Thursday, January 05, 2006

World Building - Discovering Och

Over the last two days we did a quick initial sketch of a new race, the Krikich, the crablike inhabitants of the planet Och. And touched lightly upon some basic traits, and some vague social traits.

However before we jump into discovering the culture any deeper we need to know more about the planet on which they live.

Designing a planet is much like creating a race. Lots of following your intuition and not being afraid to be a bit silly at first to lay the groundwork to be built upon later. And so to start, out pops the trusty pencil again.

The idea here is to make the planet seem like a good fit to the race it is designed for, but not make it feel too flat or like a one-trick-pony. Basically take Earth, and mix things up a bit. Alter the climate slightly in one direction or another, flip up the continent placement, and maybe toss in a couple of oddities that can make things interesting.

The planet Och is split into thirds climate wise. Two thirds are giant ice caps, while a broad temperate zone runs between.

There are eight continents, of which only three are exposed. Two protrude partially from the Northern ice cap. The other three are completely encased, one in the North and two in the South. The bulk of Krikicho live within the Temperate Gap, though there are a fair number who live beneath the ice.

Two moons orbit the planet Och. The largest of the two is in a stable, circular orbit around the planet, while the smaller is on an oval, slingshot orbit. These two moons come into alignment once every year, by Krikicho reckoning, when the smaller moon is in the near end of it’s oval. This causes tidal anomalies that only occur at that specific time, and hold special significance to the Krikicho.

That’s enough for now. More specifics can come in time, and will vary a bit by location. But this gives us enough of a big picture view to have a common ground to make sure the details stick together right. And, as a bonus, gives all the overly scientific fans lots to argue about.

It’s at this point that we’ll have to start getting more specific about things, and begin laying out political borders, social history, language and spirituality. Still I think you will find that even those start out just as more sticks in the framework.

But that’s for next week. Friday we’ll take a break and look at a couple of books I recently read.


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