler

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May 31, 2022, 3:18:47 PMMay 31
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> On May 31, 2022, at 2:55 PM, Miles Fidelman <mfid...@meetinghouse.net> wrote:
>
> Hi Folks,
>
> I expect there are folks here who've been involved with serious "worldbuilding" exercises - for games, and/or military exercises.
>
> I have some experience with how we (used to) do things for military sims, from my days at MAK (DIS & HLA environments, BML for describing some things). And there are things like Unity for gaming.
>
> But I really wonder how the professionals approach serious world building - you know, folks like Roddenberry, Stan Lee, Steven Moffet. How do they develop and maintain a world model? What documents do they maintain, and hand out to new writers? What tools, databases, processes do they use to maintain and update the world model. What authoring tools & processes do they use to maintain continuity? What reference documents do you find in a writers' room, what's hanging on the walls. What are the intermediate steps between idea, storyboards, shooting scripts, shooting schedule, and dailys? What do the documents look like?
>
> Does anybody have an idea of where one would find a copy of the definitive Star Trek, Dr. Who, and/or Marvel Comic Universe "bibles?" The documents they hand to new writers, & the systems they use to maintain continuity? Or even better, a textbook or handbook on how Paramount maintains continuity for the Star Trek Universe, or how they do things at LucasFilms?

I think most of these materials, as I understand them, are more focused on what a *fiction* author would need, instead of a "database" like a computer person might think of it. Worldbuilding is a craft used by many fiction authors - in some sense by all of them.

Some related blogs / posts:
https://worldbuildingrules.wordpress.com/about-worldbuilding/
https://jerryjenkins.com/worldbuilding/
https://fabledplanet.com/how-to-worldbuild-no-nonsense-first-steps-for-fantasy-writers/

Star Trek Novel submission guidelines:
http://www.twguild.com/resources/starting3.html

--- David A. Wheeler

Andrew Dougherty

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Jun 1, 2022, 10:22:57 AMJun 1
to mil...@googlegroups.com, Douglas Miles
Hi,

Apologies for the intrusion, but I am also interested in this idea (world building).  I can recommend a number of tools from my perspective as an amateur.  First is Inform7, which recently received its first open source release...


Inform7 source is written in English CNL.  It would be nice to have knowledge base roundtrip to something like OpenCyc, to allow for KB reasoning with the world information (attaching a picture showing #$MiddleEarthMt).

I'm also interested in integrating simulation-based planning algorithms:


Logicmoo is probably the best system for world building I've seen, however it's incomplete at present (but installable):


Logicmoo has a subproject called NomicMU which uses things like E2C (English to CycL) to convert English text into a world representation.  Logicmoo uses Prolog and some various integrated reasoners, and keeps multiple world representations.


A friend ( goes by DarkUranium ) was working on some world building (proper) tools (targeted towards TTRPG) (but was resistant towards integration with OpenCyc), where you write things into forms:


And if you can get an account on gitea.stdrand.com:


Story Generation tools (like Dunyazad) may also be of interest:

   http://www.pdkb.net/wiki/images/f/f5/Nil.cs.uno.edu%2Bpublications%2Bpapers%2Bkybartas2016survey.pdf

As for taking an existing collected writings, and translating it into a world model, you might use Logicmoo/NomicMU and/or Knowledge Base Population and Fact Extraction software.


Lately there are systems for commonsense reasoning and QnA over collections of documents using neural and neurosymbolic approaches.

There are also a number of tools for writers for plotting stories.  If you are interested I can look to find more information for you about writer's aids.

This also seems relevant somehow:


This is by no means a complete list, but if you are interested in collaborating on this problem of tracking immense worlds in a machine understandable representation, please let me know.

Thanks,
Andrew


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Andrew Dougherty
Independent A.I. Researcher
https://frdcsa.org
(331) 684-7674
adou...@gmail.com
middleearthmt.jpg

Andrew Dougherty

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Jun 1, 2022, 10:53:41 AMJun 1
to mil...@googlegroups.com, Douglas Miles

David Cantrell

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Jun 1, 2022, 3:09:01 PMJun 1
to mil...@googlegroups.com, Douglas Miles
Other possible resources...

Eleanor Konik writes extensively about worldbuilding. Has a paid subscription (which I don't have) and focuses on ancient history but covers a lot of ground including things like breaking down sociological concepts that underpin societies. Much of that will be universal across time. 

Example: 

She also apparently does consulting gigs so you never know that may be a useful resource. Or not. 

Reddit has a worldbuilding sub. 900k people in it. 

Heres a post about modern worldbuilding with over 60 comments: 


Also way back there was an old AD&D 2e book on worldbuilding. It was about fantasy worlds but it covered everything from physics to politics. May or may not be useful but who knows. 


On Jun 1, 2022, at 09:53, Andrew Dougherty <adou...@gmail.com> wrote:


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