Many major gaming franchises have settings that have more depth and engaging characters than the biggest Hollywood blockbusters. James Batchelor asks leading writers and artists about the work that goes into establishing such compelling worlds – and catering to the avid fanbases that follow them
Fans can be as familiar with fictional worlds as they are with the real one. Most people can tell their Vulcans from their Klingons, chant at least one spell from Hogwarts, or warn you to let the Wookie win.
Similarly, more and more consumers are able to describe a Krogan, differentiate the races of the Covenant, or tell you which kingdom takes Rupees. Settings with extensive lore and recognisable races spark the imagination of players, prompting story arc speculation, fan fiction, cosplay and more.
But how do these worlds take shape? At one point, all of them were nothing but scribblings in a notepad – and often grouped into that risky little cluster known as new IP. Start-ups and indies are often advised to think beyond their current project to the next two or three – what if you want to build all of them within the same universe? Where do you start?