How NOT to Conworld.

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Veris
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How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Veris » 02 Oct 2011 11:10

What are things that people tend to do with their conworlds that make you lose interest? From stuff that simply makes you roll your eyes to stuff that makes you throw your hands up and walk away.

For me...

Eye-Rollingly Bad
1. Reiterating over and over again how different your world is from Earth. "Okay guys, fair warning -- this next bit is REALLY different from what you're used to, so if you get your mind blown, don't blame me :-)" This is usually a sure sign that the conworld is unimaginative. (1.5. Emoticons. You're introducing me to your conworld, not chatting with me on AIM.)

2. Having X number of intelligent, sapient creatures in your world, including humans, and having the first lines of your description of said humans go something like, "The humans of Conworld are rather average in culture, intellect and physical strength compared to the other races. They're also the most numerous." WTF is the point of having a ton of non-human races if mundane, vanilla humans are not only present in your conworld, but are also the most numerous? Gleesh.

3. Elves.

Deal-Breakingly Bad
4. A map with tons of unpronouncable, discordant names. Nothing personal, but like this. My ten-year-old nephew, who just started conworlding, makes stuff like that, and I only appreciate it 'cause he's my nephew, and is young. Someone in their twenties or thirties (or god-forbid, fourties) should be able to do better. Either way, my interest nosedives when I see something like that.

5. Copy-pasting Tolkien without realizing it. I'm looking at you, Christopher Paolini. To be fair, I think we all start out making highly-derivative works, but that's why I'm listing, subjectively, "things that turn me off of a conworld" rather than making a claim of an objective "doing this is bad." Do what you want, but Tolkien ripoffs repulse me like antigravity.

6. Preaching. I'm not going to bother reading about a conworld if its description is peppered with its creators worldviews, regardless of whether I agree. You can tell me about your conpeoples' gods without sacchrine gush about how humans "need something to believe in" or that "they're stupid for believing in these gods, which are actually false." Needless to say, I almost never read about "utopian" conworlds, because they're invariably based on the half-baked ideals of their (typically very) young creators.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Micamo » 02 Oct 2011 11:38

#2 comes from the (disgustingly common) fantasy trope of designing species by taking humans and making changes. "Oolus are humans who are short with blue skin and have an obsession with cheese", "Makars are humans who are all extremely smart and have really long arms." Humans exist to give the audience someone they can identify with easily, and all the other races are human-like to make them more sympathetic as well. It's easy to make to make the audience understand themes like elves getting raided and murdered by humans with the excuse that "they're not human so they don't matter" but it's very difficult to get that across if you, say, replace the elves with pools of sentient acid.

I don't think it's necessarily a bad thing, just making humans the "average everyday people nothing special or notable about them" is to ignore the massive and interesting cultural differences between groups of humans in reality. If humans are varied among themselves in addition to the variety of other races, I think it can work out just fine.

On topic: If a conculture has completely equal gender roles in everything, no concept of property, and complete polyamory with omnipresent bisexuality, it's completely unsalvageable.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ossicone » 02 Oct 2011 13:04

Damnit. Now I have to make a shoe elf language!

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Micamo » 02 Oct 2011 13:07

Ossicone wrote:Damnit. Now I have to make a shoe elf language!
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Valoski » 02 Oct 2011 14:57

What's wrong with elves, as long as they aren't just the generic perfect ones?

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Visinoid » 02 Oct 2011 16:32

Veris. @_@ What a downer. (JOKE)

Actually, I thought I was the only one considering about others' conworlds and rolling my eyes each time I had the impression the wall of text they made was more of a ''prepare to see how blown you mind will be'' than a ''I present you this and that.'' :)

As for the emoticons, I don't agree. T_T
I love 'em. :3

If it ever occurred that I implanted elves in one of my conworlds - which is not likely to happen soon enough, because I don't conworld... - then, they'd be small persistent brats joking around. :)

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Testyal » 02 Oct 2011 16:55

I always found conworlding a damn sight harder than conlanging. Then again, I like to focus on tiny details of things before actually doing the important stuff. Procrastination, my friends.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Raydred » 02 Oct 2011 17:00

So if I use emoticons does that make my conworld worse? O: ):
Who care about emoticons, what matters is content...
Sorry for commenting the least important thing you referred but oh well...

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Qaar » 02 Oct 2011 17:23

What about space orcs and space elves?
With fleshed out cultures and languages in progress?
And they're not Tolkienish?
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Zumir » 02 Oct 2011 17:30

Then you're dangerously close to being Warhammer 40K.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Qaar » 02 Oct 2011 17:37

Zumir wrote:Then you're dangerously close to being Warhammer 40K.
That's an abomination.
Pseudo-Catholic space Nazis with a supernatural emperor and no science... as the good guys >_>
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Even though it could be smelled that the two of them were eaten and butchered around as if the other ones had experience, I can obviously tell you two are eating peacefully without being disturbed.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Zumir » 02 Oct 2011 17:48

Ehhh. I'm inclined to be charitable toward it, since it does break a lot of Science fiction clichés. On the other hand, the bleakness is really over the top, and as for the entire species of universally sadomasochistic space pirates... words fail me.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ollock » 02 Oct 2011 17:55

I really don't think Warhammer 40k is supposed to be taken seriously. Treat it as a jokeworld.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Zumir » 02 Oct 2011 18:02

I would, but it seems honestly preoccupied with being "edgy". The only humour comes from the orcs, and it's a pretty comic-relief-ish sort of humour. It seems like an attempt at serious worldbuilding that sank into unintentional comedy.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Qaar » 02 Oct 2011 19:56

Zumir wrote:I would, but it seems honestly preoccupied with being "edgy". The only humour comes from the orcs, and it's a pretty comic-relief-ish sort of humour. It seems like an attempt at serious worldbuilding that sank into unintentional comedy.
It seems honestly preoccupied with being unfriendly, cold, filled with little brothers and sisters of Cthulhu and such stuff
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Even though it could be smelled that the two of them were eaten and butchered around as if the other ones had experience, I can obviously tell you two are eating peacefully without being disturbed.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Visinoid » 02 Oct 2011 20:04

What is Warhammer already? I've only heard the thing in the title of a video-game. @_@

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Valoski » 02 Oct 2011 20:24

Visinoid wrote:What is Warhammer already? I've only heard the thing in the title of a video-game. @_@
You paint figures, then take them to a shop that sells the figures, and play a complicated game with them. It could be understood as incredibly nerdy by most.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Ollock » 02 Oct 2011 20:25

Visinoid wrote:What is Warhammer already? I've only heard the thing in the title of a video-game. @_@
???

It is a video game and table-top battle game franchise. Warhammer is a standard fanatasy setting and Warhammer 40K is the same setting 40,000 years later with sci-fi elements introduced.
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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Qaar » 02 Oct 2011 20:29

Visinoid wrote:What is Warhammer already? I've only heard the thing in the title of a video-game. @_@
A conworld gone horribly Cthulhu
Rooacözanaatöözaqaxzsefäzskaelasaar tözaseleela.
Even though it could be smelled that the two of them were eaten and butchered around as if the other ones had experience, I can obviously tell you two are eating peacefully without being disturbed.

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Re: How NOT to Conworld.

Post by Visinoid » 02 Oct 2011 20:30

Valoski wrote:
Visinoid wrote:What is Warhammer already? I've only heard the thing in the title of a video-game. @_@
You paint figures, then take them to a shop that sells the figures, and play a complicated game with them. It could be understood as incredibly nerdy by most.
You mean like some of my friends who play DnD... -_-'

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