Day 3: Mood and Setting
How can we build worlds meant for telling stories in? How is that different from creating rich, thorough, realistic designs? The suggestion with Day 3 is to focus on building a world that evokes the same feelings as your story. I think another part of it, for me, is to build a world I want to spend time with through narrative!
Since I am building a world for a game, I thought about this as what experiences I want to share with players. I'd like to choose an environment that invigorates players and invites them to observe its landscapes and foliage.
I remembered a week I spent in Iceland in high school: I felt eager to adventure and learn about this new world. The terrain was rough, hilly, rocky, covered in moss. The air was brisk and restless. And the land offered hot springs, geysers, and glaciers—such variety on such a small island was perfect for a kid already feeling so primed for exploration.
Eastshade (I won't shut up about this game) made me feel something similar. I love games where I can just go explore the designer's creations and feel immersed in their worlds. That's how I play the Elder Scrolls games (in fact, the combat is boring to me). Eastshade offered me something perfect: a small world with a broad range of detailed, lush scenery to appreciate and to wander through (from pink forests to glaciers to sunny beaches).
I described the “taiga” environment on Day 1 as “refreshing, cold, fierce, alive”, and I described “Iceland (Maritime)” as “energized, alert, ancient”. I think they capture what I'm going for here. I guess I have the start of a setting!