I asked this question yesterday which was marked as too broad. One of the comment from @JBH stated this reason:

"How to build a world" questions are occasionally asked here. If the question is very specific they're left open. If the question is very broad they're closed. I'm afraid there are a thousand ways to do this, which is why classes in creative writing exist.

I strongly feel that my question is misunderstood. My question in no way is asking about all thousand permutation and possibilities of creating a new world by combining various gaming worlds. I am specifically asking about the possible roadmap, setting and starting direction in building my intended world, especially when cross-over worlds and ideas are overwhelmingly huge

That's why I also used "Worldbuilding-Process" tag which clearly scopes my question. The description in the tag states:

World building is a complex process that ranges from the enormity of the universe to the complex web of life in a particular location. Some created worlds are a minimum of information, while others are rich in their depth and detail. Both methods, creating what you need and creating everything, are world building and equally valid/useful.

Whatever drives you to create a world, maybe you need a setting for a book, a table top campaign, a movie, or perhaps a video game, World Building SE welcomes you.

Before asking that question, I had also read the guide to worldbuilding which is described in that same tag description.

The first question to ask is what kind of world do I want to create?

That I already have described in my question. I wanted to create a new world based on already pre-existing worlds.

Approaches to World Building - The top down method and the bottom up method.

I was/am confused in picking the approach, and that led me to ask this specific (not broad) single question. What approach can I take, How to sort and arrange the world properly I also received several helpful and great answers as well.

Where do I go from here? Jump in head first...or damn the torpedoes!

Unless you are starting from scratch for the sole purpose of creating a world odds are you have a story in mind. This is the best place to start because it helps define the world you want in some basic ways.

I also referred Help Center > Asking > What topics I can ask about here, which quotes this:

Worldbuilding Stack Exchange is a site for developers, designers, writers and artists to get help creating imaginary worlds. This includes geography, culture and creatures for the world. Questions on this site should be about building settings (for which I asked question about how to build one) and the reasons around why they are the way they are

Lastly, a minor point about the comment quoted in the question "..which is why classes in creative writing exist." - I hope this was in no way intended as a provoke though it sounds little like that.

If the questions asking about getting started with a particular setting, approach or direction of starting with world building are Off topic on this site, then I seriously have misunderstood something - or either my question is wrongly put on hold.

I request anyone to clarify on this please.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ If you feel your question is misunderstood, perhaps consider editing it so it can no longer be misunderstood. See xkcd.com/1984 . Also, you can specifically ask about everything, just because you can use that word in that context doesn't make it specific enough. I find that sort of logic flawed. $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 9:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Karan Desai --- I read your question, and concur that it is too broad. "How to" questions are on-topic, but with caveats! You're speaking about a road map, but a road map can encompass an entire continent or a very tiny village! I think you should probably really try to focus on one question, like "how can two competing systems of reality be combined into one world?" Focus the question by mentioning the two game worlds in question and what specifically you find difficult to reconcile. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Jul 6, 2018 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ As to why your question is too broad: you simply ask for too many things! You're asking for a "way", which is an unfocused question type. You're also asking for a proper methodology, which is a question that can not be answered, because there is no such thing in this art! There's my way, there's your way, there's the highway and there's everyone else's way. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Jul 6, 2018 at 3:07

5 Answers 5


I cast the first close vote. The reason is due to the following piece of the question, which I believe is its core:

How to set a stage and create a world when I have lots of ideas, backgrounds, worlds and characters already but unsure to scope things. How to sort and arrange the world properly?

Worldbuilding is not a process as simple as an algorithm. There is no short manual for it. Terry Pratchett had his own creative process when he created Discworld - which was different from the one George Lucas used for Star Wars, which is also different from what Neil Gaiman used for this stories centering around Dream. Name any two authors famous for their worlds, and each probably had their own method.

An answer that would then be appropriate for such a question would be an extensive analysis on the creation methods of many authors. It would be quite a thick book.

I see there are two answers and they have upvotes. While I see some people find value in them, to my eyes they seem like tidbits. Neither one presents a generic solution on how to set a stage and create a world when you have lots of ideas, backgrounds, worlds and characters.

I feel they might even tangentially be touching story writing. That said, I know one contemporary, professional attempt at world combining multiple characters from multiple backgrounds, contexts and paradigms based on others' intellectual property into one work. It's a web comic/prose work called Erfworld, by Rob Balder. You should have a look at it to see how bizarre it feels (i.e.: Benjamin Franklin is a sorcerer working for a kingdom of psychobilly vampires). Regardless, it has its own cult following, and Rob had often made comments about his process in his site, so that might be helpful for you.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a great response, I will steal the algorithm argument. I find that very broad questions exclusively receive answers I wouldn't know what to do with if and I'm still surprised every time when the OP comments and finds value in them. People will always have different skill levels. I have yet to encounter an actual book as an answer which is often suggested. I ask myself if the format itself of short answers, maybe a couple of pages long, isn't in itself narrowing down the problem so much that it could be considered not too broad, even if the question on its own doesn't reflect it. $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 13:28
  • $\begingroup$ PS: So: Is the argument that an answer would have to be a book a good argument? I think sometimes it is (if you have to explain e.g. all of Physics), in this case I would still say it is, but I acknowledge that there is a strong counter argument and a explicit constraint on the question is not really necessary because it's already in place given the format $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 when I said book, I meant that as an abstraction... A proper answer could be as long as a book, but not necessarily a book. It might be a series of webcasts. It might be a school or college course. It might be a whole site... The important thing being that it would be too long for a post. $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2018 at 13:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 as for this question in particular, I am trying to answer it in my mind. I used to make fictional worlds for tabletop RPG with my friends. We did it with a level of care compared to the GURPS Fantasy world and just scoping and setting each new one was often a process that could take months. If I had to describe the process in text, it would be longer and more complex than my final thesis for college. The only short alternative answer I can come up with is "learn by practice, and develop your own method." $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2018 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ I was aware of that book thing. I'm unaware of how this changes what I wrote, please elaborate. As I said, an answer cannot be too long for a post, so I ask myself if the argument really applies here. What constitutes a sufficient answer, well, tbo, at least half (I think way more) of the questions are ideally answered in something which is longer and more thought through than a post. I often find myself in a similar situation to the one you are describing, some of the questions would demand a couple of years of research on that topic, this one is not really an exception in that regard $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 14:03
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 just so that we are on the same page... Your argument is that a constraint in scope is implicit in the question given the Q&A format of Worldbuilding, and that length of a required answer should not (or at least shouldn't always) be a factor when considering whether the question is too broad, right? $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2018 at 14:07
  • $\begingroup$ Basically yes. I am not 100% sure where I stand on this case specifically, but I think I don't even have to mention examples where it would or wouldn't apply $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 I draw a line at the point where a proper answer would take days to read if it were to be scope complete. The book argument actually has basis on the help center: "if your question could be answered by an entire book, or has many valid answers, it's probably too broad for our format. There are either too many possible answers, or good answers would be too long for this format. Please add details to narrow down the answer set or to isolate an issue that can be answered in a few paragraphs." $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2018 at 14:21
  • $\begingroup$ But that's the thing, what a proper answer is is deeply subjective. I'm not saying this as a technicality but something I observe again and again - for example when people ask how a species evolves or some biochemical issue or how a society would work given some restraint. And still an OP complaining that their answer has not been getting enough attention or too unspecific answers is the complete exception. Why shouldn't an answer as given in that thread be sufficient for some. If the OP is unhappy with the answers, it is up to them to ask a better question. $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 14:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ PS: It boils down to this: You say it depends on the length, I say it depends on length in combination with other things - I can't really name all of them, but they include the topic, how much of the answer would just fall under general education / research the OP could do easily himself and the subjective feeling of the voter. I'm trying to put a bit of perspective on the last one. I don't really know what the actual argument would be in this specific case, it kind of is: You can do it in a series of books. But well, you can explore any idea in that length $\endgroup$
    – Raditz_35
    Jul 5, 2018 at 14:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Raditz_35 it's not just length for me. I agree with you, it's length and more things. In the case of this question, there would be no way to judge answers objectively, and there would be too many subtopics. It's just that these things are paled by the scope in thi specific case. I am looking for a perspective too, and I will confess that my VTC there has some some gut instinct besides reasoning. $\endgroup$ Jul 5, 2018 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the informative reply. I understood what was wrong and what needed to be fixed. Interesting discussion as well. $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2018 at 11:04

I made my comment because how to reach an end goal from a beginning starting point (no matter what that starting point is), is the basic lesson of all creative writing classes. And there are hundreds, possibly thousands of creative writing classes, websites, and youtube videos describing just as many processes for organizing information and developing a new world. I respect that you believe you're perspective is unique. I hope you can respect mine. I've lived in a lot of small towns. Every small town will tell you that they are unique and you really can't understand them unless you grew up there. The reality is they're all cookie-cutter identical. The only thing that changes is the names of the people involved.

Examples of specific worldbuilding-process questions are these:

  • Given the listed attributes of my world, what process would I use to create a basic weather model?

  • Given the listed attributes of my world, what process would I use to develop armies?

Or, possibly in your case...

  • Given the example characters from other fantasy worlds and their basic statistics, provided above, what process could I use to merge their descriptions and attributes into a cohesive world with common rules?

As of the writing of my answer, your question is still listed as: "How to sort and arrange the world properly?" Explaining this would take a book ... or a single phrase: write things down and go from there. The book is "too broad." Telling you to write things down is probably unhelpful. Without specificity, I can't see the path Secespitus sees — because it appears you're asking us to explain how to use notebooks, 3x5 cards, and a filing cabinet.

Although if you really want someplace to start, start by researching the trademark and copyright infringement behaviors of the companies you're considering. Pokemon, for example, sued it's biggest fan in 2015 for copyright infringement. These companies have built multi-million- and multi-billion-dollar companies and the very last thing they want is anyone messing with the golden egg. Unless you're writing this just for your own amusement, please be warned that other people's intellectual property is never someone else's to use without permission and rarely tolerated.

  • $\begingroup$ With due respect, thanks for the clarification. I understood the point and the factors that were to be considered for on-topicness of the question :) $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2018 at 11:06

I understood your question to be a generic question about combining elements from already existing fictional worlds into one new fictional world that you will use as the basis for a videogame you are working on. The intent seemed to me to be about getting started and knowing what things to look at to see how elements from existing worlds can be combined to a new one.

The worlds you mentioned in your question seemed to me to be simple examples to clarify your intent and make it easier to understand what kind of world you want to create, while also domenstrating where your problems are: that there are so many worlds, each with so many elements, that you don't know how to start. And that you don't want anyone to explicitly tell you what to do with these specific examples, but to get an idea of the process that one can go through to create his own world out of the millions of videogame/fantasy book/... worlds that already exist, with a focus on videogames.

As such I have answered your question in the generic style that I saw as the core of your question with a process that helps people that want to create worlds from already existing worlds, even if they never intended to do a cross-over involving for example Pokemon or Mario.

I have voted to reopen the question as it is not too broad in my eyes. It's asking about the general process and only uses some examples. It does not require answerers to iterate through all possibilities of combining the mentioned examples, let alone all possibilities of combining any two or more games.

Asking us to create a specific world for you would be too broad, because we would have to go through all elements of the basic worlds and all combinations together with all possible game mechanics and such. That's your job as the creator. But asking for the process of picking elements and getting started is definitely in the realm of worldbuilding.

You might want to edit your question to make the intent more clear though. While your title certainly attracts people interested in videogames it also distracts from the core of your question. By rephrasing it to be generic you could help to mitigate this problem. For example you might want to consider something along the lines of "What is the process in combining different already existing fictional worlds to create my own new world for a videogame?"

Your first sentence could use some problem description, such as appending ", but I am having trouble with finding out how I can combine the elements of these already existing worlds."

In a similar fashion you could rephrase the last part of your last sentence to be "combining existing worlds as the basis for my own world?" instead of "the same?" Bold face for the last sentence might also be appropriate to highlight the generic thougt behind asking this question.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the support. Noted the guidelines $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2018 at 11:04

What kind of answer are you even looking for?

The fundamental problem with this question is that it is unclear what you want the final answer to look like. How do I blend multiple video game worlds together? The answer is: any way your imagination can take you!

There simply are not hard and fast rules for merging worlds. When you are asking for advice, that, to me, fits into the 'invent my world for me' category.

Everyone's world needs to flow from their own creativity first, and then be refined in the fires of the Worldbuilding.SE forge afterwards. The problem with your questions is that you have provided nothing to refine. Your question is similar to the ones that we close for 'primarily story based;' that is, questions asking us to invent a world for you.

I think that you should invent a world where Yoshi is actually a Charizard, and then when you want to refine that world, you ask questions about it here on Worldbuilding.

  • $\begingroup$ Noted. Thanks for the reply $\endgroup$ Jul 10, 2018 at 11:05

The problem I see with the question is that rather than asking "how can I integrate x and y?" which we may be able to give some guidance on, you've asked "where do I start with a cross-genre integration of a list of material of unspecified length" that's a really broad and super awkward question to answer. It has no clear limits on the content you're trying to amalgamate which means there's no real starting point and certainly no end point. If you'd focused on a small pool of material then I could suggest an approach that is relatively straightforward but as a catch-all the question doesn't work.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .