WorldEmber 2023 Game Plan
Woooo Yeah Baby That's What I've Been Waiting For, First WorldEmber Let's Goooo
So what exactly am I planning to cook for my first official WorldEmber? (Those who are very observant might know that the Knight page was submitted for 2020, but that was actually an accident on my part and I had no idea what it meant at the time lol). Well, it's simultaneously not very much but also a lot. Not much breadth, but a little smidgen of depth. And half of what I'm planning might not even count. This'll make sense like a paragraph from now.
Week 1: The Area of Focus
There's been a glaring problem in how I've been building this world, at least to me. In fact, this might only be a problem to me specifically. The foundation just isn't complete, and the lack of foundation is a big factor in what keeps me from finishing a lot of projects. So this WorldEmber my focus is Tying up Lose Ends.
So what do I mean by lack of foundation? There are a handful of things that are arguably pretty important that still haven't been written, the biggest 2 are Valkyr and The Dragons. Like, one of them is the third and final ancestry and the other is probably the most important thing of this entire world in the first place. As long as they aren't written the act of worldbuilding will continue to feel like me decorating a house that doesn't have floorboards, y'feel me?
So Here's the Goal, in Order of what I'm Prioritizing
ValkyrThis has been a long time coming, and it's about time I complete the trio. Not much else to say.
Knights/Elves UpdateThis might be a little unexpected. The Knight page alone is coming up on 3 years now and there's a lot of changes that I've wanted to make for a hot minute. This is the perfect opportunity to go back to the other ancestries and give a bit more unity to them. Think of it like a much needed QoL Update.
The changes you should expect are clarifications to the lore (not planning on outright changing anything), improved writing (I hope), a little bit of art (I hope), new banners at the very least (I hope), and a more unified format (how they're laid out and what information will be included). I also want to give some love to Elves and Valkyr on the same level as Knights, I'm very aware of my favoritism. (I hope)
Now, I don't exactly know the nuances of how WorldEmber works, so for all I know going back and editing an article that's existed for multiple years might not even count towards the goal? At the very least, I'm probably not gonna submit them to any challenges. This is also why I'm not exactly expecting to hit 10k words, this is more for me than it is for the event.
The DragonsBy now I'm sure you're all very aware of how many times I've mentioned dragons. I've mentioned the Elder Dragons, maybe even name dropped a few of them, but always in a sort of fantasy "these things existed long ago but they're still super important now" way. Like, the world wouldn't actually exist if it weren't for them. Ironically this will be the hardest of the projects cause it means I'll have to draw dragons, draconic animals, constellations, and tarot cards asfjkdfkjbv.
MiscellaneousIf by some reality-altering miracle I meet these goals and still have time left, I have a handful of ideas. Some of these ideas include my first character page on Lore Knight, the green Wizard (Spellsword, actually) character that pretty much serves as my self insert for if I ever get isekai'd into my own world (The odds are never 0, I suggest y'all do the same for your own worlds). Liches, funnily enough. A few traditions, most notably the Festival of Affinity. And this short story I've been "working" on and off on for a few months now. Don't count on these, at least for WorldEmber.
Week 3: Homepage Reflection
Honestly, I feel like my homepage does a decent job as is. My goal has always been to try and introduce people into the world as if they themselves were an adventurer just starting out, so the opening blurb addresses them directly and leads straight into the introduction page with a call to action that says "This world's central theme is the concept of storytelling".
That doesn't mean I don't have any problems with it though. First and foremost I feel like the weakest part of the homepage is the category section. At the time I wanted to try out the style of presentation I see so many other creators use for their homepages but it hasn't really been doing it for me, at least for now.
I think if/when I eventually improve the presentation of the categories themselves (Like, when you actually click on the boxes) they'll feel a bit more justified but as of right now it sort of feels like clutter when I already liked the world codex functionality at the bottom more anyway. The personal favorites section goes hard though, totally knocked it outta the park with that one. Peak fiction.
I know there's so much more I can do with the homepage, after all I've seen some amazing things other creators cook up, but I've always just been at a loss for how to even go about starting lol. Personally I think having an index would be nice, but over the course of my entire loresmithing career I haven't even thought about learning how to use tags so it's probably too late for me boys (Even though I don't have THAT much content I'm just lazy dfbgskjbg).
So basically the gist of what I'm saying is that overall I think it's alright, it gets the job done. But I know I can do more, and as of right now I have no idea what that more is or how to go about doing it. But hey, only time will tell, maybe in like a year I'll have an absolute BANGER of a homepage. The kind of homepage that makes the reader go "DAMN. That's a good homepage." Now if you'll excuse me, as I'm typing this I'm gonna take out the category section and see how I feel about it.
Honestly my last-minute prep has also been my first-minute prep. I've been prepping the whole month, or at least a good portion of it. Not as much as I would've preferred (I'm blaming the ADHD). It's mostly been focusing on making the art so I only have to worry about writing, gathering all my notes and ideas, planning out the structure of the ancestry articles (I'm REALLY proud of what I came up with), and making note of all the changes I want to make to Knights/Elves.
That last part was the most eye opening, there's nothing like reading your work from years ago to show you how much you've grown. That Knight article is scuffed in all the best ways and it's almost baffling how it ever managed to get nominated twice back in 2021 gsbkgfbgj. But at the same time there's still so much passion in it, passion that I know I can infuse into Elves and Valkyr too. And maybe dragons if we have time lmao.
I have two goals when it comes to writing Valkyr. The first is to show a side of the world that is significantly more dangerous than anything I've written thus far, and that side is the north (Still don't have a better name for it lol).
To give you an idea, and I have no idea if I've said this before, at some point I wrote in my notes "The north is where the cryptids go" and it continues to live rent free in my head.
The second, and arguably most important, is to round off the themes I've set up with Elves and Knights. One of the core themes of the world is relationships, specifically the relationships that you get to choose; Elves represent love, Knights represent friendship, and Valkyr represent community.
I actually think about the themes this trio can represent a lot. Another more in-universe one would be Elves representing magic, Valkyr representing runes, and Knights representing spells. A more meta example would be my 3 favorite types of fantasy: anime, vikings, and the hobbit.Inspirations
I have a few very strong inspirations for what vibes I want Valkyr to have. The biggest one is the Freljord from League of Legends, specifically Udyr, who uses a cool animal-based magic system that is used literally no where else in the game or world, so I'm gonna confiscate it and make it better.
The second one might be a surprise, Moana is easily one of my favorite disney movies and one night I had a thought, "Hey what if it took place in, like, snow. Like, they sailed in snow. That'd be neat."
And to rapid fire a handful of smaller ones: we have all of our usual suspects, httyd obviously, a little skyrim, the entire concept of shamans, and a sprinkling of shanties. But we also have a few unexpected ingredients like a dash of Windwaker (my favorite Zelda game), a smidgen of monster hunter probably, this song, and a small scoop of cryptid horrors beyond comprehension.
Shit man idk all I got in my notes are the words "biblically accurate" and an explanation for what nebulas are. The elders are the closest this world will ever get to having gods and they aren't even gods, I just don't really vibe with dabbling into fantasy religions lol. (Don't worry you can still play as a cleric and imo paladin oaths already had non-religious vibes)Inspirations
Honestly I can't really point to any key inspirations for the direction I took dragons in, I just really like dragons. Dragons, Elves, Knights, and/or Runes are all kinda mandatory for me to get invested in any form of fantasy. So it may seem strange that the most important event in this world was their extinction, but it'll all make sense just let me cook.
There's this tumblr post that lives in my head rent free, it goes like "There are actually only 2 genres of fantasy: "Once there were dragons but those days have passed" and "How the FUCK do we get rid of all these dragons". There's three actually. The third genre is both. Oniran is both.
Good Luck Charm
Here's a little magic item as a gift cause we're friends, you and I. It's me as a marketable plushie.
All the art is made by me unless labled otherwise!