Summercamp 2022 Recap

As World Anvil Summercamp 2022 comes to a close, it is time to reflect on the past month. How did I do relative to my goals? Am I happy with my work? What about the tweaks to the process? What feedback should I offer to the World Anvil folks to help make next year's Summercamp even more fun and fulfilling.

My Goals

By the Numbers
Numerically, I set three goals for myself: to achieve the diamond badge by completing all 31 prompts; to generate at least 100,000 new words of lore in Cartyrion; and to stream every day of the month. Numerically, I finish Summercamp having completed two out of the three. The Diamond Badge has been secured, as has the Iron Gorge recognition for streaming daily.

The wordcount, however, fell considerably short. More than 50,000 words is still nothing to be ashamed of though. I knew the goal was agressive.

Qualitatively, I'm quite happy with the 31 article responses to the prompts, as far as word content is concerned. They're not as pretty as my better article work - few if any images, maps, or other insets - but I'm very happy with the informational content I generated, and that was my conscious focus this year.
A Functional View
My more abstract goal for summercamp was to complete articles that served one of two purposes: either to start building up background and lore that would figure into the second and third books of the "Dreams" novels, or to fill in the gaps in material that will be published in a Feywood Campaign Setting product.

Looking back on the work completed, I met these two goals to a greater degree than I had originally hoped for - especially the latter one. Thanks to the prompts, the Cartyrion Campaign setting now has an "in-game" source: the travelogue writings of Khala the Traveler. The relationship between gremlins and nymphs is more completely understood. New creatures were created, new NPCs defined.

Assessing the Process

Overall, I feel the changes made to the format, rules, and schedule of prompt releases for this year's Summercamp had a positive effect on the experience. Knowing from the start that the prompts would be released in a fashion that permitted one prompt per day to be tackled made it much easier to schedule time for writing without having to juggle priorities or add undue stress.

Themes for each of the prompt waves was a great addition. By encouraging the prompt creator (Janet) to think in terms of groupiing the prompts by a theme, it gave the article writers (us) the opportunity to network several articles together. The end result was that instead of having 31 discrete, but disjointed, bits of new world lore, we instead had much richer views into the fewer pieces of lore that we tackled. (This assumes, of course, that the camper did in fact "link" some or all prompts. But just about every one of the participants I've spoken to has done so - so this isn't an unreasonable conclusion.)

The selection of templates used by the prompts was good - perhaps even a bit "too lenient" this year. I understand the desire to not stress out or punish participants with difficult prompts, but things like language are a part of worldbuilding, and need to be addressed sooner or later. Perhaps a "rotation schedule" where the more difficult templates are used every other or every third summercamp - and spread out so they don't all hit at once.  

Simultaneous Game of Tomes

One thing I'm not sure I like is the running of a Game of Tomes tourney in conjunction with WA Summercamp. This is for one specific reason: article writing in response to WA prompts is not the same kind of writing as the storytelling that November NaNoWriMo and April Camp NaNo are all about.

Game of Tomes is all about word count. Summercamp is all about articles. Articles of 1000-1500 words are actually considered "long", and it takes 31 of these in order to hit a 50,000 word goal for the month! The writers participating in Game of Tomes have upped the stakes, though, to the point where a 50k goal just doesn't seem to be enough (for me, anyway). Furthermore, the desire to create "more words" suppresses the desire to make individual articles more stylish and presentable. The end result: 31 well-written articles for Summercamp - that don't look like much because I didn't spend the time on embellishment. And a sub-par word count (for me) for Game of Tomes.

I realize that Game of Tomes has a wider audience than just Anvilites. But personally, I "owe" World Anvil for the introduction into this fantastic community of writers, and I felt this year that the Game of Tomes may have reduced my contact with the WA community at large at the expense of the GoT community.

Final Impressions

Overall, Summercamp 2022 was pleasant and productive for me. I got a lot of the right things done. Several new, fantastic concepts were introduced into my world of Cartyrion. I'm closer to publishing the Feywood sourcebook. I've gotten a much better feel for some of the geography and cultures that will figure heavily in books 2 and 3.

Summercamp 2022 was enjoyable, successful, and memorable.


Character in sidebars by RPGDinosaurBob using HeroForge™


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6 Aug, 2022 21:50

Very nice and looking forward to the sourcebook of yours for Feywood!

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