Reply To: Help from Worldbuilders and Artists ! (Please)

Forums Art Art Discussions Help from Worldbuilders and Artists ! (Please) Reply To: Help from Worldbuilders and Artists ! (Please)

The Inkspiller

First – beautiful creature! The use of watercolors was an excellent choice for creating a whimsical, cutesy creature. Hooray for choice of media! Like @catwing, I’m not sure how much we can help with creature design since we don’t know its habitat or purpose in the world, aside from possibly being a household pet.
(Name Suggestion: Pindalu.)

As for culture and naming; I often cheat and borrow inspiration from human languages to create my cultures and names.

Example: I created a setting, Keramidian, which is a desert kingdom fighting for survival as cataclysmic lightning storms encroach from the east, turning the already barren sand into even more lifeless glass. Being that glass, sand, dust and clay play such a large thematic role in the setting, I took the name Keramidian from the Greek keramidia, which means ceramic (and also happens to be a small village).

Most of your readers would never know if the name you use came from another language, and if that name happens to  be thematically relevant or becomes a reference to the culture on which you are basing that fictional whatever-it-is, bonus points for those who get the reference!


Coming up with Cultures:

As before, I often borrow from human cultures as well as from the Bible. Coming up with purely original cultures is a struggle and often a futile one, but cultures which bear real-life inspiration can be just as unique and exotic.

For my sci-fi setting, the Children of Adam, there are two main races – us dirty little humans of Earth, who basically nuked Earth into an uninhabitable wasteland in a five way world war, then decided that extinction wasn’t so dope, signed an uneasy ceasefire, and raced for the stars to get their first to make sure the next guy didn’t get such a nice planet. Their cultures are based heavily in 1930s-style political idealism – the SUPER DEMOCRACY of the American Combine contrasts very strongly against the “Brave New World meets The Clone Wars” Comintern, and again with the “Russian Wild West but ruled by the Orthodox Church for the Holy Crusade against COMMUNISM” of the United States of Christian Europe.

Oh yeah, and the second race are the Tesveshi – the descendants of a quartet of (almost) Old-as-Creation cyborg demigods named Tubal-Cain, Naamah, Julal, and Yahal. The four children of Lamech (and he’s their mythical super patriarch as well. Who knows where he got off to.) Culturally – they’re a combination of the barbaric traits of the antediluvian civilization from Genesis, mixed with a very strong Viking / Norse aesthetic (curling horns, all over six feet tall, covered in metallic scales, runic language, and a preference for pillaging the resources of others rather than making their own.) Having just barely survived an apocalyptic civil war against their own gods (who they didn’t manage to kill, but merely disappeared off to their own corner of the universe to plot revenge), they also have many traits of Weimar / Hitlerian Germany: economic despondency as the mainstream group is forced to rely on Terran humans for the most primitve and basic equipment (bulldozers and helicopters), even as most of the population remembers the days when they sent robots the size of moons to terraform worlds for the empire. Knowing that they’ll never be able to economically compete with humanity’s nearly hundred combined worlds, having only three to their name, they look to their military for the promise of a better tomorrow, knowing that they still hold the edge in military technology… for now.

TL;DR: use the situations of human history as basic archetypes, then inform those situations with the lore of your own universe.


Non nobis Domine, sed nomini, Tuo da gloriam.

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