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Worldbuilding in Games: How Important Is It?

Rate this Article Regardless of the game being developed, one of the most important aspects of the design is the world where everything takes place. Let's see why worldbuilding in games is such an important thing. Virtual Worlds Land! - Worldbuilding in Games: How Important Is It?

In the realm of creative writing, a story cannot exist without a setting. When an event happens, there is always a place where it happens. After all, something happening nowhere (provided that "nowhere" is a name of a place) is not happening at all. In creating a story set in a fictional world, certain rules have to be followed to ensure that the story and the place where it happens maintain a level of believable reality from the point of view of the reader.

In the realm of computers and video games, this principle holds true as well. After all, video games, in general, were created as an offshoot (or extension) of storytelling for the wonderful invention called the computer. So, going by this, we can therefore conclude that practically many (if not all) of the principles and rules to build fantastic worlds in stories (think of classic novels like "Lord of The Rings" or "Dragon Riders of Pern") are ported over to the worldbuilding process in making equally fantastic and immersive computer games like "Elden Ring," "Legend of Zelda," and "Skyrim."

The importance of worldbuilding

Worlbuilding The Land

While it is true that not all video games need intricate story creation and worldbuilding, both of these cannot be dispensed with. Even an arcade game like Pac-Man or Space Invaders has its own story (no matter how simple) and the place where it is set. The important thing to remember is that a setting for the game should be built, structured, designed, or created to make it believably consistent and realistic with respect to the story it presents.

The game's entire environment must synchronize and coincide with all other aspects like the main characters, the NPCs (other characters, beings, and creatures in the game), as well as other player avatars in the case of multiplayer and online gaming. The effects on each and everyone have to be constant in the general sense, just like if one happens to be in the sky without any means of flight, one will definitely fall. A world that does not follow a set of rules will end up in chaos and confusion, and no doubt result in something unplayable.

So, to further illustrate the importance of developing a properly built world for a video game and how important the worldbuilding process is, let's look at the important points that make a world constant and believable.

The necessary ingredients for a well-made game world

Worldbuilding The Air

First, the world has to have an origin. Whether it is detailed or not, it must be understood that the current environment resulted from an event or something that started it all. If the game starts in the dungeon of a castle, then a backstory of sorts has to be provided about the dungeon, the castle, and the player character that would answer the foremost question of where everything came from.

Second would be the gods and rulers, the people or beings in authority. A world has to be governed by an overall power that the natives of the world adhere to. This is where worldbuilding should establish the rule and influence of Good and Bad and the underlying reason for the game.

Third would be the environment. The world can be similar to our Earth with mountains, rivers, valleys, oceans, deserts, and other land formations, or be of an otherworldly environment best left to the creator's imagination.

Worldbuilding The Sea

Fourth would be the lifeforms of the world. Of course, there should be other beings of the same species as the protagonist, and in the case of the lead character being the last of their kind, other beings to interact with. These may range from people (hopefully humans) to animals and even monsters. An entire believable ecosystem has to be created, like fish living in water bodies, animals in the mountains, and people in towns, cities, and citadels.

Fifth would be imbuing the creatures and beings with innate and unique characteristics and abilities. This is where the classes come in, like Magic Users, Fighters, and so on and so forth. Even the creatures should have their own special abilities. A bird, as much as possible, should be able to fly. Finally, the world has to be mapped. Creating a vast expanse of mountains, hills, and seas will not make sense if it has no purpose in the world or game. A dangerous wilderness located before a castle where a beautiful princess is kept captive makes more sense as far as a game's objectives are concerned. Creating a map or a travel path for the main character to endure highlights the reason and depth of the game.

Keeping these points in mind will give you an idea of how important it is to create a well-made and believable world that the gamer can experience and adventure in.

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