In every episode of The Art of World Building Podcast, host Randy Ellefson discusses how authors, screenwriters, game designers, gamers, and hobbyists can do world building better, faster, and have more fun doing it. Popular topics include creating gods, species, animals, plants, races, monsters, undead, continents, settlements, kingdoms, star systems, time, history, cultures, magic systems, religions, the supernatural, naming everything, and travel estimates for land, sea, and space.
The Art of World Building Podcast is based on the three volume series of the same name. Not all of the book content will be discussed, but the same subjects (and more) will be covered with less or more detail.
The show schedule is every two weeks on Tuesdays.
Each episode has a transcript at the bottom for those who prefer to read it. Since Randy is also a pro-level guitarist, his music is used for the intro and ending credits and various info breaks presented. Every show will also conclude with a full song to round out the episode.
Where to Listen
Listen as host Randy Ellefson explores how to create species and races, including overall attitude and disposition, what some call “alignment.” Is good vs. evil a viable approach or too restrictive? How else can get this across? With their appearance, do we want them able to masquerade as each other or not? What do their physical features say about them? Learn the pros and cons of multiple races of a species and how this can improve depth and our options.
Listen as host Randy Ellefson explores how to create species and races, when to use which term, and how to structure your species and races intelligently. We also look at whether world builders need to invent them at all; the answer may be different for science fiction vs. fantasy. Finally, we look at the minimum and maximum that can be done when inventing one and how to balance the work.
Listen as host Randy Ellefson explores how to create gods, including whether they are good, evil, or neutral, and different ways to identify them, from symbols to nicknames and patronage. Do your gods interact with the world and under what restrictions? What have they created and has anything unexpected happened with? Finally, we discuss how to get started inventing deities.
Listen as host Randy Ellefson explores how to create gods, whether we need to create them and the considerations we need in fantasy and science fiction. Decide whether your gods are real and their impact on the species/races. Learn the advantages of pantheons vs. a single god. Decide where the gods live and how difficult it is to reach them.
Listen as host Randy Ellefson explores how many worlds you should create over the course of your career. Is it better to build a world for each project or one world for all stories? You could end up building 20 worlds, which is a lot of work. When is it better to just create one world and keep reusing it? What are the pros and cons of each approach?
Listen as host Randy Ellefson talks about whether you need to build a world or not, and how and when to use Earth analogues as a springboard for your imagination. The Rule of Three will help you avoid getting caught, too! Analogues are a fundamental concept that no listener should skip.
Listen as host Randy Ellefson explains the vision for The Art of World Building Podcast and what you can expect from the series and each episode. He’ll also be introducing himself and briefly talking about his thirty years of world building experience. Some caveats and definitions are also covered. This is a good primer that no listener should skip.