GeekGirlCon 2015
GeekGirlCon 2015

World Building 101 Handout! (GeekGirlCon 2015)

Awesome Examples of World Building

  • Star Wars
    Details like the selling of “gently used droids” by the Jawa in the first movie. It wasn’t explained, and didn’t need to be – but in that moment shared a lot about the dearth of technology on the planet, the economy that essentially welcomed theft and black market trade, and the practicality for small farms like the one Luke’s aunt and uncle owned)
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    Languages, songs, different cultures; no two sections of the world the same, no two people-groups the same, no two cultural requirements the same. Even fighting styles are different.
  • “Life is Strange” by Dontnod
    An episodic adventure game utilizing time travel and the butterfly effect to explore student relationships and impending world destruction
  • Walking your Octopus: A Guidebook to the Domesticated Cephalopod by Brian Kesinger
    The zany, heart-warming chronicles of a lady and her pet octopus. Each illustration is a burst of character, storytelling and exquisite design detail. This is how you build an original Steampunk world.

Getting started in writing:

Getting started in art:

  • The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron
  • Sketching from the Imagination, by 3DTotal
  • Steal Like an Artist, by Austin Kleon
  • …most importantly: fill your creative well and image bank! Places to do that:,,, a museum, a walk around town with your camera, watching your favorite movie, listening to your favorite soundtrack, anything that gets your brain going

Getting started in film:

  • TV Tropes
  • Michael Rabinger (Directing: Film Techniques and Aesthetics, Directing the Documentary)
  • Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions, by Guillermo Del Toro and Marc Zicree. A great look into how one of the greatest fantasy directors today, Del Toro,  approaches worldbuilding.
  • 22 Rules of Storytelling, by Emma Coats, Storyboard Artist for Pixar. She wrote this on her twitter account and they are nuggets of wisdom. Google it.

Getting started in games:

  • Create games with no coding needed using Construct 2
  • Twine game engine for interactive fiction
  • The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses by Jesse Schell
  • The Ultimate Guide to Video Game Writing and Design by Flint Dille and John Zuur Platten.
  • Game Design Lessons at Extra Credit
  • One of the biggest problems in the game industry is the tendency to create games based on classic titles we all love. So I won’t include any more examples… I want to see what YOU come up with using your fresh perspective!

Keep in Touch With Us!

Twitter: @RuthanneReid 


Ruthanne is Currently Working On: 

Cursed as a weapon to destroy mankind, he was designed to be infectious and designed to be violent—but his creators forgot one thing.

They forgot to remove his soul.

15,000 years of passion through the eyes of the father all vampires: NOTTE, coming December 2015.

Celine Chapus, Artist

Twitter: @purpleceline


Celine is currently working on:

Celine Chapus' Next Project

Planning, designing and drawing a variety of illustrations involving a sideshow circus, unicorns and dragons.

Gisella Bustillos, Filmmaker

Twitter: @gisellamb


Gisella is currently making:

A Brief History of Time Travel

A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME TRAVEL is the biography of an idea, chasing time travel from ancient India to the streets of Los Angeles. For people of all ages and backgrounds— especially science fiction enthusiasts, and anyone who aches to experience a different time—it is an odyssey through one’s own imagination and a discovery of kindred spirits.

[/one_half] [one_half_last]

Dr. Miko Charbonneau

Twitter: @Evaliation


Miko is currently working on:

Miko works in far future technology, so she can’t always talk about what she does on a day to day basis. But when she’s not at work, she’s been busy designing, writing and developing Code Romantic, an educational computer science game wrapped in a sci-fi love story![/one_half_last]

Recommended Tools

  1. Scrivener
  2. One Note
  3. Google Keep
  4. Evernote
  5. Aeon Timeline
  6. Smashbooks by K&Company!


A three-times bestselling author, Ruthanne Reid has led a convention panel on world-building, taught courses on plot and character development, and been the keynote speaker for the Write Practice Retreat. Author of two series with five books and fifty-plus short stories, Ruthanne has lived in her head since childhood, when she wrote her first story about a pony princess and a genocidal snake-kingdom and used up her mom’s red typewriter ribbon in the process. When she isn’t reading, writing, or reading about writing, Ruthanne enjoys old cartoons with her husband and two cats, and dreams of living on an island beach far, far away. P.S. Red is still her favorite color.